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March 07, 2010

Ep.597: Does Delay Equal Disaster?

Leaning on God’s timing not ours

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Theme Scripture: Mark 5:35

Most of us are not very patient, especially when we are facing a very difficult challenge. If we need help, well, we need help! And if it is a matter of life and death, then what possible reason could there be to delay? We will look into one of the dramatic events of Jesus’ life that focuses on these very circumstances. We have Jesus, a dying child, her frantic father, a crowd and a woman who has been sick for years. We have delay and we have a seeming disaster as a result of that delay. So, what is the message here? Why did Jesus delay and what can we learn from it? Stay with us! The drama is about to unfold!

Continue Reading

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July 19, 2021

Ep.1187: How Can We Overcome Crushing Guilt?

Learning how to face, understand and conquer guilt and shame

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CHAPTERS

[00:17:02]
What if we ask for forgiveness but don't feel forgiven?


[00:34:05]
Guilt is a warning sign - where do shame and regret fit in?


[00:49:04]
How can our faith fight back when we have done the unthinkable?


Theme Scripture: Psalm 32:5

What are we supposed to do?  What do we do when we have done something - either on purpose or by accident - that causes someone excessive harm or loss, or even tragedy? How do we go on, how do we face our family or those we have hurt? How do we live with ourselves? Crushing guilt can bring us into a place of dark and misery-ridden hopelessness. It can make our life feel joyless and pointless. The good news? As Christians, we have access to God through Jesus. While they won’t miraculously lift us out of the mire of crushing guilt, they will, if we let them, give us direction, strength and hope. We just need to be willing to do the necessary work in faith. So, how do we get there from here? We’ll start with the story of someone who has been here and is now walking this difficult road to acceptance.

Continue Reading

A car accident changed everything

Jennifer has been married for almost 20 years and is a mom of four. About five years ago, the trajectory of her life changed when she was in a car accident that took the life of another. Though not criminally negligent, Jennifer did cause the accident. She now must live with the reality of someone’s death happening as a result of something she did. Jennifer is intimately familiar with the overwhelming consequences of crushing guilt.

The first thing we need to know is that we cannot take the consequences of our guilt away. We can try and ignore them.  We can pay them lip service. Or we can even try and redirect the blame for the wrong done away from us. Yes, we can do all these things, but inevitably none of them will help us alleviate our guilt. The only way to productively and decisively manage crushing guilt is to work through it. We need to face it in all of its misery, confusion and hopelessness so we can sort it out.

Her painful story

This is by no means an easy or even a welcome task. On the contrary, the time and effort needed can be daunting. But there is good news! Not only do we have biblical guidance as to how to navigate through this mess, we also have Jennifer and other real current-day examples to help us through. Check out our July 19, 2021 podcast, “How can We Overcome Crushing Guilt?” for more. We listen to Jennifer unfold her journey beginning with the trauma of the accident. She walks us through the stages of growth that brought her to a point of healthy and godly acceptance.

As a backdrop for her story, we look at two Psalms of David written about a specific tragic event in his life. One Psalm tells the story of plowing through the guilt, and the other tells the story of what the victory over guilt looks like. We can overcome the crushing guilt in our lives. Further, we can also learn to pass on the value of our learning experience to others. Don’t miss this opportunity to unlock hope!

 

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March 29, 2021

Ep.1171: How Did Jesus Prepare His Disciples for His Death?

Absorbing Jesus’ focused teaching on the night before his death

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CHAPTERS

[00:16:31]
How did Jesus refocus the attention of his disciples in the face of imminent tragedy?


[00:30:50]
How did Jesus give his apostles hope for the future?


[00:43:14]
What were Jesus' parting words of comfort?


Theme Scripture: John 16:33

If you were going to die tomorrow, how would you spend your day today? Jesus faced that very serious question 2,000 years ago. His answer was obvious. He would spend that entire evening with those whom he was closest to. He would prepare them, teach them and encourage them, for what was coming would be shocking and horrifying. The world of the disciples would be shattered, and he wanted them to be as ready as their imperfect minds could allow them to be. What he taught them that night through his words and actions was extraordinary. Even though it is not possible for us to get our arms around the depth of Jesus’ compassion, wisdom, love and clarity of mind, we are going to try anyway. What we find is pure spiritual inspiration.

Continue Reading

Final insights before the crucifixion

The Gospel of John, Chapters 13-16 are a unique view into the heart and mind of Jesus the night before he was taken to be crucified. They represent a detailed recounting of the several hours that Jesus had with his most faithful disciples in the upper room and beyond. John began writing his record of these events with a specific introduction. He told us that Jesus knew it was his time to die, and even more significantly, he told us Jesus knew he was going back to the Father. How could he know he was going back to the Father when he had not yet withstood the horrors of crucifixion? How could he know he wouldn’t break under pressure?

It is hard to exactly determine how Jesus knew he wouldn’t break under the pressure of the cross. It is much easier to understand what he was doing with that knowledge in final hours of freedom as a man. Jesus used these precious final hours of freedom to protect and prepare followers.  He protected them by telling them of the trials they would face in the immediate future. Knowledge is power if we choose to apply it and the disciples were given that power. Even though they all faltered, the power of Jesus’ words provided a solid foundation for them to all recover upon.

The preparation Jesus provided was epic

He knew these individuals who were with him the night before his crucifixion would be the very foundation pillars of Christianity. So, he taught them. He taught them how to be leaders when he washed their feet. He taught them what the price of Christianity was by foreshadowing their coming persecution.  He taught them how connected they were through the illustration of the vine and the branches. He taught them about the role God’s spirit would play in their everyday lives. He taught them to love one another as he loved them.

These lessons barely scratch the surface. Check out our March 29, 2021 podcast, “How did Jesus Prepare His Disciples for His Death?” for more.  No group of followers were ever given so much to work with.  Join us as we uncover their lessons and join them in being prepared!

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March 29, 2021

VIDEO: How Did Jesus Prepare His Disciples for His Death?

Jesus’ words provided a solid foundation for his disciples. Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

(3)

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March 23, 2020

Ep.1118: How Merciful Am I?

How mercy should work as told in the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

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CHAPTERS

[00:11:03]
How do we understand the Parable of the Unjust Steward?


[00:23:39]
What happens when we don't extend mercy to others?


[00:38:24]
How can we be like God in matters of mercy?


[00:49:25]
How does mercy make forgiveness work?


Theme Scripture: Matthew 18:33

As Christians, we often talk about the necessity of forgiveness. We need to be forgiven and to forgive others. When it comes to talking about mercy, we always seem to focus on God’s mercy. Rightly so. God’s mercy is a resounding theme throughout the entire Bible. His eternal wisdom and plan could not even exist unless His mercy was, is and will be in place. So, if being merciful is such an important part of God’s plan, and Jesus came and mercifully gave his life for Adam’s sin and redeemed the world, what about me? How does mercy fit into my life? Am I a merciful Christian? What does mercy really mean, and how do I know how and when to use it?

Continue Reading

70 x 7

The Apostle Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive his brother for continually sinning against him.  As a proposed answer to his own question, Peter offered a solution I am sure he thought was generous.  Should I forgive him up to seven times? Jesus' answer was a clear and eye-opening response. He said (and I am dramatizing this) seven times – are you kidding? You should forgive him seventy times seven! As Christians we look at this answer and are genuinely moved at how much love and compassion was expressed by it. We are in awe of the standard that Jesus set.

Even more than 70 x 7

Sadly, we are missing the main point. The seventy times seven answer was only the warm-up statement – merely an introduction. The parable he spoke after those words was the main point. Unfortunately, not many of us can call that parable and its lessons to mind. Why? Because the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant was a harsh story that can be a little hard to understand. On the surface, it does not seem to easily fit in with the magnanimous lesson of forgiving seventy times seven.

Jesus spoke this parable to teach us about mercy. A basic definition for mercy is to give unmerited opportunity to another.  It is kindness that opens a door to one who is undeserving. We don’t talk much about mercy. As a result, it seems to be a lesser-noticed sibling of forgiveness and grace. We frequently bask in the relief of being forgiven for our sins. We rejoice in the glory of being given grace - God’s unmerited favor. But without mercy, neither forgiveness or grace could be attainable. Without mercy there is no gospel and there is no coming kingdom!  Mercy drives all of it!

Check out our March 23, 2020 podcast, “How Merciful Am I?” for more. We establish what God’s mercy is and how it is a template for the mercy we are supposed to live by. We explore why Jesus used this particular story as a teaching tool. One of the many gems of truth we uncover is this: forgiveness can never be complete without mercy as its basis. Has your ability to truly forgive others ever been challenged? You just might need a better understanding of mercy!

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January 20, 2020

VIDEO: What Is the Fruit of the Spirit?

Fruit of the Spirit are good qualities a Christian spends a lifetime developing. If we try our best to be loving and kind with our thoughts, words, and actions toward others, God will be pleased, and these positive qualities can begin to develop in us. To learn more about these good qualities, have your young ones watch this short animated video.

(5)

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January 06, 2020

VIDEO: How Can We Be More Like Jesus? (Part 2)

Jesus’ character and the way he lived offers excellent examples of ways we can copy him. We can do this by doing our best to live peacefully with others, study the scriptures, be gentle and humble, trust God, help others, resist Satan’s attacks, and always obey God. Have your youngsters watch this short animated video Part 2 to learn about the ways they can be more like Jesus.

(3)

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December 23, 2019

Ep.1105: What is the True Spirit of Christmas?

Five simple principles that bring Christ back to Christmas

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CHAPTERS

[00:14:52]
How does the true spirit of Christmas influence our families?


[00:31:03]
How can we show our joy in the Christmas story when the world seems to have no tolerance for it?


[00:46:47]
How can we live the peace on earth promise given by the angels when the world is anything but peaceful?


[01:01:08]
How can praise help us keep life in perspective?


Theme Scripture: John 3:16

When we talk about the “spirit” of something, we are trying to describe what that something was intended to look like or result in.  Let’s take the spirit of a law.  Whatever that law may be interpreted as meaning, or however it might be applied, needs to be checked against what the law was actually intended to allow. It is far too easy to have a personal agenda and take the words of that law, rationalizing them into fitting what we want them to mean.  This is an unfortunate result of selfish thinking.  The same is true with Christmas.  The lights, the movies, the decorations, gifts, fanfare and food all tend to take away from the simplicity of the true spirit of Christmas.  So, what is the true intention of the Christmas holiday, and how do we pay our highest respect to it?

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Christmas is about Jesus, and it begins with giving.  Even though it is the wrong time of year (a subject for another time), we see his birth as its center.  Why does the Bible gives us so many details about how Jesus came into the world?  Because it was a complex and glorious matter that needed to be understood.  Jesus in his pre-human form was, by the power of God, to be reduced to an embryo.  This took supernatural power and supernatural communication to those who would be involved, specifically Mary and Joseph.  God’s plan in all of its miraculous complexity was accomplished through humble humans.  These things reveal a major part of the true spirit of Christmas as being expressed by giving.

So much giving!

Think about all of the giving involved here.  God’s plan was one that gave hope as He gave His son.  Mary gave herself over to ridicule and doubt to acquiesce to the will of God and become the mother of Jesus.  Joseph gave himself over to following angelic direction. This was was anything but natural and logical, marrying Mary and raising Jesus as his own son.  Jesus reduced himself to the form of a human so he could eventually give that life and lift all of humanity out of sin.  This is not the kind of giving we are used to at the Christmas season that entails fun and gifts, surprises and smiles.  No, this is profound giving on every level.  It is giving that is in place to bless and to obey.  It is giving that provides life.

Giving and receiving are just the beginning of what the true spirit of Christmas is made of.  There are many other qualities that especially shine at this season.  Check out our December 23, 2019 podcast, “What is the True Spirit of Christmas?” for more. We look at several other powerful lessons from the experiences surrounding Jesus’ birth.  People often say that Christmas is a magical time.  We would like to suggest that its true meaning makes it much more of a transformative time.  Don’t miss this opportunity to have that transformation go to work in your life!

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Ep.1023: Is Israel a Thorn in the Side of the World?

Israel's unique role in the world and in God's plan

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:18:29]
How long has this land been fought over?


[00:35:36]
What about historical Palestine?


[00:54:59]
What does the Bible say is coming next?


[01:13:34]
What will come of God's overruling on Israel's behalf?


Theme Scripture: Zechariah 12:3

Israel is a country that only covers about 21,000 square kilometers (not even in the top 150 countries – about the size of New Jersey) and houses about 8.3 million people (which figures to be about .11% of the world’s population).  Yet for its insignificance, this land is always in the news and always seems to be in trouble.  Why are there so many questions about and issues with this tiny nation?  Are they really occupying land that is not theirs?  Are they really mean and over-the-top harsh with their neighbors, or are there important details about the constant conflicts we are always missing?  Should we just be fed up with what they do and what they stand for, or should we be respectfully looking up to Israel for what they do and what they stand for?

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Watch Our Episode Preview


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