Radio Interview: Pat and Tammy McLeod - Hit Hard

We were recently joined by Pat and Tammy McLeod for a special interview on Bott Radio Network KSIV Encounter. While life seemed to be moving forward in wonderful ways, their world was radically rocked when their son sustained a severe brain injury. However, as God directed their steps, they encountered His grace as they navigated the challenges and the challenges of pressing through ambiguous loss.

Click on the link below to hear the interview from Bott Radio Network!

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network on Friday, July 12, 2019.

Radio Interview: Don Everts - The Reluctant Witness

On a recent Bott Radio Network Encounter, Don Everts from Lutheran Hour Ministries joined us to share "The Reluctant Witness", his new book from InterVarsity Press and Barna Group. It's a helpful resource to guide you to discover the delight of spiritual conversations. Have you considered simply starting with “Hi"?

The Encounter with Lay Renewal Ministries is heard every Friday at 1:30 PM on 95.9/1320 KSIV, part of the Bott Radio Network. This interview originally aired on July 5, 2019.

Radio Interview: Jack Alexander - One Race Movement

Jack Alexander, who joined us last year to share a great deal on mercy ministries, returned to discuss important findings in a recent project with The Barna Group. He shares insightful words that call forward the Church to build bridges of restoration and reconciliation.

Please take a moment to listen to his experiences and the steps this very conservative man believes we should take forward if we truly hope to reflect Christ and have an impact.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on July 5, 2019.

Radio Interview: Bethany Turner - Wooing Cadie McCaffrey

PINK? What kind of guy picks up, much less reads a book with a pink cover?

Me.

But then, I am always in the middle of at least one book. I really needed something that looked like it would be an enjoyable read and this was in my pile. Besides, who would EVER know?
CONFESSION: I truly, truly, truly enjoyed reading Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner, Author. Not only was the story enjoyable with a nice dose of humor, it has a foundation in faith that is clear.
Bethany was kind enough to join me for a Bott Radio Network radio interview and talk with me about her new book and her writing. Click below to hear the conversation!
KSIV Encounter 95.9/1320 StL - http://seebethanywrite.com/

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on June 28, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Caleb Breakey - The String

Many authors have attempted to write stories that have an edge to them. There are some that succeed while others fall flat. Caleb Jennings Breakey has a new novel that does a commendable job of revealing the darkness of the human heart while also showing how light breaks through.

Caleb joined me on Bott Radio Network Encounter to discuss "The String" ( Baker Books / Revell) as well as his heart for exploring truth through fiction. Listen to our conversation by clicking on the link below!

Bott Radio Network Encounter 95.9 / 1320 KSIV StL https://www.getthestring.com/home

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on June 28, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Drew Guise - Tourette, College, Faith, & Life

When I received an email that a scheduled guest had a family emergency and had to cancel, I wasn’t sure what to do. However, a quick prayer and text resulted in my son, Drew Guise, joining me for a quick 12 minutes to record a conversation about church, Tourette Association of America, his college experience, and life in general. If you’d like to listen to the interview, click on the link below and hear what’s been happening lately in the life of this young man who makes his father incredibly proud.

Drew and his sister, Katie, on his 21st birthday

Drew and his sister, Katie, on his 21st birthday

Radio Interview: Michael Card - Inexpressible #Hesed

On a recent Bott Radio Network Encounter, we welcomed back Michael Card. His latest book, Inexpressible, released earlier this year from InterVarsity Press. It takes readers on a journey through the Hebrew word "Hesed" as we try to understand part of God's character. Translated as "loving-kindness", "mercy", and many other words, it's a beautiful glimpse into our Loving Father!

Listen to the conversation by clicking on the link below. https://www.michaelcard.com/

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network St Louis KSIV on June 21, 2019.

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Radio Interview: J Otis Ledbetter - Soul Hunger

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a young man wondered what he would do if God ever blessed him with children. While his wife was an amazing woman who had been raised in a Christian home, he hadn’t had the same blessing. So he wondered… And wondered… And wondered…

And then, he was blessed to meet a few men who opened his eyes to Scripture and the ways in which a man could be intentional about raising his children to know Christ. It wasn’t about forcing religion down their throats. It was about being a Christian man who tried to be intentional with aspects of passing on a spiritual, emotional, and social legacy.

Although that was over 20 years ago, it was a blessing for me to speak with the man who helped equip me on a recent Bott Radio Network Encounter KSIV interview. J Otis Ledbetter shared hew new book, "Soul Hunger". Based on some time with God's Word and Post-It notes (his story!), you'll be blessed as he shares ways we can satisfy our soul's deepest longings

Bott Radio Network KSIV - J. Otis Ledbetter DMin - www.HungerTest.com

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on June 7, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Tim Shoemaker - Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions! #SmashedTomatoes

No tomatoes were harmed as we spoke with Tim Shoemaker on Bott Radio Network Encounter KSIV!

Although we didn’t cover the pros and cons of tomato smashing, we did discuss a lot of other issues as Tim share his newest book from Revell (Baker Books) - The Very Best, Hands-on, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions. Blending Scripture with interactive activities, it presents a great resource for parents (and teachers, youth leaders, etc) who are seeking to help children and young people better understand God's Word.

Click the link below to listen to the interview. There are many helpful tips in the book as well as our brief time as Tim offers insight from his experience. I especially liked what he said about teaching a variety of age groups in the same setting!
KSIV 95.9/1320 @ 1:30 PM Bott Radio Network - www.TimShoemakerSmashedTomatoes.com

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on June 7, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Kathy Koch - Start with the Heart

Character can best be revealed when a person thinks no one else is looking.

How does a parent create the positive characteristics in a child so that he or she is responsible, brave, compassionate, and other qualities that reflect a growing person of faith? Kathy Koch joined us on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV to address some of those questions while she shared Start with the Heart, her new book from Moody Publishers. Click below to listen to the conversation as she highlights ways you can raise the child(ren) God has given you.
Bott Radio Network KSIV 95.9 /1320 @ 1:30 PM - www.StartWithTheHeart.net

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on May 31, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Charles Stone - Holy Noticing

God is at work in your life, in your relationships, and in the world. Are you noticing what He is doing?

Charles Stone Jr. joined us on Bott Radio Network 95.9 / 1320 to share Holy Noticing, his new book from Moody Publishers. In this new book, he guides readers through the historically Christian and Biblical discipline of being more engaged with Christ in the everyday moments that too often slip right by us.

Bott Radio Network Encounter is on at 1:30 PM on Fridays. Join us! www.HolyNoticing.com

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on May 31, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Natalie Walters - Living Lies

Our second guest on a very special "Novel Friday" was a debut author, Natalie Walters, Writer. Her brand new release from Revell is titled Living Lies. From the gripping first chapter, you'll be drawn into the intrigue and suspense created as a murder is investigated by a rookie police officer recently out of the military. The first witness to discover the body is a young lady wrestling with her own demons and struggles that are only exacerbated by this mystery.

I enjoyed the conversation with Natalie as she shared a bit of her own story and her inspiration behind her writing. There are special pieces that she took from her own life so you'll be drawn to know more about who she is and how she is using the gifts that God has given her.

Click on the link below to hear the Bott Radio Network KSIV Encounter interview and find out more about her at: www.NatalieWaltersWriter.com

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on May 24, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Irene Hannon - Driftwood Bay (Hope Harbor series)

It was a "Novel Friday" recently on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV. Our first guest was Irene Hannon., a novelist who came back to tell us about her newest book in the Hope Harbor series, Driftwood Bay.

Although it's not my normal genre of reading, I really enjoyed this novel set in a small town in Oregon. Dr Logan West arrives in the town with a hyper dog and a young girl who is the exact opposite. They meet their neighbor, Jeanette, who is determined to know as little about them as possible. Among the things that draw them out of their zones and into the world is a fractured family from war-torn Syria.

Click below to listen to the Bott Radio Network interview that might be a great vacation read for you this summer! (Then you can go and see more at: www.IreneHannon.com )

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on May 24, 2019.

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Keeping it Simple in the Beatitudes

With both of my children now in the college years, my wife and I will be entering an interesting transition season of life. Simple questions (like cooking for two) will arise. Traveling to see the kids (two hours or fifteen hours) will become a consideration. Honestly, dealing with the reality that no matter how long we stare at the front door, one of our kids isn’t going to walk through it will be a significant change…

One of the blessings of marriage as God has created it is something that we can easily overlook if we aren’t careful. A husband and wife should complement one another. There are gifts my beautiful bride of almost 24 years has that I fall short in displaying. Likewise, I like to think that there are gifts that I bring to the marriage that serve to bless and complement her. Although things aren’t perfect by any means, with Christ at the center, we have been incredibly united as one.

While I may have teased you into thinking that this is about our marriage, it’s actually about YOU! How is Christ at work in you and your life?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been reflecting in the Beatitudes for my home church. My mind has been taking me back to the hillside at the Sea of Galilee. I’ve been blissfully resting, looking down at the Sea, feeling the cooler temperatures, and allowing the faint breeze to give me comfort. And then, considering the phrase we see in the translation of the ESV, I use my ‘informed imagination’ to hear the words in verse two, which states, “[Jesus] opened His mouth and taught them saying…”

As I reflected on those words and tried to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking, I couldn’t help but hear other verses begin to come into my mind – especially the images of “streams of living water” we find in Isaiah and John. I could literally picture Jesus opening His mouth and words, like water, flowing down the mountainside to the listening ears waiting.

These ears had been hearing Law from the Pharisees and teachers. These ears had been hearing of the sword of Rome. These hearts had been waiting and wanting to receive God’s promises of deliverance and rescue.

And then, they began to hear words that reached to the depths of their souls.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

While there is much to be said about each Beatitude, I’ll instead touch briefly on the highlights and ask you to do what I did: Open your ears and your heart to let the Holy Spirit speak.

 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Blessed does refer to happiness. God does want you to be happy. But let’s never forget that our definitions of words and our outline of “God’s plan for our lives” may not exactly be the same as what God actually has in store.

For example, when we hear “poor” our minds can quickly go to the concept of money or wealth. When connected with “in spirit”, we then think of lacking spirit the same way we might lack money.

A better way to think of this might be to build a better contextual bridge. If we are “poor in spirit”, then we are broken, we are humbled, or, to use money words, we are bankrupt. We recognize that without Christ, we have nothing. In that empty state, we have no choice but to look up. We realize that our efforts to earn “Heaven-points” (to earn our salvation) are meaningless. If we open our eyes and realize, in our brokenness that Christ’s hand is reaching down and lifts us up out of the pit, we receive the Kingdom of Heaven (salvation).

 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Again – it’s a bit strange. “Happy are those who are sad?” How does that work? In a legitimate way, I think we can understand this as, when we are sorrowful, we will receive God’s peace and comfort. I know that I find strength when I trust in God in my grief and mourning. It’s a blessing to think of Him.

But John MacArthur does point out that we can also look at this another way. Jesus is continuing a thread of looking sin. In that light, “blessed are those who grieve over their sins and the sins in the world.” We will find comfort when we realize that God is sovereign. As we look in the Word and see examples like Joseph and his brothers, we will find comfort. As we look at David and see how God brought a man after God’s own heart to the throne, we will be at peace. As we look at what the Prophet Jeremiah went through when trying to share God’s Truth with a rebellious nation, we will find strength. Over and over and over again, God worked through sin then and He will still do so today.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

I read comics as a kid (before they became ‘graphic novels’) and I remember an ad in the back for a solution to the “98-pound weakling syndrome”. The ad promised that you could become nothing but muscles instead of being the person who got sand kicked in his face.

The word “meek” in context means a gentleness of spirit. In other words, if I wanted to, I could be a jerk. I could be mean. I could be a bully. However, I choose not to do so. I choose to be humble and gentle. I choose to present a mild response when I don’t have to do so. It’s the black-belt who could break another person in half but instead chooses to walk away.

There is strength in being strong enough to submit and trust in God.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

We all know what it means to be hungry or thirsty. I would wager to say that just about every person has uttered a variation of “I’m starving” when he or she is five minutes late to a meal. But that isn’t real hunger or thirst.

The words are talking about a deep and passionate hunger and thirst for RIGHTEOUSNESS. We are tired of sin. We are tired of when it seems like evil is winning. We want God to intervene and SMITE someone! We want to see righteousness, the right and true and pure things triumph. We will be filled.

Be happy. Be blessed. Be at peace. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. But, as we trust in our sovereign God, we trust that it will, HIS Will, will be done. He is always at work and will always bring out the good in His perfect timing.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

As I mentioned above, mercy was deeply craved by the Jewish people. When they went to the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, they received more Laws. If they went to the Romans and asked for mercy, the Romans responded with the sword. A Roman father could be shown a newborn child. He could say thumbs up or thumbs down. If a Roman didn’t like his slave, he could kill him and bury the body – no questions asked. There was no mercy.

When we go to God, we are shown mercy. It’s not about what we have done, are doing, or will do. When we fall down at the foot of the cross, we receive mercy.

Mercy should always be reciprocal. I don’t mean that we show mercy to God. I mean that we, when we understand the mercy we have received, should reciprocate by demonstrating that to others. Let the grace we have received flow back out to others.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

We could make a case that no one is pure in heart because of sin. However

The abortion debate has been revived as some states pass new laws. While I think debate is good, this brings me to the idea of pure in heart. Our local paper recently had an opinion piece written by the head of a group that wants to allow abortions at any point. Women were listed who had late third-term abortions. The author wrote her own story of learning that Trisomy 18 was a possibility and choosing to end the pregnancy.

Throw stones if you wish, but when I think of pure in heart, I think of moms who love their children unconditionally. I think of a mom who, even though the odds are incredibly high that a child will be born with a “condition” still loves the child. The plain and simple truth is clear. It is difficult to raise a child with special needs. To do anything else is simply murder. It would be called murder if it were done after the child were born. While is it not when a 25-week old is killed in the womb?  

The word that we have here for pure is “katharos”. We might think of the English word “cathartic”. If something is cathartic, it can give us a release or some relief. If we want to have this for our hearts, then we should listen to the Apostle Paul:

Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God. 2nd Corinthians 7:1

If we want to be pure in heart, the first step is to simply stop and ask ourselves, “In what ways am I not pure? Where am I willing to compromise?” Then ask, it that Biblical? Or have I dug my heals into the ground on something that is a non-essential for the Christian faith?

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Do you want to hear something funny? If I read that verse using this translation in certain churches, people would get mad at me. A literal translation would put “sons of God” in the place of “children of God”.

Twenty years ago, no one cared. It was understood that ‘mankind’ meant everyone. In context, there was an understood plurality. We didn’t need to say humankind or another word that would not be considered sexist.

While I never want to cause another pain, I’ll be honest and say I don’t care. This is not a salvation issue. The world will not end if I use “children of God” instead of “sons of God”. It also won’t end if I use “sons of God” instead of “children of God”.

Here’s the point. On the one hand, I appreciate the point of being clear in our meanings and accurate in our translations. Jesus said we should call God “Father” so that is what I will do. On the other hand, our culture is different. Is this a place where we can have peace? Then blessed are those who work to bring reconciliation.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

To be honest, I have to confess that I struggle sometimes with the “backwardness” of the evangelical Christian faith. Trying to live Biblically (instead of, say, like someone who preaches a prosperity gospel), isn’t exactly lucrative. It would be nice to be chauffeured to the airport, get in my private jet, fly to somewhere, say a few words, and then fly off to Hawaii and rest-up. (Yes, some people do that.) Personally, I get to fly coach while my knees often touch the seat in front of me.

It’s hard to live in a way that says I will be happy and blessed if I am persecuted for righteousness. And, let’s be honest. The North American Church doesn’t exactly know true persecution. If we left this country, we could see an entirely different level of persecution.

In China, churches have been raided and people have been arrested for their faith. A church was closed because they refused to allow “security cameras” to be installed. In 2018, the magazine, Bitter Winter, reported that police stations in a city were evaluated based on the number of Christians that were arrested.

In Syria, over three months, 150 families were forced to flee imminent death and are now scattered between refugee camps. A church was burned and its remains were painted with jihadist slogans. Other places have been bombed and Christians are arrested and held by ISIS.

North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya – the list of countries goes on and on. Arrests, executions, and a multitude of different trials have occurred and will continue to occur against people who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ.

The Beatitude calls us back to that longing and thirsting for righteousness. If you find it, if you live it, and are persecuted for it, then BLESSED are you. Righteousness is God’s way rather than man’s way. It’s being a person of faith rather than slapping on a church name tag and being a member of a club rather than a person who identifies in the heart with Christ.

If you are persecuted for your faith, then yours in the kingdom of heaven. Salvation is yours. Grace is yours. Eternal life with God is yours.

The Beatitudes end with what we might call “Answer D” or “All of the Above”. It presents a goal for the end of life, a blessing that comes if we strive to walk in relationship and faith with Christ.  

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

There is an expression: Begin with the end in mind. Know what your goal is and figure out how to get there.

The end for a Christian is Heaven. There, we will receive our final reward. Until then, we have to do our best to press forward in faith. It’s honestly not that complicated. It’s rather plain and simple.

Live what you believe while loving God and loving others.

Yours in Christ,

Marty

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Radio Interview: Greg Lanier - How We Got the Bible

When someone suggested I read the book, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, I picked it up to give it a try. As I began reading, I found it to be a somewhat engaging novel that read a bit like a television show. However, as I continued, I was more than a bit surprised at the "facts" he presented that were, let's say, a bit outside of true history. And now, even though we are well over a decade later, some of those distortions continue to exist unquestioned.
In a very short and clear manner, Greg Lanier takes us back to explore some of the basics in his recently published book, How We Got the Bible. Written as another in the "Christian's Pocket Guide" series from Christian Focus Publications, you'll appreciate this handy resource that cuts through the whatnot floating around and takes you right to the truth. Greg walked us through a bit of this in a recent conversation that aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV. Click below to hear the interview as he explains a few of the facts you can have at your fingertips!
https://www.christianfocus.com/…/a-christians-po…/info-sheet

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on May 17, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Sean McDowell - So the Next Generation Will Know

For the past 23 years, one question has remained constant as I have spoken with pastors and church leaders across the country:

What about the kids in our church? How can I best teach and equip them in the truths of the Word of God? How can I prepare them with a faith-based worldview?

Let's be honest. A LOT has changed in the past two decades. And a lot of that has left the Church confused and struggled in the balance between the past and the future. Two authors and well-known experts, Sean J McDowell and J. Warner Wallace, have partnered to present a guide to Generation Z in a new book from David C Cook - "So The Next Generation Will Know".
Sean was our guest on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV to share insight into the research and the new book. Click below to hear another interview from Bott Radio Network Encounter!
www.SeanMcDowell.org

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network on May 17, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Rebecca Friedlander - Finding Beautiful

I imagine we've all heard the simple expression: A picture is worth a thousand words. If you don't fully grasp how a pictures can tell us stories of the past, the present, and give us glimpses of the future, please listen to the Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV interview below. We were joined by Rebecca Friedlander as she shared from her captivating book, #FindingBeautiful.
With beautifully interwoven stories that reveal grace in the ultimate transformation through Christ, you will want to hear her story. Rebecca shares more of the journey from brokenness to beauty as she met women around the globe who rose from the ashes. Baker Books Bott Radio Network

Please visit her web site: www.RebeccaFriedlander.com to see a few of the pictures that you can’t see through the microphone!

This interview aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on May 10, 2019.

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Radio Interview: Sheridan Voysey - The Making of Us

"I don't know who I am..."

That's what Sheridan Voysey was thinking as he and his wife went through a period with shattered dreams. Infertility. International move. A career change. As he sought to understand what God was doing, he and a friend embarked on a pilgrimage of a hundred mile journey along the coast of England. He shares a bit of those thoughts in his new book from Thomas Nelson, The Making of Us.
Sheridan joined us for a conversation on Bott Radio Network #EncounterKSIV. Click on the link below to hear some of the things God can taught him - including the fact that: "Beautiful things can emerge from a life not going as planned."
www.TheMakingOfUs.com

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on May 10, 2019.

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Radio Interview FLASHBACK!: Warren Wiersbe - Delights and Disciplines of Bible Study

It’s another “rejoice in grief” time…

Pastor and Bible teacher, Warren Wiersbe (May 16, 1929 – May 2, 2019), went Home to glory two weeks shy of his 90th birthday. Perhaps best known for his “Be” series (more than 50 books covering God’s Word that sold 4+ million copies), Wiersbe sought to take people deeper into the Word while also challenging them to LOVE God’s Word.

It took a fair amount of juggling, but I had the honor and privilege of speaking with Warren in early 2018 for a very special interview on Bott Radio Network KSIV. Although it falls short of honoring the man for his good and faithful ministry, I do hope you will take a moment to listen to this man whose passion for the Word had not abated even at 88 years young. He still spent an hour each morning in “devotion time” before he shifted to study.

May we be encouraged through his words to continue to go deeper and grow in our love for God and love for others!

Pastor Teacher Warren Wiersbe

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV on February 16, 2018.