Radio Interview: Josh McDowell #Truth

For more than 50 years, Josh McDowell has been serving Christ to bring the Gospel message to people of all ages. With books like "More Than a Carpenter" and "Evidence that Demands a Verdict", Mc Dowell has helped seekers and believers to better understand the Truths that set them free in Christ.

With #Truth, a new devotional for teens, Josh joins us to discuss more of the challenges that face young people and their families. As he shares,  the blessing of the internet has result in young people facing questions and challenges at even younger ages than ever before.

Listen to the first part of our conversation with Josh McDowell as he shares about his book and addresses issues in the book and our culture. (Part two will be available on September 1st.)

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on August 18, 2017.

Gravity. Reality. An anniversary still worth celebrating.

In my mind, I can still recall that exact moment of shock when the reality of gravity became clear.

The green of the water tower in front of me…

The rope in my hands…

The flash of the side of the tower as I fell…

The feeling of striking the ground…

The snapping sound…

The pain as I lay on the ground…

One year ago yesterday, I was brought out of the operating room. I had a five inch scar on the back of my leg and a three inch scar on the inside by my ankle. Inside my leg were also three plates and a large quantity of pins to keep the broken tibia, fibula, etc. in place.

There was never a moment of “why me” over those weeks and months. Even as a few set-backs came, I knew that God always has a plan and a purpose.

Where does confidence come from? From where do I – and where do we – receive the ability to press forward? After injury, after accident, after failure, after problem upon problem upon problem, how do we really get the strength to get up and go?

The “easy” answer is faith. But what is faith? We could define faith by calling it trust. Some people put their trust in the government to find a solution to life’s demands. Someone else might call it loyalty or fidelity to someone or something. We might put our loyalty in a team or a particular player.

Personally, while those might be valid definitions in some respects, I prefer a different one. Faith is the belief in things that are unseen. Faith is an assurance of things that are hoped for but beyond our immediate vision. Not only is that definition found in God’s Word (Hebrews 11:1), it’s proven to be an ultimate Rock for me in my life. No matter what might be happening, I trust that God is always there, working and moving in ways unseen.

So…  How?

How do we obtain more of this “faith” in our lives? How do we develop an ever-increasing belief as well as the ability to walk in it – no matter how challenging the particular circumstances might be? The source, the well, the deeper place from which we can draw hope and trust, is, as you might expect me to say, in Christ. 

How did you react to what I just wrote?

I ask you to reflect on that question for just a moment. Take a moment to read backwards. Reflect on your own belief, your hope, your trust, your faith.

How strong is it? 

I’ll be honest. When I feel that it is strong, then I doubt. Then I struggle. Then I wonder.

And then, when I feel weak, I feel the strength of CHRIST filling me. 

There is a big difference between the moments of strength and weakness in our lives. I am convinced that it is in those moments of our greatest strength that we might as well give up. Why? Because our strength is ultimately going to fail. But, it is in the moment when we realize that we are weak, when we are helpless, when we are floundering and failing, it is that exact moment when we have our greatest opportunity for achievement. 

Why? 

Because it is no longer “us”… It isn’t about what I / we can do. We MUST turn to One who is greater, stronger, and more powerful. 

And that’s why faith in Christ is so important. The Apostle Paul realized this essential fact for his own life. As he wrote to the church in Corinth (2nd Corinthians 12:7-10), he had struggled, wrestled and called out for healing. Jesus said “no”. 

Not maybe. Not wait a little. Clearly, simply and directly, Jesus said no.

If that doesn’t seem like such a big deal, remember who Paul was. He’d been racing to imprison or kill Christians. He’d been struck blind and called by Jesus to be an Apostle. He’d been persecuted, shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, imprisoned, and much more for his faith. If there was anyone who “deserved” to be healed, wouldn’t you think that it would have been him? 

And yet, Jesus said no.

In that point of weakness, the Apostle spoke a clear Truth: “For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Please understand. Even as I prepare myself to write what I am about to write, I feel silly. I don’t want you to think that I’m claiming to have anything even remotely close to his faith. Again, those moments when I put myself up, I get knocked down. However, when I realize my weakness, when I trust in Christ, when I choose to run with Him rather than on my own, I see Strength. Not mine. His.

And so, as I draw what was supposed to be a quick thought to a lengthy end, that is where I would like to point you – to Christ. To His Presence. To His Strength. 

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve seen my quotes recently from a man named Chad Robichaux. After serving as a Force Recon Marine, Police Officer, DOD Contractor in the Middle East, and a ranked MMA fighter, he was at his end. His marriage was almost over and he was contemplating suicide. However, his wife asked him a simple question: Since he’d never given up on anything in his life, why was he now willing to give up on their marriage. That question so impacted Chad that he began meeting with a pastor from her church. And then, he began to not only say that Jesus was his Savior, he began to live with Jesus as his Lord. (Read his full story in An Unfair Advantage.) He now strives to help other veterans through a process of finding hope and healing. 

In his book, he states something I found rather challenging. Chad shares: (with one minor tweak by me):

As life goes by, it becomes increasingly difficult to know what a good person is – yet it becomes increasingly more important to be that person.

Let me encourage you to take up that challenge. Strive to BE the person God is calling you to be. Be a person of faith. Be a person of integrity. And, perhaps the most challenging, be a person of weakness – as you find STRENGTH in Christ.

Yours in Christ,

Marty

Radio Interview: Tara McClary Reeves #IsYourDadAPirate

Although interviewing an author for a children's book can present challenges, it was a joy to share 12 minutes with Tara McClary Reeves. Her love for her Savior and her father resonated through the airwaves as she discussed a very special book for children. Telling her own story of her childhood experiences with her injured veteran father, you'll be blessed if you can get a copy of "Is Your Dad a Pirate?"

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on July 21, 2017.

 

Radio Interview: Chad Robichaux #AnUnfairAdvantage

Husband. Father. Marine. MMA fighter. MBA. Special Agent with US Federal Marshall Air Service Program. This impressive list meant little as he also battled PTSD, became suicidal, and was on the verge of divorce...

A man convicted by the Power of God went from holding a gun and contemplating suicide to turning his life around and mentoring others facing the same battle. Join us for an honest conversation with Chad Robichaux as he shares his testimony. Eventually, we did get to discussing his new book, An Unfair Advantage, but that was secondary to the amazing gift of grace! [www.MightyOaksBooks.org]

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on July 7, 2017.

Simply Sad but Hopelessly Hopeful

I confess I’m a bit sad this morning.

Yesterday, the nation was shocked as a lone gunman attacked some of our elected representatives as they prepared for a fun game on a baseball field. This attack somewhat overshadowed an attack at a UPS warehouse in San Francisco as well as other shootings around our country.

While the shootings themselves cause me grief, I believe I’m more saddened by some responses. The “blame spiral” is disconcerting. Possibly even more so, is the perpetuation of some of the things that might well have inspired the attack on the representatives.

This is not a Trump or Ryan problem.

This is not a Pelosi or Clinton problem.

This is not a Democrat or Republican problem.

This is not a Social Media problem.

This is not even a gun problem.

It’s truly not the myriad of things that so many are postulating that it could be. “If only this…” or “If only that…

So, what do I KNOW the problem really is? It’s a HEART problem.

Yes, you can tune me out now – BUT I wish you wouldn’t.

The HEART problem we have is that we don’t care about other people. We are selfish. We are egocentric. We are unloving, uncaring, and unwaveringly bent on finding ways to hate.

Now, before you say, “No, I’m not. That’s not me!” indulge me for just a minute by answering questions:

·         How do you react to a #BlackLivesMatter? Do you get angry and say “All lives matter!” Do you get self-righteous and declare “That’s right!”

·         How do you react when you see a photo of the POTUS? Do you get angry and make some sort of “carrot” reference? Do you get happy and say “He’ll turn things around.”?

·         Do you click on any article against the President? Do you click on any article in favor of the President?

Why do I think the way you might answer those questions might determine whether or not you have a heart problem? It comes down to faith.

What did Jesus do? Jesus loved.

He loved the Jewish people. He loved the Samaritan people. He even loved the Roman people. He loved young people and old people. He loved people from His hometown and He loved people who lived in the next town (and the next…) He didn’t look for ways to divide. He looked for ways to love. He looked for ways to heal. He looked for ways to strengthen. Read through the Gospels and you will find story after story after story that demonstrates Jesus was committed to bringing transformation in the hearts and lives of all people.

I’m FAR from perfect. I know that and anyone who knows me knows that. I get angry, self-righteous, and fall into temptation.

But frankly, I don’t care what color you are. I don’t care what political party you are. I don’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or not, or dirty or clean. I don’t want to put a label on you or have you put a label on me. I just want to sit down, get to know you, and love you.

I’ve been part of Lay Renewal Ministries for just shy of 21 years. Some days I’m discouraged. Other days I’m exuberant. But, when the phone rings and an opportunity presents itself to go to a church and share the story of Jesus, I’m ALL in. I don’t care if it’s a large church in the South or a smaller church in the Midwest or a medium church in the Northwest. I’ll go if I can talk about Jesus.

I believe in Truth. I believe things that other people would criticize as intolerant or ignorant or unscientific or implausible or…  

You know what? I still love those people.

And I’m going to go ahead and hope and pray for the phone to ring OR the pastor to answer the phone or reply to an email. I’m still going to encourage those I know to stop worrying about this and that and to focus on love. Focus on loving God. Focus on loving their neighbor.

Somebody said that those were the most important things of all.

He was right. (He always is.)

And that gives me hope.

Yours in Him,

Marty

 

Radio Interview: John Stonestreet #PracticalGuideToCulture

Would you like some guidance as you try to help the Next Generation navigate today's world? John Stonestreet (President of Colson Center and co-host of BreakPoint) and Brett Kunkle (Stand to Reason - Student Director) wrote "A Practical Guide to Culture" to do just that. Filled with honesty, clarity, and examples to cover the plethora of challenges before us, this is a fantastic resource for ANY Christian to use.

Listen to the 12 minute interview with John Stonestreet as he addressed issues in the book and our culture.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on June 9, 2017.

Radio Interview: Brian Mavis #NeighboringChurch

Brian Mavis, president of America's Kids Belong, joined Encounter to discussThe Neighboring Church, a book that he co-authored with Rick Rusaw. Although the question "Who is my neighbor?" has been asked countless times, Rusaw and Mavis approach it from a hands-on, pastoral perspective. The present a myriad of examples to help you and your church get better at what Jesus said matters most - Loving God and Loving your Neighbor.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on May 26, 2017.

Radio Interview: Tosca Lee #Firstborn

Over a year ago, Tosca Lee left readers standing at the edge of a cliff as The Progeny ended with a stunning break. Finally, questions are answer and secrets are revealed through Firstborn. Listen to the interview and then visit www.ToscaLee.com to find out more!  

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on May 12, 2017.

From the book jacket: Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything to protect. A secret so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it. With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last. With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test. Love, action, and stunning revelation reign in this thrilling conclusion to The Progeny.

Radio Interview: Paul J Pastor #TheListeningDay

The Listening Day by Paul J Pastor - "The Listening Day is a collection of 90 devotional readings to help you enter God's passionate invitation to know him today. Each entry begins with scripture to meditate upon throughout your day. Paul J. Pastor then invites you to listen in on an intimate conversation with God what he hears the Lord saying through those scriptures and, in one or two lines, his own reply. The reflections are crafted to show us anew our God, who encourages, rebukes, laughs, invites, and instructs. Each day's reading ends with a short prayer and a simple suggestion for deeper response to help you know and experience God's rich presence in your life." www.PaulJPastor.com

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on April 28, 2017.

Radio Interview: Robert Wolgemuth #LiketheShepherd (part 2)

Like the Shepherd: Leading Your Marriage with Love and Grace - "A husband's God-given responsibility to his wife is to be her shepherd: to love her, serve her, comfort her, protect her, provide for her, sacrifice for her, and lead her. Like the Shepherd guides men on how to embrace the role of shepherd, drawing on the wisdom of the Bible to give men practical, powerful advice on how to take responsibility for their relationships and realize the Christian ideal of a healthy, happy marriage."

This interview originally aired on April 28, 2017 on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320.

Radio Interview: Robert Wolgemuth #LikeTheShepherd

Like the Shepherd: Leading Your Marriage with Love and Grace - "A husband's God-given responsibility to his wife is to be her shepherd: to love her, serve her, comfort her, protect her, provide for her, sacrifice for her, and lead her. Like the Shepherd guides men on how to embrace the role of shepherd, drawing on the wisdom of the Bible to give men practical, powerful advice on how to take responsibility for their relationships and realize the Christian ideal of a healthy, happy marriage."

This interview originally aired on April 14, 2017 on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320.