Radio Interview: Liz Curtis Higgs #31Proverbs

It's hard to keep the joy in when you are speaking with Liz Curtis Higgs. For years, the wonderful woman has used her gift of writing and speaking to connect deeply with the hearts of women (and many men too). Even in her (sometimes brutal) self-honesty, you will want to journey with her to enjoy the love of God even more deeply.

Liz returned to the Bott Radio Network Encounter airwaves last month to share one of her newest books, 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path. Listen to the interview to hear some insights from the Book of Proverbs. These verses were chosen by hundreds of women seeking to know Christ and to go with Him into the world. From a touch of grey to a touch of humility learned over a ring, you'll be blessed.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on January 5, 2018.

Radio Interview: Micah Project featuring Michael Miller

In a very special segment on Encounter Bott Radio, Michael Miller, founder of the Micah Project in Honduras, interviewed two of the young men at the home. God has been doing some amazing things in bringing these young men off the streets, freeing them from a deadly addiction, and bringing them into relationship with Him. You'll be blessed if you take a few minutes to listen!

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on February 2, 2018. We offer our special thanks to the St Louis Bott Network staff for their help and editing assistance with this project!

Radio Interview: Paul J Pastor #ListeningDay

Paul J Pastor returned to the Encounter broadcast on Bott Radio Network to share the newly released #ListeningDay book. These devotional books have Scriptures to meditate on during your day. Paul then takes you into a conversation with God as you see how He is inviting you to laugh, cry, and draw closer to Him in relationship. 

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This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on January , 2018.

Radio Interview: Michael Miller #MicahProject

Michael Miller, founder of The Micah Project in Honduras, joined us on Encounter to update listeners on what God is doing in this amazing ministry to young men living on the streets in this Central American country. 

Michael will be in St. Louis for a very special event on Feb. 3rd. You'll hear more about it as part of the interview, or you can go to the Micah Project web site.

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on January 19, 2018.

A journey back four years...

When we transitioned to a new website platform, the old blog failed to transfer. The two most clicked on posts were rather personal ones. One had to do with my testimony in relationship to my son and his journey with Tourette. The other focused on the death of my brother. When he died at the too-young age of 45, it was rough on all of us...

I'm reposting what I wrote at that time at the request of a few people. (Thankfully, our wonderful web person was able to go back and find the scattered dust trails of what remained and pieced it together again. She has my gratitude!) Without further explanation, let's rewind to 12/24/2013:

When I was a child, I found the bumper sticker philosophy of “Life’s a b*tch, then you die” to be incredibly funny. I was a child.

Having served bi-vocationally the past four years (and in “professional” ministry for almost 20), the complete stupidity of that statement now amazes me. I have been honored to be with many families during the time in which a loved one took their last breath.

Whether that person was a teenager or someone several years past retirement…

Whether that person was dying from a terminal disease or it was sudden…

Whether a multitude of family members were gathered or just a few…
…it is never easy.

Yesterday, as my father and I sat at my 45 year-old brother’s bedside, a multitude of thoughts continued to race through my head. I shared memories of our childhood. (I even shared a few stories my father had never heard. Oops! My brother and I did some VERY dumb things!) My dad shared memories and stories of times he and my brother had worked together on construction projects. Joys and sorrows, we filled hour after hour with the trivial and the triumphant.

Are there regrets? That’s a silly question. Of course there are regrets. Anyone who claims that they have no regrets in life is lying. Life is not perfect and no one is immune from making mistakes.

But regrets do not have to be anchors. As the Psalmist said, Wash away all my iniquity. Cleanse me from my sin. Wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness. Let the crushed bones rejoice. (from Psalm 51)

What do we do with those things we wish had been different? What do we do with those regrets? Regrets are lessons. Instead of saying, “I wish I had…” we need to say “NOW I will…”

Instead of saying, I wish I had spent more time with him, we need to say, NOW I will spend more time with…

Instead of saying, I wish I had said…, we NEED TO SAY IT.

Instead of saying, I wish I had done…, we need to DO IT.

It was an honor to sit with my brother as he drew his last breath. I read Psalm 23 and prayed with him. Minutes later, he left this earth – free from suffering and pain.

He leaves behind a family and friends that loved him – imperfections and all. I am amazed at my sister-in-law. She’s a momma-bear with a ferocity and strength greater than my own. His eldest son is demonstrating a maturity and character that makes me proud. I look at Miss Em and see such a wonderful young lady of wisdom and grace. I look forward to seeing how his youngest will grow.

You see, life on this earth is not about the past. It is about the present and the future. What can you do now? What can you do tomorrow? Therein lies your next step. How will you take it?

My trust and faith is in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His strength is greater than mine. The Peace He gives surpasses understanding. The joy I have in my relationship with Him is what makes me complete. I choose to strive to continue to live my life, stumbling forward, and seeking to reflect Him as best as this weak vessel can.

And I look forward to the Reunion. I look forward to the Celebration that awaits. Until then, stay out of my room, big brother. You never let me in yours!

Rest in Peace – Joseph Kent Guise:

November 22, 1968 – December 23, 2013

Radio Interview: Dee Brestin #HeCallsYouBeautiful

Although her father published her first book, My Dog Chloe, for her (with 50 copies when she was only 8 years old), Dee Brestin marks her writing career as truly starting over thirty years ago when she began Proverbs and Parables for The Fisherman Bible Studies.  Luci Shaw, the editor, insisted on  “no editorial content.” However, because Dee couldn’t resist giving a few editorial comments, Luci told her to go write a book on friendship! Dee then wrote The Friendships of Women, which Focus on the Family decided to feature. That event marked the beginning of a writing adventure!

Dee joined us on Bott Radio Network Encounter to discuss a new study, He Calls You Beautiful, based on the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon). Click below to listen to the 12 minute interview as we discuss this new study. You can also follow this link to her web site and engage with a multitude of resources available there! 

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

Radio Interview: Robert J Morgan #WorryLessLiveMore

Robert J Morgan has written a new book based on a problem that is not only prevalent throughout culture, it is also personal. Having struggled with anxiety, he knows both the challenge and the freedom found in Christ. It's not an easy journey, but Rob takes readers through it in his newest book, Worry Less, Live More. Join us for a few minutes on Encounter as Rob shares from Philippians 4:4-9 and explores eight vital practices from the Word that can help anyone "move from fretfulness to faithfulness". 


This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on December 22, 2017.

Who is Robert J Morgan? Rob Morgan is the teaching pastor of the Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, TN. Having served there for more than thirty-five years, it's astounding to realize that he has also written thirty books with more than four million copies in print. He and his wife, Katrina, have three daughters and fourteen grandchildren.

Radio Interview: Jesse Stanton #TreasureHouse

St. Louis residents are familiar with the names of Kurt and Brenda Warner. From his surprise rise to fame as the quarterback of a team we no longer name to his steadfast testimony of faith in Jesus Christ, Kurt has been an example to young and old alike. His wife, Brenda, has also stood faithfully as an example of a strong woman of faith, a partner, and as a mother. 

As they continued to press forward, Kurt and Brenda developed a vision that all people, regardless of ability, have a purpose and call for their life, and are able to participate in meaningful and challenging activities, establish personal relationships, and contribute to society when provided with appropriate supports and opportunities. in light of that, they have worked towards the Project. Jesse Stanton, Project Director, joined us on Encounter to share the mission and vision of this special endeavor! 


This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on December 22, 2017.

Radio Interview: J. Warner Wallace #ForensicFaith

J. Warner Wallace, a cold-case homicide detective and former atheist, joined us for an interesting conversation on exploring the evidence of Christ in history. Using the same principles that investigators use, his books, including Forensic Faith, Cold-Case Christianity, God's Crime Scene, and Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, help readers to develop skills to understand their faith. The resources also equip believers to better communicate with both the heart as well as the head.

Visit for more information on the author and the books!

 This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on October 13, 2017.

Radio Interview: Keith Getty #Sing!

If you missed the interview with Keith Getty, it's now available right here! Keith shares the new book, SING!, written by he and Kristyn, his heart for worship, and news about an upcoming concert in St. Louis. 

SING! How worship transforms your life, your family, and church. For more information, go to

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on October 13, 2017.

No one ever said LOVE is easy. But maybe it is?

As I am blessed to travel to different churches, I am able to see and hear how believers act towards one another and towards the communities in which God has placed them. There are vibrant and active churches extending the hand of grace as well as those that, well, don’t.

Whatever end of the spectrum your church might be on, let’s consider what God’s Word tells us.

As we scroll through the pages of the Old Testament, we see a multitude of examples of the love of God. At times, it is evidenced through God Himself. He leads His children through the Promised Land with a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire (Exodus 13). He stops the flood waters of the Jordan (Joshua 3). He sends rescuer upon rescuer upon rescuer as His people cry out to Him for deliverance (Judges). 

We also see examples of people reflecting God’s love to others. Moses did it when he prayed for mercy (Numbers 11). Deborah called for Barak to step forward in faith to deliver God’s children (Judges 4). Nathan, although fearful, approached King David to challenge the sin in his life (2nd Samuel 12).

But there is an example of God’s love that is exemplified through a woman that we should NOT have expected. That example is seen through Ruth.

As a reminder of her story, she is a Moabite woman who married the son of Naomi and Elimelek. When her father-in-law and her two brothers-in-law died, she began the journey back to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. However, at some point in the journey, Naomi changed her mind and told them to return to their families in Moab. While Orpah turned back, Ruth said:

Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17

This is a powerful and beautiful example of the Hebrew word “Hesed”. This word is translated in a variety of ways. From the idea of “lovingkindness” to “mercy” or “compassion”, it is a word that expands the idea of God’s covenantal love.

God made a covenant with His children that calls us to, in the most basic of terms, love Him and love others. This idea is truly incredible as we see it bursting forth in the New Testament in the person of Jesus. Our Savior left the splendors of heaven to be born of a virgin, to live a sinless life, and to give His life as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

What is our required work in this covenant? (I mean, shouldn’t there be something we have to do in an agreement of this sort?)

No, our work is nothing. Step 1: We receive Christ and the gift of grace not on our own merit but completely through what He did.

That said, our response is important. We can respond by doing “step 2”, which is loving our neighbors. The one who doesn’t keep his yard cut and house maintained. The one who doesn’t smell as clean as we wish. The one who doesn’t dress well, speak well, or even smile at us.

We are called to love our neighbor and even to pray for those who persecute us. If we don’t like it, we can choose to reject His words. We can choose to hate. We can choose to be cruel. We can neglect compassion and the weightier matters of the law (justice, mercy, faithfulness – Matthew 23:23). We can do this by clinging to legalistic righteousness.

Should we make that choice, we should definitely be careful. Why? Because Jesus pronounced “woe” unto those who refuse to love. Granted, He wasn’t saying that it was wrong to call for obedience and for sin to end. However, when following the Law, we should be careful that we do not do so in a way that neglects to reflect the love we have received.

If you have received the gift of grace in hesed love, know that you did not deserve it. But God loved you. Jesus died for you. Your life should demonstrate that which you have received.

Love just might be a lot easier than you thought…

Yours in Christ,


Radio Interview: Ben Young #Harvey #HurricaneHarvey

The second part of Encounter took a much different turn than we'd planned. Our scheduled guest, Ben Young, is also a pastor at Second Baptist Church in Houston. After #HurricaneHarvey struck, the church was called into immediate action. You'll be amazed at the stories - including what God did through a "random" golf club!

Ben will join us another time to discuss his new book, Room for Doubt, but for now, listen as he shares what God is doing!

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on September 1, 2017.

Ben Young is a writer and pastor at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. Second Baptist is a diverse, multi-ethnic church with over 20,000 people attending weekly services on six campuses throughout the city of Houston. He has written seven books, four of which were co-authored with clinical psychologist Sam Adams. He led seminars throughout the country on how to build successful dating relationships. Ben hosted a nationally syndicated radio talk show for years and was chaplain for the Houston Astros. #Harvey #Hurricane

Radio Interview: Josh McDowell #Truth (part 2)

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 second part of our conversation with Josh McDowell as he shares about his book and addresses issues in the book and our culture. (Part one aired August 18th.)

This interview originally aired on Bott Radio Network KSIV 1320 on September 1, 2017.

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. 


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,


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! []

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,



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.