A Call to Courage Podcast

A Call to Courage is THE podcast dedicated to encouraging you to replace your fears and worries with trust in God at His Word. In each episode Stephanie Haynes introduces you to real women with real stories of messy attempts at courageous faith in order to break down the lies that worry and fear infuse into our lives and free you to take your next step of faith.

A Call to Courage is the first Christ-centered podcast on the 2 Guys Talking podcast network, a group of dedicated podcasters who come together to educate you on a variety of topics.

A Call to Courage — 113 — Christmas Chaos

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 A Call to Courage — 113 — Christmas Chaos

It’s finally here. Christmas. The most anticipated, and maybe most dreaded time of the year. What was created as a special time to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior for us all, has become the most over-commercialized, stress-filled, overwhelming time of year.

As a Christian, I truly want to live out this season, and every day of my life, as a reflection of the hope I have in Jesus. I want to remember the “Reason for the Season” and live like I do, but the pressures of the world around me have closed in so much that I often do not. That will stop this year. I am certain of it. And today, on this final episode of A Call to Courage this year, I want to share with you how you, too, can live out the Truth of this season, and continue to live in that Truth all year long.

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Scripture Reference (versions listed are NIV, unless otherwise indicated, but links are for NIV, NLT, MSG, and NASB)

Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen.”

Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)

Hebrews 13:20-21: “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Psalm 16:11 (NASB): “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

Additional Quotations:

“So come on, let me dream for you. I am strong when you’re weak and I will carry you. So, let go of your plan, be caught by my hand, I’ll show you what I can do when I dream for you. Let me dream for you!” ~~ God via Casting Crowns “Dream For You” song on the Thrive album

“Let’s be courageous in these coming days. Let’s choose to love and rest and grace. Let’s use our minutes and hours to create memories with the people we love instead of dragging them on one more errand or shushing them while we accomplish one more seemingly necessary thing. Let’s honor the story — the silent night, the angels, the miracle child, the simple birth, with each choice that we make.
My prayer is that we’ll find ourselves drawn closer and closer to the heart of the story, the beautiful, beating heart of it all, that the chaos around us and within us will recede, and the most important things will be clear and lovely at every turn. I pray that we will understand the transforming power that lies in saying “no”, because it’s an act of faith, a tangible demonstration of the belief that you are so much more than what you do. I pray we’ll live with intention, hope, and love in this wild season and in every season, and that the God who loves us will bring new life to our worn-out hearts this year and every year, that we’ll truly live, truly and deeply, in the present.” ~~ Shanua Niequist, from her book, “Bread and Wine”

Final Thought:

There are pressures all around us to follow the ways of the world and continue doing things the way we always have. But we have a choice in how we choose to use the time we are given each day. The stress we face can be diminished. We can live a life that glorifies God and honors the uniqueness of our individual lives. We must first choose to be courageous, to choose to trust God’s plans for us over our own plans. When we make that choice first, everything else will fall into place.

As you move through today, tomorrow, and every other day after that God grants you, it is my prayer that you will S.T.O.P and Start Trusting in God’s Overflowing Presence no matter what you face. He alone is faithful. His ways won’t let you down.

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A Call to Courage — 112 — Lorin Tinder

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 A Call to Courage — 112 — Lorin Tinder

You know the moment: a woman from your church or small group asks you to meet to discuss stepping out from the crowd and taking a leadership position and your heart starts racing. Or maybe you felt that surge of energy at the thought of an unfulfilled need or gotten frustrated when it seems no one is willing to guide an organization or group you are involved in. What do you do?

Before we answer that, let me introduce you to one of my favorite women on the planet. My friend Lorin is, quite literally, the reason my Bible study “Cultivating Peace: Revealing God’s Peace within Your Chaos” ever came into existence, the reason I learned how to effectively lead a group of leaders, the reason my study and Peace of Mind Ministries thrived after I left South Carolina, and one of the reasons why I step out in courage no matter how much of a mess that makes. Yet, she is completely uncomfortable with the idea of identifying herself as a leader. Today we find out what God has done with her as a result to her answer to follow Him on A Call to Courage.

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Scripture Reference (versions listed are NIV, unless otherwise indicated, but links are for NIV, NLT, MSG, and NASB)

Romans 7:15: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Romans 7:21-25: So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Philippians 4:13 (AMP): I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Final Thought:

Leadership is not a title. It is an action. We are not each here to live the life we have been given only for ourselves. We are meant to use our unique gifts and talents to positively influence those God brings into our life. You can see yourself as a leader. You can step into that new role God is nudging you into. You can answer that need you see. Because it’s not about you, it’s about what God wants to do through you. There is a call on your life, my friend. It’s the call to be courageous and step out of your comfort zone into the great adventure that awaits us, the call to let go of perfectionism and the fear that accompanies it, and to instead open up to the freedom of not having it all figured out and receive the embrace that is grace. May you today answer your Call to Courage!

Give-Away Question:

call112-1What is your definition of a leader? Do you consider yourself one? Why or why not?  Click the “Comment” button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of Just Lead! A No Whining No Complaining, No Nonsense Practical Guide for Women leading in the Church.

Connect with Lorin!

Don’t forget! Lorin is an amazing copy editor for all your writing needs!

Advertisements included in this episode:

— Acoustica’s Mixcraft Multi-track Recording Software
— How Amazing is Your Pet? Check Out AmazingPetExpos.Com Now for Great Pet Expos!
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The Interpreter Toolbox Podcast — Interpreting Life!

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A Call to Courage — 110 — Jennifer Tubbiolo

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 A Call to Courage — 110 — Jennifer Tubbiolo

Jennifer Tubbiolo is a wife, a mother of three, a writer, and a woman who knows personally the pain and fear of financial struggle. Faced with an unexpected change in her circumstances, she has learned we have two choices: strive to change our reality, or change our expectation. What we choose makes all the difference between being stuck and living an adventurous life. Jennifer’s choice has led to a courageous story of perseverance, faith, and trust in the face of overwhelming change and struggle.  I am certain it will encourage you no matter what you are facing. Join us and hear her story today on A Call to Courage!

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Scripture Reference (versions listed are NIV, unless otherwise indicated, but links are for NIV, NLT, MSG, and NASB)

Romans 8:28 (NASB): “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NASB): “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Isaiah 61:1-3: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

Final Thought:

We have a hard time believing that God is working on our behalf when our present circumstances are painful, full of struggle, or otherwise do not match up with the plans we have for our lives. And, yet, He is always working for our good! I hope that today Jennifer’s story of redemption through loss and struggle has encouraged you to stand firm and take your next step of courageous faith, no matter how messy it may look!

Give-Away Question:

call-110-1Are you facing an unexpected change? How did Jennifer’s story encourage you? Click the “Comment” button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of  Jennifer’s first book in the Narthex Academy Series, “Dreamer,” and her newest release, “Sword Slayer.”

Connect with Jennifer!

Follow her on Twitter! @jenntubbiolo

Order “Dreamer

Check out the “Narthex Academy” on Facebook!

Advertisements included in this episode:

— Acoustica’s Mixcraft Multi-track Recording Software
— How Amazing is Your Pet? Check Out AmazingPetExpos.Com Now for Great Pet Expos!
2GuysTalking Cars — The Best in Vehicles in Television & Movie History!
The Interpreter Toolbox Podcast — Interpreting Life!

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A Call to Courage — 111 — Kristen Myers

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 A Call to Courage — 111 — Kristen Myers

Today, I am here with my friend and mentor Kristen Myers. I am really excited to have her here to share what she shared with me that has absolutely changed everything about the way I think. Today Kristen will teach us about the Committee in our Head, that cacophony of voices that often screams so loudly we end up reacting out of fear, worry, and doubt rather than trust, to our detriment! Did you know that we have a choice in who and what is on that Committee? Find out how to fire and rebuild a healthier Committee today on A Call to Courage!

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Scripture Reference (versions listed are NIV, unless otherwise indicated, but links are for NIV, NLT, MSG, and NASB)

Romans 7:15: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Romans 7:21-25: So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Philippians 4:13 (AMP): I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Final Thought:

We do have the power to change the pattern of our thinking, and thereby change our behavior. Paul continues his earlier thought with this: “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:21-25)

My friend, you do have the power to change those behaviors that are unhealthy. It starts with a new CEO, Jesus Christ, and then systematically examining every Committee member you have listened to and determining whether they align with the truth of God’s Word or not. If they don’t, fire them and replace them with better members!

I encourage you to start today. Ask God to reveal who Jesus is to you; discover His life-saving gift of freedom from your past so that you can move into the incredible future God has planned for you!

Give-Away Question:

call111-1Who do you need to add to your Committee in order to live in trust of God and His Word?  Click the “Comment” button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of the Women’s Devotional Bible from Zondervan!

Connect with Kristen!

Advertisements included in this episode:

— Acoustica’s Mixcraft Multi-track Recording Software
— How Amazing is Your Pet? Check Out AmazingPetExpos.Com Now for Great Pet Expos!
2GuysTalking Cars — The Best in Vehicles in Television & Movie History!
The Interpreter Toolbox Podcast — Interpreting Life!

Tell us what you think and we may  use your comments inside our All-Fan-Input Episode!

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A Call to Courage — 109 — Elizabeth Koziatek

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 A Call to Courage — 109 — Elizabeth Koziatek

Elizabeth Koziatek is a wife, a mother of two, and recently took a huge step of faith and left the job she had always wanted in order to continue following God’s plan for her life. She has her own personal scripture-texting ministry (see below for how you can be included!) and a budding niche as a scripture-infused photographer. But her life wasn’t always so focused on God. Let me ask you something: Have you ever gotten so angry with someone that you chose to end a relationship? What if that relationship was with God? Is it okay to be so angry with God that we turn our back on Him? What happens when we do? That and more on today’s episode of A Call to Courage!

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Scripture Reference (versions are NIV unless otherwise listed, but links are for NIV, NLT, and MSG)

Proverbs 18:24 “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Philippians 4:13 (MSG) “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”

2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT) “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Final Thought:

Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. Sometimes the disappointments we face can be so overwhelming that we shake our fist at God and turn our backs on Him. It’s in those moments that God steps in and holds us close to Him even as we push Him away. He allows us to feel our pain our own way while He patiently waits for us to return and allow Him to rescue and comfort us.

If you are struggling with being angry at God, it is my hope that Elizabeth’s story will encourage you to start a conversation with Him. Tell Him how hurt you are, how angry you are, how disappointed, how whatever you are. And then ask Him to help you. Be open to the unexpected ways that help may come, and take just one step of faith closer to Him, no matter how messy it may be.

Give-Away Question:

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Has God ever unexpectedly reached out to you? What was that like? Click the “Comment” button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of Mercy Me’s newest album, “Welcome to the New!”

Connect with Elizabeth!

Advertisements included in this episode:

— How Amazing is Your Pet? Check Out AmazingPetExpos.Com Now for Great Pet Expos!
2GuysTalking Cars — The Best in Vehicles in Television & Movie History!
— Sprint’s Relay Missouri– A Video Relay Company for The Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Community
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A Call to Courage — 108 — Julie Miles

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 A Call to Courage — 108 — Julie Miles

Have you ever gotten to a point in your life where you know it. You know that your life just isn’t working, but you aren’t quite sure why or, even harder, what to do about it? I have been in that place many times! That’s why I was so excited when my friend Julie Miles shared with me a teaching she has created called “Living a Resurrected Life by Restoring Right Rhythms.” Julie is a wife, home schooling mama of two, and a Christian Life Coach who runs Beauty for Broken Parent Life Coaching. The goal of her ministry is to work with moms “who are struggling to restore and maintain purpose, peace, and joy in their parenting and are wanting to discover and embrace their identity as a woman and a mom; desiring to adopt a fresh vision and new strategies for correction, communication, and combating the culture’s influence in their homes and families.”

Today on A Call to Courage, Julie will be teaching us how to not only recognize the rhythms of our lives, but also how to restore them so that we can live a life of peace.

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Scripture Reference (versions listed are NIV, but links are for NIV, NLT, and MSG)

Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

Job 22:22-23a: “Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.  If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored.

Ernest Hemingway: “We are stronger in the places that we have been broken.”

Final Thought:

My goal in every episode of A Call to Courage is to inspire and equip you to take your next step of courageous faith. Sometimes, that first step is simply to acknowledge that your life is out of rhythm, that it isn’t going the way you planned or hoped, and invite God in to restore it. He has an incredible life for you, not a life of fear and worry, but a life of hope and peace! I hope that today you will take your next step with God, whether it be to ask Him to reveal who Jesus is to you, to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, or to re-commit to trusting God’s rhythms for your life over your current circumstances.

10721071Give-Away Question:

Are living a life that is in or out of rhythm? How do you know? Click the “Comment” button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of both of Jennifer’s Books.

Connect with Julie!

a-call-to-courage-108-julie-miles-4

Tree of Life Moms is a support group for moms that meets once a month for encouragement, prayer, parent training /coaching, and Bible study. We cover various parenting topics relevant to moms at any stage or arena of parenting. We also focus on the identity and purposes of the mom and what God is doing in her life as a woman and daughter of Christ. Join our email list today for updates and information about Tree of Life Moms!

a-call-to-courage-108-julie-miles-5Life Coaching is about equipping you today while planning for tomorrow. It is about stepping into your story and determining the next best step forward.

Our sessions, which can take place in person, over the phone, or via Skype, will be about listening to your needs and moving toward real change in the areas you desire to focus on.

But you may be wondering, what exactly do you talk about in a coaching session? Well, you have a choice. We can look at your particular situation, challenge, dream, or goal, pinpointing areas that need change and how to get there. Or we can embark on Focused Coaching (click to see options), in which your sessions will follow a theme over 4, 6, or 10 sessions. In Focused Coaching, I will provide you with specific resources and structure in order to help you see measured growth.

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A Call to Courage — 107 — Jennifer Jackson Linck

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 A Call to Courage — 107 — Jennifer Jackson Linck

“I thought being a mother would come easy to me since it’s what my heart had so desperately wanted. The truth is it’s the hardest thing I have ever done.” –Jennifer Linck

Jennifer is a wife, author, speaker, blogger, and recent mother of an adopted son, Jackson. Her journey into motherhood has been fraught with all kinds of messes, the kind that make you lose sleep at night and question just exactly what is going on. Her story of courageous faith in the face of unexpected challenges is enough to make any woman question God. Hear her story of fear to faith in the very important role of “parent” today on A Call to Courage!

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Scripture References (versions listed are NIV, but links are for NIV, NLT, and MSG)

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

James 1:3 “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.” (MSG)

A Final Thought:

We pray for God to answer our prayers, but what happens when He answers them in an unexpected way? Our reaction determines a lot about our journey. When we embrace the path ahead, unexpected as it is, in faith and trust, we are given the strength and wisdom to move forward. Even though we have no idea how to do what we are doing, we are assured that God does, as He compassionately guides us through even the messiest situations with His love.

10721071Give-Away Question:

How have you reacted when you received something you’ve been praying for and find out it’s not what you wanted? Click the “Comment” button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of both of Jennifer’s Books: Bringing Home the Missing Linck: A Journey of Faith to Family and Trucks, Tantrums and Trusting Him: Confessions of a Boy Mom.

Connect with Jennifer!

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While Jennifer has been directed into open adoption here in the US, she still champions Compassion International as well as US adoptions.

Advertisements included in this episode:

— Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Podcast– Reviewing Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on ABC
— Perpetual Advertising via 2GuysTalking — Make Your Money Work for You — Forever!
The Fangbanger Podcast — “True Blood” Reviews, Monsters, and More!
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A Call to Courage — 106 — Gay Behr

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A Call to Courage — 106 — Gay Behr

Unanswered prayers often leave us feeling disillusioned. But, what if that unanswered prayer actually saved your life? Today, we will hear Gay’s story that includes, at one point, a prayer asking God to spare some other mama’s life and take hers instead.

So often when we pray we have an expectation of how we want God to answer. Gay wanted to die, yet she’s here today. Life is full of troubles and, yet, when we invite Him into the mess and take a step of faith in trusting His plan over our own, He uses all our troubles for our good and the good of others in ways we could never have imagined. Gay’s story is one of incredible pain and incredible triumph. She has taken many messy but bold steps of courageous faith. Find out how God’s unwillingness to answer her prayer changed her life today on A Call to Courage.

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Scripture Reference (versions listed are NIV, but links are for NIV, NLT, and MSG)

Romans 8:27-29: “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Job 6:8-9: “Oh, that I might have my request that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life!

Psalm 25:5: “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

From Gay: “I would only like to add encouragement to the people who are listening. I learned that God truly does hear your prayers and, when the time is right, He will show you the answers. My life has changed so much and it is amazing. He is with me every minute of every day. Once you give your life to the Lord, you can do anything.”

ddddGive-Away Question:

What has been holding you back that you need to break through? Click the “Comment” button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of Joyce Meyers’s book, “Battlefield of the Mind Devotional”.

Connect with Gay!

Advertisements included in this episode:

— Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Podcast– Reviewing Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on ABC
Web Services for You via 2GuysTalking — Make Your Money Work for You
Joyas — Jingles Of Your Affirmations
— How Amazing is Your Pet? Check Out AmazingPetExpos.Com Now for Great Pet Expos!
— The Life on the Half-Shelly Podcast– Get what you want!
— The Voice Farm Voiceover Academy — A Company that is Truly Outside the Box from the Voice Box!

Tell us what you think and we may  use your comments inside our All-Fan-Input Episode!

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A Call to Courage — 105 — Christie Michaud

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A Call to Courage — 105 — Christie Michaud

Christie Michaud is a wife and mother of three, a ministry leader, speaker, teacher, and author of an amazing curriculum called Battles to Breakthroughs.

What battles are you engaged in today? Are you struggling with an eating disorder? Are you struggling in your marriage? Are you struggling to believe you are someone who truly matters? No one is immune to trouble in this life. We may try and plan to prevent it, we may try to hide from it, but we will all struggle. But what do you get when you bring together a woman trapped in the lies of her struggle and a Savior who longs to set her free? Massive victories that lead to amazing breakthroughs! In this episode, Christie will share her story and offer practical, tested strategies to help you defeat your battle and achieve life-transforming breakthroughs too!

No matter what struggle you are in, God has a way through it. He sent Jesus to do just that; not to condemn us, but to save us, shelter us, and walk with you and I in order to show us the way into breakthrough. I encourage you to reflect on this: You, my friend, are special!

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Scripture Reference (link is NIV, NLT, and MSG)

Psalm 139 (NIV):

1 You have searched me, Lord,

and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue

you, Lord, know it completely.

5 You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!

Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;

your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,

and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;

I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.

battlefield-of-the-mind-joyce-meyer

Give-Away Question:

What has been holding you back that you need to break through? Click the “Comment” button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of Joyce Meyers’s book, “Battlefield of the Mind Devotional“.

Connect with Christie!

 

 

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A Call to Courage — 104 — DeAnne LeBlanc

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A Call to Courage — 104 — DeAnne LeBlanc

DeAnne LeBlanc is a wife, mama of two, lover of Jesus and words, and an advocate for living with Lyme disease. We all have struggles in our lives; the Bible promises we will. But how we handle those struggles makes all the difference between being overcome and thriving. Find out how DeAnne finds the strength to be brave in the middle of the messes of her struggle today on A Call to Courage.

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Scripture References (Versions listed are NIV unless otherwise noted, but links are for NIV, NLT, and MSG. Commentary is from DeAnne)

1 Peter 5:10

“After your season of suffering God in all his grace will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (ESV)

Job 36:15

“But those who suffer, he delivers in their suffering; He delivers them from their affliction.”
(The book of Job has been a real comfort to me the last few years because he was bold enough to ask God “why”. He wrestled and struggled but, even in the middle of that, he continued to praise and worship his God.)

2 Cor. 12:9

“My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.”
(I love the idea of His power being made strong in my weakness. When I’m feeling the least likely of being someone he can use, that’s when he can use me most.)

Exodus 14:14

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”

Genesis 50:20

“What Satan planned for evil, my God turned for good.”

Additional Support from DeAnne:
“The work we do is of no account when compared with the compelling purpose of God. It is simply the scaffolding surrounding His work and His plan. “He took the twelve aside.” (Luke 18:31) God takes us aside all the time. We have not yet understood all there is to know of the compelling purpose of God.” -Oswald Chambers

 

“Jesus Calling” books have gotten me through many painful nights. I found out last year that the writer, Sarah Young, also suffers from Lyme disease and co-infections. Her book “Jesus Today” was written during her worst years with the disease. Quotes from Jesus Calling:

“You can find Me not only in beauty and birdcalls, but also in tragedy and faces filled with grief. I can take the deepest sorrow and weave it into a pattern for good.”

“You will find me tenderly present with you as I enter into your suffering. The intimacy you share with Me is enhanced by adversity when you invite Me into your experience without bitterness or resentment.”

“I will fight for you; you need only to be still. I know how weary you are, My child. You have been struggling just to keep your head above water, and your strength is running low. Now is the time for you to stop striving and let Me fight for you. I know this is not easy for you to do. You feel as if you must keep struggling in order to survive, but I am calling you to rest in Me. I am working on your behalf; so be still, and know that I am God.”

 

“Will your grace run out
If I let you down
‘Cause all I know
is how to run

‘Cause I’m a sinner
If it’s not one thing its another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
You are the Savior
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
Beautiful” —All Sons and Daughters song called Brokenness Aside

I love this song because it helps me realize that the grace of Jesus will never run out. He can take my brokenness, my sickness, my struggle and make it beautiful.

 

If you think you suffer from Lyme disease, find a doctor who will listen and will take necessary steps for you. If you have a doctor who has been dismissing your valid health concerns, get a second opinion, or a third, or a fourth. I think I saw about 12 doctors when it was all said and done and I know other Lyme sufferers who saw many more or it took 20 years for a diagnosis. Don’t let that happen. I knew something was wrong. I was very sick. If there are major things not right, you may have to be an advocate for your own health and find a doctor who will help you. If you suspect Lyme disease, go to my website at aboutlyme.org or tbdalliance.org.

jesus-calling-bookGive-Away Question:
How have you embraced your new normal of life with a chronic illness (either yours or someone in your family’s)? 

Contact us and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence“.

 Connect with DeAnne!

 

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A Call to Courage — 103 — Allison Herrin

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A Call to Courage — 103 — Allison Herrin

Allison Herrin is a new bride; the mother of three; the author of “A Heart Abandoned: Discovering Your Road to Freedom in the Face of a Broken Past”; and the executive director of Maia Moms, a faith based, non-profit organization dedicated to single mothers and their children. Sometimes it feels as if we are dumped out of the frying pan into the fire and we begin to wonder if there will ever been an end to our struggle. Today, we will hear of Allison’s incredible journey from personal abuse to the struggle of single motherhood and how she learned to see God in all of it. Welcome to A Call to Courage!

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Scripture References (links are for NIV, NLT and MSG)

John 16:31 – 33 (MSG):
Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV):
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


a-heart-abandoned-bookGive-Away Question:

How has your broken past helped you grow closer to God?

Contact us and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of Allison’s book A Heart Abandoned: Discovering Your Road to Freedom in the Face of a Broken Past.

 

 

 Connect with Allison!

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Discover Maia Moms!

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A Call to Courage — 102 — Annie F. Downs

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A Call to Courage — 102 — Annie F. Downs

Today, I speak with Annie: author, speaker and self-described “flawed but funny” girl. Her new book, “Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life With Everything You Have” is filled with all kinds of ways we each, no matter how fear-filled we are, can be brave and take our next courageous steps at faith in allowing God to transform our fears and worries into hope and peace. So, how does one coffee-shop-loving girl who couldn’t even take a penalty kick as a soccer player for fear of messing it up become the author of a widely acclaimed book of how to be brave? Find out today on A Call to Courage!

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Scripture Reference (version listed is MSG, but the link is for NIV, NLT and MSG)

2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 16-18

(1-2) Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.

(16-18) So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

lets-all-be-brave-bookGive-Away Question:
What is the thing in your heart that scares you to death? Contact us and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of Annie’s book Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life With Everything You Have.

 

 

 Connect with Annie!

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A Call to Courage — 101 — Why I’m Podcasting

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A Call to Courage — 101 — Why I’m Podcasting
Read the shownotes for this episode now!

What happens when the realization sinks in that God’s power and strength has been infused into a self-described ‘fraidy-cat-but-wanna-do-it-all superwoman’s life? All kinds of messy attempts at courageous faith! Hear the story behind me, Stephanie Haynes, your host of A Call to Courage, on this inaugural episode!

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Scripture references: (versions listed are NIV, but links are for NIV, NLT and MSG)

Proverbs 3:5-6 (My personal Life-Verse)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

cultivating-peace-cover-200x300-e1389048892189 Give-Away Question:
What issues are you facing right now that are requiring you to take a courageous step of faith? Contact us and enter your answer for a chance to win a free copy of my Bible study, “Cultivating Peace: Revealing God’s Peace within Your Chaos”!

Connect with Stephanie!

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