Podcast #140: “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz – Take 2

Discovering a Critical Secret in Philippians 4

I really, really, really don’t want my faith to be academic — I want it to be real and applied and life changing. The wonderful things God has given me to share with all of you have been just that for me — life changing. However, there is a time when what you have learned must be put to the test. That happened for me this week.


In preparation for each week’s episode I spend several hours reading Scripture and putting into practice the Bible Interaction Tool Exercises I share with you. After I have completed this “research” phase, it takes approximately two hours of writing for me to prayerfully put all of my thoughts together in an orderly fashion. Finally, it takes another two hours to record the podcast, create the show notes and freebies, create the memory verse resources, upload to the appropriate servers, and prepare my weekly email that I send out to my subscribers. All of it is a joy. I have had listeners pray that it never becomes a chore. I am here to testify that God has answered that prayer. It is a joy each week — a crazy-fun adventure to think that God chooses to use little ol’ me to reveal truth and inspire others.

I have best friends and writing friends that I reach out to on a weekly basis for encouragement and prayer. I reached out to them this week suggesting that I was a little over-burdened and had not made significant progress on the next podcast and asked them to pray for wisdom and inspiration. You see, at my full-time job we had two evening meetings the first two days of the week and my middle-school daughter had an all-day-into-the-evening cross-country meet the next evening. I actually cooked dinner ONE NIGHT this week and we had a meal together as a family AT THE SAME TABLE…just one night. The next night we were all in different directions with football games and sleepovers. Needless to say, I had no margin this week and though I had spent a good deal of time in Scripture throughout the week, I never felt it had anything to do with what God wanted me to share on the podcast. Ugh. Square one.

One of my writing friends (she’s an amazingly talented poet and writer and you can find her work here) suggested I take a week off…that my listeners would understand. And perhaps you would understand. But I have made a commitment to myself and to God to be consistent! So, sorry Christina, I actually blew off the suggestion.

Then my bestie texted and said this…”I bet it would speak more to your listeners if you pulled out the Jonny Diaz episode ‘Breathe.’ Isn’t that where you are? Isn’t it an opportunity to share with the listeners God’s grace as we run the race?”

Why, yes, friend. It is such an opportunity.

Do you know what I did after I got the text and decided to take this path? I BREATHED. I put away my writing and listened to a political speech with my husband and then we discussed it afterward. I went with my husband and girls to the Sweet Dough Pie Festival (it’s a Cajun thing…and you are really missing out if you have never had one.) We wandered around the festival and I BREATHED. We welcomed my husband’s father and uncle over for coffee and a chat and I was able to stay and visit with them instead of sneaking off to write…and I BREATHED. I went back and re-read the area of Scripture I had been in (Judges 13-16 for those of you wondering) and didn’t worry about what I needed to write about it, I just pondered it for myself…and I BREATHED. I went to an LSU football game with friends (we won, Geaux Tigers!) and got stuck in traffic for FOUR HOURS and didn’t get home until three in the morning, but I knew I had created margin…and I BREATHED. We slept in and enjoyed coffee and cooking shows together as a family, I had a GREAT conversation with my 13-year old, made cookies with my 9-year old and even added some words to the manuscript of the book I am writing…and I BREATHED.

So, friend, I hope you take the same opportunity. Sit at the feet of Jesus and BREATHE. Listen to this episode replay for the first time, listen to it again, or skip it all-together. I give you permission. Whatever you do…slow down and BREATHE.

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #139: “Son of David” by Ghost Ship

Benefiting From the Story of Blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10

A lyric lodged itself in my mind a few weeks ago that I couldn’t shake. It worked out okay, because it wasn’t one of those cheesy advertising jingles, it was directly from Scripture. I used the song, “Son of David” by Ghost Ship to guide me to Mark 10 and a great story with more tucked in it than you would imagine.


Come with me to the gates of Jericho and meet Bartimaeus.

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #138: “Great Are You Lord” by One Sonic Society

Meditating on One Thought in Genesis 2

I have a daughter who lacks focus. The more I think about it, the more I think she gets it from me. I read multiple books at once, stop my project at work to read the email that just came in, and get distracted by social media with the rest of them. But what if I slowed down and really unpacked ONE thought from Scripture? This is what happened for me this week as I used “Great Are You Lord” as sung by One Sonic Society to seek truth from God’s Word.


Hopefully I’ve raised a few questions this week to really get you thinking, too.

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #137: “What You Want” by Tenth Avenue North

Discovering What Delights God in Hosea 6

What is your agenda? If you enter a conversation with an agenda, you have a plan for the direction of the discussion. When you receive an agenda for a meeting, it is the leader’s plan for the direction of the meeting. What is your agenda — your plan — for your life? Does it match God’s agenda? Tenth Avenue North’s song, “What You Want” leads us to search out the Scripture for what God’s agenda.


In fact, I take filter the search even further to seek out what brings God delight. Are you ready to go exploring?

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #136: “Live Like You’re Loved” by Hawk Nelson

An Example of Living Loved Through the Life of Joseph in Genesis 37-50

There is something that happens when you begin to understand that you are fully loved by God. But it is an entirely different process to start LIVING loved. Hawk Nelson’s song, “Live Like You’re Loved,” sent me on a journey through a good portion of Genesis to examine the life of a man who gives us an example of living loved.


Get lost in the story of Joseph with me this week. I hope it will challenge you as much as it has challenged me.

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #135: “Magnify” by We Are Messengers

Putting a Spotlight on God in Psalm 34

“You’re making this into a bigger deal than it needs to be.” How many times have I either been on the giving OR receiving end of this statement? That’s what it means to magnify a situation. We make something appear larger than it is. The thing is, we will NEVER be able to “over-magnify” God. There is never a time where we will fully understand how “large” He is. The power comes in when we magnify God over our situation. This is what the song, “Magnify” by We Are Messengers calls us to do.


Let’s head over to Psalm 34 and magnify the Lord together. I want to realign where my hope is set until He’s all that’s left.

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #134: “To Live Is Christ” by Sidewalk Prophets

Poring Over Philippians 1

I don’t know about you, but I tend to overload myself with distractions and messages. So much so, that I find it difficult to slow down enough to meditate on a thought, on Scripture, or on what God is saying to me. Singing Scripture is a way to meditate on it; and what better way than to use “To Live Is Christ” by Sidewalk Prophets? After all, the lyrics in the chorus come STRAIGHT from Scripture in Philippians chapter 1.


Here we find Paul able to find joy in difficult circumstances. Let’s consider how that might be possible for us.

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #133: “Never Too Far Gone” by Jordan Feliz

Surveying Saul's Conversion in Galatians 1 and Acts 9

We can hide from God about as well as a toddler hiding under the dining room table in plain sight with eyes tightly shut. Just as He doesn’t abandon us when we are trying to hide from Him, God doesn’t abandon us when we stray from Him either. Jordan Feliz’ song “Never Too Far Gone” leads us to consider the “before Christ” and “after Christ” impact on Paul.


Join me in two sections of Scripture this week as we reflect on the life of someone who seemed “too far gone.”

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #132: “Every Giant Will Fall” by Rend Collective

Gaining Perspective in Deuteronomy 1

We all need a good anthem to sing at the top of our lungs as we open the sun roof and crank the radio! Oh, wait — maybe that’s just me. “Every Giant Will Fall” by Rend Collective definitely fits the “great anthem” bill, all the while leading us to consider God’s ways and our response when faced with giants.


Let’s consider how the Israelite people responded to the giants occupying their promised land.

On this episode I discuss:

Podcast #131: “Mended” by Matthew West

Getting to Know Mary Magdalene

The characters in God’s Word are so rich with lives we can relate to and experiences we can learn from. Matthew West’s song, “Mended,” caused me to look into the life of Mary Magdalene. Mary was broken, but Jesus mended her and changed her life and eternity.


Join me as we follow some practical steps to study the life of Mary Magdalene.

On this episode I discuss: