Archives for January 2015

The Podcast: The Name, Art and Intro

Alright, guys. I finally have enough of the bones of this podcast to start sharing. It probably feels like it’s not much, but believe me when I say a lot of work has gone into getting this far.  Today, I want to share the name, the iTunes artwork and the introductory audio clip.

The Name

Let’s start with the name since it came first. I had a very long list of possible podcast names. You guys helped me come up with some. We were batting around ideas around feathers, a cloud of witnesses, and faith. I think I had a list of about 20.

And at this point I was just begging God for a name. I was like, God, if you want me to do this, you’re going to have to give me a name for it! And, of course, He did.

One day I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that Tsh has launched a new eCourse about living more intentionally against mainstream culture and it’s simply called Upstream. I love Tsh and her whole goal in life is to live simply and I realized that’s exactly what we needed to do with this podcast.

The night before, my friend Bette suggested that I record several of them using the different names and see which one fit better.

I pulled out my iPhone’s voice recorder that afternoon and recorded a 12 second snippet introduction (at the end of the post) testing out simply “Feathers.”  And then it was like love at first.  I knew the podcast would simply be called Feathers.

And just to make it a little more clear that we’re not talking about chicken feathers or something, we’ve added the tag line “Faith in Flight”. Maybe it doesn’t totally make sense what the whole thing is about, but if I’m scrolling through iTunes in the Christianity section and see Faith in Flight as a subtitle, I’m going to have a pretty good clue and probably be interested enough to check out the longer description.

So, guys, meet Feathers. I feel like I’ve named a child.

The Artwork

After I had a name and subtitle, I decided to test out a few pieces of artwork for iTunes. I put something together just as a sample for the designer to know what I liked. I used the feathers from the TrueCotton print. The designer and I spent over a week going back and forth and all sorts of really cute ideas, but nothing really clicked.

Every single time, everyone I showed kept going back to the artwork with the watercolor feathers. But then there was the issue of licensing. Arin over at TrueCotton was so gracious and we were able to work something out. I’m ecstatic to be using her feathers.



Isn’t it pretty? I really do just love it. I’m pretty sure it breaks all sort of “expert Podcasting” rules about artwork, but it’s meaningful, and pretty and I think will do an excellent job of representing the podcast for us.

The Intro Clip

I’ve also recorded the first intro podcast where I share the initial feathers story.  Frankly, it was awful trying to record that. I share an intro about myself and then share the feather story. Many of you have followed over the last months, but I’d never really told the whole thing from start to finish in person.  I basically had to sum up the entire story in less than 15 minutes! I must have taken 20 different takes trying to get it all right. I now am crystal clear on why I probably shouldn’t do a weekly podcast of just me talking to you.  I was literally banging my head on the microphone at one point asking God to help me say it all right.  He did indeed do that and the first episode is complete.

I thought I’d let you guys get a tiny peek at the intro to the episode:


Next Steps

So, now that I have a visual and the introductory episode to hand to some folks explaining it a bit, I feel like I can begin the interview process. The goal is to launch with the intro episode and 2 more interview episodes.  And then there’s all the business of getting hosting and submitting to iTunes and well, I’ll spare you guys the technical details.  In any case, it’s still going to be a few weeks at least. I don’t have a launch date yet.

I’m getting excited (and nervous) as the time goes, though. I keep running into different things just confirming the need to hear these stories.  We truly need to hear how God is active and trustworthy and faithful. There’s so much theology being discussed on the Internet and things we should and shouldn’t believe and I’m just so ready to hear how God has actually decided to work in people’s lives. It’s the irrefutable evidence from a witness that can not be shaken. I ran into these words from Christine Caine and love them so much.

We’re surrounded by such great a cloud of witnesses in heaven. Tag, we’re it. We’ve got the baton of faith right now. But my legacy is not how big a ministry Chris Caine builds or how many people she speaks to, but it’s how effective I am in handing over the baton of faith and making sure I don’t hold onto some things longer than I should—that I don’t drop some things in the middle of the exchange zone.

In Christianity, nobody wins until everybody crosses the line.

We talk so much about personal faith, personal salvation, and all those things are critical, but I think it’s so important that we understand that we’re part of an eternal relay and we’re responsible for handing over the baton of faith to our generation.

I want Feathers to be part of that handing over the baton. I want it to encourage your faith so you can experience God’s faithfulness more and join him where He’s at work.


Alright, so, I feel like we’re having a podcast baby and you just got to see the first ultrasound. Er, or something like that!  In any case, you’ll get to meet ‘er in live and in iTunes soon!

Journey of Faith

Much of last week was silent here, but as I continued to work on the new podcast (update coming soon, I hope!), I was having lots of thoughts about faith.  What is faith? How has mine changed over the years? On the way to work one morning, I recorded a voice memo with thoughts to translate that into a blog post for today.

I sat yesterday and tried to do just that, but all I can say is that it felt like God was scrambling the words for me. The written words wouldn’t come and I’ve felt strongly that I should simply share the audio clip along with these few visuals. I would explain more if I could do it over or edit out some parts completely. I stumble over my words at times, but I do think by the end I got my point across and that is to say that faith does indeed grows and if we let it, God begins to create a beautiful picture of His gospel with our lives.

Push play below to listen. Those in emails or readers may have to click through to listen.

The following visuals will only make sense as you listen.


The “God box”


The black and white boxes


The black and white box zoomed out to see that there is much gray


 The big, colorful picture that God truly wants to paint

It is only because we have such a faithful God that we can have great faith. Seek Him and the rest will come.

Bondage or Liberty


While reading The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith, I pause at these words:

There are two kinds of Christian experiences: an experience of bondage and an experience of liberty.

In the first case, the soul is controlled by a stern sense of duty and obeys the laws of God, either from fear of punishment or from expectation of wages.

In the other case, the controlling power is an inward life principle that works out, by the force of its own motions or instincts, the will of the divine Life Giver without fear of punishment or hope of reward.

Ah, the life of the good girl. Yes, I know something about that kind of bondage.


Read the rest over on Deeper Waters today.

Movie Review of Paddington


Last weekend the kids and I saw a preview of the new movie Paddington, releasing today.  I was *this close* to not attending. I was never a huge Paddington fan as a child.  Not that I didn’t like it. I just don’t remember being into it much.  I really thought the movie would be too childish for the kids (9, 10 and 12).  But man, was I wrong.  Paddington was fantastic–for all ages! In fact, I’d love to see it again.

The movie was whimsical without being outrageously silly.  I loved how everyone in the town accepted there was a bear walking around town like it was normal and yet, he was the only one.

All the characters were unique and even though perhaps one-dimensional a bit, they played that one dimension perfectly. Nicole Kidman made the perfect evil nemesis. It was also fun watching her in such a different role after watching her and all the awkward with Jimmy Fallon just a few days before.


And Downton Abbey fans, listen up, because you’re going to want to see Hugh Bonneville play the part of the uptight, yet loving dad in a modern British setting. He was phenomenal.

The plot was action-packed and  the pacing was spot on.  It moved from one fun adventure to the next. I didn’t find any lulls to the movie at all. In fact, about 2/3 through the movie I regretted needing to run out to the restroom. I went as fast as I could so I wouldn’t miss a thing!

But best of all, the entire movie had such great themes about family and adoption.  The main ideas walking away were our unique qualities are the best parts about us and family can be put together in all sorts of ways, as long as we accept and love each other. After just adopting these last months, I couldn’t have found a better movie to watch with our family.  Of course, though, when the movie ended all three kids just wanted to adopt a bear!

I can’t say enough good things about Paddington and hope you and your family get a chance to watch it–you will ALL love it!

A Podcast Provision Story

I don’t know about you, but January isn’t the most, er, lucrative month of the year for our family.  The downward spiral starts somewhere in the summer with vacations and back to school, takes a dive during our fall birthday season and crashes during the holidays. We brace for bonus and tax season in the spring to save us. Sound a little familiar to anyone?

Yeah, so having a massive car repair bill and then wanting to start a podcast the first two weeks of January isn’t what we would call ideal.

Did you know there are podcasting setups with mics, mixers and such that are thousands of dollars?  The top of the line microphone costs $330 alone.  Training videos and communities are another couple grand.  And that’s nothing to say of editing software, media hosting plans, or graphic design. It all sounds so simple in your head, doesn’t it? Push record, talk, and voila! Podcast!

You can get by, though, with a simple setup at first. I told Scott on Monday I just needed $100 to start.

Well, wouldn’t you know by the next day at noon he was handing me a check from some side work he had done.  And guess how much the check was? You guessed it.  Exactly $100.

He said, “Here, go buy your mic.”

God is so good isn’t He?  I know He’s directed me to this podcast–about faith, no less–and already I see Him at work to provide. Yeah, the provision looks a lot like hard work, but the opportunity presented itself and we were able to take it.

What do you need to believe God for today?

I still need a name for this podcast! I have a long list of ideas, but nothing feels just right yet. I’m going to be married to this name and tag line for, well, life really.  Will you pray with me that God shows me just what it would be?