Feathers Season 3 Episode 11 with Courtney Stanford: Leaving Littles and Seeing Signs

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In this episode, I interview Courtney Stanford.

Courtney Stanford is a passionate follower of Jesus and the writer of her blog, Let Every Heart at CourtneyStanford.com.  Her husband, Bret is the Worship Pastor of their church where Courtney teaches an adult Sunday School class and leads the church’s women’s ministry.  Formerly, Courtney was an elementary school teacher but currently is the stay-at-home mom of her three little boys, ages 2, 5, and 6.  Courtney jokingly refers to her {sometimes noisy} home of boys as a “frat house” but finds moments of quiet in good books, sweet tea, and Bible study.  She attains “girl time” by hosting a weekly “mom’s playgroup” or coffee dates for friends, and by encouraging women to focus on Jesus in every season through her blog, Let Every Heart.

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Courtney shares her obedience in going on a short-term missionary trip and the struggle in leaving her young children. She shares how God used the trip to knit her heart and give her a long-term relationship to the people of Haiti.

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 Links from the Episode

Scripture

“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.” Joshua 1:9

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Feathers Season 3 Episode 10 with Bailey Heard: Being Courageous and Having a Higher Perspective

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In this episode, I interview Bailey Heard.

Bailey Heard is a speaker, co-author of The Ellie Project, author of her weekly inspirational blog, baileyheard.com, and a certified life-coach. Bailey is a graduate of Baylor University. She lives in Highland Village, TX with her young daughter, Ellie. Over the past few years, Bailey has traveled the country, sharing her late husband’s books, Your Best Life Later, A Gray Faith and now, The Ellie Project, and giving her inspirational keynote message that you can take your challenges and transform them into fuel to create a more meaningful life!

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Bailey Heard and I start the episode getting to know her with a game of “If You Could”. Bailey then shares the story of losing her husband Andrew to cancer three years ago and then God calling Bailey to travel and share the message of faith Andrew began before his death.

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Links from the Episode

Quotes

Life can be short. Once that happened to my husband, I realized that could happen to any of us. That could happen to me.

I want to fully, fully live.

You’re going to learn as you go. Before I would have been afraid to fail. I want to fail a little bit so I can grow and learn and see this progress.

Everybody starts somewhere.

Courage doesn’t come because you are big, strong, or without fear. Courage comes because you aren’t big, you aren’t strong, you do fear but you don’t give up! Andrew Heard

The pride we have doesn’t come from the outside, but from the wonder of the work done on the inside. – Andrew Heard

When we do the inner work, the outer work begins to fall in place.

Sometimes you have to look from a higher perspective to see what’s going on. – Andrew Heard

Scripture

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind 2 Timothy 1:7

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Feathers Season 3 Episode 9 with J.E. Berry: Praying Continually, Overcoming Fear, and Learning to Surrender

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In this episode, I interview J.E. Berry.

J.E. (Jade) Berry is a writer/speaker, wife and home-schooling mom to five children, with a heart for seeing people come to know freedom through a relationship with Christ Jesus. She has a heart specifically for women who have yet to step into their God given destiny due to bondage. As a writer and speaker she explores life blockages such as people pleasing, unhappiness, un-forgiveness, and more, to unveil culprits that keep us from moving forward.

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Jade shares her dreams of being a fashion designer, trying to compromise, and then fulling living in God’s dreams for her.

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Quotes

When your plans aren’t working like you want them to, you’re grasping at the strands that are left, just hoping you can have a taste of that dream.

I was attempting to establish my own steps trying to walk toward this goal I had come up with in my mind.

When we surrender to God, He gives us the true desires of our hearts.

He wooed me in. He didn’t rip me out of a dream.

The enemy came in with fear.

I should have known where he was attacking me at is where God was going to use me.

“Tell me what I should do because what I’m doing is grasping at the wind and it’s not working.”

I knew if I was praying wtihout ceasing I could more clearly hear the voice of the Father.

He has called us to stay in constant communication with Him and that’s how we walk out the way he Has for us.

Yes, we can do all things in Christ, but that doesn’t mean we are called to do all things.

I thought I could do it all. He called me to rest and lay down my busyness.

Our obedience is rewarded day by day.

When we’re trying to both, we’re never satisfied.

We can’t serve ourselves and the Lord at the same time.

The lie of the enemy is that we’re not good enough, that God can’t use us. We are very quick to pick up a lie of the enemy and slow to pick up truth.

It starts with laying down our ambitions.

When you look back, you say, what took me so long to get here?

We can do things afraid.

Surrender it immediately.

Scripture

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Pray continually 1 Thessalonians 5:17

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Feathers Season 3 Episode 8 with Wendy Speake: Small Moments of Obedience and No More Angry Moms

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In this episode, I interview Wendy Speake.

Whether she’s with loved ones in her actual Living Room, alone in God’s Living Word, or speaking to a room full of women, Wendy Speake is inspired to share life and faith with others in creative ways. As Jeremiah had fire in his bones, she too feels compelled to share the Gospel of Jesus — she just does it with stories that probe the glorious and hurting places of life, pictures of faith lived out in her home, and recipes purposed to inspire hospitality.

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Wendy shares a story of a small moment of obedience in the grocery store that had a big impact. We then chat about anger and parenting and how we live out the call to be loving and kind in all the small moments of parenting.

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 Links from the Episode

Quotes

God is so much more concerned about our obedience to Him than our children’s obedience to us.

Keep doing the good parenting.

Keep on responding right even when you’re children are responding wrong.

Being obedient in the small things is so important.

Love is a sacrifice. I am sacrificing love today when I don’t have enough to fill myself up.

#LoveWins

If we can identify our triggers and know what to expect what can trip us up, we can prepare better.

Figure out what you mean to say until you say something mean.

If you complain about what people serve you, people are not going to enjoy serving you.

Let’s not give in to the knee-jerk reactions, let’s choose to respond in a kind way. Our kids are going to do wrong, but we have to join them. We can still do right.

We have trained our children not to respond to us until we get to that point. We need to go up to them and say, “I’ve made a mistake.”

Whining and complaining is a precursor to backtalking.

Backtalk parenting script: “The way you’re speaking to us is unkind. I need you to go away from us until you can talk to us in a nice way.”

There’s a time for “because I said so.”

We don’t have to fight just because they invite us to fight.

When we meet them fit for fit, they don’t ever get to feel bad about their behavior because they’re feeling bad about our behavior.

If you can slip outside the ring and slip around to their corner, you can speak to them as their coach.

Scripture

The kindness of the Lord leads us to repentance. Romans 2:4

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I would love to connect more with you guys about the episode. Leave a comment here or we can chat about the episode on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

If you get a chance, please rate and review the episode on iTunes.  This *really* helps iTunes find us and most of all, helps spread this message of faith and hope.

A [Late] Response to the Refugee Crisis

Earlier this week I read this post where a Muslim family had a vision of Jesus. Jesus told them a man named Daniel would visit them and tell them more about him. Sure enough, a missionary from Vermont showed up at their doorstep and said he was Daniel and he was there to tell them about Jesus. The entire family asked to hear about Christ and accepted him.

It is stories like these that show me that God is at work even among, and maybe most among, refugees.

It reminded me of a post I wrote in November about the refugees, when the topic was often in the media. I had some convictions, but got too scared to share them. It’s funny when you run a podcast about obedience that God keeps calling you to do even small things and yet you feel too much fear still to obey.

So, today I’m confessing I disobeyed and yet, I felt God saying it’s not too late to share. So, I guess I want to say today that God is at work in the refugee crisis and I believe he’s inviting us to play a part. It’s clear he doesn’t need us to make himself known, but we have the honor to be part of the body of Christ if we choose.

 

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Many, many other words have been said on the subject of refugees. An ocean of them. But as it turns out, I feel as if I ought to add my drop. (This is a must-read and I like this one too) Let me make my stand on the matter clearly and quickly: I do not oppose letting them in.  The more I read about Scripture and listen to people’s stories about how God is working in their lives, the more I am convinced our only job is to love each other at the cost of ourselves. In John 15, Jesus says this is the way to complete joy. Embedded in that is God’s desire to take care of the oppressed, the poor, the naked, the alien. I have been asking God lately who the oppressed are around me. He’s been answering me most recently with the Syrian refugees.

In light of that, I have learned that it is futile to do anything but ask God, if this is what your word says, then will you please make this true in my life? This is the picture of abiding with Christ: you understand what Christ is like through Scripture, you ask him to make you more like that, and then you obey His Spirit when he reveals it to you. What that looks like in this case for you may be to open your home, but it may be to donate financially, or a million different things. I couldn’t say.

I don’t have any other answers aside from that. We must each seek God to know what he requires of us in this time, but I can guarantee you His heart is always with the oppressed.

I recognize the fear. And I recognize it well because it’s the same fear I had before we adopted. The child was not a name or a face, but “an orphan”. And that “orphan” was scary to me. Many, many times I had visions of him shooting us with one of Scott’s guns, coming after me with kitchen knives, or losing it and hurting one of our girls. “The orphan” was dangerous and did I really think it was safe to invite him into my home? It turns out that my son sometimes doesn’t even know the right side of the blade on a knife to use. My family knows I have room to say that because there is a very classic story of me using the wrong side of the knife to cut something as a teenager. The point is: often the fear is unfounded or blown out of proportion.

And man, I get it. Do the vetting. Ask the questions. Let’s be as safe as possible.

But as Jeremy says, this is scary and dangerous. There is no doubt there are risks. But, God never promises safety. Look at his prophets and disciples. Or Jesus himself who was innocent and obeyed His Father to lay down his life. This is not a safe calling. Saying that we’re not safe is not a good excuse to disobey God. He is the God of Daniel and the lions den and Jonah and the whale, after all. Jesus says if you love me, you must obey. So, whatever that thing is he answers for you up there about how to help the foreigner and oppressed, you have to do it, safe or not.

I have pondered whether God is scattering these people and bringing them to our doorstep because many never obeyed the call to actually go to them. Could it be he is bringing them to our doorsteps and saying since you won’t go and make disciples, could you at least let them in and make disciples? I wouldn’t ever try to understand God’s motives. I can’t. He tells me I can’t. But I do wonder what kind of opportunity is staring us in the face that we’re too scared, hard-hearted, or prideful to see.

And so, Christian, my challenge for you and me is to, in prayer, agree with God’s word that he wants to see the oppressed taken care of and then ask what do you require of me?