Finding Friends & Faith Over Frequencies


Joe Brookhouse is a Consulting Services Manager who lives in Oregon.  Dan Thomson is the Director of Student Ministries at Grace Baptist Church in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

The pair are separated by nearly 4,000 miles so they know all about Finding Friends & Faith Over Frequencies!  They began by serving as contributors to All About Worship, moved on to co-host a Christian song-writers podcast called The Songwriter’s Cafe, and now, have created a brilliant non-profit called Frequency FM.

This new podcast is unique in that it features Christian artists across all mediums and provides various perspectives from all walks of life.

Here’s a bit about why they do what they do:

“Christ followers express themselves in countless ways – in many mediums that don’t receive mainstream attention.  It also became apparent, after countless conversations with Christian artists, that the depth and breadth of their interests are vast … we intend engage artists from all walks, discussing life, faith, and their passions.”

As fellow podcasters, we’re excited about what they do and hope you’ll tune in to meet the duo today!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Don Jacobson

Jeffrey Dean

Michael Kelley

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

Finding Confidence in a Daunting Ministry

Do you often find yourself feeling overwhelmed or discouraged by the ministerial tasks ahead of you?  Sometimes it seems like it’s impossible to keep up with the demands of the positions to which God has called us—making the option to give up look very desirable. Finding confidence in a daunting ministry is not always easy, but you might find it comforting to know you are not alone. 


sandwich

Big World, Tiny Shoulders

When I was nine, I had a mid-childhood crisis.

I came home after school sobbing. It took my parents forty-five minutes to finally coax out of me what was wrong. Through my tears I explained how at lunch I threw away half of my jelly sandwich because I wasn’t hungry. My teacher witnessed this and told me that there were starving children in Africa who would love to eat my sandwich.

I don’t know how I made it through the rest of the school day. All I could think about were those less fortunate kids who just wanted a jelly sandwich. And here I was, with not only a jelly sandwich but also a fruit roll-up and a bag of carrots.

Once I made it home, I couldn’t even function. My parents tried to get me to play a board game or do a craft, but I went to my room crying. I immediately crawled under my bed because I decided I deserved to be in the dark.

It took some time for me to get over the fact that I was terribly selfish and ridiculously blessed. Once I had dried my tears, I was determined to help. But I was nine and didn’t know what to do about hungry children.

That one comment from my teacher still sticks with me and reminds me of how daunting this sin-tainted world is. Sometimes the thought of it still makes me want to crawl under my bed for a while.

twoCalled to a Life of Hardship

The prophet Jeremiah struggled with a lot more than just a misguided reprimand from an elementary school teacher. At a very young age, God told him to never marry or have children, and commanded him to preach to a tough crowd that had a penchant for false gods.

Despite their refusal to listen, Jeremiah cared deeply for the people of Judah. The lack of results paired with the difficulties he faced, caused Jeremiah to sink into a pit of doubt and despair. But through all of the troubles, God assured Jeremiah this was where he was meant to be.

Jeremiah was a prophet in Judah during times of war and conflict. Because of this violence, rulers had a hard time holding the throne and Jeremiah witnessed the reign of five kings. At times, Jeremiah was considered a friend of those ruling, but depending on the ruler, he often found himself persecuted.

Jeremiah was quite young when he was called into ministry. He was also timid by nature. There had to have been others in the community who were much more confidant, better speakers, and highly regarded; however, those weren’t the qualifications God was looking for. God knew the young prophet was frightened and intimidated and he still chose him to preach to the people.

“But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.” –Jeremiah 1:7–8 (NIV)

In chapter 12 of the book of Jeremiah, there is a series of verses detailing Jeremiah’s complaints. He is frustrated with the hypocrisy of the people around him. It drives him crazy to hear how people speak as if they are close to God, but the prophet knows God is far from their hearts.

“You are always righteous, Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?” –Jeremiah 12:1 (NIV)

The prophecies of pain and destruction discouraged Jeremiah, but God reaffirmed Jeremiah’s position as prophet and answered the weeping man’s complaints and calls. The situation was daunting, the message was frightening, and immediate results were lacking, but with God’s help, this unqualified young man furthered God’s plan and brought glory to God.

“This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.”  –Jeremiah 9:23–24 (NIV)

Even in the midst of hardship, Jeremiah trusted God and found a fullness of life. Through guidance from God, Jeremiah prophesied that power and wealth were nothing compared to the delight and joy found through a deeper understanding of God. Rather than overwhelming discouragement, Jeremiah found overwhelming peace in God.

6-7Finding Your Confidence

We all have days where we have to fight the urge to crawl under the bed and hide in the dark—whether it’s because we are daunted by the tasks ahead of us or perhaps embarrassed by our many blessings we know we don’t deserve. This can be especially difficult when we find ourselves in a position with the opportunity to lead others to Christ. It’s easy to get discouraged and our sinful nature fights our attempts to obey God. Rather than run and hide, spend those moments of hyperventilation in prayer.

When you are called to a position that is frightening, intimidating, or overwhelming, take some deep breaths and remember how God responded to Jeremiah when he cried out—with words of comfort and an affirmation of his calling.

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” –Jeremiah 33:2–3 (NIV)

It’s easy to get discouraged in the midst of hardship, but even in the uncertainty of life there is certainty in Christ. In the same way Jeremiah was able to delight in God while in a challenging ministry, by trusting in the Lord and relying on Him, we, too, can find a new found joy in life—especially during times of discouragement.

For more information on the prophet Jeremiah, check out the book of the Bible named after him or this background information from  Biblica.com.

 

From Grief To New Growth


Today’s guest loves to share his story about moving from grief to new growth.  His passion pours out in words that bring hope and challenge – though he never set out to be a writer.  He began on a worship team alongside Matt Redman, and today, that passion and talent pours out other ways.

Craig Borlase feels that writing is like breathing to him – the words just pour out.  He’s used this gift to write books, collaborate on others, and edit many.  To him, the spaces between the words have just as much to say as the words themselves.

In his own words,

Craig spent his teens: “trying to get a buzz out of faith (or drugs)”, his twenties “waiting around for someone to give me permission to take faith seriously,” and his thirties “stripping away the nonsense and discovering the power of God’s grace and love.”

Join us as we journey along in discovering how to move from grief to new growth!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Frequency.FM

Don Jacobson

Jeffrey Dean

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Significant Life


Tyler Braun has a passion for the millennial generation.  He serves as a writer, worship leader, and pastor.

Tyler believes that God has a truly significant life in mind for each one of us.  The message he delivers to his audience?

“Your reality is not your destiny.”

So how do we go about discovering what that significant life looks like?  Join us as we learn how to Journey Toward Significant Life.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Craig Borlase

Frequency.FM

Don Jacobson

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

The Unqualifications of a Servant

Think you’re the only one feeling unqualified for where God has placed you?  There is a strong tendency in leadership and ministry to feel like we don’t measure up – like our resumes could be labeled:  The Unqualifications of a Servant.  You might be surprised to learn you’re not alone!  Our new staffer Haley would love to share her perspective and a few stories that might change your mind!

The Bible, history, and our world today are full of examples of unlikely people used by God for His purposes. It’s so easy to look at the incredible stories of those who have drastically changed lives and feel insignificant – to feel as though you’ve got the unqualifications of a servant. It’s equally easy to find yourself in a position to help or lead others and suddenly feel inadequate or out of place. I hope you will join me as I start a series exploring the stories of a few of the many unqualified servants of God who have impacted others in both big and small ways.

My Storypiano 

My mom is an amazing pianist. There isn’t a piece that’s too difficult for her and she even arranges and composes her own music. What’s even more impressive is how she finds time and opportunities to use her abilities to serve others. As I grew up, I watched her accompany others for talent shows, competitions, and church worship, play for weddings, funerals, and school functions, and teach a variety of students all at different skill levels.

But this story isn’t about my mom.

When I was in third grade, my elementary music teacher put together a student choir with the intention of performing Handel’s Messiah in December. I refused to join. My music classes had shown me I was a terrible singer, one of the worst in my grade. And after undressing in the hallway earlier in the semester (a story I’d rather not get into right now), I decided I had filled my quota of embarrassment for the year.

My mom was asked to accompany the choir—no surprise there. I also wasn’t surprised when she asked me to turn pages for her—something I had done regularly in the past. I refused. I don’t remember if I was secretly jealous of my fellow students’ angelic voices or just being your typical difficult eight year-old, but I wanted no part in that choir.

Usually my mom had been pretty cool about letting me make my own decisions, but not this time. She pushed and pushed until I finally relented. After all, I would only be turning pages.

The first day of practice was absolute chaos. I sat beside my mom on the piano bench and watched the music teacher struggle to organize twenty energetic students. Most of the kids were too busy talking or running around to bother taking their seats, and one student, the teacher called her Michelle, wouldn’t even leave the wall. She stood in the back of the room pouting, refusing to pick a chair. I didn’t recognize her and assumed she was new to the school.

It wasn’t until after I was sitting beside Michelle, among the other altos, that I realized what I had done. On the car ride home my mom commended me for befriending the shy girl and asking her if she wanted to sit by me, but lamented the fact that she needed a new page turner.

The Servant Girl’s Storybible

“Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.””–2 Kings 5:2–3 (NIV)

2 Kings 5 describes the story of a highly regarded army commander in the Aram army named Naaman. He was plagued with leprosy and sought out Elisha who instructed Naaman to wash in the Jordan River. When the commander emerged from the water, he found himself completely cleansed. This passage is often remembered as the story of how God healed a man through the prophet Elisha and “seven dips in a dirty river,” but recall how Naaman knew to seek out the prophet in the first place.

Verse two of 2 Kings 5 tells us about the young Israelite girl who was serving Naaman’s wife. She was the one who implored Naaman to speak with Elisha. Very little of this passage is dedicated to the girl, but we can still glean information from it. We know that the girl had been captured in a raid and taken from her home in Israel and she was young. She found herself in a foreign land forced to serve the people who had enslaved her.

“…for your servant [Naaman] will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.” –2 Kings 5:17b (NIV)

What is so great about this young girl is, as far as we know, she did not have any prior experience with this sort of situation. There is no verse that says she was ready to witness to her captors and felt prepared. Chances are this unnamed girl did not want to be in Aram serving her enemies and she was very uncomfortable. However, something else we know about her is that she believed and trusted in God. When this moment, specifically planned by God arrived, she spoke with confidence, knowing God was with her.

Your Storycalledperson

We all find ourselves in uncomfortable positions, questioning if that is where we belong. Whether we are a church or small group leader, a one-on-one mentor, a Sunday school or catechism teacher, or someone simply striving to be a Christ-like example, we all feel the pressure to be perfect—say the perfect words, quote the perfect Bible verse, prove we are qualified. Helping others in their walk with Christ can be challenging and it’s easy to feel intimidated. The good news is we are not qualified and we do not have to be.

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”” –1 Corinthians 1:27–31 (NIV)

Even when we feel inadequate, unqualified, or outside of our comfort zone, God can still use us powerfully, just as He used the young servant girl.

I’m not saying I led Michelle to God or even cured her of her extreme shyness, but I’d like to think I took away some of her discomfort and later I learned that God doesn’t need His people to be perfectly prepared. I know Michelle and I enjoyed the remaining rehearsals, although I’m pretty sure it didn’t take long for her to regret sitting next to someone with the voice of a toad.

Creativity Is Brewing


Creativity is brewing with today’s podcast guest!  Stephen Brewster serves as the Creative Arts Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

He believes that the Church as a whole should be trying to regain the position of leader of the creative frontier.  He shares:

“I believe that at the core we were all created to be creative . . . Whether you are an accountant or whether you are Picasso, God instilled inside of you creativity and curiosity . . . You would never walk into a Kindergarten class and and be like, ‘Ok, who are the creative kids and who are the analytical kids?’  You just put a piece of paper down and some crayons and they all go to town! “

Stephen feels that the church has the opportunity to help guide people in their creativity and to reengage with the way God made them to be.  He’s passionate about leading this sort of experience and creating a space for people to connect with God.

Tune in to learn about his passion and to gain some perspective on what your church could be doing to help create these sorts of environments!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Tyler Braun

Craig Borlase

Frequency.FM

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net