Just when I thought I had this parenting thing down, my kids became Teenagers. While we might remember those challenges of being a teen, things are different today, and that means we parents could use a little help.
CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast of Jo's interview with Dr. Jim Burns on his book, Understanding Your Teen: Shaping their Character, Facing their Realities.
Does disappointment sometimes take the reigns of your life? When life doesn't turn out the way we thought it would, how can we keep walking and still trust God for our future?
Click HERE to listen to the podcast of Jo's conversation with Crystal Evans Hurst on her book, She's Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You.
It was raining outside, the day I stared out the window of my mentor’s office, hoping our visit would help me determine my next steps. I had witnessed a horrible wrong, done not only to me, but to others like me. Many were suffering, and many more would suffer as news of this wrong spread. I wanted compassion. I wanted a shoulder to cry on. I wanted someone to listen and agree with my reasons for hurt, anger, and fear.
But I did not get my wish. Instead, I received a challenge to take that fear that kept me wrapped in a ball on her couch and toss it aside. “You have access,” she said. “You have a voice that others do not have,” she reasoned. “What if you are the one God has given this experience to so that you will stand up and speak? What if you’ve been placed in your position, in your situation, for such a time as this?”
I had heard those words before. “For such a time as this,” were words echoed to Queen Esther thousands of years ago when her uncle, Mordecai, let her in on a terrible secret—that all of the Jews of Susa were going to be rounded up and killed. That included her uncle, her friends from the village, and her—if anyone ever found out that she was not Persian, like she said she was, but was indeed a Jew.
Esther, like me, had a choice. Would she stand up and be heard? Would she risk embarrassment, ridicule, or death in order to stand up for those whose lives were at stake?
Esther’s road to “Queen-ship” wasn’t typical. She was a teenage girl from a small village who agreed to take place in a beauty pageant of sorts. King Xerxes had recently decreed that all beautiful young women should compete for the King’s favor. He was searching to fill a void created by the quick dismissal of his last Queen, Vashti, when she refused to appear before a group of rowdies, drunk, men at one of the King’s lavish parties (I happen to like Vashti, but that’s a subject for another blog). Esther, a young Jewish girl from outside the palace, gave herself the Persian name, Hadassah, and entered the contest. To her surprise, King Xerxes chose her! But she had not been Queen for long when a crisis occurred. The King’s chief advisor hated the Jews and wanted them eliminated from the land. He convinced the King to sign a decree that would bring death to all Jews.
Has life turned out the way you planned? Maybe the person you've become isn't who you always imagined? God knows the potential and purpose that others haven't seen. He has a dream for you to see it too.
Click HERE to listen to the podcast of Jo's interview with Jo Saxton (I like her name) on her book, The Dream of You: Let go of broken identities and live the life you were made for
Sometimes we keep parts of our lives hidden, keeping us feeling boxed-in and full of shame. In sharing even the unspeakable and unattractive parts of our journey, we can actually find freedom. And if we're lucky, even those shameful parts of our story can point us right to Christ.
Striving to be perfect can leave us exhausted and discouraged. Actress Andrea Logan White talks about how she learned to embrace her flaws and imperfections, knowing that God loves her even though she is perfectly unfinished.
Our culture applauds what we can produce, what we can show, and what we can upload. But God notices us even when we are tucked away in hidden places.
Click HERE to listen to the podcast of Jo's interview with Sara Hagerty on her book, Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed.
Catch Jo live on Connecting Faith every Friday at 12:00 p.m. on Faith Radio Network / KTIS AM 900 or online at myfaithradio.com
When it comes to dealing with your "stuff," peace IS possible.
Click HERE to listen to Jo's interview with Kathi Lipp. on her book, Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplifying your Space.
Were you so engrossed in planning the "best" Christmas that you missed out on Christmas' best? Next year can be different. Author and mother Alexandra Kuykendall found herself burnt out from planning previous holidays, so she ushered in a new way of "doing" Christmas. Her experiment left her uttering words like hope, love, joy, and peace - keeping the focus on Christ and the reason for celebration.
This week on Connecting Faith, Jo spoke with former athiest, Mark Clark about his journey of faith. Listen in as they discuss his book,The Problem of God: Answering a Skeptics Challenges to Christianity
Click here to listen in as they discuss the challenges of philosophy and science as well as how to equip believers to defend their faith.
Rejected. Unloved. Failure. Outcast. Whether we realize it or not, the names that we call ourselves have the power to shape our identity and form our beliefs.
Do you believe the truth about yourself? Or are you believing the lies?
Is it possible to commit to sexual purity, even in today's world? This week on Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with Abby Ludvigson on how to remain sexually pure until marriage.
As I breathe in the last few weeks of summer, I am reminded of one truth a wise mom shared with me when I was struggling with a couple of toddlers. “The days are long," she said, “but the years go fast.” At the end of each summer, I feel the truth of this statement weighing down on me. The years have gone fast, and they show no signs of slowing.
I cannot help but begin counting down the summers I have with my eldest child.
I’m forced to recognize the numbers of summers I will still be in my forties.
Only one. (Yikes!)
I’m reminded of the summers I will still have with both of my parents still living.
I am a summer girl. I love the sunshine, the green grass, the lake, and lazy afternoons. I love sitting on the dock with my feet in the water. I love popsicles, watermelon, and corn on the cob. I love watching baseball outside and feeling the sand in my hair after a day at the beach. I love golf and waterskiing and watching the sail boat races from our back deck. I love time with friends and staying up late.
But when August hits, I feel the relaxing tide begin to turn. I start thinking about preparing for classes, my kids start practicing for fall sports and start panicking because they haven’t yet made it through their summer reading list. The sun sets a little sooner and the weather feels a bit cooler. I stop watering my hanging baskets, and I start thinking about shopping for school.
My son saw the Sunday circular out on the table with the pictures of brightly-colored school supplies and his mood shifted. He grabbed the paper, crumpled it up, and threw it into the trash can with a vengeance. “Summer is NOT OVER,” he shouted. You know what? He was right.