How we view the world and our responsibility to take care of it is a worldview issue. Wesley and TJ insult hippies and talk about how we as Christian can approach Earth Day in light of the truth of the gospel.
Also, TJ can't think of the word inconvenienced. Seriously, he spends a full five minutes trying to come up with it. It was a horrible experience for him.
Engage articles on Earth Day.
Happy Earth Day! Some people view Earth Day as a pagan day of worshiping the created (and it can be); while others view it is a day to celebrate God's creation (and it can be that too).
Can Earth Day, climate change, and talk of polar bears be depoliticized? Somehow they manage to do it.
In an episode that is supposed to discuss success, the podcast team experienced lots of setbacks. Wesley and Jordan are still out and our guest had to reschedule. But Jeremy and TJ took it all in stride and continued discussing the differences between the world's definition of success and God's definition.
Jeremy recently read Singing in the Fire by Faith Cooke, a great little book about Christians enduring setbacks, failures, and martyrdom. One such person was Alen Gardiner, a missionary whose life was filled with trial and misfortune. He and his team sailed to Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago off the southernmost tip of South America. When they landed, two small boats sunk. Resupply ships were delayed and then canceled. As his team died from hunger, cold, or scurvy, Gardiner never lost his faith in the Christ who sent him there.
Another story is Dr. William Leslie. He felt called to the Congo in the 1920s and spent 17 years evangelizing and telling people about Jesus. During his ministry he had only one convert. He came back to America and died nine years later. In 2010, about 80 years after he left the Congo, a group went back into the area. The group found a 1,000-seat cathedral and a network of smaller, connected churches. The group was able to trace this massive Christian movement to Dr. William Leslie who died believing himself to be a failure.
Remember that you are not called to success but only to faithfulness. The results are not up to you, they are up to God.
How do you define success? Don't use this episode as your standard for success. Wesley is out because he doesn't feel well; Jordan is out because of his newborn baby. But Jeremy and TJ give it their best shot.
Today's focus is how God defines success versus how the world defines it. The world looks to Bill Gates who was recently named the richest man in the world (or richest world in the man if you listen to TJ). He is a man who built a business from nothing to a global enterprise. He is the epitome of success and is using his wealth to accomplish some wonderful things.
But when we look for examples of success in Scripture, we can look to Noah, a man who did not convince anyone to join him on the boat; John the Baptist, who died speaking out against Herod but did not see him come to repentance; or Jesus who was betrayed by one of His closest friends.
Much like this episode, we must learn to do the preparation, put in the work, but trust God with the results. The next episodes we leave biblical examples and look to men and women who spent their lives working for the kingdom of God and would be considered failures by the world standard, but were definitely successful in God's view.
Wesley and TJ spent the previous episode listing some of their favorite apps, YouTube channels, and other resources for studying and understanding Scripture. In this episode, they focus on their favorite: Logos.
But they don't talk about it alone. Scott Lindsey, father to Autumn Lindsey who previously came on the show, is the Ministry Relations Director for Logos. Scott helps the guys discuss some of the benefits to using the Logos software while Wesley and Teddy talk about why it is their go-to resource.
If you want to try out Logos for free, click here and get started. You will not regret it, that is a guarantee from Wesley and Teddy both.
But if you don't really want to use the software, Logos has much more to offer. They have an online Bible, a physical magazine you can subscribe to, and much more. Be sure to look around the Logos website and see everything they have to offer.
A few weeks ago we talked some practical practices to building a biblical worldview. We received so many responses to that program we decided to make another show talking about resources we use on a regular basis to help us study Scripture. These are apps or computer programs we use on a regular basis. And none of us have a ton of money to spend so most of these resources are free.
Online video resources:
Liberty University classes online.
Dallas Theological Seminary "Study the Bible Like a Seminary Professor"
Christian Audio (free audio book every month)
Logos (If you want to hear why it is such an awesome program/app, listen to the next episode.)
There are some negative side effects of the social media culture we have created. But there are also some great positives to it. One of those positives is when someone creates a presentation of the truths of Scripture and it goes viral.
Wesley and Teddy talk to Autumn Lindsey who created a video in response to an article on Teen Vogue. The article made a joke out of abortion and Autumn decided the world needed to know just how wrong it was.
Her video (which can be seen here) has over 1,000,000 views without the help of click bait or sensationalism. It has gone viral because it is simple, it is true, and it is needed.
Autumn also talks with Wesley and Teddy about how Christians can use social media for good and how you can learn to get involved in the fight for life.
There are some legitimate negative consequences of living online. That is why some of our Engage team have had a live a life completely void of social media. But there are also some great and positive results of living an online life. We have access to old friends, new friends, resources, and ideas we would miss out on if we did not use social media at all.
Using social media we can gain exposure to ideas, arguments, and concepts completely foreign to our natural way of thinking, and that is a good thing. We may not agree with them, but it gives us an opportunity to engage with them and defend our faith, or defending ideas we see in Scripture.
Wesley and Teddy talk about some of the great to benefits to having a social media life, only one of which being that you can connect with us at Engage through our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram platforms, not to mention connecting with us personally through Wesley's Instagram, or Teddy's (though don't expect much from him, he isn't cool enough to use it often).
It is easy to fall into the trap of trusting a movie studio to entertain your kids and not challenge the worldview you are trying to teach them. Most of the time you sit down with your kids to watch a film and expect it to entertain, not indoctrinate. But too many studios are doing just that is often subtle ways.
Wesley and Teddy invite One Million Moms director Monica Cole into the studio to talk about the latest kerfuffle with Disney's latest live action film and how the modern entertainment industry is doing much more than trying to tell entertaining stories on a child's level.
What is the discerning parent to do? The trio discusses some of the great resources they use including Plugged In, the AFA Journal, Movie Guide, and IMDB. They also talk about some of the great films available at the AFA online store.
Look for the "bear necessities of life" while trying to "let it go" as you "whistle while you work." Kids' movies, including The Jungle Book, Frozen, and Snow White, have some great and memorable songs.
There is a balance to be sought between letting our kids watch movies they want to see and watching movies that don't drive us parents insane. Frozen may be good, but watching it for the 10th time this week is worse than getting a magical ice spike to the heart. (See what I did there?)
Wesley and Teddy talk about what they do to entertain their young children in a way that also engages them. Sometimes that means an animated film with a catchy tune, other times it means a historical documentary. In all things it means quality family time.
Your worldview, whether it is biblical or not, was not built overnight. It has taken every day of your life to develop your belief system. So building, or strengthening, a biblical worldview is going to take time as well.
But what practices can we put in place to build a biblical worldview? What daily habits can we incorporate into our lives that will help us see the world through a gospel lens? Jordan, Jeremy, and Teddy discuss how they are pursuing the development of their worldview and making them conform to the truths of Scripture.
You can't build a biblical worldview if you can't identify what a worldview is. Teddy and Jordan invite George Barna with American Culture and Faith Institute. The ACFI has recently released the largest study of its kind dealing with how American Adults see God, the Bible, and the world around them.
You can take a look at the survey here. But one finding of the study that struck the Engage podcast team was that the younger a person is, the less likely they are to have a biblical worldview. Why is that? What causes Millennials to have a statistically significant weaker biblical worldview than older Christians? Listen to hear George Barna's insights.
After just wrapping up a discussion on a new movie Pilgrim's Progress, Wesley and TJ pull in Jordan and Jeremy to discuss the importance of reading older books.
One reason we don't really like reading old books is because we don't know what old books are out there to read. But let's face it, when we pick up a book written 100 years ago or more they are difficult to read. Jeremy has a great help to that in A Christian's Guide to the Classics by Leland Ryken.
But the team doesn't just focus on why reading old books are hard, although they do spend some time discussing why they are, but they also dig deep into how we can find time to read, and just how countercultural the act of reading is.
Have you ever read Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan? Neither has Wesley or TJ. But they are incredibly excited to see the movie. To help them talk about it, they brought in Steve Cleary, a producer of the new, animated film into the studio to talk about it.
Steve has a firm belief that good, Christian films should be appropriate and useable on the mission field. For what Steve means by that, and for what makes this movie so applicable to those on the front lines of mission work, listen in and check out how to support the movie on Kickstarter.
If you have an idea for a future show, you can always let us know at email@example.com.
Wesley and TJ were serious for a longer period of time than either felt comfortable with. Now they get to have a little fun talking about Valentine's Day with speaker, author, and radio host Bill Federer.
Bill traces the roots of Valentine's Day to its beginning with Saint Valentine who was martyred for standing up to the Roman government. It took hundreds of years, a push of popularity from literature (something TJ gets excited talking about), and a declaration from a Pope, but we eventually got a day to buy overpriced flowers to show our affection.
But Valentine's Day goes much further than February 14. It explains why you sign letters with Xs and Os, and why you sign at the X on legal documents.
Listen in if you want to hear about the fascinating legacy of a man we celebrate every year but know little about.
Religious freedom has become a buzzword in the Christian and conservative crowd. But it is an issue everyone should be concerned with. If people have the freedom to believe as they choose, then others have the freedom to not believe as they choose. If the government can force a group to stop believing, or acting on a belief, then the government can force a different group to believe something and act on that forced belief.
Right now you have an opportunity to defend the religious liberty that is supposed to be protected by the First Amendment. To help Wesley and TJ better understand the issue, Walker Wildmon joins them in studio. Alker is no stranger to constitutional issues. He has been a great resource for the Engage team on all things constitutional and political. He also has information about AFA's latest action and how you can get involved.
Unpopular does not shy away from putting a blinding spotlight on the reality of man's sin. It is ugly, it is depraved. It is soul crushing. That is the bad news. The good news is that God can forgive our sin and has provided a means through which we can be cleansed of our sin. Emilio talks about the importance of the doctrine of sin and the doctrine of repentance, what happens if we get those doctrines and wrong, and how we can study to better understand them.
Were you popular in high school? TJ wasn't, but he has dealt with that.
TJ and Wesley talk to Emilio Ramos, pastor of Heritage Grace Community Church, and host of the movie Unpopular, a free video gospel presentation. It is made to help the lost understand their need for the gospel, but is incredibly beneficial for the believer to stand in humility of the supernatural act of their salvation.
Featuring Paul Washer and Dr. James White, the movie focuses on two ideas: sin and repentance. For more information, visit Red Grace Media.
In this episode, Wesley and Jordan interview Les Riley from the Morning Center in Memphis, TN. Les Riley discusses the mission of the Morning Center to help save unborn babies from abortion as well as ministering to the mothers – all for the glory of God.
In this episode, TJ and Wesley are joined by Pastor Joseph Parker to discuss whether or not God is pro-life and why. Drawing on the wisdom of scriptures, they explore the importance of the abortion issue and how it relates to the character of God Himself.
Wesley, Jeremy, and TJ, just wrapped up their discussion of how to make the case for life to believers who are prochoice. But only having talks and discussions keeps the issue abstract. The team wanted to give you something tangible and practical to do in helping save the lives of preborn children.
To accomplish this, they invited Dan Steiner, president of Pre-born. The ministry is seeking to put ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource centers across the country. Dan tells us that when a mother sees her infant inside her womb through an ultrasound, there is an 80% chance she will choose life.
Pre-born has broken down the cost of each ultrasound and it comes to $28. For that amount, you can sponsor a mother having the opportunity to hear a heartbeat, see a tiny body, and choose life for her child.
Since the ministry started a few years ago, over 33,000 babies have been saved. You can help save another 33,000.
As January is Sanctity of Human Life Month, Engage will be focusing on the issue of life through the next several podcasts.
There are many, many great organizations that can teach how to present the case for life to those outside the faith. But Wesley, TJ, and Jeremy have all run into Christians who profess to be strong believers and support the supposed right of a woman to choose abortion.
The three discuss some of the most common arguments they hear from Christians in support of abortion and their responses to them.
Talking about abortion is never easy, nor should it be. It must be handled with firm grace. The firmness comes from standing resolutely on the value God places on each human life. The grace comes from acknowledging there are people who have been touched by abortion and are always in a place of shame and regret over it.
No discussion of abortion should take place without the inclusion of the grace God offers. He can make beauty from ashes, no matter how badly burned those ashes may be. Listen to today's program for challenges, answers, and prayerful grace.
The answer they come to is simple: Yes. That is if we are trying to better ourselves by our own might and our own strength.
The fact is that if we want to truly better ourselves, we have to understand a few things about ourselves and, more importantly, a few things about God.
In ourselves we lack the ability to truly better ourselves. Even if we were to master some skill or quit some habit, we would take undue pride in the fact we were able to do it in ourselves and thus create a new weakness in our hearts. We may also fall into legalism and not discern the difference between legalism (something that grieves the Spirit of God) and discipline (something He commands).
No matter how many resolutions you have failed in, there is hope. If Jesus Himself was fully dependent on the Holy Spirit, why would we ever think we don't have to?
In this thought, the team discusses Romans 8:5-8 in an attempt to understand our greatest resolution, focusing more on and understanding better, the person of the Holy Spirit.
So what about you? How are you going to be more reliant on the Holy Spirit this year? What plans do you have in place to practice more spiritual discipline? How do you avoid legalism in pursuing the spiritual disciplines? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Do you do New Year’s resolutions? Have you ever failed at one? Ok, let’s be honest, we all fail at them, that’s why it is a constant joke this time of year. But what does that say about us and what hope do we have to truly better ourselves? That is the topic of discussion on today’s episode of Engage Magazine Podcast.
Wesley read a book. TJ wants to write a book. Jordan didn’t want to get better in 2016 (he succeeded by the way).
But the team looks ahead to 2017 with areas they want to strengthen or build up. You can listen in to find out what they have planned for the next 12 months, or watch Jordan talk it in his latest vlog.
Engage also has a few resolutions, one of the biggest being our first annual conference. If you don’t know anything about it, click here to learn more. If you do know about it, make a resolution to join us in March. Click here to register and get the early-bird discount.
Discussion continues for Engage's Created to Reflect Worldview Conference with Wil Addison. Wil and his wife Meeke are speaking at the conference along with Sean McDonald, Alex MacFarland, Kendra White, Scooter Noland, and Teddy James (TJ).
If you are into hip hop or anything close to genre, visit BSAC. You will be sure to find something you like, and everything there is coming from hearts that share Engage's vision of sharing truth and applying Scripture.
Engage has had one desire from the very beginning: help you build a biblical worldview. To that end, we write articles, record videos, and produce this podcast. The next logical step for us is to do a one-weekend conference. The 2017 conference is Created to Reflect.
Part of putting together a great conference is having great speakers, but another aspect is hosting great music. That is why Wesley and TJ have Cam on to talk about his music, his ministry, and what you can expect when you see him at the Engage Worldview Conference. You haven't registered for the conference yet? You can do so here.
It is always a struggle to keep Christmas celebrations focused on Christ instead of the gifts, food, movies, and all the other fixings that come during this season.
So the natural response was to bring Jeff, director of American Family Studios, onto the program and ask him how he keeps his heart and the heart of his family focused on Christ during Christmas. His best advice: Don't wait for Christmas. Keep Christ the focus for the other 11 months as well. He gives some practical wisdom for families with young and grown children.
Have you let Christmas celebrations stress you out? Are you trying to make everyone in your family and your spouse's family happy by trying to be everywhere at once? You aren't alone.
There is a conflict that comes when trying to start new traditions in your family while honoring the traditions your family had while you grew up. But there are things you can do, decisions you can make, and purpose you can consider that will help remove some of the stress from celebrating Christmas. Jordan and TJ discuss how they have tried out new Christmas traditions for them and their wives while honoring the traditions of other family members at the same time.
We are still in the midst of our Orange Letter Campaign. But Christians cannot speak of persecution without some really serious questions coming to our minds. If God is for us, why does He allow persecution to happen? Why doesn't He just have justice now by slaying those who slaughter His children?
Why do Christians have to suffer in this world at the hands of evil? And what does the existence of this suffering reveal about the heart of God?
Wesley, Jordan, and TJ freely admit they do not hold all the answers to these questions, but not having the answers doesn't mean we shy away from talking about them. Listen to the episode and chime in with you thoughts in the comments below.
This year we are doing the Orange Letter Campaign again, but with a new focus.
Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011. It is difficult for us to understand what is happening and we could quickly get into the weeds of who is doing what and who is on what side. But one thing that is not debatable is the persecution Christians are suffering across the war-torn nation.
To help us talk about what Christians are experiencing, why we chose Syria, and what is going to happen when you write your letter to Christians in Syria, Jordan and TJ talk with Tom Doyle, vice president of e3 Partners and founder of 8Thirty9.
Have you ever wondered what must go on in the mind of an artist? Have you ever wanted to think like an architect and be able to look at an empty plot of dirt and picture a skyscraper in its place? Have you ever wondered how an apologist thinks?
Alex also boils down the vast majority of questions apologists face into six different categories. According to him, apologists present, defend, and explain the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every interaction is boiled down to those three actions.
In the second half of the segment, Alex tackles some of the hardest questions people routinely ask, specifically how a good God could call for the genocide of an entire people group in the Old Testament.
If you have ever listened to an apologist speak at a debate, it is amazing how many time they quote from the Bible, from Christian authors, and from secular authors. These men and women are some of the most studious people on the planet. But Alex cautions for believers to read and study one book above all: the Bible.
When you are studying Scripture and you want to wade into the waters of apologetics, where do you start? What questions should you ask yourself? What questions should you study and be prepared to answer? Alex talks about these ideas and gives you ideas you can start working on right now to become a defender of the faith.
Hannah Tybor may be young, but she doesn't let that stop her from filling a leadership role in a national ministry. Hannah is a junior ambassador for Eight Day of Hope. She has 10 of the 12 trips and makes time to serve even though she is a full-time college student. She also made time to come to the studio to talk with TJ and Jordan.
Hannah grew up doing 8DoH, and though she isn't sure she will be with it as a career, she definitely wants to be active in helping people. She talks about how that was developed in her worldview by her parents and how we can all seek out opportunities to serve people, whether they are across the street and need a light bulb replaced or if they are across the country and need their home rebuilt.
And he helped out during a great interview with Steve and Hannah Tybor with Eight Days of Hope, a ministry that sweeps in after national disasters helping rebuild homes and lives.
Steve shares the story of how he started this ministry through a phone call with his dad and how God blessed it from there. He has led 12 8DoH trips and several rapid response trips.
Listen as Steve and Hannah share stories of how God has used this incredible ministry and how you can get involved for 8DoH 13.
Wesley, TJ, and Jordan talked about the theological and practical applications of being spiritually adopted in the last segment. That is a wonderful truth, but it is of no effect if it does not drive you to some real action.
To take the application to its most logical place, Wesley and TJ invite Magan Williams into studio. Magan works with Canopy Children's Services to recruit and train parents to work in the Mississippi foster system.
Not everyone is called to serve through the foster system or to adopt. But everyone is called to serve orphans and children without homes. Magan gives some practical ways you can serve whether it is by inviting children into your home, helping those who do, or being available to help care centers where children are in transit stay in between houses.
Why does God use the imagery of adoption when speaking of Christians? What is the theological significance? The three dive into this incredibly rich truth.
Part of the strategy of OCC is making sure there are new people every year packing shoeboxes. Sarah McCullen works with OCC on the campus of the University of Mississippi. She talks about the response of students and faculty. You can find more information about Sarah and the effort taking place on the campus of Ole Miss on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Sarah said, "This is your chance to change someone's eternity for $10-15. The hope packed into these boxes lasts forever."
Can you pack a bologna sandwich in your Operation Christmas Child shoebox?
That may be a bad idea, but packing a shoebox for a child somewhere in the world is a great idea! Wesley and TJ celebrate the national collection week of Operation Christmas Child with Kendra White who went to the Dominican Republic to help deliver shoeboxes.
Kendra talks about what OCC is and how impactful the ministry is. One of the most impressive methods of OCC is using local churches to hand out the boxes. This helps build relationships between people and their local churches.
We all know soldiers carry a lot of weight on their shoulders. While this is true in the physical sense with their equipment, body armor, etc. it is also true in the sense that they carry the reputation of America wherever they travel. This is difficult for anyone to carry, but consider it being carried by someone 18-25, a group much of culture believes to still be in adolescence.
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin joins Wesley and TJ on the program to discuss things active duty personnel cannot talk about, primarily the hidden struggles of policies that seek to make the military a social experiment. As in the previous episode, they also discuss practical ways civilians can help, encourage, and pray for soldiers.
But there are specific challenges faced by soldiers and there are many ways civilians can pray, serve, and help them. However, neither of them have served. So they brought in TJ's favorite veteran: his dad.
TJ's dad is Command Sergeant Major Teddy James. He has led enlisted soldiers on two deployments and speaks to the challenges of young and old soldiers alike, and gives practical advice on how to encourage, pray for, and support soldiers and their families.
There are universal callings on the life of every believer. We discussed that in episode 69. But there are things we can be confused about when it comes to calling. One of those confusing issues can be whether we are called to be nice or kind.
What is the difference between kindness and nice-ness? Wesley and TJ invite Bryan Fischer, host of Focal Point on American Family Radio. Bryan wrote an article about the issue on AFA's blog The Stand. The trio talks about the article, the difference between cultural callings and biblical callings, and how to know the difference.
Some Christians become so focused on what their individual calling from God on their lives are that they become paralyzed. They aren't sure what do to with their career, relationships, life that they are unable to do the things God calls every believer to do.
Wesley and TJ know that feeling. But that have each individually found that focusing on the universal callings God places on every believer has helped them find the ways God prepared for them to glorify them.
These callings apply to every believer in every age of every church. But how they are fulfilled may be unique and personal.
But what has the point of this four-part series been? It has not been to list things you have the freedom to fight over. It is to show how we can confront these disagreements in grace and humility and strengthen fellowship through it.
In case you missed it, you can find Part I where we talk about, among other issues, government; Part II focusing on abortion; and Part III when the trio talks about how you can know what issues are worth breaking fellowship over (and yes, there are some issues that important).
There are many ideas, concepts, and issues that can divide Christians. Wesley and TJ are joined again by Alex McFarland to continue their series on 10 Issues that Divide Christians. You can listen to Part 1 and Part 2 that were posted last week.
In this episode, in the midst of covering specific issues, the three start by discussing that some issues are so big they are worth splitting fellowship over. Alex says three big ideas are definitely deal breakers. They are the nature of God, the authority of Scripture and the view of God. These are the differences between convictions and preferences.
But how should we approach these issues when there is a disagreement? What principles can we follow to focus on the disagreement and not demonize the person we disagree with?
There are several issues that can divide Christians. Some ideas are big enough to break fellowship over. Others are personal convictions and should be seen as such.
Wesley and TJ continue with Alex McFarland discussing his book 10 Issues that Divide Christians. In this second part of a four-part series, they continue covering government from part one, then move to social justice and abortion.
Can you continue worshipping with someone who disagrees with you on any of these issues? The answer may be more nuanced than you thought.
Doubtful disputations. What ideas can Christians can disagree on in grace and humility but continue fellowship and what beliefs are big enough to break fellowship over? How can you know the difference?
There are things that are personal convictions and issues of conscience but then there are issues of dogma and absolute right and wrong. Wesley and TJ recognize to cover these topics with wisdom and humility, they need help so they invited Alex McFarland back to the program to discuss them.
Parenting is more than just attending to a child's physical and mental needs. It is attending to their spiritual needs as well. Wesley and TJ are joined by pastor, author, and conference speaker Paul David Tripp to highlight his new book Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, and discuss the heart of what parenting is in a Christ honoring home.
Expectant parents often don't exactly know what to expect. Jordan joins TJ and Wesley in this episode to hear their advice and warnings, as well as to discuss questions they still don't have the answers to.
There are some issues the Bible seems to be silent on that requires the believer to study and have discernment. Then there are issues the Bible speaks plainly on. Wesley and TJ invited Dr. Jim Garlow to the Engage Program to discuss those issues. He covers many of them in his new book Well Versed: Biblical Answers to Today's Tough Issues.
Knowing what Scripture says is only half the work for the believer. We must also know how to live in light of what the Bible teaches. The trio talks about how we are live in the light of God's revealed will in a plethora of issues.
How do we know the right thing to do when the Bible doesn't clearly lay it out? Do we have to floss? The Bible doesn't say. Do we have to obey the speed limit? The Bible doesn't say.
However, the Bible does reveal the heart of God and it relays principles to us by which we are to live our lives. No matter what issue we face, Scripture has something to say about it, even if it is not a "Thou shall," or "Thou shall not."
Bert Harper joins Wesley and TJ in the studio to talk about how Christians can see these ideas in the supposed silence of the Bible. Fortunately, there are many things the Bible does speak directly to. Wesley and TJ have Dr. Jim Garlow to discuss that in the next episode.
In the last episode, TJ, Wesley, and Jordan discussed how our creativity reflects the character of God, especially in the life of a Christian, and how Christians can seek to glorify their creative God through their talents and creative gifts. Now they turn a corner and talk about a correct perception of creativity – is it only for artists and "creatives"? Or does everyone have some amount of creativity?
This podcast can also be viewed on YouTube.
Mankind is created in the image of the Creator – therefore mankind is creative. TJ and Wesley are joined by Jordan Chamblee (Engage Project Director) to discuss how our creativity reflects the character of God, especially in the life of a Christian, and how Christians can seek to glorify their creative God through their talents and creative gifts.
This podcast can also be viewed on YouTube.
As we talked about in the previous episode, Engage has been to several conferences. But during the latest one we attended, the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, Engage had an opportunity to lead a breakout session. During the session, TJ and Kendra White spoke about the Engage platform and how we all need to speak the gospel into the lives of every person, but especially those in our generation.
At the end of the breakout session, Kendra and TJ were asked several questions. Wesley and TJ go over some of those and dive a little deeper into the answers. You can watch the entire breakout session here.
Engage has been blessed to participate in several conferences over the last year. But our most recent was also our most involved. Several members of the Engage team, including Wesley Wildmon, Walker Wildmon, Kendra White, Abe Hamilton, and Teddy James, all attended the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.
Rob Chambers, director of AFA Action, also attended Values Voter Summit. Wesley and TJ have him in studio to talk about some of his key takeaways. One of Chambers' favorite moments was when Abe Hamilton took the main stage for 20 minutes.
Wesley, TJ, and Alex McFarland continue their discussion on being a good steward of time. Alex points to the fact that every moment we breathe is a gift given to us by God and we will be held accountable to how we invested and spent that gift.
Alex illustrates how God gives us all time, talent, treasure, and testimony. He has specifically gifted each of us in unique ways in these things. But we must view time as a limited resource and we must budget it accordingly.
Even in the midst of a busy schedule, Alex points out how we are still commanded to rest on Sunday and worship. The three open up about their personal temptation to work all the time and how God has convicted them about rest and why He commands it.
Most conversations focusing on stewardship deal with money. How should we spend money? How can we gain money? But the idea of stewardship is much larger than just finances. It deals with every limited resource in our lives, including time.
To help discuss this idea, Wesley and TJ bring in one of the busiest men they know, Alex McFarland. He is a student, husband, professor, speaker, writer, radio cohost, and much more. So what is his secret to keeping it all together while spinning so many plates at once?
Have you ever been so busy you are almost paralyzed and can’t get anything done? Alex shares how to master your schedule and keep your schedule from mastering you. He talks about how to make life a “decade-long ‘Thank You’ letter to Christ.”
Prayer is often accused of being an inactive activity. But nothing could be further from the truth.
For evidence, Wesley and TJ bring Jessica Webb into the studio to talk about how she put prayer to action in her local school system. Jessica went through all the proper channels and organized a prayer walk through every school in her county. The group she led prayed over the administrators, staff, teachers, parents, and children in the schools. She provided prayer items for the teams to make sure everyone who would be involved in the school would be covered in prayer this school year.
Although this sounds like a fine thing to do, the school superintendent received some pushback and had to cancel the event. After much prayer and more work, God reopened the doors to the schools.
Listen to learn what happened and how one person brought prayer to the forefront of the minds of an entire county.
Have you ever closed your eyes to pray and wondered if you were doing it right? Of course, we know prayer is simply talking to God, but we often hear people pray and it seems like they are a symphony while we are a kid on a recorder.
Prayer should never be a source of shame or embarrassment in the life of a believer. But it should be something we study, wrestle with, and practice. Even the disciples had to ask Jesus how to pray in Luke 11.
The two also let loose their husband sides and speak directly to men for a few minutes sharing the commands of Scripture of leading families in prayer, Bible study, and worship. You can find some of these tips discussed in an article here.
No discussion of modern hymns can be had without mentioning the husband and wife duo Keith and Kristyn Getty. They are behind the lyrics and sounds of amazing songs such as "In Christ Alone," "The Power of the Cross," and "Behold the Lamb."
Keith's passion for hymns comes through not just in his songwriting, but also in they way he talks about them. That is why Wesley and TJ brought him onto to show to talk about the use of hymns in worship. The three do talk about the Gettys' music, but also about how to use hymns to deepen our faith.
Hymns are far from dead, as discussed in Episode 51, and Keith is one person responsible for showing people how to love them all over again. Take a listen to learn the role hymns can play in your private, family, and corporate worship.
Are hymns dead? A quick look around the Christian media landscape could lead you to believe they are. In reality, there is a movement rising to breathe new life into ancient songs. One of the driving truths of the movement is because we have neglected some of these great works and thus have cheated ourselves of the doctrinal depth, lyrical beauty, and Christ-centered worship they offer.
Wesley and TJ listen to more than just hymns, and TJ even admits he used to loathe them. But Jordan Chamblee is in the studio to talk about why he loves them, and how we can use them in even the most modern worship sets. The three also discuss an ongoing series focused on rediscovering the old hymns of the faith.
We often hear that there is no command saying, "Thou shall vote." That is true, but does God ever say anything about political participation? Was Jesus involved in the politics of His day?
Jesus lived in an era when the leading politicians were also religious leaders. Therefore, when you read in the New Testament about the conversations He had with Pharisees and Sadducees, you are also reading about Jesus getting involved in the politics of His day. He did not shy away. He called leaders out.
But how can we follow that example? That is what we spend 13 minutes talking about.
Talking politics can seem like dirty business. But it definitely does not have to be.
Wesley and TJ have heard from all over the place that we as Christians have a responsibility to be active in the affairs of our local, state, and federal government. But rarely have we heard about the privilege of being involved.
The freedom to have our voices heard by all levels of government leaders is one men and women have fought for throughout many generations. It is one human beings dreamed of for centuries. It is one we take for granted.We draw heavily from Walker Wildmon's article Taking a 21st Century Stand for this episode and expound on the ideas he writes about.
TJ discusses how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles helped shape his worldview and Wesley points out that he was too cool as a child for cartoons. Abraham Hamilton III joins the two again to provide some mature commentary (although he thinks TMNT are pretty cool too).
We as Christians have a biblical command to examine the worldview we have allowed to be passively built for us by culture and build a new one based on the foundation of Scripture.
Part of that active building is being conscious of and seriously considering what we digest. The media we consume is like food for our soul. What we digest in our entertainment will impact the person we are becoming. It will impact the way we see ourselves, the way we see God, the way we see everything. For those reasons, there are two questions for you to ask yourself:
What are you becoming?
What are you allowing to define the way you see the world?
We share truth and apply Scripture every day in an effort to help you build a biblical worldview. We love discussing it so much we have devoted an entire category to the issue of worldview. Somehow, however, we have yet to actually discuss what a worldview is, much less a biblical worldview.
He defines worldview as the overarching lens through which you view the world. Think of it like glasses. If you have an orange-tinted lenses everything will look orange.
There are two ways your worldview is formed, passively and actively. In this episode, the three discuss the passive method. They show how your worldview has been formed through the cartoons you grew up with, books you read, and everything around you.
School may be over at graduation, but that does not mean waking up in a cold sweat from a nightmare of waking up late for a big test is. Have we mentioned TJ really needs some help?
But neither TJ or Wesley have kids of school age yet, so they brought in Chris Woodward. Chris made the decision to place his children in a private school, but they weighed the options of public, Christian, homeschool, and several others.
Chris and his family made their decision for personal reasons. But one thing all three agree on is that the ultimate responsibility for teaching kids sits on the shoulders of parents. Chris talks about the difference dynamics between a classroom where there is one teacher with twenty students versus home where there are far fewer children and parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and siblings who can help the kids learn.
Have you ever had a nightmare about being late for school only to realize you graduated five years ago? Apparently, TJ has some issues he needs to work on.
To go beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic, you as a parent are teaching your child theology. It isn’t a question as to whether you are teaching lessons about God, but whether you are teaching good lessons or not.
Whether you loved or hated school, education is something parents cannot and must not skimp on with their children. We have a duty, responsibility, and privilege of being the primary teacher for the minds of the little ones God has placed in our care.
Alex shares some of the opportunities he has had to share the faith with Muslims. Some came to believe in Jesus, others did not. The three talk about how we as Christians are not responsible for the results, but only for the faithfulness speak when God gives us the opportunity.
Click here to read "Reaching Out to Muslims in an ISIS-Charged Culture".
The news is filled with stories of Islamic terrorism these days. Hearing all this bad news can easily lead to fear and hatred. But the gospel compels Christians to a different response. We are to conquer Islamic terrorism with the message of Jesus Christ. To do that, we have to first understand the gospel (something Engage seeks to do every day) and second understand the Muslim worldview.
When we understand where Islamic followers are coming from it is easier for us to present the gospel message to them and bring them into the fold of the faith. Wesley and TJ know they have not spent enough time studying Islamic theology so they called Alex MacFarland for help. Alex has studied Islamic belief and knows how to present the Christian faith to them in a way that is approachable for them and simple for Christians. It may not change the world overnight, but the message can change a life for eternity.
Wesley and TJ are again joined by Engage intern Myra Gilmore. When Myra joined Engage, she did so with conditions. We had to let her off for a week so she could go on a trip to Honduras and serve people there. She went to teach about Jesus, and she did. But she also learned. She learned about economics.
That economic lesson led her to ask questions about the way we as Christians live in America. No matter how poor we may feel the simple fact we live in America makes us richer than so many people in this world. And there are things we can sacrifice to make sure the gospel is carried to the ends of the earth.
Is the Great Commission a command for individual believers or for church congregations?
Wesley and TJ discuss the ramifications of each answer (spoiler alert: the answer is both). They also discuss the purpose and end goal of missions. They also talk about finding ways to serve, and principles to follow when we do serve those around on and go on mission either across the street or across the world.
Myra thought she wanted to be a baker so she applied to work at a local bakery. She hated it. She later applied to be a writer for Engage. She won't say whether she hates it too, especially with her boss next to her.
The three discuss the value of interning and Myra gives some of her best advice to people looking to start interning, or for someone about to enter their first internship.
Even in jobs we love there are things we hate. Whether that be grunt work no one else wants to do or some other task you simply don't enjoy, there is a reason God has placed that responsibility in your lap. No matter the reason it falls to you, do it with as much zeal and energy as you give the aspects you love.
Wesley and TJ discuss some of their previous jobs such as stuffing envelopes or manning the toy department at Walmart. Neither job was especially fun (although you would be forgiven for thinking working with toys all day is fun). But there were opportunities in each to reflect our Savior.
If you are searching for a job here are some helpful tips.
Wesley and TJ are joined by Jeff Martin, executive vice president of ministry programs and resources for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, to talk about the many outreaches of FCA. The ministry is about more than just helping kids become better at sports, although they do have a focus on that. Martin and the rest of the FCA team focus on using sports as a platform to grow the kingdom of God.
To listen to our previous podcast with Mississippi State Basketball Chaplin Tyson Cunningham and his role with FCA listen here.
Sports play a major role in the lives of many children and teenagers in America. Whether you played, watched, or mocked sports, there are many life lessons to be learned. Wesley and TJ discuss how high school sports helped shape the men they became and even impacted their worldview.
Continuing to highlight great resources Engage listeners will be interested in, Wesley and TJ talk to Lindsay Parker with Life Action Ministries. LAM takes an entire team and provides everything necessary for a time of refreshment and revival in a church. The LAM team provides a worship team, speaker, and more. Life Action also has some great resources on its site. Listen to learn more about worship, revival, and more opportunities for Millennials looking for ministry.
We want Engage to be a great resource for you. Part of meeting that mission means pointing you to other great resources that have a different or more narrow focus that we do. In this episode, we highlight a ministry from Bert and Jan Harper. Bert co-host the daily radio program Exploring the Word and the weekly program Exploring Missions on American Family Radio. While not behind a mic, Bert leads Fishbowl Retreats with his lovely wife, Jan. The Fishbowl Retreat is an opportunity for ministers and their wives to rest, fellowship, and be revived.
For more information about Fishbowl, visit repairingthefoundations.net
Wesley and TJ continue celebrating marriage, but this time with Canada Burkhalter. She brings a unique perspective to the discussion because she is single and waiting patiently. She discusses her article, "Why Marriage Matters to Single Christians," and how married couples can encourage their single friends.
The Heart of Marriage moves from articles to the podcast as Wesley and TJ talk all thing marriage with AFA vice president Ed Vitagliano. The trio first examines how and why God made marriage, but then discuss why God's definition of marriage matters today. Ed brings out that how you view God will impact how you view marriage, and how you view marriage impacts how you see everything else in life.
Since Wesley, TJ, and Jeremy gave dads such a hard time in the first segment, Wesley and TJ bring Jim Shempert, director of One Million Dads into the studio to talk about the joys of fatherhood. Jim is the father a beautiful little girl and he tells everyone about her. He sees the challenges facing dads and knows the only way to be a good father is through knowing our Heavenly Father. After you listen to the three talk about some of their favorite aspects of fatherhood, read some of Jim's articles at OneMillionDads.com.
Men love a good challenge, and there are few challenges greater than fatherhood. Wesley and TJ are joined by Engage's radio producer Jeremy Wiggins to discuss three lessons we can learn from bad dads in the Bible. These men were certainly not the worst fathers in history, but they fell into pitfalls that are temptations to every father.
Wesley and TJ are joined again by Josh and Tommy Doyle, founders of Uncharted. This time, the team discusses why today is such an incredible time to be a Jesus-follower. There are so many opportunities for ministry and missions across the world or across town that every believer can be actively involved in spreading the gospel. If you aren't sure how to get involved with what God is doing today, listen in. If have a mission or ministry opportunity you want us to know about, send us some information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruth was born "For such a time as this," and so were you. We live in an incredible era with more biblically sound resources than any previous generation could have dreamed of. But having such resources can be equally encouraging and stressful. You want to soak up so much it is difficult to focus on only one. So how do you gain the discipline of focus, what tools are worth investing in, and what resources are worth your time? Wesley and TJ discuss some of their favorite and most-used Bible study and discipleship tools and ways to wisely spend our time growing in intimacy with God.
Wesley and TJ continue discussing how to find your mission, but this time they are joined by Josh and Tommy Doyle, two Millennials who founded Uncharted, a ministry leading missions-focused trips to Israel. They backpack through the Jesus Trail and serve people they meet along the way. Listen in to learn how you can join them on the next journey.
Has God revealed to you the mission He has placed on your life? We are all called to use our talents and gifts to glorify God and serve His kingdom, but the way we answer that calling is completely unique for each believer. Faithful ministry doesn't have to be one that changes the world, it only has to be faithful. Wesley and TJ discuss practical ways to seek God for your calling and what to do once He shows it to you.
There is an old joke that the news starts with, "Good evening," and then proceeds to tell you why it isn't. Have you ever felt like you are losing your sanity thanks to watching, listening, or reading the news? Wesley and TJ talk about that with reporter and Engage contributor Chris Woodward. The team discusses how to keep your sanity while watching the news, some of the best ways to keep abreast of current news, and how the gospel responds to our fallen world.
Here are several ways to pray through the news.
This election season has felt like a three-ring circus. How is a Christian to respond to the political rhetoric and polemic nature of this season? We are about to elect a president, but many feel like there are no good choices. How can we as believers not lose hope and begin feeling despair? Wesley and TJ talk to Fox News contributor Caleb Parke about his article "How to Survive this Election Season with Your Sanity." The three use winsomeness, humor, and the fact that sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying (or going insane) in our fallen world.
Wesley and Teddy bring in Tyson Cunningham, chaplain for the Mississippi State University basketball team, worship leader, and regional director of FCA in the studio again to discuss the importance of discipling young Christians. Cunningham is indebted to his mentor, and he is taking the example set for him by discipling young Christians in his sphere of influence. The trio discusses practical ways to strengthen the faith of our generation one person at a time.
American has an idea that childhood should last until a person is well into adulthood. That is a concept absent from Scripture. Discipleship and maturity can happen at a very young age, but it takes intentionality, purpose, and reliance on God. Wesley and Teddy discuss the importance of finding older Christians to disciple you and the responsibilities young Christians have to their local churches.
Wesley and Teddy discuss what it is like for young Christians ministering outside the church with Tyson Cunningham, chaplain for the Mississippi State University basketball team, regional director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and worship leader in his local church. Cunningham ministers as much outside the four walls of his church as does inside them. The trio discusses how to find ministry and stay focused on God even while leading busy lives.
Leading as a young Christian is not only a responsibility, it is a privilege. But there are very few doing it. Wesley and Teddy discuss how churches can encourage young people to step in their faith and serve not only within the four walls of the church but also in the world.
Continuing their discussion of honoring mothers, Wesley and TJ are joined by Debbie Fischer, the team's adopted mom. Debbie speaks to Mother's Day from the perspective of a mother with grown children. The team discusses the desire to honor your wife, whether you have children or not, and still honor your mother and mother-in-law. The three also discuss how to use Mother's Day as an opportunity to reconcile torn relationships.
Tomorrow is the one day of the year set aside to honor the very special ladies in our lives we call Mommy. It is important for them, but it is also an important day for those doing the honoring. Wesley and TJ are joined by mother-to-be and Engage writer Ashley Gillespie to discuss practical ways we can honor young mothers. The team also discuss the blessing of places that are open 24 hours for people who might have forgotten to purchase something.
Once we have an inner conviction about topics important enough to discuss with someone, there is a proper manner to disagree. Engage project director Nick Dean joins Wesley and TJ to discuss important ideas to keep in mind when we find ourselves in a disagreement with both a fellow believer in Christ and someone outside the faith.
The trio study Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, and Galatians 2:11-13. Scripture is clear that arguments will happen among the family of God, but it does not have to end the fellowship.
This is Nick's final act as project director for Engage and we would like to thank him not just for his time on the program, but for all he has done for Engage over the last eight months. Nick, you are a great friend and brother in Christ. You will be missed. Thank you for everything.
The only person we ever 100% agree with is ourselves, unless we like arguing with ourselves. Whether it is online or in person, we must all decide what is worth ideas are worth arguing over and which ones are better left unmentioned. What is the different between open-handed and closed-handed issues? There is tension anytime two people discuss theology, culture, and methodology and ministry. But there is a way to handle that tension in a way that adheres to Scripture and honors Christ.
Wesley and Teddy are joined by Meeke Addison, spokesperson for American Family Association and author or Hard Truths, a 31-day devotional. How do we share hard truths in grace and love? Why do churches shirk away from teaching difficult passages and what has the result of that been? The trio discusses these questions and more in this episode.
You don't have to get far into Scripture before encountering a difficult passage. Whether you are reading through the entire Bible, studying a particular book, or seeing what Scripture teaches about a particular topic, you will find troublesome verses.
Wesley and TJ continue their discussion on heroes of the faith, but this time, they are joined by Tim Barton, history nut and speaker for Wallbuilder. Wesley learns to enjoy studying history, and TJ learns to learn about history.
Studying history doesn't have to involve memorizing dates and events. History is simply what happened to people. Wesley and TJ focus on the people in Christian history and discuss some of their favorite heroes of the faith including Richard Allen and Elisabeth Elliot.
Wesley and Teddy continue their discussion with Stephen McDowell, president of Providence Foundation and author of God'Blueprint for Life, Liberty, and Property: A Bible Study on the Ten Commandments. To read a short review by Wesley click here.
In this episode, the team discusses the final commandments of the second table. How society is dependent on honeset citizens, and why does God include coveting, jealousy in the list of big 10?
To listen to the previous episodes on commandments 5, 6 and 7 click here.
Wesley and Teddy continue their discussion with Stephen McDowell, president of Providence Foundation and author of God'Blueprint for Life, Liberty, and Property: A Bible Study on the Ten Commandments. To read a short review by Wesley click here.
In this episode, the team discusses the first three commands of the second table, why honoring your parents comes with a promise, that murder is more than taking a life, and adultery is more about properly loving your spouse than cheating.
To listen to the previous episodes on commandments 3 and 4 click here.
Wesley and Teddy continue their discussion with Stephen McDowell, president of Providence Foundation and author of God'Blueprint for Life, Liberty, and Property: A Bible Study on the Ten Commandments. To read a short review by Wesley click here.
In this episode, the team discusses the second two commands of the first table, don't take God's name in vain and keep the Sabbath. Do Christians keep the Sabbath even though we worship on Sunday? Is taking God's name in vain more than just something we say?
To listen to the previous episodes on commandments 1 and 2 click here.
The 10 Commandments only take a few verses of the Bible, but there is much more to them than meets the eye. Wesley and Teddy discuss the deeper meanings and applications of the 10 Commandments with Stephen McDowell, founder of Providence Foundation and author of God's Blueprint for Life, Liberty, and Property: A Bible Study on the 10 Commandments. To read a short review by Wesley click here.
This episode focuses on the first two commandments, have no other gods before God and have no idols.
Wesley and Teddy continue discussing the gospel response to persecution with Tom Doyle. Tom is regional director for the Middle East and Asia for e3 Partners. He also organizes 8thirty8, a ministry alerting Christians across the world to persecution happening right now.
Tom and his team provide specific prayer requests for brothers and sisters in the faith experiencing persecution.
The trio also talks about how to help Christians in persecution,and how we can consistently pray for the.
Persecution is not only part of Christian history, it very much a part of Christian present. Christians across the world right now are experiencing hardships for their faith in Christ.
We experience persecution because of the gospel. But the cause of our persecution also provides our response to it. So how are we as believers to respond when people hate us for us our faith? What is the gospel response when we hear of brothers and sisters have been killed for their faith?
Wesley and Teddy continue their discussion on Christian persecution with Tom Doyle, e3 Partners' director of the Middle East and Asia. Doyle is also the author of Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It's Not Safe to Believe.
Doyle is also the man who developed the idea of the Orange Letter Campaign where Engage readers had an opportunity to write encouraging letters to the surviving family members of the 21 Coptic Christians killed by ISIS in February 2015. Doyle recounts handing those letters to wives, mothers, and children.
Persecution is not only part of Christian history, it very much a part of Christian present. Wesley and Teddy discuss what persecution looks like and how Christians in America can bless our spiritual brethren across the world.
Cortney Sargent joins Wesley and Teddy to discuss how we can apply the truths of the gospel to the way we work, the way we interact with coworkers, even how it can apply to our schedules (other than being extremely grateful for wonderful tools such as Google calendar).
The trio also discuss Cortney's conference Up Together, which Engage will be sponsoring.
The gospel has implications for the believer and the unbeliever alike. For the unbeliever, the gospel is for salvation. For the Christian, it is for sanctification. Each of us are in as much need of the gospel today as the day we entered a relationship with Jesus.
There is a reason most marriage vows include the phrase, "for better or for worse." Good times will come. Bad times will come. But in both times, and all the times in between, marriage is an illustration of the gospel.
But how does the love of God apply when one of the worst tragedies imaginable hits a marriage? How does a couple apply the gospel when their marriage is wrecked by a miscarriage? Engage writer Ashley Gillespie discusses the deep, hurtful, and hopeful truths in this episode.
From the time of creation, marriage has been one example of God's love for mankind. The covenant commitment, the two beings becoming one flesh, all the aspects of these relationship on earth point to an eternal reality: the gospel.