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The number one thing the enemy would like to get us to do is quit.  It could be something simple like a job or an activity, or it may be something bigger like your dream or your faith relationship or marriage or even, in some extreme circumstances, your will to live. You could decide to quit fighting and give in.  When you think about quitting, then you begin to talk about quitting.  Thoughts are often accompanied by words of what you are thinking, and then eventually, that is followed up with actions, and be assured that eventually, you will quit.So, how do we know when we should step away from something and when we’re just letting ourselves get the best of ourselves?   In this fifth and final part of the series "Best. Summer. Ever.", I will be sharing about the reality of how we feel and what we do when we feel like that work/life balance just isn't reachable, and we just have to quit or step away from something.  Sometimes it makes sense for us to, but most of the time it's us allowing the temporary to make decisions that will affect the permanent.This is Part 5 in the series "Best. Summer. Ever."  Other episodes in the series include the following:Part 1 - Take a Walk (released 6/20/22) Part 2 - Work in the Garden (released 6/27/22)Part 3 - Make Stuff (released 7/4/22)Part 4 - Family Game Night (released 7/11/22)
Our family loves to play games.  Whether it's card games, board games, puzzles, or something else, intentional family time and periods where I take a rest are essential.  We get SO MANY ideas, so much excitement, so much desire to do, to make, to create… that we find ourselves almost doing too much.  In this fourth part of the series "Best. Summer. Ever." I will be sharing about finding a work/life balance.  We need to know and follow our calling.  But when we make it all about us, it makes it more difficult for us to manage, and takes us down a rabbit hole that we think is hard to dig out of.  When we make Christ the center of everything, we know what we need to do and we understand when we need to leave room for margin in our lives.This is Part 4 in the series "Best. Summer. Ever."  Other episodes in the series include the following:Part 1 - Take a Walk (released 6/20/22) Part 2 - Work in the Garden (released 6/27/22)Part 3 - Make Stuff (released 7/4/22)Part 5 - Nap Time
I am a creator - I write music, I make videos, I take pictures, and though I’m not crafty or necessarily super handy, I love to dabble in that kind of stuff… But I don't always do everything I know I need to.  How many times do we find ourselves excited for a project, an activity, or an experience, but seemingly unmotivated to move forward with much of what we’re excited about?  It’s too hard - I’m comfortable right where I am - that’s a good idea, but I’m good where I am… I know it needs done, but I’d rather do something else.  In this third part of the series "Best. Summer. Ever.", I will be sharing this week about why using your creativity is important to God.  The Scriptures spell out in numerous places about why it's important for us to use what God has given to us to create, and "Make Stuff".  And don't worry - this week’s episode is not a command to go run yourself ragged - we'll talk about work/life balance in part 4 next week.  :)This is Part 3 in the series "Best. Summer. Ever."  Other episodes in the series include the following:Part 1 - Take a Walk (released 6/20/22) Part 2 - Work in the Garden (released 6/27/22)Part 4 - Family Game NightPart 5 - Nap Time
In our lives, we have so many opportunities to "plant a seed" - so many chances to say a kind word, do a kind deed, or give an encouragement.  How many times do we skip those opportunities because we think they won't make a difference?  Or because we don't know if it will cultivate into anything further?In this second part of the series "Best. Summer. Ever.",  I talk a little about literally why it's important to be outside and a little about my garden, but most importantly about why we are called as Christians to plant a seed and to have faith that it will be cultivated in God's timing and with His help.I am honored this week to have my FIRST EVER GUEST to Q on Queue!  My guest this week is Skylor Wingate-Massie.  Skylor is the founder and CEO of Plant a Seed Children’s Partnership.  She has over twenty years of experience in the social services and educational sectors in the Pittsburgh area and beyond, and God has given her a vision to bring a new kind of mentoring program by coupling creativity and relationships with the arts.  Skylor shares a little bit about her ministry but more importantly what God has laid on her heart, and why "Planting A Seed" is so important. I encourage you to connect with Skylor and Plant a Seed Chidren's Partnership to find out how you can help, get involved, and support her ministry.  Here are all of the ways you can connect:Web Site: www.plantaseedpgh.comInstagram: @paspghFacebook: @PASPGH412Phone: (412) 448-2807Email: PASPgh412@gmail.comThis is Part 2 in the series "Best. Summer. Ever."  Other episodes in the series will include the following:Part 1 - Take a Walk (released 6/20/22 - check it out!) Part 3 - Make StuffPart 4 - Family Game NightPart 5 - Nap Time
It's summer time, and it’s time to unwind, it’s time to disconnect, and it’s time to focus on some things to put me more “in tune” with how God has called me to live my life.  I think of it like an opportunity for “reset”.  One of the things that gets most often neglected is our health, and I'm not just talking about our physical health.  There’s mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, relational health, and so many more.  And you know, when things seem to be going great, we don’t take time to really reflect and focus on all of those aspects.  In this first part of the series "Best. Summer. Ever.",  I talk a little about why I'm focusing on my physical health this summer and also how I'm visiting and reflecting on my spiritual health, relational health, and more.Scriptures visited come from 1 Corinthians, Romans 12, and 1 Thessalonians.  This is Part 1 in the series "Best. Summer. Ever."  Other episodes in the series will include the following:Part 2 - Work in the Garden Part 3 - Make StuffPart 4 - Family Game NightPart 5 - Nap Time
This week's episode is the third in a three-part series about puzzles.  My family and I love to do puzzles, and I think in many ways, they can serve as a metaphor for life - the borders we create, the pieces we include and attach together, and how everything fits.In this third part of the series, I discuss my perspective on how you put everything together as you build your puzzle.   Picking the right pieces, getting them to fit, and making the picture is a process.  As we go through the process, we must have faith and trust that the right pieces will come along and fit together, to take us ultimately to a completed picture by the time our journey on earth is done.
This week's episode is the second in a three-part series about puzzles.  My family and I love to do puzzles, and I think in many ways, they can serve as a metaphor for life - the borders we create, the pieces we include and attach together, and how everything fits.In this second part of the series, I discuss my perspective on picking the right pieces as you build your puzzle.  When we build a puzzle, we first look for the easy pieces, right?  Then we try to match pieces together - what fits?  What doesn’t?  And then we get to the hard stuff - what blurs in with everything else?  What can’t we find a home for?  After we’ve built a puzzle a few times, we’ve had it where we end up with a random piece from another puzzle in our box, or even we’ll be missing a piece or two, as we’ve lost some pieces along the way.   So, what about the pieces?  Where do we start?  What do we pick?  What do we match up?  What if some pieces don’t belong?This week, I share my perspective on building the inside of your puzzle and what needs to happen so you know you're picking the right pieces.
This week's episode is the first in a three-part series about puzzles.  My family and I love to do puzzles, and I think in many ways, they can serve as a metaphor for life - the borders we create, the pieces we include and attach together, and how everything fits.In this first part of the series, I discuss my perspective on the border of the puzzles.  As we build puzzles, most of the time, if we can recognize a spot or matching piece for the inside parts, they still just kind of float around, and don’t really have a home until we start with the outside.  We have stacks, a bunch of stuff that doesn’t have a place, or the right place… We need a boundary… we need a defined, outer edge, that allows us to know where everything belongs and to help find where everything goes.Boundaries keep us in check for our own well-being and that of our interactions with others.  
Are you a benchwarmer or a starter?  In many sports, some players spend a lot of time on the bench, watching while others are "in the game".  How many of us treat life that way?  This week, I talk about why it's so important to be "in the game" and not "on the sidelines", especially when it comes to fulfilling God's calling on your life.
Life with God is a fun adventure, and God calls us to greater things than just fitting in and being like everyone else.  When you have the choice between changing to fit the world's mold or being the one-of-a-kind individual who God has created you to be, choose to be yourself. The world will be a better place because you did.Today I share 3  principles to think about when trying to fit in with those around us.  And while I share these, I realize that everyone of us wants to be loved and accepted.  None of us like to be rejected.  But also remember that we were born to stand out - we have all been set apart for God’s calling on our lives.  Sometimes, that involves us stepping away from the influences, temptations, standards, and pressures of the world.  
Wouldn’t it be nice if life was less complicated and didn’t have challenges in it?  I forgot who said: “Life was not meant to be easy”.   Today I share about challenges… and like some of my other episodes, I’ll give you a bit of inspiration to overcome challenges, talk about ways I’ve gone up against difficulties, but today is going to involve a lot of me opening up - things I haven’t said much beyond my “inner circle”, but things I think you need to here about how God has been with me in your time of challenges, and how He can be with you too.  While I don't have all of the answers, I pray my story can inspire and help you in some way - to get closer to the Father who loves you so much and will be with you every step of the way, regardless of the challenge.
Mistakes - we all make them.  But how many of us beat ourselves up over them, allow ourselves to dwell on them for a long time, or maybe don't know how to move on from a mistake?  Today, I'll share my perspective on why it is so important to admit mistakes, and why learning from them and moving forward shows maturity and really is important if we want to get past our imperfectness.
Are people attracted to you?   Let me clarify - I'm not talking about physical attraction or good looks here - but are there things about you… your attitude, your work ethic, your demeanor, your faith life… that causes people to want to be around you? To learn from you?  To grow from spending time with you?This week, I talk about how you can construct and live out your life so that others recognize you have "something special" going on, finding themselves wanting to be around you and learn from you.  It all starts with a service-first heart and living our life like Christ.  When we live out our calling, we will be blessed, and that joy will speak volumes with those we come in contact with every day.Scriptures referenced include Matthew 7:12 and Philippians 1:27.
When we think of Valentine's Day, we think of love... and when we think of love, we think of the heart.  Have you ever really stopped to think about just how important your heart is or what an important role the heart plays in so many things?  Physically, metaphorically, and spiritually, the heart is pretty important, don't you think?   In this episode, we take a look at parts of 1 Corinthians 13 and reflect on why a big heart and “big love” is so important in so many aspects of our lives.
Circles have been used to represent all kinds of things - spirituality, the life cycle, equality, just to name a few.  But have you ever thought of the circle as a boundary?The term "circle of friends" is probably pretty familiar... but which of these is more important to you regarding your "circle" - quantity or quality?  Whether we want to admit it or not, when we have the choice, the people and environments we choose to surround ourselves with can define who we are and who we will become.This week, I share a "heart check" that I truly needed for myself... Who's in your inner circle?  Do they truly deserve to be there? Are the people you are surrounding yourself with challenging you to grow and supporting you?It really is all about the size of our circles.
We live in a world that, to be very honest, is full of noise and disruption coming at us from every angle.  So much information is thrown at us each day.  Our brains have to figure out ways to literally keep us sane in the midst of what can be quite a bit of chaos.This is why communication - clear, impactful, and meaningful communication, is so important.  We have come to a point where all we hear sometimes is garble… we selectively tune things out, we maybe have so much going on in our minds or other things we’re telling ourselves, that we genuinely don’t hear whatever is being said to us.   You’d think that since we do so much communicating, both speaking and listening, you’d think that we’d be really good at it.This week, I share a few practical reminders about how we can be better communicators and why it is so important.  I don't have the magic cure, but these strategies have worked for me, and I hope they can help you.
Birthdays... some people look at them by saying things like, “Ready or not, here they come.” But that’s not how everyone looks at them. For some, their birthday is a joyous event, especially for the young. Birthdays mean presents and surprises and cake and being the center of attention.  And though some years go faster and some go slower, the fact is that birthdays come and go and time moves along.As the years go by, are you just living one day at a day, or are you truly living life to the fullest?  In this episode, I talk about ways we can reflect on our daily lives, reflect on whether we're living life to the fullest, and what we need to make sure we do to keep living that way.
Mean people... why is it so hard for them to be kind?  What's the best way to approach your experiences and relationships with them?  How does empathy play a part?In this episode, I'll talk about some real (albeit difficult) ways to approach your interactions with people who aren't always so nice, and a little of my perspective on when being so kind is being too kind when God's plans are taking you elsewhere in a relationship.
How many times do we discount the value of “one”?  How many times do we bypass a coin on the ground or a single opportunity because we think "there will always be something more"?How much we value the idea of “one” can have a significant impact on our lives.  Principles out there on the concept of "the power of one" are in the billions.As 2021 comes to a close, I focus on a few important “ones” in our lives and why they should really be our focus going into the new year.  Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support and listenership!
"Once upon a time"... those words usually stir visions of knights in shining armor, magical lands, and happily-ever-after.  Everyone has a story.  This time of year, we focus on the greatest story ever told... the birth of our Savior.  We all have a story too.  What's your story?In this episode, I talk about His story, my story, and your story... and how and why His story can be your story too.Scriptures referenced include selections from Luke 2 and Matthew 10.
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