Podcast Ep.42: Navigating Social Media -Trace Embry

Some times I wonder how well I would do raising children even teenagers today. Maybe all parents feel blessed that they are not having to raise children during this generation. Even those raising them now will likely say the same thing when their children are all grow’d-up. One thing every parent who is seeking to raise godly children will say is, it is not easy to do so in a culture that is becoming increasingly godless and even now promoting things that are completely antithetical to the gospel. Perhaps one of our biggest challenges has to do with exposing or protecting our children to social media. I love watching my daughter and her husband navigate this challenge so beautifully with our three year old granddaughter. We share strict roles with them. No youtube. No TV till age of two because of how such a young brain views the images and interprets them differently than we think. Limited time watching TV. 

Some times I wonder how well I would do raising children, even teenagers, today. Maybe all parents feel blessed that they are not having to raise children during this generation. Even those raising them now will likely say the same thing when their children are all grow’d-up. One thing every parent who is seeking to raise godly children will say is, “it is not easy to do so in a culture that is becoming increasingly godless and even now promoting things that are completely antithetical to the gospel”. Perhaps one of our biggest challenges has to do with exposing or protecting our children to social media. I love watching my daughter and her husband navigate this challenge so beautifully with our three year old granddaughter. We share strict roles with them. As grandparents we have conversations about being all on the same page. No youtube. No TV till age of two because of how such a young brain views the images and interprets them differently than we think. Now that she is past 3 limited time watching TV and so many other value commit READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 41: Church Matters (Dr. Dwight Smith)

Lets talk Church! Do we need to resign oursleves to the notion that church as we know it is dead?

A recent FoxNews story wrote the following: “Now, about a decade ago, forward-thinking churches realized that people no longer engaged with organizations just physically, so they developed online platforms that streamed services parallel to the physical church.

This caused plenty of controversy at the time because people suddenly had the option to attend church OR stay home and watch online, rocking the old location-centric model. So, church leaders opted to keep the physical and digital services separate enough to make it work.

Then, when social media and YouTube entered the scene, those forward-thinking churches adjusted again, creating multi-channel strategies that allowed people to access some content physically, some online, and some on the church’s social media platforms.” (For Source of article click here)

I recently had the privilege of talking to Dr. Dwight Smith about how church has always mattered, and continues to matter. In fact, it is primarily through the church that God does what he is doing. The church IS The Body of Christ. God works through his church. Church does matter.

About Dwight. In addition to his responsibilities as the leader of Saturation Church Planting International, Dr. Smith carries a strong burden for the local churches of North America because it is his firm belief that the local church is God’s primary instrument for world evangelization Therefore, he makes himself available on weekends for conferences, teaching seminars and leadership workshops. as his schedule permits. In recent years, Dwight has worked with a growing number of church leaders and church planters in the US. The goal of those relationships is the reevangelization of the some 300 million people living in America by the planting, replanting and repurposing of 100,000 churches. 

Check out the Saturation Church Planting Website here

Podcast Ep.40: The Cost of the Gospel in Closed Countries

I am not sure we appreciate as well as we should what its like to serve the Lord Jesus and share the gospel with people in a society with little freedoms. Most of us are aware that many believers from the US and other nations are working undercover in a sense in what we call Creative Access countries.  In many cases if the government really knew what we were doing there, our workers would either be captured, or expelled. While this is hard, its not near as hard as it is for those in those countries who do not have the freedom to leave. They are left to live out their faith sometimes under severe opposition. Today I am going to be talking to Pierre and Chloe, but for their protection that is not their real name. They are going to tell the first hand account of what it was like to be caught preaching the gospel in a creative access country. WIth that story they will also share the amazing way that God reached them with the gospel and the eventual cost to them personally but also their family.

Podcast Ep.39: The Martyrdom of Phil Masters told by his Wife, Phyliss

I grew up in the jungles of Papua, Indonesia. Over 200 tribes with distinct languages spread across the landscape of this rugged island. It was only in the late 1950’s that many of these tribes heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. I remember as a child hearing of the tragic death of two men, Phil Masters and Stan Dale who were martyred by a tribe they attempted to reach. Six months later, a small airplane crashed in the same location when one sole survivor, Paul Newman, was rescued by an old man belonging to the very tribe that had killed Phil and Stan. In only the way God can, these two events came together to provide the sovereign context for the gospel to be presented to these people. What a privilege I had to interview Phil’s wife, Phyliss, who shares about her role in helping the people who killed her husband to hear of the saving message of Jesus. 

Order Don Richardson’s book on this story titled Lord’s Of the Earth here

Podcast Ep. 38: How the Soul Grows Through Loss (Dr. Gerald Sittser)

Aside from the Bible, one other book served as my lifeline during the hardest period of my life; my wife’s brain surgery and subsequent struggle to recover her speech, reading/writing skills, and my son’s passing to cancer just months after. That book was A Grace Disguised by Dr. Gerald Sittser. I’ve read the book probably four times, and recommended it to many who needed a healthy dose of theological perspective. What a thrill to land an interview with the author of this book, Dr. Gerald Sittser.

Sittser serves as professor of theology and senior fellow at Whitworth University, He has written eight books, among them A Grace Disguised, A Grace Revealed, The Will of God as a Way of Life, and Water from a Deep Well.  He is currently writing a book on “The Third Way,” which will explore how the early Christian movement developed such a clear and unique identity in the ancient world and, against all odds, grew into a formidable force long before Christianity became a legally recognized religion.  It will be published by Baker.  He enjoys music, literature, gardening, hiking, woodworking, and he attends the Oregon Shakespeare Festival every year with his family. Married to Patricia since 2010, he has three married children, two married step-children, and six grandchildren.


Order A Grace Disguised Here

Podcast Ep. 37: 11.6.77 – Surviving the Toccoa Falls Flood (Pastor Bob Harner)

Those who have any connection with Toccoa Falls College will know exactly what happened on November 6, 1977. The flood at Toccoa Falls College, pushing millions of gallons of water through a weakened earthen dam, took the lives of 39 people. Several lost their entire family. The story you’re going to hear in this podcast is Pastor Bob Harner’s account of remaining faithful to Jesus while trying to cope with the drowning of his wife and young son. This is truly a story that continues to bring glory to a faithful and sovereign God who shows his goodness to those who continue to trust him despite the pain that comes along the way.

Podcast Ep 36: The Elders; Guardians to the Pastor

One of my passions with the Before You Quit podcast is to reach not just pastors and ministry leaders, but also to relate to elders who serve these churches and pastors. One of my greatest joys with this ministry is when I see elders coming around their pastor, serving him, making him accountable to them, them to him,  and watching his back when he’s either criticized or even under attack. In a true sense, the elders are the Guardians to the past READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 35: Serve At Your Own Risk (A Pastor Discusses His Work in a Closed Muslim Country)

We’re going to talk today about what it is like to be serving in a closed country. When we say closed country, we mean a culture where sharing the gospel freely is not possible without likely recriminations. I will not be using the person’s real name that I am interviewing, but I will refer to him a few times as Peter.And for his protection we will not refer to the country where he serves. However I can tell you that God is moving. READ MORE

Podcast Ep. 34: Let’s Stop Calling it, “BIG CHURCH”. (Dr. Rich Griffith)

Several weeks I drove through the campus of Toccoa Falls College near where I live and watched hundred of students streaming toward the auditorium of the college for their chapel service. I looked at these young faces and remembered being where they are. That was a long time ago, actually 35 years ago and so much has happened since then, in my life but also in our culture. I also looked at them and thought about how they will one day be where I am now. Unless the Lord returns first, these young people will be looking back to their 35 years  no doubt living in a world so different than ours today. I find myself in these reflective mood wondering what the church will be like and how many of these young people I saw streaming toward their chapel service will be leading the church.  READ MORE

Podcast Ep.33: A Pastor Tells A Gripping Story of Losing His Only Child to AIDS

In the 1980’s AIDS was an unfamiliar disease leaving those with the diagnoses alone and often shunned. It was during this time that young Ian Puckett, was diagnosed with AIDS due to a blood transfusion following a serious accident he and his father, Henry, were in. Up to this time, Henry and his wife Donna were experiencing deep marital problems that led to a temporary separation.   READ MORE