94 episodes

Come and CongreGate with Mark, Shawn, and Micah as they talk about culture, politics, sports, world events, and church from a biblical worldview. In ancient times, the community elders sat in the city gate to talk politics and culture, conduct business, pass judgment, and share ideas about life. Trading in the city gate for a few microphones and an endless source of inspiration and banter (aka "the internet"), a pastor and college professor, a former naval officer, and a rotary club president team up to share their (usually) common-sense thoughts on what is going on in the world and the church. We're not experts and we're not trying to sell you anything. Some people won't agree with us; some people will. Regardless, join J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox for weekly episodes of CongreGate!

CongreGate J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox

    • Society & Culture

Come and CongreGate with Mark, Shawn, and Micah as they talk about culture, politics, sports, world events, and church from a biblical worldview. In ancient times, the community elders sat in the city gate to talk politics and culture, conduct business, pass judgment, and share ideas about life. Trading in the city gate for a few microphones and an endless source of inspiration and banter (aka "the internet"), a pastor and college professor, a former naval officer, and a rotary club president team up to share their (usually) common-sense thoughts on what is going on in the world and the church. We're not experts and we're not trying to sell you anything. Some people won't agree with us; some people will. Regardless, join J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox for weekly episodes of CongreGate!

    Big Announcement!

    Big Announcement!

    YUGE Announcement! After consulting with our close friend, Al, the CongreGate Team is taking a break through the rest of the summer. We'll be returning in mid-September with new shows and a new "seasonal" format. So, please subscribe to the newsletter at congregatepodcast.com and don't miss any important updates or announcements! And don't unsubscribe! We'll be back soon!
     
    Thanks to all the men and women who've been faithfully listening and providing encouraging feedback over the last year and a half of the show. We love hearing from you and your encouragement to us is what makes us want to keep making the show for you!
     
    Talk soon! Cue the music...

    • 6 min
    Summer Travel, Supreme Court, & Basketball - CP092

    Summer Travel, Supreme Court, & Basketball - CP092

    We’re back after a couple of weeks of travel! This week we are catching up on a variety of topics including basketball; the Supreme Court; and Mark’s trip to Moldova, Berlin, and Prague.
    Micah brags about his sports prediction skills (he correctly guessed which team LeBron would sign with…), while Mark and Shawn make fun of him.
    We talk about the Supreme Court and some of the chatter surrounding what might happen with another conservative judge added to the group.
    Mark shares his impressions of Prague and his talks about his ministry opportunities in Germany and Moldova, Micah talks about his father-son camping trip, and Shawn briefly complains about the heat wave in upstate NY last week.
    What have you guys been up to this summer? We’d love to hear from you!

    • 34 min
    Boomerang Children & Respecting Adults - CP091

    Boomerang Children & Respecting Adults - CP091

    Do you know anyone with a "boomerang child"? You've probably heard about the 30-year-old man that was recently ordered by a judge to leave his parents' home after refusing to leave for months. How does this relate to children respecting adults in the current culture?
    Lack of respect has turned into a mental health crisis for children. We chat about an article from one of our local newspaper contributors who says giving children power in their relationship with adults weakens, rather than strengthens them.
    Children benefit from boundaries, both emotionally and physically. Early enforcement of our expectations helps our children to build respectful and trusting relationships with us. How are you helping your children to learn to respect authority in a loving and gentle way?
    Mark & Cindy are headed to Moldova to teach and disciple church leaders there. Please keep them in your prayers!
    Links and Recommendations: New York man, 30, is ordered to vacate parents' home after refusing to leave for months - Fox News
    Tucker Carlson on Michael Rotondo
    Respect for Adults is Good for Kids' Mental Health- John Rosemond
    Building Leaders in Moldova - previous episode
     

    • 28 min
    Did the Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling Go Far Enough? - CP090

    Did the Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling Go Far Enough? - CP090

    Did the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling go far enough? The Supreme Court ruled on the Jack Phillips case last week. The ruling in favor of Jack was a win for religious freedom. If you haven't had the chance to talk with your family about this important case, we encourage you to start a conversation with your older kids and wife around the dinner table.
    We've been listening to and reading many analyses of the ruling and a couple of things really stand out. First, don't believe the narrative that the ruling is as narrow as the media would like you to believe. The court goes out of its way to say that lower courts must respect American's rights for religious expression as much as they respect the rights of the LGBT community and others. Second, the court has set a precedent that a business owner can refuse service on the grounds that the service violates their religious beliefs. Though there are other similar cases in the queue, this is a very meaningful decision that will impact future rulings.
    Let's be encouraged by the small steps in the right direction. This is an important decision that continues to protect the religious rights of Americans. We encourage you to continue praying for the Supreme Court and others that are leading and making decisions for our country.
    Before our comments about the Supreme Court ruling, we speculate about how the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un might go. You don't want to miss Micah's thought about how a thumb war might decide the outcome of this meeting...😜
    Links and Recommendations: Cake Bakers and the Rest of Us- The World and Everything in It
    Jack Phillips' big win- The World and Everything in It
    The Briefing: Supreme Court sides with Colorado baker, sends very clear signal that religious convictions of American people cannot be trampled upon- Albert Mohler
    Alliance Defending Freedom
     

    • 30 min
    Private Jets, Conference Recap, & Family Worship - CP089

    Private Jets, Conference Recap, & Family Worship - CP089

    Today's episode is a casual conversation about some recent news, Mark & Shawn's recap of the homeschool conference, and a little bit about family worship and our new family worship resource page.
    Mark led 2 workshops at the conference. His first talk was about time management for men. He notes that there are often time management workshops specifically for moms, but not usually for the dads. In his workshop, he addressed how to prioritize the important things over the urgent things, and shared some practical tips and habits that have been helpful in his experience. He also led a workshop about how to conquer the fear of public speaking (which he has been speaking about for 20 years now!).
    Shawn shares his experience as a first-time speaker and vendor. He talks about setting up a booth in the vendor hall with his wife and gives a recap of how his workshop on family worship went. We talk a little bit about family worship in general and about some of the confusion people at the conference seemed to have about this topic.
    If you would like to hear Mark & Shawn's workshops in their entirety, you can find the recordings at NCHE Thrive! (the cost is just $4 per talk).
     
    Links and Recommendations: NCHE Thrive! Conference Recordings
    Pretty Nerdy Press
    Todd Wilson - The FamilyMan - we didn't get to mention it in the podcast, but Todd's new FamilyMan ball caps were high-quality!
    Family worship resource page - CongreGate
    What would Jesus fly?: Six televangelists under Senate investigation frequent luxury corporate jets-and they are not alone- Warren Cole Smith for World News
    Louisiana televangelist seeks donations for $54M private jet- Fox News

    • 32 min
    Is Your Family Making Disciples Together? - CP088

    Is Your Family Making Disciples Together? - CP088

    This week we catch up on some basketball and add a few thoughts to our previous episode about family activities. We spend a few minutes talking about our family mission and vision before moving on to the main topic of this episode, making disciples together as a family.
    Scripture commands us, in Matthew 28, to "go and make disciples." Is it enough to live your life as a "good example"? Nope! Paul said "To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldlyto proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak." (Eph 6:18-20)
    We share some ideas about how we work together as families to evangelize and make disciples together. We have opportunities to speak boldly to our neighbors and others in our community. Many of our children have caught the vision and participate in conversations about the Lord with unbelievers. Maybe some of your children are involved in activities where they can be intentionally speaking about things of the Lord to their teammates and friends.
    We'd love to hear about some of the ways your family works together to minister to people in your community. How are you making disciples together?
     
    Links and Recommendations: Join us at the NCHE Thrive! Conference
    Pretty Nerdy Press
     

    • 32 min

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