Equipping you to flourish with encouragement, inspiration, and practical tools for living your best. Check out the Spark Network on https://www.sparkmedia.ventures/spark-network#/
Voices Against Trafficking with Andi Buerger
How could you speak up to help those who have no voice because they suffer from human trafficking? Today's guest, Andi Buerger, shares her personal story and mission which culminates in the ministry she provides to advocate for victims. Andi is the founder of Voices Against Trafficking and is an active warrior against 21st-century slavery - human trafficking. Her journey began when she survived 17 years of child sex trafficking from the age of 6 mos to 17 years. After her escape, Andi had a choice - to live for herself or to fight for others trapped by predators. She chose to fight. Andi has become a tough fighter for human rights. Buerger states that she recalls serving in a soup kitchen after suffering her fourth brain injury. Despite challenges to her memory during that time, homeless teens made an unforgettable impression on her heart. Andi and her husband established Beulah's Place in Redmond, Oregon, a ministry to rescue homeless, abused, and at-risk teenagers. Andi and I discuss the need to create safe places for kids, where they can speak up if someone mistreats them. Buerger also details ways to educate the community and better protect our children. Connect with Andi Buerger's ministry and check out her book at voicesagainsttrafficking.com.
Join the True Crime Missions Program at https://www.theunlovelytruthtribe.com/uttylk22r3e?affiliate_id=3727901
Talking to Kids About Grief with Mark Gregston
How do we discuss grief with our kids?
Today's guest, Mark Gregston, shares how we can support kids through experiences of grief.
Mark Gregston began his work with teens forty years ago when he was a youth minister and then an area director with Young Life. He and his wife Jan opened their home to work with those who were struggling through family crises, and in 1989, Mark and Jan moved with their two children, Adam and Melissa, to Hallsville, Texas. Here they started Heartlight, a residential counseling center for struggling teens and families in crisis.
Mark explains the importance of validating the sorrow of loss and allowing kids the time to grieve. We discuss the need to lament each loss and how grief shows how much we value life. Gregston notes the need for kids to acknowledge how much the person or pet meant to them. We discuss the vital need for a child to feel heard and to experience compassion.
Mark emphasizes the need to allow kids to talk through their feelings without feeling rushed. We explore the harm caused by those who rush us past grief and urge us to move on too quickly. Instead of robbing us of the important period of lament by shoving us into feeling better immediately, supportive friends and family should choose a more loving response and prove willing to endure our sorrow with us. We note how love is proven by our willingness to be in the uncomfortable space of pain with our family and neighbors.
Mark Gregston's book, Where's Stitch, creates discussion points using the framework of story to invite kids to explore conversations about grief. He highlights the need to acknowledge we don't have all the answers. Gregston also encourages parents and supportive loved ones to remain silent or simply assure the bereaved of their presence instead of trite responses, advice, or food.
Get your copy of Where's Stitch at https://wheresstitchbook.com/ Connect with Mark Gregston's ministries at https://www.heartlightministries.org/ and https://parentingtodaysteens.org/
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Becoming a Woman of Influence with Kathleen Cooke
Could you become a woman of influence?
Today's guest, Kathleen Cooke, shares how God sees who we are and chooses us for a specific calling to influence the world for his purposes.
Kathleen Cooke is an award-winning media and entertainment producer, actor, speaker and writer, and co-founder of Cooke Media Group and the nonprofit The Influence Lab. She leads Influence Lab Women in Hollywood and now also in Atlanta for Christian professionals. Kathleen is the author of the devotional Hope 4 Today: Stay Connected to God in a Distracted Culture, now in its 2nd edition, and posts the weekly online Influence Lab Journal and a weekly blog mentoring women in media, entertainment and leadership. She speaks globally and has been interviewed on numerous top national and international radio shows and podcasts as well as Christian TV networks such as CBN, TBN and The Hillsong Channel.
From her expertise in the area of influence, Kathleen explains our choice to serve by getting off our hands and obeying a call from God. We discuss the joy of allowing the Lord to pour influence through us.
Kathleen Cooke delves into the Biblical imagery of water associated with the influence of women. She explores the way the trinity was represented in scripture. Cooke highlights the significance of women as seen in the specific story of Miriam in the Old Testament.
Kathleen and I concur about how God values women and calls us to partner with him. We discuss seeking support if barriers consist of clinical depression, anxiety, or other counseling needs. Kathleen emphasizes the need for women to strengthen one another.
Kathleen encourages listeners to visit influencelab.com for support and resources. You can also connect with her at kathleencooke.com
Flourishing in Mother-Daughter Relationships with Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh
Are you thriving in your mother-daughter relationships? Today's episode shares how to heal and create blessings from imperfect relationships between moms and daughters.
Our guests, Dr. Helen McIntosh and Blythe Daniel, offer the keys to healthy mother-daughter relationships. Blythe Daniel is a literary agent and author, whose articles have appeared in various magazines. She and McIntosh have written I Love You, Mom! and Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters.
Dr. Helen McIntosh (EdD, Counseling Psychology) is a counselor, speaker, educator, and author of Messages to Myself and Eric, Jose & The Peace Rug®. Her work has appeared in Guideposts, ParentLife, and HomeLife magazines.
Helen and Blythe discuss share how their books offer discussion starters and a framework of words to help mend and improve strained relationships between moms and daughters. Daniel explores the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation.
We discuss the ways to cultivate healthy parent-child relationships when kids or parents have been adopted. Dr. McIntosh shares the importance of mother-daughter relationships as a legacy of love for ongoing generations.
Blythe and Dr. McIntosh emphasize the importance of checking in regularly with your mom or daughter to determine how you are doing in the relationship. Helen notes the importance of asking permission to give feedback.
Blythe and Helen offer tips on setting healthy boundaries in mother-child relationships. Dr. McIntosh shares her term, "over-love," and notes how we can avoid suffocating one another in our relationships. Helen describes her process of learning to let go of Blythe when she went off to college.
How to say "no" and "yes" appropriately by setting healthy boundaries in our relationships is discussed. Dr. McIntosh explains that proper boundaries help us avoid blaming others for our issues.
We discuss the importance of clear communication. Daniel emphasizes how good relationships require intentionality and work. Helen highlights Matthew 7 and the need to remain faithful in tending to our own responsibility in the relationship rather than only focusing on what the other person should do or not do.
Dr. McIntosh emphasizes the power of praying blessings over those who wounded us.
We also explore the rejuvenating and bonding power of spending time in fun activities together. Blythe and Dr. McIntosh recommend finding time to relax, laugh, and play together in our adult and parenting relationships.
Connect with Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh at ourmendedhearts.com or on social media. I Love You, Mom and Mended are available on Amazon or from your favorite book retailer.
Overcoming Brain Trauma and Loss with Benny DiChiara
How do you overcome traumatic brain injury and family loss?
Today's special guest, Benny DiChiara, shares his powerful story of suffering the grave prognosis of a traumatic brain injury and the loss of his father. Amid a stellar career as a chart-topping Christian rock star, DiChiara experiences the loss of basic functions such as language processing and speech.
Benny shares his inspiring story of hearing directly from God during the darkest moments of his life. He relates the details of his struggle and recovery from what seemed an impossible medical situation.
DiChiara emphasizes the sovereignty and foresight of God, echoing the constant comfort of the words, "But God."
Benny shares how he recovered in time to minister to his dying father. We discuss the amazing culmination of all DiChiara's ministry from the stage in the moments he shared the gospel with his dad. While grieving this loss, the Lord equipped DiChiara to write a song (Daddy's Song) to honor his father's arrival in heaven.
Find out more about Benny DiChiara and his chart-topping band, Empowered, by visiting rockin4jesus.com/. Check out the recent album, Three Days, and the heart-lifting single, Daddy's Song.
Useful to God with Dr. James Spencer
Could you be useful to God?
Today's guest, Dr. James Spencer, relates his journey of recognizing his academic, ministry, and career accomplishments failed to render him useful to God. He shares his moment of realization about having used God as a resource instead of a ruler. Dr. Spencer notes how he reflected upon Malachi 3 and the letters Dr. Dwight L. Moody wrote to his family to discover deeper levels of faith and connection with God.
We discuss the struggle of shifting from self-reliance to obedience and submission to God. James describes the joy and peace of letting go of the things we once held onto tightly in order to center on life-giving priorities in Christ.
Dr. Spencer describes D. L. Moody's authenticity in seeing the world from a perspective of profound, and yet simple, faith. James shares how the letters challenged him to deepen his relationship with God.
We explore the way knowledge and circumstances can sometimes distract us from the core of belief. Dr. Spencer outlines the three principles D.L. Moody set for gathering: pray, worship, and experience the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Spencer highlights the benefits of a social media fast to center on dwelling in the presence of Christ. He invites listeners to participate in the social media fast organized by Shine Bright and the Moody Center.
Dr. James Spencer is President of D. L. Moody Center, as well as an instructor, theologian, and author. He leads the Shine Bright Project which seeks to mobilize God’s people to be and make disciples James earned his PhD in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and served as an administrator and leader in Christian higher education overseeing education marketing and finance, instructional design, part- and full-time faculty, call center operations, and program design and development. He continues to consult with Christian colleges and seminaries, as well as non-profit organizations to help them build stronger organizational capacity, design strategic products and programs, and improve marketing, recruitment, and enrollment efforts.
His book titled Useful to God released in March 2022. He previously published Thinking Christian: Essays on Testimony, Accountability, and the Christian Mind, as well as co-authoring Trajectories: A Gospel-Centered Introduction to Old Testament Theology. James contributed to The Moody Bible Commentary, The Moody Encyclopedia of Messianic Prophecy, and Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World. James is a regular instructor for Right On Mission where he teaches courses including Developing the Christian Mind, Prophets and Whistleblowers, Secular Ideologies, Cultural Maturity, and Biblical Interpretation.
Connect with D.L. Moody Center by visiting moodycenter.org or follow the ministry on Facebook or Twitter
Encouragement for Real Struggles
I love how Tina and her guests aren’t afraid to talk about the tough issues we face everyday, always pointing us to the source of our hope! A great podcast to listen to on my daily walk.
Grateful for the way Tina points listeners to truth and life- and what it means to flourish. Truly encouraging!
You too are meant to flourish
I love how Tina and her guests share their encouragement and inspiration to help us know we are meant to flourish in what God has called us to do. I highly recommend you tune in!