50 episodes

Do you ever feel like you can’t change no matter how hard you try? On the Christian Habits Podcast, we’ll talk about biblical transformation through the renewing of the mind. This is a practical, hands-on podcast that will help you break free from the things that control you: things like bad habits, idolatry, overeating, and negative emotions such as worry, insecurity, anger, and stress. We'll also talk about how to develop a close relationship with God as we develop the habit of going to Him for help with life.

The Christian Habits Podcast Barb Raveling

    • Christianity
    • 4.7 • 127 Ratings

Do you ever feel like you can’t change no matter how hard you try? On the Christian Habits Podcast, we’ll talk about biblical transformation through the renewing of the mind. This is a practical, hands-on podcast that will help you break free from the things that control you: things like bad habits, idolatry, overeating, and negative emotions such as worry, insecurity, anger, and stress. We'll also talk about how to develop a close relationship with God as we develop the habit of going to Him for help with life.

    10 Lies that Make Us Give Up on New Year’s Resolutions

    10 Lies that Make Us Give Up on New Year’s Resolutions

    How do you feel when you hear the phrase, New Year’s resolutions? Excited? Defeated? Skeptical? In recent years, New Year’s resolutions have gone out of style in favor of goals. The idea is that New Year’s resolutions are vague, so they don’t work—but goals are more defined with action steps, so they work.



    I disagree with this philosophy.

    What I’ve found in my own life is that neither one will work unless I go about it the right way. Before we get into that, though, let’s look at the difference between New Year’s resolutions and goals.

    New Year’s Resolutions vs. Goals

    According to Google, the definition of resolution is “a firm decision to do or not do something” and the definition of goal is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.”

    With those definitions in mind, I would say a resolution is about stopping and starting habits, and a goal is more of a check-it-off-your list accomplishment, such as building a garden shed or writing a book. Both of those are good things.

    The problem isn’t in the word resolution or goal, the problem is how we go about trying to follow through on our resolutions and goals.

    Two Approaches to New Year’s Resolutions and Goals

    If we only use man-made tools (plans, lists, action steps, etc.), we’ll only be able to do the things we can accomplish in our own strength. For example, I’ve always been great at accomplishing my recreation goals because I’ve always been good at recreation. But I used to be terrible at accomplishing my work goals because I’m not naturally good at work–I can’t do those goals in my own strength.

    Thankfully, we don’t need to rely on our own strength. If we’re willing to go to God for help and lean on His strength, we’ll be able to succeed even if we aren’t strong in that area. We’ll still use our lists and plans, but we’ll go to Him when we can’t make ourselves follow the plan.

    At the end of this post, we’ll look at a 5-step process for achieving goals and resolutions using both practical tools and spiritual tools, but before we do that, let’s look at 10 lies that get in the way of our New Year’s resolutions and goals and 10 truths and Bible verses that will help us persevere and gain success with them.

    10 Lies That Hurt – 10 Bible Verses That Help

    1. This will be easy. At the beginning of the year, we’re all fired up. We think, This will be easy! I’ll just make a list of goals and then I’ll change! Unfortunately, change can be a long, slow process with a lot of glitches and failure along the way. We’ll be more likely to succeed if we have realistic expectations of the process. Jesus told us what to expect from life, and this is also true any goals or New Year’s resolutions we take on.

    These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

    2. This is too hard. After we realize it’s not going to be as easy as we thought, we often jump to this conclusion: It’s too hard. This isn’t true! The truth is what we told our little kids when they were growing up: You can do hard things! Especially when we know that God is with us.

    For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. Hebrews 4:15-16

    3. I can’t do it. This is the lie that always come after “It’s too hard” in my journal. I don’t know how many times I’ve written it. Hundreds, I would guess. But here’s the great thing. I’ve written this lie over and over,

    • 21 min
    How to Stop Being Depressed During the Pandemic (or in Regular Life)

    How to Stop Being Depressed During the Pandemic (or in Regular Life)

    If I were to ask the question, “Have you been depressed at all during the pandemic?” my guess is that every single one of you would answer that question with a yes. I know I have. Many days are great, but there are also those days when I feel like I’m going to go stark raving mad crazy if this doesn’t end soon! That’s why I thought I’d do a blog post and podcast on how to stop being depressed during the pandemic.



    If you’re reading this after the pandemic, the tips will help for regular life as well! The first thing I want to show you is how I came up with the tips. I find that if I renew my mind first, it’s easier to see how to handle life. The following is an option chart I made to renew my mind about this issue.

    This isn’t a chart to brainstorm options–it’s a chart to analyze the options we’re currently taking to see how they’re working out for us. The left column shows the options we often take during a crisis. I always put the healthy option choice at the bottom of the chart (the one we don’t often take!).

    The second column shows how that option affects our peace and joy, the third column shows how it affects our relationship with God, and the last column shows how it affects our lives.  An up arrow means that it improves that area (peace and joy, relationship with God, life) and a down arrow means that it makes it worse.

    After you’re through filling out the chart, take a minute to look it over and ask, “What’s my best option?” I’ll often find that I’m taking those middle options that don’t get me where I want to go in life. The option that requires giving up my “rights”–and also putting out some effort to change life–is pretty much always the best option. I may know that intellectually before I renew, but filling out the chart helps me to see it at the gut level.

    These are the tips I’ve come up with about how to stop being depressed based on the results of the chart.

    How to Stop Being Depressed during the Pandemic (or in Regular Life)



    * Get a biblical perspective of the situation. From a cultural perspective, there’s nothing good about trials (and a pandemic certainly qualifies as a trial), but from a biblical perspective there is. God uses trials to help us grow: to mature us, build our character, and help us grow closer to Him (James 1:2-4). Also, Jesus reminds us that life is about loving God and loving others. We can still do both during the pandemic, so life isn’t terrible! It’s only terrible when we think life has to be fun and exciting or safe or free to do whatever we feel like doing. If you’re struggling with how to respond to the trial of the pandemic, ask yourself, “How would Jesus respond if He were living in your state or country during a pandemic?” Then don’t get annoyed with your friend or neighbor if they come up with a different answer.

    * Renew your mind as soon as possible when you become upset. There’s lots of different ways we get upset during the pandemic. We’re fearful. We’re annoyed. We’re bored. We’re grieving. And we’re probably regretting some of our coping mechanisms. When we let those negative emotions simmer for too long, they morph into depression. You can avoid that by renewing as soon as possible. Try truth journaling to renew, or answer the questions in I Deserve a Donut (and Other Lies That Make You Eat) or the a href="https://a...

    • 21 min
    10 Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating

    10 Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating

    Do you ever find yourself putting off a dreaded task for weeks or even months or years? I have been known to procrastinate a 10-minute job for ten years. Thankfully, God is slowly changing me in this area. Here are ten tips I’ve been using to help me stop procrastinating. Hope they help you as well!

    10 Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating



    * Find out why you’re procrastinating. When you feel like procrastinating, ask, “Why am I procrastinating?” Sometimes just hearing the answer to that question will help you stop procrastinating. For example, if the answer is “I don’t know how to do it,” then the first step is to ask someone how to do it or watch a YouTube video. When the reason for procrastination is hazy, we can’t find a solution to the problem because we don’t know what the problem is.

    * Ask, “What’s the first step?” Often, we procrastinate because we see that huge project all at once the minute we think of it. It seems so overwhelming we don’t want to begin. When we only think of the first step, it seems more manageable and we’ll feel like doing it.

    * Break your project into smaller tasks. Sometimes it helps to break the project into little steps before you even start. That way when you ask, “What’s the first step?” you’ll have a ready answer which will make it easier to start. You could even get a project notebook that contains steps for all your projects or use Todoist, Trello, or some other productivity app to create project task lists.

    * Set up your project the night before. Sometimes the hardest thing is to just get the job started. It really helps to lay out everything you need the night before. Something about doing that just makes it easier to start the next morning. This could work for making dinner as well. Decide on what you’re having in the morning, take out some of the ingredients, and it will be easier to start the meal later.

    * Start with an easy, non-threatening task. Sometimes it helps to do an easy task before you tackle your dreaded task just to get your work motors revved up. For example, you could sweep the kitchen or vacuum the floor or walk the dog around the block. Anything to tell your brain that, “Hey, we’re going into work-mode now.” If you do that, set a time to start your hard work. So for example, you might start sweeping at 7:00 and say, “From 7:30 to 8:30, I’ll work on that difficult project.” This will help you get it into your mind that yes, you are going to work on that dreaded project today!

    * Give yourself a pep talk. While you’re doing that easy task, give yourself a pep talk about the hard task. Tell yourself how good it will feel to accomplish it. Tell yourself, “You can do this!” Maybe even picture yourself working cheerfully away at your task. Anything to get you in the mood to do it. When the set time comes to do it, resist the urge to wait “just another five minutes.” Instead, treat it like you’re going to a job outside your home and you have to get there on time!

    * Try to make it as fun as possible. While you’re actually doing the job, try to make it as fun as possible. Put on some great music. Get a friend or family member to work alongside you. Or go to the bakery where it is at least a fun atmosphere and you can have a cup of coffee by your side if it’s something you can do at the bakery.

    * Take advantage of momentum. Have you ever tried to push a car down the street? It’s hardest at the beginning. But once you get it rolling it doesn’t require that much effort. That’s also true of our most dreaded tasks. The hardest part is to get it rolling. Try to work on it every day but Sunday so you can take advantage of the momentum.





    9. Be thankful. Do you ever catch yourself complaining when you’re working on a really hard job? Those negative thoughts sap our energy. Reverse them by being thank

    • 10 min
    Secrets to Self-Control with Drew Dyck

    Secrets to Self-Control with Drew Dyck

    Do you wonder if there really are secrets to self-control? Do you feel like you’re stuck and just need to live with it? In today’s episode of the Christian Habits Podcast, Secrets to Self-Control with Drew Dyck, I visit with Drew about his book, Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science. 



    Drew gives us some great tips on how to preserve willpower and strengthen self-control even after failing at it over and over again. You’ll find hope for the battle and practical help for the day.

    Drew Dyck is an acquisitions editor at Moody Publishers and a contributing editor at CTPastors.com, a Christianity Today publication for church leaders. He is the author of three books: Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Church…and how to Bring Them Back, Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying, and Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, CNN.com, The Huffington Post, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and Relevant Magazine.

    Things We Talked About on the Podcast



    * What got Drew into writing about self-control

    * How to strengthen and grow your self-control and your willpower

    * What to do when your willpower is depleted

    * How to creating bright lines can help with self-control

    * Do we really need self-control as Christians?

    * How to gain self-control with our phones

    * Setting boundaries with phone usage

    * Drew’s advice for the person who keeps failing at strengthening their self-control



    Quotable Quotes:

    “If you wallow in that guilt and you just beat yourself up, what follows is actually more bad behavior; so you need to internalize that grace, cut yourself some slack, forgive yourself, and move on from there.” – Drew Dyck

    “The key is to strive, but to strive with God’s Spirit, instead of against God’s Spirit.” – Drew Dyck

    Resources We Talked About on the Podcast



    * Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science (A Guide for Sinners, Quitters, and Procrastinators) by Drew Dyck

    * Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Church…and how to Bring Them Back by Drew Dyck

    * Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying by Drew Dyck



    How to Listen to the Podcast



    * To listen or subscribe on Apple Podcasts: click here

    * To listen or subscribe on Android: click here

    * To listen or subscribe on Stitcher: click here

    * To listen or subscribe on Google Play: click here

    * To listen or subscribe on Spotify: click here

    * Amazon Alexa: To listen on Amazon Alexa, say, “Alexa, play the Christian Habits Podcast.”



    Connect with Drew Dyck



    * a href="https://www.

    • 23 min
    How to Mend a Broken Relationship with Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh

    How to Mend a Broken Relationship with Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh

    Are you struggling in one of your relationships? It could be a friend, an adult child, a sibling or parent, or even a spouse. In today’s episode of the Christian Habits Podcast, I visit with Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh about how to mend a broken relationship.



    Helen and Blythe are a mother-daughter team who coauthored the book, Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters. Although the book is directed toward mother and daughter relationships, they offer all kinds of tips to mend any strained or broken relationship. Here are a few of the things we’ll be discussing on the podcast.

    Things We Talked About on the Podcast:



    * How to initiate a conversation about your relationship

    * Sample questions you can use to start a conversation

    * Where to go to have conversations

    * The importance of showing respect and how to show respect in a conversation

    * What to do if it doesn’t seem like the other person wants to talk

    * What to do if you’re trying to mend a relationship with someone who doesn’t like relationships or someone who avoids conflict

    * Three types of forgiveness you need when mending relationships

    * Why there is hope for your relationship



    Resources We Talked About on the Podcast:



    * Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters

    * Our Mended Hearts website – This authors’ website includes all kinds of resources including a printable pdf that includes seven ways to start a conversation to help begin a discussion with the person you’re in a strained relationship with. Just click on the link and scroll down to the freebie section to find that printout and other helpful resources.

    * Anger questions on the I Deserve a Donut app



    How to Listen to the Podcast



    * To listen or subscribe on Apple Podcasts: click here

    * To listen or subscribe on Android: click here

    * To listen or subscribe on Stitcher: click here

    * To listen or subscribe on Google Play: click here

    * To listen or subscribe on Spotify: click here

    * Amazon Alexa: To listen on Amazon Alexa, say, “Alexa, play the Christian Habits Podcast.”



     

    • 31 min
    Spiritual Attack: 10 Tips for Spiritual Warfare

    Spiritual Attack: 10 Tips for Spiritual Warfare

    When I first started writing, I noticed that I’d often get attacked at different stages of the process–especially when I was beginning something new. I’ve since studied spiritual attack and discovered there are many things we can do to be successful in spiritual warfare.



    We’ll discuss those things on today’s episode of the Christian Habits Podcast, but I’ll also include the information below in case you don’t have time to listen to the podcast.

    Examples of Spiritual Attack in the Bible

    There are four different stories in the Bible about Satan influencing or interacting with people.We’ll go into these more in depth on the podcast, but I’ve listed the Scripture passages below so you can read these on your own.



    * Eve – Genesis 3:1-8

    * Job – Job 1:6-12

    * Jesus – Matthew 4:1-11

    * Peter – Luke 22:31-32



    Types of Spiritual Attack

    There are two different types of spiritual attack shown in the Bible–a physical attack and an attack of the mind. Here are examples of each:



    * Physical: Satan attacked Job’s health, his crops, his animals, and his family.

    * Mental: With Eve, Satan made sin look attractive and caused her to question God’s goodness and reasonableness and also God’s commands. With Jesus, Satan tempted Him to turn the stones into bread, throw himself from the top of the temple, and to gain all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. With Peter, Satan tempted him to worry about what people would think and to focus on his own safety rather than being there for Jesus.



    What can we learn from people who were attacked in the Bible?



    * Satan often attacks at the start of things. Eve was attacked at the beginning of the world. Jesus was attacked at the beginning of his ministry, and Peter was attacked at the beginning of a new phase of ministry–one without the physical presence of Jesus there. We’re like the people in the Bible–we often experience spiritual attack at the beginning of a new ministry, a new job, a new phase of a relationship (such as married life), or a new try at breaking free from a bad habit or sin.

    * Satan often attacks when we’re weak. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says,”Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” Prowling lions don’t go for the strongest animal in the group. They go for the one who is weak. The one who is separated from the group. The one is vulnerable to attack. So at different stages in our lives when we’re super discouraged or alone or sick or weak in some way, that’s when we’re most open to attack. We see this in the Bible. Satan attacked Jesus when he was hungry from 40 days of fasting. He attacked Peter when Jesus was being tried and it looked like everything was going south for their ministry.

    * If Satan attacks, it’s not a sign that you’re a bad Christian. Sometimes when we’re struggling with temptation, we think, oh, I’m such a bad Christian, but this isn’t true. Jesus told us we’d have trials in this life and Romans 3:23 tells us we’re all sinners. The truth is, we’ll be tempted until the day we die, and we’ll give into temptation until the day we die. Yes, we need to work on growth and gaining victory in our areas of sin, but we also need to realize we won’t be perfect until we s...

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
127 Ratings

127 Ratings

Kicovo ,

Thank you

I enjoy your podcast and I appreciate the time and thought that good onto them. God bless.

SarSarV ,

Like I’m having a conversation with a friend

I discovered Barb’s podcasts while looking up tips for God-focused weight loss and I’m so glad I found her! I love her advice for all things life, interviews with other like minded folks, and techniques for being successful with your goals. She presents information in such a laid back way that I feel like I’m getting advice from a friend. Highly recommend this podcast!

listeningok ,

Not a “give it to God” podcast

I can’t stand the phrase “give it to God”. Not because it’s not good advice but just because it’s so vague. I love that Barb offers step by step “to do” suggestions that ultimately lead us to give it to God but in a very tangible way. Thank you, Barb, for sharing your wisdom!

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