How to Be a Good Citizen [Podcast]

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America has been scandalized recently by a rash of unusual and unexpected events: A Charlottesville, Virginia terror incident and displays of hate that led to one dead protester and several injured. There was also a high number of public property damage incidents where various locations in the United States were defaced by people angry about the intention of certain US Monuments having a relationship (or even no relationship) to the Civil War.
Following these was a genuine outside threat to American sovereignty by a new terror strategy: the using of radicalized Islamist children, claiming to be American, who have been featured in ISIS propaganda videos.


Summary of Threat
https://youtu.be/328nCKsUYWc


Content Warning ISIS has stooped low before, by having radicalized children fight for the terror group, and to participate in terror by executing soldiers and others in the name of Allah. Content Warning


All of these challenges to America and the American Way of Life leads to an important question in our time:
What is required to be a good citizen?
What does it mean to be an American citizen? Meant for people of all our 25+ nations who currently listen to Podcast Seminary, this is a message targeted to Americans– but a discussion that all citizen Christians should ask. The question being posed in this podcast episode is simple: “Is there any legitimate expectation of citizenship that we should give and receive from our fellow countrymen?” There was a time not long ago that it was an expectation for all American citizens to show indications of loyalty to country. Now that is an open question. This issue is what we will discuss in this podcast, related to the reasonable and scriptural expectations of being a good citizen.


LISTEN AND LEARN HERE


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Source:
Dave Anderson, Jan 26 2016-https://www.listland.com/top-10-reasons-immigrants-should-be-required-to-learn-english/

Tom's Story

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WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
By the time I was 17 I had moved nineteen times. This pattern of inconsistency and uncertainty, coupled with mental illness, and without God had me living a life filled with everything the world said would complete me.
Four years in the U.S. Air Force followed by four years in a fraternity at San Diego State University led me down a road of self-destruction that should have killed me.
I accepted the Lord in 1989 and expected things to turn around. It didn’t. I can’t tell you why. It just wasn’t my time. God had other things in mind.
A brief stay in a mental hospital, followed by years of struggling to be normal was my life. It wasn’t until five years ago when I moved back to Irvine to take care of my Mom and Step-dad, that the light shined through and my understanding of life cleared.


WHAT BECAME THE TURNING POINT IN YOUR LIFE AS A DISCIPLE?
The most prolific event that happened was joining Saddleback church. I’ve been involved in some great churches but Pastor Rick Warren has built such a strong, solid church that ministers to a copious amount of ministries all across the world.
It was soon after joining I volunteered to be a leader at a junior-high camp. And the rest is history.
I’ve been four years with the same group of young men and my past has been something I share with these boys to put fear into them, but also to share that God has something much better for them, if obedient.
During these past five years, I’ve also written three books, which has been cathartic and exciting.


HOW MIGHT GOD USE PODCAST SEMINARY IN PEOPLE’S LIVES?
Three years ago, I met Freddy Cardoza at a Saddleback Church Men’s Retreat. We immediately hit it off and have become good friends.
His creation of Podcast Seminary has been nothing short of a miracle. Getting more of a behind the scenes view of this amazing site, I can say without a doubt that God is all over it. The amount of time he has given to creating something people would truly accept and use is humbling.
My hope is that people that are looking for an anchor in these trying times will use Podcast Seminary to help find their way.


Our thanks to Tom Bruner from Irvine, California for telling his story. Is God working in your life? Has Podcast Seminary challenged you to grow in your faith and relationship with God? If so, we encourage you to share your story with us as well! Simply email us!


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Visit BrunersBreak

– The Online Home of Tom Bruner
Sage Snark - BrunersBreak.com

Hear Ron's Story (Part 2) and the Story of His Involvement in Launching Podcast Seminary [PODCAST]

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Listen to “Ron’s Story

We often say that “everybody has a story.” That’s certainly true with Ron. This is part two of a first-ever live Podcast Seminary interview in Studio C Los Angeles (see the studio).


In Part 2 of this audio interview, Ron talks Discipleship. We discuss some of the needs Christians and churches have in discipleship today, along with needed solutions. You’ll also hear about Ron’s involvement in the formulation of Podcast Seminary– from a single discussion had after a discipleship event in 2016.


Listen Now


Your Turn

Do you have a story? We want to hear about it. People want to read it! We are even willing to consider featuring your story on PodcastSeminary.com/blog in a future post like this one.
Your StoryConnect with me through leaving a comment below or by going to the Contact page, and we’ll get started!

Ron's Story: A "My Story" Feature (Blog)

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Ron’s Salvation Story

I was born in San Diego, and grew up as an only child in a Christian home. I attended private Christian school. My family attended a Baptist church. At 13 years of age, I prayed the ‘sinner’s prayer’ one day in church, but I did not tell anyone. I guess that I wasn’t ready yet to make him the Lord of my life, and I was fearful of what the neighborhood kids would say about me. Maybe they would laugh at me, make fun of me, or call me a Jesus freak After all, the idea that Jesus died and came back to life seemed very unlikely to me. How could I possibly defend this crazy sounding story? If it was true, I wanted to believe, but I just didn’t know how, and I was too afraid to ask.
For 27 years, I walked through life believing that there might be a God, but was unsure. I believed that I was a pretty good person and deserved to go to heaven if there was one. However, my belief had no basis other than I had heard this for a number of other people and it seemed logical to me. Also, I was told by a close friend in college that there are a lot of religions, as well as, ways to heaven. And, in addition, religions just try to explain what we do not know.
At nearly 40 years old, I was in the best physical shape of my life, and everything seemed great. However, starting with my 40th birthday, I began to experience pain in a number of areas of my life. First, I became very aware that my marriage relationship was not in a good place. Soon to follow, my athletic triathlete body started to hurt from age and injury. I surrendered. I let go. No longer did I believe that I was in control. I began to work on myself. I began searching for answers. Thankfully, God had put many people in my path that would help me find a life of significance and purpose.
During that same year, a friend put his hand on my shoulder in the parking lot of a hospital, and prayed for God to make himself known to me in a way that I could understand. Eleven days later, the prayer was answered when God revealed himself in a powerful way to me. It was on that day of September 15, 2011, that God became real to me.

Ron’s Thrills and Trials as a Disciple of Jesus

I have been a believer now for almost 6 years, and it is time for me to work at going deeper. I want to be able to grow my faith and take it to a greater depth. More specifically, I need discipleship help in the area of leadership. I am a father to three children and I desperately want them to know God. And, I want to be a better father to them. Also, there is a new believer at church that is asking me to meet with him weekly. I want to know how to disciple him in his new found faith.

Ron and Podcast Seminary

I have lead a couple of small groups, and both times they have dissolved after two or three years. If I was better at discipleship, I believe that those small groups might have remained intact and still be thriving to this day. It is my hope that Podcast Seminary can help me to meet my spiritual growth needs, and as a result, I can become a more effective discipler and follower of Christ.


Listen to Ron’s Interviews on Our Official Podcast! Part 1 and Part 2

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Your Turn

Do you have a story? We want to hear about it. People want to read it! We are even willing to consider featuring your story on PodcastSeminary.com/blog in a future post like this one.
Your StoryConnect with me through leaving a comment below or by going to the Contact page, and we’ll get started!

Hear Ron's Story: A "My Story" Audio Feature: Part 1 (PODCAST)

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Listen to “Ron’s Story

Everybody has a story. Ron’s is a powerful one. This is a first-ever live Podcast Seminary interview in Studio C Los Angeles (see the studio).


With Ron in Studio C
With Ron in Studio C

In this stirring and transparent discussion, we hear Ron’s story and how God helped him grow in his faith. He walks us through the winding road toward God and through the sometimes-smooth, sometimes-bumpy road of life in Christ. You’ll want to hear it. Be sure to share it with others who might be encouraged by Ron’s Story. We think you’re doing to love it!


Listen Now


Your Turn

Do you have a story? We want to hear about it. People want to read it! We are even willing to consider featuring your story on PodcastSeminary.com/blog in a future post like this one.
Your StoryConnect with me through leaving a comment below or by going to the Contact page, and we’ll get started!

Album Covers of Our First 20 Podcast Seminary Episodes

Blog Header New 2017 July large logo40 transparency x 1140We’re excited about how well our 3-month old podcast has been received. This is a special thank you for the more than 6000 downloads our podcast has received in only the first 3 months.


Podcast Seminary Stats for First Three Months, 2017


Here you’ll see the covers of each of the first 20 episodes. You can click it and link to our new podcast page OR go below and see our new audio courses that we think are the cat’s meow. Thank you for your support of Podcast Seminary as we help people grow in their faith and relationship with God.
Not listened to our podcast? Ever?! You must!! Go there now and see what the fuss is about!


First 20 Podcast Seminary Episodes, 1600 x 2950 Best


Click to Visit Our Dazzling Podcast Home Page and Share or Listen to These Episodes OR check out our completed Audio Courses on Discipleship and Spiritual Formation!


My Story: New Blog Feature!

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What is the Ivory Tower?

There will be more said about this later…. but the Ivory Tower is a well-known ‘thing’ in Higher Education (like in seminary!).  It’s a term that means ‘having to do with higher education’ and it symbolizes the lofty ideals of education and how gaining such knowledge has been, historically, not easy to do because knowledge wasn’t as easily accessible in the past.

But it signifies something different for me and Podcast Seminary.  “The Ivory Tower” is a phrase I’m using to explain how Podcast Seminary wants to help people with ‘discipleship’ and it symbolizes the lofty ideal of Christian education– namely, the biblical responsibility we have of making disciples and taking them into ever-higher levels of commitment, knowledge, freedom, and victorious living.

More about that later, but the Ivory Tower will be revealed soon, and it will show and explain how Podcast Seminary wants to help you grow spiritually, and will give you a step-by-step spiritual growth strategy for personal growth, to help you become all God has made you to become!  I can’t wait to share it.


OK, Now What Is “My Story?”

“My Story” is a new inspirational blog post I want to offer regularly here that tells you the inspirational story of interesting people who we’ve gotten to know and who are growing in their faith, and who are using Podcast Seminary resources to encourage their growth.  I plan to share stories like mine– and theirs– and YOURS here on this blog through regular “My Story” features like this.

Has Podcast Seminary helped you?  Contact Dean Freddy Cardoza and he will tell you how to share your story, and will give you the tools you need to get it ready to be shared here with others!


MY STORY… BEFORE

My story begins as a child in my first hometown of Huntsville, Tennessee. We lived in an old white farmhouse without running water right here where the trees now stand.  This photo is from this year.  Just take yourself back to the 1970s and that’s where it was– only gone now and grown up with trees and weeds where it used to stand.
Little Creek, Huntsville After mom remarried, we moved to a nearby town named Oneida, TN (take a look around– this image starts off not in the most beautiful part of town). We went irregularly to our original church, but not that often and I really had no understanding of faith or a relationship with God at the time.
Ultimately, I was invited to a leading church in town to hear famed football player, Reggie White, then still a college player at the University of Tennessee. He and player Willie Gault were speaking. That evening I heard the truth of the gospel, the message of God’s love, and invited Jesus into my life. For the first time, in the months to come, I started to put some of the pieces of life together.
In those days I had several people help me grow. Had it not been for people who took time and were transparent enough to encourage me to grow, I would have gone nowhere spiritually. This included people who made an indelible mark on my life, that stretched from the earliest days of my faith until college.
It all began with Judy Adkins Chitwood, who met with me and one of my best friends EVERY WEEK for two years on Saturdays, to help encourage my growth. Without Judy I’d be nowhere. Then came Paul Stith, my first youth minister. He ever so patiently helped answer the hundreds of questions I had about God and faith and life. From taking me on long road trips across the state to sharing about his family’s faith, I grew so much under his tutelage. Then came Scott Andrews, my second youth minister. He and wife Jennifer were treasures that unconditionally loved me and opened their home regularly to me and others, encouraging my growth—and remaining friends for years, even until now. Along with them came the late Pastor John Shepherd, a giant among men, who was simply “The Man,” and I’ll never exhaust my thanks for him. Them, plus very influential people like Rose West, Jack E. Lay, Allen Matthews, Dale Smith, and Tom McBroom—all of these were crucial in helping me grow spiritually. They helped disciple me. That’s what the Christian life is about! That’s the ‘point!’

My Story… Now

Today, due to the investment of those people and a few decisions of my own, I am what I am. I am approaching my 35th year as a believer—hard to believe—and I’ve sought to walk with God like I was taught in my youth and early adulthood after becoming a Christian. God’s given me enough insight and training that I want, and have a responsibility, to make disciples like those who helped me become one.

My Story…. In the Future

That’s where Podcast Seminary comes in. I understand that Podcast Seminary isn’t ‘really’ a seminary! But it’s sort of like a seminary, in that it’s meant to provide systematic and comprehensive training over a large area of discipleship content that most Christians don’t get. They don’t get it because not enough people are “making disciples.”
I believe that “being” a disciple is great—but that’s only half of it. We then have to go from “being” to “making” disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). So Podcast Seminary is a resource and set of tools I’m creating to help people grow in their faith and relationship with God.
I want to help people gain access to discipleship content that is broader and deeper, but also more condensed. I want to provide it in easy to access ways (like social media) and in more substantial ways people learn (like video, blogs, and audio). Using audio, I will create more substantial content through producing audio courses, which will be a big part of the type of teaching and training I want to provide. In time, as people discipline themselves to listen and learn to my discipleship-based podcast audio courses, they will begin to build strong, renewed minds that are comprehensively informed and systematically instructed in all the essential areas of the Christian life.
My vision is to help people become and make disciples all over the world, wherever they are, by providing these and other resources and by personally connecting to them through other things I have planned, so more people will have access to substantial, life-changing truths that I believe every Christian should be taught. That’s what discipleship and Podcast Seminary are all about.
That’s my story. And just like Judy, Paul, Scott, John, Rose, Jack, Allen, Dale, and Tom helped teach me, I hope you’ll let me be a part of teaching you to “observe everything (he) commanded” like the Great Commission commands me and us to do! Then, my prayer is that you’ll “teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).


Your Turn

Do you have a story? I want to hear about it. I am even willing to consider featuring your story on PodcastSeminary.com/blog in a future post like this one.
Your StoryConnect with me through leaving a comment below or by going to the Contact page, and we’ll get started!

3 Steps to Make Men From Mice (Audio Podcast)

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God doesn’t want us to live in fear—but many do.
This session is to challenge us not to fear, but to overcome it with courage.
Throughout scripture, God says it again, and again, and again—Fear Not; Be Not Afraid, Be Strong and Courageous, and other similar phrases— a few hundred times, in fact. So it’s clear that God doesn’t want us to be afraid.
But how do we overcome debilitating fear? Important tips are presented here in this special episode.
Want even more? Check out my long-talk given at a men’s retreat for Saddleback Church in 2016. Check it out


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