Charlottesville [Special Podcast on Racism]

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Racism is a scourge of our time.
Whether it is racism, hatred, or any form of person-centered evil, it should be condemned.
In this special episode of Podcast Seminary, Dean Freddy Cardoza discusses the happenings at Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 as they were unfolding, including personal experiences involving racism, and an appeal for the embrace of a biblical view of race and humanity.


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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!


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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!

The Dark Night of the Soul: When God Seems Absent (Podcast)

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John of the Cross was a friar who was an important faith leader in the 1500s, following the Protestant Reformation. He was known for his deep insight into the human psyche and his ability to perceive the condition of the soul.
In this amazing work, the Dark Night of the Soul, John got a glimpse into the depths of the human condition. He explored and explained the innerworkings of the spirit when a person feels far from God and enters a time where God becomes silent, allowing us to feel abandoned– though He is there.
St. John, nearly 500 years after his death, remains an important figure in devotional literature, as his experiences and words have encouraged believers all around the world for 5 centuries to find their way through the soul’s dark night.

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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!


Secret Sin: The Unspoken Danger of Living in a "Fishbowl" (Blog)

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Secret Sin: The Unspoken Danger of Living in a "Fishbowl"


Secret Sin: How to Understand and Avoid It

One of the most tricky and insidious forms of disobedience is Secret Sin. Secret sin “happens” because of all kinds of reasons, but they seem to be rooted in either raging against living in a fish bowl of maintaining a life of perfection OR the simple desire for living with unaccountable personal autonomy (to do whatever we want) without suffering the ramifications of our decisions.
Most of the time secret sin tempts us because we feel as if we’re living in a fishbowl– a life where we live with ‘glass houses’ and everybody knows our business and scrutinizes our lives to the nth degree. That can be too much to take, especially when we live for people’s approval instead of seeking the authenticity of living for the Lord and Him alone.
Let’s face it, certain types of behaviors are not tolerated in society– nor by conscience. So people learn to cover their tracks by being crafty. This leads to the issue of secret sin.
Secret Sin Can Contaminate Us in Part and as a Whole
Though sin cannot be completely contained—since it, in truth, corrupts our entire beings—at the same time, humans have the ability to partition our hearts. When we want to hide our sin from being exposed, we partition our lives—like a house, where certain interior rooms have no doors and complete access is given, but other rooms have locked doors where those rooms’ contents are hidden. Humans are like that—we sometimes lock certain areas of our hearts from God and others, and allow ourselves unfettered freedom in those areas—areas that Satan exploits by concentrating certain areas of our lives with targeted contamination.

Secret Sin Causes us to Compartmentalize Bad Behavior

Sin creates psychological disorder. It affects us at a very deep and profound level. It disfigures our souls. It corrupts our minds. But we have the ability to be or pretend to be good and upright in certain areas of our character. So certain parts of us seem upright, while allowing other areas of our character to be corrupted.
There are times that certain areas of our lives seem untouched by sin, and that it destroys other areas of our personality entirely. We’ve seen this all our lives. Think of the many news stories where someone is the greatest neighbor in the world— but is found out to be a sadist and sociopath.
Secret Sin Makes Integrity Impossible
There’s the sad story of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a man who had dozens of bodies buried in the crawl space under his home. This same man has photos with him and the wife of President Jimmy Carter together. He was able to keep it together and seem like a pleasant person while “part” of his life was cordoned off, while the other part contained this monster.
He regressed into a wonderfully kind person who dressed up like a clown and, by all accounts, entertained children at birthday parties and, as far as we know, never harmed a child. But that same man was demonized toward young men. He victimized 33 people in all, while being known as a public do-gooder.
That’s an extreme example, but it’s a common thing for people to have areas of secret sin, where our lives are allowed to be out of control—areas that Satan uses to corrupt us.
So as people, we sin—and can become enslaved to sin. But the problem is that sin never does, nor can it, satisfy. Because only God can fill the deepest needs of human beings.
Sin Predictably Fails to Bring Lasting Satisfaction
At last, sin fails to bring lasting satisfaction. Sin has lots of effects. It harms us and besets us. We should do everything we can to avoid it.


Watch the Video Version of this Post

The Danger of Secret Sin (Video Blog)

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Secret Sin: How to Understand and Avoid It

One of the most tricky and insidious forms of disobedience is Secret Sin. Secret sin “happens” because of all kinds of reasons, but they seem to be rooted in either raging against living in a fish bowl of maintaining a life of perfection OR the simple desire for living with unaccountable personal autonomy (to do whatever we want) without suffering the ramifications of our decisions.
Most of the time secret sin tempts us because we feel as if we’re living in a fishbowl– a life where we live with ‘glass houses’ and everybody knows our business and scrutinizes our lives to the nth degree. That can be too much to take, especially when we live for people’s approval instead of seeking the authenticity of living for the Lord and Him alone.
In this video, we’ll learn more about this problem– and how to rethink our lives and move more fully into a life of spiritual authenticity and personal impact.


Watch the Video

Red Hot: How to 'Catch on Fire' In Your Spiritual Life

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Red Hot: How to ‘Catch on Fire’ in Your Spiritual Life

We’ve all experienced it… Getting “stuck” spiritually, and bogging down to where your devotional life is slowed to a crawl.
A common problem in the Christian life is knowing how to build and stoke the spiritual flames deep within our souls.
In this vlog, I unpack an important secret I’ve learned from the wisdom of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:13 (especially in the NLT version of the Bible). Then I share the single most important secret to getting and staying red hot in our spiritual lives.
Like it? Share it! Subscribe and get freebies– and automatically receive my latest content!


What Does It Mean To Become a Christian?

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What does it mean to be a Christian
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What Does It Mean to Become a Christian?

      The Christian life, and Christianity is general, is largely misunderstood in American and perhaps other cultures. There are many reasons, I’m sure, but I’m certain that part of it is because of caricatures assigned to it by non-adherents, and it is also due to the failure of many who profess Christ to articulate their faith with clarity AND TO LIVE their faith with integrity.

So I’m ask the question… What is the Christian life?

I am a Christian. That means I believe in Jesus Christ.

I follow Christ. I am wrapping my life and existence around the teachings of Jesus.

The Christian life is first and foremost about individual people who, in the warp and woof of life, have walked down the winnowing path of human existence and—through any number of experiences and events—come to a point in their thinking, where they realized that all was not well.

It happens in so many ways.  This realization leads a person to a point where they feel drawn to God in an increasingly tangible way, and become more and more open to the possibility and—ultimately, the reality, that Jesus Christ is a living reality—an existential BEING who is capable of and interested in cultivating a relationship with each of us, and specifically ME—or, YOU, as the case may be.
And at some point, that person acknowledges the reality of God, and the truth of Christ, and commits his or her life to Jesus by surrendering to His authority.

This type of belief is sometimes called “saving faith.”It is called “Salvation” by Christians, because one is QUOTE, saved, from himself—saved from the ramifications of his or her decisions and actions that wounded their relationship to God and that violated God’s authority.

This belief is associated with a recognition of the fact that things in our lives didn’t go the way they ought to have gone—that we failed to be all we were created to be—that we often violated our consciences to recklessly pursue desires and directions that were fundamentally and diametrically opposed to that which is good. And this pursuit of vice ended up causing us to violate others, ourselves and most importantly, the God who created us in His image. And for that reason, because we have an obligation to him as our Maker—just as a child might be obligated to recognize the authority of his parent or parents, we must answer to Him for our disobedience and our loss or, perhaps better, the forfeiture of virtue.

This acknowledgment is essentially the recognition that, though we are persons of value, we are nonetheless soiled— that is, we are contaminated… and that the contamination we suffer and bear is the outcome of our own doing. We must recognize that, left unattended, that corruption will ultimately result in our undoing.

So a person in this condition calls out to God, silently or audibly—it matters not, and in the sanctuary of their hearts, their innermost beings, they admit to God that they are estranged from a right and harmonious and peaceful relationship with him—and that the reason for this is our own personal rebellion— something that could and should be rightly called “sin” meaning, disobedience toward God.

This disobedience was against God and we know that is the case because we understand and FEEL guilty and culpable for violating our conscience and, wittingly or unwittingly, have also violated the standards God articulated in his love letter to humanity—which is what the Holy Bible actually is.

So the Holy Bible provides us with the written standard of what God desires and expects, and what is required for us to live in harmony with him… and, incidentally, with others.

So the attitude of a person wanting to repair his relationship with God confesses this reality of sin and the resultant loss of inner peace and asks God to forgive him or her. What this means is that, such a person feels sorrow, contrition, regret, disappointment and even guilt for past thoughts, attitudes, and actions, and then ASKS FOR and receives forgiveness from God.. and this then INITIATES a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ. And such a person considers Jesus his only hope for abundant living now and eternal life now and later.

And what that means is that a person who desires to be reconciled with God and to patch up his or her relationship with God and to enter into a real and actual relationship with the God of the Universe invites the one and only Son of God, Jesus Christ into his life and then begins a new life—ONE that seeks to cultivate a relationship with God.

That is what it means to become a Christian—being reconciled to God by Faith Alone through Christ Alone.

Your Next Step

Let us know if you have made a commitment to follow Christ.  Also, get other helpful content by staying informed with DigitalDiscipler and Podcast Seminary on Soapbox Network!

 

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Why Did Jesus Come to Earth? Why Did God Enter Time?

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Why did Jesus come to earth?
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Why Did Jesus Come To Earth?

It begins with the assumption that Jesus DID come to earth.

  • Jesus is the most well-attested historical person from the ancient world.Historical knowledge and reference to him far exceeds that of any person of antiquity—this would include the likes of Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Plato, Socrates, or anyone else a person could think of.

 

  • When it comes to leaders of various faiths, so little is known about some religious leaders of the past that they are more legendary than historical. Not so with Jesus. In fact, to deny the existence or historicity of Christ is as intellectually dishonest as it would be to deny the holocaust—no self-respecting or legitimate person would be so brazen to do it.

So Jesus did, in fact, come to earth.

And if so… what did he come to do?

Well, the Bible teaches that Jesus was not only a regular human being coming to earth in order to restore social justice or to point to a particular deity. Indeed! No, rather Jesus came as a being who was a single person, but one with two natures—that is to say, Jesus was God Incarnate… God in the flesh. And this Jesus—the Christ (Jesus, the Messiah) was what Christians call the God-Man. He was AND IS a person, the only person, with a divine and a human nature. Fully man, fully God. Jesus was and IS God in the flesh.

One wonders, Why in the world would God come to earth? And it’s important to understand that Christianity does not teach that it was God the Father who came to earth, but that God—in His infinite and unknowable wisdom, existed eternally in the past as Father, Son and Spirit—and that these three persons COLLECTIVELY formed one God. I know, it’s hard to wrap your mind around… but Christianity and the Bible and ALL GREAT LEADERS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH THROUGHOUT HISTORY who have held a biblical view on God, have taught that God existed in that Holy Tri-unity—the Holy Trinity, Father, Word or Son, and Spirit—a united and unified Spirit Being in three non-contradictory expressions, and that this God fashioned His eternal Son, often called the Second Person of the Trinity, into the likeness of a man—meaning, God the Son, who became the Person of Jesus Christ, took on flesh—a human body—and was implanted, mysteriously and supernaturally into the womb of the Virgin, Mary, and as the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” her—NOT IMPREGNATED HER, but as He caused her, non-sexually to conceive, this Mary became pregnant without the aid of man, and began to carry the God-Man, the Christ… the MESSIAH in her womb… and That Baby, secretly the God of the Universe in human form, the one and ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of God, was ultimately born and named Yeshua… Joshua the Messiah… or what the English speaking world knows as “Jesus Christ.”

But Why?

Why did the Incarnation happen? Why did God become flesh? Why was there a theological need for God to enter time? Why did this being or personage need to be fully man? Why did he need to be fully God?

Oh, there’s so much to this… more will have to be said later, no doubt, but the primary answer lies in this:

Because the Bible says in Luke chapter 19 verse 10, that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost…. And HE DID THIS because Jesus came to RECONCILE HUMANITY WITH GOD.

In an earlier podcast I mentioned that humanity was estranged from God and that this existential lostness and brokenness of relationship was caused by sin. Meaning, that in the Garden of Eden, humanity began in innocence… but then humanity corrupted themselves through, first, being deceived treacherously, and ultimately, in willful disobedience.

This event is called The Fall of Humanity or, sometimes, the Fall of Man. And The Fall meant that the original state of innocence was now violated and that all humanity would thereafter be estranged from God due to sin.

But God sent Jesus as a MEDIATOR who would resolve that broken relationship by restoring it. A mediator is one who represents all parties involved. And Jesus became the One Mediator between God and Humanity—representing God AS GOD and representing Man AS A MAN. Hence, the God-Man. And because He was fully God and fully Man, Jesus was the only person fit to become the Messiah.

So AS A MAN, Jesus offered Himself to God, on a cross, as a blood sacrifice REPLACING AND SUPPLANTING ALL OTHER NECESSARY LIVING SACRIFICES TO GOD- ONCE AND FOR ALL—AND BECAUSE HE WAS A PERFECT MAN, He gave Himself as this offering FOR MAN… but because He was (and is) also God, this offering was accepted by God, because only God can forgive sin and save people from sin.

So, in a crude sense, Jesus came to save us from our sin— that is the CAUSE of Jesus’ coming, but the EFFECT of Jesus’ coming is reconciliation.

That Jesus, through his singular, unthinkable, unrepeatable, act of sacrifice, made the way for all people of all times and all places—to come to God and to receive forgiveness and to thereby restore their relationship with God in Christ alone through faith in Him alone.

And for a person to take advantage of that, an individual simply needs to place his or her faith in the finished work of Christ that he completed on the cross.

 

Your Next Step

Get other helpful content by staying informed with DigitalDiscipler and Podcast Seminary on Soapbox Network!  

 

If you like this content, share it with others!