Episode 21 - Where Do I Begin My Walk?

Whether you are new to the faith, or a Christian with a new fire for the faith, a common question is where to begin? being a Christian can feel overwhelming with things we're supposed to do and not supposed to do. But when we focus on building a relationship with God, where to begin seems a lot more manageable

In this episode, we discuss where to begin with reading the bible, picking a Church and building a relationship with God. I also share some books I'm reading/on my reading list. Finally, I answer some negative messages I received on tumblr, and also a question about dealing with friends who don't seem to make time for you.

Please don't forget to rate and comment on iTunes! And also, share the podcast with a friend if you enjoy!

This podcast features books written by Pastor J.S. Park. More information about Pastor J.S. Park may be found on his blog and his tumblr and his books may be purchased on Amazon.

 

 

Episode 20 - Are You Settling?

Life can pass us by when we go through the motions. It's important to take a moment to ask yourself: Am I happy? Am I living my best life? Am I settling? This episode we discuss what happens when we settle in life, and how to get out of that habit. We also discuss tips on being a mentor and being a person people turn to for advice. Finally, I answer questions about if you should take time off from dating to achieve goals, and how to not compare yourself to others.

The worksheet for this episode is below. Any questions you'd like answered on the podcast can be sent to strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com

Episode 19: Angry as #$%!

The Bible calls us to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. But anger is also a natural reaction to things that cause us frustration. When we are angry, and when we yell, what we are trying to do  is make sense of a frustrating situation. In this episode we talk about the dangers of allowing anger to consume us and how to remove anger to see what God has for us.

This episode I discuss the ways anger affect our relationship with God, how to manage anger with mindfulness, and I answer a question about being a dark skinned black girl surrounded by black boys who only want to date light skinned/mixed/white girls.

 

This Podcast Episode was sponsored by Bella Noir, a Black Owned, Houston based, self-love enthused, organic & vegetarian-friendly skin and body care brand.

Find Out More About These Products at BellaNoirBrand.Com.

Find Out More About These Products at BellaNoirBrand.Com.

Episode 18- Getting to Know Our Savior

It's Holy Week! To make sure we end the week right, I wanted to put together an episode where we talk a lot about who Jesus Christ is and the place that He has in our spiritual growth. I want to challenge everyone who listens to this podcast to push themselves beyond being a Christian by title and to instead be a Christian by their actions and their relationship with God. To have a firm relationship with God we must know Jesus Christ. This episode intends to begin your journey into a deeper understanding of Christ, and a deeper relationship with God.

Episode 17 - Learning to Let Go

There is the old adage "let go and let God." But what does that mean? How do we let go and truly trust God? A wise pastor once said that the opposite of Trust is Control. Is it possible to gain more of a sense of peace in life by letting go and trusting God?

In this episode, we discuss the importance of letting go and how to trust God even when times are tough. We also discuss letting go as self care. Finally, I answer a question from a listener who struggles with letting go of an emotionally abusive relationship.

Check out the work of Alex Elle at www.alexelle.com

Episode 16 - When is it Time to Forgive?

An important part of Christianity is understanding that if we confess our sins with an honest heart, we will be forgiven. But what does that say about forgiveness in our every day life? Does the bible tell us to forgive and forget? When is it time to forgive?

This episode we discuss forgiving others, forgiving ourselves, and I answer a question about virginity.

Any questions to be answered on the podcast may be sent to strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com. The worksheet for this episode is below.

Episode 15 - You want to be in a relationship?....Really??

Hello Beloved,

Are you sure you want to be in a relationship? In this episode, I begin the conversation about something the bible is silent on: dating. I talk about what Christ centered dating should and shouldn't be and the work required. I also talk about what to expect at your first therapy session, and how to deal with friends that don't get that you're introverted.

The handout for the podcast is below. If you listen on iTunes, please  rate and comment! Any questions may be sent to strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com

Episode 14 - The Love God Wants for You

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a podcast episode about the love God wants for us. This episode I focus on the purpose of love and relationships, telling the difference between what is and is not love, and advice on dating for the purpose of marriage.

This episode I open up about things that I have been struggling with. This podcast is a space for honesty and spiritual growth. I pray that in my  attempts to make sense of the matters of my own heart that it touches you as well.

Episode 13 - The Paradox of Perfectionism

This episode we discuss how trying to be perfect can actually make a bigger mess. I discuss the paradox of perfectionism and how trying to be perfect pulls us away from God and our purpose. I also discuss perfectionism and procrastination. Finally, I answer a question and share how I REALLY feel about soul ties.

The worksheet for this episode is below. Any questions you would like to be answered on the podcast may be sent to strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com. Please rate and comment about this podcast on iTunes.

Episode 12 - Thank God for Michelle Obama

Because I am fully in denial about the fact that the Obamas are no longer in the White House, I wanted to make an episode about the one and only Michelle Obama. I talk about my personal experience meeting Barack and Michelle and how we can see God's love in and be inspired by Michelle Obama. I also discuss how to be there for someone who is going through it and answer a listener's question about going to church after being away for a long time.

The worksheet for this episode is below. Any questions you'd like to have answered on the podcast can be sent to strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com

Episode 11 - When God Says "No"

There are times when even the Christian with the strongest faith wonders if God hears their prayers. Time and time again, the word tells us that the Creator of all things knows every wish and desire of our hearts. So what do we do when we pray and we feel like we get no answers? God always gives us the answer: No, Yes, or Wait. In this episode we discuss what happens when we talk to God, we ask, and God says "no"

I discuss those moments when God says no, mindfulness and meditation, and what to do when we are rejected/being happy even when we're not dating.

You can send me any questions you want answered on the podcast to strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com. You can also listen to the podcast on Sound Cloud HERE!

 

 

Episode 10 - Discovering Your Purpose

While we know that discovering our purpose is a part of our Christian walk, we often stumble in knowing quite where to start. Whether you're just beginning to ask that question, or you've asked about your purpose and felt like you've received no answer, this podcast episode is for you. This episode we discus the shift from looking for one purpose to discovering many purposes. We look to God for understanding that there are many paths to success and happiness, and if we trust in God we may be led in the right direction

In this podcast we discuss discovering your purpose, do an activity to find out the different paths to happiness for you, and answer a question about how to forgive after someone has hurt you deeply. The worksheet for this episode is below

Episode 9- New Year, New Me

Happy New Year Beloved! We have found ourselves in a new year, with new excitement, new opportunities and new goals. This episode we discuss how we can orient ourselves to set goals for a productive and positive new year. We discuss bible verses that remind us it's ok to set new year's resolutions, and ways to actually succeed in those new year's resolutions. I also share my own new year's resolutions, and answer an important question about how to handle old friendships when trying to be a new Christian.

The worksheet for this episode is below. As always, be sure to rate, comment on, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. If you have a question you'd like to be answered on the podcast, email me at strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com. 

Episode 8 - The One About Surviving the Holidays

Hello Beloved,

The holidays is a time to celebrate the season with people we love. While we often think of the holidays as a happy time, there may be moments this season that cause you to feel a little less than festive. Dealing with feelings of loneliness, jealousy, and hopelessness are that much more challenging during the holidays if we're not feeling like we are where we want to be, or that we have what we want to have.

This week's podcast discusses how to navigate the holiday season when you're feeling less than joyous. We discuss scripture to help us get through the season, and also begin a conversation about setting boundaries for healthy relationships. Finally, we end discussing whether or not we should pray to God for a boyfriend/relationship in answering a message sent in.

Below you will find the worksheet for this episode. Feel free to send an email to strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com to be answered on the podcast. Comment, rate and subscribe to the podcast, now available on iTunes!

Episode 7 - The One About This Damn Election

 Hello Beloved,

The smoke has cleared, and here we are. A bigoted buffoon was elected president and there's nothing we can do about it. How do we deal with our emotions and move forward as Christians? What are we called to do? What is our responsibility as people of faith?

This episode is probably one of the most honest episodes I have done. I hope it is as therapeutic listening to it as it was recording it. No worksheet this week. Let me know your thoughts at strengthandshieldpodcast@gmail.com. Be sure to send me any questions you'd like to have read and answered on the podcast as well.

Episode 6 - The One About Being Addicted to Achievement

If you're anything like me, you have felt pressures from your parents, society and even yourself about the need to achieve. You may be a person who has been an over achiever since you were a child. Or you may be a person who has felt the need to catch up to your peers because you compare yourself to them. Regardless of how you found yourself in these positions, it seems as though more and more of us are crumbling under the pressure of doing more and achieving more, only to end up with titles, jobs, and degrees but feeling empty on the inside.

This week's podcast focuses on just that. Being an over achiever can be draining. You may find yourself exhausted because you're so used to working hard and achieving that you're not taking time to connect that work to your relationship with God and with something that makes your soul whole. As a result, we find ourselves busy, but not productive. 

 

The bible calls us to work, but that work must be balanced with the fact that we are called to be happy. God does not want us to define ourselves as over achievers if it causes us to worship achievement over worshipping God.

Figure out how to align your various responsibilities with your relationship with God. Take time to take care of yourself. Slow down and eliminate unnecessary responsibilities. Streamline your tasks so you're not left feeling empty and run down.

Below is the work sheet for this week's episode

Fighting Our Evolutionary Minds and Allowing Ourselves to Feel

I recently had a friend who is going through a tough tough time of unimaginable pain, share with  me that what she was most frustrated about was that she did not know how she was supposed to feel, or what she was supposed to do. I talked to her about the importance of allowing herself the space to feel, without judgment. 

One of the biggest issues that we have is that we feel bad about feeling bad. Or we feel ashamed of feeling ashamed. Or we feel like a failure for having feelings. Or we feel stupid for not being over something.

It is like our minds are in survival mode. The mind’s reaction is to see a problem and try to solve it. It is instinctual to see your feelings as a something that you need to fix or that you have to get over.

The issue is that what your mind logically wants is different than what your mind emotionally needs. Because while your mind is trying to get over your emotions, you actually need to deal with and process those feelings. to allow yourself the space to confront and process and ultimately learn; learn how to avoid certain situations, or learn how to process these feelings if they come up in the future. 

I encourage you to fight that instinct that causes you to judge your feelings. Your feelings and your reactions are valid. If it takes a week, a month, a year, 10 years to get through something, then so be it. Rushing through emotions does not solve anything and only delays the time when eventually you will crack. That is why there are times when something small will cause us to have "overreactions." It's usually tied to a point in time when we avoided dealing with our feelings and so those feelings came out in unexpected or dangerous ways.

Tell your mind to cut it out when it tells you that your emotions are a problem to be solved. Reprogram yourself to be patient with your emotions and dealing with them.

"Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
    and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."

Proverbs 16:32

Episode 5 - The One About Being Black and Tired

This episode of the podcast is one of the most honest and open conversations I have had to date. I have been in a place in my life where I feel so happy, and so content. But I am tired. I am tired of feeling the weight of being black in this country. Every single day, there is another name, another person who has lost their life due to gun violence. It cannot be called anything but racial genocide. The racism in the United States has been transformed into a beast where racist people have no problem attempting to silence the voice of the oppressed. They attempt to make black people feel like they are not justified in feeling upset and tired. They have the nerve to expect us to be silent and happy in a country that reminds us that our lives do not matter. 

In this episode, I encourage you to seek God, even in the frustration. Do not allow the pain of the world to be a source of separation between you and God. In your frustration, pray more, seek more. Ask God "why?" and intentionally wait for that answer. 

Below is the worksheet for the week. I include not only just the bible verses this week, but also links and resources for you to find different ways to deal with the oppression you may face. I speak from the perspective of a black woman. But truly, anything that you identify as that makes you marginalized is a burden that may make you feel tired. Find in this week's worksheet tips for self care as an activist, apps to put on your phone to prioritize self care, and an album suggestion.

Take care of yourself Beloved

Episode 4 - The One About The Things We Worship

As we continue with this season of transition from summer into fall, many of us are starting new jobs or semesters in school. We are focused and ready to give our all to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves. While it is good for us to focus on our goals and to live a life with purpose, many of us can relate to being so focused on other things that we allow ourselves to be distracted from our relationship with God. In that way, our passions become our weaknesses because we choose to allow them to separate us from God. You know that with God, anything is possible. With God, we are strong and powerful. Without God, we are weak and vulnerable. 

This week in the podcast, we explore the things that we worship; the obligations that we have that we allow to take priority over our relationship with God. We see that every time we choose another priority over God, that we serve two masters. I discuss that the things or people that we are passionate about, that we put first instead of God or that we are unable to say no to, become idols and worshipping things other than God leaves us weak.

Episode 3 - The One About Knowing Who You Are

One of the worst feelings in the world is not knowing who you are. When you are lost and confused about your identity and purpose, even the task of getting out of bed can seem like a daunting task. Discovering your identity is a part of being human. No one has it all figured out. However, the difference between that discovery being a process or a struggle often depends on where we ground our identity. If we use our circumstances to define who we are, we may end up in situations where we lack the stability to maintain a sense of self. People come and go, circumstances change. As a result, relying on things that are not constant to define who we are results in struggle. But grounding who we are in God, who is consistent and loving, we are able to be empowered by the process of discovering who we are. 

This weeks episode focuses on knowing who we are, as Christians, and in navigating our every day lives. So often we are Christians by title without understanding how that title defines us. We call ourselves Christian because we go to church or we pray to God. But we fail in understanding that our identity as Christians is not about what we do, but who we are just as children of God.

Allow this weeks episode to exist as a starting point. My goal for this week was to begin a conversation to push you to think about your identity in a different way. Knowing who you are as a child of God is the kind of foundational work necessary to working on our relationship with God. The more we learn about who we are as Christians, the more we are able to trust and rely on God.