Episode 13: Ashlee Alley Crawford - Purpose Beyond Paycheck

December 15, 2018

“It’s really exciting, those times of the unknown when you are fully open and trusting God  [toward your vocation]. It’s a place of deep trust. It’s scary, but exciting.”

 

After 12+ years of assisting others in discovering their vocational calling in campus ministry, Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford now does similar work as the Clergy Recruitment and Development Coordinator for the Great Plains Annual United Methodist Conference.

 

She’s a high energy-planner who enjoys running, reading, and making time to pray in her beloved turquoise chair.

 

This episode kicks off with a hilarious story of her ten year high school reunion and the responses she got as she shared that she was a pastor, then Miranda asks why these ridiculous reactions that are sadly all too common for those who serve in ministry.

 

Ashlee goes on to encourage us that while we may struggle in moments of discernment, we will recognize God’s voice when we hear it. Like the sheep in John 10:27 who hear and recognize the voice of the Shepherd, so shall we.

 

She challenges us not to fear moments of doubt and questioning, for those are simply guiding us as our vocational callings evolve. Ashlee lets us in on the dark moments in her story that let us know we’re not alone in questioning God.

 

Exploring this idea of vocational calling is as area that Ashlee loves, nay-- has mastered, and she writes about it in her, 5 Cups of Coffee.

 

Want more Ashlee?  (We know we sure do!) You can check out her blog.

 

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by the Summit Youth Academy - a week for high school juniors and seniors to explore their faith, learn Wesleyan theology, and connect with other youth.

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Episode 12: The Rocking Chair Episodes - When Miranda’s Faith Was Rocked

December 8, 2018

Miranda Here!

Our podcast has been on the air now for three months and we have stepped on some truly holy ground as folks have shared on the divine nudges that led them to serving others with their talents.

 

As weeks go by, we realize that we have more left to learn about this medium--this artform--that we love so deeply. We were thankful that our friend (and Episode 4 guest), Aj Amyx connected us with a podcast guru named Chris Cerrone for an conference call to help us learn all of the stuff.

 

On this conference call Chris pointed out that we don’t have to interview the BIG names, the people that are used to having their names in lights. Keeping it personal and honest is the way to truly connect. Podcasts are meant to be informal, vulnerable, raw and a lil’ messy.  

 

After the call, I took Chris’ advice, and suggested that we interview each other over a time when we lost our faith. Though Meg was hesitant, I persisted. And with some cake and hot beverages, we scheduled these interviews!

 

Last year I went through the biggest breakdown of my personhood when I went through a divorce.  All of who I was and who I thought I would be was questioned. But as Meg encouraged - “Sometimes in sharing our hardest of stories, we help  one another find healing.”

 

I still feel like God is healing me and the parts of my life that I label as broken.

 

I share on the timeline of grief, or more of my desire for a timeline. You’ll hear about the community that I leaned on, and the scripture that I grasped on to and haven’t let go of since.

 

You’ll also get to hear the story of the commencement address that I HATED at the time, but turned out to be some of the best encouragement I’ve received.

 

God’s imagination and storytelling is better than our own.

 

And to steal a benediction from Meg, “May this episode encourage and empower you, and may you be thankful that it’s just an audio file so you don’t see me ugly cry.”

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by the Timothy Circle

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Episode 11: The Rocking Chair Episodes: When Meg’s Faith Was Rocked

December 8, 2018

Meg here!

Our podcast has been on the air now for three months and we have stepped on some truly holy ground as folks have shared on the divine nudges that led them to serving others with their talents.

 

As weeks go by, we realize that we have more left to learn about this medium--this artform--that we love so deeply. We were thankful that our friend (and Episode 4 guest), Aj Amyx connected us with a podcast guru named Chris Cerrone for an conference call to help us learn all of the stuff.

 

On this conference call Chris pointed out that I was mistaken in my goal to interview like Oprah or Larry King, because podcasts are not overly-produced, formal shows. Podcasts are meant to be informal, vulnerable, raw and a lil’ messy.  

 

After the call, Miranda boldly took Chris’ advice, and suggested that we interview each other over a time when we lost our faith.

 

I thought the idea was dumb.

 

And I use the word ‘dumb’ here to immaturity mask my true feelings, which were fear and discomfort. I disagreed with the idea, because I was uncomfortable with getting that real and weak. (Ain’t nobody got time for that!?)

 

But no matter how much I whined, Miranda stood her ground, convinced me that my ugly crying would not be seen through earbuds, and these “Rocking Chair Episodes: When Our Faith Was Rocked” are the fruit of her being right. Sometimes in sharing our hardest of stories, we help  one another find healing.

 

In my episode I share on my funky chromosomes and my issue of  infertility.

 

In this time of heartache, I wondered why would God put a desire in my heart for something I could not have?

 

I share on the different weight the words “therapeutic termination” carry when it’s about your body, and your baby and how it’s hard to hear the doctor and genetic counselor tell you it’s best while others in your social circle disagree.

 

All in all, I share my realization of just how courageous the Holy Spirit can empower us to be during frightening moments, and my belief that most us (myself included) are stronger than we’ll ever know. 

 

May this episode encourage and empower you, and may you be thankful that it’s just an audio file so you don’t see me ugly cry. And remember that God can bring forth light regardless of any darkness.

 

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by the Timothy Circle

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Episode 10: Matt Distefano & Jamal Jivanjee - Happy Hour with Matt & Jamal

December 1, 2018

Meg & Miranda have two heretics take a seat in the Listening Chair this week. Matt & Jamal co-host the Heretic Happy Hour with Keith Giles, but this week they are our guests - We're the ones asking the burning questions.

Exploring topics from taboo language to divorce to vocational calling, neither Matt or Jamal shy away from giving honest and occasionally hysterical answers. Jamal talks about how to "align with the why" of a persons life on earth while Matt talks about how God will put you where you belong without need for sticking to a perfectly bullet-pointed plan.

We know you're wondering, "Meg and Miranda, did you guys talk about suffering?" Yes, listener. We went there.

Matt speaks from past life experience on how listening to "actual people who are suffering" will change the way that we perceive others and God's nature. 

We hope you enjoy this longer than usual episode and check out the Heretic Happy Hour!

Matthew J. Distefano is the author of "Heretic!" and 3 other books. His blog, All Set Free, can be found on the Progressive Christian channel on Patheos. He is also a co-host of the Heretic Happy Hour podcast and lives in Chico, Ca with his wife and daughter.

Jamal Jivanjee is a graduate of Liberty University where he studied religion. Originally from the Columbus, Ohio area, Jamal now travels on a regular basis. Jamal is passionate about the church and relationships—especially as they relate to community—and enjoys encouraging others toward that end through writing, speaking, and coaching. Get your hands on his book , “Free to Love” now and his his upcoming book, “Living for a Living” will be released soon.

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by the Summit Youth Academy - a week for high school juniors and seniors to explore their faith, learn Wesleyan theology, and connect with other youth.

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Episode 9: Greg Smith - Justice in the Darkest Valley

November 17, 2018

Airforce veteran, homeless shelter president, and great outdoorsman, Greg Smtih shares war stories on renouncing evil in all forms and the healing power of Psalm 23. Hope you're strapped in good and tight in your listening chair, because it's gonna be a rough ride! 

Starting at a young age, Greg has witnessed death, tragedy, and darkness--and through it all, he remains firmly grounded in his faith and seeks to empower others to remember that darkness cannot overcome the light - John 1:5

We go deep into how Greg gained his faith, served his country, and uses his gifts to serve others. His involvement as a United Methodist Lay Servant and the way he gives back to his community is inspiring to Meg & Miranda, yet he remains a jovial jokester the whole time! 

Is Greg secretly Superman? Fighting for "Truth, Justice, & the American Way?" He tells while he wears an American flag on his lapel, he wears something totally different on his heart. 

On this podcast stories of all ages, stages and skill sets will be shared. Guests will share on how they live into the calling of being a beloved child of God, and on how they live out of this through their career/vocation. 

So if you are doubting what next steps to take towards a career, think you chose the "wrong" career, or are sick of people telling you that there is no money in that line work/ that the insurance plan would suck at that type of company/ or that that job does not exist, come on over and get cozy for a listen. Chances are that their stories will help you in writing yours.

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by BeADisciple.com - a hub for Christian Online Education. 

Check out Henderson Wilds!

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Episode 8: Jack Shitama - Anxiety-Free Leadership

November 3, 2018

As one who trains leaders in ministry settings, Jack Shitama joins us in the Listening Chair and teaches us about how to avoid complacency in life and leadership. We ask him hard hitting questions (related to TV and his journal preferences), and he does not hold back! 

Jack talks about finding his faith in his late 20s, and how if he was able to give advice to his younger self, he would have started some habits sooner! "In creating healthy habits, you preserve your willpower and will transform your work."

On this podcast stories of all ages, stages and skill sets will be shared. Guests will share on how they live into the calling of being a beloved child of God, and on how they live out of this through their career/vocation. 

So if you are doubting what next steps to take towards a career, think you chose the "wrong" career, or are sick of people telling you that there is no money in that line work/ that the insurance plan would suck at that type of company/ or that that job does not exist, come on over and get cozy for a listen. Chances are that their stories will help you in writing yours.

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by BeADisciple.com - a hub for Christian Online Education. 

Check out Jack's Book - Anxious Church, Anxious People!

Pecometh Camp & Retreat Ministries

And then Jack's information on BeADisciple!

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Episode 7: Shannon Sigler - The Value of the Artist

October 20, 2018

Shannon Sigler joins us in the Listening Chair, coming full circle as we share a bit of podcast trivia with you! (You'll hear what Shannon has contributed to this lil dream!)

She goes deeper in exploring healthy boundaries, the integration of family and work, and dangerous assumptions made about artists. She talks about her work in partnering churches and artists, explaining how often churches are places for answers, and how instead artists can make it a place to ask questions. 

Join with us and listen on how sometimes the path to land your dream job may include a few steps in an unexpected direction!

On this podcast stories of all ages, stages and skill sets will be shared. Guests will share on how they live into the calling of being a beloved child of God, and on how they live out of this through their career/vocation. 

So if you are doubting what next steps to take towards a career, think you chose the "wrong" career, or are sick of people telling you that there is no money in that line work/ that the insurance plan would suck at that type of company/ or that that job does not exist, come on over and get cozy for a listen. Chances are that their stories will help you in writing yours.

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by the Summit Youth Academy - a week for high school juniors and seniors to explore their faith, learn Wesleyan theology, and connect with other youth.

Connect with Shannon at - 

Her website

or

The Story Show Studio (listen to the episode for a discount code!)

or 

The Cascadia Residency

 

 

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Episode 6: Gayle McPherson - Sustained by Faithful Dreaming

October 6, 2018

The founder of a retail, resale store that enables all women to become productive citizens of their community shares on the importance of not waiting for things to be perfect to follow a dream. Gayle McPherson and the Eagle Nest are examples of persistence, the power of prayer, and why its important to take on the problems that you notice in the community. 

In this episode, you'll hear a snippet of the "on hold" music of Eagle Nest, hear stories of how God talks to her through dreams, and what helped her decide to start a non-profit in her community.

On this podcast stories of all ages, stages and skill sets will be shared. Guests will share on how they live into the calling of being a beloved child of God, and on how they live out of this through their career/vocation. 

So if you are doubting what next steps to take towards a career, think you chose the "wrong" career, or are sick of people telling you that there is no money in that line work/ that the insurance plan would suck at that type of company/ or that that job does not exist, come on over and get cozy for a listen. Chances are that their stories will help you in writing yours.

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by BeADisciple.com - a hub for Christian Online Education. 

Check out the Eagle Nest!

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Episode 5: Kaely Harrod - Teaching Across Boundaries

September 22, 2018

On this podcast stories of all ages, stages and skill sets will be shared. Guests will share on how they live into the calling of being a beloved child of God, and on how they live out of this through their career/vocation. 

So if you are doubting what next steps to take towards a career, think you chose the "wrong" career, or are sick of people telling you that there is no money in that line work/ that the insurance plan would suck at that type of company/ or that that job does not exist, come on over and get cozy for a listen. Chances are that their stories will help you in writing yours.

Kaely Harrod, a former Kansan now living in Washington, DC, joins Meg & Miranda on the Listening Chair this week. She discusses how lessons she learned in her childhood influenced her choice to homeschool, why she is passionate about teaching history in depth, and how she has discovered a new passion to help women with labor and lactation as a pre-certified doula. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! Kaely explains how she had a door unexpectedly open when she began teaching Spanish. It's a rich episode, listener. Let us know what you find relateable in her story. 

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD).

This episode is sponsored by BeADisciple.com - a hub for Christian Online Education. 

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Episode 4: AJ Amyx - Finding Success through Mental Health

September 8, 2018
On this podcast stories of all ages, stages and skill sets will be shared. Guests will share on how they live into the calling of being a beloved child of God, and on how they live out of this through their career/vocation.

So if you are doubting what next steps to take towards a career, think you chose the "wrong" career, or are sick of people telling you that there is no money in that line work/ that the insurance plan would suck at that type of company/ or that that job does not exist, come on over and get cozy for a listen. Chances are that their stories will help you in writing yours. 

A fellow Texan, AJ Amyx (a life and business coach) walks Meg and Miranda through a medicine journey that he went on that brought him closer to God, as well as helped him work through a few barriers in his faith. He shares how hushing criticism is of the upmost imprtance in acheiving personal and professional goals. 

 

The Listening Chair is an outlet of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD)

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