Sunday, July 29, 2012

019: Sweet Sweet Smile


The smiles you see above are those of Mary Kay and me back in 1978 on one of our very first dates.  I'm hoping this podcast will bring a smile to your face as well. Here's what I have lined up for you this week.

[05:30] Three Good News Stories - Mary Kay and I loved watching the Olympics' opening ceremonies Friday night.  This morning I was reading The Week magazine and came across three good news stories.  (Sorry, I can't provide a link.)

[12:08] 10 Church Growth Tips From Mayberry - Artie Davis, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, wrote an article for entitled, "7 Church Growth Tips from Mayberry."  I added 3 of my own to round it up to 10.  If you liked The Andy Griffith Show, you'll love this section of the podcast.

[25:52] Congrats to Len Edgerly / Jeff Bezos Interview - Len Edgerly celebrated 4 years this past week with his podcast, The Kindle Chronicles.  To help him celebrate this achievement, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, gave Len an interview for his podcast.  He talks about everyone at Amazon thinking of themselves as a missionary.

[32:15] Quarterly EPS of Facebook, Amazon, & Apple - The Daily wrote a piece about companies Missing The Mark.  I followed up in this podcast with a discussion of the big week in earnings results this past week from Facebook, Amazon & Apple.  I share my thoughts about what makes each a great - or poor - investment choice. Here are the links I refer to in the podcast: (1)  New York Times Bits on Facebook's earnings; (2) WSJ's Marketwatch on Amazon; (3) Steven Windwalker's analysis on Amazon; (4) Mashable's Infographic comparing Walmart and Amazon; (5) Forbes' 7 positive trends in Apple's earnings.

[1:03:25] CR Sermon: "When Too Much Is Not Enough" - Our talk this weekend comes from Judges 7:2-8 about Gideon. We depend on too many things that often prove to be not enough.  Here are the YouVersion online sermon notes.

Music for this week's podcast is "Sweet, Sweet Smile" by the Carpenters from their 25th Anniversary album.

Monday, July 23, 2012

018: The Loneliest Number


This week's podcast theme is teamwork. Togetherness. Not being Lone Ranger Christians.  If you're task oriented like me, how do you allow others to help and use their gifts and talents?  If you don't feel like you have much to offer, how can you see your true gifts and abilities?  Here's what we have lined up for this week.

[4:45] The Olympics and Our Spiritual Disciplines - The Olympics begin this Friday! What can we learn about our own spiritual growth by watching these extraordinary athletes?

[15:25] T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K. - Have you ever hear this acrostic? Together Everyone Achieves More With Ongoing Respect and Kindness?  I heard this quite often as a high school football players.  Join me in the locker room for some inspirational coaching!

[22:27] 4 Steps to Break Bad Habits - I take a page out of Dr. Oz's playbook with this four-part plan.  We all find ourselves in bad habits from time to time.  How do we escape?  Here's the link at

[30:00] Keep A Food Journal - Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle conducted a study of older overweight and obese women.  What was the top conclusion of what really worked?  Keeping a food diary! If you want to join me using My Fitness Pal, my user name is mpiercecfp.

[39:46] 8 Measures of Personal Discipleship - Lifeway Research conducted a study of more than 4,000 people about their spiritual lives and level of maturity.  We talk about these attributes of discipleship. You can follow Ed Stezer on Twitter.

[54:41] A Christian's Response to Evil - I took a few additional minutes Sunday morning to remember the grieving families in Colorado.  How does a pastor respond to such senseless, tragic evil? My thanks to who provided this link to one Christian woman's response. Marie Isom writes in her A Miniature Clay Pot blog about her experience in that Aurora, CO theater a mere 40-50 feet away from the shooter.

[1:05:40] CR Sermon "One Is The Loneliest Number" - I talk about 3 reasons why God never intended us to serve alone and 4 practical tips of what we can do about isolation.  In the sermon I mention this online gifts assessment tool. You can follow the sermon notes here.

Music for this week's podcast - an obvious choice - is "One" by Three Dog Night from the album Three Dog Night - The Complete Hit Singles.

Subscribe to this audio podcast!  It's available every week on iTunes or for any other mp3 player.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

017: Crossover


This week's Church Requel Audio Podcast theme is Crossover.  How do we handle those crossover, crucible, life-changing events in our lives?  Plus some more fun and practical new developments in Mark and Mary Kay's life this week.  Here's what we have lined up for you.

[5:30] Pulminary Embolisms - I talk about my crossover event from 2007.  I spent 10 days in the hospital as a result of unexplained blood clots in my lungs.  What were those first few hours like, when I didn't know if I'd live another day? Yep - that was definitely a "crossover!"

[18:00] My Fitness Pal - Mary Kay and I have been using a new app this week. My Fitness Pal tracks our diet and exercise.  I tell you why this is such a great thing and why you should join us.  We'd love to have you be our friends on My Fitness Pal.

[29:45] iPad Mini Speculation - I wrote here and here about my own speculations regarding the possibilities of a new, smaller and less expensive iPad from Apple.  In this segment of the podcast, I expand on the possibilities.

[44:45] Jonathan Edward's Farewell Sermon - Jonathan Edwards is considered by many to be the greatest theologian America has ever known.  Yet, after 23 years as a senior pastor of his church, he was asked to leave.  I share an excepts from Jonathan Edwards: A Life and from his "Farewell Sermon."  Wouldn't you have liked to have been a fly on the wall in THAT church service!

[1:02:45] Church Requel Sermon: Crossover - Here's the talk from Sunday night. It's based on Exodus 14. We consider 4 characteristics of crossover events as well as the one thing we must do during a crossover.  Here are the YouVersion sermon notes(Sorry we didn't get the audio level as good as we should have this evening.  I did the best I could in post-production.

[1:33:00] Wrap-Up - Just a short wrapup tonight.  Mary Kay is grilling hamburgers upstairs and I'm hungry! Ha!

Music for this week's podcast is from "Changes" by Butterfly Boucher and David Bowie from the Shrek 2 Album.

Subscribe to this audio podcast!  It's available every week on iTunes or for any other mp3 player.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

016: Wrestling With God


This weekend's podcast is a smackdown good time as we discuss the theme of "Wrestling With God!" Here's what you will hear:

[03:33] Authentic High School Wrestling - Real wrestling, the kind you find in high schools and colleges may be the toughest and most demanding sport.  We'll hear one high school wrestler's essay about a day in the life of a wrestler.

[10:25] Jonathan Edwards and Wrestling With God - Mark talks a bit about Jonathan Edwards and refers to two different books.  The biography, Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George M. Marsden, is available in Kindle format.  The book of Edwards' previously unbublished sermons titled, The Blessing of God edited by Michael D. McMullen, is not available yet on the Kindle.  Mark then reads an excerpt from Edwards' sermon, The Way to Obtain the Blessing of God Is Not to Let Him Go Except He Bless Us. CORRECTION: I quoted a couple of dates regarding Jonathan Edwards life as "1958."  Clearly I meant to say "1758." Jonathan Edwards was a pre-revolutionary Massachusetts pastor.

[28:12] Overcoming Problems With Your Quiet Time - Mark continues his discussion from Podcast 013, in which he describes the Daily Quiet Time with God.  In this podcast, we talk about overcoming 4 problems - the problems of discipline, distractions, dryness, and diligence.

[50:00] Sermon: "Wrestling With God" -  Here's the MAIN EVENT! This is the weekend sermon given to Church Requel on Sunday evening, July 8th.  Mark talks about 6 takedown lessons for real God wrestling.

[1:29:00] Wrap-Up - People tell me that the last part of the podcast, this "wrap-up" is their favorite part.  I talk about the evening right after the CR worship service, trying to remember all the cool things that happened.  Tonight I try to give you a sense of all the communications that happen between a pastor and his people - and my struggle to remember everything.

Music for this week's podcast includes "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" by Michael Buffer on the album, ESPN Sport Presents: Jock Jams, Volume 1 and "Get Ready For This" by Power Music on the album, The Biggest Loser Workout Mix - Sports Stadium Anthems.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

015: Declaration of Independence


This week we celebrate America's 236th birthday, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed.  So we dedicate this week's podcast to some thoughts about independence and also our new beginnings as a Christ-follower.

[3:30] Declaration of Independence for the Christ Follower. Four years ago I dedicated this entire week around the 4th of July to thinking about Thomas Jefferson's famous line, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."  What is the connection, if any, between our country's Declaration of Independence and the Christ-follower's own independence?  I share the discoveries of my thinking in this conversation with our podcast audience.

[40:50] The Story of My Own Baptism. I promised the folks at Church Requel that I would tell them the story of my own baptism on this week's podcast.  Grab a cup of coffee and sit down for this background story.  I became a Christ-follower when I was 9, but I wasn't baptized until the age of 27.  Today I'll tell you how my own baptism came about.

[58:22] CR Sermon: "Baptism." In this short talk given Sunday evening at Church Requel, I'll answer 4 questions about what we believe about baptism.  Why should I be baptized? What does it mean? Why be baptized by immersion? Who should be baptized?

[1:13:42] Reflections from the Baptisms at CR Sunday. Sunday night I was weary but thrilled with the way the evening had gone.  I share from my heart the good and the bad... yes, we had ourselves a bit of a problem tonight.  You'll have to listen to know what it was.  But the overall result of Church Requel tonight was marvelous and uplifting.  You'll hear a very tired Pastor Mark share heart to heart in a longer-than-normal wrap up.

Music for this week's podcast is America Fantasia by Christopher Todd Landor from the album, American Celebration - The Ultimate Patriotic Music Collection.