PP077 Baa, Baa

Christians are still sheep, and sheep still need to be shepherded. Not only do we have the faithful care of our Chief Shepherd in glory, the Lord Jesus, but God has also provided us with men on earth to care for our souls. In our final study of 7 NT metaphors for the local church, we see the church as a flock, and flocks need shepherds. What makes a good shepherd? In addition to looking at Scripture’s qualifications for overseers (or, “pastors”) in the local church, Matthew provides us with some wise advice from current elders from around North America for potential future shepherds among God’s people.


Scriptures Referenced: Acts 20:28-35; 1Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1Pet 5:1-4

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PP075 Practicing Your Mental Follow Through

Our thoughts can be true, but incomplete. Which is why we need to practice our mental follow-through. Psalm 36 illustrates this well. David begins the psalm thinking about the wicked man who’s out to get him. But David doesn’t stop there, because that’s only half the picture. Thankfully for us, David goes on to round out his thoughts by thinking about the dimensions of God’s love and faithfulness and wisdom. Also, in this episode we announce the most important detail about this year’s August Summer Challenge! On which, more to come!


Scriptures Referenced: Psalm 36

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PP074 You’re Golden

When the risen Lord Jesus walks among the lampstands in Revelation 1, He is delivering Heaven’s verdict on the practices of seven real churches. He is the true judge and He is also the one who knows the true value of each local church – they are golden lampstands, precious in his sight.


Scriptures Referenced: Revelation 1-3


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PP073 Anxiety Answers: Diving Deep for Solutions

Josh comes back one last time to walk us through Philippians 4:4-7, point us to some resources, and explain how a counselor can help us. Along the way he keeps calling Mike ‘Michael’ (something Mike quite enjoyed!), and smashes all previous records for longest episode on the Practicology Podcast. But for those who struggle with anxious feelings, it’s worth every minute of it!


Scriptures Referenced: Phil. 4:4-7; Psalm 119:25-26

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PP072 The Crucible of Chastening

Why do believers suffer? Why does God chasten his people? Because God loves us! He is not trying to make us bitter, but to make us better, and that the life of Jesus may be displayed in our mortal flesh. Listen in as Matthew’s father, Lloyd, takes us through the crucible of chastening – its reality, our reactions, God’s reasons, and the results of the trials we endure.


Scriptures Referenced: Job 4:5-9; 42:14; Prov 3:11-12; 17:3; 1Kings 1:5-6; Joh 15:1-2; 2Cor 1:3-4; 4:7-11; 12:7; Heb 12:5-11


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PP071 Anxiety Analysis: Wading in to Where It Comes From

Why is there so much anxiety today? Where is it all coming from? To know the cause is often to know the cure (or at least some things that can help). Josh is back to take us through six pieces that contribute to the puzzle of why anxiety is so rampant in our culture. (On the subject of suicide, listeners are encouraged to search the Vine To Branches blog where Josh has a helpful series of articles to help.)


Scriptures Referenced: Psalm 11:13, 26:3; Eph 2:12; Rom 1; 1Pet 3:15


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PP070 The Father of the Bride

Paul’s heart for the church of God beat in harmony with God’s heart. His passion was to see the church maintain a purity of devotion to Christ – but purity of devotion depended on good teaching. Do we place a proper value on the teaching and beliefs of the local church?


Scriptures Referenced: Exo 34:14; 1Cor 4:15; 2Cor 11:1-6


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PP069 Anxiety Awareness: Getting Your Feet Wet

Christian counsellor Josh Smith joins us to kick off a series on anxiety. In this first episode we raise awareness about anxiety and expose the stigma that (sadly) accompanies it. It’s OK to be someone who suffers anxiety, and it’s really really OK to ask for help! Josh also gives us practical tips on figuring out who we can go to for help, and he explains what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is. Along the way we share a little bit from our personal lives, discuss the importance the Bible attaches to our minds, and mention the problem of false guilt.
Scriptures Referenced: Rom 12:2; Col 3:2; 2Cor 10:5; Phil 2:5; Eccles 11:7
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PP068 What an Awesome Place

Just as we expect our own houses to be governed by the values and principles that we hold, so it is with God’s household, the church. The local church is like an outpost for Heaven on the earth, with the privilege and responsibility of upholding the name of Christ and reflecting how awesome our God is.
Scriptures Referenced:
Gen 28:10-22; Mat 18:15-20; 1Tim 3:14-16
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PP067 “Hi How Are You?” Why Small Talk Is a Big Deal

Greeting one another and making small talk can be awkward and feel fake at times. But it’s actually a big deal. God himself greets us, and he commands us to greet one another. And when we do so, we’re actually saying far more than we realize. We’re acknowledging the value and worth of another human being in a way that is deeply meaningful. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a blessing to someone–greet them!
Scriptures Referenced: Gen 3:9; Exod 18:7; Matt 10:12; Phil 4:21-23; Rom 16; Dan 10:11; Ruth 2:4; Num 6:22-27
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