Many of my friends say that instead of listening to the radio in the car anymore, they are listening to podcasts. While I have heard of podcasts, I am not as well-versed in them as I am other technology outlets. Believe it or not, podcasting is having an impact on the Church.
For those who may not know, the word podcast is a combination of the words iPod and broadcast. Though most people do not use iPods for mobile listening, the use of the word has stuck. Simply put, a podcast is an audio segment downloaded to your smartphone that you can listen to wherever you are whenever you want
Even in the Entertainment Weekly magazine I subscribe to, there is now a podcast section for subscribers to read about the latest podcasts out there to listen to, as you would your favorite streaming TV show.
Since listening to and looking for podcasts is becoming such a common practice in our current culture, it is a perfect opportunity for the Church to offer something in this arena as well. Worship, Bible studies, sermons, Sunday school classes, devotional reading and prayer petitions can all become podcasts that people who cannot make it to church on Sundays or those who are homebound can access when they have time available.
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On Dec. 24 last year, on the way to Iowa for Christmas in the snow, the car in front of me started spinning out, causing me to start spinning out. I ended up facing the opposite direction of traffic on Interstate 270 in St. Louis.
But I did not hit a single car and I was able to turn the car around and pull off to the side of the road unhurt.
After pulling myself together, my only thought was that God was protecting me.
There are moments in our lives when we wonder if God is watching over us, but in that moment I knew for certain that he was. There is really no other explanation for how I (and my car) escaped that situation unscathed.
The words of Psalm 20:1 were fulfilled in my life that day:
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
Now I find myself much more grateful for safe travels and much more aware of the small blessings God grants to us every day out of his sheer mercy and love for us. He is always looking out for us and I found that out firsthand. Thank God today for all the ways that he protects you!
I am singing in a cantata at my church again this year, and as part of the discipline for preparing for that event, our director provides CDs of people singing the music for us to listen to in the car. I find the experience interesting because I have the songs on almost a continuous loop whenever I am driving anywhere. And sometimes the juxtaposition is startling.
As I turn off the car in the grocery store parking lot, the last words I hear are, “Love came down at Christmas.” Somehow buying food becomes less of a chore when you know that.
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I may not have a Mini Cooper, but my car can serve as a mini church.
On National Public Radio (NPR), they talk about “driveway moments”:
What is a driveway moment? Maybe it’s happened to you as it has to countless others…you’re driving home, listening to a story on NPR. Suddenly, you find yourself in your driveway (or parking space or parking garage). Rather than turn the radio off, you stay in your car to hear the piece to the end.
Listeners are continually recounting to NPR the stories that kept them in their driveways listening.
The idea of driveway moments got me thinking: What are some other driveway moments? I know that in my childhood before a long vacation, my father would always say a prayer before we left the driveway. And I remember many a time after a long ride home or a treacherous trip, that I have stayed in the car a little longer to just take a deep breath and say thank you to God for keeping me safe. Continue reading →