It is hard to believe we are at episode 100 already. I am so thankful to each of you who have embraced this podcast.
When I began this podcast we were nine months into the global pandemic of 2020, and during this time, I had been writing daily devotionals for my church small group as a way to encourage them through the time.
Over the course of those nine months, I had written nearly 140 devotionals that formed the basis of this podcast. One of my spiritual gifts is encouragement, and the Lord laid it on my heart to start the devotionals. It became an anchor point for me as much as it was for my small group.
Since this time, the global pandemic stretched into 2022 with some relief now surfacing. Today, as we celebrate 100 episodes, I want to share some highlights and thoughts from the journey.
During the course of these 100 episodes, my life has evolved and changed in some amazing ways.
Launch Group – My Church Small Group
As I said, the podcast was birthed from the devotionals of my small group. During this time, the Lord guided me that it was time to take a step back from leading a small group, focus on myself and prepare for some new changes.
I am grateful to the men and women of my small group who encouraged me throughout the devotional process by engaging with the content and helping to launch Rocking Chair Devotions.
In 2021, I joined a beta group of people who were going through some new material on how to lead a focused life. The Focus Course changed my life!
After four weeks of the focus course, we were provided the opportunity to participate in a six-week mastermind group to help us apply and work through the material in the course.
Initially, I was paired with Jenette McEntire (USA), Hollie Garcia (USA), and Stuart Lennon (Cyprus). We were a global group! When I look back on this experience, I see how God orchestrated the formation of this group.
Our initial group has been together now for a little over one year, and we continue to build into each other’s lives on a weekly basis. The foundation of this group is trust.
Each week, we meet to encourage, challenge, and hold each other accountable for the work we want to get done, and to celebrate what’s happening in our lives.
In late 2021, Maxim Cramer (UK) and Bernd Schattenberg (Germany) joined our group, and Treehouse 2.0 was born.
Over the course of these last few months, we have experienced new education and business pursuits, two engagements, meeting in person for the first time (Hollie, Jenette, and Dave), and grief.
Through it, this group has challenged me to develop margin with my podcast preparation, participated in my engagement, and is the one meeting on my calendar each week that means the most to me.
Stuart calls this group one of his anchor points, but our entire group would say the same thing. God knew what He was doing when He put this group together, and I am blessed to count each of my Treehouse members as family, not just friends!
To date, there have been three guests on this podcast:
- Jenette McEntire – shared how a mission trip changed her life forever, and led to the adoption of her daughter 16 years later. (You can listen to her story in episodes 42 and 43)
- My Mom – Marilyn Anthold – I shared a special conversation for Mother’s Day 2021 (Listen to episode 34)
- My Dad – Bob Anthold – I shared a special conversation for Father’s Day 2021 (Check out episode 41)
Later this year, I plan to have a conversation with Isaac Smith who serves as the Director of the Focus Course and Accelerator Groups.
We will discuss the Focus Course, how to live a Focused Life, and why our Accelerator Group has been so successful. You won’t want to miss this episode or our Focused Life series in September.
Life Changes and Statistics
There is no doubt this podcast has changed my life. It allows me to be creative, work through challenging scriptures, and encourage fellow travelers.
Over the course of this podcast (so far), I have:
- Published 103 episodes (including bonus episodes & specials)
- Written over 120,000 words
- Been downloaded over 2,200 times
- Have listeners from 19 different countries
I could not have experienced any of this success without all of you, my faithful listeners. You encourage me weekly to keep pressing on. Your faithfulness and words encourage my soul.
The Lord continues to do amazing things through this podcast, and I am blessed to be used by our Savior and King.
My commitment to you is that I will keep showing up and writing content that matters in the lives of believers and those who are seeking Jesus.
Each year, similar themes emerge, here are a few:
- New Year Commitments – 2021, 2022
- Holy Week – 2021, 2022
- Missions – 2021
- Thanksgiving – 2021
- Christmas – 2020, 2021
I continue to be amazed at the blessings and relevancy of the content found in the Scriptures. The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Thank you for joining me on this journey! I am humbled and grateful to be part of your listening or reading choices each week.
I will continue to bring you new content that challenges and encourages your soul. I look forward to adding additional articles and devotionals to help you move along your spiritual journey.
I want you to know that God loves you, and is pursuing you. Thanks for joining me as we walk through life together.
Next week, we kick off a three-week series titled Small World, Big Heart as we focus on missions. I will be in Mexico serving with Agoura Bible Fellowship and YUGO Ministries sharing the stories of housebuilding and Vacation Bible School as we help transform lives and alleviate poverty in the name of Jesus.
You can follow our journey at ABF Missions.
Lord, thank you for using this podcast to bring the gospel of Christ to people all over the globe. Thank you for the gift of family, friendship, accountability, love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for the blessing these 100 episodes have brought to people, and I ask you to guide, direct and bless the next 100 episodes. Please bring people to this podcast who need encouragement and a reminder of who You are and what You did on the cross for them. Thank you for your blessings which are new each day. Amen!
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