In a Jam? Try to Ooch: Why We Hate to Choose – Episode #13

Show Notes: In episode #13, Josh and Sean discuss the idea of analysis-paralysis, or “Why We Hate to Choose.” We also bring in the big guns by interviewing Rob Parkman about how he made the choice to move into independent ministry. Rob also provides some advice about decision making in a coaching context, and encourages people to trust God and not take themselves too seriously.

If you want to join our Hear and Do Challenge for Encounter 2014 go to:

What to choose???

Here are some of the strategies Josh mentioned for overcoming analysis-paralysis, which is epitomized in the following story by Jean Buridan: “A hungry donkey approaches a barn one day looking for hay and discovers two haystacks of identical size at the two opposite sides of the barn. The donkey stands in the middle of the barn between the two haystacks, not knowing which to select. Hours go by, but he still can’t make up his mind. Unable to decide, the donkey eventually dies of starvation.”

Zoom Out: Try to find a base rate; even a little bit of expertise can help (Amazon reviews), statistics, or getting an outsider’s perspective of your situation who has been through it before. Firsthand experience is invaluable, even if you can only get one person’s perspective. You need to establish a baseline. If you are trying to choose a job or a restaurant, or need to get a medical procedure done, it is wise to ask someone who has worked that job or had that procedure done.

You can also ask disconfirming questions: This does not mean, do you like your job? But, what is the biggest challenge in your job? Or if you are buying a used iPod, don’t ask “Does it work?” Ask, “What problems does the iPod have?”

Finally, you can try and ask yourself: “If your best friend were in this exact same situation, what would you tell them to do?”

Zoom In: This means we are getting close enough to the situation so we can trust your instincts. For example, if we are trying to choose whether to go into teaching, it is wise to set up small experiments. Get as close as you can to the action before you commit to a four year degree. This is what is meant by “ooching”. You want to do your best to experience the choice before you commit to it: Why predict, when you can know…

The 10-10-10 Rule: This rule helps you consider your choice in light of the big context of your life by nudging you to think through how you might feel about your decision 10 minutes from now, 10 months from now, and 10 years from now.

Finally, here’s the quote from Charles Spurgeon: “If you stop and do nothing until you can do everything, you will remain useless.”

Recommended books:


    by Dan and Chip Heath (the best book for strategies on making good decisions)

Here’s the book Rob Parkman recommends regarding finances: The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

Orange Soda and Painted Palm Trees: Greta Sheppard – Episode #12

Show Notes: In episode #12, Josh interviews Greta Sheppard, a blogger, author, evangelist, wedding chaplain and long time Christ follower. She provides advice for young people about hearing God’s voice, calling, art, and abuse.

Greta bigGreta’s web page is Also, Greta writes fantastic content on Facebook, follow her here.

Finally, if you want to ask Greta a question, please leave a comment on this episode, and we will make sure Greta sees it and responds to you!

Recommended books:

If you want to buy Greta’s book “EXCUSE ME, YOUR UNFORGIVENESS IS SHOWING!”as an audiobook, you can get it from iTunes: Excuse Me Your Unforgiveness Is Showing! – Greta Sheppard.

Her other book on abuse is called: FALLING SPARROW: Overcoming the Ghosts of Sexual Abuse is available here, or in most e-book stores.

Finally, this is the book Josh mentioned near the end of the episode: Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung.

Escape the High School of the Mind: Mentorship – Episode #11

Photo from Flickr - Click for Source
Photo from Flickr – Click for Source

Show Notes: In episode #11, Sean and Josh first describe what discipleship looked like in Jesus day. Then they try to differentiate between mentorship and discipleship, provide some tips for initiating a mentorship relationship, and conclude by discussing the importance of mentorship for 20-somethings today.

Opening quote from Church History from a letter to Francois Fenelon by Father Tronson (this is a different translation than Josh read during the podcast):

“You are in a land where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is little known, where those who know it make use of it for personal advancement. You now live among people whose conversation is practically pagan, whose example tends to dangerous things. You will find yourself surrounded by everything calculated to indulge the senses and awaken dormant passions…In truth, Monsieur, yours is a dangerous position ; it must be candidly acknowledged that it will be difficult to remain steadfast in it, that you will need the highest principles to sustain you. If ever you needed study and meditation on the Bible, it is now; until now you have looked to it to strengthen you with the Truth, and inspire you with good thoughts, now you will need it to banish evil ones and shield you from lies.”

Quote about the “High School of the Mind”: Joseph Epstein says that today many adults are “locked in a high school of the mind, eating dry cereal, watching a vast quantity of television, hoping to make sexual scores” and generally enjoying “perpetual adolescence, cut loose, free of responsibility, without the real pressures that life, that messy business, always exerts.”

The 10-10-10 rule comes out of a book called: Decisive: How to Make Better Choices by Dan and Chip Heath.

If you want to read the story about the airplane, you can find the source over at Josh’s blog: I Spy With My Digital Eye.

Finally, you can learn more about our contest and enter to win a mystery prize box that makes Sean and Josh jealous.

How to be a Global Neighbor – Episode #10

Show Notes: In episode #10, Sean and Josh attempt to tackle a topic as big as the planet–globalization and what it might mean for a Christian to become a global neighbor. As 20-somethings, we are hyper-aware of poverty as well as a host of other humanitarian issues. Our awareness of these things sometimes makes us feel overwhelmed to the point where we don’t actually respond at all. Since we can’t claim ignorance, it is essential that we reflect on what our role as Christians should be in a global world.

You should watch this video on being a world neighbor by Paul Borthwick:

Here are some links to the various resources and topics mentioned in this episode:

Books we mentioned throughout this episode:

Learn more about our contest and enter to win a mystery prize box that makes Sean and Josh jealous.

Resolutions are like Rattling Cans – Episode #9

Show Notes: In episode #9, Sean and Josh talk about the difference between a goal and a resolution. They explained some of their own victories (and failures) with goal setting and provide some tips and tricks on how to become more successful with accomplishing your goals. They also talked about a fascinating book called: The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! by Josh Kaufman.

Here are some links to the various resources and topics mentioned in this episode:

Strategies for making your goals more likely to succeed:

  1. Remove friction while in a cold state: when you are facing the temptation to give up on your goal, you have already set in place the things necessary to win (e.g., setting two alarm clocks, getting your hoodie ready, and setting the coffee on a timer).
  2. Pre-invest in the process: buy an expensive piece of equipment so that you feel like it would be a waste not to use it.
  3. Remove distractions: uninstall video games, and place the new skill in a place where it won’t take any energy to begin practicing.
  4. Lift App: an app designed to encourage you in the pursuit of your goals. Provides coaching and regular reminders, as well as a community.

Christmas Tales from the Perilous Realm – Episode #8

Show Notes: In episode #8, Sean and Josh spend some time telling stories that drill deeper into the meaning of Christmas. If you think you have heard all that the Bible has to say about Christ’s birth, wait until you hear about Jesus Christ’s four great grandmothers. Besides this, you will hear a couple of tales from WWII and some sappy tales from Josh and Sean’s own lives. Enjoy your Christmas season!

Check out a fantastic article that helped inspire this episode: “Let’s Rethink Our Holly-Jolly Christmas Songs“.

Ray Bakke audio: Subscribe to a collection of his sermons in iTunes – “The Women of Matthew 1” is number 9 and a good place to start with his preaching.

This link will provide more context regarding the news story about the children gassed in Syria.

Here’s a picture of the letter that the American Commander sent to the German Commander from Sean’s story from WWII:
Nuts LetterThis is a list of books we referred to throughout our conversation:

Soul Detective – Fasting from Media – Episode #7

Show Notes: In episode #7, we interview one of our students regarding the media fast which recently happened here at the college and discussed why this practice is so powerful. Most of our time together focused on the ways that media affect our desires and habits.

We started out by talking about the way that using technology can affect our physiology, and Josh mentioned a recent article titled: “Gadget Sickness” from the New York Magazine.

The amazing album by Brian and Katie Torwalt, Kingdom Come, is available from iTunes here.

Also, if you want to read the humorous article about how we don’t remember information but rather where to find it, is called: “Remembering How vs. Remembering What” from a great blog on faith and technology called “The Second Eclectic“.

This is a list of books we referred to throughout our conversation:

The infographic that Josh created is below:

True Grit – An Interview with Wes Mills – Episode #6

Wes 2012
Wes Mills – President of ACOP

Show Notes: In episode #6, Sean and Josh talk about how to stay encouraged.

Our discussion revolved around the topic of resiliency and its importance for young people. Resiliency refers to an object’s ability to return to its original state after experiencing pressure. Josh had a chance to interview Wes Mills, the President of ACOP about a study he recently did regarding longevity in ministry and factors that can lead to inactivity. Wes’s study affirms the value of reading Scripture, the importance of  sabbath-keeping, and many more topics. Finally, we conclude with some comments about Gordon Macdonald’s book, Restoring Your Spiritual Passion. Specifically, we discussed the five different kinds of people who fill and drain your energy. This is hugely important because of the implications it can have for burnout, along with the potential for growth as we learn what it means to stay encouraged as we seek to grow early in our careers and ministries.

If you are interested in looking closer at Wes’s study, you can find it here.

This is a list of books we referred to throughout our conversation:

Covenant over Cost – An Interview with Ben and Jo Anne Pullar – Episode #5

Show Notes:

996189_10152858287360538_1674480317_nIn episode #5, Sean and Josh talk through the implications discipleship should have for young people planning their wedding. After some discussion they interview Ben and Jo Anne Pullar about their wedding this past summer. Ben is currently a student at the college, and Jo Anne works as our ESL teacher.

Here are the two sources we mentioned before the interview:

  1. Reveal Results of Largest Wedding Study of Its Kind, Surveying More Than 17,500 Brides
  2. In regard to the fact that cohabitation rates are going down, Josh can’t find his source, but he is sure he heard this on a podcast in the last 2-3 months. If we find it in the future we will update this web page.

Some tips from Ben and Jo Anne:

  1. Consider buying your wedding rings online.
  2. Pinterest is probably a better resource than bridal shows.

Finally, Sean and Josh give four ideas for young disciples about how to plan a wedding:

  1. Stop using brido-centric language – if you want it to be Christ centered, than don’t make it about yourself or your guests, instead make your wedding a parable or a prophetic gesture to the relationship between Christ and his church.
  2. Live within cultural norms, but find creative ways to subvert them.
  3. It is about prioritizing covenant over cost.
  4. Don’t date yourself (from this article).

Book Recommendations:

A book on how to make it to the altar: “Five Paths to the Love of your Life” by various authors.

A book that Josh highly recommends on the topic of marriage: “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller, which he highly recommends.

This book gives you the Christian background for the various aspects of a wedding: “Christian Wedding” by Mark M. D. Thomas.

Unreached People Groups and Your Quiz Tomorrow – Episode #4

Show Notes:

In this episode, Sean and Josh talk about how Festival of Missions impacted them this year. Our speaker for this event was named David, and we both believe he was one of the most powerful preachers we have ever heard. He works with unreached people groups, so to protect his identity we refer to him as “David the Speaker”. Following Festival of Missions, Josh preached on our Tuesday night chapel about how to connect missions to our everyday lives. The podcast ends with an excerpt from that sermon called: “Is Jesus Lord When Your Bored?”

  • The Joshua Project is probably the best resources for learning about missions with regard to unreached people groups. Click the image to the right to learn more about them, or download their iOS app.
  • Rachel’s Tears: Book about the martyrdom from the Columbine Shooting
  • George Muller biography – not an academic approach, but incredibly good as a story!

Action Points:

  1. Share your faith at least once a week in order to keep growing as a disciple.
  2. For every penny of your extra income that you spend on yourself, give a penny to support world missions amongst unreached people groups.