Monday, December 7, 2009

Hope mixed with Podcasts


I know that it has been almost a month before I got around to posting anything on the blog, and I did get a few complaints about that. I'll explain more about those weeks and the frustration I was dealing with in a future post. Today I just wanted to cover two things.

First: The the first real rays of hope that I've had as to getting back into a classroom.

Second: I thought I would put out a list of podcasts that I enjoy & have helped to keep me sane over this past year.

I dropped off my application today to a school that I worked at before. (Not full-time. I was a "Para", a teaching assistant working with kids with Special Needs) Last week I sent in an app. to another district. I have some connections to both schools...and that is ultimately what makes all of the difference. So for once, I actually have a shot at getting an interview. If I can get that, I now I can sell myself.
Now, there are some downsides to both potential jobs. Saying "Yes" to either of them does mean taking a leap of faith. Either choice puts my fall-back option of working at the grocery store in jeopardy. (Not that I wouldn't be happy to say "Good bye," but I need that just in case.) The store is essentially under new management, and they would be more than happy to see people like me, who earn the top wage that part-timers can earn under the Union contract, go away. They have made it pretty clear that whether or not we have Union cards, they won't hire us back. So...
Either way, those of you who pray, I would ask you to pray for me and this situation. I'm desperate to get on with my life and get back in a classroom. I actually feel like I finally have some hope after a long, long time of wandering.


Alright, on to my free gift to you all.

The following are links to various sites that podcast. I'll split them up into Religious (I hate that term) and Secular...with an explanation as to what they put out. If you have never subscribed to any podcast before, no need to fret. It's a lot easier than it seems. All of them will end up in your I-tunes anyway. From there you can put them in your MP3 player, I-pod or even burn them to a CD.

Christian Spirituality: (I like that term much better.)
#1. http://www.marshill.org/ <--- this is the church that Rob Bell & others preach at. Their podcasts only go back to the past 12 weeks. I HIGHLY recommend this site. Just go to the "Teaching & Worship" page and you will see the link.

#2. http://rockbridgecommunity.org/information/staff/1/ <--- this is a site that my friend Abe turned me onto. The Lead Pastor is a guy named Matt Evans. You will have to put up with his Southern accent, but once you get over that it's really good stuff. Just go to "Watch & Listen" to find the downloads. (I particularly liked his sermon titled "Losing my Religion.") Thanks Abe.

#3. http://www.scumoftheearth.net/ <--- this is a worship center in Denver, CO. It was started by the members of Christian Punk band. (Hey folks, Jesus is big enough for everyone, and one size does not fit all) I've downloaded their stuff but haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. My friend Tyson worships there, and I trust his heart & judgement.


Semi-Secular (Hybrid):
#1. http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/ <---- this is a program produced by Minnesota Public Radio (Yay for us!), and is probably the most Pro-Religious program on the air. I say Religious because it certainly isn't only about Christianity. Krista Tippet, the host, interviews folks from across the spectrums of Faith. I bring this site up because I think it is extremely important to be well informed. If you are a Believer, you have no excuse for not attempting to understand (In humility) someone else's point of view if you expect to be an effective witness to them. God gave you a brain for a reason, and I certainly believe that Jesus expects you to make full use of it.
I will say this, Krista Tippet has done some absolutely outstanding interviews with the likes of Christian thinkers such as Chuck Colson, Gregg Boyd & Richard Cizik. For some odd reason, the way she interviews these Believers, the folks who listen to them get a much clearer understanding of proper, orthodox Christianity then they would by listening to most of the weirdo preachers on the T.V.
My personal recommendation is to search for her interview with Richard Cizik, the former V.P. of the National Assc. of Evangelicals. (It's towards the bottom on the I-tunes link) It's titled "The Evolution of American Evangelicalism" from April 12, 2007. Believe it or not, this interview cost him his job. The Religious Right didn't like it...so you listen and decide for yourself...I mean it.

Secular: Interesting and just for fun.
#1. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/ <---- Did you find science boring as a kid? Then this site is for you. I don't know how these guys do it, but they make science hysterical, fascinating and amazing. You can download all of their stuff straight from their main page too. Listen to the show titled "Parasites" and you will learn how John D. Rockefeller is largely responsible for the invention of the Outhouse, and how cats cause Schizophrenia in humans. (I always knew that cats were the spawn of Satan.) Trust me, this is good stuff.

#2. http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=5183214 <----Think you know the news? Try this weekly quiz. (I linked you straight to the podcast page)

#3. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/ <----- if you are a huge fan of Dr. James Kennedy, Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell, AND find that you need copious amount of extra fiber in your diet to take care of business...if you know what I mean, well this site isn't for you. However, if you like to be challenged by great stories (Some of which are very Pro-Believer), hear readings from great & incredibly funny writers then listen to it.
Most of what This American Life puts out does tilt to the Left. But I have to say that they really make me think...and laugh! And thinking is something that most people don't do enough of these days.

SO, there is my list of my favorite podcasts for you to peruse. If nothing else, do take a look at the Mars Hill site...you won't regret it. Also, if you have some podcasts that you think I would like, PLEASE let me know.

Peace

Joe

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