The Watching World

The Watching World

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78 Episodes
Be living proof of a loving God to a watching world.
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78 Episodes

In this episode of the Watching World Podcast, Les interviews Gina Pastore, inspirational speaker, author, and radio host of The Real Life with Gina Pastore and David James. Gina is also the widow of Frank Pastore, former MLB player, and radio host. After thirty-five incredible years of marriage, Frank’s sudden death shattered Gina’s identity and future. In this episode, she talks about their early marriage and how she found new beauty after suffering from a devastating loss. If you’re struggling with grief, Gina wants you to know that acute grief will not last forever. While it never goes away completely, it does become easier to cope with after a time. In the meantime, be open to what God has for you, receive love from family and friends, and don’t be afraid to seek out counseling if you need it. You can read more of Gina’s story in her book Picking Up the Pieces of My Shattered Life. Keep an eye out for her latest book as well, Braided: Woven Together by Tragedy, which releases in October. Know that Abundant Life is here for you as well. Check out the website for grieving resources and next steps for your faith. Gina Pastore Abundant Life

Welcome to the Watching World Podcast with Les Norman. In this episode, we chat with Austin Henry about serving in the church. Austin Henry is the Children’s Ministry Leader at Abundant Life Blue Springs. As a child, he first felt the pull toward ministry after visiting a church Christmas production in Tulsa. It wasn't long before serving became a regular part of his life. He grew up in a family that actively served in the church. Looking back, some of his favorite memories were of his siblings and parents serving on Sundays together. Volunteering with his family also gave him a behind-the-scenes look at ministry that prepared him for his work today. If you're interested in ministry but you feel like you're too young or aren’t sure how to get plugged in, Austin encourages you to go to God. Ask him to use you to the best of your ability for His glory. He will! He’ll take you to places that you’ll never believe. To learn more about Abundant Life Blue Springs or one of our many ministries, check out our website. Abundant Life

Thanks for listening to the Watching World Podcast with Les Norman. In this episode, special guest host Jennifer Maggio discusses single parenting and her own inspiring journey into ministry. Jennifer is a four-time, award-winning author and speaker, the founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, and the host of the Life of a Single Mom Podcast. The Life of a Single Mom Ministries began as a small Bible study group in Jennifer’s living room, but her journey into ministry started long before that. In 1999, while in the midst of brokenness and financial crisis, God told her that she would serve single moms. Eventually, she began attending church. While she struggled with the feeling that she didn’t belong, this first step allowed the Lord to minister to her broken heart and slowly transform her. Jennifer and Les encourage single parents to praise while in the pit because it is merely a season. Even after we surrender to Him, our troubles don't go away. There is suffering and loneliness as a single parent. However, God restores all and has a purpose for everything we go through. The Life of a Single Mom Ministries is a global non-profit organization with over 1600 ministries across the United States. It teaches churches how to minister to single-moms in an effective way. The Life of A Single Mom Ministries also offers Single Mom University, a collection of 160 life-skill classes for single parents. Topics include co-parenting with an ex, overcoming abuse, pregnancy, empty-nesting, and more. As a special gift to the Watching World Podcast listeners, Jennifer is giving a free year of access to Single Mom University. To sign up, visit Apply for the scholarship and mention either “Les Norman” or “The Watching World Podcast” for a full year’s access for free. The Life of a Single Mom Ministries Abundant Life

n this episode of the Watching World Podcast, guest host Rod Handley, the creator of Character That Counts, gives us insight on Biblical Manhood in the Face of a Crazy World. What should the biblical man be doing when the world has turned upside down and the line between right and wrong has been erased? Rod encourages us to look at the 4 responsibilities God gave Adam: Courageously follow the Word of God. That is, engaging, meditating, and studying it. God’s Word gives us our marching orders. Love and protect women. Not just our mothers, wives, and daughters. All women should be viewed as special and worthy of protection. Excel at the work God has entrusted to us. Better God's world through the legacy we pass on. This refers to our spiritual children as well as our biological children. As Biblical men, we need to respond appropriately when our beliefs are twisted or challenged. We can act as self-made men (responding based on our own beliefs); image-conscious men (responding based on the world’s beliefs); or transformed men (responding based on what the Bible says). We should let the Word of God proclaim who we are and how we respond. Unfortunately, Satan often derails us from our path to the fully transformed man with these six common problems: Father wounds Lack of a clear manhood vision Unprocessed trauma Addictive habits Lack of community or close friends Becoming spiritually stuck Do you struggle with one or all of these problems? Community and accountability helps us become the godly men we are supposed to be. It allows us to grow together through confession. There’s a radical difference between men who choose to be connected and those who are not. We can choose between the “good life” or the “glorified life.” When you live the “good life”, everything appears okay, but something is still missing. When you live the “glorified life”, you've surrendered your life to Christ. The “glorified life” gives us freedom from fear and anxiety. It allows us to become the men that God called us to be. Rod Handley teaches men about Biblical manhood at his Youtube channel, He also leads the class, “Base Camp,” at Abundant Life Lee’s Summit, from 6:00-8:00pm. You can also attend Rod's independent groups every Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Visit his website, Character That Counts, for more details. Abundant Life Church Website: Rod Handley

Thank you for listening to the Watching World Podcast with Les Norman. In this episode, we chat with Michael and Hannah Pygman about answering God's mission call. Husband and wife of over a year now, Michael and Hannah share a passion for missions. In fact, they met on an inner-city mission trip with Paradigm. Since then, they have gone on mission trips to the Middle East and plan to move overseas soon. They believe their own country is a mission field as well. Outreach programs with Paradigm and prayer groups have been an important part of their ministry. Do you feel a call toward missions? Learn more about missions, ministry, and counseling at Abundant Life's website. Abundant Life

In this episode, host Les Norman talks with Author Patrick Morley, Main in the Mirror and his new book The Four Voices: Taking Control of the Conversation in Your Head. In the first line of the book, "Are you tired of feeling confused or overwhelmed by the voices competing in your head for control of your head and heart?" . In his new book, Patrick talks about the 4 voices we battle. The World, The Flesh, The Devil, The Holy Spirit. Which voice do you listen to? This book gives you practical ways and a guide to determine and identify the 4 voices and how to take control of them and ultimately take steps to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and distinguish the truth.

Welcome to the Watching World Podcast with Les Norman. In today’s episode, special guest host Annette Bartel tells us about Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). BSF is a multicultural, inter-denominational Bible study focused on producing a passionate commitment to God, his Word, and his church. It hosts over 1200 classes across the world for men and women, online and in-person. At BSF, you'll study God's Word in four ways: individual study, group discussion, listening to a lecture, and reading commentary notes. This layered approach gives scripture more opportunities to land in our hearts and helps us become comfortable discussing God's Word within a group setting. Abundant Life Lee’s Summit hosts a Wednesday morning class of over 500 women. The study also offers a program from birth to the 12th grade. Typically, BSF classes run from September through May. While BSF is wrapping up this year’s study, it will kick off again in mid-September. Next year, the ladies will focus on People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided. This study will go over 15 books of the Old Testament, including I&II Kings, I&II Chronicles, Jeremiah, part of Isaiah, and the minor prophets. Check out BSF International to sign up for next year’s women's study. If you plan to enroll your children in the BSF teaching program, try to sign up as early as possible. You can also check out BSF International for more information about the men's studies in Jackson County or online studies. Bible Study Fellowship Abundant Life

In this episode of the Watching World Podcast, special guest Jeff Cox tells us all about Re:gen. Re:gen is a 12-step life-change ministry. It meets every Monday at 6:30 in the Core Building at Abundant Life Lee’s Summit Campus. Re:gen stands for re:generation! This program is for anyone who wishes to grow and get the past struggles and addictions that keep them stuck. A few might include addiction, anger, fear, depression, anxiety, obsession, control, abuse, and sexual struggles. At Re:gen, you look at the things that have made you feel stuck in life and resulted in problems and cycles you’d like to get rid of. You take an inventory of the sins you’ve committed and have been committed against you. The foundation of Re:gen is loving well. Eventually the things that ensnare us erode the relationships in our life. Re:gen helps us look at surface level issues and dig down deep to heal. Every meeting includes worship, a lesson from a speaker, testimonies, and group discussion. In these groups, you will go through your workbook and share your struggles. Sharing is an important step of the Re:gen process. James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed…” If you have struggles that you’re afraid to share, you’re not alone. At Re:gen, we like to create honesty and authenticity in a safe place, but sometimes you may share personal struggles with a mentor. People that come to Regen learn that they are not alone. We all become ensnared if we don’t live in community. This is a free program open to anyone in the community, whatever your belief system is. To learn more about Re:gen, visit Abundant Life’s website. Or, just show up! You can begin Re:gen at any time. Abundant Life

Welcome to the Watching World Podcast! In today’s episode, we speak with special guest host Heidi St. John about parenting in a culture that is anti-God and anti-family, developing community, and where to find Biblical examples of motherhood. Biblical literacy should be at the heart of motherhood. In order to teach scripture to our children, we need to know it ourselves. We can’t pass on what we don’t possess. Because our culture faces such bold lies, the only answer is to speak bold truth. Diving into the Word of God daily helps us combat these lies. Not only does scripture equip us, but our children need to see us reading it. We should also strive to stay in community with other believers. As mothers and human beings, we thrive on relationships. We need other Christian women to hold us accountable and encourage us. Heidi St. John is the creator of Mom Strong International, The Busy Mom blog, and the Off the Bench Podcast. She's also currently running for Congress. Mom Strong International trains and equips women to lead. You can host bible studies or follow along with the monthly Bible study at Heidi St. John Abundant Life

Wrapping up our series, Knowing What You Believe And Why You Believe It; World Views, Truth And Evidence Part 9, Les Norman and Ed Croteau discuss how to live as a Christian and share the gospel in today’s post-Christian American culture. The number one thing you must do is know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The Lordship of Jesus in your life is the most important aspect of witnessing to people. As it says in Colossians, Christ in you is the hope of glory (eternity). In John 15 it says apart from Christ we can do nothing. Everyone is guilty, and most people will do, say, or pay anything to remove their guilt. This is self-evident. But we get to be the ones to tell them Jesus paid for our guilt on the cross because God loves us. If as a Christian you are feeling guilty over sins you keep committing, you can turn to Jesus and release it to Him. If you are not a Christian and you’re feeling guilty, it’s your own guilt, and it’s real. Jesus stands with arms open, ready to take that burden from you and save you. An effective way of getting someone to the place of opening up is to ask questions and really listen to their answers. This is the most loving thing to do in getting to a place to share the gospel. Allow them to elaborate on their thoughts and opinions, and then you can ask them deeper questions. This gets people to really think about their stance and how they come to their conclusions. As you dig, they may find that their foundations for why they don’t believe in Jesus are pretty weak, and you can tell them about the good news and evidence. All we’re called to do is share with people the gospel, and let the Holy Spirit do the work. Ed Croteau teaches the Faith Substance and Evidence University at Abundant Life Church, Lee’s Summit. FSE University meets every Sunday morning at 9:30 AM, in room 1024 of the main building. Faith, Substance, and Evidence: FSE YouTube channel: Abundant Life

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