The next phase of our business

The past five months I have trained myself in how to podcast. It began about six years ago when I started listening to podcasts as my personal and primary means for content consumption. Currently I have about nine or ten podcasts that I listen to. Some of them come daily (Mon – Fri), while others come weekly or randomly.

The podcasts I listen to are eclectic, meaning some of them are religious, while others are about sports, technology, social media, and human interest. Besides being entertained or inspired, I am also being educated about various matters such as how to podcast, how to interview, and podcast styles.

My podcast mix changes somewhat regularly, in that I will listen to one pastor or one guru about this or that and then change to something else. I listened to Mark Driscoll for a year or so to try to understand him and why he was so popular. I listened to John Piper for a year or two to be encouraged and edified.

The past few months I have listened to the PodcastAnswerMan podcast to learn how to podcast. It has been incremental learning that has led to our first official podcast launch last week. I am excited about this new phase of our ministry. I have no idea where it will go, but I’m sure it will go to some good places.

We have converted one of our rooms at home to an office/studio, which is glorious. To have my space to create, w/o having to travel to our main office is a big deal. Like with everything we do, it is always a work-in-progress that will look dramatically different a year or two from now than what it looks like today.

It is amazing to me to watch what the LORD is doing with this work. On July 3, 2008 I wrote a blog post. It was probably 500 words or so. I’m not sure. I had no idea where it would go, but I did ask the LORD to take it somewhere good, which He has done. I’m stunned by what He has accomplished.

There have been a few times where there were no new ideas forthcoming and I would think “this is it”–there is nothing more to do, other than to maintain what we are doing. And then the LORD would give me a new idea, and off we would go to a new phase. That is what is happening now.

Podcasts have been slowly taking over the audio broadcast space the past ten years. The scope and power of traditional radio has dramatically changed during this time. It is similar to the publishing industry in that eBooks are more popular than hardback books.

The LORD has taught me many things the past few years and maybe the main thing is to continue to redefine ourselves, meaning we must be regularly changing in order to keep up with where the people are. Our chronology has been something like this:

  1. Our first blog article in 2008.
  2. Full time blogging around the first of 2009.
  3. Created a Membership Site at the end of 2009.
  4. Hired out our 3rd generation website to be built by someone other than me in 2010.
  5. Hired a web team in 2013 to create a more intuitive website.
  6. Stopped counseling full-time in 2014 to devote exclusively to leadership development.
  7. Began audio articles in 2014.
  8. Started podcasting in 2015.

This short chronology misses out on so much. Today we have nine counselors counseling for us. There are three editors helping to take our content from articles to eBooks. We have a person putting our eBooklets on Amazon as Kindle content. We have a web team keeping our content user-friendly.

My main job today is to feed the machine, which is our website. Through webinars, infographics, written content, audio articles, podcasts, Mind Maps, public speaking, and limited consulting.

The pain the LORD has allowed in my life is coming together, being shaped and moved down a specific pipeline that is feeding a lot of people. This brings more joy to my heart than I could describe. There is no way to explain the disappointment, discouragement, and depression in my life. There is no way to explain the idiotic and stupid things I have done.

Through it all the LORD was developing a plan to share His good ways to others. This is what podcasting means to me. While I learn how to do podcasting well, I am praying for the next thing He will put in my mind for exploration, development, and launching to others for His fame.

Ansa’s Attachments

Ansa becomes attached to things more than my other two children. (She is 8-1/2 now.) Currently, she is in her hoarding stage, where she pulls things out of the trash can to save. She has been doing this for the past year.

I do not know what it all means, and I’m not overly concerned about it. I do know that Ansa has a big heart. She is one of the most loving kids that I have ever met.

For example, each morning when I come downstairs, I meet Ansa, who is rushing toward me for a big hug. I do not recall a time in the past few years where this has not happened. Perchance she misses a hug in the morning, she makes up for it during the day.

On “missed-hug-mornings,” she will say, “Daddy, I did not give you your good morning hug” and then she will open her arms wide while moving toward me. It is a beautiful thing.

The Other Side

Attached to her daddy is a good thing. But then there is the other side. For Ansa, she becomes overly attached to everything. She dreads seeing things leave.

Last night we were finishing the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away. We started it the night before. (The children missed some of the parts because they were not appropriate.) The story is about a FedEx guy, whose plane goes down and he floats up on a deserted island. There were a few packages that floated up with him.

Wrapped in one of those packages was a Wilson volleyball. The volleyball became Tom Hank’s only companion while on the island. He called him Wilson. After four years of struggle, Tom finally had a plan to escape from the island. He took Wilson with him.

He spent several days on a raft, and during a big storm, Wilson became detached from the raft and floated away. Upon realizing this, after waking up, Hanks tries to retrieve his best (and only), friend.

He frantically swam out to him, but upon realizing he was losing his raft, he had to make a choice: rescue Wilson or save the raft. He chose his ride.

Tom’s acting was stellar. The crying, yelling, and groaning was convincing enough to move Ansa to a place where only a long, 30-minute hug could bring her back to feeling better again. (It also took one Netflix episode of My Little Pony.)

Little Ansa is a big lover. I hope she never loses this quality as she works on letting go of the non-essential things.