Jo Bender

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Do your thoughts sometimes turn destructive?

 

We can’t control every thought that comes into our minds, but we can control what we choose to do with those thoughts when they come our way. This week on Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with Donna Gibbsas she shares helpful advice as a board certified Christian counselor on how to take destructive thoughts and replace them with the truth of God’s Word.

 

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo's show, or join Jo live every Friday afternoon at 12 noon on Faith Radio Network on AM 900 KTIS.

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Is it possible to commit to sexual purity, even in today's world? This week on Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with Abby Ludvigson on how to remain sexually pure until marriage.

 

Abby is an author, speaker, and teacher who discovered she had a deeply rooted desire to better understand the issues bombarding our young people today and a passion to be an active role model for sexual purity. In 2015, she produced a film series entitled Sex by Design and is a contributor to the book by Dr. Juli Slattery Sex and the Single Girl.

 

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo's show, or join Jo live every Friday afternoon at 12 noon on Faith Radio Network on AM 900 KTIS.

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There’s no real way to avoid conflict in marriage.  It is possible, however, to properly resolve disagreements as they arise and actually build a stronger relationship.     

On this week's Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with author and Christian psychologist Dr. David Clarke about how to best address conflict in marriage.

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo Bender's interview with Dr. David Clarke. Or, join Jo live every Friday at Noon on AM 900. Listen to previous podcasts of Connecting Faith on myfaithradio.com

 

 

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It is possible for our students to stay a Christian in college today? As parents, we can help them develop a game plan to avoid the spiritual pitfalls and stand firm amidst opposition. 

On this week's Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with author and radio host David Wheaton about how we can prepare our students to continue their strong faith and convictions during college and beyond. 

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo Bender's interview with David Wheaton. Or, join Jo live every Friday at Noon on AM 900. Listen to previous podcasts of Connecting Faith on myfaithradio.com

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As I breathe in the last few weeks of summer, I am reminded of one truth a wise mom shared with me when I was struggling with a couple of toddlers. “The days are long," she said, “but the years go fast.” At the end of each summer, I feel the truth of this statement weighing down on me. The years have gone fast, and they show no signs of slowing.

 

I cannot help but begin counting down the summers I have with my eldest child.

Just three.

I’m forced to recognize the numbers of summers I will still be in my forties.

Only one. (Yikes!)

I’m reminded of the summers I will still have with both of my parents still living. 

Hopefully many.

 

I am a summer girl. I love the sunshine, the green grass, the lake, and lazy afternoons. I love sitting on the dock with my feet in the water. I love popsicles, watermelon, and corn on the cob. I love watching baseball outside and feeling the sand in my hair after a day at the beach. I love golf and waterskiing and watching the sail boat races from our back deck. I love time with friends and staying up late.

 

But when August hits, I feel the relaxing tide begin to turn. I start thinking about preparing for classes, my kids start practicing for fall sports and start panicking because they haven’t yet made it through their summer reading list. The sun sets a little sooner and the weather feels a bit cooler. I stop watering my hanging baskets, and I start thinking about shopping for school.

 

 

My son saw the Sunday circular out on the table with the pictures of brightly-colored school supplies and his mood shifted. He grabbed the paper, crumpled it up, and threw it into the trash can with a vengeance. “Summer is NOT OVER,” he shouted.  You know what? He was right.

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What does it really mean to not be anxious about anything? Philippians 4 claims victory over our circumstances, but sometimes true peace is still difficult to find. 

On this week's Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with professor and author Dr. Heather Holleman on how she struggles with anxiety, but finds peace in knowing that Jesus is not only with her, but protecting her heart from being riddled with fear.

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo Bender's interview with Heather Holleman. Or, join Jo live every Friday at Noon on AM 900. Listen to previous podcasts of Connecting Faith on myfaithradio.com

 

 

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Ever feel like throwing in the towel on this season of life? Though we may be tempted, we don’t have to quit. God will give us the strength to finish strong in every area of our lives. 

On this week's Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with author and speaker Nicki Koziarz  of Proverbs 31 Ministries on how to reach out for Godly wisdom, counsel and direction, especially as seasons are changing in our lives.

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo Bender's interview with Nicki Koziarz. Or, join Jo live every Friday at Noon on AM 900. Listen to previous podcasts of Connecting Faith on myfaithradio.com

 

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Great leaders encourage, inspire, and challenge us, but those leadership skills must be developed. Do you have what it takes to be a great leader?

On this week's Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with Dr. Hans Finzel about the key success factors of influence, and the positive traits that all of us should master in oder to lead well. 

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo Bender's interview with Dr. Hans Finzel. Or, join Jo live every Friday at Noon on AM 900. Listen to previous podcasts of Connecting Faith on myfaithradio.com

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On this week's Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talks with Brian Barcelona, founder of The Jesus Club. He tells us how God is working to bring about a revival in our nation’s schools and shares how we can be a part of it.

Brian Barcelona answered the call to start ‘Jesus Clubs’ in public schools to help high school students find and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. He shares examples of how students' lives have been changed as a result of hearing the gospel message for the first time.

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo Bender's interview with Brian Barcelona. Or, join Jo live every Friday at Noon on AM 900 / 90.7 FM. Listen to previous podcasts of Connecting Faith on myfaithradio.com

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Even when we are going through difficult life circumstances, we can still experience happiness. Author and Bible teacher Lisa Harper reminds us that happiness doesn't depend on life's circumstances, but is more dependent on the posture of our heart towards God. 

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo Bender's interview with Lisa Harper. Or, join Jo live every Friday at Noon on AM 900 / 90.7 FM. Listen to previous podcasts of Connecting Faith on myfaithradio.com

 

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Do you struggle sharing your faith with others? What if it were more about having a conversation and asking questions than memorizing a script.  Author and Missions Director Holly Melton, of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), reminds us that it's important to God for help, and trust that the Holy Spirit will equip us with the words to say. 

 

Click here for a link to the podcast of Jo Bender's show. Or, catch Jo live every Friday afternoon for Connecting Faith at 12 noon on AM 900 / 90.7 FM on Faith Radio Network/KTIS. For more podcasts of Connecting Faith, Live the Promise with Susie Larson, Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and more, go to myfaithradio.com

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Are you a good listener? This week on Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talked about communication with relationship experts Mark and Susan Merrill. According to their research, one of the top mistakes that husbands and wives make is that they don’t always listen well to each other. This often leads to communication barriers and hurt feelings. 

 

You can listen to the podcast of Jo's show by clicking here, or catch Jo live every Friday at 12:00 p.m. CST on KTIS' Faith Radio Network AM 900 / 90.7 FM 

 

 

 

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Sometimes the trials of life steal our energy to the point of total exhaustion. But in the midst of carrying heavy burdens, we can still cling to the promises of God.

This week on Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talked about pain and suffering with authors Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton, who each suffer with chronic pain and disease. Their shared experience with pain also has a shared hope in the goodness of God. 

You can listen to the podcast of Jo's show by clicking here,or catch Jo live every Friday at Noon on KTIS' Faith Radio Network AM 900 / 90.7 FM 

Today Jo is interviewing Hans Finzel about the Top Ten Ways to be a Great Leader. Listen in at 12 Noon CST.

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As my kids have been counting down the days to summer vacation, I have been counting them down too. As a teacher, I too look forward to the end of the year—a break from lesson plans, grading, and lectures. I look forward to three months of rest, rejuvenation, and refueling. Everyone has their favorite time of the year. Summer is definitely mine.

 

But wait… I have kids of my own…and they require my attention. Perhaps rest and relaxation will need to be redefined.

 

When my kids were young, I remember wondering how in the world I was going to keep the little cherubs busy for 15 hours a day, 12 weeks in a row. I set up an elaborate calendar of playdates, swim lessons, and activities to keep their minds and bodies active. I tried to make every day a fun adventure. I compiled a list each summer of places we’d visit on sunny days, and places we’d go on rainy days. I took trips to my parents’ cabin, trips to McDonalds, and trips to Daddy’s office—just to let him know how much fun we were having. My kids loved summer, and wanted it to last forever. And part of me loved it too. But by the beginning of August, I was praying for deliverance from my scheduled craziness and together time. The start of the school year felt like a vacation from my summer vacation. 

 

My kids are older now, a teen and a pre-teen. Summer feels different now, and I feel different too. As I look forward to the end of the school year and the start to the greatest 12 weeks of the year, I’ve been doing some planning. But this year’s planning does not involve a lot of the things it used to. This time I’ve made a list of what I’m not going to do. I tried to keep it to a top 5, but I somehow made it to a top 6. Feel free to add your own to the list.

 

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Do you struggle to find lasting friendships? In a world where we can unfriend each other with the swipe of a finger, how do we find friendships that we can trust to last?

This week on Connecting Faith, Jo Bender talked with author Lisa-Jo Baker on the secret to finding and keeping lasting friendships.  

You can listen to the podcast of Jo's show here, or catch Jo live every Friday at Noon on KTIS' Faith Radio Network AM 900 / 90.7 FM

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Have you ever prayed to love someone you don't really want to forgive?  

Friday on Connecting Faith, Jo spoke with Deidre Riggs, who specializes in bringing unity to our fractured relationships and polarized communities.  

 

How do we forgive those who may have wronged us, and how can we foster understanding between groups or individuals who believe something different than we do?  

 

A challenging conversation about self-preservation vs. opening ourselves up for deep conversations and deep rewards. 

 

You can catch Jo Bender each Friday at 12 noon CST on Faith Radio Network (the AM arm of KTIS). Click here to listen to Jo's interview with Deidre Riggs, or catch the podcast of Connecting Faith and many other programs like Live the Promise with Susie Larson, Just Thinking with Ravi Zacharias, or Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram at myfaithradio.com

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Moms have a special influence in the lives of their sons. So how can we help raise our boys to be men of character? Author Rick Johnson joined Jo Bender today on Connecting Faith to talk about the role moms play in developing qualities in our sons like honesty, respect, humility, and more. 

 

Listen to the podcast here

or catch Jo live every Friday at Noon on KTIS' Faith Radio Network AM 900 / 90.7 FM.

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Do you have a hard time surrendering control of your life to God? If so, you are not alone. On today's Connecting Faith, Jo talks with author Shannon Popkin about what it means to have control issues and how to remember that our story is really God's story. 

Check out the podcast of Jo's show here:

http://myfaithradio.com/2017/surrendering-control-life/

 

You can listen to Jo on Connecting Faith live every Friday at noon on Faith Radio/KTIS AM900 or 90.7 FM

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I was always a little nervous about praying out loud in a group. Even praying a dinner blessing would sometimes cause a bit of stress. I would worry that I was somehow doing it wrong. The words always sounded fine in my head but when they left my mouth they were somehow less than lovely. I wanted to take them back, to edit, and then put forth my prayer in perfect grammar and proper theology.

 

I have tried acronyms in order to craft the perfect prayer: P.R.A.I.S.E., ACTS, PRAY, P.R.A.Y.E.R. They are all wonderful tools and have brought great clarity to my prayer time. But for me, I find myself holding back. I find myself more concerned with the format than I do with the subject.

 

At least I know I’m not alone. Maybe you’ve struggled too? Jesus taught his disciples to pray. They wondered how to communicate with the God who loved them, so Jesus encouraged them to come to him whenever they felt a need. He wanted them to know that the door was always open.

 

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)

 

There have been other times in my life when I can’t seem to stop the words from spilling out. These prayers may not have any continuity. There is no structure. But these prayers are real as well.

 

Many of the psalms are laments that come out of times of great distress and trouble. They are unashamed cries for help, for salvation, and for rescue. David used prayer to cry out to God. I’m so grateful that he did. It gives me license to cry out too.

 

In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help… (Psalm 18:6)

 

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck… I am worn out calling for help… My eyes fall, looking for my God. (Psalm 69:1-3)

 

In 1 Samuel, we hear of Hannah’s prayer. She is praying with a mixture of praise, wonder, pain, and pleas. She is so desperate to hear from the Lord that she goes right to the temple. But there were certain behavior expectations for a woman at that time and she doesn’t want to violate any of the social norms. So she prays without making a sound. She motions, she moves her lips, she shows great expression and emotion…so much so that the priest takes her for being drunk. She laid it all out, without even voicing a word.

 

I heard one friend say that sometimes she gets in her car and just has to “barf it out before God.” She just lets it go without thinking about who might be watching.

 

Is it okay to use the word God and barf in the same sentence? It sounds strange to me. It can’t possibly fit the format.

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I was determined to learn a new language, even if I was well past the age of a typical college student. But I found that I struggled retaining many pieces of information—from simple vocabulary to complex verb conjugations. My professor noticed my difficulty and gave me a simple suggestion, “Study right before bed,” he said. “Your brain functions well while you’re sleeping.”

 

After years of pulling all-nighters as a graduate student, I found this concept difficult to believe. But a recent sleep study published by Notre Dame found that studying before sleep had some significant memory benefits. The study tested college students who were divided into two groups—those who were given information to memorize at 9 am, followed by 10 hours of wakefulness; and those who were given information to memorize at 9 pm, followed by 10 hours of sleep. Those who studied the information and went right to sleep could recall that information 10 hours later and were even able to process complex information and processes while they slept. Those who studied that information during the daytime were less able to recall even simple formulas and vocabulary.

 

Could it be true? Could it be possible…that I just needed to study and then sleep? I could hear mothers across the country rejoicing…college students celebrating.  I thought I owed it to my professor to try it.

 

I started going through my language materials for about 30 minutes before bedtime. The plan was working! I began waking with the vocabulary still intact. I even conjugated a couple of verbs over breakfast.

 

If this could work for my vocabulary, what would happen if I applied this same technique to memorizing and understanding Scripture? If I filled my heart and mind with the truth of God’s Word—even just a snippet—could my mind process that information overnight so that I woke with a clearer understanding of who I was in Christ?

 

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