RYL015 – Have No Fear


FearNotWe have a confession. We have started exercising in earnest. We’ve made such a big deal over resolutions for a new year versus setting goals. So, I guess we didn’t want you to think we had made a knee-jerk decision to start exercising. Listen to that at the start until 7 minutes, 37 seconds into the show.

Then you’ll hear my rant on ‘sustainability’ and its use for items we might find in a bathroom. ( 7:38 – 8:24 )

Sriracha Chicken recipe, our dinner tonight. ( 8:25 – 10:49 )

Robyn O’Brien’s TEDx Talk ( 10:50 – 26:30 )

Robyn O’Brien had started a successful career and decided to add children to the mix. They had four in all. One day she had a scare that totally changed her life when one of her daughters had an allergic reaction. As Robyn leapt into action to find out why she uncovered the lengths that food companies have gone to maximize profits at the expense of the health of the people they are supposed to be serving.

She talks about how foods have been modified to suit expediency over good nutrition in her recent TEDx Talk. Now a food activist, Robyn continues to tell the public of the dangers of engineered foods and the devastating affect these food can have on our national health. Most disheartening is the way the US government subsidizes these progressive, non-proven methods but taxes and regulates proven organic farmers.

As the story unfolded, JoElla and I both agreed that her talk didn’t offer a lot of options. Although we feel Robyn O’brien is doing a great job alerting the public to this issue, it seem so much bigger than all of us. We didn’t feel like we were left with much hope. When you add to this issue a host of problems facing this country and the world, fear has a way of entering the conversation. Suddenly we all want to catch the next plane out of the country.

Fear says RUN! Fear only lets you consider the down side. Fear causes torment, and we can only think of the worst when we’re under its spell. But the truth is that we are free from fear! God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7) Psalm 91:5-7 says we will not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at our side, and ten thousand at our right hand; but it will not come near us.

At the end of the day there is only one hope that we have. And that is in Jesus Christ. Otherwise we will find ourselves running to the hills for safety. Ww will find ourselves doing extraordinary things that we might never — because we believe we can do everything it takes to save ourselves from impending doom.

I remember this song as a boy with lyrics that went, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus and his righteousness. Our righteousness is in Him. Righteousness in Him means that we have added nothing to it. It means that there’s nothing we have done to earn salvation. We just receive it. There’s no amount of right doing that can be done to keep our salvation. And in ourselves, without Him, there’s nothing we can do to heal ourselves or find safety.


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RYL014 – Asking the Right Questions


reinvent yourselfLast week we talked about life goals and New Year’s resolution and about how different they are and how writing down your goals is essential in seeing the come to pass. So, it’s a new year. It’s a time where we review our lives and start asking questions of ourselves. We’ve talked more than a few times about being able to be truthful with ourselves. So today we have some questions about our church life. We hear a lot of things about people and their church experience. So we just want to know what you think.

So here are a few of the questions discussed on today’s Podcast:

Do you enjoy going to church?

What do you like most about church?

Why do you go, and what is your motivation?

Have you ever thought about quitting church?

What would you do if you decided to quit going to church?

Would you feel guilty about not going to church?

How would you explain the fact that you’re no longer going to church to your children, your peers, your mom and dad?

And is that a huge deterrent in your choosing not to go to church?

What would your religious life look like if you didn’t go to church?

Would you still choose friends and acquaintances that have the same beliefs as you do?

Would it be a problem for you if you lost some of the friends that you had in church, would it make you sad?

And this is just a reminder but this exercise is to allow us to be truthful with ourselves. The question in all of this is to reveal in us our motivation for doing what we do. Why don’t we go to church every week? And how would we change our lives if we weren’t in church? We’re trying to find out who we are. We are all trying to reinvent ourselves – not according to the world’s standards but as the person He is revealing in us. And part of that spiritual longing in us is to bring our uniqueness and our gifts and callings to the place where we fellowship but also into the workplace and social settings.

And when we choose a church it needs to be in a church that teaches the Gospel. If you’re being taught anything but the gospel, that is, do more, be more, give more, spend more time at the church, then you’re probably not in a church that teaches the Gospel? What is the Gospel? It’s for the good news that Jesus Christ has redeemed us from having to perform a list of does and don’ts to gain our own salvation, but realizing that he’s already done all that for us. There is nothing we can add to it.

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RYL013 – What Are We Aiming At?


sure to find your markWelcome to this week’s podcast. We had a Great Christmas and a very quiet New Year celebration. We traveled a lot between where we live and Raleigh, Wake Forest and of course, Knightdale. It was all fun and sometimes entertaining, our son-in-law was in their church Christmas play. It was a great play that had the audience participating. What fun was had by all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, oh yes, and Merry Christmas Adam to some of you, especially my family in Albuquerque.

Since we mentioned Happy New Year!, let’s talk about resolutions and goal setting – why not! Let’s use our energy to target and achieve something that God has put in our hearts.

What Kendall and I do sometimes is help you to think about yourself. We have some answers for us but the best thing we do is to throw out questions so you can decide for yourself. Some of the things we talk about you won’t hear anywhere else. But we think it’s important that you are truthful with yourself and make decisions for yourself. If you’re looking for a way to set goals you can Google goal setting or New Year’s Resolutions and go to your heart’s content.

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is the pressure that people put on themselves and others to perform. And usually New Year’s resolutions are done on a whim. I mean about all the month of December I’m thinking- I’m going…  I need to think of a resolution…   what can I tell someone when they ask what my resolutions are? Whereas goals are usually extracted from a huge or ongoing desire to complete things that are in our hearts to make us move toward the calling that God’s given to us.

So many times New Year’s resolutions are really kind of flippant and or impractical and something that’s really not well thought out and may not be something that we will really be able to achieve. It’s just a dream that we would like to come true. And often New Year’s resolutions are result of having failed in a particular area and now we’re going to try to right a wrong using our own ‘strong’ will to achieve.

I heard about a person that decided in the fall that by the first of the year she was going to cut out sugar. So she started by limiting her soft drinks. So then each week she worked up to a place that when she arrived at January first she could say her New Year’s resolution was to quit sugar. So you see she set small achievable goals and then could make a New Year’s Resolution to totally quit sugar.

Sometimes there is some confusion about setting goals and New Year’s resolution. Like the example, one is under duress often times if it’s a New Year’s resolution to stop sugar after you’ve been bingeing over the holidays. But the other is a great strategy – stepping off from a point of strength having the resolve, and physically having the advantage of stabilized blood sugar — increasing the possibility of successfully quitting sugar.

So, we’ve separated the two, goal setting versus setting New Year Resolutions, and go on to talk more about setting goals. As you listen to the podcast we have numerous scriptures and talk about what they mean to us. One of the main things is to not give up!

A goal is just a whim if it’s not acted on persistently. If you give up you will never reach your goal. But, the goal that’s achievable really has to be a goal that’s well-thought-out and God breathed. And when we choose to go after a goal that is God-given then we find the strength to persevere and totally reach that goal. That’s His Grace.

Do you have any ideas for yourself? What can you do today? Maybe you could call a friend to encourage them. Write an email to someone or even write a letter and send it by USPS. Remember it’s the little things that matter to people. And people is what life is all about.

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RYL012 – We Wish You a Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas Jesus

Merry Christmas! Please take time during this holiday season to enjoy the people that are around you. Remember to reach out to others that may not have any friends or family close by. There are so many ways you can bless others, sometimes the best way is just being around them. In other words, taking time with people.

Remember as well  the reason for this season is Jesus.


Music from: YouTube – Published on Sep 22, 2013 – Royalty Free Music. “Wish Background” by Kevin MacLeod.
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RYL011 – Love, the Key to Finding Your True Identity


his love for usIn today’s podcast we talk about the experience we had caroling for Christmas. It’s so easy to stop and take the time to do something for others. Not just in this season, we encourage you to reach out to others in a way that might seem to not hold much meaning to you but has potential to really bless others. You have the power to improve the lives you touch as you take time out of your daily business.

As promised, Mickey and Suzan Cartagena are back this week to talk about our identity in Christ and how we’re able to find it through God’s love. Until we can see ourselves as Christ sees us we can’t love ourselves nor other people.

It’s as simple as finding our identity in Christ then sharing it with others. Mickey and Suzan’s ministry is Christian Seeking Identity. Click here to see their website where you can request their periodic newsletter and find teachings in print or audio. You can also find a way to contact them.

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RYL010 – Your Willing Heart is Enough


YOUR WILLING HEARTYou will learn how we extended the Thanksgiving season by cooking a second turkey with some of the fixin’s. Allie drove to the farm on Friday for the first time by her self. Saturday saw her testing her Black-Friday purchase of a GoPro camera with results posted on her FaceBook. We had her help on Sunday morning setting up audio at church then she was off to her church that evening where she is a member of the praise band. By Sunday afternoon the Mitchell’s had decorated their home for Christmas with too many trees to count. Monday evening had us at a basketball game with Savannah at EWA. Pray I figure out JoElla’s new camera so all the action shots of Savannah won’t be blurred. Also really pray for Victoria to have stamina. Finals week at Meredith. Enough said.

Special Guests: Mickey & Suzan Cartagena

Mickey & Suzan

Mickey & Suzan

How many times do we consider all the possibilities out there in ministry but discount the fact that we are able to minister to those we work and live with on a daily basis. We believe we have to be a super pastor or a missionary to a foreign country to count for God. But all God wants is our willing heart.

On this week’s podcast we interview Mickey and Suzan Cartagena who are missionaries most recently to Ecuador. They come and go which is totally different from the traditional model most of us learned. They show us that the possibilities are endless in our finding a way to serve the ones God loves.

It’s as simple as finding our identity in Christ then sharing it with others. Mickey and Suzan’s ministry is Christian Seeking Identity. Click here to see their website where you can request their periodic newsletter and find teachings in print or audio. You can also find a way to contact them.

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RYL009 – We Are THANKFUL. For You!


thankful for youWe have had a great time with our family celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday and hope you have as well. As we think about the things we’re thankful for we think of you. In these few weeks we have had some great responses from you and have been so encouraged by your comments.  Today we shared some of those. Again, we are so thankful for our listeners.

Kendall talks about the miracle of Jesus’ feeding the multitudes in each of the Gospels, Matt 14:17, Mark 6:38, Luke 9:13, and John 6:9. Jesus says that we will do greater miracles than He did but the real story here is that thanksgiving preceded this miracle. Jesus looked at what the disciples had brought to feed the many people who has followed them, blessed what they had brought (John 6:11 says Jesus gave thanks) and instructed them to distribute the food to those waiting. The food was enough for the multitudes of people with baskets full of uneaten bread and fishes left over.

All the disciples were able to see was what they lacked. They had seen food multiplied one time before but still thought the answer was to find a greater supply of food. We sometimes only look at what is available, fail to see that Jesus has already provided for us, and don’t see that simple thanksgiving is the answer to receiving what we need.

Rick and Kathy Riso have a great song we want to share with you. It’s about thanksgiving. A Thankful Heart can be found on uTube.

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RYL008 – Woman’s Point of View


Womans point of viewHi, this is JoElla and you will notice I shared some of my background this week. It was not the easiest but I wanted people to know where I am coming from.

Well, now I am not a counselor or trained to help people so you understand I am just here to share my life experiences with you. Sometimes we go through life thinking everyone thinks and feels just like we do when in reality they don’t. No one thinks like you or feels like you. We all take in information/stuff and then we put it away in our hearts. Some things are good and some are not so good but whatever we have been through makes us then who we are today. Based on all that information, we make decisions that then affect us and those around us.

First my dad died and then just a few months later the plane crashed and killed my husband and son, I was so numb and would not let myself cry or go through the grief period. I thought I was so lonely and thought a husband, Kendall would be the answer. As all of you probably know, a person is not the answer. Anyway, I didn’t know that so we got married. We have been married 3 decades and I wouldn’t change the person (Kendall) but I would change the timing. That was not a wise decision. Decisions made either when you are emotional, mad, sad, happy, just any emotion that says you have to make that decision now are not the best.

I can only speak for women…but I know that I have made numerous decisions in the heat of the moment. Either I was mad or hurt or another emotion. I have heard it said harness your emotions and that is true but the main thing is you need to realize God made you like you are and He loves you. Emotions and all!!

One thing that I have learned the hard way is that I need to sit back and think about a situation and look at it from everyone’s perspective. Not that you can see through their eyes but at least try to see what they see. Just recently Kendall and I had a talk about a relationship that was in our past. He could see things that I didn’t see and I saw some things he didn’t see. But through us talking about it I was able to bring closure to it. Now understand, he and I see through different filters. In other words, he has not been where I have been. He has not been hurt or loved in the same way I have. He could only give his side. But at least now we understand each other and why we act toward this person the way we do. It does not mean I am right and Kendall is wrong or the other way around but it does mean I understand better what he is dealing with.

Someone said that when your emotions are wounded or injured you stop growing. So that brings me to being truthful or honest with yourself. You will notice I didn’t say truthful and honest with everyone around you. If you think you need to tell someone then maybe it would be good but for the most part you just need to keep it in your heart. Some of the things you might share most people would not understand or they might be really shocked or surprised. Some people after you try to tell them would not want to be your friend anymore. I’m just really being honest. Most of the time you could say there has been so many things happen leading up to this reality for you that they didn’t experience it would be impossible to catch them up with you. It’s just like making a decision to change jobs or move or any other major decision. You would need to share minute by minute the different levels / decisions you go through and need to make in order for that person to keep up with you. Your decision is made through going through all this process. There again they do not process through your filter, they have their own filter.

Being honest with yourself means you look at yourself and say this is who I am and I love me. Yes, you may be overweight, grey haired, wear glasses, but remember those are the outward / visible things that you are looking at. But, remember God looks at your heart. Who are you in your heart?

Do you want to run away? Do you want bad and ugly things to happen to people? Under your breath do you say mean or hateful things? Or are you praying for those that are being mean to you? Do you realize they have been through many things in their lives that have been hurtful and they are in their own way trying to just get through life?

A friend of mine said:

As you reflect on the events of your life, remember, the storms you have encountered have only made you stronger. You are wiser, you are more alive, and you are headed for victory. Your best days are right out in front of you! Always remember that with God on your side, ALL things are possible.

Melissa Watkins

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RYL007 – I Thought All This Time We Were Friends


Friends Forever RLNcom 400x400Earlier this week we recorded a podcast with our granddaughter Ally Mitchell who will be going to India in the spring for a mission trip. Be sure to see that post below. We also picked up sweet potatoes in the field to the south of the house that we’ll be sharing with friends and family. We’ve got lots of North Carolina sweet potatoes just in time for Thanksgiving.

And yesterday JoElla made a test batch of her awesome cornbread dressing. We had to go to the neighbors to fetch some cranberry sauce to go with the dressing and the splayed chicken that we baked. It was a yummy day for pre-holiday foods at the Kempfs.

This week we learn to manage the expectations we have of others, friends and acquaintances, by realizing how our relationships fall into different categories. We found we use the term ‘friend’ like we use ‘love’. “I love coffee with sugar and cream,” or “I just love the way your hair looks today.” And then we use it to say, “I love you from the bottom of my heart.” A friend can be a long time friend, an acquaintance or someone we just met. So with that loose usage we see how easy it is to confuse the relationship of a friend or acquaintance.

And if there’s confusion about who is a ‘friend’ there must be a similar confusion about our expectations of any of the relationships we have in our lives? We’ll break our relationships into four categories and talk about what expectations we might have in each category. We all move in and out of these different categories at different times in our lives and that changes needs and dependencies on those within each category. We do learn to manage our expectations of our relationships by realizing that everyone is not in the same category of relationships and most significantly, we learn the importance of love to each of those. That lessens our expectations. So we can find a way to be realistic about our expectations and always apply the rule of love to those around us, knowing that love doesn’t demand anything of each of our relationships. It’s by love that we can serve one another.

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Special Edition – Ally’s Mission Trip


DopeyKendall and JoElla interview Ally Mitchell about her upcoming mission trip to India in March. She tells about her trip to the orphanage, some special kids there and talks about some of the needs she saw when they did street ministry. She mentions one special little boy named Dopey that won her heart.

We’ll all have the opportunity to help Ally travel to India. She has a gofundme page that talks about her last trip to India and will tellgofundme you all you need to know about helping her on her trip. We’re excited that she has the heart to share the love of Jesus with others everywhere she goes.

We also ask that you pray for Ally and the team as they overcome obstacles found on the foreign mission field. Lives will be changed as the team focuses on bringing the Gospel to Tenali, India, meeting the needs of the people.


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