The Wedding: Feast of Tabernacles

The Wedding: Feast of Tabernacles

Today’s guest is Lauren Blake.

Lauren is the founder and a life coach with Shalom Strategies ( She has a B.A. in Christian Education and Ministry and her Masters in Spiritual Formation and Evangelism from Wheaton College. She wrote her thesis on the Bridal Paradigm and included a creative project of Bible Devotional on Song of Songs. 

Lauren became a widow at twenty-five after being married just over a year. However, she has since remarried and has four children. She has helped her husband plant two congregations under the Tikkun American network. Which creates space for Christian and Messianic Jewish believers to worship Jesus (Yeshua) together in unity with distinctions. 

Lauren has been involved in the International House of Prayer movement in Kansas City and prayer leads at the First Coast House of Prayer in Saint Augustine. Her passion is to walk out Jesus’s prayer in John 17 to be One with Him and His Body.

Lauren believes the key to walking this out is allowing the Holy Spirit to live through us so we can be a beautiful Bride made up of the whole body of Messiah for His Return.

Here is another podcast where I spoke on the Betrothal with Dr. Dinah Hodgson: The Betrothal – This Side of Heaven (

Happy New Year: Rosh Hashanah Explained

Happy New Year: Rosh Hashanah Explained

The Feast of Trumpets. You don’t want to miss this episode if you have wondered what this feast means and where Jesus fulfills it!

Kisha Gallagher explains Rosh Hashanah or Feast of Trumpets. In this two-part series, she discusses the meaning of moedim or appointed times, the biblical meaning of Rosh Hashanah, the coronation of the King, as well as the Feast of Trumpets many facets.

Encouragement from Hebrews

Encouragement from Hebrews

Tracy L. Smoak is my guest blogger today. She has a great post on the Encouragement from Hebrews! Tracy is a Bible study writer and a photographer–both of which we have in common. I hope you enjoy her post on one of my favorite books of the Bible.

Finding Encouragement from Hebrews

A recent visit to the ocean reminded me of God’s glory. Standing on the shore before dawn, I watched the sunrise in all its grandeur of reds, golds, pinks, and oranges.

There’s something about that pageant that inspires awe.

I see Jesus rising to His throne with the crowning of each day as light blazes into what used to be dark.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory.

Hebrews 1:3, NIV

Life has trials that can discourage us. Things haven’t turned out like we thought. We strain to see beyond hardship and sorrow to find hope.

Since the heavens are works of Jesus’ hands (Hebrews 1:10), we have the assurance of His power and might. Jesus not only creates beauty with a spoken word, but He carries us when we can’t walk.

Because Jesus suffered temptation, He is able to help those of us being tempted to despair, give up, or give way to bitterness when disappointments damage our dreams.

Hebrews 2:18

Focus on God Through Adversity

In the middle of a storm, the only true refuge is in Jesus’ arms. When my marriage failed, when my son turned away for five years, when my health gave out, and when I lost my job, the only place of safety was in the certainty of Jesus’ love.

When adversity upends our expectations, we have a choice: Trust God to redeem the agony or deny He is able to rescue us. The writer of Hebrews, no stranger to persecution or pain, cautions believers: “Don’t let hardship and trials harden your heart and make you turn away from God” (Hebrews 3:13-15).

Though Jesus was the Son, He learned obedience from what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8-9). With time, we too can see how nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Jesus lives forever and has a permanent priesthood. He lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25).

Like Jesus, let us say, “Here I am–I have come to do Your will, my God” (Hebrews 10:24).

Faith in Adversity

When we step forward in faith, trusting God will lead us to better places we can endure. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promises is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).

By sharing our stories, we can help each other find the strength needed for today. “Let us spur each other on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

If we remain resolute and don’t throw away our confidence, God will richly reward us (Hebrews 10:35). Think here of the joy Lazarus’ family experienced seeing him arise. Did lepers’ skin tingle as the flesh became new? What must it be like to see colors after the dark of blindness?

Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

Hebrews 11:1-2

Be confident that God sees you today and will move heaven and earth to demonstrate His love.

A native Floridian, Tracy L. Smoak’s passion, is to encourage others in their faith journey. Smoak contributes to Guideposts. Her debut novel is Who Brought the Dog to Church?, and her Bible study is Refuge of Grace: Finding Your Safe Place. She loves photography and authored two hardcover devotionals with original nature art (Redemption Press: Living Water to Refresh Your Soul and Arranged with Love). Smoak holds a master’s in Education and a bachelor’s in Communication. Her website is Devotions with her photography set to music are available:

You can get Stephanie’s study on the Book of Hebrews here.

A Biblical View of Sex and the Dangers of Pornography

A Biblical View of Sex and the Dangers of Pornography

Barb Winters is my guest today!

Barb is a certified Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist and has completed extensive research on pornography and its effects on individuals and society. As Lead Facilitator at E3 Family Solutions, Inc., I equip youth at local schools to avoid risky behaviors and make healthy choices.

From her website,

When one of my sons was fourteen, he confessed to watching pornography. I was shocked, mad, and ashamed. I questioned my parenting skills. The stigma surrounding his behavior kept me from talking with others, so I suffered in silence. The pain and emotional turmoil left me feeling empty and alone.

Since that time, I’ve learned a thing or two about pornography, screens, online relationships, hookup culture, grooming, human trafficking, and the teenage brain. My experience combatting this monumental problem and my desire for no other parent to feel alone in this battle led me to create this site. It’s a place for parents, grandparents, and caregivers to find support, encouragement, and practical tips for parenting in this digital world. Oh, and HOPE.

You can pre-order her book, Sexpectations, here.

Other resources mentioned in this podcast: