Matt & Julie Kouri — Lessons Learned from Their Adoption Journey [Podcast 023]

In today’s episode, I interview Matt and Julie Kouri about their adoption journey. They have three children that came to their family through adoption. Below you can see in the show notes some of what we discuss.

Kouri Family

 

 

Show Notes

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Do We Get to Choose Our Neighbors? Interview with Dave Runyon [Podcast 022]

Co-author of The Art of Neighboring

Are you like me and most other people? You kind of know your neighbors, well, at least you wave at them as you come and go. I might know their first names, but don’t ask me the names of their kids.

If we aren’t intentional about not just meeting our neighbors, but getting to know them, it probably won’t ever happen.

In today’s podcast episode, I interview Dave Runyon, co-author of The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door.

I appreciate Dave’s authentic way of sharing his journey to embracing one of Jesus’ basic commands, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Below you can get a glimpse of what you will hear in our interview.

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Are You Willing to Ask Hard Questions About Your Life? [Podcast 021]

Interview with Joel Whose Family Serves in South Asia

In today’s episode I interview my friend Joel who along with his wife, Leah, and young family serve in a country in South Asia. In the interview I ask Joel to take us through the process of how his they mad the decision to serve as foreign missionaries.

Joel shares many nuggets about the process, but what stood out to me was when he says that they began asking themselves hard questions about how they lived life, spent their money, and so on. Joel calls this a “holy discontent”.

I think this is a good exercise for everyone to do…ask yourself hard questions about how you live life…even though it often can cause a “holy discontent”.

Listen to find out what this really looks like:

Here is what else you will hear in the episode:

…a little about Joel’s family.

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When You Feel Like Tapping Out

3 Ways to Stay in the Game

I am one of the many who watches a LOT of basketball this time of year. I enjoy seeing teams play well together, the cinderella stories, and buzzer beaters.

If you watch team sports, especially basketball or football, you probably have seen a player tap the top of his head or look over to the sideline and raise his hand. He is signaling to his coach that he wants out of the game.

In today’s up-tempo style of playing, this is common. It’s definitely a different approach to the game from a generation or two ago when players stayed in the game for longer stints. In football, some even played both defense and offense.

It isn’t that the players are giving up or don’t want to play anymore. They just need a breather or a short rest. But some do “tap out” because they feel defeated or want out of the game.

An athlete though has put in hours of preparation to play in the game. If they were to give up, it would mean that they were not fulfilling their purpose.

But what about life? Do we ever want to tap out? I don’t mean for good. I mean, do we tap out of what God’s purpose or mission is for our life because we are tired, discouraged, or feel defeated?

Can I let you in on something?

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In the Fullness of Time: How Adoption Reflects the Gospel [Podcast 20]

In this episode I expound on a blog post—3 Takeaways from the Future and A Hope Conference. I focus on the first takeaway…God sees brokenness and leans into it.

Here are a few things that you will hear…

Two insights:

  1. Adoption reflects God’s redemption story.
  2. God ordains adoption at just the exact time He intends it to happen.

Two conclusions:

  1. Adoption is a covenant relationship.
  2. It is important to be sensitive to God’s timing.

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Thank you!

5 Ways Having A Purpose Gives You Confidence

Do you ever feel like you are aimlessly wandering through life? Do you struggle making decisions, both big and small? Odds are you do. A lot of people do.

I introduce my podcast episodes stating that everyone has a God-given mission or purpose. I really do believe that. Every single person created, whether they believe in God or not, has a purpose for being on this planet. It is a lie from the enemy of God that some people don’t have a reason for being alive.

So why is it so hard for us to know what that purpose or mission is?

The thing I learned about God is that He rarely forces His plan on us. Unless your name is Jonah getting swallowed by a giant fish, or Saul/Paul falling down blind on the road to Damascus, God patiently works with us, nudging us, sometimes waiting for us to be ready for His plan for our lives.

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When You Need to Pull Your Child Closer: Conversation with Danielle [Podcast 019]

Sometimes something triggers a fear or anxiety response in our children so strongly that it impacts how they interact with their environment. They can respond with uncontrollable anger, paralyzing fear, or an urge to run.

We might not always know what triggers that response, but we can know how to respond to the behavior. When we understand how trauma affects the brain and how some things cause a shift from the complex, thinking area of the brain into the protective part, we hopefully will handle the situation in a manner that helps our child feel safe again. And when they feel safe again, they can make rational, healthy decisions in response to their environment.

In this episode, Danielle sits down with me to discuss a recent series of events that has triggered a fear response from our son. We talk about what happened, how we handled it, and why we handled it the way we did. At the time of the recording, much of this is still occurring.

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What Is an UPG?

UPG stands for Unreached People Group. Okay. Unreached? By whom? Why is anyone trying to “reach” these groups?

One more question…what is a “people group”?

I have spent nearly all of my 55 years on this world in the United States, like 99+% of my life. My family took me to church from the time I was a baby, so I have heard about who Jesus Christ is many, many times over. I still attend church. I even served a few times on the staff of churches. I have told the story about Jesus Christ many times.

I have heard about Jesus Christ so many times in my 55 years that sometimes I become nonchalant about this redemption story.

If you are from the United States or another western nation, odds are, even if you never have stepped foot into a church and didn’t grow up in a Christian home, you have heard about Jesus Christ.

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Meeting A Physical Need Can Bring Spiritual Healing: Interview with Ashley Redburn [Podcast 018]

In today’s podcast episode, I interview Ashley Redburn, Stateside Operations Director for Sole Hope. In the episode you will learn about a ministry that meets a physical need of Ugandans. The jigger parasite burrows into its hosts feet causing pain, and if untreated, deformity.

Even though the medical procedure to remove the jiggers is relatively simple, the social stigma about anyone who has jiggers creates a much larger problem. The founders of Sole Hope, Dru and Asher Collie, began Sole Hope after Asher came across a YouTube video about how jiggers entered the feet of children in Uganda and the devastating impact it had on these children.

Listen to the podcast to learn more:

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3 Takeaways from the 2017 Future and A Hope Conference

I attended the Future and A Hope conference last Saturday in Austin, Texas. This is a conference that brings together those who advocate for vulnerable and at-risk children. Some who attend are just beginning to explore and discern what their role is.

Other families who attend are in the midst of parenting children that they foster or have adopted either through foster care, private domestic agencies, or international agencies.

One thing I noticed this year (this isn’t one of my takeaways) is that many attendees have at least a basic understanding what trauma informed care is. That speaks to the work of many in this field. Families, counselors, caseworkers, and others are now speaking the same language more than ever. This is a good thing.

Ready for some takeaways?

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