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CongreGate

J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox

Come and CongreGate with Mark, Shawn, and Micah as they talk about culture, politics, sports, world events, and church from a biblical worldview. In ancient times, the community elders sat in the city gate to talk politics and culture, conduct business, pass judgment, and share ideas about life. Trading in the city gate for a few microphones and an endless source of inspiration and banter (aka "the internet"), a pastor and college professor, a former naval officer, and a rotary club president ...



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CongreGate
Jul 17, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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YUGE Announcement! After consulting with our close friend, Al, the CongreGate Team is taking a break through the rest of the summer. We'll be returning in mid-September with new shows and a new "seasonal" format. So, please subscribe to the newsletter at congregatepodcast.com and don't miss any important updates or announcements! And don't unsubscribe! We'll be back soon!   Thanks to all the men and women who've been faithfully listening and providing encouraging feedback over the...
CongreGate
Jul 10, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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We’re back after a couple of weeks of travel! This week we are catching up on a variety of topics including basketball; the Supreme Court; and Mark’s trip to Moldova, Berlin, and Prague. Micah brags about his sports prediction skills (he correctly guessed which team LeBron would sign with…), while Mark and Shawn make fun of him. We talk about the Supreme Court and some of the chatter surrounding what might happen with another conservative judge added to the group. Mark shares his...
CongreGate
Jun 19, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Do you know anyone with a "boomerang child"? You've probably heard about the 30-year-old man that was recently ordered by a judge to leave his parents' home after refusing to leave for months. How does this relate to children respecting adults in the current culture? Lack of respect has turned into a mental health crisis for children. We chat about an article from one of our local newspaper contributors who says giving children power in their relationship with adults weakens, rather...
CongreGate
Jun 12, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Did the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling go far enough? The Supreme Court ruled on the Jack Phillips case last week. The ruling in favor of Jack was a win for religious freedom. If you haven't had the chance to talk with your family about this important case, we encourage you to start a conversation with your older kids and wife around the dinner table. We've been listening to and reading many analyses of the ruling and a couple of things really stand out. First, don't believe the narrative that the...
CongreGate
Jun 5, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today's episode is a casual conversation about some recent news, Mark & Shawn's recap of the homeschool conference, and a little bit about family worship and our new family worship resource page. Mark led 2 workshops at the conference. His first talk was about time management for men. He notes that there are often time management workshops specifically for moms, but not usually for the dads. In his workshop, he addressed how to prioritize the important things over the urgent things, and...
CongreGate
May 29, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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This week we catch up on some basketball and add a few thoughts to our previous episode about family activities. We spend a few minutes talking about our family mission and vision before moving on to the main topic of this episode, making disciples together as a family. Scripture commands us, in Matthew 28, to "go and make disciples." Is it enough to live your life as a "good example"? Nope! Paul said "To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication...
CongreGate
May 22, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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It's graduation season! Graduation speeches often have similar themes and are filled with cliché catchphrases. Are any of these typical graduation platitudes actually helpful? What should we be encouraging our graduates toward? It seems we are preaching a different message on graduation day than we do in church every week. (We mostly attend graduations for homeschool and Christian school students...) You can do anything, you can be anything you want to be, follow your dreams....why are these...
CongreGate
May 15, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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We open with a couple of weird news stories...but today we are talking about evaluating family schedule and activities. We listened to a great talk by Jen Wilkin on FamilyLife Today regarding family activities and overscheduling. Jen says the number one issue that children are struggling with today is depression and anxiety due to exhaustion and overscheduling. She talks about how Christian families should be different from the world in this area and how we can evaluate what our family...
CongreGate
May 8, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Last week we talked about free-range parenting. One of our friends commented that we have very different ideas about the definition of free-range parenting. Maybe we missed the mark? He says free-range parenting is the exact opposite of helicopter parenting, where parents set no boundaries and have no rules. He says the parents are motivated by laziness, not by an intentional plan to give them space to explore and be creative. So, we talk about the difference between intentional free-range...
CongreGate
May 1, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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A listener recently asked us what we think about free-range parenting. How much freedom should our children have to play and explore independently? Should responsible children have the freedom to play outside or stay at home alone? Utah recently passed a law to protect parents that allow their children this type of freedom. Fifty years ago, kids were free to ride their bikes around town and stay home after school alone. A recent news article talked about how children that do not spend free...
CongreGate
Apr 24, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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First, don't miss Micah's exciting announcement! This week's topic is from a listener that wrote in with a great question about discussing cultural issues with unbelieving co-workers. Our friend asks how we should interact with people at work that have an opposite worldview. Specifically, she mentioned talking to those friends that support abortion, homosexual marriage, marijuana legalization, and related issues. As followers of Christ, our first priority should be to treat every person with...
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Apr 17, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Are you living in a conservative Christian echo chamber? If you haven't heard the term, living in an "echo chamber" means that you only taking in information and listening to thoughts that reinforce your current viewpoint. As conservative Christians, we can sometimes fall into some traps, thinking only one way about theology or social issues, without considering other views. For example, do we only ever look for study materials from John Piper or do we ignore opinions from authors...
CongreGate
Apr 10, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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First, Micah tells us how he got locked in the crawlspace under the house. Don't worry, the 3-year-old figured out how to open the lock for him! Today we chat about what fathers should be teaching their sons, for example, should fathers teach their son to throw a ball? What are the basic skills we as dads should be teaching our sons? Are basic sports skills that important? Dads have a responsibility for the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of their children. Why is throwing a ball,...
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Apr 3, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Should Christians support movies that depict literal Bible events? Are movies about the life of Jesus (and other prominent Bible characters) helpful to the Gospel or harmful? We're not talking about all movies with Christian themes, just movies specifically about Biblical events like The Passion of the Christ,The Nativity Story, and the new movie about the apostle Paul. Just to be clear, we believe this is a Christian liberty issue. We take different sides in this debate to explore the positive...
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Mar 27, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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It's Spring! Time to get out the lawnmower and get started on some of the DIY projects around the house. Today we're just chatting about life—basketball, the Spring projects we've been working on, and a few fun stories about DIY projects. We all have big lawns and riding lawnmowers that require regular maintenance. Find out which tasks we do ourselves and which ones we hire out. Plus, Mark tells you what alligator hunters and lawnmowers have in common. Is YouTube a helpful tool or a killer of...
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Mar 20, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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First, we spend a few minutes catching up on March Madness, Shawn's family camping trip, and Micah's home invasion. Because of Micah's recent experience, it seemed good to talk about preparing your home and protecting your family from home invasion. We also talk about the difference between faith and fear, some lessons learned, and how our stuff is not eternal. As Christian men, we are called by God to be the protectors of our family. Are we helping our wives and children to feel safe? We need...
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Mar 13, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Have you taken the time to meet your neighbors and find out how you can minister to them? We have been trained to think of our workplace as a place of ministry, but do we think of our home as a place of ministry too? God put you in your house, in your neighborhood, to be a light to your neighbors. Are you looking for ways to minister to the families in your area? We chat about different experiences with neighbors we've had over the years and opportunities we've had to minister to them in...
CongreGate
Mar 6, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about engaging with your children one on one. Though we encourage and promote planning family activities, we also think it's important to find time to spend intentional time alone with each of our children. As dads, we have found that meeting with our kids one on one helps build stronger relationships with them and build up the family as a whole. All of us take kids to run errands, but what we're talking about today is a little different. How can we make opportunities where...
CongreGate
Feb 27, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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After some banter about the Winter Olympics and some excitement over replacing windshield wipers, we spend some time reflecting on the life of Billy Graham. As you've probably heard by now, preacher and evangelist, Billy Graham died a few days ago. He spent his life telling millions of people the good news that Jesus Christ was the solution to their sin problem. We've enjoyed reading and learning more about Billy Graham this week as others remember and reflect on his life. Some of our kids were...
CongreGate
Feb 20, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Back in 1997, Joshua Harris wrote a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Twenty-one years later with over a million copies sold, Harris has been discussing some of the backlash and feedback he received and what he would do differently now. He has recently opened up about some of his regrets and lessons learned in interviews with World Magazine and on FamilyLife Today. While many people took away good and helpful principles from the book, some people have claimed that Harris's book "ruined...
CongreGate
Feb 13, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we answer a few questions from our listeners about church leadership and discipling kids. We also chat about the Superbowl and faith of some of the players. Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and many of their teammates have been a refreshing witness for Christ. We are thankful to see men living for Jesus in a very public way. Our friend Stephen asks, "Can you discuss the Biblical reasons for elder vs. pastor-led churches?" Mark says that appointing elders is the New Testament model of...
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Feb 6, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about church shopping & the consumer mindset. More than ever, Christians "shop" for the "perfect" churches. With a church on every corner in some areas of the country, we have no lack of choices. Just like we go to Starbucks and have thousands of drink options, we expect to go to church and find dozens of options for music and programs. Are we even "shopping" for the right things? What about looking for churches that preach from the Bible...
CongreGate
Jan 30, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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For the past few years, our church has been encouraging and building leaders in Moldova through short-term missions trips. Mark and Micah just returned from another trip and share some of the things they are doing and teaching in Moldova to help build godly leaders there. In Moldova, the official church is the Orthodox Church. Most people believe they are Christians, but follow a works-based religious system. There are smaller groups of Baptist and Pentecostal Christians that are hungry for...
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Jan 23, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today's topic isn't one we normally like to think about. Are you prepared for death or disability? What steps can you take to provide for your family if you die unexpectedly or become disabled? We all like to think we will grow old with our wives, but it's important to take the time to make contingency plans for our families. As husbands and fathers, we have a responsibility to prepare our families for our death if it should precede theirs. Praise God we live in a time and culture where women...
CongreGate
Jan 16, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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We've talked about our annual planning practices a few times, but today we wanted to focus specifically on the importance of planning for tithing and giving, as well as some of the more practical questions about how to set goals and ways to give. Micah talks about the encouragement he received as a young man to take the Financial Peace University class from Dave Ramsey. That wise advice helped him begin good financial habits as a young married man. He observes that when he and his wife plan and...
CongreGate
Jan 9, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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The beginning of the year is a great time to look back and evaluate how you spent your time and energy the previous year, and make new goals for the upcoming year. We don't love the idea of resolutions, but setting clear, achievable, purposeful goals can be a great motivator as you begin a new year. We talk about some of the goals we set for last year and how they played out. We each share a couple of the most successful goals we completed or habits we formed in 2017. It turns out many of our...
CongreGate
Jan 2, 2018 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Are you managing your time wisely? American culture seems to celebrate busyness, but is this really healthy? Today we chat about time management, stewardship, and some techniques we use to manage our own time well. We talk about getting up early to use the quiet morning time wisely. Shawn makes the case that good time management starts with a good night's sleep and a regular morning routine. We recommend a few books that we have found to be helpful in creating routines and priorities. We also...
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Dec 19, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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You've heard it before: Leaders are readers. (Thank you, President Truman!) Whether you are leading in your family, your church, or your workplace, filling your mind with good ideas and stories will enhance your life and your leadership skills. This year we've shared experiences with Steven Curtis Chapman, missionaries, and pastors. We've thought through current culture issues with some of the best Christian leaders of our time. And we've enjoyed taking a step back from our regular lives to...
CongreGate
Dec 12, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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It's almost Christmas! It's easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season and become selfish during the holidays. Our kids are focused on presents and we, as adults, are focused on getting our to-do list finished. We think it's important to plan some activities that help our families focus on loving and serving our community, so we're talking about how not to be a selfish pig during the holidays! We have a few ideas and traditions to share to help you focus on giving and serving this...
CongreGate
Dec 5, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about a difficult topic. What do you do when a friend takes his own life? A few weeks ago, Shawn learned that a close friend of his had taken his own life, leaving behind a wife and 4 children. CJ was a veteran of both the Army and the Navy and outspoken Christ follower, but under the surface, he was struggling. How can a man that loved the Lord passionately and that was by all appearances happy, decide to end his life? Sadly, a few minutes of past trauma can rule a...
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Nov 28, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Mark has been preaching through Philippians on Sunday mornings, and recently taught through the end of Philippians where Paul states, "for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content". Today we are discussing the "rare jewel" of contentment that the Puritan, Jeremiah Burroughs, spoke of in his book and that Paul taught in Philippians. What are the areas where you struggle with contentment? Are you satisfied with your work, your financial situation, and your...
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Nov 21, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today Mark and Micah chat with our friend Roché van Wyk, the director of Learn to Earn in South Africa. We talk to Roché about his education & discipleship ministry in South Africa. Roché and his team are training job skills and restoring the lives of people suffering because of unemployment. Learn to Earn began as Roché though about the question "How does the gospel transform your community?". Learn to Earn provides job skills training and discipleship courses for unemployed...
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Nov 14, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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After the recent church shooting in Texas, we wanted to talk about church security. As leaders and shepherds in our church, we are responsible for protecting our flock, but we don't want to be motivated by fear. We've taken some steps toward securing our building a couple years ago and have continued talking about other ways we can protect our people. We talk about an article from the Gospel Coalition titled 7 Ways to Prepare Your Church Against Violence. The first step is to communicate with...
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Nov 7, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we're discussing how to confront fear in your family. Do you struggle with fear over your safety, your financial situation, or fear over sharing the gospel with your neighbors? What about your wife and children? Do they struggle with fear? We talk about some of our personal struggles with fear and some of the things our wives and children have feared. We also discuss what it means to "fear the Lord". How do you confront fear in your family? We talk about how we have...
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Oct 31, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Happy 500th anniversary of the Reformation! This morning we are talking about the relevance of the Reformation for today and sharing a few random thoughts on Halloween. Whether you participate in Halloween, use it as an evangelistic tool, or go to a church Reformation celebration is not what we're debating. We believe this is an area of Christian liberty. You are free to choose how to best participate in your community. Ever wonder why Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door...
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Oct 24, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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After we finish discussing the merits of beard oil and the possibility of a beard "comb-over" (huh?)... Today's episode is about resolving conflict in our everyday lives. We recently taught about resolving and managing conflict at our men's retreat. Whether or not we already understand the Biblical process for resolving conflict, it is always good to remind ourselves how to deal with conflict from a Biblical perspective. We used Ken Sande's book, Resolving Everyday Conflict, as a...
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Oct 17, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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This episode opens with some football banter and we review the score predictions we made last week. If football isn't your thing, we start chatting about our annual church men's retreat about six minutes in. Last weekend, about 50 of our men spent 3 days together at our annual men's retreat. Each year, we rent 3 beach houses to spend time playing, fellowshipping, worshipping, and studying God's Word together. We include our young men, ages 12 and up in this event. It's an exciting rite of...
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Oct 10, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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This morning we talk about the death of Hugh Hefner and the sexual confusion in our culture. Hugh Hefner's life has been both celebrated and condemned. Much of our country views him as a pioneering artist, while Christians and conservatives see the destruction that has precipitated from his "art". Mark talks about the confusion of sexual culture on his college campus. Students feel entitled to sexual relationships and there is an assumption that all of the unmarried students are...
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Oct 3, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Maybe you're tired of reading articles about racial protests in the NFL and around the country like we are. We thought it might be helpful to provide a Christian response to protest culture in this country. We discuss the issue of general free speech vs. employment policies governing speech and behavior. Do employers have the right to terminate employees that violate the company's convictions? Do football team owners have the right to fire players that stand (or kneel, in this case) against the...
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Sep 26, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we continue talking with our friend, Thomas Messick, who works with Crescent Project ministry to Muslims. Crescent Project equips Christians with knowledge and understanding so that they can effectively share the Gospel with their Muslim neighbors. First, we discuss how we can reach Muslims in our communities. Many Christians have become fearful of Muslims because of the extreme stories we hear about terrorists in the news. Thomas shares a story about a Muslim neighbor he invited to...
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Sep 19, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are remembering Nabeel Qureshi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, who passed away this week from stomach cancer at the age of 34. In his years as a Christ follower, Nabeel went on to study apologetics and theology, became a speaker with Ravi Zacharias Ministries, and wrote 3 books about his life, faith, and ministry to Muslims. We've also invited our friend, Thomas Messick, from Crescent Project to talk with us about his ministry to Muslims and share his thoughts about Nabeel Qureshi....
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Sep 12, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are chatting about some current events, including the recent hurricanes, some 9/11 memories, and Mark's birthday. We share a few personal memories of 9/11 and talk about how church services were different the following Sunday. We reflect on how our lives are different after that day, and how events like the recent hurricanes can affect permanent change in people's lives. Regarding the hurricanes, Kirk Cameron said God sent the hurricanes for "humility, awe, and repentance."...
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Sep 5, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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In this episode, we discuss how to talk to your children (and others) about transgenderism and other LGBT issues, from a Biblical perspective. We recently witnessed several young children at the playground conversing with each other about LGBT and transgender issues. It was surprising to hear that type of talk coming from children. If we as Christians believe in the authority of scripture, then we must continue to uphold God's created order for our identities, our marriages, and our families....
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Aug 29, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Mark and Micah are back from vacation so we're returning to dialogue about current events and culture. After several recent protests related to racial issues, we're discussing how to talk to our children about these racial issues. First and foremost, we must understand and teach our children how the gospel unites all people under Christ. For those with younger children, when and how do you begin to have conversations about hard topics like this? We talk about early American history and the...
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Aug 22, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today, we are departing from our usual discussion of church and world events to conclude our three-part interview series. Next week we'll be back to talk about some of the important current events that have taken place in the past couple of weeks. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about Shawn's work in the Navy as a submarine officer. Shawn begins by sharing why he decided to enlist in the Navy instead of pursuing a traditional college education. He also tells the story of how he ended...
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Aug 15, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today, we are departing from our usual discussion of church and world events to continue a short interview series. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about Micah's work and ministry background. Micah grew up as the oldest of seven children and as a pastor's son. He was saved as a child and anticipated going into ministry as an adult. Following college, Micah returned home with his new wife and began to work with the housing contractor he had worked with in high school. Around that time,...
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Aug 7, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today, we are departing from our usual discussion of church and world events to begin a short interview series. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about us and our backgrounds as we interview one another. Mark begins by sharing his testimony and call to ministry. He tells how he met Cindy in college, eventually married her, and started a student ministry. Early in Mark's preaching ministry, another pastor criticized his preaching. Though it caused some discouragement initially, it...
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Aug 1, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Mark and Micah talk about their recent missions trip to Moldova and we share our philosophy of ministry regarding church missions trips. We talk a little bit about the value of taking kids on missions trips. Mark had the opportunity to take each one of his children to Africa before they left home. Micah reflects on the benefits of traveling with his father to do missions work as a teenager. We compare and contrast mission trips that are designed to meet physical and economic needs vs. trips...
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Jul 25, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today Shawn and Micah chat with a special guest, Tony Rose, about civility in public discourse. Tony serves on a local school board, so he has some insightful comments to share regarding public dialogue and conversation. Conversation in our culture has been changing the past few years, as evidenced by the most recent Presidential election cycle. People can no longer agree-to-disagree. Responses are no longer logical arguments, but personal attacks. We share some personal experiences when poor...
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Jul 18, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Shawn and Micah take over the podcast, while the beloved professor, Mark, is off on a European vacation. Following his vacation he'll head to Moldova, where Micah will meet him, to do some pastoral discipleship & training with believers there. Today we chat about the overwhelming amount of information coming at us every day, through social media and other avenues, and how to deal with the pressure that comes from living up to everyone else's standards. We perceive a crushing weight of...
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Jul 11, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are discussing a couple of the current Supreme Court cases regarding religious liberty and how they affect you. Why are both the Trinity Lutheran Church Supreme Court case and the case regarding Masterpiece Cake Shop important to the average Christian? We spend some time discussing the First Amendment and free exercise of religion, and a quick history of the Blaine Amendment. The First Amendment includes free exercise of religion, but it isn't freedom from religion. We also discuss...
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Jul 4, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Happy Independence Day! Today we chat about Independence Day celebrations and early American history. Shawn recommends The Vanishing American Adulthood by Ben Sasse, the senator from Nebraska. Sasse shares some alarming statistics about how little American adults know about our country's history. We also quiz each other on some American history facts. Do you know the answers? We share some ideas about how to celebrate Independence day with your family. Our families like to read from historical...
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Jun 27, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Are you managing your time wisely? American culture seems to celebrate busyness, but is this really healthy? Today we chat about time management, stewardship, and some techniques we use to manage our own time well. We talk about getting up early to use the quiet morning time wisely. Shawn makes the case that good time management starts with a good night's sleep and a regular morning routine. We recommend a few books that we have found to be helpful in creating routines and priorities. We also...
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Jun 20, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today's episode is about raising our children to be best friends. How can we help our children to value their sibling relationships and continue as friends into adulthood? Mark & Micah talk about how the Fox family worked to promote good sibling relationships and how that has carried over to their current relationships now that they are all adults. Mark says spending time together is key to developing good relationships among siblings. The Fox family made the effort to play games together,...
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Jun 13, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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We open with a chat about Father's day and couple of funny kid moments. Our main topic of discussion today is encouraging our wives to use their gifts. Most of the women in our church have chosen to stay home, spending the majority of their time raising their children. But many of our wives have other gifts from the Lord that they can use in ministry or business to bring glory to Him and to build up the body. We have friends that teach dance at a local Christian arts studio. Other ladies spend...
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Jun 6, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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School is out here in North Carolina and it's time for summer vacation! Today we chat about building memories through family vacations. Mark and Micah share some of their annual family beach trip traditions. What started out as a single family vacation has grown into a large event with all of the kids, their spouses, and children enjoying the beach together. Some of their favorite family memories are crab hunting at night, question nights, games & movies, and family devotions. We also talk...
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May 30, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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This week we are answering a listener question about age-integrated church. He says, "I'm intrigued by this age-integrated church idea. Our church has lots of programs and sometimes I wonder if we are losing community because of it. How about a follow-up program where the Professor summarizes his book...?" We start by sharing our church backgrounds and talk about how we ended up in a church that promotes family-integrated worship. Then we share our observations about the benefits of...
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May 23, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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This week, we discuss managing your family's tech habits. As smartphone use has grown in the past few years, more and more families are fighting the negative effects of technology on their time. While computers and smartphones are valuable in many ways, we need to make sure we are modeling healthy tech habits to our children. We share a couple of extreme phone addiction cases, as well as some of our personal habits and struggles. We each use apps & tools that help us organize our lives....
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May 16, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we tell the story of Antioch Community Church, and it's 30 years of healthy church growth. As a church, we just celebrated our 30 year anniversary. We chat about how the church began and how God used circumstances early on to shape the church into what it is now. Mark and the original elders didn't set out to build an age-integrated church. We talk about how God brought about that change in thinking. Circumstances required that we include children in the service, but we continued doing...
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May 9, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about some of the challenges blended families face. Though none of us come from blended family situations, we do shepherd blended families in our congregation. With over one-third of marriages now resulting in blended families, the church needs to be involved in encouraging and ministering to these families. We discuss how we can better love and minister to blended families in our church. Blended families face many of the same challenges that traditional families face, but...
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May 2, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about how to cultivate prayer, both in our personal spiritual lives and in the church body. A couple of years ago, we taught on prayer at our men's retreat. The most helpful resource we have found for cultivating a stronger prayer life is called Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney. He teaches a simple method for using the words of scripture to guide prayer, which we spent time studying and practicing. Many of the men in the church have reported stronger prayer habits...
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Apr 25, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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How should we respond when our wives are discouraged about their appearance? Today we are talking about protecting our wives from discontentment with their physical appearance. We discuss how to encourage our wives and guard their hearts from cultural influences and impossible standards, while our society promotes the idea that women should look flawless and never show signs of aging. We talk about a recent article from Fox News, in which one of the news anchors writes about the severe side...
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Apr 18, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about protecting your marriage. A couple of weeks ago, Mike Pence was criticized for protecting his marriage by refusing to dine alone with a women who is not his wife. Also known as the "Billy Graham Rule", Graham kept this standard in order to protect his reputation and the reputation of his ministry. Both of these men understand that we are sinful people, living in a world that is watching us live out our faith. Pence and Graham set a good example by setting...
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Apr 11, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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We open the episode talking about Easter, Holy Week, and some of our church traditions. One of our favorite traditions is our Good Friday service. For the past few years, we have had seven men speak on the seven words of Jesus on the cross. Each man speaks for five minutes, sharing some insight on one of those statements. Each year this has been an encouraging service for our church body. You can listen to a service from last year on our church website. Then we move on to our main topic for the...
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Apr 4, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about comforting people in their suffering. How can we come alongside Christians that are suffering, with compassion and hope? People suffer and respond to suffering differently. We need to look for ways to encourage fellow believers with truth and kindness, without trying to fix their circumstances. We share a few stories of friends and church members that we have walked beside through suffering. Currently, one family in our church that is going through a significant...
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Mar 28, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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What should we do when our family members have opposing views? One of our listeners suggested this topic, so today we talk about how we can be gracious & loving while confronting moral issues with these family members. Can we still have fellowship with family members that have different views than we do? We think you can. Sometimes people confuse preferences and principles. We discuss some examples and talk about how we can have conversations about our preferences, while still being...
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Mar 21, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about how to share the gospel with your children and how to recognize salvation in your children. It's important not to coerce our children into professing faith under pressure. How can we communicate the gospel to our children and offer salvation to them without creating false converts? Many children raised in Christian homes may profess faith at young ages. Sometimes Sunday school teachers and youth group workers can put a lot of pressure on children to "make...
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Mar 14, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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This week, we're discussing Biblical hospitality. We read an article that claims the key to evangelism in the 21st century is hospitality. Do you agree? We talk about the importance of hospitality, examples of people that were changed by hospitality, and excuses we make for not inviting people into our lives and homes on a regular basis. The gospel recounts many episodes of Jesus eating with people as he ministers to them. He ate with all types of people. Meals build a bridge between people...
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Mar 7, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about fur babies vs. children, and why raising children is worth the effort. A growing number of young adults are opting to adopt pets in place of having children. Meanwhile, birth rates are dropping. We share a couple of funny, though slightly disturbing, stories about people that value animals too much. We also discuss an article by John Stonestreet, Fur Babies: Pets, Children, and the Triumph of Autonomy, in which he writes: "Another thirty-year-old, writing...
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Feb 28, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about financial stewardship, a topic suggested by one of our listeners. He asked, "How should we as Christians handle money, and how should it look differently from how the world handles it?" Shawn shares a few things has learned from reading The Treasure Principle: God owns everything, I'm his money manager; my heart always goes where I put God's money; and live with an eternal perspective. Then Micah talks shares how the principles from Financial Peace...
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Feb 21, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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In this episode, we discuss how we can exercise Biblical discernment regarding The Shack movie. But first, we chat about some recent news items, including the passing of Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe", the face of the Roe v. Wade case) who became a pro-life activist and believer in the Lord. Back in 2007, The Shack, a best-selling book by William P. Young, became one of the most controversial books among Christians this decade. Many readers felt it was life-changing (in a good way),...
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Feb 14, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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In this episode, we are talking about ministering to and discipling men in the church. How are we drawing men and keeping men in Godly relationships in the church? How are we training and discipling them so that they are flourishing in their relationships at home and in the church? How do we train boys to be men and keep them engaged in the church as they mature? The conversation today is broader than usual, but this theme of building men into leaders is an integral part of our church...
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Feb 7, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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We have a guest with us in the studio today! We're talking to our friend, and fellow church leader, Scott Hahn, about how Christians are reaching refugees and his experience working with Feed the Hunger. Scott has first-hand experience working with refugees and people in poverty in many countries around the world. With a growing global population and ability to travel as never before, we have unprecedented opportunities to share the gospel. God is sovereign over the strangers and sojourners....
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Jan 31, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Today we are talking about preparing your children to leave home. We want our children equipped to leave and live on their own. Parents need a clear vision for their sons and daughters, and they need to pray for guidance from the Lord. Mark shares the lessons he has learned after launching 6 of his 7 children. Shawn and Micah talk about some of the things that their parents did to prepare them to leave home after graduating. We talk about how to develop a vision for raising our children. And...
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Jan 24, 2017 J. Mark Fox, Shawn Curtis, and Micah Fox
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Valentine's Day is coming up soon! Despite being one of the biggest commercial holidays, it's a good opportunity to express love to your wife. In this episode, we talk about loving our wives and showing them affection not only on Valentine's Day, but every day. The Bible instructs us to love our wives, and live with them in an understanding way. We share practical suggestions for loving our wives (both on Valentine's Day and the rest of the year), showing them kindness & understanding, and...