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Grace or Grit

Grace or Grit

By David Talley

A Podcast intended to address difficult, controversial & debatable issues related to the Bible & the church
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A Call From Africa

Grace or Grit

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This is a wonderful interview with Pastor Said Usuf of the Omega Church in THE GAMBIA.  You will be greatly blessed by his testimony concerning how he came to faith in Christ and how God moved him into the gospel ministry.   Hopefully you will pick up on some of the great things that we share in common with Pastor Said, as well as a few of the unique challenges that he and his people face in their service to our King.
01:06:30
January 13, 2023
Did God Divorce His Wife?
Did God Divorce His Wife?
Or wives... if you consider Israel as one and Judah as one.  Did God divorce His wives? It's a relevant question for reasons that we don't even get into in this episode, but it's relevant also because divorce among humans is a topic addressed repeatedly in the Bible.  And, it's a major problem in our society.  The statistics are indeed grim.   It's not our goal to beat anybody up with this episode, nor do we want to excuse anybody's sin.  We want to humbly and honestly address a relevant topic.  And, that is always beneficial. I (Dave) do have a quote in the episode that I failed to accurately credit the proper person for, so I will do that here.  The quote goes like this, "Sinners leap into sin and love it.  Saints lapse into sin and loath it."  The author of that quote was Dr. Fred Moritz.  Perhaps he got it from someone else, I don't know - but he is the one I heard say it more than once. Anyway, listen to this episode and let us know what you think.   Send feedback to pastorbigred@aol.com anytime night or day.
55:57
October 21, 2022
Miracle or Providence
Miracle or Providence
What is a miracle?  Is it "a conspicuous show of power outside of the common course of nature"?  Or, is it something else? What does it mean when we say that God works providentially behind the scenes?  According to Dave, it means that God is constantly providing for & preparing for His desired outcomes through the common course of nature. But consider this: Patrick claims that miracles fall properly under the heading of providence. It's a discussion worth having, especially since it could be said that we make fools of ourselves if we call natural occurrences "miracles." Listen as Dave and Patrick try to hammer out some clarity concerning this important and interesting issue.
52:05
October 14, 2022
Fasting, Lent, & Penance
Fasting, Lent, & Penance
In this episode, Dave and Patrick attempt to answer these (and some additional) questions concerning fasting, lent, and penance. Are all of these (fasting, lent, and penance) found in the Bible? Who fasted in the Bible? What guidelines do we find for fasting in the Bible? Why do we fast? How do we fast properly? Are Lenten fasts in line with biblical principles? What are the most likely “pitfalls” of observing Lent? Why is penance not taught in Baptist Churches? Listen now and be blessed!
48:33
September 30, 2022
Caring for God’s Ministers
Caring for God’s Ministers
In the Old Testament of the Bible, we find in the book of Leviticus that God commanded His people saying, "You shall not rule one over another with rigour." What did He mean by that? If you check a variety of English translations you will encounter other words in the place of the word rigor: ruthlessness, harshness, severity, brutality. So again, what is that all about? God is gentle, patient, kind, good, generous, loving, giving, and forgiving with us; and He expects the same from us in how we treat each other.  This principle is not canceled when it comes to those in vocational ministry; speaking specifically of missionaries.  We are not allowed by God to be hard, harsh, demanding, severe, impatient, or flippant in how we interact with His choice servants. I've heard some pretty embarrassing horror stories over the years concerning how some of "God's people" sometimes treat missionaries.  It's as if some "Christians" think missionaries are some kind of a combination of flawless angels and needless automatons.   They aren't.  They are sinners saved by grace.  They are flawed humans in the process of sanctification right along with the rest of us.  And so, the same kind of emotional, spiritual, and relational needs that are common for every average believer are just as common among our missionaries. They too endure fears, sorrows, regrets, aspiration, temptations, frustrations, etc.  They too get lonely, homesick, sad, angry, hurt, and so much more.  And so, they too need our compassionate attention, friendship, and fellowship.  Will it cost us more than normal to try to care for someone who is on the other side of the globe?  Well, obviously the answer is yes.  But it is necessary and good nonetheless. Today on the podcast God has brought to us a man who is fully engaged in caring specifically for ABWE missionaries in and to western Africa.  Wayne Moore and his wife Debra are involved in what is called Member Care for these missionaries.  Listen as Dave & Patrick pick Wayne's mind a little to help us all learn how we can do a better job as we attempt to be the hands, feet, and heart of Christ to one another.
59:19
September 23, 2022
The Gospel of Jesus
The Gospel of Jesus
Shortly after Jesus' resurrection, He showed up hungry in one of the meetings where His apostles were gathered.  In that context He wasted no time reminding them what He was all about and what their responsibility was. They were witnesses of His resurrection.  They had the gospel truth.  They had the job of telling the world about the living Christ. It is recorded for us in Luke 24:44-49. "Jesus said unto them, 'These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me.' Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, 'Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high.'" POWERFUL!  PRECISE!   Listen to this episode in which Dave & Patrick mull over the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ as He Himself presented it.
50:36
September 16, 2022
The Meaning of Dreams
The Meaning of Dreams
Solomon wrote that “A dream comes through the multitude of business…” (Ecclesiastes 5:3). I take that to mean that when you are involved in a lot of different things, you keep thinking about them and working out solutions even in your sleep. I’m no expert on dreams, of course, but I do have personal experience to reflect on. Mostly I don’t consider dreams to be significant. I may be WAY wrong about that, but that’s my perspective. It’s curious that I have that opinion though, because I deeply respect the Bible and the examples set by biblical characters, and dreams are very common in the Bible. In Holy Writ, there are many significant dreams that are actually given by God and are messages from God. Jacob had revelatory dreams. Joseph had revelatory dreams and interpreted the meaning of dreams for others. Dreams were used by God in Abraham’s life, Gideon’s life, Daniel’s life, Solomon’s life, and in Joseph’s life (husband of Mary). Jeremiah and Joel both spoke of the significance of dreams in the lives of prophets. Peter even pointed out in Act 2:17 that one of the evidences of the pouring out of the Spirit of God on men in the last days would be “the dreams of old men.” So, visions, dreams, trances, hearing “voices” (like Samuel did), meeting angels, personal and miraculous encounters with God (like Moses’ or Paul’s) are all common in Scripture, yet I don’t expect these kinds of things in my own life. And if you claim that you received a dream from God, I know myself. I’m going to be suspicious. The fact is, I’m not sure I really want these kinds of things to happen to me or to people around me.  But why?  What is the real meaning of dreams and the place of dreams in the lives of believers? Listen as Dave and Patrick attempt to address the issue of dreams and how God uses them.
49:26
September 09, 2022
The Unexpected Benefits of Short Term Mission Trips
The Unexpected Benefits of Short Term Mission Trips
In this episode, Dave asks Patrick to answer 7 questions about short term mission trips. Here they are: What are the legitimate spiritual and practical dangers of short term mission trips? How can short term mission trips (at least in your context) actually reach the local population for the sake of the gospel? How can short term mission trips help the full time missionaries on the field? How can short term mission trips help the people who take those trips — the short term missionaries themselves? How can short term mission trips help the churches who organize and support them? Perhaps combining all of the above questions — how is God honored by short term mission trips; from a broad perspective, how are they biblical and how are they spiritually beneficial? Finally, if someone has the desire (perhaps, feels a leading from the Spirit) to get involved in mission work to a greater degree — and thinks a short term mission trip might be a good place to start — what advice would you give to them?
01:01:17
September 02, 2022
Campfire Conversions
Campfire Conversions
Shortly after I (Dave) became pastor, one of our deacons (Bob Schmidt, who is now in heaven) stopped me one Sunday and started talking about how he was happy for camp and how excited everybody gets about it every year and all that, but he was concerned about how everybody seems to come back gung-ho for Jesus every year, yet a month later everything goes right back to how it was before camp; like it never happened and like the commitments made at camp were all either insincere or too shallow to stick. I think he had a valid point. Of course, it’s not just summer camp that suffers from this phenomenon. Revival meetings, big Sundays, new years resolutions, new programs, even weekly sermons often all affect similar responses: initial zeal and eventual apathy. In my camping experience, camp weeks often ended with a campfire on Friday night.  That setting ends up being a microcosm of the complaint that I mentioned earlier. At the campfire you have a group of kids that are exhausted from a week of strangeness, activities, lack of sleep, and usually too much heat. They are emotional for many reasons, one being that they are going home the next day. And, to top if off, you sing some of your best songs and preach a really strong message there at the campfire and then maybe take some testimonies. Next thing you know, everybody is crying and making great and solemn statements about how they are going to be different. Often there is some ritual that might include writing your sins on a 3x5 card and throwing it in the fire or nailing it to a cross or something like that. Or everybody gets a stick that they put in the fire to symbolize there commitment to Christ. It’s usually all very moving. But is it a moving of the Spirit?  Here is the ultimate question, does God work through these kind of emotional situations to affect lasting changes in the lives of His children? Of course we should be careful not to manipulate one another in situations like this, but is it ok to embrace (and even exploit in a way) the unique vulnerability of those moments?  Listen as David, Patrick, and Tonya explore this controversial topic.
53:02
June 17, 2022
#TeamLukeZechariah
#TeamLukeZechariah
Why? It is perhaps the deepest, most profound, most significant, most interesting, most painful, and most difficult question that humanity has to have and wants answered.  Toddlers ask it repeatedly.  Jesus asked it from the cross.   On this episode Dave interviews a guest who has had to wrestle with this question quite a bit.  Cody Stevens and his wife Joan have a wonderful son named Luke Zechariah.  But Luke has debilitating, life threatening seizures.   At the time of the recording of this surgery, Luke is scheduled for his first brain surgery.  He needs your prayers and mine. This episode is a long one, but it needs to be.  Take the time to hear us out (and pray with us at the very end).
01:22:39
June 11, 2022
Can Reading Rescue Us?
Can Reading Rescue Us?
I love to read.  Reading is like magic.  It takes you away from where you are and transports you to other places, other times, and even into the minds of other people.  But that is only a manner of thinking and speaking.   In actuality though, reading is truly a powerful tool.  If you think about it, God chose to reveal Himself to us most clearly and certainly in a book.  That's quite an amazing realization. So, though it's not exactly difficult, controversial, or debatable... on this episode, Dave and Patrick discuss the role of reading in the life of the Christian.  Listen now...
47:47
June 03, 2022
53 Years in Papua New Guinea
53 Years in Papua New Guinea
Veteran missionary Jim Tanner shares his testimony of how God worked on and through him and his wife as they served the Lord and preached the gospel on the other side of the world. Listen as Dave and Patrick share fellowship and Christ's love with one another and with this dear missionary.
01:01:39
May 27, 2022
Standards or Preferences
Standards or Preferences
For me, though it’s a bit of an oversimplification, I think I can break the levels of biblical doctrines down like this: - Primary - the fundamentals of the faith (virgin birth, deity of Christ, sufficiency of Scriptures, salvation by grace through faith, the resurrection, etc.) - Secondary - things that make me a baptist (other than # 1 biblical authority which is primary... baptized membership, 2 ordinances, 2 offices, etc.) - Tertiary - spiritual choices I make based on culture, experience, calling, and personality (music style, clothing style, etc.) Then, below that on the scale of significance are various preferences about which I should never be willing to fight and fuss.  Sadly, Christians do often fight and fuss most about tertiary doctrines and non-doctrinal personal preferences.  On this episode Patrick and Dave discuss these issues with first time guest, Drew Inskeep.
01:02:07
May 20, 2022
Spiritual or Religious?
Spiritual or Religious?
Are you spiritual, or religious?  Or, are you both? Some claim to be neither, but likely they are deluded.  Everyone is religious.  At least, that proposition is easily defended. But what could it mean for someone to claim to be religious, but not spiritual?  Or how about the other way around? Listen as Dave and Patrick approach these questions as humbly as they can.
51:41
May 13, 2022
What Did We Learn from COVID?
What Did We Learn from COVID?
I learned how to create podcasts.  Well, I didn't really learn that from COVID, but I did learn it during and because of COVID.  I also created a website (davetalley.com), figured out how to use ZOOM, discovered how to make online small groups a success, and became fairly good at turning multiple music video recordings into one. But that's not really what I'm getting at here. What did we learn about our economy and the world (from COVID)? What did we learn about our government, our culture and society, and about modern medicine? What did we learn about our families, friends, & communities? What did you learn about yourself? What did we learn about our churches and about God? Listen as Dave and Patrick do their best to answer these questions as kindly and honestly as they can.
01:00:34
April 22, 2022
Is Violence Ever Justified?”
Is Violence Ever Justified?”
The easy answer to the question, "Is violence ever justified?" would be, "No."  In many ways our society repeatedly regurgitates such a mantra while simultaneously contradicting that very message constantly through both art and action.  But we aren't living in a fantasy world, we are living in a very raw, real, and difficult world.  And, like it or not, violence is as almost as old as humanity.  Even in nature we find that violence is as common as life itself. So, what about in these following contexts? - Self defense - Defending others - Acting as a law enforcement officer  - Acting as a soldier  - Participating in a revolution against tyranny    - Corporal punishment On the one hand we read that Jesus told us to turn the other cheek.  On the other hand, the lethal weapon carried by the official rightfully designated to do so is said to be an instrument of justice useful in meeting out divine wrath against evil citizens (see Romans 13).  So, we ask it again.  Is violence ever justified?  Or maybe better, under what circumstances is violence justifiable?  Listen to Dave and Patrick give this difficult topic their best shot.
57:03
April 01, 2022
The Father of the Fatherless
The Father of the Fatherless
In Deuteronomy 10:17 & 18 we read these words, “The LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regards not persons, nor takes reward: He does execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.”  Again, Psalm 68:5 similarly shows us God’s Spirit inspired description of Himself as "A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in His holy habitation.” In the New Testament James is lead to write that the first characteristic of pure religion is to care for the fatherless. I think we have a recurring theme here.  God cares for the fatherless. On this episode Dave interviews a guest, Nicole Smith, and explores the kindness of God in her life as she grew up without her father's involvement in her life.  Listen now to this story of grace.
01:06:14
March 25, 2022
Contentment or Ambition
Contentment or Ambition
Contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction. But it is not (and must not be allowed to become) complacency, lethargy, or apathy. Ambition is a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. But unfortunately it can include greed, covetousness, jealousy, and cruelty. Are these two things naturally contrary to each other.  Are they mutually exclusive?  Can’t we be both content and ambitious? How do we know when to settle down and accept the station in life at which we find ourselves, and when we should be "restless" and in a mode of exploration and conquest? What are the tell-tale signs that our contentment is becoming apathy?  And what are the tell-tale signs that our ambition has soured into excess? Listen as Dave, Patrick (and then Tonya) discuss this life dilemma.  
51:11
March 18, 2022
Infatuated with the Irrelevant
Infatuated with the Irrelevant
Food before dessert.  Work before play.  Meaning before diversion.  Business before pleasure. What are we talking about?  The priorities of life. We live in a time when many people (even Christians) in our society spend most or all of their time on interests that have little or no eternal value.  It's one thing to take a break from the grind; to escape in order to recharge.  It's quite another to skip over the relevant and significant priorities of life in order to fill one's mind and time with frivolous entertainment and meaningless distractions.  Yet this way of life is exceedingly common.   What is the source of this problem, and how should we address it when we see it in our own lives?   Blaise Pascal, in Pensées wrote, “The only thing that consoles us for our miseries is diversion. And yet it is the greatest of our miseries. For it is that above all which prevents us thinking about ourselves and leads is imperceptibly to destruction. But for that we should be bored, and boredom would drive us to seek some more solid means of escape, but diversion passes our time and brings us imperceptibly to our death.” Listen as Dave and Patrick both take a shot at addressing this very important issue.
49:05
March 11, 2022
My Mother's Story
My Mother's Story
On this episode of Grace or Grit I (Dave Talley) have given my usual co-host (Patrick Reed) the week off, because today I have as a very special guest on our podcast, my mother: Rebecca June Talley.  That should be introduction enough.  Listen as we talk about old times and God's great grace!
57:25
March 02, 2022
Exchanging Dollars for Crowns
Exchanging Dollars for Crowns
Our experiences this side of the grave determine what our experiences will be like on the other side of the grave.  If we will, we can invest our temporary material resources now in eternal spiritual endeavors and thereby “lay up treasurers in heaven.”  We can exchange dollars for crowns.  Our currency here is no good there anyway, so it's best that we insure that our wealth is heavenly wealth, not earthly wealth. This podcast episode turned into a tag-team recording.  Patrick started out with Dave in this discussion, but he had to take off early, so Dave's wife Tonya stepped in ably to finish the discussion.  Listen now!
53:42
February 25, 2022
The Holy Ghost and You
The Holy Ghost and You
"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name..." (John 1:12). Does that verse indicate the order of things in our salvation?  Dave affirms that such is the case.  Patrick says, maybe not. This podcast is an explanation of Monergism and the proper order of regeneration and faith?  Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?  Monergists claim that the Spirit regenerates a man, then that quickening shows up in the form of faith.  But is there any Scripture to back up such claim? Put on your thinking cap and dive in with us.
01:08:17
February 18, 2022
Rhythms & Ruts
Rhythms & Ruts
The rhythms of life are those helpful routines that we get into that make us productive. The ruts of life are those hurtful cycles that we also get into that limit our effectiveness. There are certain terms that I used to never hear used the way they are often used now.  One of those terms is "rhythms."  For a long time I only heard that word used in reference to sound.  It was the rhythm of the song, or the rhythm of the waves, or the rhythm of your heart. I knew that you could even have rhythm in poetry or maybe in the sound of an engine.  But one of the definitions of the word rhythm is "a regularly recurring sequences of events, actions, or processes."  Theoretically that could be either good or bad, but repeatedly lately, I’ve heard this word used with maximum intended optimism.  In other words, I hear successful people talking about the rhythms of life that help them to move forward and make progress.  It’s the comfortable and pleasant daily structure of a cup of coffee in your hand and your Bible in your lap. The guest on today's episode is Mrs. Ashley McConnell.  Listen and Dave and Patrick exchange thoughts and perspectives with Ashley concerning this very relevant topic. 
01:17:15
February 12, 2022
God's Love for the Unborn
God's Love for the Unborn
In Exodus 21:22–25 (in the Bible) we read, “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.  But if there is harm, then you must pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”  Moses’ law was clear. The loss of an unborn child as a result of violence was a capital crime, punishable by death. He said that the death of an unborn child would have to be paid for "life for life."  In fact, if the child did not die but was injured in some way, the same injury was to be executed on the guilty party. Now, I’m not using that Scripture to discuss punitive laws in our context (although that would be a good discussion to have), but only to point out that under God's law the unborn had equal rights with all other people. It’s both a biblical and a logical conviction of mine that not only does life begin at conception, but the unalienable human rights of the conceived child are full and immediate. And so, in a land where those rights have been taken away through Roe v. Wade, I’m so glad that there are groups and organizations out there trying to protect the lives of the unborn and to help and assist the parents and families of the unborn as well. Our guest on this episode is Sharon Finecey.  Sharon is the Executive Director of Choices Pregnancy Center in Easton, MD.  We at Grace Baptist Church are sponsors and supporters of their ministry.  Listen to Sharon's testimony and learn about how you too can be a part of saving lives.
55:56
February 04, 2022
Vaccines & the Christian
Vaccines & the Christian
We really don’t want to base our counsel on our personal experiences, whatever merit those experiences might offer.   And, we are not medical professionals.  Maybe you've seen the sign that says, “Please don’t confuse your Google search with my medical degree?” Of course, you can find medical professionals on both sides of the vaccine issue, so I’m not too sure that’s always as helpful as we might like to assume.  What we are authorized and even commanded to do is to take the Scripture and use it to instruct ourselves and our fellow Christians. So, on this episode Patrick & I (Dave) talk as carefully as we know how with another preacher (Evangelist Phil Schipper) about the pros and cons of vaccines, especially the COVID vaccines. Listen and let us know your impressions.
01:05:46
January 28, 2022
What Happens After You Die?
What Happens After You Die?
Of course we know what happens to our bodies when we die. God made us from dirt, so one way or another our bodies return to that same state. Whether by cremation, burial, mummification, eaten by fish, donated to science… eventually all dead bodies become dust again.  Of course we know that eventually our bodies are reconstituted and resurrected… both the the bodies of the saved and of the lost. But how about our conscious existence?  What happens to our spirit? Our immaterial nature exists beyond the stoppage of our heart and the ceasing of our brain waves. But where is it after the body dies and how does it perceive and communicate? There is no biblical basis for soul sleep, or purgatory, or annihilation, hauntings.  So what actually happens to the real me? Listen as Dave and Patrick take aim at biblical answers to this important question.
49:51
January 21, 2022
A Podcast Prayer
A Podcast Prayer
Would you be willing to take a few minutes and pray with me for God's blessings upon this podcasting season.  We want to bless others, and to do that we must be blessed.  Listen and pray along.
35:29
January 14, 2022
The Christian Woman: PART 2
The Christian Woman: PART 2
This is a very unique episode.  First of all, it's the first time we have attempted a "PART 2" episode.  And now, it looks like we will need a "PART 3" too.  Because, as a result of a conciliation, it's the first (wait, maybe the second) time we have had an unplanned guest.  Tonya was on the call just to listen, and when Tracy couldn't show due to her having COVID-19, Tonya (Dave's wife) stepped in to fill in for her.  And, she did really great. So, on this episode we continue addressing some of the issues hinted at in episode 1 and in the sermon series from November.  Want to know what those issues are, well you got to listen to find out.  Thanks in advance for giving this "Grace or Grit" episode a chance to be a blessing to you!
01:08:08
December 03, 2021
The Christian Woman
The Christian Woman
This month I’m preaching a sermon series entitled “The WOMEN of the Bible.” It is a direct attempt to answer some questions that were asked of me concerning femininity.  From a broad perspective, the sermon series will be an attempt to explain some of the teachings in the Bible concerning women.  Why do this? Well, because some of the Bible’s teachings do indeed seem quite strange and obtuse… at least from the perspective of our modern “enlightened” culture. On this episode Dave and Patrick are joined by a wonderful Christian lady and leader, Tracy Bumgarner.  Together these three provide a pretty good introduction to the topic that we hope to cover in the pulpit at Grace Baptist Church for the month of November.  
01:04:58
November 05, 2021
The Prosperity Gospel vs. Asceticism
The Prosperity Gospel vs. Asceticism
Does God always want you and me to always be healthy, wealthy, comfortable, successful, and happy? The modern "prosperity gospel preachers" would lead us to believe that He does.  When Jesus saved you from sin, He also saved you from poverty, illness, and oppression.  Do you agree with that? Asceticism makes the opposite claim.  This philosophy would have us believe that the sicker you are, the poorer you are, the more uncomfortable you are, the more you fail to get ahead, and the more miserable you are, the better.  God doesn't want you to enjoy life.  Pleasure is evil.  Do you agree with that? Strangely, there are truths hidden in both of these perspectives.  Well, really there are truths eclipsed by each of these perspectives.  Both are built on misconstruing actual biblical truth.   Listen as Dave and Patrick attempt to unravel this matter in a simple and applicable manner.
47:22
October 29, 2021
What is the Human Spirit?
What is the Human Spirit?
Humans are made in the image and likeness of God.  As such, we are more than just matter in motion.  As beings, we are both material and immaterial.  But what exactly is the immaterial part of humanity?  We use words like mind, soul, spirit, heart, will, emotion, nature, etc.  But are these parts of one thing, like the liver and stomach are both parts of the body?  Or, are these somehow separate things.  Especially when we talk about the soul and spirit, there are some who take a dogmatic approach to the differentiation.  Listen today as Dave and Patrick discuss this question (as well as a few other questions that this question leads into).  
42:06
October 01, 2021
The Ministry Masquerade
The Ministry Masquerade
I'm sure you've noticed that preachers are always happy, always bold and courageous, and always full of energy... ...except when we're not. Today is confession day.  Patrick is under the weather, so Dave is joined by his wife Tonya for a discussion about the struggles of life in ministry.   Listen if you dare...
01:07:58
September 24, 2021
A Call from Heaven
A Call from Heaven
In Ephesians 4:1-3 the apostle Paul wrote, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." "The VOCATION wherewith you were CALLED."  What is that?  What is the call of God?  Who does He call?  What does He call us to do?  Does He call everybody or only the elect? Listen as David, Patrick, and "guest" Jason McConnell try to unravel this word and its application in Scripture. 
59:10
September 15, 2021
A Call From Africa
A Call From Africa
It's been over a month since we've talked at length with co-host Patrick Reed. This episode is dedicated solely to catching up with him and learning about what's going on right now with his family and with the work there in The Gambia. Listen now...
51:44
September 10, 2021
Ladies and the Church
Ladies and the Church
Mandy Nash is one of God's precious daughters.  She is an elect lady, like the recipient of John's 2nd epistle.  And, she has been through much.  Some of it was by her own choices, but much of her suffering was a result of oppression that Satan and his children placed on her.  Yet, she is victorious.  Her love for Christ and for her family is evident.  She is one of the many wonderful female followers of Christ who are contributing significantly to the construction of the kingdom of God in the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls today.  God is using Mandy in mighty ways. Listen to Mandy's testimony and her thoughts on the experience of women in the church.  In her words, when it comes to the roles that men and women have in the church and in the home, "It's not a competition."  Amen to that!
58:33
September 03, 2021
The Purpose of Pain
The Purpose of Pain
The Bible tells us plainly that we will suffer.  “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) On this episode David is joined by one of the members of grace Baptist Church, Russ Nash.  Russ has dealt with chronic pain for years.  Listen to him share his testimony as well as his perspective on how God uses pain in our lives for our sanctification.  
55:41
August 27, 2021
We Need to Wake Up
We Need to Wake Up
One of our biggest podcast fans has become a podcast guest.  In fact, he is really a guest host on this episode.   God has called Danny Smith to be an Evangelist.  I would say he has a burden to be a "Revivalist," but that's just my opinion.  We'll have to wait and see what God does. On this episode we focus Danny's testimony and calling.  But, we do get a little bit into the nature of revival too. AND... we have a big surprise in the middle of this episode.  Don't miss it!
01:06:58
August 12, 2021
Kelly's Special Needs Blessing
Kelly's Special Needs Blessing
The original title that I wanted to use for this episode was: "What’ll ya have… What’ll ya have?” Kelly D'Armi told me about that mantra.  It is the serving call of the Varsity hot dog stand down in Atlanta, GA (where Kelly heard it). King Solomon received an offer from God that sounded a little like that saying.  God proposed to give him anything he wanted.  But what if you or I were to receive such an offer.  Kelly's answer to the hypothetical question from God, “Kelly, what do you want?” was this, "I want what You want."   Simple, surprising, profound and powerful... especially since Kelly has a 32 years adult son (Thomas) who requires 100% care. Listen as Dave and Patrick discuss Kelly's story with him.  You will be blessed and challenged.  
54:57
July 17, 2021
Strait Gates and Washing Feet
Strait Gates and Washing Feet
The the gate that leads to eternal life is straight, right?  Or, is it strait.  Read that again. I (Dave) have been reading it as "straight" and using Jesus' words as if he said "straight" - when in actuality, He didn't. How many other obvious errors have I made?  How many have we made?  How many are we still making? You may not know this, but there are some churches who practice foot washing as a ritual.  We don't, but some do.  Who's got it right? On this episode we are joined by Chris Kitchens again.  He was last with us when we talked about cremation.  Chris is quite familiar with the foot washing tradition.  So, buckle up and go with Patrick, Dave, & Chris as we explore these and a few other issues together.
01:01:20
July 09, 2021
What is a Southern Baptist?
What is a Southern Baptist?
I (Dave) have been called a southern baptist because I am a baptist and I’m from the south. Well, in that sense, I guess I am.  But I am not part of the Southern Baptist Convention. Southern Baptists are not necessarily from the south. Keith Myer is from New Jersey, but he heads up our local group of Southern Baptist Churches. So what better person to ask than Keith?  "Keith, what is a Southern Baptist?" On this episode Keith shares expertly concerning SBC history, current events, politics, polity, faith, and the future of this large cooperation of churches. Listen to this enlightening and educational conversation Dave and Patrick had recently with Pastor Keith Myer.
01:10:27
June 22, 2021
Christian Superstitions
Christian Superstitions
In 1st Timothy 4:6-11 Paul wrote, “Refuse profane (non-sacred) and old wives' fables (also translated “silly myths"), and exercise yourself rather unto godliness.” Then in Acts 17:22-23 we find it written, “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, 'You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious (uninformed and erroneously religious - devoted, but without knowledge of the truth).  For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.'” Superstition is defined as "a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief."  Unfortunately, many Christians have been duped into accepting unbiblical and unfounded ideas that could best be described as fables and superstitions.  Maybe you are guilty of adopting one or two of them yourself.  It's important that we always find our comfort and confidence in the truth, not in legends and fairy tales.  Listen as Dave and Patrick discuss this issue with Pastor Justin Joiner.  You may find out that you too have an error or two to give up. 
01:02:24
June 16, 2021
The Rainbow; Is It a Stolen Symbol?
The Rainbow; Is It a Stolen Symbol?
In Genesis 8:21-22 we read that after Noah's flood, "The LORD smelled a sweet savor (that of Noah's sacrifice); and said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.  While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."   Then in Genesis 9 we find the unfurling of the symbol of God's covenant of mercy.  That symbol is the rainbow.  Every time we see a rainbow in the clouds we should be reminded that God still remembers His promise of patience.  He knew that the human race would once again deserve a worldwide drowning, but He decided unilaterally not to drown us again.   Of course, in our time and culture the rainbow has become a symbol that seems at first blush to point in quite a different direction.  But is it really pointing in another direction?  Listen to Dave and Patrick as they discuss this very important current issue with Pastor Bill Kruppa. 
59:16
June 10, 2021
A Preacher's Daughters
A Preacher's Daughters
Doubtless every person's lot in life has its advantages and disadvantages.  It's neither wise nor noble to play the martyr when one is certainly no martyr.  On the other hand, children who grow up in the home of Christian minister do indeed have some unique challenges.  They should always experience some significant esoteric blessings as well, but their temptations are real and therefore need to be admitted. On this episode Dave goes solo to interview his 2 daughters, Kayla and Amber.  Listen as these 2 young ladies bare their heart a little. 
57:42
June 03, 2021
How Do You Know You Are Called?
How Do You Know You Are Called?
God has called you and has given you what you need to serve Him in some specific way?  But how are you to know what your calling is?  Specifically, how does one discover and then demonstrate that God has called them into preaching ministry?  In Acts 13:2 we read this testimony, "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, 'Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.'"  So, God used the church and worked through the church [congregation] to ordain the Apostle Paul into his missionary work.  But is that all there is to it?  Do we just wait around for the church to recognize God's leading in our life? On this episode Dave and Patrick are joined by Jason McConnell in an interesting conversation about this very topic.  Listen now.
01:11:13
May 21, 2021
What Are The Deep Things of God?
What Are The Deep Things of God?
Perhaps you know the song that goes like this, "How deep the Father's love for us; how vast, beyond of measure; that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure."  There is no doubt about it, God's love is deep.  But what else falls into the category of deep truth, or deep theology, or deep spiritual things? On this episode Dave and Patrick take a stab at identifying what the deep things are and how we are to pursue them.  Listen now.
01:00:37
May 14, 2021
Why Pray When You Can Worry?
Why Pray When You Can Worry?
What is the difference really between praying and worrying?  In some ways they are more similar than you might think.  But this is not the only relevant question concerning prayer.  Why does God tell us to pray?  What does prayer accomplish anyway?  And how should we be praying? Listen as Dave and Patrick bare their heart on this vital spiritual topic.
01:03:30
May 09, 2021
Sabbath Keeping & Tithing in the New Testament
Sabbath Keeping & Tithing in the New Testament
We all know that we are now under grace, not under the law.  But how about the laws concerning resting on Saturday and paying our tithes?  Are we exempt from those?  And if we are exempt, what do our actions in freedom say about our spirituality? On this episode Dave and Patrick try to unpack the reality of God's plan for New Testament saints on these 2 issues specifically.  You might be a bit surprised by the conclusions.
51:55
April 30, 2021
Sometimes We Should Just Give Up
Sometimes We Should Just Give Up
Jude wrote, "Of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”  But is there a third category?  The answer is a resounding, "Yes!"  Even in his little letter, Jude spoke of apostates who were/are beyond hope.  It isn't compassion or confrontation that is appropriate in such cases, instead it's condemnation. On this episode Dave goes solo to talk about the harsh reality of moving on to somebody else with the good news of God's saving grace.  Listen and contemplate.
46:23
April 24, 2021
Should Christians Cancel People?
Should Christians Cancel People?
In a society that only a few years ago seemed poised to do away with any and all stigmas for all people, the opposite extreme has emerged.  Its label is "call-out" or "cancel" culture.  If you do something that is sufficiently offensive or politically incorrect, you must be condemned and ostracized.  That's how it works. Now, the Bible does talk about rejecting heretics, separating from brothers who refuse to deal with their sin, avoiding people who are divisive, and disciplining church members who are unrebukable.  But is that the same as modern cancel culture? Among other things, the purpose and spirit of canceling people today is just about as far from the biblical purpose and spirit as you can possibly imagine.  Listen to this episode as David and Patrick try to unpack some of these differences.
55:04
April 09, 2021
If Bibles Aren’t Available
If Bibles Aren’t Available
What's the most effective use of a church's foreign mission budget? We can send money overseas. We can send missionaries oversees. We can send humanitarian aid.  We can send literature.  Or, we can send Bibles.  Obviously, in an ideal situation we would be able to do all of the above. But if a choice has to be made concerning what must be sent (or what the order will be), where does sending Bibles fit into the picture? God’s text message to us is obviously a big deal. He has magnified His Word above all His name. It is the catalyst of our faith. So let’s talk about the Scriptures and the importance of getting the Bible into the hands of the heathen. The guest joining Dave and Patrick for this episode is Al Braley. He is the Director of Operations at Bearing Precious Seed of Milford, Ohio.  He has considerable first hand knowledge about this issue.  Listen and catch his vision for what God can do!
49:14
March 31, 2021
Sex Education in the Church
Sex Education in the Church
"Ok, now that we have talked about everything we can think of to talk about (except sex) concerning your wedding and marriage afterward, here is the title of a book for you to read to help you out with that stuff." That's probably not the best approach to sex education in the church.  However, that (combined with a healthy dose of "Flee fornication!" sermons) is a decent caricature of how I've often handled the issue.  But what if the book I've been recommending wasn't quite as helpful (for some people) as it was for me when I got married?  Maybe, just maybe, we can do better. On this episode David and Patrick are joined by the author of The Great Sex Rescue: The Lies You’ve Been Taught and How to Recover What God Intended.  Sheila Wray Gregoire is the face behind ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com.  She is a wife and a mother, a blogger, the author of 9 books, and has her own podcast called The Bare Marriage Podcast.   I think this episode will bless you as you listen to her message of grace and hope!
01:02:47
March 24, 2021
Discover the New You
Discover the New You
What are you made of on the inside?  I mean you are a soul, you have a spirit, you have a mind, you have a will, you have a conscience, you have a nature!  In fact, you have 2 natures!  Sheesh!  Talk about confusing!   But is it really all that confusing?  Maybe the old comic strip concept of an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other is a pretty good representation of reality.  In the Bible this conundrum is described as the "old man" and the "new man."  But what are these 2 things? Listen as Pastor Dick Blades of First Baptist Church in Delmar, DE joins Patrick and Dave for this vital discussion.
01:06:05
March 18, 2021
Homeschool, Private or Public Education
Homeschool, Private or Public Education
In Proverbs 22:6 Solomon wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go."  We normally focus on the second half of that verse, but I've left it out intentionally this time in order to emphasize the first phrase.  Regardless of the outcome, it is our responsibility as parents to train our children in the way that they should go.  It isn't the county's job.  It isn't the state's responsibility.  It isn't the federal government's obligation.  It is the job of the parents. But how to go about it?  For some people there are really no ideal options available.   But for many US citizens, there are plenty of options.  I (Dave) personally attended 5 different private schools without ever changing my physical address.  They were not all equal, but they were all doing a decent job at the task of educating the children who were entrusted to their care 5 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. On this episode Dave and Patrick are privileged to host a guest who is no stranger at Grace Baptist Church in Hurlock, MD.  Pastor Bill Kruppa is the pastor of Emmaus Baptist Church here in Plant City, FL.  Like Patrick, Bill was ordained at Grace.  But Bill has spent about 23 years as an educator, both in the classroom and at times in administration.  Listen as we discuss the best and worst options for the education of our children in 2021.
01:07:52
March 13, 2021
Should we be Critics of the Bible?
Should we be Critics of the Bible?
Satan was the first critic of the Bible.  But is that really the same thing as being a textual critic involved in collation and/or translation work?  We are all called upon to love God with our minds?  I am commanded.  You are commanded.  I must love God with my mind. So, we are not expected to check our brain at the door when we enter the sanctuary to fellowship with believers and to worship our Maker.  As you will hear in this episode, God (and the Bible) can certainly withstand any scrutiny we can offer.  Be that scrutiny academic, historic, linguistic or otherwise. So, how about textual criticism?  Would we have a Bible in our language without textual criticism?  What are the aims of this field of study? Today Dave and Patrick are joined by Pastor Lee Hughart of the First Baptist Church of Hurlock, MD to talk about the issue of textual criticism as it relates to the Bible in English specifically.  Hope you enjoy this introductory level conversation.
01:24:19
March 05, 2021
Is Cremation Christian?
Is Cremation Christian?
Does the Bible prescribe how we are to "dispose" of the remains of our deceased loved ones?  Is burial required?  What about cremation?  In Matthew 3:9 we read where Jesus said, "Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."  What does that have to do with it?  Well, the next anticipated event after the burial or cremation or cryonization of a human corpse is the revitalization and resurrection of that body.  And God doesn't need much or even any of our molecular substance in order to bring our bodies up from the dust.  So does it matter at all what we do with the body? This strange and somewhat difficult issue is addressed in this episode as Dave, Patrick, and a guest pastor try to unpack the reasons behind the decisions we make concerning our own funeral arrangements and the handling of the arrangements of our loved ones after our decease.  The guest today is Bro. Chris Kitchens.  Chris is the pastor of Mt. Olive Church in Cullman, Alabama.  Listen now to this good conversation on the topic of cremation.
01:08:07
February 25, 2021
Only God: The Life & Legacy of Shane Lewis
Only God: The Life & Legacy of Shane Lewis
"No one will ever hate you for loving them."  That is the legacy of Shane Lewis.  Shane was the pastor of Somerville Baptist Church in Somerville, Alabama.  He was a gospel preaching, saint loving, hard working man of God.  But he was also a husband, and a father. Not anymore though.  God allowed Leukemia into Shane's body.  And in the end, it took his life.   Yet, he lives on.  Not only literally now in the presence of his Savior, but also continually through the example he set and the message he preached. On this episode Dave and Patrick are joined by one of Shane's sons, Zach.  Zach is in ministry now down in the state of Georgia.  Listen to this testimony of God's great grace on (and through) the life and ministry of Pastor Shane Lewis.
48:08
February 17, 2021
Church Planter or Christian Pirate
Church Planter or Christian Pirate
Have you ever heard of church hoppers?  Have you ever BEEN a church hopper?  Is this phenomenon OK?  Is it a God thing or is it one of the devil's tools? And, what about the pastor's role in such activity?  Especially church planters?  Many church planters are perhaps more focused on church growth than any other kind of minister in any other branch of ministry, and rightfully so.  But, does the church planter build with disgruntled saints from other churches, or with baby believers freshly rescued from slime-pits of sin.  Or... can he benefit from both; from both kinds of growth.  Maybe not disgruntled saints, but seed families who are seasoned servants of the Lord leaving one church to bless another - can't that be part of the strategy?  And can established churches send their own members out with a blessing, not just as missionaries, but at participating members? On this episode Dave and Patrick are joined by a church planter from over in Seaford, Deleware.  Pastor Gil Vargas is the pastor-teacher of Hope Bible Church.  It is a young church plant that is growing rapidly.  Listen as the 3 preachers discuss the challenges and blessings of church planting.
01:10:06
February 12, 2021
Legalism or License
Legalism or License
Are you focused on the system, or the Savior?  Is your faith in yourself or in Christ?  Are you living by a list of standards, or in the power of the Spirit?  The letter of the law kills, but the spirit gives life. There are ditches on both sides of the road.  Christ has called us to live in freedom.  He has called us to liberty.  His grace is sufficient.  But our flesh is incapable of cooperation with Godliness.  So, when we try to live the Christian life in our own strength; by our own power, we end up in proud legalism or proud licentiousness.  Both are a problem.  One is not worse than the other.  Either idolatry or hedonism; in either case Christ is not preeminent. On this episode David and Patrick are joined by Pastor Tom Morrill of Calvary Independent Baptist Church in Lebanon, NH to unpack this controversial and difficult spiritual dilemma.  Listen now...
01:03:45
February 05, 2021
From Atheist to Missionary
From Atheist to Missionary
How in the world does a man go from a God-denying atheist to a devoted missionary, passionate about taking the good news of the saving grace of Jesus Christ to the Wolof people of The Gambia in Africa? Well, his wife's prayer certainly played a part.  And the preaching of the Word was helpful.  But ultimately it is nothing more nor less that the providential purposes and plans of the Almighty that produce such transformations.  God is patient.  But He is also persistent.  In this episode Dave mostly listens as Patrick shares the story of his journey from being a young atheist to where he is now, a evangel of the Christ!
44:31
January 30, 2021
Providential Pardon
Providential Pardon
It is fairly common for outgoing US presidents (on their way out of office) to pardon a few people.  For better or for worse, it is one of many of the checks and balances that was placed (by statesmen who lived before us) into our form of government.  Perhaps we can complain that far to many unworthy criminals receive pardons, but perhaps we should also look in the mirror.  Have you been pardoned?  Were you worthy of it? My (Dave writing here) favorite verse in the Bible is Isaiah 55:7.  I memorized it when I was in 4th grade.  I was not yet a believer.  It goes like this: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."  Abundantly pardon!?  This implies clearly that God has plenty of "pardons" to go around, and then some.  He has pardons to spare.  What a generous God we serve! This episode is made up of Dave and Patrick (mostly Dave) talking about God's grace on his (Dave's) life.  From salvation, to spiritual growth, to service in ministry - God's grace has been the key.  And at the forefront of God's grace on Dave's life, is His gracious pardon.  To God be the glory!  He is doing great things!
57:24
January 23, 2021
Deacons or Elders
Deacons or Elders
Church polity can be a sticky and difficult issue; especially if you are called on to try to change it.  Who is responsible for the decision making in ministry?  Is it the pastor? The deacons? The congregation? The trustees? A board of directors? The most influential family? The riches members? The oldest members? The loudest members? The most cantankerous members?  The busiest members?  There are actually many different models that have been tried.  Most models are grossly flawed and even the best models have certain weaknesses.  So what should we do?  The 3 approaches that seem to be dominant among Baptist churches are as follows: # 1. deacon board run churches, # 2. pastor run churches, & more recently # 3. various attempts at a plurality of elders. On this episode Patrick and Dave are joined by David's little brother, Stephen, for a discussion on how churches should be governed.  Take you time and listen carefully.  And, give us your feedback as well!
01:12:35
January 12, 2021
Female Pastors: Progression or Transgression?
Female Pastors: Progression or Transgression?
Paul said that we become all things to all men that we may by all means save some.  I've heard it said by some good friends nearby that they are willing to do anything short of sin in order to reach the lost for Christ - or something like that.  But how far will we go?  How far should we go?  Does the church take it's queues from the world, or from the Scripture?  Or is it both?   Of course we can't ever go against the Scripture!  But what does the Scripture say?  And, what does it mean?  Does it mean today the same thing that it meant when it was written originally? We live in a day when equal rights are trumpeted loudly on every side.  Are there any boundaries to this?  What exactly are our rights?  I mean under God's ordinance, what can we expect or demand?  Especially in the arena of gender equality, there is much to be said.  There is much to be desired.  Is God a male chauvinist?  Is God a militant feminist?  How about neither. Listen to this final episode for 2020 in which Dave and Patrick are joined by Mark Karenbaur to examine and discuss what light the Bible sheds on gender equality in the church.  It's the fieriest and grittiest episode yet.  Listen attentively and with discretion.
01:13:16
December 12, 2020
Family or Fortune
Family or Fortune
Do you struggle to balance the priorities of life?  Perhaps you do struggle.  Do you love God?  Do you love your family?  Do you love your job?  Do you love your church?  You probably love in those directions and in a whole bunch of other directions too.  But sometimes a person can show so much favor in 1 or 2 of these directions that they end up neglecting and even destroying in other directions. On this episode Patrick and Dave are joined by a Christian nobleman, Charles White.  Bro. Charles is the patriarch in a family tree that has grown fruit in the congregation in Hurlock.  One of his sons serves on the deacon board at Grace Baptist Church.  Bro. Charles is a godly man, a family man, and a businessman.   This conversation is an attempt to unpack the story of how Bro. Charles has experienced God's blessings on his life and family, and to see what lessons we all can glean concerning how to better moderate the daily pressures of the domestic and commercial demands of life. 
52:52
December 03, 2020
Thinking or Thanking (special Thanksgiving edition)
Thinking or Thanking (special Thanksgiving edition)
Ok, I gave Patrick the week off.  And, we are both taking next week off - from the podcast, that is.  Actually, Apple won't even publish podcasts during Thanksgiving week and for the 2 weeks from Christmas to New Years, which I think is awesome.   Anyway, this time it's just my wife (Tonya) and I reminiscing and talking about Thanksgiving and thankfulness.  It's a shorter episode than normal, so that means I get to blame all the long episodes on Patrick and our former guests.  LOL Happy listening everyone, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
41:43
November 19, 2020
Healthy or Ill (Conversation with a COVID survivor)
Healthy or Ill (Conversation with a COVID survivor)
His life may never be the same.  He contracted the coronavirus back in August and still has not completely recovered.  But what was his experience like and how is his life different now than it was before? This is the most interesting episode yet.  Listen as David and Patrick talk with Evangelist Philip Schipper about his personal journey through the pandemic.   Phil is a member of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Plainwell, MI.  If you want to connect with him directly, go to evangelistphilipschipper.com.
01:08:38
November 12, 2020
Image or Imagination
Image or Imagination
God made Adam and Eve in His own image; in His own likeness.  And yet, Satan tempted Eve by suggesting that if she would eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she could BECOME like God.  The proper question might then be: what was Satan up to?  After all, once Adam and Eve ate and fell, God did say, "They have become like us."  Perhaps the simplest answer is that the most significant elements of Satan's lie were the timing and process of it all.  Satan sold the idea to humanity that God was holding something back from us; something that would make us MORE like Him.  Of course, Satan's original lie to himself was that he could ascend and be like the Most High. Whatever you make of all that, there is no doubt that the idea of "being like God" is central both to creation and to the fall.  But that's not all.  It's also central to our redemption.  In a very real way Christ saves us from our own wicked imaginations, and by His Spirit recreates us in His own image.  Seth was begotten in the image of the first Adam.  You and I (who have been regenerated) are begotten in the image of the last Adam; that is, Christ! So, what is the image of God anyway?  What is the (Latin) imago Dei?  The Bible teaches us that Christ is the express image of the Father.  And, we read that we are being transformed into His image (2nd Corinthians 3:18).  But what exactly does that mean and how is it accomplished? Admittedly, this podcast is a little weightier than some of the past ones have been, but take the time to listen attentively as Patrick and Dave discuss this truth with Jason Alligood.  He is the teaching pastor at Fellowship Bible Church of Peoria, IL.
01:02:32
November 05, 2020
Social Media or Societal Mania
Social Media or Societal Mania
If Jesus had waited another 1990 years to be born, would He have social media accounts today? That might sound like a silly question.  And, perhaps it is.  But it also an opportunity to think seriously about the proper place that social media should play in the life of a Christian. Certainly there is plenty of mania, froth, and irrelevance on social media.  There are even existential dangers on social media.  But there are also wonderful opportunities that we shouldn't miss. On this episode Patrick and Dave spend an hour with Keith Myer talking about the impact of social media on the church, on ministry, and on Christianity.  Keith is the pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Salisbury, MD.  This discussion is not quite as heavy as some from the past, but it sure does deal with a debatable issue that is highly relevant in our present society.
01:06:50
October 29, 2020
Trump or Biden
Trump or Biden
It doesn't need to be repeated, but let's do so anyway.  Neither President Trump, nor candidate Biden are the hope for America.  Neither major political party, nor any lesser (or imagined) political party can save us.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!  If we don't trust in God, no other contrivable strategy will preserve us. However, that is not to say that it doesn't matter who wins the presidential election.  If you will think through the history of mankind (as is presented in the Scripture), you will notice that the condition of whole nations and empires has always been inextricably connected to (and dependent upon) the nature and character of whoever was leading.  Inevitably, the relationship of massive groups of people to the God of the Bible has hinged on the connection of their primary representative to Him.  He blesses or curses people in direct relation to the moral direction of their primary leader.   So, in principle, it does matter who you vote for.  But it doesn't just matter in principle.  It matters practically too.  Whether the issue considered is a weighty one, like abortion, or a much less significant one, like balancing the federal budget, there are biblical principles that we must strive to uphold and honor.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), many people seem to be willing to just toe the line of their own chosen social group?  Revelation, logic, and history are all but ignored by many in favor of personalities, emotions, and popular opinion.   So, what are we to do?  Should we vote for Trump, for Biden, for someone else, or not at all?  Does it even matter?  Listen as David and Patrick are joined by Matt Taylor, a local farmer (and a deacon at Grace Baptist Church) in a candid discussion of national politics and how we as Christians should involve ourselves. 
01:05:32
October 23, 2020
Current or Ancient
Current or Ancient
Some say that the Bible is antiquated and irrelevant.  I say that it is the ultimate classic.  But even from my perspective, I recognize that (due to our culture's general ignorance of biblical history and context) the principles of Scripture may need to be taught in a variety of ways.   So, should we focus more on making the old truths relevant, current, cool, contextualized, modernized, and familiar by sticking with illustrations with which everyone in our audience would be naturally familiar?  Or, should we do the hard work of educating our audiences sufficiently so that utilizing the oldest of Bible stories is easily understood by them?   There is at least one man who successfully does both.  He is the guest on today's episode.  Bro. Dan Hatfield is on the pastoral staff at Bayview Baptist Church in Laurel, DE.  He is passionate about (and proficient at) making the Bible understandable and applicable through the use of a variety of illustrative tools.   Listen to this inspiring conversation.
01:01:05
October 16, 2020
Ritual or Reality
Ritual or Reality
The word ritual is defined as "a religious ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order."  There is nothing wrong with having rituals.  The Bible is replete with them (from the sacrificial system of the Old Testament to the 2 ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper in the New Testament).  But the moment a ritual replaces reality rather than representing reality, something has to change. Independent Baptist have practiced many helpful rituals over the years.  But sometimes we have allowed rituals to serve as a substitute for spirituality.  So, how do we maintain a good balance in that regard? On this episode Dave and Patrick are joined by the man who was Dave's pastor throughout his junior high, high school, and college days.  He even gave Dave his first teaching job at Bethel Baptist School after Dave graduated from college.  Today's guest is Pastor Earl Goode.  He serves as the interim pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Warrior, AL.  
01:08:18
October 09, 2020
Faith or Effort
Faith or Effort
These 2 things should not be viewed as a dichotomy.  Neither should they be viewed as stages or equal parts of our salvation.  Yet faith and effort are inseparable.  Both the epistle to the Hebrews and the epistle of James make the connection of faith and effort unmistakable.  But what is the actual relationship of these 2 things?  And, how do we discern the difference in our own lives? In this episode Pastor David Mathews of Faith Baptist Church in Vienna, VA joins with David Talley and Patrick Reed to unpack the real difference between grace and grit.  Neither ingredient will exist alone for long in the Christian life.  Listen in now to this honest and helpful discussion.
01:00:11
September 30, 2020
Invite or Invade
Invite or Invade
We are the church militant.  I'm not talking about political or physical aggression, of course.  I only mean that we are on a mission of kingdom expansion.  There is territory to conquer.  There is a very real enemy to fight. But, how should we go about it?  Should we take the in-your-face approach, or is there a kinder, gentler way to get the job done? What we are really talking about here is evangelism.  We're talking about the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We're talking about the salvation lost souls. David and Patrick are joined on this episode by Pastor Brian Moss.  He has been the senior pastor of Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Salisbury, MD for 21 years.  You will be encouraged and instructed as you listen to him address the primary strategies of missional vs. attractional evangelism.  We are all called to be evangelists.  But, do we invite or invade?  Should we invite the lost to come and see, or should we invade their space - or is it both? 
01:06:39
September 24, 2020
Fundamental or Modern
Fundamental or Modern
100 years ago, this discussion would have called for many authors and many presentations.  The voices would need clout, degrees, scholarship, and money.  In fact, that is exactly what we find.  "The Fundamentals" were 90 essays written by 64 different authors, initially published in 12 volumes.   Those men were fighting significant errors in the church.  Modernists were skeptical of everything biblical.  No foundational Christian doctrine was safe from the malignant tentacles of modernism.  The battles were fought and won.  Not that those in error were convinced to convert, necessarily.  And certainly, if anything, the errors of the last century have only morphed and multiplied, becoming even more accepted by mainline denominations and by the unregenerate majority of Christendom.   Meanwhile, the offspring and proselytes of the original fundament Christians began infighting.  Noble separation from heresy degraded to ignoble separation based on preferences; or worse, on personality.   So today the discussion among "our brand" of Christians is not about the deity of Christ or the authority of the Scripture.  It's about what clothes we wear to church, what style of music we play, which version of the Bible we use, or even some less obvious tradition. Of course there is a current modern philosophy and perspective that is absolutely incompatible with biblical Christianity.  However, that does not mean that everything modern is evil. In this episode, David and Patrick are joined by Pastor Woody Bates in a kind conversation reflecting on our experiences with the schisms that have molded and marred our journey as Independent Baptists.  Although the likes and dislikes of the average American Christian can be unbelievably distracting, in this conversation you will hear us yearning for a deeper and more significant faith that holds to foundational truths unapologetically, but which also shows more grace and avoids selfish pride.
01:04:23
September 10, 2020
Worship or Performance
Worship or Performance
Does anyone perform when your church assembles?  If so, who is it? Every church should have the same performer every Sunday.   God.  God is the performer.  We worship Him. However, every assembly of the body does indeed include a production.  We strive (or should strive) to worship well and in so doing invite (and motivate) others to worship with us. This episode David is joined by 2 guests in a discussion about church music.  Jon Nichols is the Minister of music and youth at the Republican Baptist Church in Clarks Hill, SC.  And, Seth Talley is David's eldest son.  He is studying music and worship at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. 
01:07:58
September 06, 2020
Vision or Imagination
Vision or Imagination
Are you confident that you have a clear, distinct, and accurate vision of who God really is and what He is trying to do in your life in 2020? There is no doubt about it, this year has been an incredibly unusual one (so far).  Yet, we know that God is on the throne and He is always more than willing to bless those who come to Him in faith and humility.  But are we actually working toward the vision He has cast, or have we just made up a plan based on our own imagined concept of what God is like and what He appreciates. From the impact of the coronavirus to the most basic strategies of how a church functions, every aspect of our lives ultimately springs from our vision of God - that is both (1) how we see Him and (2) if we see what matters to Him.  So, we had better get it right. Listen today as Patrick and David spend an hour with Pastor Wayne Ayer (1st Baptist Church of Pocomoke, MD) evaluating what a 20/20 vision of God truly is in 2020.
01:01:50
August 29, 2020
Foreign or National
Foreign or National
Are all strategies equal?  The mission of the church is to proclaim the good news of God's saving grace.  We are commanded to let the whole world know about Jesus.  But there are a variety of theories and experiments (concerning how to get it done) that individual churches have adopted.  Are some methods better than others? While there are other models to consider, on this episode Jonathan Romaine (a BMM missionary in Spain) joins David and Patrick to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of traditional foreign missions vs. supporting national pastors instead.  If you are a Christian, this issue should matter to you.  Have you thought it through?  If not, do so with us today.
01:05:23
August 21, 2020
Preacher's Kid or Church Brat
Preacher's Kid or Church Brat
Movies and songs have been published about this.  Jokes are told about it.  Books written. But I have lived it. I'm a preacher's kid.  And, yes - a church brat too. There are positives and negatives to this reality. Even in the Bible we have MANY examples (both good and bad) of PKs - minister's kids who did really well, or very poorly. On this week's episode Patrick and Dave are joined by Dave's youngest child, Elijah.  Spend an hour with them thinking about the unique blessings and burdens that come with growing up in a preacher's home.
57:30
August 15, 2020
Tired or Retired
Tired or Retired
"I would rather burn out than rust out." Have you ever heard that statement before? Some retort, "Does it really matter how you get out? If you're out, you're out." But it does matter.  The idea of burning the candle at both ends certainly includes the concepts of intensity and productivity.  Contrariwise, rusting out (at least in this context) implies sitting; doing nothing; contributing nothing. I want to contribute; to do my part.  Until the very end, I want to be used of God. The topic for this episode is difficult (to me) because it’s hard to imagine ever stepping away from active, full time ministry. What I really want to gauge here is the reality of retired life (especially in ministry) as opposed to career life (or active, vocational ministry). Joining Patrick and I for this conversation is a friend and semi-retired pastor by the name of Jim Johnson.
56:55
July 31, 2020
Miracles: Continued or Ceased
Miracles: Continued or Ceased
Should you and I be looking for miracles today?  More specifically, should we be seeking for the spiritual gifts that give us power now to do miraculous things? The debate is called Cessationism vs. Continuationism, and while the terms might not be familiar you, the issue probably is. What about the gift of tongues?  Why can't we raise the dead today?  Or, can me?  Are healing campaigns biblical?  Are all miracles equal?  Is the purpose of every miracle the same? These and other questions are worthy of our attention. On this episode David and Patrick are joined by Dr. Robert Talley (assistant professor of theology, apologetics, and church history at Liberty University’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity) to discuss what our modern day expectations should be concerning "sign gifts" and miracles in general.  
55:27
July 23, 2020
Soul or Spirit
Soul or Spirit
Do you have soul?   Do you have spirit? Or, ARE you a soul WITH a spirit?  Or are these 2 things the same? 2nd Corinthians 7:1 reads, "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." WE must cleanse OURSELVES from the filthiness of our SPIRIT?  What in the world? In this episode David and Patrick are joined by David's father, Arthur Talley, Jr in a discussion on one of the most difficult of all anthropologic dilemmas. Are the soul and spirit different things, and if so - why does it matter? It does matter.  God's character is at stake.  What part of Adam died on the day that he sinned?  Not his body or soul.  God said he would die THAT DAY!  So, we had better figure out what's going on with this.
01:03:34
July 16, 2020
Dad or No Dad
Dad or No Dad
What percentage of the children in our world today are being reared by good, honorable fathers? Maybe accurate data isn't even available to provide an answer to that question.  But, what we do know and can see is that while responsible fatherhood makes a huge positive difference in the life of a child, largely it is becoming increasingly rare.  And, the cost is great. On this episode Patrick and David are joined by Rev. Mike Deisem to discuss his childhood and the tragic experiences he endured with the men who failed at fathering well.   There is hope though.   There are lessons and principles here that should challenge, inspire, and encourage men to be the kind of Dads God has called us to be.
01:09:57
July 10, 2020
Online or Out of Line
Online or Out of Line
OK.  This one is a real controversy.  And right now, it matters. Can the church BE the church virtually; digitally?  Or, do we have to assemble physically; personally? Have we forsaken the assembly during the COVID-19 crisis, or are we just functioning in a different way? This discussion is a raw and raging one.  Patrick Reed & Luke Scallon gang up on me (Dave Talley) to try to convince me that virtual church isn't enough.  Will they convince me?  Or, will I straighten them out?   You'll have to listen to find out.
01:01:52
July 03, 2020
Cities or Gardens
Cities or Gardens
What does God's work in Brooklyn, NY have to do with ministry in Hurlock, MD? Rural and urban ministries do have much in common.  But there are also some significant differences.  What are the unique difficulties and how do we overcome them? This week's discussion is not really controversial or debatable, but it is difficult.  It's hard to understand and sympathize with those who have experiences with which we are unfamiliar. David and Patrick are joined this time by the pastor of ACTS Christian Church in New York City: Pastor Jairo Figueroa.  He was born in Nicaragua and migrated to America when he was 11 years old.  He shares with us some of the recent challenges of ministering in New York City during the pandemic, as well as other situations that are common in a metropolitan ministry.
01:04:49
June 26, 2020
Black or White
Black or White
Everybody has something to say.  But some things that are said are just not helpful.  Many times what is said isn't even true. When it comes to racism and ethnic division, we need conversations that are constructive and honest.  Divisive and deceptive ones will do no good. In this episode, David and Patrick are joined by Rev. Tony Lawson in an attempt to take on a variety of issues related to the unique perspectives of black and white Christians.   Rev. Lawson is the pastor of Damascus Road Community Baptist Church in Cockeysville, MD.  He also serves as a councilman for Governor Larry Hogan, as the chairman of the Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council, and is the first African American President of the Executive Committee.  
01:07:27
June 18, 2020
Calvinism or Arminianism
Calvinism or Arminianism
Do you like tulips?  How about TULIP?  T.U.L.I.P.  T - Total Depravity U - Unconditional Election L - Limited Atonement I - Irresistible Grace P - Perseverance of the Saints Who is responsible for my destiny?  Me; or God? Maybe the best summary is this one: "What's wrong is me, and what's right is Him." - John McArthur  If there is any question that deserves to be taken up on Grace or Grit, it is this one: did John C. have his act together, or was Jacob A. the man? Every Christian has a system of assumptions that match closely with the postulations of one or the other of these 2 guys.  Some of us try to claim both; or neither. On this episode Dave Talley & Patrick Reed are joined (pardon the pun) by Pastor Justin Joiner of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Aroney, AL to discuss one of the heaviest issues around: God's sovereignty & your autonomy. 
01:13:10
June 11, 2020
Secular or Sacred
Secular or Sacred
How do we live a balanced life?   Job.  Family.  Church.  Community.  Health.  Fitness.  Hobbies.  Aaaaaa!  How should I prioritize things? One way of looking at life is by categorizing things as 1. sacred (or spiritual), 2. secular, or 3. sinful?  But is that legitimate? This discussion might NOT appear to be as controversial as some that we have undertaken, but if you think deeply and practically, this is a real wrestling match for every Christian. Our guest on this program is Pastor Jeff Minniear.  He has started the Shiloh Baptist Church in Bowie, MD.  It is a multi-ethnic work.  (Psst, he sounds just like Ross from FRIENDS).  Join Dave, Patrick, and Jeff for this significant conversation.
58:50
June 04, 2020
King James or Bust
King James or Bust
It makes sense that we would be rather defensive about the Bible we read.  After all, it is the vehicle God uses to reveal Himself to us.  But throughout my life I have witnessed considerable tension resulting from the debate over which translation of the Bible is best for the English speaking world of today.  On the one hand, such sensitivity is appropriate.  It is Satan who leads the attack on what God has said.  On the other hand, outrage and dogma have dominated many and (understandably) has done more harm than good.  Then others are so nonchalant about the issue that it begins to merit serious suspicion.   On this episode David and Patrick are joined by Pastor Elijah Beltz of Rome, New York for a frank discussion about the good ol' King James Version of the Bible, and its competitors.
01:01:57
May 30, 2020
Real or Fake
Real or Fake
Jesus Himself warned that many of His supposed followers were insincere and would not make it into His kingdom.  This is sobering news.  It is an issue that deserves careful attention.  Am I & are you fake Christians, or are we the real thing? Join Patrick Reed and Dave Talley as they discuss the nature of repentance with Pastor Randall Blackmon of the First Baptist Fellowship in Cambridge, MD.  They attempt to unravel what the Bible says about the timing of repentance as it relates to regeneration, but there is so much more that makes it into this important conversation.
01:01:03
May 21, 2020
Preacher or Friend
Preacher or Friend
Of all the controversies that we could discuss, this one is an internal controversy.  It's an argument that I have with myself almost daily and a dilemma that I've struggled with throughout almost 20 years of pastoral work: what is the proper balance in ministry.  Specifically, how much time should a pastor spend studying, praying and preaching, and how much time should be spent in personal relationship building.  The 2 shouldn't be in competition - or so it would seem. The late Rev. Tim Gelatt once reminded me that people ARE my ministry.  So, why the tension?  Joining Patrick and I for today's podcast is a true friend in ministry, Pastor Jared Mitchell.  Listen as the three of us wrestle out loud with our own personal issues and struggles in fulfilling our calling.
58:02
May 16, 2020
Traditional or Modern
Traditional or Modern
When it comes to sacred music, should we use the old hymnal & sing along with a piano, or do we build a band & sing the Christian songs from the radio?  Paul admonished us in Ephesians 5:19 to "...speak to yourselves in psalms & hymns & spiritual songs, singing & making melody in your heart to the Lord..."  But what does that look like in 2020?  Or what should it look like?  Joining David and Patrick for this episode is the pastor of White Oak Baptist Church in Stratford, Connecticut - Pastor Richard LeJeune. 
01:05:27
May 08, 2020
Freedom or Safety
Freedom or Safety
Would you rather be free or safe?  Galatians 5:13 reads like this, "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”   Dave Talley & Patrick Reed host this pilot episode discussing the proper balance between freedom and safety in the life of a Christian.  Guest Barry Secrest adds his perspective as well.
54:19
May 02, 2020
May 1, 2020
May 1, 2020
00:57
May 01, 2020