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Looking Over Life

Looking Over Life

By James Goering and Shawn D Schmidt
James and Shawn are two friends who like to talk about life. Science, grammar, parenting, spirituality--they're likely to discuss it.

We now have a Patreon page:
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1: 2021 Yearly Themes

Looking Over Life

21: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories (with guest John R. Perfect)
James and Shawn talk with John R. Perfect about conspiracy theories.  What are they anyway? What makes them so prevalent or easy to swallow? We talked about whether or not a particular person may be more susceptible to believing conspiracy theories and what we can do to avoid falling into that trap ourselves. What do you think about conspiracy theories? Are there any particular ones in your community that seem especially strong? Why do you think that is? Send us and email with your thoughts. We'd be glad to hear from you. Email: Website: Patreon: Choice Books The Bearded Onion James Webb Space Telescope James E. Webb - Wikipedia Edwin Hubble - Wikipedia Conspiracy theory - Wikipedia Jesse Walker's 5 types of conspiracy theories - Wikipedia Worldview - Wikipedia Mental model - Wikipedia Flowchart - Wikipedia Illusory Truth Effect - Wikipedia The Onion - satirical news site The Onion - satire on moon landing debunked (Read the onion with care—if at all—recognizing its satire and irreverence.) The Babylon Bee - satirical news site Proportionality Bias - Wikipedia Cognitive Bias - Wikipedia Critical Thinking Skills - Wikipedia Correlation vs. Causality - Wikipedia Tyler Vigen - Spurious Correlations Edward Snowden - Wikipedia How to Use Occam’s Razor Without Getting Cut Hanlon's Razor: Relax, Not Everything is Out to Get You
November 24, 2021
20: Follow These 7 Easy Steps to Make a Best Friend—You Won't Believe What Happens! — An Episode Out of Time
Shawn and James talk about friendship. This is an Episode Out of Time, meaning that it was recorded out the flow of episodes you've been listening to. When was it pulled together? When was it recorded? When was it edited? No one knows.... We start off the episode reviewing our Digital Declutter from earlier this year before moving into a discussion on what it means to be a friend and how to go about finding friends. Do you know how many hours to make someone your best friend? Listen to find out. It would be great to hear from you about your friendships. Do you have a best friend? If so, how did you become best friends? Please share your friend-making tips and tricks. James really needs your help! Email: Website: FWIW: LOL Episode 1: 2020 Yearly Themes Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport "How many hours does it take to make a friend?" study by Dr. Jeffrey A. Hall Dunbar's number - Wikipedia "Can you have more than 150 friends?" NYT article "Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health" Mayo Clinic article "Why friendships are so important for health and wellbeing" Everyday Health article
November 11, 2021
19: Through Mind and Mountains: A Journey on the Great Divide
Shawn and James talk about James's book and the trip it took to get there. We talk about long-distance biking and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. James did that biking trail with a friend―all 2,500 miles of it from Canada to Mexico! We also answer a listener email about tithing with our time instead of our money. We have another question coming up about how single people tithe differently from married people. What do you think? Send us an email with your thoughts or any other feedback you may have. And don't forget to share the podcast! Email: Website: FWIW: Gas duster - Wikipedia Bitterants Odorant (Ethyl mercaptan) Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise ( When You Hit the Wall: Bonking vs. Fatigue vs. Cramping  Great Divide Route The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice―Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O'Brady If you're interested in James's book, we'll be letting you know when it's available for sale later. You can also email the podcast to request to be put on a waiting list.
October 27, 2021
18: Are Leaders Really Necessary? (with guest Andrew Crider)
James and Shawn welcome Andrew Crider back to the podcast. We discuss leadership. What is it? Who does it? Is it even necessary? These and many other questions are contemplated. We also do a lightning round of leadership qualities we think every leader ought to have. Which ones did we miss, or do you think there is one that is more critical than another? Please let us know! Website: Email: Patreon: What causes the seasons? What causes the phases of the moon? Looking Over Life Patreon Javan Bender "Leading With a Servant Heart" Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders The Way of the Shepherd by Kevin Lehman The Birth Order Book by Kevin Lehman Christian Light Publications The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hans Finzel The Effective Manager by Mark Horstman Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni Reset by David Murray
October 14, 2021
17: FWIW: The Center of God's Will
Sneak peek For What It's Worth episode! Shawn and James are glad to have Andrew Crider back on the podcast. This is actually the episode we recorded for our Patron-only podcast For What It's Worth, but we decided to let you all have access to it this time.  In this episode, we talk about what it means to be in the center of God's will—or if that is even a possibility. What do you think? Please send us your feedback. You can reach us at our email or on our website. Please share the podcast with a friend. We like seeing more downloads, which means we have more listeners. Email: Website: Patreon: For What It's Worth Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
September 29, 2021
16: How to Improve Your Bible Reading
James and Shawn talk about their Bible reading. We look at the various methods we've used over the years for reading the Bible and talk about why we choose to read it in the first place. We also discuss our favorite translations and formats, including reading-format versus study-format Bibles. How do you go about your Bible reading? Do you have a favorite translation? Let us know! Website: Email: Patreon - For What It's Worth episodes The boiling point of water at various altitudes Imperial units Can you survive in space without a spacesuit? The Armstrong Limit 2021 Yearly Themes episode YouVersion Bible app  Organization of the books of the bible NIV One Year Bible Types of Bible translations Why We Read episode Social Media episode Reading on paper versus on screens Learning differences on paper versus on screens Paper versus screens - Scientific America Why Bible Typography Matters Reader's Bibles James's reader's Bible Pilcrow (paragraph symbol) NIV  NLT NVI How long does it take to read the Bible?
September 15, 2021
15: Tithing—How Our Church Could Send a Rocket to the Moon
Shawn and James talk about money matters, specifically about giving. Why is it that churches often struggle to pay for the various programs of the church? What is tithing, and should we be giving a certain amount? We talk about giving in various seasons of life and how that could look. It is fascinating to do the math and see just how much a little giving grows when everyone contributes. We are happy to announce our new Patron-only podcast "For What It's Worth." This is a way for you to help support the podcast and make it easier for us to put out more episodes in the future. As always, we want to hear from you. Thanks for your ideas and encouragement and corrections. Send us an email! Website: Email: Patreon Page for Looking Over Life The Perseverance Rover Number of US taxpayers Median Annual Income in the United States Average Debt in the United States Wikipedia - Consumer Debt Kingdom Focused Finances by Gary Miller Dave Ramsey's 7 Basic Steps LOL 7: Thoughts on Higher Education with Josh Nisley - Part 1 LOL 8: Thoughts on Higher Education with Josh Nisley - Part 2 Cost of launching small rockets Jeff Bezos' yacht
September 3, 2021
14: Sending Up Trees
James and Shawn talk about technological developments from the beginning of time up through the near future. In this episode, we go all over the place, looking at amazing technologies that range from the humble garden hoe to flying cars!  You may hear some background noise, but that's because we were able to record together, in-person for the first time. We were pretty excited for the opportunity, and we hope you enjoy the conversation. If you have any thoughts about modern technology or the history that brought us here, please send us an email. Website: Email: Cork heat shield Ablative heat shield Domestication of maize Domestication of the Cavendish banana The Jungle by Upton Sinclair Wikipedia - The Green Revolution Wikipedia - Guano Wikipedia - Guano Islands Act Environmental cost of electric cars versus gasoline-powered cars Electric airplanes
August 27, 2021
13: Shawn's Apology
Shawn apologizes for the upload delay and offers and explanation. We hope to return to normal episode uploads soon. Website: You can still reach us at our email:
August 14, 2021
12: Digital Minimalism: Practices and Leisure
Shawn and James finish their review of the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. In this episode, we look at the second section of the book in which Cal presents practices to fill time gained through the digital declutter. We discuss effective leisure activities—including long showers—and how we've been applying some of the practices in the book. James is replacing ceiling fans he forged in his own backyard, Shawn is still waiting for his baby to arrive (Spoiler alert: She came after we recorded.), and all the dogs in Peru conspire to bark at the same time as we record. We're looking forward to hearing how your digital declutter is going. Please send us an email! Website: Email: "The Anabaptist Vision" by Harold Bender Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
July 14, 2021
11: Digital Minimalism: The Digital Declutter
James and Shawn work through the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. In this episode, we look at the first section of this book and discuss the principles behind digital minimalism. We both committed to going through the digital declutter ourselves for a month. We talk about the things we’re giving up and why. Perhaps you would like to join us by going through the steps of the declutter yourself. If you go through the digital declutter, please send us an email and let us know how it went for you. Website: Email: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport Feedly—a blog and website aggregator Pocket—a read it later service Screen Time on iPhone and iPad Google Digital Wellbeing Digital Minimalism 101
July 5, 2021
10: Community or Society?
Shawn and James talk about what community means to them and what it might mean to God.  Shawn pronounces German words poorly from the inside of a fish tank while James keeps the conversation on track as we consider what Christian Community is or should be. We discuss ways to improve our community—though we’re sort of scared to actually try them.  What does community mean to you? How is your community doing community? Let us know! Website: Email: Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
June 4, 2021
9: Social Media: Paying for Free Entertainment With Your Soul?
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok—James and Shawn tackle social media.  This topic is a minefield in the current digital landscape, but we wanted to talk about how it is affecting us as individuals, as communities, and as a society.  Is social media good or bad? How does God feel about social media? Can I use it as a tool?  We want to hear from you. Do you use social media? Your answer is probably yes, because data shows the majority of the world is on social media now! So, the question may be, how do you use it? Please send us an email.  Email:  Tristan Harris Ted Talk  Dunbar's Number  Pew Research on Smartphone Statistics  Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport  The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice  Surviving the Tech Tsunami by Gary Miller  The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
May 22, 2021
8: Thoughts on Higher Education (with guest Josh Nisley) - Part 2
This is part two of the conversation with Josh Nisley from Faith Builders.  In this episode, we go further into the pros and cons of higher education for Christians and consider how we can serve God with our minds. We'd like to hear from you. Please send us your feedback or suggestions or even your education story. Email: Culture Making by Andy Crouch Karen Swallow Prior Quote by Steven Brubaker Faith Builders Educational Programs
May 12, 2021
7: Thoughts on Higher Education (with guest Josh Nisley) - Part 1
James and Shawn welcome another guest to the pod. Josh Nisley is a lover of education and has a lot to say about it.  We delve into the risks and rewards of higher education and consider our perspective of the Conservative Anabaptist point of view regarding education beyond grade school. This is a two-part podcast, so you’ll be seeing the conclusion released in Episode 8. As always, we’d like to hear from you. If you have feedback or if you would like to share your own education story with us, please send us an email. Email:  Article citing Andrew Carnegie's quote on higher education  Pew Research study on "Does more education equal less religion?"  Pew Research study on "The decline of religion in the US."
April 26, 2021
6: Covid and Cooking
Shawn and James talk about having Covid and enjoying food and missing the sense of taste and smell. Warning: You may not want to listen to this episode on an empty stomach! You might end up feeling hungry.  From steaks to soups and a lot in between, James and Shawn go over some of their favorite dishes. Also, James teaches Shawn what a hotdog bun is. Please send us some recipes to try! And if you have a friend who eats food, go ahead and share the episode with them. Email: Cook's Country Magazine All Recipes website Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits German Torte One recipe of hot milk cake divided into three nine-inch layers Icing Scald 2 cup of milk Set scalded milk aside Mix together: ¼ cup milk 2 eggs 3 tbsp cornstarch 2/3 cup sugar 3 tbsp flour Whip together to make a batter Add to scalded milk and cook until thick Cool to room temperature Beat one cup of cold butter as well as you can. Slowly add pudding while still beating. Beat until fluffy. Chill butter-pudding mixture. Toasted Oatmeal 3 tbsp butter 1 cup rolled oats ¼ cup sugar Toast in heavy skillet, stirring often. Do not burn! Cool Assembly Mix together ¼ cup apricot jam and ¼ cup orange marmalade Layer jam and pudding between each cake layer Cover top and sides of cake with remaining icing. Surface of icing should be rough to help toasted oatmeal adhere. Coat the sides and top of cake with toasted oatmeal
April 5, 2021
5: Intestine Soup for the Soul (with guest Andrew Crider)
James and Shawn enjoy having a guest on the podcast. They talk with Andrew Crider about what it's like to be a missionary to a foreign country. Have you ever eaten intestine soup or chicken head soup? How about a plateful of honey? And what does that have to do with being a missionary? What is a missionary, anyway? James quizzes Andrew and Shawn on their experiences in Guatemala and Peru. From hauling firewood up a ravine by strapping it to your forehead, to going for a swim with a cow at night, the hosts share stories and discuss ideals about mission life. We'd like to hear from you. What did you think of having a guest on the podcast? Do you have any topics for us to discuss? Email us: Shawn's blog Christian Aid Ministries  Mennonite Air Missions Christian Light Foreign to Familiar by Sarah Lanier Church Planting Movements by David Garrison
March 17, 2021
4: Did It Rain Before the Flood?
Did it rain before the flood? What sort of apple did Eve give Adam? How many wise men visited the manger where Jesus was born? And what color eyes did Jesus have? James and Shawn go deep—maybe too deep—into some common misconceptions from Bible stories. Where do these misconceptions come from, and how do they permeate our culture? Do you know of any more misconceptions? Send us an email and let us know about them! Email us: Was the Eye of the Needle a Gate? A Camel Through What? The Washington Post: How Did Jesus Become So White? Wikipedia: The Race and Appearance of Jesus The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read: A Personal Challenge to Read the Bible by Dan Patrick
March 3, 2021
3: What Is Your Personality?
Shawn and James discuss differences in personalities. Are you sanguine or choleric? Black bile or phlegm? Introvert or extrovert?  A good bit of the discussion looks at the Myers-Briggs personality theory. Share the episode with one of your friends and take the tests together. You might find out things about each other you never knew before!  Email us:  Reading People by Anne Bogel  The Highly Sensitive Person Test  16 Personalities  The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman  The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher
February 19, 2021
2: Why Do We Read?
James and Shawn talk about their reading habits and personal reading trends. They also look at the current climate of reading in society.  Also, Shawn tried to teach James how to say a word, and James attempted to explain the difference between power and energy—Shawn still doesn't get it. Note from James: Hoe moe GEEN ee us is a correct pronunciation. See Merriam-Webster's homogeneous and homogenous.  Email us:  Goodreads  Socrates' argument against writing   Medical Daily article on attention span  Pew Research article on percentage of people who don't read  Pew Research article on percentage of people who listen to audio books  The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains   James's Suggestions:  Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee  Shawn's Suggestions:  Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes  Anne of Green Gables Series by L. M. Montgomery
February 3, 2021
1: 2021 Yearly Themes
In which James and Shawn try their hands at being podcasters.   The topic is yearly themes and how they differ from New Year's resolutions. What is a yearly theme? How do you make one? What makes for a successful year?  Email us:  Yearly Planning Tool  Atomic Habits  Do you have a yearly theme? Email us about it. Side note: If it sounds like we've never talked to each other before, that's because we were nervous to meet you. Episode 2 gets better.
January 29, 2021