Episode 23: a veteran’s perspective on faith and anxiety with Delmus Gillis

Military veteran and pastor, Delmus Gillis, is sharing how his unique experiences have shaped His relationship with God and how the Gospel has transformed his life, his family, and the way the chooses to show up to the responsibilities of every day life. In this episode, we talk about the struggle with anxiety that is overwhelmingly evident in our culture today and how to overcome it with continually choosing to trust in God and surrender in our daily lives. Delmus also shares one challenge for men that that could immediately impact our families, our churches, our communities, and our nation.

Episode 22: When Greed Is About More Than Just Money

Do you feel like you are ALWAYS out of time? Be honest. Maybe you struggle with feeling like there just is never enough money, opportunities, etc. Whatever it may be, we have ALL found ourselves thinking about what might be different in we had MORE. In this episode, Rachel shares how this mindset is not simply one of lack, but of greed. It’s the language of our culture and as believers we have to shift the way we think about what God has given us to one of ABUNDANCE in order to be set free from the life that God may be holding out on us. Yep, we’re going there. Can’t wait for you to join us!

Episode 21: Growing Bold (with Katey Donovan)

In this episode, Rachel talks with guest Katey Donovan about her story and what it looked like for her when Jesus changed everything for her family. She shares why she believes it was worth it to do the work to change every aspect of their life to one that honors God and cultivates boldness, humility, and prayer. She encourages listeners to remember that your past is never too messy for God, and what He has for you is always worth it.

Men and Women of A Different Spirit

Have you been carrying a spirit of fear? Have you been believing a lie that is holding you back from all that God has called you too?

In this episode, Rachel Sweatt is issuing that challenge to a new way of thinking and a new anthem for living humble, courageous, and obedient lives. It’s no secret that if we want to live differently, set apart as followers of Jesus, we are going to look differently. Saying no to a life inhibited by fear and self-preservation is mandatory for experiencing God to the fullest.

Rachel discusses the account of two men, who were sent out by Moses to check out the land God had given them, the Promised Land. These men, along with ten others, set out and were shocked at what they found in the place God had called them to. They were met with giants. Fear. Doubt. And all the men but Joshua and Caleb, came back full of fear. But Joshua and Caleb? They were men filled with a different spirit, the same spirit we are called to carry into all that God has for us.


"But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” (Numbers 14:24, NIV)

Fear is a symptom of a greater stronghold: a lack of trust. You see, the other ten men knew all about God but as soon as they saw the giants, they forgot all they knew about the God who called them there. Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand, set their eyes on God instead of the giants. Sure, they could see them, but the giants were not where they were going to focus. They were going to set their eyes on God and who they knew He was, His character, and His heart for them

We get to make the same choice today, friends. Will we choose to be men and women of a different spirit, like Caleb and Joshua? Or will we miss out on all that God has for us because of fear? I’m praying this encourages you to set your eyes on Jesus and take one step of obedience after another. Full for FAITH + CONFIDENCE in who God is and His love for you. I promise it is WORTH it!

Why Every Story is Significant and Yet We're All In Need of The Same Thing (with Sydney Clark)

Regardless of where or how your story with Jesus began (or how it’s going) there is significance in YOUR story! If you have ever struggled sharing your story for any reason, this conversation will help you trace God’s faithfulness in your life. In this episode, Sydney Clark is sharing her story of how early exposure to God’s kindness has cultivated a life-long pursuit of friendship with Him in adulthood.

She encourages us by sharing how’s constant companionship has carried her through seasons of fear, ministry, hospital stays, and so much more. Sydney is quick to point out that He is there before we even have to ask—how good of a friend is that?!

If you are longing to feel near to God, take your faith to the next level, or simply reconnect with Him, He is so willing and ready. Like Sydney referenced, spending time in the Word is crucial to hearing from the Lord and one of the ways we can experience His nearness. In this episode, Sydney said something that I’ll never forget because it’s so true: "There is nothing like hearing Him say to me what He’s already written down.”

Another point Sydney makes in this episode is an interesting one: The more we get to know Jesus, the more we are aware of our need for Him. I remember that I used to think the more I read and prayed, the closer I would feel to Him. And that’s true! BUT what’s also true, and what I didn’t expect, was that as I knew more of Jesus I was much more aware of the gap between who I am now and who He made me to be. As a wife. As a mom. As a friend. The more I spend time with Jesus, in His Word, the more I learn of His heart + hope for me in all these areas. The more I am aware of the goodness + abundance He has for us in those places, the more aware I am of all that I am going to have to lay down in order to get there.

The realization both Sydney and I share is that the more we spend time knowing Jesus, the more we realize our desperate need for Him. We are all in equal need of the grace only Jesus can give, regardless of where we come from or where we are in life at the moment. This is so encouraging to me because we all get to experience the benefits and the hope of His grace, TOGETHER. We have the privilege of constantly meeting up at the cross to ask Jesus to make us new, once more, getting a front row seat to watch Him do what He does best.

How You Can Fight Discouragement + Overwhelm TODAY Remembering This One Thing...

In this episode, host Rachel Sweatt is sharing how intentionally remembering that HIS grace fills in all our gaps can help us fight discouragement and overwhelm, while simultaneously building our faith + cultivating gratitude. When we fail, fall short, or just don’t quit hit the mark on our intentions, goals, etc. this is one way we can remain ENCOURAGED in our pursuit.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, we are given a promise that has become the soundtrack to my life lately.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

When we look back at the past season of our lives, we can be discouraged or encouraged. We can choose to either see our shortcomings, OR we can see and CELEBRATE where God filled in every gap.

When we look towards the future, we can either be overwhelmed at what’s to come or grateful that we’ve got God on our side, ready and willing to fill the gaps with the hard-fought for grace made possible by JESUS that we have the privilege of experiencing every day. Isn’t that the BEST NEWS?!

Thank you, Jesus!

When We Want To See God Move Like He Does in the Bible (with Jodi Ashcraft Episode #16)

In this episode Jodi is sharing how God showed up in her life when she started asking Him to move like He did in Scripture. This conversation is for anyone with an “orphan spirit”, as Jodi describes— battling loneliness, insecurity, or the pressure to manufacture the doors they are waiting to walk through. She continues to see Jesus show up in her everyday life and this conversation is filled with hope, wisdom and the possibility of what can happen when we invite God into our lives to do what He does best!

An Easter Message for Real Life Today (Episode #15)

In this episode, I'm sharing how the message of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection literally changes EVERY DAY of my life. We are talking about how the implications of what happened that day on the cross over 2000 years ago affect our families, our marriages, our work and every other area of our life today--IF we really believe it.

The Gospel Collective Podcast: How Making a Difference in the World Starts at Home with Lynsey Gabert, Founder of Kids Faith Krate (Episode #12)

This week we are talking with Kids Faith Krate founder Lynsey Gabert about her heart for family discipleship and how she has been experiencing God in her our life over the last few years. We are talking about parenting, personal faith, anxiety, and lots more! She is sharing some tools that have helped her applicably put her hands to the work her heart has been called to, and how we can do the same in our own lives. And she was so kind to give OUR Gospel Collective community a special discount code! Check them out and be praying that God would use them mightily in the lives of families in our community and beyond!

The Gospel Collective Podcast with Rachel Sweatt





Gospel Collective podcast

The Gospel Collecting Podcast: What Jesus Says When People Mess Up (Episode #11)

Hi friends!

On today’s episode I’m sharing something a little raw that God has been teaching me over the past few months. I try to be as transparent as possible, and I just knew that this was the time to share a little bit more of the “struggle bus” side of what I do. Ha! If you’ve ever stepped out to do something God put in your heart and things got a little bumpy along the way, this one’s for you! Never forget that He is after our heart, not our perfection. Have a great week!

-R.

If You're Feeling Unseen (Episode #09)

On today's episode of The Gospel Collective Podcast, I am sharing something God showed me that I haven't been able to get over. In a world where it's common to feel called to hard places and then left alone in the struggle, God makes it known that not only He sees us, but He also is encamped around us. While we are in His keeping, He takes the desert and transforms it into a training field for what He might call us to in the future. If you are in a wilderness, I want you to be encouraged that you have the Lord’s undivided attention. You are being equipped to do what you were made to do and you’re going to do it with full confidence of the God who sees you. 

The Gospel Collective Podcast: Where God is Calling Me in 2019 (Season Three Launch!)

Rachel Sweatt Podcast

Hi friends!

I can’t believe we are in our THIRD season of the podcast! It has been one of the greatest joys in my ministry, and I am SO looking forward to all that God has in store for us this year!

On today’s episode, I am talking about where God is calling me in 2019, and it might surprise you! I am sharing my heart about what God has been teaching me— that how God calls us to live is strikingly very different than the culture around us, and our responsibility and privilege to operative in joyful obedience amidst the tension between it all.

I hope you enjoy this episode from my heart to yours! I’d LOVE to hear what God has called you to in 2019! It is so encouraging to hear what He is stirring up in other believers, and pray each other on in this journey!

Grace and peace,

Rachel Sweatt

The Gospel Collective Podcast: The Significance of Slowing Down with Judy Lynch (Episode 06)

This week on the podcast we are introducing a discussion on spiritual disciplines and how intentional time with God can influence the way we experience Him in our lives on a daily basis. Our guest, Judy Lynch is sharing how big moments with God often come in the small moments in our lives when we simple slow down and make room for Him to move.

A special thank you to Bryan Talbott for producing the music on this weeks episode!

how to slow down

The Gospel Collective Podcast: Why Submission is Necessary for Compassion with Kali Peddy (Episode 04)

How to Pray for Anyone

Today we are talking with Kali Peddy, who is sharing how God has transformed her perspective on goodness and self-control and how this work God has done in her has been the catalyst for a new lifestyle of compassion and humility. We are talking about the “mistruths” from our pasts and how redefining what we know to be true about God can altar the way we love and pray for others.

Listen to the episode below or find us in iTunes! Don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there so future episodes land in your podcast library as soon as they are released!

The Gospel Collective Podcast

How to Pray for Anyone: Faithfulness (Part Five)

Friends, 

We are on our FIFTH week of this study, can you believe it?! We are FIVE weeks into digging into God's Word and inviting it to change our lives, and the lives of OTHERS through our petitions on their behalf. I want to hug every one of you and send you at least 4 cupcakes. Because heart work is HARD work, amen?! 

Before we seek out what God has to say about faithfulness, take a moment and reflect on all that God has showed you over the past few weeks. Ask Him to bring to memory all that He has taught you about these fruits of the Spirit, and evaluate the places you have invited the Spirit to cultivate those things in your life. 

Just tell Him "THANK YOU." 

Ok. Take a deep breath, grab your Bible and your journal and LET'S GO. 

Faithfulness. 

LOOK AT HOW DICTIONARY.COM defined faithful: 
adjective

  1. strict or thorough in the performance of duty:a faithful worker.

  2. true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.

  3. steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.

Does that make anyone else just want to cry?! Not only do we see this to be true time and time again of God in the Bible, but I am willing to bet every one of you can immediately think of a time you have experienced God as "faithful" in your life. True to His word. Steady in His friendship towards you. A faithful friend. 

Stunning. 

What's equally as stunning, is that we get the opportunity to be faithful BACK to Him. Because our God is a God of relationship, we get the privilege to either reciprocate our faithfulness, or not. We get the choice to be a faithful worker for the God of the universe. A faithful friend to our Maker.

Whoa. 

A faithful friend to the Lord. I can think of five people right now that are a faithful friend to the Lord. No matter what they have been through, they have been steadfast in their loyalty to God. In their service to Christ this side of heaven. They are ALL IN. Despite circumstances. they are committed. And I think it is safe to say hands down that they are so committed to God because they have seen His commitment to them. When you know someone is willing to do everything for you, its easy to lay it all down in return. 

That is exactly what Jesus did for us. 

And these faithful few, they have seen the hands of God move mountains for them in their lives. They have sensed His nearness in such a stunning, tangible way that all the trials didn't compare to the joy they found in His friendship. In his steadfastness. Because of His sacrifice. 

But what about when you don't know that someone would give it all for you? Have you ever realized that this is what God sees in us every day? Since the exile from Eden, our faithfulness has been uncertain. He knows what He desires us to choose, but in the moment, the choice to be faithful is entirely up to us. And yet...He is unchanged in His love for us. He'll still show up...even when we don't. 

Even when we don't show up to make things right, He shows up to convict and correct and redeem.
Even when our hearts hurt, He shows up for our marriages.
Even when our kids are wandering, He shows up to pursue them with kindness. 
Even when our jobs are unsteady, His providence never waivers. 
Even when our selfishness takes us out of the game, He still shows up to watch and see what we will do next. Faithfulness is hopeful. No matter what. And you know what is encouraging to me today, friend? 

Our unfaithfulness does not deter God's faithfulness.

AMEN?!

Our choices do not change who He is, but they do change us. And these faithful few have seen Him be steadfast in their lives in every way imaginable. Healer. Redeemer. Provider. Friend. Savior. Maybe you've seen Him in similar ways. Do your choices reflect your thankfulness for what He's done for you? 

Because of the faithfulness of God these men and women have seen and experienced, they have been changed. They are all in with God because, like similarly to when the disciples answer Jesus' question when He asks if they are going to leave too, they have answered, "Where else would we go?" (John 6:68) There is no other for them.

There is no other for me. 

What about you?  

Faithfulness
Deuteronomy 32:4
John 24:14
Psalm 91:4
Psalm 91:14-16
Proverbs 3:3
Isaiah 11:5
Lamentation 3:21-25
Romans 3:34

Even when our faith fails, He never does. Yet it is His faithfulness that opens our eyes to see there really is no other. Everything pales in comparison. Our issues. Other people's issues. Where do we need to invite the Spirit in to cultivate some more faithfulness in our lives? Who in your life needs to be reminded that God is faithful no matter what? Ask God to show His faithfulness to them, once more. Ask Him to show you. Then be ready to show Him what that means to you. Are you willing to lay it all down? What is faithfulness looking like in your life right now? Where are you "all in", no matter what the cost?

I can't wait to hear what God is stirring up in your hearts and see what this looks like in the lives of others. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below! 
 

Praying for each of you this week. Be encouraged friends, He is so for you. 
Grace and peace,
Rachel Sweatt 

Faithfulness

 

How to Pray for Anyone: Kindness and Goodness (Part Four)

In these last few years of my life, it is the kindness of God that has been one of my favorite things about Him. Reading these scriptures just affirmed that I have testimony after testimony of the Lord's kindness and goodness in my life. 

I don't say that it's my favorite because of the favor that has come from situations (both good and bad). The reason when I think of the Lord's kindness and goodness my breath catches in my chest is because it is a pure gift. Not just a gift, like from a friend. It's a completely undeserved gift. Not one single day comes to a close with me having earned one ounce of His kindness. His goodness wrecks me in the best way. He had every right to allow my sin to make me his enemy. But instead, he calls me Beloved? 
 

Straight. to. the. heart. 

When the Bible says it is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), I know exactly what that means. I have experienced this Scripture in my life the last year more than ever before. His love is so great and unconditional that it makes me want to weep over my sin. My offenses. Knowing full well if someone did things like that to me, we would be DONE. No more chances. But God? 

No. That's not who He is. 

A new chance is gifted with each moment of repentance. New mercies as abundant as the sea. Imagine waking up every morning to a gift on your front porch wrapped up with a note reminding you of just how loved you are that simply says, "Unconditionally."
Love, your Father. 

The kindness and goodness of Jesus is all over the pages of Scripture. Below you'll find verses about God's love for us and how that should radically change the way we treat others and pray for them. 

Have you ever been shown kindness by someone? Have you ever experienced undeserved goodness from a stranger? Maybe someone covered your tab at a restaurant unbeknownst to you. Maybe a friend anonymously delivered flowers to your doorstep. Maybe someone's saved a seat for you at the table or at church or school. 

Jesus has saved a seat for us. It is our choice whether we take it. He not only saved us and raised us--He literally has saved a seat for us. Despite our offenses. Despite our selfishness. THIS is kindness. Immeasurable kindness is saving a seat for those that fail, because His love never will. And when we show kindness to someone else, we are showing them that because God loves us no matter what, we can too. 

God's kindness + goodness is undeserved abundance. It means there's always room for love to be greater. Always a seat at the table. 

We've received it. 
It should be our JOY to give it. 

Kindness
Proverbs 21:21
Hosea 11:4
Zechariah 7:9
Ephesians 2:4-7
Titus 3:3-7

Goodness
Exodus 33:18-19
Ps. 23:6
Zechariah 9:16-17
Titus 3:4

Moses asked to see God's glory and God chose to show him His goodness. God reveals His glory in His goodness. If we want to see His glory, we've got to look for His goodness. If we are not seeing His glory--we are missing His goodness. If we are not seeing His goodness, we are missing His glory. God's goodness is His glory. Where is His goodness being revealed in your life? Share your answer in the comments! Tell your story for His glory. Talk about how the Lord has been kind and good to you. And ask Him to let you know how you can pray for others to experience the same. 

Who in your life needs to know that there is still a seat for them at your table? How can you show the Lord's goodness to your neighbors? Those that serve your community and your church maybe? Maybe someone in your life needs to be reminded of that God loves them unconditionally, no matter what. Ask God to send someone to tell them that they are loved TODAY. The ways to pray for God to cultivate this in the lives of others (and our own) is endless.
 

A Seat at the table

The Gospel Collective Podcast: Remembering what God has Done In the Past While You Wait for Him to Move in Your Future with Lissa Anglin (Episode 03)

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This weeks guest is Lissa Anglin, a West Texas Professional Photographer and she is dropping some major wisdom on what patience means to her and her perspective gives us a front row seat to watch someone who loves God be asked to walk a long road, and her perspective gives us great insight on what people in hard situations really need us to pray over them (or for ourselves while we wait!). She is sharing what her experiences taught her about embracing the raw journey of a faith filled life and how it changed her relationship with God for the better, forever. 

I think it would be SO cool for anyone that listens to leave a prayer for Lissa and her family! I know it would be a HUGE blessing to her so either tag her on social media or leave a comment here to let her know you were encouraged and a leave a little word of encouragement or scripture for her! 

Take a listen below or find us on iTunes! Don't forget to subscribe + leave a review while you're there to help support the ministry and the podcast! 

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Check our Lissa's blog HERE and follow her family and faith adventure! 

How to Pray for Anyone: Patience (Part Three)

Welcome back for week three! I am so hopeful that you are enjoying diving into these scriptures, and that you are feeling God breathe some fresh life into your life in every way. This week we are going to be studying what the Bible has to say about PATIENCE, so we can better know how to cultivate this characteristic in our own life AND be better equipped to pray specific things regarding patience anyone in a season of waiting or trying--whether that is someone else in our life or ourselves. 

When I think of patience, I think of all those older women that warned me (jokingly) growing up: Whatever you do, DON'T PRAY FOR PATIENCE! He'll give you plenty of opportunities to practice! And nothing could prepare me for just how true that was! 😆

But, on a serious level, patience may be one of the most revealing traits about us. About our relationship with the Lord. In our reading this week, I was a little bit sucker punched by the connection between idol worship and patience. It seems like a stretch, but when you dig in you'll soon see that when our trust of God to answer our prayers and keep us begins to fail, our lack of patience leaves from for us to put stock in something else. Someone else. Something else to put on the throne that belongs to God. Our impatience reveals our belief (or lack thereof) that God really is who He says He is. Our impatience dethrones our Maker. 

Over and over in the Bible, we see that patience is cultivated, each time we choose to die to our selves at a time. Our timing. Our plans. The only thing that can change our ability to patient in seasons and with our friends, families, and coworkers is digging our feet down deep in the conviction that God's wisdom is what is best for everyone involved. And friends, that is HARD. 

But it is worth it. Why? Because patience is an essential component to our calling (Eph. 4:1-3). We can't do the things of God with the mind of God on a self-absorbed, intrinsicly motivated time table. Things of God are on eternity's calendar. Oh, the things we don't see right now. The hurts and frustrations that block our view of what is just beyond. We have to remember that just as God is working things out for us, He is working things out for the rest of those that love Him. He's transforming them. We cannot expect people and people's plans to be more perfect than we are. We ALL fall short and our patience (or lack thereof) kindly reminds of that OFTEN. Patience partners with gentleness and humility (which we'll study later) to give us the endurance we need to dig down deep and bear with one another. Patience is pivotal for grace.
 

Think about God's grace for YOU in your life, how many times He has given YOU grace. Undeserved. Think about His patience towards you. Long-suffering compassion. This is the model we have for the peace that we are expected to bear when we invite the Spirit to come in and do His thing in our lives. His patience towards us is an example, a blueprint, so we can be patient and pray patience for others. 

We often get caught up in things we are waiting for and it seems like a thousand years. 1 Peter and 2 Peter both describe God's patience as our deliverance. Can you imagine where we would be if God had thrown in the towel on us? Because we literally CANNOT GET IT TOGETHER, 2000 YEARS LATER? Thank God He said we were worth the wait that day in the garden when humanity chose idolatry in the garden over intimacy with God.

Patience is more than just keeping your cool or waiting until something changes. Patience is gratitude for God not giving up on us revealed in the way we treat our circumstances, our relationships, and our prayers for others. 
 

Take a moment and pray before you dive into these verses. Ask God to make the reality of His love for you real. Ask God to put someone on your heart that needs to be encouraged to be patient because God said they too were worth waiting for. 

PATIENCE
Luke 8:15
Hosea 14:8
Ephesians 4:1-3
1 Timothy 1:16
1 Peter 3:20
2 Peter 3:15

What does patience look like in your life right now? How could you pray patience for someone in your life? Leave us an example of one of your prayers using any of the scripture above in the comments lifting up an (unnamed) person in your life so we can learn from real life examples as well as seek the Lord on your behalf as well for each person. Every willing person here makes an eternal difference! 

How to pray for patience

The Gospel Collective Podcast: Trusting God When You Don't Understand with Bethany Douglas (Episode 02)

Our guest on the podcast today is author, speaker, mother, and retired flight nurse, Bethany Douglas. She is sharing how her experiences with God led her answer the question: do you REALLY believe Jesus is good? Her story of is one of God leading her to own her faith and say yes to trusting God even when it didn't make sense in pursuit of peace. 

Listen to our conversation below or find us in iTunes and subscribe to get the latest episodes straight to your phone! 

Bethany Douglas

Mentioned Links: 
Camp Barnabas
Bethany Douglas
Get Bethany's book here: Helicopter Mom

The Gospel Collective Podcast: Episode One with Shawn Freeby

Podcast guest Shawn Freeby shares his perspective on joy and why that is important continually cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude in our families, our workplaces, and in our faith. 

Listen below or check it out on iTunes and subscribe to get weekly podcast episodes straight to your podcast library. 

Finding Joy

Questions for reflection:

How you cultivate joy in your life? What are some ways you personally create a lifestyle of gratitude in your family, workplace, or hard circumstances? Have you ever prayed for God to cultivate joy in someone's life? What was the result? Let us know your answers in the comment section, we read every comment and can't wait to hear from you!