Welcome

For our first episode of season 6, we are focusing on celebrating progress in our spiritual and physical lives.

Endurance is your weekly spiritual workout, whether you think of yourself as a beginner, an intermediate, or advanced!

Go Deeper

For GoDeeper this week, Steven encourages us to celebrate the progress that we make in our faith, as well as in exercise.

He challenges us to keep on making progress in our faith by practicing our giftings and skills. He also gives us a ‘how-not-to’ guide on progressing as a Christian from 2 Timothy.

In addition to all this, he points out that there are certain areas of our life where we will struggle with progress, but we should celebrate those little steps we make.

Go Do

#GoDo

For the final segment, Nathan asks Steven a couple of questions about his talk:

  1. It’s been said that in your spiritual walk, you are either going forward or backward. Would you say that’s correct?
  2. How do you celebrate your progress?

Watch this, the first episode of this season, to find out Steven’s answers to these questions.

Steven and Nathan

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

READ THE TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Nathan: Hello and welcome to Endurance. We are back again with season six. As you can see, the background is different, and we've got some new jingles and stings in between the transitions. And so for the first episode, We are looking at the idea of celebrating progress. So, obviously we want to celebrate how far we've come, we want to look at how far we have progressed in our Christian journey or in physical exercise in our training. But also we don't wanna just settle for how far we've come. We wanna keep going. We want to keep getting better, keep getting stronger, keep getting closer to God. So Steven is going to unpack [00:01:00] this subject for us in a moment.

[00:01:01] Hope to enjoy this new episode, this new season, sorry, of endurance.

[00:01:10] It's too easy to focus on the parts of your life that are Instagrammable, but don't live a lie. Keep it real. #speak truth # Keep it real.

[00:01:26] Andy B: Two minutes a day can change your world. And in Just a Thought that's kind of what I do, because I take the ordinary moments of life and think, how can this apply to faith, to life, to moving through this world with people around us. How can a tiny spider or the handle of a microwavable rice pot affect our life? And how can it help us learn something about ourselves and the world around us?

[00:01:51] So here's what I thought. Have you ever wondered what red flags, shredded tires, persistence, holes, dishwater tea, rice maker handles, [00:02:00] tape measures, giant spiders that are not and stripy fabric all have in common? Well you're not alone.

[00:02:05] And they actually link wonderfully together, as you will find out in the book. I'm just gonna read this out from Reverend Johnny Douglas, who wrote the forward very kindly for me. Just a Thought is a collection of pregnant brain thoughts, but it's so much more than this. Andy reflects a determination, character and grasp of God and his loving purpose and wise ways.

[00:02:24] As we go through life, there's all these things that go on. There's always exciting things of life, but actually it's the ordinary and it's the normal from which we can learn so, so much. Each little chapter will take you a few moments to read, but hopefully will get your brain working and ready for the day. Just a thought.[00:03:00]

[00:03:03] Steven: So this is go deeper with me, Steven, and we're talking about celebrating progress, as Nathan said, we're talking, celebrating the progress that we make in our Christian life and of course in exercise. So like in exercise this past week I've run my fastest ever 10 kilometre run. So at the beginning of the year it was 50 minutes and I got it down to 47, nope, 46 minutes, 50 seconds, which I'm well pleased with.

[00:03:23] So I've made progress, I've gotten fitter, gotten faster, and of course in faith in life, I've also gotten, improved. If you think about where we started with endurance and now we've got t-shirts, we've got green screens, we've got, everything is just so much better than it was when we first started.

[00:03:40] We have progressed and gotten better. And of course in our Christian life we are getting better, getting closer to Jesus, learning more about the Bible, learning more about life and stuff like that. So we should celebrate the progress that we make. We should be pleased with ourselves. Look back on. I've been recently reading the Pilgrim, Pilgrim's [00:04:00] Progress and there's this point where Christian goes through the valley of the shadow of death and he looks back at how he come through that.

[00:04:07] And the writer is very specific. It isn't that he's looking back as though he wants to turn back, that he's looking at where he has come in the cold light of day. So we should celebrate how far we've come through the challenges and obstacles that we've endured and we should, celebrate that.

[00:04:23] But we should keep progressing. We shouldn't just stop there. Then we need to celebrate it and then keep going, you know, forwards. So 1 Timothy 4, 12 to 15 says this, Don't let anyone despise your youth, but set an example for the, for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation and teaching. Don't neglect the gift that is in you. It was given to you through prophecy, with the laying of hands by the Council of Elders. [00:05:00] Practice these things, be committed to them so that you may progress. No, sorry. So that your progress may be evident to all.

[00:05:06] So these things that Paul is asking Timothy to do is to practice his gifts, practice his skills, so that he can progress, so it can be evident. So we need to practice our gifts, our skills, in order for us to progress. If we don't do those things, then we're not gonna progress. We have to keep at it, which is the same in exercise. You have to keep running to get fitter or whatever sport you do.

[00:05:32] And then 2 Timothy 3, two to nine, For people, for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanders, without self-control, brutal without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of [00:06:00] God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people. Then if we skip onto verse.nine, But they will not make further progress for their foolishness, will be clear to all, as was the foolishness of couple of other characters. So what's that saying is if we do all those things, lovers of self, lovers of money, all that bad stuff, at the beginning of that passage, if we do that, we won't be able to progress.

[00:06:27] So it's the usual stuff, isn't it? We've gotta continue doing what we know to do as Christians. Be loving, be kind, all the usual. It's kinda like a how to guide of how not to progress. But then there are areas of life with little progress. Have you ever found this where you just can't seem to get any better?

[00:06:50] So for instance, perhaps no matter how hard you try, you seem to get impatient or easily stirred to anger, like you [00:07:00] seem to be learning more about God, you seem to be praying more, but you're still struggling with those areas in life. And we have that in exercise, for instance, when I was 12 years old, I could do 30 press-ups. I was well pleased with myself. I'm now nearly 19 and the most I can do is 35. I'm just not seeming to improve in that area, but I have made a little bit of progress and so whatever area of life you might be struggling with, there probably is some progress made no matter how little it may seem.

[00:07:26] So we need to celebrate the progress that we've made. We need to keep progressing and recognize that some areas there might be a little bit less progress. That is celebrating progress.

[00:07:43] Andy B: Well, hello there. This is Andy and Jo from the BerryBunch. And we wanted to talk to you a little bit about who we are and where we are going as a ministry, which is kind of exciting. So,we are far more than just the five people you will frequently see on your screens, whether that's mobiles, lap, laptops, tablets, or TVs, [00:08:00] whatever.

[00:08:00] We're all over the place with social medias. But we are far bigger than just the five of us. Actually we are part of a massive family who support the BerryBunch and make it happen from all around the world, including Tibet, I was quite surprised by that. Tibet, North America, all over the place, Scotland, who knew?

[00:08:17] Jo: Cool.

[00:08:17] Andy B: Essex in the, in England, we're English too, so that kinda counts, where we go, Finland.

[00:08:22] Jo: Wow.

[00:08:23] Andy B: Norway. There's, there's people who are part of this from Farfield. So it's not just about us five people.

[00:08:27] Jo: Yeah.

[00:08:27] Andy B: And we actually have something called the Council of Elrond, which is a group of people who help advise the BerryBunch ministry cuz it's much bigger than we are.

[00:08:33] Jo: Yeah. And if you'd like to support us and get involved, there are three things we were thinking that you could do. You can share or like what we do.

[00:08:40] Andy B: Super important.

[00:08:41] Jo: Yeah. And then, and get in touch with us. Encourage us and tell us what you think. You can financially support us if you felt that was right. We do have supporters that support us that way cause obviously,

[00:08:51] Andy B: And we've got Paypal or Patreon.

[00:08:53] Jo: Yeah, absolutely. So you can pay in different ways. And we have people who, who, who do that because obviously we want to provide this for free,

[00:08:59] Andy B: Or buying our books. [00:09:00]

[00:09:00] for all. And buy the books as well.

[00:09:02] Cheesy grin.

[00:09:03] Jo: Yeah. Cause we, there's nothing worse than going to a website. And you wanna get something and you have to then pay for it. There's these like paywalls that get in the way, aren't there? We're not gonna do that. Not here at BerryBunch. And the last thing that you could do, and, and I think the most important is to pray.

[00:09:17] Andy B: Always, the biggest thing you can do is to pray for what we're doing. We've seen some amazing opportunities, some massive miracles that God's done for our ministry and for this ministry that's actually extending all around the globe, which is kind of cool.

[00:09:27] Jo: Yeah.

[00:09:28] Andy B: From a little bedroom one time that's grown. So yeah. Become part of the BerryBunch family community. We will talk back to you, not at you, but with you. It's always good. But yeah, get involved, get in touch, and become part of the community and what God is doing through this thing that he has in honoured us with with doing.

[00:09:45] Jo: Yeah.

[00:09:45] Andy B: Which is,awesome.

[00:09:59] Nathan: [00:10:00] Well, that was an excellent talk, Steven.

[00:10:04] Steven: Thank you very much.

[00:10:06] Nathan: Obviously this is our first episode of this new season and we are looking at the idea of celebrating progress, how,

[00:10:14] Steven: Or progress.

[00:10:15] Nathan: Oh yeah. So celebrating progress for our friends across the pond, . Anyway, so I have these questions for you. As usual. We're sticking with that because we, I think, I think that's a really good format to ask him lots of difficult questions.

[00:10:29] Steven: Interrogate.

[00:10:30] Nathan: Interrogate's a strong word. The right word, but still. So it's been said that, in your spiritual walk, you are either going forward or backwards. Would you say That's right?

[00:10:42] Steven: Yeah, I've heard that, sounds about right to me. You can't. There's no, like, you don't just stand, You're either moving forwards, moving backwards. It sounds right to me. I can't say that I've ever read a scripture that specifically says that, but there probably is that I just dunno about.

[00:10:56] Nathan: I mean, the idea of it is that you can't, simply settle [00:11:00] or settle down and get comfortable where you are. You can't walk toward God and then decide, you know what? I think I'm close enough now I'm gonna settle down here. You are either going toward him or you're walking away from him.

[00:11:09] Steven: It's like fitness, isn't it? You're either, If you don't exercise, you're not gonna get any fitter. So you have to keep at it.

[00:11:16] Nathan: Exactly.

[00:11:16] Steven: But there is maintenance fitness, so I suppose it's not quite the same thing.

[00:11:20] Nathan: Yeah. But if you don't exercise, then you're only going to get less fit.

[00:11:24] Steven: Exactly.

[00:11:24] Nathan: So it's the same in the spiritual walk. You've got to keep exercising, you've got to keep, keep training, otherwise you begin to, your strength lessons, your, yeah, anyway, you get less fit.

[00:11:38] So also, how do you celebrate your progress then? But how would you suggest we celebrate progress? I mean, when we hit those milestones, what do we do to, to mark them?

[00:11:49] Steven: Well, I suppose a pat on the back. Well done.

[00:11:51] Nathan: Pat on the back.

[00:11:52] Steven: Although that is an interesting thought though. How do you recognize the progress? And I meant to talk about that, but I forgot to. You can't really, easily, [00:12:00] see your own progress that you've made in your Christian faith, or at least I struggle to. But other people will often be the ones to say, No, you've really progressed in that area. So we should encourage people when we see the progress they've made cuz they may not see it themselves.

[00:12:13] Nathan: You know that there's a scripture about that, we should encourage one another and build one another up. And the same way as you say we need to, it's really good to reaffirm to others the fact that they are progressing, they are getting closer to God, they have become more wise or more, more gentle or whatever else.

[00:12:33] Yeah. And obviously in our, in our physical lives, there's nothing wrong with celebrating breaking your record. We often do that, don't we? We, we break our record and we might celebrate, or we're always striving to beat our highest, pace, our fastest pace, our longest distance, and, we can do that in a spiritual walk.

[00:12:52] We can celebrate getting closer to God because it is a wonderful journey, isn't it? Walking toward heaven.

[00:12:58] Steven: But don't become [00:13:00] conceited.

[00:13:00] Exactly. Yeah. Let others praise you, not yourself. That's in Proverbs. Thank you for joining us for this first episode of our new season. I hope you've enjoyed it and I hope you will continue to stay with us in this next season of Endurance.

[00:13:29] Jo: There are many ways to keep in touch with the BerryBunch. Visit our website and sign up to the Berry Bites newsletter, so that you can be notified of all our videos, posts, exciting news and seasonal events.

[00:13:42] Steven: Subscribe to our Vimeo and YouTube channels where we post brand new homegrown video resources every week.

[00:13:49] Peter: Join us on Ding dash, a fabulous place that connects people from all around the world. It's social media as it should be. Come join the rebellion. [00:14:00]

[00:14:00] Nathan: Like us on Facebook where we hang out and post extra things to encourage and inspire you. We're on Twitter and Tumblr too. You can also follow us on Instagram where we share extra photos from the world of the BerryBunch.

[00:14:13] Andy B: If you've enjoyed any of our posts or videos, share it with a friend and encourage them too. And if you want to encourage us, then like, comment and share on what we make. To help support the ministry we freely provide. Check us out on Patreon where you can support us financially as you feel led.

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