Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mike and Joel - Growing in Grace program

I've updated our Growing in Grace podcast page with a couple of new pics. In case any of you are not aware, my friend Mike and I record a weekly 14 minute program for Grace Walk Internet Radio called "Growing in Grace." (All our past programs are archived as a podcast and are freely available to be downloaded). Our program began in February 2005, and since then we've aired 133 programs.

I met Mike in 1994 when I went to work at a local Christian radio station. He was the Program Director. During the next year or so, Mike began understanding and appropriating the biblical message that we would eventually come to know as the grace walk or the exchanged life. He became part of a church that itself had recently begun to preach a solid grace message. The pastor had formerly been a very legalistic Word of Faith preacher, but had "caught" the message of God's grace and had transitioned his preaching to the pure gospel message. Because of this huge change, many people left the church.

I was a wet-behind-the-ears volunteer DJ with absolutely NO experience in radio when I started working at the radio station and Mike trained me in everything I did. Over the months and years, we had lots of neat little conversations about God's grace. Through these conversations, and through Mike's sharing of the sermon tapes from his church with me, I eventually began understanding my identity in Christ better, and I became passionate about teaching the message of God's grace and our identity in Christ. Also, after a few months of nagging my wife - um, I mean gently speaking to my wife about what I was learning - we decided together to leave the church we attended and we began to attend Mike's church in 1996.

This church was a great source of life and encouragement for me for three solid years. However, our pastor was moved to go on to some other things in life, and at the end of 1999 the church decided to stop meeting together. (If I had known then what I know now, I probably would have strongly urged us to remain together, even without the benefit of this great source of preaching).

Fast forward to 2005. I had been earnestly praying for like-minded fellowship ever since those days. We did begin to attend a different church in early 2000, but I really lost the intimate grace-fellowship that I had been thriving upon. The Lord brought me to the Grace Walk Forum in early 2005, and I met some wonderful people and have had some great conversations there! One of the people I met was Dave Lesniak, who, among the 6,000 hats that he wears is the station manager for Grace Walk Radio. Having seen that I was in radio (I was still in radio at the time, but left two years ago), and knowing my passion for the grace message, Dave invited me to have a program on the online station. I talked to Mike about hopping on board with me and the rest is history.

I thoroughly enjoy recording these programs with Mike. I think it helps both of us to be encouraged in God's grace as we simply sit and chat about it informally. Through the podcast site, we've heard from people from all over the world and we're encouraged that the grace walk message is reaching so many people!


  1. Joel--Just wanted you to know how you and Mike are blessing me with the GIG podcast. I just started listening recently, and each program gives me a new reason to be thankful for what God has done and continues to do in my life.


  2. Richard,

    Thanks for your kind words. The grace of God truly does cause a heart to be thankful. I don't think there's a limit to spreading this good news!

  3. Hey Joel, What you are doing is great. I have listened to some of your podcasts and its great. The other day I was telling my wife hypothetically, what if all Christians start to preach grace? It would an amazing thing, right? I have heard someone saying that there is only 1 out 10 Christians experience the joy of their salvation. And based on my observation, I could very well tell that the reason is nothing but legalism.

    Continue to preach/teach the unconditional love of Jesus and Grace of our heavenly Father. The world need this. The people who are bound in law, need this.

  4. Me too, Joel. I really enjoy listening to the podcasts. It's great to be encouraged in my grace walk on a weekly basis.

    I like the new look to the podcast page and I also enjoyed reading the background info that you provided. I think it's amazing how Father puts all of the pieces together and gets everyone in the right place.

    BTW, I'm having trouble downloading the latest podcast into my mp3 player. My computer shows that it's there but my player doesn't display the title.


  5. Bino,

    Indeed what an amazing thing if all Christians would simply preach grace! I think it's very true that the reason that so many people are not experiencing joy is due to legalism. Grace goes so very deep and is so very real, but many see it just as something to go to now and then when they "need" forgiveness for a sin or something (when of course they're already forgiven). All the more reason for as many of us as possible to keep spreading the good news of God's grace and unconditional love!

  6. Aida,

    I noticed when I uploaded the program that the actual size of the file was off a little, but I didn't think anything of it. So, with your comment I wondered if maybe something was wrong with the file. Anyway I re-edited the mp3 file information, and re-uploaded it. I don't know if that will solve the problem, but perhaps you can try downloading it again and seeing if that helps. I haven't synced my mp3 player yet this week, so I haven't tried it yet. Perhaps you can let me know if this works for you or not.

  7. Joel, you did it! It worked! Now, I'm ready to go. Thanks so much for fixing it.

    "All the more reason for as many of us as possible to keep spreading the good news of God's grace and unconditional love!"

    "I noticed when I uploaded the program that the actual size of the file was off a little, but I didn't think anything of it."

    Two great quotes that I think tie together. I've found that the message that we sometimes hear may be off just a little. Instead of hearing a message of pure grace, we hear a mixture and that little bit of law is enough to keep us in bondage and we don't even realize it. When the message of grace is off, it won't work for us just like the file didn't work.

    I'm so thankful that Father has connected me with this community of bloggers where the message of grace is not being tainted with even a small amount of legalism. I know we're all growing in our understanding of grace but iron sharpens iron. As we share with one another, we're able to sharpen and strengthen one another in our understanding of Father's love and his gift of grace. That's what the church is all about.


  8. Aida... I'm glad the new file works, and I'm glad you told me about the problem in the first place!

    I definitely digging your analogy. A little legalistic leaven leavens the whole lump of dough... even if we don't realize that the dough is tainted with the leaven. The pure, unadulterated message of grace is needed desperately in the world, and like you and the others in this blogging community, I'm really enjoying the fellowship as we all grow in grace together!