Welcome To The Almost Daily Devotional Podcast!

Almost Daily Devotional PodcastThe Almost Daily Devotional is a podcast that I, Cliff Ravenscraft, started back in March of 2008. I had just recently left my career in insurance to pursue podcasting full-time.

Launching my own business was not an easy task and I was often overcome with stress, anxiety, and depression on a monthly basis, wondering if I was going to be able to make this all work out.

There is no doubt that God was there for me every step of the way. Looking back, I wonder how I could have had such little faith.

As of December of 2011, I had produced 165 episodes of the Almost Daily Devotional podcast and 124 episodes of the About The Church Podcast. Because there was no reason that the content of these two shows should be split up into two separate podcasts, I decided to end the Almost Daily Devotional show and rebrand the About The Church podcast as the new “Encouraging Others Through Christ.” For our ongoing devotional thoughts and faith based discussions, please click here.

Writing these show notes and posting this final episode of the Almost Daily Devotional to the website is somewhat bittersweet. I've made the decision that it is time to finally retire this podcast.

In the episode, I share the full story of why I am ending the Almost Daily Devotional podcast. The good news is that content that would have been the future episodes of this show will still be produced. It's just that I've decided that instead of producing these as Almost Daily Devotional podcast episodes, I will include them in the newly branded Encouraging Others Through Christ podcast.

I hope that everyone who was subscribed to the Almost Daily Devotional will click here to subscribe to the EOTC Podcast!

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It's been just over a month since our family made the decision to “stop going to church.” I'm sure that many people wondered just how far off the path I might get when it comes to my priorities and my spiritual life. Heck, I'll be honest and tell you that I had wondered the same thing!

In this episode, I admit that I seem to simply share a random stream of consciousness as I share just the slightest overview of how wonderful this past month or so has been.

What's funny, is that I'm not all the concerned about impressing ANYONE with how the past month has been since I decided to “Live Life Without Following The Rules!”

With that said, I believe God does want me to share just a bit of the journey I've been on and how LIVING LOVED BY HIM has been changing me from the inside out and helping me to have a great capacity to love those who surround me.

I do hope that this episode will be a blessing to you. Below I will place a link to the things mentioned in this episode.

1) You can listen to Podcast Answer Man Episode 230, titled Why I Do What I Do, by going to http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/why.

2) You can view the photo of my new written journal by clicking here.

3) You can see the pen that I received as a gift by clicking here.

4) The scripture I read in this episode was from the Message Translation of Galatians chapter 2 starting with verse 15. You can read this, online, by clicking here.

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Ever since I've recently been made increasingly aware of God's unconditional love for me, a love that I do not have to do ANYTHING to earn, it seems as though God is connecting me with an amazing number of people who are experiencing this same exact truth.

In this episode, I share nearly six minutes of audio from episode 068 of Fr. Roderick's Health & Holiness podcast. As you will hear, God has been speaking the same exact message to his heart as well.

It is my prayer that if you are out there trying to DO THINGS to become more holy or to earn God's favor and/or Love, that you will STOP IT and simply LET GOD LOVE YOU!

In the book So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore, the main character of the book says…

I would waste far less time ragging on religion and find out just how much Jesus wants to be your friend without any strings attached. He will care for you and, if given a chance, will become more real to you than your best friend. You will cherish him more than anything else you desire. He will give you a purpose and a fullness of life that will carry you through every stress and pain and will change you from the inside to show you what true freedom and joy really are.

In Matthew 11:28, we read where Jesus says… “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Stop struggling. Stop striving. Stop worrying. Just LET HIM LOVE YOU!

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I was reading the book of John, in chapter five, when I came across the part where the Jewish leaders were giving Jesus a hard time. Jesus had just healed a man who had been sick for 38 years. The issue is that they were upset with Jesus because he worked on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is declared to be a day of rest from work, that would be devoted to God.

I loved Jesus’ initial response to their objection. He said. “My Father is always working, and so am I.” I shared this verse on Twitter and sent out a tweet saying, “Something tells me that I probably shouldn't try to use this to defend my workaholic tendencies..”

The Jewish leader’s reaction to this was pretty intense. John says that they “tried all the harder” to find a way to kill him. This means that they must have already been trying to find a way to kill him. But now, He’s not only broke the Sabbath, but He is is claiming that God is his father, thereby making himself equal with God.

And then we get a vibrant look into the way Jesus spoke to these “religious leaders.”

From this portion of Scripture, I come away with the following thoughts:

  • Jesus is, indeed, The Son of God.
  • Those who listen to Jesus’ message and believe will have eternal live and will not be condemned for their sins.
  • The true purpose of all Scripture is to point toward faith in Jesus.
  • Our main objective should be to seek the approval of God alone.

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New Insights From The Woman At The Well
I have read and heard the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman so many times throughout my life. However, when I was reading through the story things time, there were two things that stood out to me that I had never picked up on before.

If you’re not familiar with the story, you can find it in John 4:1-42. You can read this story by going to http://goo.gl/E9Uxg

In this episode, I share two new insights that I picked up on while I was reading this story today. I’m reminded that God would love me to spend time with Him. All these years that He’s probably been saying… “If only you knew…” I’m also reminded how rare it has been for me to have such an intense desire to have the presence of God with me, so much that I’d be willing to beg Him to remain with me throughout the day.

Just think about all those who had come to faith in Christ because of the testimony of this one woman who had spent time with Jesus. I pray that God will continue to build an intensity in my desire to spend time with Him in each of us.

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Benefits I’ve Noticed From Reading God’s Word Daily
In this episode of the Almost Daily Devotional, I share my thoughts on what it’s been like to actually wake up early every single morning and make reading God’s Word the first thing I do each day, for an entire month.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I’m not sharing this information to show off on just how spiritual I am. In fact, in the episode, I openly admit that I’ve neglected spending time alone with God a majority of my Christian life.

What Reading God’s Word Daily Hasn’t Done For Me:

  • It hasn’t magically overhauled my prayer life.
  • It hasn’t magically taken away all my fears and anxiety over God’s provision.
  • It hasn’t magically fixed my schedule.
  • It hasn’t magically given me self discipline to stay focused on work tasks and to get in my daily physical activity.
  • Reading God’s Word Daily for one month does have it’s benefits, but I want to point out that simply reading God’s Word daily for on month isn’t going to fix every aspect of our life.

What Reading God’s Word Daily Has Done For Me:

  • It’s helping to reignite a desire to have a more fervent prayer life.
  • It’s helped remind me that I NEED TO not be so fearful and anxious and that I Should Trust God’s provision for my every need. (Matthew 6:33)
  • It’s helped me discover that I don’t have enough margin in my schedule and is inspiring me to make necessary changes.
  • It’s helped me to realize that I need to be more disciplined and focused. I want to be a good steward of the resource of time that God has given me.
  • It’s helped me to put God first and to see just how far out of whack my priorities have been.
  • It’s helped give me a desire to spend more time with my wife and kids and less time working on my business. (I’m a workaholic)
  • I am LESS stressed than I was before.
  • I’m more easy going.
  • I am more reverent and respectful of God.
  • I am more aware of God’s ever-presence.
  • I’ve been able to resist sins that used to easily entangle me.

Tips on what has helped me in reading God’s Word Daily:

  • I tried reading from a different translation that was different from what I use when I study the Bible.
  • I didn’t get too hung up on the things that I didn’t understand.
  • I didn’t follow a “Bible Reading Plan” though I’m not against them.
  • I started reading in Romans and went through Revelations
  • I then started John, and then will read Matthew, Mark, Luke, & Acts

Verses that help encourage the reading of God’s Word:

  • Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
  • John 8:31-32 – Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
  • Joshua 1:8 – Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
  • Matthew 4:4 – ‘People do not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
  • Romans 15:4 – And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

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As I was reading the scriptures, I came across a place where it talked about obeying God with deep reverence and fear. Even though I have a pretty good understanding of the word reverence, I decided to look up the definition. I found reverence defined as a “feeling of profound awe and respect and often love.”

Hebrew 5:7 says… While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.

Philippians 2:12… Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

1 Peter 3:1-3… They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.

Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)
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The Ted Williams Story
By now, most people who would listen to this episode of the Almost Daily Devotional have heard about the Ted Williams story.

The original video: http://goo.gl/3itKO
The Interview Video: http://goo.gl/Pfqrd

From the streets of Columbus to baring witness to the year of providence. I love seeing God at work in the life of Ted Williams and I hope that you will join me in praying that he will be able to remain faithful in seeking God first in everything.

Are you acknowledging God Daily?
I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:8 NIV)

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)

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In this episode, I share two verses from scripture that, if were were to live them out daily, would radically improve all aspects of our lives.

As a podcast and new media consultant, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are interested in reproducing much of the success that I’ve had in building a loyal community around the podcast content that I’ve created.

The problem with a lot of social media marketing is that there is often too much marketing involved and not really enough social. Many people attempt to reconcile this with a “formula” feeling as though if they spend enough time interacting with folks, by simply joining the conversation, then they can then expect results from the marketing aspects of the equation.

The problem is that most of these formulas leave out a major variable. The variable that is often overlooked is the motive behind the desire to be social. If you are giving for the purpose of getting something in return, it is not likely that you’ll receive the same benefits that I’ve personally achieve in social media. You’d be using a different formula.

There’s nothing wrong with marketing, even in social media. There is nothing wrong with earning a leaving from the work that you do and promoting it. I’ve certainly pushed the boundaries at times of what is “too much” marketing. Each time, though, my core community keeps me in check and I get back to the heart of the matter.

If you do plan to market anything to the folks that you are in relationship with. Please consider taking the following scripture references into account when creating your formula for success.

Philippians 2:2-4 (New Living Translation)
…Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

1 Thessalonians 2:5 (New Living Translation)
…we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money!

I pray that this thought will be helpful in wrapping your mind about what’s most important in social media. RELATIONSHIPS!

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Recently, I received the following in an email…

I just found your podcast and subscribed and started to listening to the Jan 6 ep of family from the heart and I really enjoyed it. As you and your wife were talking about the year of providence and especially how you are seeking counsel for something that you are working on. It struck me that I haven't been seeking the Lord and his counsel and the counsel of others. Let me explain.

I have a desire to do a daily devotional time. But I can't seem to stick with it unless I'm doing it for a grade or something and I feel a desire to read through the Bible again. So I have been thinking how can I do something that will give me motivation to stick with it at least for a year and the only thing I came up with was to do a daily read through the Bible Couples podcast with my wife. I just started listening to podcast about a year ago and though tec savy have never produced a podcast. I have some of the details already worked out format for example will be 5 min intro, Bible Reading, then discussion on those chapters between me and my wife and possibly a guest host, then 5 min closing.

What do you think should I pursue the idea? or should I find another way to motivate me to read? If so would you say a quick prayer for me that I will be able to find the time and that the one last hurdle will be overcome?

In this episode, I give my response to this person’s email, sharing my own journey of how I recently came back into the habit of making time alone with God a priority on a daily basis.

I shared a verse from the New Living Translation where Matthew 6:33 says… “Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

In the episode, I did mention the following episodes of the Pursuing A Balanced Life Podcast.

PABL 483
PABL 484
PABL 485
PABL 486

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Almost Daily Devotional:
Divine Discontentment?

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Almost Daily Devotional:
A New Beginning

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Almost Daily Devotional:
Return To Your First Love

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Almost Daily Devotional:
Devote Yourself To Prayer

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Almost Daily Devotional:
Contentment And Wealth

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Almost Daily Devotional:
We Are Called To Be Free

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Almost Daily Devotional:
Final Instructions

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Almost Daily Devotional:
Be Strong And Courageous

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140 Almost Daily Devotional – Lord Willing

by Cliff Ravenscraft on September 10, 2009

in Almost Daily Devotional


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Almost Daily Devotional:
Lord Willing

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Almost Daily Devotional:
Leaving It All Behind

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137 Almost Daily Devotional – EOTC?

by Cliff Ravenscraft on September 1, 2009

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Almost Daily Devotional:
EOTC?

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Almost Daily Devotional:
The Princess With Four Boyfriends

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