I used to listen to talk radio in the car and at home, back before internet and smartphones. And before children. 🙂 When you have many children in the home and car, it’s hard to concentrate on another voice coming over the speakers. I don’t listen to the radio much anymore, but I have created music lists, podcast lists, and of course I use Audible on my iPhone. And since my quiet-listening-time is limited, I only make time for my favorite podcasts.
Since I only have short spurts of time to listen, I am pretty picky about my choices. I don’t like small talk or time-wasting. I will get bored really quickly and turn it off if it’s silly. I mean, I have a few minutes and I want whatever is going into my ears to count! I also want it to be biblically sound; no fluff, and no feel-good gospel. I need to be encouraged, but I want that encouragement to be convicting and instructive. As a parent and a homeschool mom, I still need encouragement in my journey (even after 20 years) and gentle reminders of the big picture. And finally, it needs to be intellectually challenging. Make my few minutes life-changing, if possible!
That’s not too much to ask, is it? These few podcasts, in one way or another, meet those requirements for me.
At Home With Sally
Sally Clarkson has been a sort of mentor to me for more than 15 years. I’ve been reading her books, attending her conferences, and I used to buy her workshop tapes back in the olden days. Now I listen to her podcast, At Home With Sally, whenever I have a few minutes. She encourages women, mostly moms (but not just moms) to be intentional in their walk with God and their influence in the world. She has a sweet, joyful demeanor but she doesn’t just make you feel cozy; she is biblically encouraging and uplifting. Whether she’s talking about motherhood, Christian womanhood, hospitality, trusting God in the dark times, or celebrating holidays, Sally is a peaceful breath of fresh air in a dark and hectic world.
Mama Bear Apologetics
I have recommended the book by the same name to many friends already, and as soon as I found the podcast, I started listening at Episode 1. It’s a great addition to the book, with up-to-the minute topics in news, culture, and the Bible. For any mom (or dad) who finds themselves suddenly faced with cultural issues and seriously difficult questions from their kids, the book and podcast provide clarity and sound instruction. If you didn’t learn much about Marxism, naturalism, critical theory, or feminism, or you’re just now realizing how prevalent they are in our culture (and sadly) in our church, don’t worry any longer. The Mama Bear Apologetics hosts talk directly to moms about these (and many other) issues and prepare us to deal firmly with them in our homes and even in our churches. Start with their most recent episode, or do like I did and go start at Episode 1.
The Arts of Language
This one is hosted by Andrew Pudewa from Institute for Excellence in Writing. It may seem like an odd choice in my list, but trust me: it’s not. It’s billed as “a weekly podcast to support teachers of writing composition,” but it is so.much.more than that. If you’ve never had the chance to listen to Andrew Pudewa talk about anything, you’ve missed out. He, of course, teaches writing and composition at IEW, but he is much, much more than a writing teacher. These podcasts address childhood, learning, history, language, teaching, and many other topics in a hundred little snippets along the way. Just a couple of episodes may convince you to implement IEW materials in your homeschool when you hear the man behind them! You can read my review of IEW curriculum here.
The Sheologians bill themselves as “theology for women; no doilies allowed.” That’s a pretty accurate description. I was first introduced to the Sheologians podcast through their Feminism is Poison series— and it was excellent. The topics are similar to what Mama Bear Apologetics covers: current issues facing the culture and the church, including things you may not have even heard of but which you definitely should. These ladies are unapologetically biblical and anti-cultural, but oh-so-informative. Now, I mentioned above that I don’t like mindless banter or silliness; each Sheologians podcast starts with 10-15 minutes of just random conversations between the 2 hosts (they are good friends who live hours apart, so they catch up, in a way, at the beginning of the podcast). You can listen if that’s your thing, or you can do what I do and skip over the first few minutes. I know, I’m heartless, but like I said, I only have so much free time!
Voddie Baucham on Sermon Audio
Sermon Audio offers over a million sermons from pastors and churches all over the world. It’s a great resource for listening to teaching and preaching. I personally set up a subscription on my iTunes Podcast app to get all of Voddie Baucham’s sermons this way. I get so much from his sermons, both encouragement and conviction. He preaches sound theology and also addresses the culture unapologetically — from family-integrated churches to critical theory. My teen and tween sons also enjoy listening to Voddie.
So there you have it. It’s a short list, but I have limited time and want to make it count. These 5 podcasts always encourage and challenge me to be a better Christian, a better mom, and a better teacher.
Comment below: what are your favorite podcasts?