Hello everyone and welcome to episode 52 where today we hear how listeners are applying the content from this podcast in their daily lives.

At the end of most podcast episodes I often mention that it would be helpful to hear reactions from listeners to the content of that day’s episode. I am especially interested in how listeners are using what we talk about to transform their relationships into the best they can be.

Because when we hear how someone else is putting into practice the ideas and principles we discuss on the show, it can stimulate the rest of us to apply those same ideas and principles – so we can find more joy in our relationships.

Today I have 6 brief stories from listeners that will hopefully do just that for you. Help you to find more joy in your relationships.

So listen in.

The first listener response comes from a missionary who commented on my blog post of January 15, Kindness Before Dawn. In it I tell a brief story that showed how we can encourage people simply by telling them something we remember about them. I asked our readers to think of someone they could encourage by doing the same thing. This particular missionary responded

with the simple words, “Thanks John, I got a couple in mind.” Wonderful! Imagine if we all had a “couple in mind” we could encourage.

By the way, the blog posts I wrote are what I do in-between podcast seasons. They are sent out through my “Every Wednesday” emails. If you’d like to get on my private email list to receive these, go to johncertalic.com/blog and fill out the form you’ll see there. You can also read all my blog posts there.

  • The 2nd response I want to share with you is from a retired missionary.
  • All caught up on season 2. “Caught up? You’re never behind”
  • Response to episode 48, 1st one in season 3, “Worship Without Words”
  • Recently moved to another part of the country, 1 of more than 30 moves
  • Quote from her email

“The Lord continues to be my hope and strength.” We can’t do any of this without Him.

Next response is from a young mom with 3 young kids, also writing in about episode 48, “Worship Without Words.” Where I talk about how we worship God through our relationships, not just our singing.

  • Like me, she can’t sing either. “I have the worst singing voice of all time.”
  • Self-conscious about it
  • Quote from her email about how freeing it is to worship with our relationships

A 4th response comes from a seasoned missionary in response to episode 49, ““Sacrifice in Relationships.” It’s a beautiful illustration of the 3 relationships Paul describes in Romans 12, our relationship with God, with our self, and with other people.

  • The Kleenex stuck to the freshly washed clothes
  • Interrupts her plans
  • Asks God “so what’s the lesson?”
  • Quote the rest of her email.
  • Her agenda for the day is interrupted by this nuisance with the Kleenex. It’s irritating, so she asks God, “What’s the lesson here”
  • She recognizes the self-gratification she’s seeking in being compassionate to her neighbor
  • She calls upon the Lord to help her set aside this motive, for the greater good of making the Lord the one who shines in this story, not her. What great self-awareness!

Next up is from another missionary about the same episode 49, we’ll call her “Tina.” She writes,

I love what you said, “A relationship without sacrifice isn’t really a relationship.” Then she goes on to say,

Seems it’s usually the people who are doing the sacrificing that are the ones investing in the relationship.

And too many times the receiver (the one not sacrificing) doesn’t think there’s anything “wrong” with the relationship. Know what I mean.”

This could be a whole podcast episode in itself. I can feel where Tina’s coming from. These one-sided relationships are worse than no relationship at all.

We hope one day the person not sacrificing will realize they are all about taking, with no interest in giving, and then change. But sadly, that rarely happens. And when you as the one who sacrifices sees things for what they are, it can be terribly lonely.

Then the question becomes, what do we do with our loneliness? How does God want us to deal with this? How are we to live with the “takers” in our life? We’ll deal with this in a future episode.

Well on that happy note, here’s the last response I want to share from one of our listeners. It comes to us from Brad, about my January 8th blog post, “Trying to Stop this in 2020.”

Specifically about my desire to stop answering the “Hi, how are you doing?” question with “Fine.” You remember what

“F.I. N.E.” stands for don’t you? Feelings Inside Not Expressed.

Brad is a recently retired carpet distributor, and wrote this:

[Read his email , Shaw-mazing, Shaw-some, Shaw-tastic]

Some on our staff are adapting this when people ask how we are doing:

Me: “I’m John-top of the world! How about you?”
Fran, our receptionist: “Fran-tastic”
Sean, our men’s locker room attendant: “Sean-some”
Terry, Carol’s husband and our sound engineer: “I’m Terri-ific!”
Rex, our doorman: “Rex-cellent!”

As Brad said. “I would usually get a smile or a laugh.” Humor has a way of breaking down barriers and bringing in a little relational sunshine into our lives.

In my headhunting days, when I was trying to recruit someone for a particular search assignment I was working on, I would often hear, “Nah, I’m not interested in that job. I’m pretty happy where I’m at.”

I would then sometimes respond with, “Would you like to be happier?”

People would sometimes chuckle, and no one ever changed their mind, but that was okay. It added a little levity to both of our days.

Here’s what I learned today. Here’s what struck me

The relationship principles we’re dealing with in this podcast have all different kinds of applications, some I never would have thought of. It encourages and motivates me to try what others are doing to find joy in their relationships.

If you forget everything else, here’s the one thing I hope you remember from today’s episode. Our show in a sentence

It’s encouraging to hear what other people are doing to transform their relationships into the best they can be. When I pay attention to how other people work at transforming their relationships, it gives me hope that maybe I can improve mine.

Here are a few ideas for what you can do in response to today’s show.

I say this just about every week, but I would love to hear how you’re using the content of the podcast in your relationships. Our other listeners would too, because we can learn from each other – as I hope you have today in hearing from other listeners.

You can share your thoughts in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the show notes. Or you can send them to me in an email to john@caringforothers.org.


I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to both reflect and to act. So that you will find the joy God intends for you through your relationships. Because after all, You Were Made for This.

Now for Our Relationship Quote of the Week

Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage: anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are. — Augustine of Hippo (theologian for parts of the 4th and 5th centuries)

That’s all for today. See you next week. Bye for now.