In today’s program, I’m going to share three listener responses to recent episodes. I’m doing so because your words matter to me, and to our other listeners, as well. Keep listening, and you’ll pick up an idea or two to try with your relationships.

Be sure to stick around to the end to hear a story of how a listener applied what she heard in one of our recent shows that made a difference in her life.

But before we get into today’s episode, here’s what this podcast is all about.

Welcome to You Were Made for This

If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for. I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.

A listener responds to “The Underachievers Bible Reading Plan for 2023.”

The first listener response I’m sharing is in reference to episode 193, “ The Underachievers Bible Reading Plan for 2023.” It comes from Randy, a listener from Pittsburgh. He writes:

“Good morning John,

I listened this morning to this week’s You Were Made for This. I appreciated how you described an approach to engaging with scripture. It reminded me of what I’ve been doing for the last year, since bringing Tiana into our family. (Tiana is their new family dog) As I am reading passages, I place a mark when I’ve completed a section. I also have my stack of prayer cards I use as my bookmark. “

Thanks for your feedback, Randy. I should add that in the show notes for that week’s episode, I included a photo of me reading the Bible, with our new cat, Father Patrick O’Malley, sitting on my lap. So I think that may have reminded Randy of doing the same thing with their dog. And good luck with your new pal, Randy!

Words matter in the Bible – Listen, rather than read them

Another listener, Darlene, also offered her take on the same episode about Bible reading. She offered a different approach that I will have to try. Darlene writes,

“This is the second year I’ve been doing the Daily Audio Bible (DAB) with Brian, Jill, and their daughter, China Hardin.  Last year I decided to listen to the chronological reading with Jill and China. That was my first chronological experience. Very interesting. We didn’t get to the New Testament until October.

“This year I am doing the read-through with Brian Hardin who reads portions of the OT, NT, PS, and PROV each day.  He is excellent with his brief overviews after each daily reading. What I also like is that every week he reads from a different translation.

“I think I’ve read through the Bible once. It is a challenge not to get behind. The audio is great as I can play it each morning while getting ready.”

Thank you, Darlene, for your comments about reading the 66 books of the Bible in chronological order, and also for the idea of listening to an audio version of the Bible. I’ll have a link to the Daily Audio Bible near the end of the show notes. It includes a free app for your mobile device and a web player for your computer.

How words matter to this listener

The last listener feedback I’m sharing with you today comes from Rosy Scott in response to episode 192, “Word of the Year for 2023 – Read”

As I read her comments, you’ll see how words matter a great deal to her. Listen to the impact they had on her recently. Rosy writes,

“I really like the simplicity of your word of the year. In past years I’ve chosen a motivating word, but within months could not even remember what I had picked.

“I listened to this episode twice in the past two days and have landed on my own simple word for 2023. This year I am choosing ‘words’ for my own word of the year.

“Words are a renewable resource that cost me so little to share. When I am generous with them, they often brighten my own soul as much as the recipient.

“It is surprising how often taking a chance and offering the gift of words brings a positive result far greater than the painless effort.

“Words have the power to give life and cause pain. I have experienced both this year and can testify that when I share words of kindness, there is no better medicine for my own wounds or loneliness.

Words matter with strangers

“Just this morning as I began a morning jog down a familiar street, an unexpected stranger waved. Then she called out to me with a smile ‘enjoy your run!’

“Those simple but generous words fueled me to stop two blocks later to talk for just a minute with another person I’ve occasionally seen walking her 3-legged dog for the last many months.

“Thanks to words, both of us parted with smiles in our hearts as those easy sixty seconds, combined with some previously shared words, pointed us toward potential friendship.

“Thanks to your words John, I am going to be more intentional about using words to connect with both strangers and friends.

“And thanks to lessons I learned the hard way in 2022, treat words with the healthy fear and respect they deserve.

“Perhaps 2023 will become my year to use words for healing and repair, instead of destruction which comes so much easier than I am often willing to admit. Until the damage has already been done.

“Thank you for your generosity with words via your podcast and weekly email! Blessings to you in the coming year…”

And thank you, Rosy, for your beautifully written words. I love the examples you give of their power to bless people. May you, and the rest of us, hear kind, empowering, and compassionate WORDS spoken to us this year. And may we speak these same kinds of words ourselves to others who need to hear them.

Here’s the main takeaway I hope you remember from today’s episode

Words matter. Our words to others and their words to us. They have the power to bless or destroy. Be careful what we speak, hear, and read. Use them wisely and with care to bless others and ourselves. Treasure the truth we find in them.


Before we wrap up today’s show, if you’d like some input regarding a relationship question or issue you’re dealing with, I’d love to hear from you. Just go to the contact page on our website, to let me know what’s on your mind. I’ll do my best to answer your question in a future episode.

In closing, I’d also love to hear any thoughts you have about today’s episode.
Just scroll down to the bottom of the show notes and enter them in
the Leave a Comment box.

I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to treasure the truth we find in the words we speak, and those we hear. Because words matter.

When you do this, it will help you experience the joy of relationships God designed for you. You Were Made for This, as you know by now.

Well, that’s it for today. If there’s someone in your life you think might like to hear what you just heard, please forward this episode on to them. Scroll down to the bottom of the show notes and click on one of the options in the yellow “Share This” bar.

And don’t forget to spread a little relational sunshine around the people you meet this week. Spark some joy for them. And I’ll see you again next time. Goodbye for now.

Other episodes or resources related to today’s shows

Daily Audio Bible –

Episode 139: Why Should I Listen to This Podcast?
Episode 021: The Most Important Relationship of All

Last week’s show

194: Martin Luther King, jr. – The Silence of Our Friends

All past and future episodes:

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