Most Listened to Podcasts of 2013

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I’m such an auditory learner! I can remember exact times and places when I listened to transformative talks and sermons. I remember the cadence, timbre, and rhythm of each speaker’s voice. Now that Podcast streams, this app has become my primary way to listen to audio. I use to have to scrounge the internet looking for good sermons and audio files, download them to my computer, drag the files to iTunes, then sync my devices. All I have to do now is simply stream.

Like my top books of 2013, I’ve reviewed using the same categories of head, heart, & hands.

Head

  • 14f37aadd69661321bd67e9e19dbf7a0Usually every Saturday morning, while I’m making pancakes for the family, I listen Ed Stetzer’s weekly podcast The Exchange. My favorite episodes was the State of the North American Church, where Ed explains that though the Western Church is not dying but loosing nominal Christians – which is a good thing. He also suggest that if America wants to get a glimpse of the future of American Christianity, the North West (Seattle, Portland) is about 10-15 years ahead of the central and southern States.
  • This is not exactly a podcast, but audio files I found on the internet. Ijamessmalln 2013 I discovered James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College. I saw in blogsphere that many were discussing his recent books series Desiring the Kingdom Imagining the Kingdomso I googled him and found several online talks. I found his New College Lectures at University of New South Wales, Australia and Winter Conference talks at Redeemer Church in Knoxville, TN. I  listened to these lectures many times over. Prof. Jamey’s works has profound implications not only for worship but also for how we make disciples in the normal rhythms of life (liturgies). I hope to connect the dots more in a future blog post.

Heart

Living in Peru, I am not around much good preaching in English. So I water my soul via preaching podcasts. Here are my top two:

  • RICHIESESSIONSforsign-thumb190x190Since our days in RTS Jackson, I have witnessed phenomenal growth Richie Sessions’ preaching. He is Senior Minister of IPC Memphis; the church that we are eternally grateful for allowing our family to live in their mission house during our 2010 Furlough Year. Not only is Richie a clear communicator and passionate lover of Christ, he preaches with unction – that tangible presence of the Spirit. Check out IPC’s sermon podcast.
  • 2bb3158dfff313718c9d4c2f0b00d6eeWhile living in Memphis, I met an amazing church planter, Jonathan Macintosh. He moved to Memphis the same time we arrived the River City. Sandi burns through Jonathan’s sermons while on the treadmill. What I like about Jonathan is that he is culturally relevant as well as gospel-centered. His sermons are not only entertaining, but thoughtful and convicting. Check out his podcast here.

Hands

This past year I have tapped into several great leadership podcasts. Here, I’ll mention my top three.

  • 8449Andy Stanley’s leadership podcasts is also one of my new standards. Although I do not follow Andy in much of his attractional megachurch event model, he is very gifted and seasoned leader. His principles are transferable beyond church leadership. I’ve listened to his recent episodes on the Power of Teams several times. The main draw back is that he only broadcasts once a month.
  • rainer-on-leadership-logo-300-300x300Finally, Thom Rainer has afforded some great information for church leaders at his podcast. As president of LifeWay Christian Resources, he and Stetzer have access to the most up-to-date ecclesiastical stats for the evangelical church in America. Most of his podcast is the application of their research. For example, I put into practice immediately several of his points from his episode, The Main Reason People Leave the Church.

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Please let me know in the comment section.

Most Used Apps of 2013

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I am amazed how smartphone apps have become an integral part of my daily life. As I review 2013, I find it fascinating to see which apps have become of my daily rhythms. Instead of making a list of my favorite, most used apps, I thought it might be more interesting to see when I used certain apps in the course of day.

Morning

After I wake up in the morning at 6:00 am to the preinstalled clock app (with an inspiring song from iTunes set on the lowest volume), I go down stairs and begin my day.

  • NPR-iPhone-icon-smMy first routine is to put on coffee and listen to NPR News. The primary reason why I like NPR is simple: it is short and convenient, usually around 3-4 minutes – perfect timing for brewing 4 cups of coffee.
  • Feedly_LogoThen as I drink my first cup of coffee, I review my blog & news feeds via Feedly. I was very sad to see Google Reader kick the can this past year. I use to use Flipboard religiously, since it seamlessly integrated Google Reader and other social media like Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Now, I use Feedly as my primary RSS Reader.
  • Pocket-app-iconWhile I catch up on my news feeds (usually 10-15 minutes), I  save all the pertinent articles for future reference to Pocket. Honestly, I would prefer if Feedly directly linked to Evernote. The Pocket.app is a work around for me – a virtual desktop that allows me to store articles and later file them on Evernote.
  • EvernoteUsually once a week, I comb through my articles saved on Pocket and them archive them to Evernote. One of my goals this year to make considerable strides towards a paperless archiving system. I have tried to figure out Evernote for several years, but it did not dawn on me until I saw a need to transfer my filing system to an online cloud that synced with all my digital devices. Evernote fits the bill perfectly. Evernote has also become my primary place to take notes, especially for sermon and other leadership talks.
  • PodcastLogoLargeAfter time in Scripture reading and prayer, I take a shower. Honestly, some of my best thinking has been in these 15-20 minutes of my day. Using my iPad speakers, I have listened to some great Podcasts. In the past, the iTunes Podcasts was clunky. Now that I can stream each episode, instead of downloading them individually, I have begun to use Podcast more than ever. In a future post, I will share my most impacting Podcasts of 2013.

Afternoon

  • mzi.zsfbaqmz.175x175-75After lunch I usually take a 30 minute to hour siesta. I love that the first app in my “Productivity” folder on my iPad is Sleep Machine. I am a true believer of power naps! Also, I love how this app has a timer that gently wakes me up to wind chimes.
  • Google-Drive-iconAfter my nap, I am in meetings several afternoons a week. In the past, we use to print out our agenda on paper. Now that everyone has a digital device (computer or tablet), we have used Google Drive as our primary collaborative work station. Saving our minutes, action points, and other important notes in real time has been a great advance in our team’s organization.
  • kindle-for-ios-app-icon-220x220After my meetings, I get on my bike and head for home. Half way home there is a small café that I frequent and do some personal reading with a juice or and empanada by my side. For an hour I have used the Kindle app as my primary reader. I would say that have used Kindle for 80% of my reading in 2013. In fact, all but one of my top books of 2013 were digital books.

Evening

  • netflix_iconMost evenings, Sandi & I finish out the day reading together, using our Kindle.app. Then we veg-out by watching TV episodes from Netflix. I do not doubt that most of America now uses Netflix as their main “TV time”. Lately we have been enjoying Parks & Rec – the perfect light-hearted comedy that helps us appreciate our Peru Mission team.

What apps have you appreciated this year? Please share in the comment section below!