Negative Political Climate

The idea of 2 parties wrestling through politics isn’t a hard image to visualize. What is going on in the political sphere is creating this dichotomy of unrest in our nation with both parties seeing their own way as the only solution to the problems our nation is facing. In the face of a gloomy political climate, Jeff and Terry offer encouragement to those who are bombarded by the negatives.

Transcription of the Podcast


If we’ve got an issue going on, if I’ve got a business issue and I have got a situation where there’s something I’ve got to solve, I bring people around the table and we sit down and we come up with solutions for that. Welcome to another Journey Podcast. Today we are going to take a deep dive into politics but in a way that’s maybe a little different because we all know that there is a huge, huge negative vibe out there. And what we want to do with this podcast in the midst of all this political unrest feuding, is really offer some encouragement to family and friends that may be on opposing sides to maybe offer encouragement to people that are just bombarded by the negatives that are going on.


So yeah, we’re going to do that today. We’ve actually got Terry Carlson here and Terry is a licensed full time counselor and we thought maybe that would be a good perspective to have because really we can draw some parallels between the whole political climate and sometimes in marriage where you have couples that are fighting. So we thought we try to draw some parallels there and-


Oh yeah, definitely.


… some things. So welcome Terry.


Hi. Well, and I think you’ve got a really good point there. It’s really difficult when family and friends are on opposing sides. I remember growing up my mom and dad would go voting and they always talked about canceling each other’s votes out because one would vote for one party and one would vote for the other, but they’d still go do it and they smile and laugh as they did that. But I think you’re right, I think there’s just a lot of negativity out there now.


Right, right. Well, and I think years ago we could almost smile and laugh about some of those things and I think it seems to have gotten to a level now where the tone is just so deeply negative that the hope is here that today we can offer a little bit of constructive and positive solutions and ideas for addressing some of these things. So yeah, why don’t we dive in? I think one of the things that we have to say is that oftentimes… And you tell me if this is on target off target or somewhere in the middle, but oftentimes we look at differences, but don’t we really need to look at what we have in common, whether you’re dealing with couples or whether we are trying to solve problems from a political standpoint.


Absolutely. I think sometimes if you can get down to what do we have in common and what do we really want at core? I think a lot of times what happens is we fight over, we come up with a solution to the problems that we think are out there and we fight over or we argue over those solutions. This is the right solution, that’s the right solution.


Our individual solution. Right?


Our individual solutions. Instead of coming together and trying to solve problems as a team and saying, “Hey, how do we identify the question, what’s the problem and can we agree on the nature of the problem first before we start talking about what possible solutions are out?”


And here’s what’s crazy, just as an example that I noticed during the last State of The Union Address, the call went out that lower drug prices… We need to get lower drug prices and half of the chamber was like, “Oh yeah, great.” They’re standing and cheering. The other half of the chamber was like, “Oh yeah, there’s sombering.” So I think it’s gone down to a level that we’re missing the underlying mission where in this case it was lower drug prices. So we all not get excited about who lower drug prices. That’s the thing that we have in common that we would all like. Well, I guess 99.9% except I guess if you’re on the receiving end of the drug company, but the vast majority, right? We want lower drug prices. So, is that sort of it trying to find that common point that we can look at, tune out all the noise and then go, “Oh, let’s get after this. Let’s get all about this solution to this problem.”


Right. I think… But again, as I said before, I think it’s important to identify what’s the real issue, what’s the real problem underlying all of it. It may be like you said, lower drug prices. It may be something totally different and that may be the reasons why the other side didn’t really clap and cheer and all that stuff because they’re seeing the problem from a different lens. And I think just getting to that place where we talk about what’s the lens I’m seeing the problem through? How do I define the problem? When I’ve worked with couples in my office, a lot of times I’ll ask them, can you both agree on the problem, name the problem and make sure that you’re both agreeing on that first. The next step I have them do is brainstorm. I say, before you come up with a solution, I want you to brainstorm all the possible solutions out there. Don’t, don’t pick out one and say, this is my favorite solution. Just what are all the possible solutions?


Sit down with a notepad and say, “Okay, well we could do this or we could do that or we could do this or somebody else could do this.” And list out all the different ones, even if they sound stupid when you say them. Don’t even go through trying to problem solve until you’ve listed all the different possible solutions. Once you’ve thought of the solutions, then start talking about each one of them and the pros and cons of each possible solution. Once you’ve done that, you can kind get to a place where you can vote on your favorite solutions. And a lot of times your number one, two and three are going to look different than my number one, two and three. But we may both agree on the two. “Hey, maybe we’ve got an actual solution that would work there to both of our satisfaction.


All right, right. How do you know when to… And now we’re talking about more of, again in family situations and so forth. How do you know when to speak up and when to keep your mouth shut?


That’s a great question. When in doubt keep your mouth shut.


Oh, okay.


I tell some of my couples too, God gave us two ears and one mouth and I think that means we’re supposed to listen twice as much as we speak.


Right? Right. Well, and to hear what the other person is saying. So for instance, when I’m talking with somebody, I try to seek their view and really get their heart on it. Where are they coming from?


That’s a really good idea.


Because maybe their solution isn’t necessarily the solution I would have at first pass, but… And I’m thinking about somebody in particular when they’re talking about the whole healthcare thing. It’s like, “Well, he has a great heart for people. He really wants to help people.” So again, what can we find in common and how can we get to that common ground? Something also to point out here is sort of the… I guess it’s a perspective thing maybe.




Everybody’s vote matters. It really does, right? We live in a democracy and it’s really great that we can go out and we can cast a vote, but I think the perspective of matters here to that our votes are one out of millions and that matters, but what really matters, is your life and your one-on-one interactions with people. And so maybe we can dive into that a little bit here because there is a lot of armchair quarterback and if you compare it to sports, we all have our teams, right? Let’s go Iowa, go Cyclones, go Hawks. But at the end of the day, we’re not playing in that game. We’re just cheering them on. And so like the political arena, we can cheer on our favorite politician, but we kind of step back from armchair quarterbacking and look ourselves in the mirror and say, “What can I do? What can I do?” For instance, talk about human rights things or homelessness or whatever.


“What can I do for instance, in terms of homelessness? Where can I get involved?” And I think that’s something that perspective thing, there’s just… And let me just toss this out and see if you agree or disagree Terry. But I just see a lot of lost human potential armchair quarterbacking where we could take that energy and oftentimes very deep energy and really go out and do something with that. So, another question that comes up here is, what do you do when you feel strongly that how someone else votes can negatively affect the direction of the country? You’re passionate about this issue and you’re talking to someone and you’re like, “Oh, why are they…” They’re not getting it. They’re just not getting it.


Right. No. I think the question you just asked, it really gets to the heart of why the political climate is such a terrible thing for most people. A lot of people are… You’re sweating this, this is huge. There’s this really, really strong feeling that if you vote the wrong direction and if enough of you’s out there vote the wrong direction, then my country is going to suffer from this. And the perspective and the passion. You’ve got people who… I think if our son and how he really, really dives into this and researches something and he picks the best solution in his mind and it feels like if somebody isn’t going to… If the rest of the world or if somebody else votes the wrong way, then our country is going downhill really, really fast. And I think that’s a really important piece of this whole thing. And what I would say in response to that is to just be aware of how much it plays in the polarizing effect of the media and the news that’s out there.


It’s really… When I talk about… When I’m talking with couples, a lot of times what I’m really struggled against with individual couples is this all or nothing thinking that it’s all one thing or it’s all another thing. It’s that all or nothing thinking that gets us into a lot of trouble. What happens with all or nothing thinking, is that it takes a grain of truth, is there a possibility that something bad could happen? Yes, but it takes a grain of truth, but it blows it up to 100%. And it’s saying, “Oh my gosh, if this person gets into the White House or into the Senate or whatever, oh, my gosh our world is ending as we know it kind of feeling. And the reality is that most things are not all or nothing. Most things.


If we can just kind of back down a little bit and say, “No, wait a minute.” I think one of the best things to ask yourself is what’s the worst case scenario? What’s the absolute worst case scenario? And then play that forward and ask yourself if that worst case scenario, if this politician gets elected or if this politician gets elected, what’s the worst thing that I can imagine happening and play that forward and ask yourself, how would I survive that or what’s next or what would happen then? We may find that when you play that tape forward in your mind, you find that, “Oh, okay, so the world doesn’t end, the sky’s falling, it may not be my favorite thing, but in another two or four years we can reelect somebody who comes in and fixes things back.” I think it’s just reminding ourselves that the worst case scenarios rarely ever happen.


Right, right. And to keep in perspective, unless you just get raw here for a minute, there’s just a lot of media coverage out there that is just absolutely fueling this and it’s big money, it’s on different media that’s out there and it’s just a lot of talk that sort of fuel for the fire, right? You take the problems, but then you sort of toss this gas that media tosses on this and it really inflames that. Right?


And if you step back and ask yourself, what’s the motive for a lot of these things? Whether it’s the news media or it’s the stuff you see on Facebook. Ask yourself, what’s the motive there? In a lot of the cases it’s to sell more advertising. It’s not to get a certain person or a certain idea or to get the country to come together. I’m guessing that most… CNN and Fox and all the other ones that we could name, I’m guessing that they don’t really get a lot of money when everybody speaks nice to each other-


And everybody agrees and-


Everybody agrees.


… [inaudible 00:13:21] get along.


Right. So, they get more money by more advertisers because they’ve got more viewers because people are inflamed and they encourage that kind of thing. If we just back away from that ourselves individually and say, “I’m not going to keep buying into that, I’m going to listen to both Fox and CNN. I’m going to try to find out, I’m going to try to just read the actual laws that are being passed, I’m going to try to make my own opinions from things.” We don’t get into that black and white thinking.


Well, I think… I come from business world and I think we need to learn something. And really… I learned some of it, it really put our business hats on when we go into the political realm. And that doesn’t say a business person has to be a politician. I’m not saying that, but there are some business principles which really evolve around and focus on solving the problem. Right? If we’ve got an issue going on, if I’ve got a business issue and I have got a situation where there’s something I’ve got to solve, I bring people around the table and we sit down and we come up with solutions for that.


Sure. And a lot of that’s happening in our politicians. We don’t realize it because they don’t hit the news. But there are hundreds of bills that get passed that are bi-partisan, they both-




They come around the table, they solve the problems, they meet the needs of the people out there and those things don’t hit the news.


And when they do, they start to get overlooked. And just to raise one up here, specifically, in the last year, the prison reform, that was something that you had people on both sides of the aisle go on, this is really a good step and this has taken years to move that forward. And this is really a positive stuff. So, let’s say, yay. Let’s do more of those kinds of things.


When we just look at the negatives, that’s all we see. We go to bed at night with that terrible taste in the back of our stomach. When we try to look at what’s good and what’s bad. A lot of times we have a better outlook.


Right, right. Well, I’m going back to our family members and stuff. Our son and… At the end of the day, my relationship with him is top priority. So, we can see things differently politically, but I have a just locked and loaded in my mind that that relationship is above anything else. So, I think it’s going into that discussion, going into that… If you are a politician, going into that room and sitting around the table and saying relationships are really important here. This mission is really important, but let’s get together and roll up our sleeves and get about doing what we’re here to do in a way that honors each other.


In that case, you’re talking two different levels, you’re talking about just around the table, you and your son and then the politicians around the table.


Exactly, yeah.


And I think both of them can benefit from that advice.


Both of those. Right, right. Sometimes maybe us folks, us voters need to maybe model this and encourage our politicians to do what could be healthy and helpful. But yeah, politics is temporary and there’s going to be Republicans leading at times, there’s going to be Democrats leading at times, maybe some independents at times. Whatever the party is, but that will change… But really beyond the whole political climate is that eternal perspective and the spiritual matters and the whole reality that there is a spiritual part to our life that we’re only here for a short time and God is in control and people will hear that and go, “Well, yeah, but I don’t really believe that,” but lean into that for a little bit. Just go, “Okay, the sun will come up tomorrow.”


Well, we hope so.


We hope so. So, as we’re wrapping up today, let’s tie this back to journey and what we’re here to help with in Journey coaching. Again, Journey coaching is all about intentional healthy relationships. And Terry, did you just want to throw out a thought there of just… The other thing that we should mention here is Terry helped to… And really was instrumental in writing the seventh session coaching workbook for Journey. And just how you see that workbook and people sitting down one-on-one tying into this whole negative political climate and how it might be helpful.


Oh, absolutely. I think where it can come in handy is if you’re a person who has been kind of isolated from other people, you’ve been just sitting in front of the TV or just in front of your screen somehow and getting more and more upset over the political climate. Find somebody, find a friend, talk to… Get away from the screen, talk to somebody else from different opinions, get a coach, find somebody who’s willing to sit down with you. We’ve got this really great coaching process, it’s seven sessions where you learn how your story fits in with everybody else’s story and you learn about your strengths and maybe your weaknesses.


And you put them all together and try to decide, Basically how do I move forward myself? And it takes your eyes off of the bigger thing, the political climate that’s out there and it gets it back onto how do I work on my own personal relationships and how do I build myself? It really comes down to the relationships we have and how we interact with them on a one on one basis that matters more to our lives than what’s going on in the bigger picture.


Well, that’s a great point Terry, because I think sometimes and we’ve talked about this before, you sort of have to have the discussion before the discussion. I think oftentimes we could all use some help of just how to sit down with another person, another couple, because again, Journey Coaching, do it one-on-one or couple to couple, but just how to have good open, honest conversations, right?




That’s huge.


And we’re going to talk about this more in another podcast. We’ve got some ideas coming up and how do we handle disagreements without beating each other up, that sort of thing.




So, I’m looking forward to diving more into that topic-


Right, exactly.


… time.


Well, and you talked about… In just closing here, you talked about a journey starts with sharing our stories with each other. And when we look at politics, we are in unison together all Americans. That’s the common thread we have here when we share our stories. And as-


Unless you’re listening to this from another country.


That’s right. Would that be fun? But… So yeah, as we’re just trying to navigate this climate, let’s start there realizing that we are all Americans and let’s just talk well and humbly and with patience and to just pull the joy that we do have out of living in this really wonderful country. So, thanks again for listening, we appreciate that. As always, let us know how we can serve you. You can reach out to us in a variety of different ways and you can just check us out on The Journey website, Thanks.

Speaker 2:

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Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, special guest, Shelby, returns to the podcast. Shelby shares her eye-opening story on how moving from Iowa to Bolivia changed her perspective from what was once critical to acceptance and excitement in combining 2 different cultures.

Transcription of the Podcast

Shelby: If you’re listening to this and you think like, “Well, I’m not going to go to a different country and definitely not right now,” you don’t have to go to a different country to challenge some of your perspectives on your own culture. Have conversations with people that are different than you. And like I said at the beginning, have those conversations and let them be influential.

Terry: Today, we’re going to talk again with Shelby. We talked to her once before. Shelby did something really interesting. She left our beautiful state and she went to Bolivia. And when you talk about getting to know a whole other culture, that’s a giant leap. So I want to introduce Shelby, let her introduce herself and then we’ll go on from there.

Shelby: Hi, I’m Shelby. I’m so happy to talk about cultures today. I’m no expert, I will say that, but I have I guess a different experience than maybe some living here in Iowa. So my husband is from South America. We have children who are being raised in a bi-cultural, bilingual family. We continue to travel to South America and it’s just interesting to see them growing up in a family that is back and forth between countries and that, that will be a part of their story. Very different from mine because I grew up in farm country here in Iowa and I was surrounded by my own culture. I didn’t have very much diversity in that growing up.

Terry: Can you paint a little picture of what that was like for you to grow up in Iowa?

Shelby: Yeah. So I have family on one side. We have generations from Czechoslovakia, on the other side, from Germany. And we took a lot of pride in that growing up that our grandparents spoke different languages and that they had immigrated here and I knew that was part of our story, but I think even more so, we were like a farm family, grandpa farmed our uncle’s farm. We grew up in the country. I grew up in a small town school and so I think that was important. We took pride in that and loved that, but I didn’t realize how everyone else around me also grew up the exact same way. And so I didn’t get to hear very many perspectives and I didn’t realize that.

Terry: So growing up you didn’t have people from other cultures that kind of showed up at your school or anything like that? It was pretty similar.

Shelby: I would say here and there, and I think a lot of people would probably say, “Yeah, growing up, I came in contact with other cultures,” but not with very heavyweight, like those people from other cultures or different life experiences and perspectives, didn’t have a very big sway, influence or say in my life. So I felt like I could check off that I know a lot of people from other cultures, but they didn’t really have very much influence on me.

Terry: Sure.

Shelby: So.

Terry: So what gave you the idea to leave the farm community of Iowa and go to Bolivia?

Shelby: Well, I think God had that idea.

Terry: Okay

Shelby: Because it was not part of my plan. I didn’t have a specific country in mind. I just wanted to have a gap year before I started school before I started paying my own bills and kind of I got settled into the routine adult life in America. And I thought this is a perfect time, in between high school and adult life to travel. And with me, I thought, I’m going to use that traveling to volunteer and to do some mission work. And so I just started researching mission organizations that would have bases elsewhere. I wasn’t set that I needed to get out of the country, but there was this opening for someone that needed to fill a role at a children’s center in Bolivia. So it was not in my plan ever, but obviously, it was in God’s. So.

Terry: Had you taken Spanish in school at that point?

Shelby: I took Spanish in high school and I really enjoyed it. I was decent at it, but high school Spanish is pretty minimal, but that was all the Spanish I knew. And I’m like, “Yeah, man, it’ll totally be fine.” And then I got there and I think it is definitely the best way to learn a language to be totally submerged, but I was submerged. There was maybe one other person that I knew in that country that could help me with English. And otherwise, it was like, you’re on your own.

Terry: What was it like to just get off the plane that very first day?

Shelby: It was scary and it was so much culture shock. Looking back, I think everything was just like, “Oh my goodness, what?” And now, I get off those same planes years later and I’ve done it several times and it’s like, “Ah, I’m home.” But the first time I got off that plane, I was like, “Why are they driving like that? And why is that tree there? And why is that person talking like that?” Everything was just so foreign and strange. But it’s just crazy how my heart has changed by having different perspectives in my life that now, it’s like, “That’s not strange. That’s normal. That someone else is normal.”

Terry: Right. Did it seem strange because it wasn’t Iowa?

Shelby: Yes. Yes. And I look back on my thoughts when I got off the plane the first time and I’m a little bit embarrassed. I’m like, “Why was I so judgmental?”

Terry: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Shelby: But I was coming from this place of never being exposed to anything else. And so my first thoughts to anything that was different than my norm was judgment. And now, I’m exposed to those exact same things, exact same scenario, get off that plane, see the same stuff, and it’s like, “It’s totally fine. Why was I so judgmental about that?”

Terry: I think that’s a huge point. Did you know or did you realize at the time that you were feeling judgmental or did that just kind of come with experience?

Shelby: I think I did know I was being judgmental, but it was almost like I was justified in being judgmental, like I had a right to complain about the way people drive in another country because, well, my culture drives better. But now that my husband lives here with Iowan drivers, he’s like, “Uh, not necessarily.”

Terry: Because he had the culture shock coming back the other direction.

Shelby: Yeah. Yeah. And he went through the same things of being very judgmental about things that were new to him and strange at that point and now he’s come to terms with. They’re just different.

Terry: Yeah.

Shelby: So.

Terry: That’s awesome. When you think about that first few days or weeks when you were there, were you getting lost a lot? Was there some, I mean, how did you navigate those first few weeks?

Shelby: I have a really good sense of direction so I won’t lie and say I got lost a whole lot but I remember just feeling so fatigued. My body was tired because my mind had been thinking so much.

Terry: Sure.

Shelby: And I was just, didn’t have any emotional capacity to be friendly to people because all of my energy is going into figuring out the word for a four-way stop, just really simple things that were just draining me.

Terry: Sure.

Shelby: And I saw that in my husband too when he came here just like he had just reached his limit in his mind, and you could see it in your body that culture adjustment is, it’s huge. It takes a toll on everything, not just your mind but your emotions and your physical health.

Terry: When you’re trying to translate in your brain the language, when you hear somebody talking and that sort of thing and you’re still thinking in English and guessing and trying to translate that into Spanish, but we know that only about, I’m going to say, an estimate of about 20% of what we communicate is actually verbal, the rest of it is nonverbal. And I would assume that some of their non-verbals would be different than what you might have here and just, how did that all fit in as far as trying to communicate with people?

Shelby: Totally. I think I was probably over-sensitive because I took everything personal instead of just taking it as, it’s a different form of communication, the same tone of voice or the same facial expression might be offensive in American culture, but it’s totally normal in Bolivian culture. And I remember just down to the most simple things, like what movie do you want to watch tonight? And me saying, “I don’t care,” and it being very offensive in the way I said it in Spanish but I’m like, I’m just trying to be like flow… go with the flow. I’m like, “I don’t care.”

Terry: You were trying to be considerate of their feelings and you ended up offending them?

Shelby: Right. And it just kind of was a light bulb to how often within cultures being in relationship with each other does this happen, where it’s just no one’s trying to do something wrong and we get offended easily, be sensitive Sally like me, or we get hurt or we say something we didn’t mean to and it just takes a lot of grace, a lot of grace to combine cultures I think.

Terry: Sure. Well, and as you stayed there, because you were there for a year, and as you went there and interacting with people, tell me about that, what was that like to… because it seems like there’d be some growth that would take place during all of that.

Shelby: Yeah. I think it was really humbling when I went into it and I will venture to say, the way a lot of Americans go into mission work, it was with a savior complex that Jesus is the savior but he’s using me to save, and that’s just not true at all.

Terry: Here I come to save the day.

Shelby: Yes, yes. And of course, I would say, “No, that’s not what I think.” But that is because of our worldview and that is what I thought is that I have been given so much monetarily or physically and there are physical needs, of course, I can help. But it was a humbling process to just see that the need is always Jesus. Yes, there may be physical needs, but someone in a different country is in no more need of Jesus saving their soul than I am of Jesus saving my soul. And that was so humbling and good to be put on an equal level. I think that’s really key for any kind of mission work, whether it’s you being intentional to love on your neighbors or you going across the country, or you going across the world, you have to first come to terms with that even playing field that we are both centers in need of a savior and I’m no better than you. So.

Terry: That’s really good. Anything else you can think of that our listeners might be interested in about your trip to Bolivia?

Shelby: I think that it is interesting to hear and know just how long it takes to build relationships, but how important those are in mission work. So I think a lot of people would like to just go in and do a good deed than dip out of the situation. It’s hard to sit in the hurt with people and to sometimes not have a resolution, but just as important. So I worked with a children’s center for underprivileged children, providing them tutoring, snacks after school, just like organized games and sometimes, a little medical care here, like dental training and just teaching them how to brush their teeth or to clean to avoid infections and that kind of thing. But there wasn’t always a resolution to some of those problems. They’re just living in poverty. Their lives were very difficult. And my job, our team’s job was not to solve it, it was to walk through it with them.

Shelby: And I think that is impactful and that can be applied when you go overseas, that can be applied when you are in your neighborhood. That’s not like a big huge idea, it’s very simple that there sometimes isn’t a resolution to people’s problems. That’s not your job to resolve it, that’s under the control of God. But your job is to walk alongside people, and that can be more impactful. I’m a big believer in just relationships and it takes time and it’s hard, but it is so worth it to build into people.

Terry: Well, and you saw some extreme poverty. Did you see some ways that they were richer than us or things we could learn from them?

Shelby: Yeah. Beautiful, beautiful character. I really admire so many things about Bolivian culture. My husband is from there and his family lives there and I just admire how families function and come together. So I think there’s a lot of countries that have similar cultures, but where grandma, mom, grandkids, even great-grandkids will all be living together and bearing each other’s burdens. Whereas I think in American culture, we outsource a lot of that care, care for grandma or care for childcare instead of being a family unit that kind of pushes in and makes their own community within each other. So I admire that and I admire the work ethic and just the joy that they can have in having little. I think it’s a culture shock for a lot of Americans to go to countries where they don’t have very many things and they’re not very comfortable in American terms, but they’re totally okay. They’re happy and can find joy in that. And it’s really inspiring and encouraging to me.

Terry: That’s really cool. So now you’re back here, your husband is here, you’ve got these three little littles, and tell me about what you’re doing to help them to kind of grow up in a multicultural home.

Shelby: Yeah. I think just letting them know that they have been blessed and not making them feel bad that they’ve been blessed, but knowing that American culture isn’t the norm for everyone in the world and that having all of these things isn’t the end-all. So we’ve been able to do that by going back to my husband’s home country and just living life there and them being exposed to having a bouncy ball and that is enough for the entire day. That’s okay. But also, just having a heart of generosity, whether we’re here or whether we’re there, that things are not our own. Whatever God has given us, it’s to steward well within our family or to give and be generous with. So we’re really trying to build a generous heart. I think that’s something that my husband has because of his culture that he grew up in. They’re very generous. And we just want that to apply wherever we are, whether it’s here or there or another country that can transcend all lines.

Terry: It’s fascinating, and especially when you think about someone from a culture like that where they have a really generous heart and here, we have so much and sometimes, we don’t.

Shelby: Yeah. It’s really crazy. And sometimes, I feel like those are just, those moments that are kind of a gut punch, like, “Why is it that I’m so selfish when I have so much?” And so even in just having my husband and me with our different worldviews or different perspectives or different cultures in the same house, we’ve really challenged each other in some of the behaviors that we have. Like, “Why do you act that way? Is it because of the culture you grew up in or can you see benefits of the other person’s culture that you could put into your life or characteristics that you could take on from each other?”

Terry: Sure. Well, and I think the other question I have for you is, what’s in the future? Do you have any plans to do any more mission work?

Shelby: Oh, this is quite the question. I don’t know. Missions are definitely not off the table. I’m a social worker, so it’s just kind of ingrained in my mind to see needs and that’s a blessing and a curse because I know that God’s the main provider so it means I have to always bring it to him. But I always feel that heart of like, “Okay, we should go, we should serve.” When we’ve talked about, should we live there, should we live here? And the cool thing about our marriage and our family is that nothing is set in stone. When we got married, it was this contract that we might live who knows where and that’s okay. So it’s been kind of peaceful to know that it’s up in the air and that’s how God wants it. So, I don’t know, there may be mission work in the future. We’ve talked about moving back to Bolivia at some point, just that our kids can even grow up in both countries. But only God knows really what will come next.

Terry: Well, and it’s neat that you feel like Bolivia is home too.

Shelby: Yeah.

Terry: I think that makes a huge difference too. If you end up living in Bolivia for a while, it feels like home.

Shelby: Yeah. I think that’s been the work of God, to humble me and to remind me that our allegiance is to God and that we’re both and we’re all in every country, we’re all looking forward to eternity and heaven together, but because we have that firm foundation, then we can look at each other’s countries as a place of home while we’re here on earth.

Terry: Awesome. Anything, any last words or anything that you want to leave people with today that might be helpful for them?

Shelby: If you’re listening to this and you think like, “Well, I’m not going to go to a different country, and definitely not right now,” you don’t have to go to a different country to challenge some of your perspectives on your own culture. Have conversations with people that are different than you and like I said at the beginning, have those conversations and let them be influential. Don’t let them just be a small voice in your head, but really take people’s perspective and give them a little bit of weight that their perspective matters and it’s important and it’s just equally as important as yours.

Terry: Awesome. Very, very good. I love that. Well, I think we’re going to wrap this up today. Thank you for joining us today and I just really appreciate, and everybody who’s out there listening, we really appreciate Shelby coming and sharing with her, her life story. I think one of the first things we do with journey coaching, with the process, is we talk about our stories. The coach first gives their story to the person who they’re coaching and then the other person comes back the next week and shares their story, and it’s through our stories that we identify things like our strengths, our weaknesses, and we identify what’s our worldview, what view of the world do we have, where did it come from? And then we start working on, where do I want to go from here and how do I want to get there?

Terry: And so if you have any interest in getting involved with journey coaching, let us know. Definitely listen to some more of the podcasts if you get a chance to, and we will see you again in another session.

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Is Journey Coaching Spiritual?

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, Lianne, Terry and Sarah discuss how you don’t need to be spiritual or religious to go through Journey Coaching. The material was carefully created in a way that both spiritual and non-spiritual individuals can benefit and grow from coaching.

Transcription of Podcast

Lianne: Hi, welcome back to journey. We’re having a great conversation today. I’m here with Terry and Sarah, and I’m going to let Terry let us know what we’re going to talk about.

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Terry: Oh, this is a really interesting conversation I think that we’re going to have today. I’m really excited about the way it lays out. One of the questions that we’ve been asked is, is Journey Coaching spiritual? Rather than answer it myself, I’m going to throw this over to Sarah see how you answer it.

Sarah: Thank you. Thank you. My answer to that question is that you do not need to be spiritual. You do not need to be a Christian to go through Journey Coaching. Journey Coaching was written because we saw pain points, and the society, or the authors, saw pain points in the society with connection and with connection with people, and that’s really key. Journey Coaching is very much about building intentional relationships and connecting with others, whether you are a Christian or not. Whether you believe in one god, multiple gods, you’re an atheist, agnostic, it does not matter. You can believe whatever you want to believe to go through Journey Coaching.

Terry: I think that’s a really good way of responding. When we were looking at developing the material, that was one of those things where when we said it’s written from a Christian perspective, it’s just our being honest. That’s our worldview. That’s the direction we come from. I don’t want to exclude people.

Terry: When Mike and I were going through this, and Jeff, and we were working on the outline for the material and for all the stuff that we were trying to decide, the goals that we wanted to accomplish, we said from the very beginning, we don’t want to make this about pushing our faith or our Christianity down anybody’s throats. We also felt like we didn’t want to leave it out either because it is part of a lot of people’s worldview.

Terry: For instance, one of the things you’ll notice as you go through the workbook, we have a disclaimer in every section where we talk about things from an everyday kind perspective, but then we get to something from the Christian worldview perspective, we’re talking about strengths from a Christian perspective, or weaknesses, or worldview. We give this little disclaimer and it says something like, if you’re interested in comparing your worldview with a healthy Christian perspective, this section will be helpful. If not, skip to the next steps section later in the session. If somebody says, “Nope, I’m really not going to go through that,” they’re not going to lose anything from the Journey Coaching.

Lianne: I have this question then, because I think that our listeners would have this question, why would you even bring up your Christian – You are a Christian, you have a Christian worldview. Side note: every single person on this planet has a worldview. It’s how you look at the world, so we all have a worldview. You have a Christian worldview. Why would you even mention that when you’re writing this? If you don’t want this to be just for Christians, and you want it for non-Christians too, why wouldn’t you write this without talking about your Christian worldview at all?

Terry: Well, I think there’s a benefit to both believers and nonbelievers, Christians, or people who have other faiths. There’s a lot of misconceptions out there when you can go through the internet and you can find all kinds of different misconceptions about Christianity, and obviously I can’t speak about other faiths, but I can speak about that one.

Terry: I think one of the things I wanted to do is is I wanted to give people a perspective that might help them someday. Let’s say you’re not a believer, you’re not a Christian, and you’re working with Christians. There’s a lot of people who’ve asked us what are they thinking? Where do they get this information? Why does a Christian believe this, or what do they believe? This book, if you want to, you can go through, and that’ll give you some insight on that. I think it’s great for Christians who are going through the material because it helps them to see that the world view that I have is not the only one out there. There’s a lot of people who believe that they’re Christians, and yet a lot of their world view is very secular. It’s very non-faith based.

Sarah: On the opposite side of that, I do think that a lot of agnostics and atheists do exhibit some Christian worldview, and it would be interesting to dive into that, for people to realize, wait a second, you know what? I don’t believe in this Jesus person, but … Not realizing, they’ll say, I really believe in taking care of people and serving people, that’s a Christian worldview right there. That’s from a Christian worldview. On page 47 here, after you go through things, one of the questions is how did your worldview line up with what you just read about? This is part of the workbook or whatever, so to dig into that, and to realize, wait a second, maybe I’m an …

Sarah: One of our earlier podcasts talked about risking new relationships and how if you dive into relationships with people who you might think that you would be friends with, you’ll actually be surprised. I do believe that people put up barriers with each other and argue with others who they think are different than them.I’m going to go on a passionate rant here. This happens all the time on social media, that people are fighting against each other, and they’re coming from the same exact place. I think that if we dive into relationships, and ask questions more, and dive into what your worldview is and how that compares with other people’s worldviews, you’ll realize that you’re coming from a very similar place.

Terry: You find a lot of times that there are more similarities than there are differences, if you really take the time to have those conversations. Journey is designed to facilitate those conversations. That’s really all it is.

Lianne: To both of your points, I’m chiming in. How many times right now do you get an opportunity to sit down with anyone who doesn’t think exactly like you are, slow down, and take the time to cover the ground to say, what do you think about this? What do you think about this? That’s interesting. We have this common ground here. We don’t have this common ground here. How many times do you get that opportunity? Probably not on Twitter, to you.

Sarah: No, but on longer forums, on Facebook too. I’m very much an extrovert. I have in-depth conversations with people on on Facebook and stuff. You’re right. How often do you get to sit face-to-face over coffee, over breakfast, over dinner, sitting down with someone in a safe atmosphere where you can ask those hard questions that you don’t know who to ask of because you’re concerned. Maybe you grew up in a Christian home, and you don’t think that you believe what your family believes, and yet you don’t know where to go to ask those questions. Journey Coaching is that safe place to do that.

Terry: We’ve kind of established that Journey Coaching is not a specific type a church, it’s not as spirituality. It has at it’s root some explanation of what some of the Christian worldview, and that sort of thing, is, but it was designed for anybody to go through it. You don’t have to be a believer in order to go through it. What do you think, Sarah, as far as how can we explain that to someone who hasn’t considered doing something like this because of their…

Sarah: The big question I think that people would have is, and I mentioned it earlier, why even bring up Christianity? If you don’t need to be a Christian to go through this, why even talk about it? The answer that I would give to that is, because of my Christian worldview, that I think is a biblical view. God really does care about people, and he loves people, and he wants people to be in intentional, close, deep relationships with each other, and he cares about relationships. He wants to be in relationship with us. He wants us to be in relationship with each other. Out of that Christian, biblical worldview, Journey was born, so it’s really hard to disengage the Christian worldview from the motive that is out of that.

Sarah: It would have been really hard for you to disengage those two from each other, but just because it was birthed out of a Christian worldview does not absolutely mean that you need to have a Christian worldview to go through it.

Terry: The fact that it’s listed in there the way that we’ve listed it is an attempt to be totally honest and transparent. This is a full disclosure that this is what our worldview is, those of us who wrote the book and the material. I don’t want it to look like a bait and switch or any of those kinds of things. This is just a full disclosure. This is where we’re coming from, but we want everyone to be able to gain and benefit from the Journey Coaching.

Sarah: I have to nail home again. I mentioned it earlier in the podcast, but you’re not a project when you’re going through. People are not projects when they’re going through Journey Coaching. I went through Journey Coaching last year with Leanne, who is on the podcast with us. I’m a Christian, and I went through it, and Christians go through it, non-Christians go through it. You’re not a project to Journey when you’re involved in Journey. It’s about intentional relationships and growing in your strengths.

Lianne: Thank you so much for exploring this topic today. It sounds like there’s more to be explored about it, but this catches the highlights of it.

Sarah: Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or anything. You can DM us on Instagram, or send us a message on Facebook, or email or anything like that.

Lianne: I’m going to throw it back to Sarah to close us out today. Bye. Thank you all for being with us.

Sarah: Follow us. You can find this, like I said, Instagram and Facebook. We will talk to you later. Bye.

Terry: Bye.

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What is Worldview?

In this episode, we will discuss what ‘worldview’ is, and how we use worldview in the Journey Coaching curriculum. We also discuss how everyone has some type of view of the world.

Sarah: Welcome to the Journey podcast. I’m Sarah, and I have Mike, and David, and Terry here, and our topic today is coming straight from the Journey Workbook.

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Sarah: I’m going to read a little bit of this. “Journey coaching was developed from a Christian perspective. To participate you don’t need to follow those beliefs. But throughout the material you will have an opportunity to compare your personal philosophy or worldview with a basic understanding of the healthy Christian point of view. That perspective which teaches us to serve everyone, love everyone, and care for everyone. Everyone regardless of their worldview was modeled by Jesus.” So that’s what we’re talking about today with The Journey podcast. Who wants to start here? I’m just going to draw a number. I’m just going to pick.

Mike: Pick number four.

Sarah: Yes, Mike, you’re up. Mike, you’ve got the mic. That’s the second time I’ve said that. It’s going to get old.

Mike: I think that this is an important topic because we could be easily misunderstood here. And that’s a concern that we all have. We love Christians, and we love those who have not come to believe in Jesus yet. But those who have not come to believe in Jesus yet, we want to introduce them to Jesus. The leading edge of this is to help people regardless as you or as you heard there, we’re helping people understand their strengths, we’re helping people understand their weaknesses and their worldview, but while they’re doing that, we’re helping them understand the Christian worldview. So it is a great benefit just to help people move forward in life. And if we serve them in that way, we have great joy in that because Jesus did that.

Sarah: Mike, can you explain worldview a little bit?

Mike: I sure can. A worldview is the way that a person answers kind of the big questions, where did I come from, why am I here, what is my purpose. So people have ways of thinking about what their purpose is, why they’re here, what they’re doing, where they came from, and that shapes kind of how they think about their world and how they make decisions every day.

Sarah: And everyone has a worldview, right? We all have a worldview.

Terry: We all have some kind of a worldview. And I think that worldview tends to become the lens by which we look at everything, how we see. If we believe that we were just made by accident, that’s the lens by which we see all the things that happened around us.

Mike: And it is a huge service. I think a lot of people walk around and they don’t, they haven’t summarized, they don’t understand what their worldview is. They make decisions. Everybody makes decisions out of a worldview, whether they know what it is or not, and we want to help them articulate it and we want to help them understand what a Christian one is.

Sarah: What’s the benefit then of articulating, knowing your worldview? Because you have it. Why will that benefit your life if you know what it is, if you bring it to the forefront of your brain? David, you might be able to answer this one?

David: Well, it could too, right. Worldview, I taught a class for seven and eighth graders one year on worldview. And talk about worldview. Seven and eighth graders have got some phenomenal worldviews and the way they see the world around them and their world that they’re in. But I think there’s a difference between the word culture and a worldview. So often we try to bring people to a point where sometimes they think we’re talking about culture. You’re an American. You must be talking about this or that. When in reality the worldview has to do with who Jesus Christ is and his perspective in the world and beginning to adapt our worldview to his view.

Terry: Well, I think you’re right. I think there is a … There’s a bleed over in the way culture is and worldview though. I mean, I believe sometimes our culture is part of our worldview, but you’re right, it’s not an either or.

David: Right, it can be a blend. But for some people, they don’t want, especially if it’s a Christian culture to come into … or the Christian worldview, they don’t want that to come into their culture. They try to keep them separated. But it’s just interesting to live around people, especially Iowa city where there’s such a huge blend of worldviews, and so all over the place.

Terry: Right, because you’ve got people coming in from all over the world into the university, correct. When you think about worldview too, I think one of the things that I think about from a counseling perspective, we often talk to people about their core beliefs, what are your core beliefs, because those core beliefs become a filter to what you, how you see the world. If you have a core belief, an underlying belief that I’m capable and I’m confident and I can do the things I want to do, you’re going to set out and do more things. If you have a core belief that says I’m worthless, and some people do have that core belief that I’m worthless, then that filter is a lot of the things, getting a job, they may not try for certain jobs because they don’t feel like they can get it. Our worldview kind of encompasses part of that too, who do we believe that we are.

Mike: And when you’re disconnected from that, you’re making decisions and you don’t know why you are. And you may think that you’re walking down a path the way thinking that it’s being driven by one thing, when really it’s being driven by another. I’ve had people that I’ve sat down with who’ve said, “I believe I want to go this direction, but I believe x,” and x leads a different direction, and they don’t see the disconnect. If you’re a Christian out there, that happens very often because the bible teaches us certain kind of worldview, yet you’re making a decision. I’ll sit down with someone and say, “This decision is actually based on a different worldview,” and they actually don’t even know it. If you don’t know what your worldview is, you can live in or you can think you’re doing one thing and live inconsistently with it. That’s really important to have that connection.

Terry: There are a lot of people out there who believe that they have a Christian worldview, but yeah, when you really get down to look at it and analyze it, a lot of their worldview is coming from secular areas, it’s coming from just other places growing up.

Mike: For sure.

David: Yeah, I found that a lot of people have their worldviews from religions. Their church teaches them this or that. And so then they try to become what the church is dictating in their lives, this is what it means to be a Christian. When in reality we need to have a biblical worldview. What does the bible say? Who does Jesus say when he says, “I am the way, the truth, the life,” what is that life? It’s not just a religious that he is the savior, but he also comes with a type of life and a culture and a worldview that we need to then become an imitator of, and that’s what he talks about in becoming a disciple, is that you become, and that’s why that word Jesus comes from, a little Jesus. Well how do you make your worldview similar to who Jesus is?

Mike: Yeah, and the difficulty is carrying out, living out something that you don’t understand, you can’t do that. So the reason why it’s so important for us to come from a Christian perspective it’s because we believe that God ordered the world to work in a certain way, and the best and happiest way to live is outside of that worldview. We want people to know that worldview, not so that they are constrained by our rules, but so they’re set free to live the way God designed them to live. We don’t apologize from coming from a Christian perspective because we believe that is what’s best for everyone and not constraining but it’s freeing.

Sarah: Can you give an example of that Mike?

Mike: Yeah. I think when you’re trying to move, when you’re trying to make a decision in life that is guided by a certain principle, so if you truly are trying to connect with this is what I believe, this is what comes from a Christian perspective, and then this is what I’m trying to do, if you don’t, if you’re connected with that piece …

David: Talking about a worldview, as we’re talking about it, this verse comes to mind. “For God so loved the world.” Talk about a worldview. He looked at the world past, present, and future, and people, not as a creation and as a material thing, but as us as people.

Terry: And we’re not always lovable.

David: No, but yet for God so loved. And that word loved is the deepest, most radical, fantastic love in the world, and that’s the way he looks at us.

Sarah: And so when someone is living inside that worldview, and entering the … interacting with people with that worldview on their brain and their heart, what happens?

David: You end up seeing that you want to help people get to know who Jesus is and see his view of things and how he loves them, rather than trying to manipulate or to change or direct, coach even, and there might be a wrong term, in the wrong direction. You want to make sure that they are moving towards who Jesus is. I think that’s what we’re here doing and coaching. It’s not about us or about a Christian philosophy or our worldview. It’s about what is Jesus’ worldview, how does he see it? What’s his plan for us? It’s interesting, God, Jesus has a plan for everyone of our lives, if we’ll follow it.

Mike: Thank you David. That was actually a great example. But the one that’s been on my heart probably for six months is something like marriage. Worldview that says the goal of finding a partner is somebody who can satisfy me. That’s what the culture says. That’s what a worldview. I’m looking for a mate that meets my needs. In the end will backfire on you because it’s built on selfishness which is the opposite of what God designed marriage to be [crosstalk]

Terry: Well, yeah, and the other person is going into marriage for the same reason.

Mike: Exactly.

Terry: And both people are standing there, trying to expect the other person to meet their needs.

Mike: Absolutely. That worldview is destructive. God created a mechanism or a worldview around how that’s supposed to work that actually will be beautiful and work for people and give them a happy life. When two people die to themselves and give their life for the other and they’re both doing that for each other, they will get their needs met, versus trying to take what they want from the other person will just irritate that person and turn into this spiral. So that’s-

Terry: That is a great example-

Mike: … probably the most common way where worldview gets people in trouble if they get it from the culture versus if they get it from the bible, from a Christian worldview.

Terry: I think there’s a lot of those kind of examples we could use at different times. But I think that’s a really good example.

Sarah: And I think that we are done for today. And next time …

David: Wow, this is going to be good.

Mike: Thanks for giving me time for that. Sarah, you were great in this.

Sarah: So keep listening to The Journey podcast and we’ll talk to you later. Bye.

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