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Abundant Life: You Were Made for More Podcast

John 10:10 is a promise fulfilled.  Jesus came down to Earth so that we would have life – and have it abundantly!

We pray that every Church would have:

• Teenagers knowing and believing who they were created to be – because our identity changes everything!

• Youth groups that discuss issues such as sexuality and relationships with teens.

• Parents equipped to create safe spaces for teens to wrestle with the differences between our culture & our faith.

• Students who have been set free by the power of the Gospel and understand how the Good News equips us to fully live out our earthly relationships.

So, buckle up as we take this journey and  look at what God has to say about friendships, relationships, sexuality, dating, and ALL the things in between.

We are so glad you’re here!

Episode 24: COVID-19 / Fear & Anxiety / God's Principles and Promises

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and protection.” Psalm 91:4 (NIV)

Welcome to a special episode of the You Were Made for More podcast! If you’re a subscriber and you normally spend time with us, you probably have picked up on the fact that we release episodes once every 2 weeks - so, technically, this is a bonus episode for you guys!

I was really feeling called to spend some time talking about everything happening in the world with COVID-19 - obviously we’ve been quarantined for around 4 weeks now and everyone is handling it differently. I know personally, I’ve dealt with all of the normal emotions - anger, uncertainty, impatience, loneliness, and sadness. All things which I’m sure if you’re honest, you’ve dealt with them, too. Then, there have been days where I feel great - content and thankful for the health of my family and I and able to focus on the Word of God instead of everything happening around me.

Instead of just moving on with regularly scheduled programming, I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the hard feelings while also offering you some encouragement that has been life-changing for me during this season. Join us as we come together and talk about God's promises resting on His principles, and how that should give us hope to approach this season with courage and approach His throne by praying boldly. I know you'll be as encouraged by this closer look at Psalm 91 as I was.

Here are some things we mentioned in this episode: 

  • Song: Land of the Living (You Don't Lie), Church of the City

Be sure to stay up to date with Abundant Life: You Were Made for More by visiting our blog - and if you're loving the podcast, send guest recommendations to us or leave us a star-rating/review on your favorite listening platform to spread the word about the you were made for more message.

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Episode 23: The Power of An Invitation (With Sarah McSweeney)

In this episode, Sammie talks with one of her former youth group students, turned friend, about the power of an invitation, being faithful to our callings as youth leaders, and what it looks like to partner with parents as a youth leader. Sarah McSweeney is not only one of my dearest friends, but she also holds such a special place in my heart because she actually was one of the first youth group students I ever had when I became a youth leader my freshman year of college. Since then, she has graduated high school, started attending college herself, and has begun leading student ministry faithfully in the church she grew up in.

Sarah’s one of my greatest gifts, and our relationship reminds me of the redemptive work that can be done through broken people like myself, all because of Jesus. I asked Sarah to come on the podcast today to talk about the importance of youth leaders in the lives of students. I know and believe that God sees these relationships as being so, so important and I know that they can be life-changing. For me, relationships that were with older, wiser adults who weren’t my parents were CRITICAL to my spiritual and personal development.

We dive into the idea that being a youth leader looks a lot like being a disciple of Jesus... there are so many different aspects and roles that go into the calling that at times, it can feel hard, heavy, and challenging. If you're in need of encouragement in the season you're in (let's be honest, we're all struggling a little bit in the midst of the COVID-19 Crisis!), this is where you'll find some.

Be sure to stay up to date with Abundant Life: You Were Made for More by visiting our blog - and if you're loving the podcast, send guest recommendations to us or leave us a star-rating/review on your favorite listening platform to spread the word about the you were made for more message.

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Episode 22: Episode 22: Sexual Objectification and What It Really Means to Advocate for Women (With Mindy Summers)
Worldwide, 97 billion dollars per year goes into the sex industry. The average age of someone who enters the sex industry is 12 years old. 80% of human trafficking is done through the commercial sex industry (strip clubs, pornography, etc.).
Today, we’re going to have the opportunity to hear a conversation that I had with the founder of SoLoved - Mindy Summers. Mindy is a young wife and mother who six years ago began a ministry to people who are making a living in the sex-industry, which we now know as “SoLoved.” It's pretty clear once you get to know Mindy that she isn't doing this for the attention - she doesn't really desire any attention, so I was honored when I sent her an email and asked if she would be a guest on the You Were Made for More Podcast and... she said yes!
Mindy and her team reach out to women in their community who work in the sex industry. Their entire goal is to build relationships & sisterhood with the ladies in strip clubs. They want them to know they are loved, valued, seen & that we so enjoy who they are. Every month they bring gifts, homemade treats, handwritten love notes and homemade meals to each club. Mindy has seen the brokenness that sexual exploitation causes firsthand, and without judgement, she's made it her life mission to advocate for women and men who are enslaved to this industry that is full of darkness and danger. She believes deeply in justice and equality for ALL people and I think that's truly remarkable.
Here's a quote from Mindy that sums up a bit of her experience: "This is the thing- I am not sheltered. I spend hours in strip clubs every month. Hours. I’ve been doing this for nearly 6 years. I’ve seen a lot of stuff. Our SoLoved team desires to build relationships with the precious women within the walls of these establishments. They are treasures. Most of them are there because of childhood trauma & abuse, lack of opportunity and/or manipulation or coercion. They didn’t dream of this. It isn’t empowering…it’s where they are and they are doing the best with what they’ve been dealt.…And the men. The men who go…most of them are sorting out their own brokenness within these walls. Porn addiction, broken relationships, loneliness, power trips & addiction are many of their stories."
Mindy and her team are living the Gospel that’s for sure - and after our conversation, I would consider her a friend and someone I admire. I can’t wait for you to hear this conversation, so just dive in!
Here are some things we mentioned in this episode: 
Be sure to stay up to date with Abundant Life: You Were Made for More by visiting our blog - and if you're loving the podcast, send guest recommendations to us or leave us a star-rating/review on your favorite listening platform to spread the word about the you were made for more message.
You Were Made for More Social Media: 

Episode 22: Episode 22: Sexual Objectification and What It Really Means to Advocate for Women (With Mindy Summers)
Worldwide, 97 billion dollars per year goes into the sex industry. The average age of someone who enters the sex industry is 12 years old. 80% of human trafficking is done through the commercial sex industry (strip clubs, pornography, etc.).
Today, we’re going to have the opportunity to hear a conversation that I had with the founder of SoLoved - Mindy Summers. Mindy is a young wife and mother who six years ago began a ministry to people who are making a living in the sex-industry, which we now know as “SoLoved.” It's pretty clear once you get to know Mindy that she isn't doing this for the attention - she doesn't really desire any attention, so I was honored when I sent her an email and asked if she would be a guest on the You Were Made for More Podcast and... she said yes!
Mindy and her team reach out to women in their community who work in the sex industry. Their entire goal is to build relationships & sisterhood with the ladies in strip clubs. They want them to know they are loved, valued, seen & that we so enjoy who they are. Every month they bring gifts, homemade treats, handwritten love notes and homemade meals to each club. Mindy has seen the brokenness that sexual exploitation causes firsthand, and without judgement, she's made it her life mission to advocate for women and men who are enslaved to this industry that is full of darkness and danger. She believes deeply in justice and equality for ALL people and I think that's truly remarkable.
Here's a quote from Mindy that sums up a bit of her experience: "This is the thing- I am not sheltered. I spend hours in strip clubs every month. Hours. I’ve been doing this for nearly 6 years. I’ve seen a lot of stuff. Our SoLoved team desires to build relationships with the precious women within the walls of these establishments. They are treasures. Most of them are there because of childhood trauma & abuse, lack of opportunity and/or manipulation or coercion. They didn’t dream of this. It isn’t empowering…it’s where they are and they are doing the best with what they’ve been dealt.…And the men. The men who go…most of them are sorting out their own brokenness within these walls. Porn addiction, broken relationships, loneliness, power trips & addiction are many of their stories."
Mindy and her team are living the Gospel that’s for sure - and after our conversation, I would consider her a friend and someone I admire. I can’t wait for you to hear this conversation, so just dive in!
Here are some things we mentioned in this episode: 
Be sure to stay up to date with Abundant Life: You Were Made for More by visiting our blog - and if you're loving the podcast, send guest recommendations to us or leave us a star-rating/review on your favorite listening platform to spread the word about the you were made for more message.
You Were Made for More Social Media: 

Episode 21: Sexual Assault: When the Gospel Becomes So Real You Can't Ignore It (With Cassidy Mills)
"In my grief, ultimately, there is still a gift." -Cassidy Mills
In this episode, Sammie talks with Cassidy Mills about her experience with sexual assault, the healing that she's found in a relationship with Jesus, and ultimately, what it means to walk through life-altering trauma with your eyes on Him.
I spent a long time praying about someone who could share their story with truth and vulnerability. Sexual brokenness is so evident in our culture and this is such an important topic; I reached out to Cassidy through a mutual friend, who accepted my invitation to share and chat with so much grace, being up front about how it would be challenging but she knew the Lord was calling her to do it. That’s when I knew Cassidy was definitely the person who was supposed to share on the You Were Made for More Podcast. I hope you love meeting her as much as I did, and I hope her testimony encourages you to lean into God, even when things don’t seem to make sense.
Today’s conversation will be tough, so I encourage you that if you have experienced sexual assault, whether that be in a relationship or at random, please talk to someone about that - my hope is that Cassidy sharing her story will inspire others to share theirs. It’s so true when they say that the devil thrives in the darkness. He will convince you that it’s easier not to talk about it, not to share - but I can tell you personally that that’s one of the biggest lies that you can believe. As you share, light breaks into the darkness - and if you believe in the Bible, if you believe in the God who created all things and sustains all things, you know that HE IS LIGHT. He will break through whatever darkness you are experiencing if you give him the chance to. Never underestimate the power of reaching out to somebody who cares about you, will listen to you, and will walk with you. We weren’t meant to do this life alone.
Here are some things we mentioned in this episode:
  • Cassidy's Email Address: cassidyclai@aol.com
Be sure to stay up to date with Abundant Life: You Were Made for More by visiting our blog - and if you're loving the podcast, send guest recommendations to us or leave us a star-rating/review on your favorite listening platform to spread the word about the you were made for more message.
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Episode 20: What Happens When The Party's Over? (A Study of Job's Life)
In this episode, Sammie tackles the story of Job's life in the second part of our abundance series. If you missed the first episode, go ahead and listen to episode 19 before you hit play on this one! In that episode, Sammie's husband, Juan dives into an analogy of life being God's party - one where we're all invited, everything we could ever need or want is there, and God is the generous host. He talks about what abundance really means in the here and now, and it sets this week's episode up really well.
If you've ever felt like your life is the furthest thing from a party, this episode is for you. We all go through seasons where life seems to be throwing us all sorts of curve balls, we feel tested, and we're not really sure what's going on. Sammie takes the time to tackle an important question: when life doesn't feel like the party, does that mean that the Giver (God), isn't good and doesn't love us anymore?
Be sure to stay up to date with Abundant Life: You Were Made for More by visiting our blog - and if you're loving the podcast, send guest recommendations to us or leave us a star-rating/review on your favorite listening platform to spread the word about the you were made for more message.
You Were Made for More Social Media: 

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