Grounded Podcast

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What it Means to Be Peacemakers, with Tara Barthel and Laura Booz

Are you living in light of God’s peace? Though we live in a seemingly chaotic world, we have an opportunity to become peacemakers. Tara Barthel shares how God led her on the journey of peacemaking, and she explains how we can be people of peace. We’ll also hear from Laura Booz as she takes us to Scripture where we see Jesus, our ultimate peacemaker.

Connect with Tara:


Twitter: @tarabarthel


Connect with Laura:

Twitter: @LauraBooz


Episode Notes:

Special resources from Tara:

Expect Something Beautiful with Laura Booz podcast:


Dannah Gresh: Good morning my dear friends, and welcome back to Grounded. I'm Dannah Gresh.

Portia Collins: And I'm Portia Collins.

Dannah: So how are you this morning? Really? Do you need some hope, some perspective? How about some peace?

Portia: You know, we all need some of that. Here in the U.S. we just recognized Sanctity of Human Life Sunday—a reminder for us to continue the fight for life. And later this week, our nation's capital will be flooded with more than 25,000 troops for the Presidential Inauguration. There's one headline I read this morning that sums up the condition of our country: “Banner Headlines for Tumultuous Times.”

Dannah: I actually printed that article out last night. I read it too. It went on to report, every once in a while, a news headline calls out for a big bold font. Those headlines keep coming up.

Portia: The whole world is feeling it. A Grounded viewer from outside the U.S. wrote, “My heart grieves for all the conflict all around us in all parts of the globe.” In contrast to all of this, we want to talk about peace. True peace that comes from God. 

Dannah: It's kind of fitting today, because this is a day we set aside to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. We consider him to have wanted to use peace as a means to bring change. And as we consider what it means to be a peacemaker, I've been thinking that the Bible tells us that we have a special opportunity right now. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers . . .” Now think about this. You don't need peacemakers unless there's a lack of peace. Like, there certainly was in the day and age when Jesus lived. And we sure need them right now. So today, we're sending you an invitation to become one. 

Portia: That's right. But before you RSVP, we're looking for peacemakers with a certain perspective. We say that word a lot around here, every week actually, because our perspective can be fickle. If we are not grounded in God's Word. You better believe it, but I . . .

Dannah: You better believe it, but I gotta be honest, Portia. I really try to be a woman grounded in God's Word. But this peacemaking still seems extra hard right now. I feel like I need armor to participate in almost any conversation right now. 

In fact, a few nights ago, I just had to go to bed at six p.m., that is really early for Dannah Gresh. After this really difficult exchange with one of my dearest friends, I was exhausted. But I still couldn't sleep. The war out there was raging in here. And here's the thing, I was in the Word and my friend was in the Word, but we could not agree. So you know what I decided? 

Portia: Tell me, friend. Give it to me.

Dannah: I will. This is what I decided. This is complicated. It's easy for me to lose my perspective. And let me be honest, it's easy for me to lose my cool right now. 

Portia: You know what, Dannah, I really appreciate your transparency, because I’ve felt some of that as well. We could use more of your transparency and your perspective, because I think that the heart posture of every true peacemaker is humility. Humility drives us to fix our eyes, fix our gazes on Jesus, because we know that without Him, our perspectives would be deeply flawed.

Dannah: Oh, that is good. Along those lines,I think weneed to get over the notion that any of us as individuals are capable of bringing peace to this broken place wecall earth.

I was thinking that the book of Ephesians defines peace, not as the absence of unrest, not as complete agreement and unity. Nope. Ephesians says that in the middle of a lot of confusion and conflict, peace is Jesus. Peace. Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.

Portia: Yes, yes, yes, exactly. You know, I get all hyped up when you start reading those Scriptures to me. I want to bring the peace of Christ to brokenness. And we know you do, too. So help us spread the word that Grounded is on right now; hit that share button. Let's keep our comments and our thoughts focused on Jesus, not our ideologies, or political platforms.

Dannah: Today we're going to be joined by Tara Barthel. She's weathered church and personal conflicts and comes up with so much peace. She professionally helps others do the same today.

Portia: And Laura Booz is also here to help us get grounded in God's Word. She always helps me to think of Scripture in new ways. 

Dannah: Yeah, me too. I think we have two more faves with us this morning. Hey, Erin, Alejandra.

Portia: You beauties here today?

Erin: We are here. 

Alejandra: We are indeed. 

Erin: We wouldn't miss Grounded for the world. And we're here with some good news. But we've got a little bit of a good news / bad news scenario for you this morning. Alejandra, if somebody comes to you and says, “Hey, you want the good news or the bad news first?” Which one do you pick?

Alejandra: Ah sister, give me the bad news. First, just rip off the Band-Aid.

Erin: I am the same way. Just give me the bad stuff first. So that's what we're gonna start with here. The bad news for today's good news story happened way back in September, when someone stole Robbie Pruitt's bike.

Alejandra: Well, Robbie is a pastor who discovered that he loved building bikes while he was on a mission trip in Haiti. He actually lives in Virginia, and someone stole his bike from the back of his car there in Virginia,

Erin: Right off the back of his car. Robbie decided, okay, I'll just go replace that bike. Except he discovered that was not an easy thing to do. Bicycles have been in extremely high demand since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Alejandra: That's right. We've reported here on Grounded that bicycles have been flying off the shelves and that record numbers of people have been biking since the epidemic began.

Erin: That's good news, unless your bike gets stolen and you need to replace it, then not so much. So it occurred to Robbie that maybe the person who stole his bike didn't just do it to be ornery, but maybe that person needed some wheels to get to work and they couldn't find a bike anywhere to buy. And so Robbie had this idea. 

He posted on social media that he would fix anyone's bicycle for free. And he would accept unwanted bicycles and he would fix those bicycles and give them away.

Alejandra: Very importantly, in that posted he also said that he was praying that his stolen bicycle will meet the need for the person who stole it. I mean, talk about a peacemaker.

Erin: Yeah, I think if someone stole my bicycle, I might not be inclined to pray for them. I love that. Well, lots of bicycles started showing up. By the time Robbie rang in the new year a few weeks ago, he had repaired nearly 150 bicycles. And then, he either gave those bicycles away to people who needed them, or he returned them to their owners. And he did all of that for free!

Alejandra: He gives bicycles to anyone who asks. He works hard to find children and families who are struggling, and he gives them bikes.

Erin: And he's also teaching people in his community how to fix their own bicycles. I could stand to learn a thing or two about that. He sees that as opportunities to share God's love. I read one article about this phenomenon where Robbie said one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It’s Revelation 21:5, and it says, “‘Behold, I make all things new.’ I feel like I'm part of making something old, new again, or something abandoned, usable again.” And I love that idea. 

Alejandra: You know what, it's interesting that it all started with bad news of having his bicycle stolen, but Robbie turned that frustration that problem into an opportunity to love his neighbors. And that is good news.

Erin: That is good news. Do you have some good news? I bet you do. Big or small. I want to hear it. You can always drop your good news stories in the chat. We read them there. I love looking at the chat after Grounded is over. Or, we've got a special place for you to put those. Some of you have taken advantage of that, and I love that. You leave us these long stories. Sometimes we'll pull from them for Grounded. Sometimes they just make my heart sing. So, you go to

Listen, you don't need me to tell you this Monday morning, that there is a lot of bad news. But sharing good news is just one little way we can help each other stay grounded. Dannah?

Dannah: Well, friends, it's time to get grounded with God's people. Our guest today has devoted her life to peacemaking, as in professionally. She's trained as a lawyer, but she's also the author of several books on the topic of peacemaking. She's a member of the Christian Institute for Conciliation, and I've got to mention, she's a wife and a mom. Please welcome Tara Barthel. Hello, friend, how are you this morning?

Tara Barthel: Good morning. Thanks so much for having me on. I'm doing very well.

Dannah: Well, I'm gonna guess that that impressive list on your bio, of all the things, being a wife and a mom is your favorite job. Because you actually have on your website, that you decline a lot of mediation requests because, and I want to quote this because I love it, “You're treasuring the last few years with your daughters at home.”

Tara: It's true. We actually have a funny family of three introverts. I'm one of the introverts, and we have one extrovert. We have quite a gap between my 17-year-old daughter and my 11-year-old daughter. So we really are enjoying even just these last few months, as the Lord wills, to be together and quiet.

Dannah: I love that, and I'm inny too.

Tara: People might not think it.

Dannah: People never guessed that we had. A lawyer. When you're a speaker, they're like they have to be extroverted. No. 

All right, Tara, take us on a journey. How did God open your eyes to see that peacemaking was something you actually wanted to devote your life to?

Tara: Well, I was actually raised in an abusive childhood home. If anyone's familiar with the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, it's called the ACES Study (and if you're not, I encourage you to get to know it), but it looks at traumas that children may endure in their growing up years. So mine had to do with mentally ill parents, and addictive parents, alcoholism, etc. abuse, sexual molestation, etc. As I grew up, the Lord graciously saved me as a teenager through friends in the public school. And then I got to go to college. 

It was in law school, actually, as a first-year law student, that I attended a Christian Legal Society Meeting. That's where I began to learn about this. It’s not just lawyers. I'll tell you, some of the most gifted professional peacemakers are not lawyers, or retired judges or paralegals. They're homemakers. We had a pig farmer in Iowa in our network, who was just the most wise and godly and biblically astute peacemaker you're ever going to be. 

But I did learn about it in law school. I went to the training, and then I began serving in this area. When I was twenty-nine years old, living back in Chicago, they asked me to come and join the staff to work with Ken Sande and work in the professional field of Christian Mediation.

Dannah: You're talking about the Christian Institute for Conciliation? I have to ask, what's the word conciliation mean? I think that means reconciliation. Am I missing something?

Tara: It's a great question. Back in the 70s, even as Christian Legal Society was taking to heart 1 Corinthians 6 and other passages, they said, “Wow, we lawyers have a special duty to equip and assist Christians and their churches to respond to conflict, biblically right, and to keep as much matter as possible out of the secular courts and inside the wisdom of the church.” So rather than using the word mediation or arbitration or even what we call conflict coaching (which is what a lot of what I do, like at women's events, one-on-one at the book table, etc.), we just use it as a catch-all term. 

It's a term when we put a church intervention team on site at a parachurch ministry that's in conflict, or an organization or a church. We use the word “conciliation,” so it could mean mediation, arbitration, conflict coaching, organizational intervention.

Dannah: Okay, put on your conflict coaching hat, go ahead and put it on. We need it today.

Tara: My hair, it will go over my curly hair.

Dannah: So, here's the question I want to ask. I want to get right down to the most important ingredient necessary for a conflict to end in peace, whether it's two friends talking about the Inauguration on Wednesday or two friends talking about masks or vaccinations. I mean, what is the ingredient that we need to have as Christian sisters, so that we have peace?

Tara: Well, of course, the answer to every question ultimately is, Jesus. So, I'm going to start out by saying, of course, our hearts fixed on glorifying and lifting up Jesus, knowing His Word by His Spirit in our churches. 

Let me give your listeners two specific Bible passages that I think are great to just jot down especially in these tumultuous times. The first is 2Timothy 2:24–26. This is one of the first passages we memorized as a family. It says “The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, he must be kind to everyone able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him, he must gently instruct, and the hope that God will grant them repentance and lead them to a knowledge of the truth.”

And then that ties me right to Romans 12:18, and to remember that we aren't we can't make peace. There's no Christian mediator that can make peace. There's no laborers that can make peace. But we recall Romans 12 says, “In as much as it depends on us to live in peace with others.” 

And so, how do we redeem those conflicts in our systemic societal, racial injustices, other injustices? How do we redeem those conflicts that are with our little two-year-old and five-year-olds? And in our multimillion dollar contract disputes? And sexual abuse of little twelve-year-old girls by youth pastors in our church basements. How we remember these very important things and that our role is to do what we can in our sphere of influence to glorify God with our hearts fixed on eternity, and then to be salt and light, and to be peacemakers in this fractured world. 

Dannah: Okay, I heard two really important ingredients that I think sometimes are lacking in our difficult conversations, and that's: kindness and gentleness. As we're having these hard conversations, are we doing it with kindness with gentleness? Another thing you also mentioned was in as much as is possible. Okay. Unpack that for me, how hard do I try? When do I say, “We're gonna have to agree to disagree.” Can you help me with that? 

Tara: Of course. We all remember there are some issues that are debatable issues, even in the church, things that Christians disagree on. There's baptism and other things like that. We can all still be brothers and sisters in Christ and sincerely love His Word and disagree. So debatable issues are one thing, but what about these really important foundational issues? And as much as it depends on us, what does it look like? 

I'd like to point out a weakness in my first two books and the video series that I think you guys are giving away at the end of the broadcast. It sometimes can be easy for Christians to forget that we are both body and soul. If we only emphasize the inner man (and again, if I had to pick one, give us the inerrant, authoritative Word of God, this is what we need) . . . This is the air we breathe—the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Revelation of God, and His Word of the Old and New Testaments. But especially in conflicts, if I may just gently say, I wish I had said that for the last twenty-five years I've been doing this. 

I have found especially in the extreme times, after I mentioned to you in our chats before the broadcast my sexual assault, I was teaching at a women's leadership conference in the Midwest, and flying home through one of the airports. I cannot get through; I was actually sexually assaulted. It was another time for another. I don't have time for that story except to say, it came right before the Me Too Movement. 

My criminal adult violent crime was done, my civil all that was settled. But then my mediation work began to be more and more helping churches and Christian church ministries and Christian families who have had children and even adults who are facing sexual trauma. Maybe for the first time, they're beginning to open up about it. Here's what I forgot. I didn't forget it, because I didn't know it. We're not disembodied spirits. God made us body and soul. So, if we only bring an inner man spiritual, biblical teaching, and we forget things like trauma reactions, for example . . . 

I had a woman who had been systematically sexually assaulted by a youth pastor for years. Now she was an adult. It was in a case of conflict, a case mediation and lawsuits. I was serving as a mediator. As she began to talk about, it wasn't just her, other girls being assaulted. 

One of the young pastors reflexively vomited in the room. Is that sin? Is that unbelief? Is that not trusting Jesus? Or is that a physiological response when we are traumatized? When women are told, “You're not a submissive woman, or you need to be.” You're not submitting and this kind of language, instead, what they're actually having is a trauma reaction. 

I think we need to be very careful. Christians do have some opportunity areas here to make sure that as we are, in as much as we can. So, for example, what if you're talking with a neighbor, and about our political situation, and you want to be salt and light, you have strong convictions. Wherever they lie, but you're seeing a response from him or from her that it could very well be something their body is hijacking them because of things you don't even know about. 

I'm really working on it and growing and beginning to write more in it. How can we begin to identify those physiological trauma reactions? So that as we bring truth and light and salt, we're not inadvertently causing more trauma, because we're not aware of how traumatized the people we're working with are.

Dannah: You know, that's really a good thought. Erin Davis and I were talking yesterday about the fact that so many times right now, some of our difficult conversations are with other sisters in Christ, who are in God's Word, we love God's Word. But I started to think yesterday that maybe God's Word is the most important door that we walk through as we go to have difficult conversations with people who are in trauma, people who are afraid, people who are hurting, people who have strong convictions about God's truth, but disagree with you. 

But if you don't go in through the door of God's Word and sit in the room in the presence of Jesus, who is in there. You just walk through the door, collect all the contents of the room, it can be right here in your head. And what you do isn't said with kindness and gentleness, because it's not flowing out of the heart of Christ. We need to slow down and make sure that we're letting God help us read the room as we apply God's truth. Right?

Tara: Absolutely. Remembering that we're not the Holy Spirit. We're not the Holy Spirit. We are a human being, and we have a role to play, but God is God. God alone is God. So how can we please and honor Him, trust Him, love others, serve others, grow to be more like Christ? 

There's a systematic theology that Ken Sande gave us. We call it the Four G's. When we're in a conflict, we can ask ourselves Four G's: How can I glorify God? Get the log out of my own eye. Gently go right to our brother, help them see their fault. And go and be reconciled. 

And so just the Four G's. We have children learn them, and Presidents of Seminaries and denominations and everyone in-between. Those Four G's alone can be a helpful tool. I think you're giving away the tools at the end. We have a slippery slope, a diagram that shows if we're prone to fight or flight. Do I like to run away from conflicts or I like to engage? And then what are the likely results? And what would peacemaking results look like?

Dannah: Yes, exactly. We're gonna give you those tools. It's actually a really cool set. It's a video teaching series of yours, and we're gonna offer it to you as our gift through the end of February. Tell us real briefly about it.

Tara: We're also giving you my second book, so when you get to the link, they're both on there, which is good. It's the Peacemaking Women's Video Series (though a lot of the reviewers are men, and they say it's not just for women). But you know, sometimes a publisher wants something that they push, they move towards women. It's called the Peacemaking Women's Study. And then the book Redeeming Church Conflicts, which can also be applied to schools. We don't have any conflicts in any schools happening right now. I'm sure they're all running really busy as we're all juggling home education and all this, organizational conflicts, church conflicts, parachurch, all group conflicts as well.

Dannah: Really great tools. I want to want you to leave us with a really brief but very important thought, Tara. Friends, we're giving you an invitation be peacemakers today, but as you've heard, in Tara's own story, full of all kinds of pain, including sexual assault, Satan doesn't play fair. He's the source of every conflict, but he is not going to play fair. 

Tara when you stepped out to be a mediator, a conflict coach, a bringer of peace, a peacemaker, Satan turned up the heat. We can we can guarantee that that will happen as we step forward to be peacemakers. But the promise is that God will be with us. He's given us everything we need to overcome. Tara, speak to the woman who maybe is in that place of real hurt and pain and fear. What's the one thing she needs to do today—a simple practical step—to put peace back in her own heart so she can bring it to the world?

Tara: I would encourage her to turn to John 16 and read the words of Christ. He says, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I've deprived the world of its power to ultimately harm you.” “I have overcome the world,” Jesus says. This is our hope. This is our confidence. Thank you so much for allowing me to be with you.

Dannah: Our pleasure to have you. I love how He said that I have deprived the world of its power to hurt us.

Tara: To ultimately hurt us.

Dannah: Yes, to ultimately hurt us

Tara: We will have hurt, right? 

Dannah: Yes, exactly.

Tara: We will have pain. We will have suffering. But ultimately, we know that the world cannot ultimately hurt us.

Dannah: Love that powerful thought to end on. Thank you, Tara.

In a recent Facebook LIVE, Nancy took some time to encourage us, to remind us about our tools as overcomers. We wanted to make sure that you had one of them. That's very important at the ready this week. Here's a short clip of that Facebook LIVE video.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: And then let me say, and I hope this is encouraging to you. What seems so messy right now could actually in God's providence, His timing, His way, could actually prove to be a season of great gospel opportunity. That's why we shouldn't despair. As dark as it gets, God is on his throne. God is still accomplishing His purposes. And let me say that the world, our world, our country, desperately needs for the people of God to be light in the darkness. 

Now, again, I've said, I know we're coming from a lot of different positions and perspectives. You may be one of those people who looks on the last four years as being exceedingly dark. And you were ecstatic that a new administration is just around the corner. Or you may be one of those people who thinks that the last four years are exactly what our nation needed. And what's coming in the next four years, you're dreading it, because you see it as looming darkness that's going to be with us for the next four years. You may think the last four years were utter darkness, or you may think the next four years are going to be utter darkness. 

Let me say, either way, whichever is true, or whichever is more true, our calling as Christians right now is not to curse the darkness—whether it's the past, or the present, or the future. It's not to curse the darkness, but to turn on the light. It's not our light. It's not showcasing us, but it's pointing people to Jesus. What if we truly were filled with Christ and His light? I think of Romans chapter 12:21, that says, “Don't be conquered by evil.”

That's what's happening to a lot of us, our minds, our emotions. We're being conquered by evil. But He says instead, conquer evil with good. Light overwhelms darkness. There is a time to expose deception and darkness. But we have far too little of us turning on the light, overcoming evil with good. By being warlike or angry or contentious, that's just acting like the rest of the world. Don't be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good. This is a season for great gospel opportunity, if we will be the light of the world. 

Then I want to remind us that the problems we are facing are not going to be solved by any political party, nor are they going to be solved by science or by any other human efforts. These are problems that require divine intervention. That's why this is a time for us to cry out to the Lord and to pray as we have never prayed before.

Portia: I just always love to listen to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth share so much biblical wisdom. I love that she started off by saying one of my favorite things to say: “God is still on the throne.” He's not scrambling. He knows. It just gives me so much peace to know that we have a sovereign God who is still in control. 

Well, it is time to get grounded, grounded in God's Word. Grab your Bibles. Laura Booz is with us today. She is our special guest teacher this morning. She's the host of the new podcast, Expect Something Beautiful. We love it when she drops by. Laura, are you there?

Laura Booz: I'm here. Hi, Portia.

Portia: Hi. So good to see you.

Laura: Great to be here. Lovely to be here with all of you.

Portia: Take it away. I'm ready.

Laura: All right. Well, today we're going to be looking at a short story in the book of Mark. So, turn to Mark 4 in your Bible. We are going to enter this story when the Prince of Peace steps into a boat at the end of a long day. 

So, verse 35. In order to respect your time, I'm just going to talk through the passage as we read through it. Hang in there with me. In verse 35, it says, “On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’”

Jesus had taught that whole day. He taught the disciples, and He was heading over to the other side of the sea, because the next day He had a lot of work to do. He was going to heal a man from a demon. He was going to raise a little girl from the dead. He was going to heal a woman who had been sick for twelve years. So he said, “Let's get over to the other side of that sea, even though we're exhausted.” “And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.” (v..35)

I've read the story so many times, but this time, that little detail that there were other boats with them popped out to me. Over the past year I've heard this expression that goes, “Same storm, different boats.” It's to help people understand how others are dealing with all of these huge issues that have come at us left and right. So in other words, yes, we're all facing a worldwide pandemic. But because of our unique circumstances, it's as if we're in different boats navigating that storm differently. We have to be understanding one to another. 

I want you to keep that in mind that it wasn't just the disciples of Jesus on a boat going across the sea. There are who knows how many of these little ships heading across the sea together like a caravan. 

Alright, so there they are, commonly floating across the sea, not a storm cloud in sight. But a great windstorm arose out of nowhere, suddenly, boom, this is your problem. And the waves were breaking into the boat so that the boat was already filling with water. 

I want just to pause right here and get our imaginations engaged in what's happening. 

Imagine the power of wind it would take to rally up those waters to be such high waves that they would lap up into the boats—the roar of the wind, and the crash of the waves. Imagine these grown men who grew up on the sea. They're big and strong; they know what to do. But we learned later that they were terrified. They think they're going to die. So that's the level of the and the intensity of this storm. There is so much noise, so much racket. They're probably yelling to one another, do this, do that, bailing the water, and nothing is helping. 

And then they remember something. Oh, we have a pilot, Jesus. Jesus was in the stern by the rudder, right? But He wasn't steering. He was asleep on the cushion. I can almost imagine when Jesus got into the boat, He said, “I'll steer, and He goes to the stern and falls asleep.” You would think that this would bring them peace to remember, “That's right, we have Jesus in our boat.” But it doesn't. It seems to actually ramp them up. They wake Him up and they say to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (v. 38)

In other words, the great racket surrounding them, and the lack of peace it caused inside their hearts, the fear and the terror they were experiencing, all of a sudden comes and makes this sharp sword right into their teacher's heart. Do you not care that we are perishing? I mean, talk about the irony. The whole reason He came to earth was because He cares that we're perishing. “And Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’” (v. 39).

Here we see the move of a great Peacemaker, the Prince of Peace, first, taking care of the physical, tangible need that these disciples had before them and calming their storm. The Bible says, “The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (v.39).

I wonder if their ears were still ringing from the wind? I wonder if they still had to bail out the water from their boat? But it was a great calm, and they must have started to regain their breath. That's when Jesus asked them some hard questions. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 

I think these are two fabulous questions for you and I to keep at the ready when we come with our prayers before the Lord: Why am I so afraid? When You are the Master of creation? When You are the Master of politics and laws and elections? And babies and guns and all the things I'm worried about and drugs and cancer and sickness and debt? You're the Master of all things. Why am I so afraid? 

And also, to bring the question, have you still no faith? I think Jesus was asking them, “Hey, what happened to all the teaching? You just sat at my feet all day long. I actually even gave special instruction and literally explained the parables to you guys. Do you believe I am the Christ? Do you believe I am the Messiah, the person you can put your hope in to make things better?” 

And it says the disciples were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”(v. 41) 

So, they don't end this story not feeling afraid. They just have their fear in the proper perspective. Now suddenly, they have great fear of the Master of the sea, the Master of the calm. They have the kind of fear you can do something with. This is the kind of fear that's the beginning of wisdom. This is the kind of fear that's the seed of faith.

So to wrap up, I want to put some feet on this and tell us how we can live in light of this, how we can exercise our faith, so that all of our Bible reading and Bible memory work and Bible songs that we sing, when it's calm, we can put to good use in the storm. This is the moment to take all of those things you've been working on in your Bible studies, all of the things you've been listening to in the podcast, and in sermons, and the notes you take in church on Sunday. This is the moment to put it to work. 

I want to point out a couple words that another apostle wrote. Now, he wasn't in the boat at the time, but he certainly had his fair share of shipwrecks and storms. It was the apostle Paul in the letter to the Philippians. I'll just read a couple of things he wrote about living in faith in the Prince of Peace. 

He says, “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5). Jesus is in your boat, “do not be anxious about anything”—not the wind, not the sea, not the boat going down, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (v. 6).

In other words, Jesus is in your boat. You have a problem. You go get Him. You go

get Him, and you tell Him what you need. You say, “Jesus, I need You right now for this problem,” small or big no matter what it is. 

I think that's the faith Jesus was looking for in His disciples. Not, why didn't you just let the boat go down and trust that I do something at some point? I think He was asking them, “Why didn't you wake Me up sooner? If you knew I was the Messiah, come get Me.”

And I think that's what Paul is saying, the Lord's in your boat. Go get Him, and tell Him what you need. “Let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Tell Him what you need. Then look in His Word for what He has spoken about your trial that says peace be still. 

Oh, one more thing before I go. Remember the other boats? They were tossed and blown too. They had water coming in. They were going down to, but Jesus was not on their boat. Imagine the relief they felt when Jesus spoke “peace be calm” and their sea and their troubled waters were calmed too. Never underestimate the impact that your faith in Jesus will have on the people around you. Same storm, different boats. One Prince of Peace. 

Erin: Laura, I jumped in here when you said you're going to go cuz I wanted to beg you to stay. That was so powerful. I gotta tell you, Laura, our Grounded team has wrestled and wrestled and wrestled with this episode. What was it we wanted to say about peacemaking? And you said it. We wanted to say, “Go get Jesus. He Himself is our peace.” I love that you took us to that story. 

I have a friend. Her name's Tippy. I mention her often. She says when she's in the middle of a conflict, she closes her eyes and tries to picture herself in that boat taking a nap beside Jesus, because He gives her that much peace. Thanks for being with us this morning, Laura.

Laura: Delight.

Erin: All right. I've got a double dose of good news this morning. Because guess what the number one podcast in the world is right now. Alejandra, do you have a guess?

Alejandra: I think it's Grounded.

Erin: I wish Grounded was the number one podcast in the world. It's not yet “wink wink.” But though we all seem to be glued to the news. The number one podcast right now is not a news show. It is not a political commentary. The number one podcast in the world right now is the Bible in a Year podcast. 

One news commentator, and I’ve got to say this was in a very secular news source I was reading about this, said, “So many of us are hungry for more than news, for rest within a world fraught with the vision. People long for clarity beyond sound bites, for a reality that is meaningful and fulfilling, for an answer to the ache we feel for peace and stability amid suffering and turmoil.” That's why she thinks, and I agree, the Bible is the number one podcast. People in record numbers are turning to God's Word for those answers.

Alejandra: And we're certainly here to encourage you to be grounded in God's Word. Guess what? It’s still January, which means you're welcome to participate in the Grounded Walk and the Word Challenge. 

Erin: The challenge is simple. We got a picture, I think, of you and your babies, Alejandra.

Alejandra: Yes, my children. I have been doing it. So hey, join us, please. We're still in January. 

Erin: We are still in January; this is one long month. If you don't know what The Walk and the Word Challenge is, the plan is simple. We walk every day this month. I’ve gotta say, I haven't hit the every day mark, but I've definitely been walking more. There's evidence that walking fights off things like anxiety, like depression, things that we seem to be collectively wrestling with. 

And so, it's something we all need right now. So last week my boys and I headed to the park. We ran; we played. I gotta say, we felt better. But in case you haven't noticed, Grounded is not a fitness program.

Alejandra: Well, they might have to find other hosts for that. Really, our mission here at Grounded is to point you every time we meet to God's Word. So, take a walk and listen to a podcast that will point you back to Jesus.

Erin: We've always got some great ones to recommend. I’m so excited about this morning's guest’s podcast. It's called Expect Something Beautiful hosted by Laura Booz. You just heard her. Don't you love to hear her teach? Wouldn't you love to take a walk with Laura and have her talk to you about God's Word? Well, you can just pop in those earbuds and listen to Expect Something Beautiful. It's one of the new podcasts in the Revive Our Hearts, podcast family. You can find it on your podcast app, of course, or go to

I was just telling somebody about podcasts and they said, “I don't have a podcast app on my phone.” I said, “Yes, you do. It's on everybody's phone.” So I showed it to them. I hope they'll be listening to Expect Something Beautiful.

Alejandra: Do not forget that Grounded is also now a podcast too. This episode will be released on Wednesday. So you can take a walk and listen again.

Erin: Or you can share it with somebody who needs a little Walk and the Word in her life.

Alejandra: Keep walking friends.

Erin: And keep reaching for God's Word.

Dannah: Well, you know what, we've come to the end of another episode. I’ve gotta say, I'm watching the comments. And this one is particularly grounding. People are feeling the peace. We set out to bring them that. In fact, Neutrik Coach says, “I definitely need to listen to this whole episode again.” So I'm glad she can do that on Wednesday.

Erin: Right

Dannah: Now, my quote of the day I have to say is, “Same storm, different boats, one Prince of Peace.”

Erin: Amen

Dannah: Oh, I think it's so beautiful that Laura and Tara both mentioned the practical, physical aspect of being a peacemaker. It's not just knowing the Word of God. It's having the discernment of God's Spirit to know how to meet practical needs. And if I could just take one moment, because I want you to be a peacemaker, to do something practical. I wish there wasn't a screen between us. Because I'd like to hold your chin and just look in your eye, like I do my sweet, sweet, sweet grandbabies, and ask you this: Are you okay? Do you have peace? True lasting, deep down peace? Is it in your heart? Are you at rest?

Erin: And are you willing? If you are? Are you willing to pick up the banner that Jesus gave us to be peacemakers in a very chaotic world?

Dannah: We want to call you to pray today for the transition of power in the United States. Please pray, pray that it would be a peaceful transition, but also for many to be drawn to Jesus, because only Jesus can speak peace over this storm. True peace.

Erin: One leading pastor posted a prayer yesterday for this week that we're heading into. It seems fitting to wrap up this episode. I'm going to read just a few lines of it as our Grounded prayer this Monday, 

“Oh God, we are so thankful that you hold all these leaders in your hand, even as you hold all our lives in your hand. So, we gladly yield all our lives to You. Help us this week to love You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves both inside and outside your church . . . particularly those who we disagree. 

“We pray that in our day you will help us to do justice, to love mercy on behalf of all people made in Your image. Knowing that a day is coming when men and women from every nation, tribe, and town will gather around your throne, to give you praise. 

“Jesus, You are the unrivaled, unparalleled, undefeated, unconquerable King. Your inauguration involves a crown of thorns on a cross, and Your resurrection secured eternal life for all who trust You. You are the Lord who reigns in heaven at this moment and whose return we await in any moment. So, we pray, please use our lives this week, to lead people to hope and trust in You alone. In a country in a world in desperate need, of what You alone can give.

Dannah: Amen, oh amen, friends. We send you out today with these words that Jesus spoke, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

Erin: And when they are troubled and afraid go get Jesus.

Dannah: Amen. 

Erin: Let's wake up with hope and perspective and peace next week on Grounded. 

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About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit  Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta. 

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, studying the Scriptures, discipling, teaching, and learning alongside women. Currently, she supports her husband as he serves as a church planter in Victoria, BC, Canada. Alejandra loves herbs, designing headbands with her daughter, being outdoors, and serving her community.

About the Guests

Tara Barthel

Tara Barthel

Tara Barthel is an attorney, Christian mediator, author, and speaker who teaches at the college level. She is also a trauma survivor, wife, and mother who thinks of herself as a homemaker—but after nearly twenty-six years of marriage, she still can’t cook.

Laura Booz

Laura Booz

Laura Booz is the author of Expect Something Beautiful: Finding God's Good Gifts in Motherhood and the host of the Expect Something Beautiful podcast with Revive Our Hearts. She'll cheer you on, share practical ideas, and point out the beautiful ways God is working in your life. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan, and their six children. Meet her at