Podcast RoundUp

What is a podcast you ask?  Basically think of it as mini-recorded radio shows you can listen to whenever you want on more topics than you can imagine.  I'll be honest - I talked down the idea of these suckers years ago saying they wouldn't last....what was the point.....who has time to listen to that.  And then I got sucked in.  Sometimes it's like chatting in real life with my favorite bloggers, all while I'm folding laundry. After I read The Fringe Hours, I started making use of those "lost" minutes and now listen while driving, at lunch, and even during nap time.  I'm excited to share my list of favorites that I keep on the ready - and be sure to fill me in on your favorites...I'm always in the market for more options!  Head to the App store on your phone & start downloading!  Happy listening!  

podcastreview

1) Feathers - Faith in Flight

    I met Amy at the Allume conference in 2013, and in a crazy turn of events her cousin is a friend from church.  But even if I didn't know this gal, I would be listening to this podcast.  Amy and her family completed an adoption this past year and God used feathers to continually cross her path to serve as encouragement and reminders of his faithfulness to them.  She stepped out this past year and expanded from blogging to podcasting and I'm so thankful she did (you can find her blog here).  Each week she chats with a guest who tells their story of God's faithfulness when they obeyed - no matter how crazy the plan may have seemed.  My favorite episode so far: Episode 009 with Sarah Travis

2) Serial/Undisclosed

 I feel like these two are completely connected.  If somehow you haven't head of Serial you may need a longer discussion of what is a podcast or where to find the App store on your phone.  But for those that have heard and may not have listened, this was a spin-off from This American Life, and NPR based radio show/podcast.  They investigated from a reporter's perspective the details of a court case in Maryland from the nineties.  Super interesting to me because I got to wear my critical thinking hat the whole time.  Though the series has ended, a new podcast has sprung up, granted with more bias, but no less interesting.  Friends of the man convicted in the Serial case run Undisclosed, but they are lawyers and certainly present this from a different perspective and go a bit deeper.  But let me reiterate - they think he's innocent, so you've got to keep that in mind for the spin-factor.  As a side-note, Serial will be back with at least 2 more 'seasons', one starting sometime this Fall.

3) That's Fun with Annie F. Downs

  I've followed Annie on her blog (find it here) for years and I swear we would be bosom friends if we lived in the same city.  Her sense of humor is what keeps me coming back to hear her podcast - infectious laughter isn't something you can easily pick up reading online.  Her full-time gig is as a writer and speaker, mostly to young girls, in areas that still creep up in my life as a big kid - being created uniquely, being brave, speaking love.  She interviews various people from authors to foodies in Nashville.  If you need Nashville tips on where to eat, what to visit, etc, check out her blog.  She gave us some awesome ideas for our trip last year.  Favorite episode: 6a & 6b Dave Barnes Is Funny

4)  How They Blog

  If you don't blog, skip this or you'll be bored for sure.  Kat Lee brings in all kinds of bloggers and industry experts to give tips on how they got started, how to grow a blog, and just general encouragement.  Favorite episode: HTB #27 How Conferences Can Jump Start Your Blog and How To Minimize Conference Costs with Crystal Stine

5) The Big Boo Cast with Melanie Shankle & Sophie Hudson

  If you want to know what it's like to be part of a three-way call eavesdropping in, well by golly this is the podcast for you.  Melanie (aka BigMama) and Sophie (aka BooMama) call each other up on Skype every month or so and chat about everything.  And I mean anything.  SEC football.  Mascara.  Pets.  The horror of school projects.  All things Amy Grant.  Pillow reviews.  Seriously anything is fair game.  Melanie's blog was the first one I followed with any consistency, and these girls can get me tickled like no other.  Their blogs are great, but these phone call podcasts can be a hoot.  Every episode is great but my most recent favorite: Episode 46 - wedding hashtags and and royal baby conspiracies.

6)  God Centered Mom

This is a super encouraging option and I listen to these a little different than my other podcasts.  Usually they automatically download and I listen to each new episode as time allows.  But with this one, I tend to turn to the topics when I'm having a hard mom-day.   Heather MacFayden (mom of 4 boys) interviews well known Christian authors, moms, and some unknowns like you and me to help encourage us and remind us of God's faithfulness, even in the hardest of days.  So that's how I listen --- when I know I need that reminder and virtual pat on the back that the current crisis will pass.  Favorite Episode:  Episode 63 The Color Method: Lacey Dobrient (I haven't blogged yet about this, but I was sold on this idea to start Bible journaling in a different way..stay tuned).

Six is a weird number to end with, so let's just say it was 7, total perfection, since I combined two of the podcasts. 

Can't wait to hear your suggestions!

Serial

Crazy how I thought blogging every day in October would help me get back into a routine of writing more regularly.  Instead I got a big case of burnout.  Life got a little crazy and I realized like with anything else - if I don't schedule it, I don't do it.  We make time for what's important to us - I've always said it, but now it's time to live it.  Consider a leaf turned (until I fall off the wagon again).  But enough puns about my internet silence....

Serial.

Serial Podcast

There's not much I like about NPR.  In general, it's too liberal for me & gets my blood boiling.  But a few years ago I started listening to "This American Life" via their app and found something worthy of keeping public radio in existence.  Basically each week has a theme and they present stories related to that topic.  Some are better than others, but in general, most are worth a listen. My favorite?  Episode 371: Scenes From A Mall.  The best storytelling I've ever heard is the part about the rift in the Amalgamated Order of Real-Bearded Santas.  What better to get you in the Christmas spirit than a story about santas solving their problems with their fists.  I mean aren't you just dying to know how the jolliest men on Earth can get to that level?  Well, you should listen.

But Santa's not the point of today's post.  Serial is.  It's a "This American Life" spin-off.  And ya'll.  I. AM. ADDICTED.  One story is told over the course of multiple shows, with new episodes releasing on Thursdays.  TODAY.  So before we go any further.  Download the podcast app on your phone if you don't already have it. Search for Serial.  Download the episodes (the 9th one came out today).  And buckle up.  This first series is an attempt to discover if a guy named Adnon is actually guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend.  Law & Order type stories not your thing?  Well I know what can hook you.  They use pagers.  And cellphone technology is new.  Did I tell you pagers play into the story?  And this happened when they were teenagers in the mid-nineties.  Plenty of throwback moments to wet your whistle.  And let's don't forget the high school drama thrown in for good measure.  That ought to be enough to entertain even the grumpiest of folks.  

The ladies in my Sunday School class were lucky enough to get an earful about Serial and were politely coerced into downloading it before they could leave girls' night last week.  I'm making it my personal mission to suck in as many people as I can.  Because how else am I going to be able to talk through all my questions of guilt, innocence, and couldn't it have been Jay?  

Consider this your warning that you may hear about the show in any given post from this point out.  Trust me - get through the first episode and you'll be itching to catch up to the current episode in no time and be counting down to Thursdays too.  

Sarah Koenig & Ira Glass.  Thank you for keeping me more awake that a double shot in the morning during my morning commutes.  Feel free to keep the stories coming....forever.  For that matter, episodes twice a week would be just fine with me.

Have you already discovered Serial?  Please start so I won't be alone in this.  If your first question was 'what's a podcast', just go the their website serialpodcast.org and you can listen there and get instructions if you want access on your phone.