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What I'm Listening To
by Tom Goodman
November 16, 2007

During my 25-minute commute to church and back every day, and during my daily walks for exercise, I benefit from a number of podcasts.  If you have an iPod or another MP3 player, you can subscribe to these free programs, too.  You can also download iTunes to your computer without having to purchase an iPod and then listen to these podcasts at your desk.

I listen to the half-hour Albert Mohler Program (iTunes; RSS), a one-hour talk show hosted every weekday nationwide by Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  The program is designed for radio broadcast on stations nationwide, but I listen when I want to with my MP3 player.  The show is devoted to "engaging contemporary culture with biblical truth."  He usually begins each program with commentary on issues in the news, and then moves into a single topic for the day.  He will sometimes interview interesting authors and news makers.  I generally quit listening when he starts taking calls on the subjects, but his midweek "Ask Anything Wednesdays" show is always entertaining and informative as he fields questions from listeners.

I enjoy the half-hour World Vision Report (iTunes; RSS), a newsmagazine about "the world's most vulnerable people and those who make a difference in their lives."  It's funded by World Vision and hosted by Peggy Wehmeyer, a former ABC World News Tonight correspondent.  As I listen, I find my heart opens wider to the global family.

I receive three short NPR programs to my iPod.  The first one is called "Hmmm" (iTunes; RSS).  The energetic and sometimes quirky science correspondent Robert Krulwich "demystifies what's dense and difficult -- even if you feel lost when it comes to science."  Most recently, I enjoyed his little segment called "Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter."  As the description puts it: "In the late 1800s, the hottest chef in Paris created a spectacular liquid that deepened the flavor of everything it touched: veal stock.  But its flavor wasn't any combination of the four recognized tastes.  And it took 100 more years -- and a Japanese soup lover -- for scientists to acknowledge a fifth taste: umami."  Hmmm.

Then there's "Driveway Moments" (iTunes; RSS) described as "compelling NPR stories suggested by listeners."  Man, I got choked up listening to Kenneth Harbaugh get choked up reading his own report -- "A Grandfather's War Stories."

And then there's NPR's "StoryCorps" (iTunes; RSS) where everyday people interview one another about their lives at recording booths across America.  Some sweet stuff here.

I usually subscribe to one sermon podcast at a time, and for a short time.  Currently I'm listening to the sermon podcasts from First Baptist Church Hendersonville, TN (RSS) where Ed Stetzer is interim pastor.  Stetzer is an important voice in SBC leadership right now.  In the past, I've spent a few weeks "visiting" other churches: The Austin Stone, The Village Church in Denton, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, and Mars Hill Church (both Rob Bell's Mars Hill in Illinois and Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill in Seattle).

I enjoyed Rick Warren's Ministry Podcast (iTunes; RSS), billed as "a weekly conversation with pastors from around the world offering insight, wisdom, and best practices from their own experiences."  However, Warren hasn't posted anything since the summer so I'll probably have to remove this from my podcast list.  If you're a church leader, you might find it useful to download the five or six podcasts he recorded before he quit producing anymore, though.

One more free offering you might consider: Reformed Theological Seminary has select classes available online.  I just downloaded "The History of the English Puritans" (iTunes), a series of lectures by the renowned J.I. Packer.

Of course, don't forget about Hillcrest "Bold Gold" (Volume 1 and Volume 2).  These "iMixes" were created to introduce you to some of the favorite worship songs by our Hillcrest praise band.  You can preview these songs at iTunes, but downloading them will cost 99 cents apiece.

Note:  There will not be a LeaderLines published next Thursday, which is Thanksgiving Day.


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