The Life Challenges Podcast

Join Christian Life Resources as we discuss modern-day issues from a Biblical perspective.

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Latest Episode:

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Episode 55: Men and Abortion

September 27, 2022

Today we look at men and abortion. Why do men seem to be pushed out of the abortion discussion, especially when they have pro-life views? What encouragement can men find from scripture? How can Christian women support men in taking a stance? Join us as we discuss these questions and more.

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    Meet the Hosts

    bob

    Rev. Robert Fleischmann

    Rev. Robert Fleischmann has been the National Director of Christian Life Resources since 1988. He is adjunct to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary where he teaches a pastoral approach to eldercare and related life issues. He teaches an online Master’s certificate course at Concordia University on Bioethics and Biotechnology. He speaks throughout North America on the Biblical approach to various life and family issues and counsels people with God’s Word in correct decision-making. ​

    Jeff-SamelsonCROP

    Rev. Jeffrey L. Samelson

    Rev. Samelson’s role at CLR includes establishing opportunities for Christian service and equipping Christians affected by the erosion of life and family values. Applying the truth of God’s Word on pertinent life and family issues, his responsibilities will include a regular schedule of preaching engagements, education on the broader scope of the CLR ministry, monitoring of life issues, and leadership as a contact for the affiliate organizations of CLR. Rev. Samelson’s service continues a long family involvement: his father was one of the founding members of the first affiliate of Christian Life Resources. Rev. Samelson resides with his wife, Charlene, in Grafton, WI.

    Christa Potratz

    Mrs. Christa Potratz

    Christa Potratz is a volunteer for Christian Life Resources and helps host The Life Challenges Podcast. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a master’s in public health from The University of Texas School of Public Health. Christa has worked as a project director on several research projects but now stays at home with her four young kids in Germantown, WI. In her free time, Christa likes to read, play games, and sew.

    Episode 52: Understanding Our Callings

    September 6, 2022

    Today we look at vocations and our callings as Christians. Join us as we discuss what callings mean in a biblical sense. We will also look at specific callings and vocations we may have during our lives.

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    Episode 53: A Look at Christian Life Resources

    September 13, 2022

    Today we are excited to take some time to look at Christian Life Resources (CLR). We will look at the history of CLR  and how we as Christians can use this organization. Join us as we talk with Bob and Jeff about CLR.

    Show Notes:

    Christian Life Resources National Convention

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    Episode 54: Christian and Citizen: The Challenges

    September 20, 2022

    Join us as we specifically look at some of the challenges American Christians face.

    Show Notes:

    Christian Citizenship

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    Past Episodes:

    Introduction: Welcome to the podcast!

    September 3, 2021

    Take a minute and learn about this new podcast from Christian Life Resources!

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    Episode 1: Why are life issues important to Christians?

    September 14, 2021

    Listen to find out why life matters to Christians and how we can start conversations with others about the importance of life.

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    Episode 2: Christians and Activism

    September 21, 2021

    Let’s explore what it means for a Christian to be active in the government. Bob and Jeff will navigate us through important concepts and things to remember when it comes to Christians and activism.

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    Episode 3: The Modern Day Pro-Life Movement

    September 28, 2021

    Join us as we take a look at the pro-life movement. We’ll touch a little on the past and talk about how we got to where we are today.

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    Episode 4: My Body My Choice

    October 5, 2021

    Let’s look at one of the most popular phrases in the abortion movement. We will take a closer look at establishing common ground, how to talk to pro-choice Christians, and what the Bible says about bodily autonomy.

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    Episode 5: How to Value the Gift of Life

    October 12, 2021

    Join us as we look at the value placed on human life and discuss practical ways we as individuals and congregations can show love to God’s greatest creation.

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    Episode 6: Being Me!

    October 19, 2021

    What does it mean to be human? When we understand our human nature, we can value God’s gift of life even more.

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    Episode 7: Government Change & Religious Freedom

    October 26, 2021

    Things are changing in our government. Come with us as we talk about government change and religious freedom.

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    Episode 8: The Blessings and Challenges of Prosperity

    November 2, 2021

    It can be challenging to live in a world where we are constantly surrounded by wealth. Join us as we discuss monetary blessings in our current culture as well as important biblical truths surrounding wealth and prosperity.

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    Episode 9: Interview with Futurist Thomas Frey

    November 9, 2021

    It can be both fun and apprehensive to think about the future. Join us as we talk with futurist Thomas Frey. We will also sit down with Bob and Jeff to discuss why Christians might care about the future.

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    Episode 10: Bible Passages Supporting Life

    November 16, 2021

    We will look at Bible passages pertaining to the abortion debate by looking at their context and meaning in Scripture. Let’s dig into God’s word and be reminded of his message when it comes to matters of life.

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    Episode 11: Pro-Life in Hollywood?

    November 23, 2021

     Join us as we discuss films with pro-life messaging.

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    Episode 12: Interview with Tabitha Schroeder, Executive Director of New Beginnings

    November 30, 2021

    Join us as we talk with special guest Tabitha Schroeder about the extraordinary work being done at New Beginnings. Learn about the mission, opportunities, and exciting plans for the future!

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    Episode 13: Defining Death

    December 7, 2021

    What is death? How do we define it medically, politically, and spiritually? What should guide us when making end-of-life decisions? Come along as we take a look at these questions and more.

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    Episode 14: Reasons Why People Fear Death

    December 14, 2021

    Are you afraid to die? While many Christians are at peace knowing they will be with God in Heaven, sometimes there are things that concern us when we think about our own death. Join us as we discuss not only death but the comfort God’s word gives us.

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    Episode 15: The Most Important Pregnancy Ever

    December 21, 2021

    The conception of Jesus can be hard to understand, yet it is the start to one of the most anticipated events in all of Scripture – the birth of our Savior. Come along as we discuss the pregnancy of Mary and the birth of Jesus.

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    Episode 16: The Baby Boys of Bethlehem

    December 28, 2021

    Holy Innocents’ Day, observed annually on December 28th, marks the day Herod ordered the murder of the baby boys of Bethlehem, ages two and under. Come along as we remember this day and discuss the importance of this event.

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    Episode 17: The Burden of Parenthood?

    January 4, 2022

    Is parenthood a burden? We will look at how our modern-day culture views parenthood and bring a biblical perspective to the conversation as well.

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    Episode 18: The Joys and Blessings of Parenthood

    January 11, 2022

    Parenthood is hard but there are blessings and joys that God gives to parents. We will discuss these joys and also talk about ways to encourage the next generation on discovering the blessings of parenthood.

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    Episode 19: Interview with Leah Bongard on Embryo Adoption

    January 18, 2022

    Leah shares her family’s story of embryo adoption. It is a beautiful story of life and a helpful reminder to always trust God.

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    Episode 20: Discussing Embryo Adoption and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

    January 25, 2022

    What should Christians consider when looking at embryo adoption and IVF? Join us as we dive into these important life topics.

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    Episode 21: Interview with Dr. Robert Balza on Science and Ethics

    February 1, 2022

    Join us as we sit down with Biology Professor Dr. Rob Balza and discuss embryonic stem cells, gene editing, and the pig heart transplant. We will discuss the ethics of these topics and talk about important things to consider when Christians look at science.

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    Episode 22: Interview with Justin and Katy Goede of Chosen Gen

    February 8, 2022

    Several years ago, Justin and Katy Goede were seeing so many of the young people in their youth group walking away from the church. Burdened by this, they set out to fight for the next generation. Today we talk with them about their organization Chosen Gen and how to raise countercultural children who have a love for Jesus and can stand firmly on the truths of the Bible.

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    Episode 23: A Look at Suffering

    February 15, 2022

    Suffering is a part of life on this earth. We may not enjoy suffering, but it can be a comfort to know the Bible talks about this subject quite a bit. Join us as we take a look at this topic in light of biblical truth.

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    Episode 24: Interview with Pastor Kurt Ebert on Suicide and Grief

    February 22, 2022

    Years ago, the unthinkable happened to Pastor Ebert and his family. He now runs a support group with his wife and shares his experience to help others. This is a powerful story of faith in the midst of grief and loss.

    Show Notes:
    Wings of Hope Mequon Support Group wingsofhopemequon.org
    Pastor Kurt Ebert is the pastor at Christ Alone in Thiensville, WI.

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    Episode 25: The Importance of a Humble Heart

    March 1, 2022

    Which defines us: self-righteousness or mercy? As Christians, we always want to speak the truth, but we want to remember to come to every situation with a humble heart.

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    Episode 26: Father, Forgive Them

    March 8, 2022

    How can we take Jesus’ attitude toward his enemies as our model for our own attitude and approach with the “enemies” of life? We will look at this question and more as we discuss the topic of forgiveness.

    Show Notes:
    A Bible study on forgiveness https://christianliferesources.com/2018/05/07/bible-study-series-the-need-for-forgiveness-introduction/

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    Episode 27: Looking Out for the Left Behind with Paul Snamiska

    March 15, 2022

    As Christians how can we look after those we care about when we depart from this world? What can we learn from Jesus on the subject? Join us as we also discuss the importance of a medical directive, estate planning, and more, with special guest Paul Snamiska.

    Show Notes:
    Download a free Medical Directive https://christianliferesources.com/resources/christian-medical-directives/
    The “101” of Medical Directives https://christianliferesources.com/death-dying/
    Nothing to Fear https://christianliferesources.com/2020/04/02/nothing-to-fear/
    When God is Calling https://christianliferesources.com/2020/06/05/when-god-is-calling/

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    Episode 28: What Christ’s Passion Teaches Us about Dying Well

    March 22, 2022

    Jesus’ death is not merely an example to follow, but there are still lessons to be learned from how he approached his death.  Come along as we look at what we can learn from Jesus. In addition, we will also talk about do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders.

    Show Notes:

    DNR article from The University of Arizona:
    https://www.uofazcenteronaging.com/sites/default/files/cpr_-_advice_for_helping_patients_and_families_decide_2019.pdf

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    Episode 29: Jesus’ Self-Sacrifice Shows the Value of Life with Pastor Jim Behringer

    March 29, 2022

    When we consider the price Jesus paid to save our lives, we realize the importance and value God has for all life. Pastor Jim Behringer of WELS Special Ministries joins us to discuss the value of life and the idea of sacrificing for others.

    Show Notes:

    WELS Special Ministries

    Inconvenient People and the Quality of Life

    Cherish the Quality of Life

    You can Change the World: A Look at Ways to Show Christian Concern for Others

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    Episode 30: Friends Faithful, False, and Failed

    April 5, 2022

    What can we learn from Jesus’ friendships? How can we use our friendship with others to talk about life issues? Join us as we talk about being a friend to others.

    Show Notes:

    With Friends Like These: A Look at Comforting Others in Crisis 

    The Right Time – The Right Place

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    Episode 31: What is Truth? with Pastor Forrest Bivens

    April 12, 2022

    What is truth? Why does our society seem to take a subjective view with truth? What does God say about truth? Why is truth even important? Join us as we discuss the topic of truth and look to answer these questions and more.

    Show Notes:

    Let Us Not Love With Words or Speech but with Actions and in Truth

    Tell the Truth

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    Episode 32: The End of Fear – with Pastor Jonathan Hein

    April 19, 2022

    Pastor Jonathan Hein joins us as we discuss the end of fear and the hope that the resurrection offers. The resurrection allows us to no longer be afraid of death, it puts life challenges into perspective, and it is the hope we can share when witnessing with others.

    Show Notes:

    An Ironclad Guarantee – A Look at the Assuredness of the Resurrection

    The Essential Easter

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    Episode 33: An Interview with Christian Family Solutions on Christian Counseling

    April 26, 2022

    Join us as we talk with Mark Klug and Dan Nommensen of Christian Family Solutions on the topic of Christian counseling. We look at the need and benefits of Christian counseling and also the connection to life issues.

    Show Notes:

    Christian Family Solutions

    Making Christian Counseling More Christ Centered Kindle Edition

    Cornerstone – A Faith-Fueled Resilience System

    Karen Fischer Provider Page

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    Episode 34: When Did It Become Okay to Kill Children?

    May 3, 2022

    Join us as we look at the history of abortion. We will review key milestone moments and look ahead at how we can prepare for any possible legal change.

    Show Notes:

    Abortion: An Update

    January 22: A Sad Milestone

    Abortion Timeline: A Chronology of Endangered Unborn Life

    Abortion: Pro-Life 101

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    Episode 35: Interview with Heidi Westlund, New Beginnings Board Member

    May 10, 2022

    Join us as we sit down with Heidi Westlund and take a look back at New Beginnings – A Home for Mothers. We discuss how everything operated while in Denver, CO. We also look at the New Beginnings Board and the future building project.

    Show Notes:

    New Beginnings – A Home for Mothers 

    With Great Patience and Careful Instruction: A Look at CLR New Beginnings Ministry

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    Episode 36: An Interview with Pastor Kent Reeder, Chairman of Conquerors Through Christ

    May 17, 2022

    Conquerors Through Christ (CTC) is an organization designed to help people and/or their loved ones fight porn addiction. Join us as we sit down with the chairman, Pastor Kent Reeder. We discuss porn addiction in our modern culture and look at the resources and materials CTC provides for people to resist, reject, and recover from porn use or addiction.

    Show Notes:

    Conquerors Through Christ

    Hooked on Internet Pornography
    Q&A: On Pornography and Divorce

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    Episode 37: When Life Isn’t Fair

    May 24, 2022

    What happens when things don’t go the way you planned? Do you get angry at God or accept that He is loving and perfect and has everything under control? How can we as Christians encourage others who are experiencing tough times? Join us as we talk about what really matters when life takes unexpected turns.

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    Episode 38: An Interview with Kay Retberg, Director of Alpha Pregnancy Center

    May 31, 2022

    What is it like to work at a pregnancy center? Kay Retberg has worked at pregnancy centers for more than 20 years. Join us as she shares about her work at pregnancy care centers.

    Show Notes:

    Alpha Pregnancy Center
    CLR’s Full Pregnancy Care Center List 
    CLR Articles on Pregnancy
    Who Needs the Counseling Here?
    The Discovery – A Look at Unexpected Pregnancy and Adoption

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    Episode 39: What Is LGBTQ+ and Why Is It Important?

    June 7, 2022

    Join us as we begin our discussion on sexuality and gender issues. We will discuss terminology and what our focus should be as Christians.

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    Episode 40: Communicating God’s Design of Marriage

    June 14, 2022

    What is God’s design for marriage? How can we respond when someone says “God made me like this?” What can we say to a family member or friend who is now living contrary to God’s design for marriage? Join us as we continue to discuss topics related to gender and sexuality.

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    Episode 41: So What About Pride?

    June 21, 2022

    We continue our discussion on sexuality and gender issues by looking at pride more generally. What does the Bible say about pride? Should we as Christians be proud of anything? How does Christ’s example of humility apply to us today?

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    Episode 42: Tackling Tough Questions: Gender and Sexuality

    June 28, 2022

    Today we take on some of your questions.

    • How do we as Christians live in the world but not of the world?
    • How can we respond if our boss asks us to work on a pride month campaign?
    • What pronouns should we use when referring to a neighbor undergoing a gender transition?
    • How can we engage with someone who sees no problem with the way things are going now in the world?

    Join us as we dive into these questions and more!

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    Episode 43: Response to Overturning Roe

    July 5, 2022

    Today we look at the Supreme Court’s recent decision and what our attitude and perspective can be as Christians.

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    Episode 44: What Does Christian Citizenship Really Mean?

    July 12, 2022

    Join us as we look at what it means to be a Christian citizen. Even though the Bible wasn’t written during a republic form of government, we will look at some important things to keep in mind when thinking of our role as a citizen in our current form of government.

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    Episode 45: Discussing Trauma With Pastor Timothy Bourman

    July 19, 2022

    Join us as we talk with Pastor Timothy Bourman about the topic of trauma. Pastor Bourman shares his book with us, Deep as the Sea Letters to Survivors of Trauma.

    Show Notes:

    Deep as the Sea Letter to Survivors of Trauma book

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    Episode 46: Church and State: Let’s Start with Scripture

    July 26, 2022

    Some people will say that the Bible says nothing about how we should live nowadays. Others say we should go back to traditional law. Where does the answer lie? What can we draw from when looking at the different types of government in both the Old Testament and New Testament? Join us as we discuss the different types of government found in the Bible and as we begin to touch on modern-day principles and applications.

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    Episode 47: LGBTQ: In the Light of Baptism

    August 2, 2022

    What is baptism? How can a person just walk away from their baptism? How can Christians appeal to a person’s baptism to remind them of God’s love and promises? Join us as we talk about baptism and discuss what it really means to be a baptized child of God.

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    Episode 48: Church and State: Historical Challenges

    August 9, 2022

    Join us as we take a look back at history and talk about different governments that led to our current American government. We will take a look at Rome, the Middle Ages, and up to the Revolutionary War. We’ll also discuss if the American Revolutionary War was a just war for Christians.

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    Episode 49: Separation of Church and State

    August 16, 2022

    What does separation of church and state really mean? What is the historical context behind the phrase and idea? What are important things for Christians to consider when thinking about this separation? Join us as we discuss these questions and more in today’s episode.

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    Episode 50: Tackling Practical Questions: Christian and Citizen

    August 23, 2022

    How do you make decisions on who to vote for? What are some important things to consider when voting for a specific candidate or a party? At what point does opposition to your government become a sin? Come along as we look at these questions and consider some important points when thinking about being a Christian citizen.

    Show Notes:

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    Episode 51: An Interview with Marcus Smith of Beats for Heartbeats

    August 30, 2022

    Four years ago Marcus Smith, along with the help of others, started an annual concert to raise money and awareness for life issues. Join us as we sit down with Marcus and talk about the annual concert called Beats for Heartbeats.

    Show Notes:

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