Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

The Next Step Podcast
Season 2: Ponder Anew
Episode 1: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”
Date: 9 June 2020
Guest: Lead Illustrator Valerie Matyas
Also available on: iTunes

Season 2 of the Next Step Podcast focuses on the resource, Ponder Anew: A Hymn Journal of Trust and Confidence, brought to you by Next Step Press.

Episode 1 features an interview with the book’s author, Justin Rossow, and Valerie Matyas, the Lead Illustrator for Ponder Anew and the Educational Development Consultant for Visual Faith™ Ministry.

Valerie and Justin begin by discussing the How to Use This Book section of Ponder Anew beginning on page vii. They mention creating a Permissions Page (see the blog Permission Granted) as well as the letters “JJ” on the top of page xii: “JJ” stands for the Latin phrase “Jesus, help!” J. S. Bach regularly put those letters at the top of his musical compositions. You can read more in the blog titled “Jesus, Judge Me!

In this opening section of the podcast, Valerie and Justin also talk about both “Washi tape,” and a journaling feature called a “tip-in” or “tip-out.” We covered Washi tape in Season 1, Episode 12 of the Next Step Podcast, and Valerie suggested she might be making a video tutorial for tip-ins, which we will also post here.

The point of all these different options for handling the Word is to actively engage in what is fundamentally a passive process: the Word itself has all the power, and as we get our hands dirty engaging the Word, that power is released into our hearts and lives.

After the discussion of how to use a hymn journal, Valerie and Justin turn to chapter 1 of the book to talk about the hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” You will hear Justin pray and Valerie read John 15:9-17 on page 5. They discuss how those verses speak to current events, including racial discord and violence. The blog “Wash One Another’s Feet” flows out of this conversation.

Then they turn the page, and Justin reads the devotion on page 6, and both Valerie and Justin get to choose a favorite verse from the hymn. The podcast ends as they help each other wonder what small step Jesus is inviting them to take next. Nothing happening in your world today scares or surprises your Heavenly Father. The Spirit continues to shape you to love and live more and more like the Jesus who draws near to you.

We follow Jesus better when we follow Him together, so we invite you to join the Facebook Pop Up Group sharing this hymn journal experience here: The Ponder Anew Facebook Group.

This podcast was made possible in part by the support of Next Step Patrons. At the end of this episode, Valerie says that becoming a Patron was an easy decision: “If I believe in what Next Step Press is doing, if I enjoy it, if I like it, if I want to see more of it, then a way to make sure that that happens is to support it. Being a Next Step Patron is a joy! It’s a joy, a privilege, and an honor.

You can help make Season 2 possible by providing regular, monthly support for content like this podcast: become a Next Step Patron today.

The intro and outro music for Season 2: Ponder Anew was arranged and performed by Brendan Knorp. All rights reserved.

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