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Celebrating 100 Episodes! A “Look Back” and a “Look Ahead”

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Episode Synopsis

As they record Episode 100, Jani and Heidi look back in grateful wonder at what God has done through the He Restores My Soul podcast over the past two years. They also offer a look ahead to some dreams they are praying over for the coming years.

Audio Transcript

Heidi: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the 100th episode of He Restores My Soul with Jani Ortlund,

Jani: And Heidi Howerton. Can you believe we’ve sat across from each other

Heidi: Almost 100 times?

Jani: Oh my goodness, over the past two years, Heidi. Isn’t the Lord kind?

Heidi: Yes. So kind and so good and so faithful. I love him. He’s so, I just love him so much.

Jani: I do to, Heidi and I love you. I thank you for being willing to podcast with me. When I think back of how we began and I didn’t know what a podcast was or hadn’t listened to many, and you cheered me on and coached me and helped me and I thank you for that. And now here we are at Episode 100.

Looking Back

Jani: We thought it might be fun and valuable and proper for us to look back over the last 100 episodes and praise God, thank him because this is for him, it’s through him and we want him to get the glory. He is the restorer of our souls. We would never be here without him. So we praise Him and we want to take just a few minutes in this podcast and think back over what he has done.

Jani: In our time together, many of you have joined us midway through and have been with us maybe since Episode 50 or so. But for those of you who have been with us since the beginning, you first heard some of these episodes now two years ago. That’s amazing to me, Heidi. Two years. But the truths in each episode never grow old. And I think we all can stand for a fresh reminder.

Jani: With that in mind, Heidi and I are going to be taking a little break six to eight weeks, we’re not sure, to prepare for new content for our podcast, which we’ll tell you about today, we’re really excited about. But in light of that, we have hand-picked the most popular episodes from each series to revisit and remind ourselves of the important truths that we really forget very easily.

Jani: Did you know that our current list of 100 episodes represent 12 different series we covered on the podcast? I wonder if our listeners can remember any of them. Soul Rest. Going Deeper with God. Those two were way back in 2019. We had special guests along the way. I think of the “Ask Jani” questions. We did many of those. Influencing Children for Christ. Other series we’ll talk about today.

Jani: Well, as I mentioned, we’re going to take maybe the next six to eight weeks to do a kind of rewind, to listen again to the key messages of the podcast so far, one from each episode series. As we do this, we hope it might prompt you to go back and listen to the whole series and let the Lord restore your soul through them.

Heidi: We also just wanted to take a moment to remind you of our website, herestoresmysoul.org as it has all of the episodes organized by series and their transcripts as well as all of the resources mentioned in each podcast episode. Jani, you’ll remember our list of “9 Biblical Principles” we use to raise our children at home that you shared with us. And our “Prayers for your Little Prince” and “Prayers for your Little Princess” as well, of course, as the cinnamon rolls recipe and Easter cookies. Favorite biographies, which I always love and the list of wonderful children’s books.

Jani: Yes, hopefully our listeners will find our website to be a good place to go for different resources and helps. We want it to be that for you.

Jani: I wonder, Heidi, let’s just think back over these 100 episodes and praise the Lord for what he’s done in them. I think of our very first series on Soul Rest. That was way back two years ago.

Heidi: I think that was my favorite series that we did, Jani. I keep coming back to that verse again and again and again. He restores my soul.

Jani: Yes, yes. We talked about our souls being so anxious and agitated. Those were our top two episodes of all time, Our Biggest Battle and My Anxious Agitated Soul.

Heidi: Makes me think that our listeners are kind of like me. You know, in this day, it’s so easy to struggle with anxiety and agitation.

Jani: Yes, we need to be reminded where our souls can go for rest. I think of my life verse, Psalm 62:1,

“My soul finds rest in God alone.”

Psalm 62:1

Jani: And that’s what we want for our listeners as well. Well, we’re going to play only one episode from this series, but we recommend you go back and listen again to the short series that started our podcast off in 2019.

Jani: And then we had all these “Ask Jani” and Heidi questions.

Heidi: Those are my favorite. I feel like I could come sit and just have tea with you and gain from your wisdom. You have done so well pointing us to Christ as we’ve struggled through all different things such as, “How do you walk through trials with a friend?” and “What are your favorite Christian Biographies?” or “What should I do while waiting to get married?” I love having tea with you during our Ask Jani episodes.

Jani: Well, I thank you, Heidi, I thank you very much. But I really liked it when Ray would come in with me. We did have a few and and I just like his manly presence and his deep wisdom that he has and insight and help for us as women as well.

Heidi: I think our listeners like those, too. It was fun when a lot of pastors would email in saying, “We listen to those episodes that Ray is on and we learned so much from him. You, too.” You walk so closely with the Lord that you really set a beautiful example for the rest of us.

Jani: Well, we praise the Lord for that.

“Faithful is He Who called you who will also do it.”

1 Thessalonians 5:24

Jani: He’s called us into this, and he’s helping us do it, isn’t he?

Jani: Then we had that series on Going Deeper with God. That was throughout the summer and early fall of 2019, where we talked about quiet times and prayer and meditation. We’re going to revisit those in our discipleship series, aren’t we, Heidi?

Heidi: Yes, actually Jani kind of broke the news without any excitement. That’s kind of our looking ahead. We’re thinking about doing a discipleship series. And Jani, how many years now have you been discipling women?

Jani: Well, let’s see. I started when Ray and I were in seminary with high school students. So that was in ’72. So,

Heidi: 40 years now?

Jani: Yes. Not every year. Some years, we were traveling overseas and other years there was a pandemic or things like that.

Heidi: But God has been so faithful to Jani to input and to bless her with as she’s learned from other older women, how to walk with Christ daily, how to be His disciple, and she shared that with women for the last 40 years or so. And so we’re thinking of just going through that series, and going through her discipleship teaching, kind of on the looking ahead. So but if you want a sneak peek of some of that material, go back and listen to the Going Deeper with God, those were my favorite episodes. Those had, when I was in your discipleship group, Jani, those lessons in particular—quiet time prayer, scripture, meditation—had one of the largest impacts on my life and my time with the Lord. So I’d really encourage our listeners as we can all struggle with daily time with Christ, if they need encouragement and hope to go back and listen to those.

Jani: Thank you, Heidi, and I thank those who discipled me. I mean, really, we’re part of a chain, a long chain of women who’ve poured into us, aren’t we?

Jani: Well, we had some other series, let’s think back. Remember when we talked about writing goals in early January 2020 before we were hit with this pandemic? Oh, my goodness. That episode, “Your Purpose In Life” was our fourth most popular episode in general. And that’s important, isn’t it, Heidi? I think we realize that our listeners are looking for how to live their life with purpose. So we anticipate building on this series year to year. There are only five total episodes in this series Living with Holy Purpose. So our listeners might want to go back and listen to that.

Heidi: And revisit those goals. How are all those 2021 goals that we wrote at the beginning of the year coming along?

Jani: Yeah, it’s a good time, isn’t it? In early to mid spring, before you hit your summer months to see, “Okay, how am I doing? What do I need to tweak? What do I need to revise? What do I need to eliminate to accomplish what God wants me to this year?” Living with Purpose.

Jani: Well, then we went into our series on the 10 commandments, which I was surprised at how many listeners responded to that series.

Heidi: I was too. And I always think of your mirror example, Jani, teaching us that the 10 commandments provide a mirror to our souls. And we can look into those 10 commandments and they kind of give us a reflection back.

Jani: Of who we are inside. And that’s why I call it “His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy.” He loves us, we often think of the 10 commandments as being so strict and tight and hard and “Oh, that’s Old Testament” but he loved us through them. He told us how life works best. They’re his love letter to us, really. And when we live them out and practice them, they become a lasting legacy of faithfulness to God, of faithfulness in our marriages, of how to live among each other in a godly community where we’re givers rather than takers. So that was a, I think, more popular series than you and I had anticipated Heidi.

Jani: I think the one episode, “Marriage according to Scripture,” that was our third most popular episode of all time. Isn’t that something? Well, that tells you where we are. We want good, solid, happy, biblical, Christ-honoring marriages, don’t we.

Episodes on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jani: Then we had to teach a little bit on the pandemic.

Heidi: Oh, I don’t want to go back to those months at all.

Jani: Let’s not. Let’s just skip right over that. Because this year is better, right?

Heidi: Everybody knows about the pandemic. We can skip how difficult those few months were when the world was shutting down and we were all struggling with anxiety on some level and trying to figure out how to live faithfully to Christ. And yet here we are over a year later and God is still faithful and he’s still good and he still loves us.

Jani: Yes, yes. I praise him for that. It was interesting to me that our 9th, out of all 100 episodes, our ninth most popular episode was one from that series, How To Be A Christian In The Midst Of A National Crisis.

Other Episodes

Jani: Then we had a few others series we won’t talk about, we tried to have holiday episodes, we had special guests. Oh, remember when Katie Lewis came on?

Heidi: And Jennifer Cortez and all of her amazing wisdom.

Jani: Yes.

Heidi: Those are some of my favorites when we have different people like Ray and your daughter-in-law, and Katie and Jen come on and share their wisdom with us.

Jani: It’s good to get other voices in here, isn’t it?

A New Book: Help! I’m Married to my Pastor

Jani: And we talked about my latest book, we had a lot of interaction with young pastors.

Heidi: Yes, and I’m going to do a selfish push. If you haven’t read Jani’s book yet, it’s called Help! I’m Married To My Pastor and it is so good. So whether you’re a pastor’s wife or you’re the friend of a pastor, you can find it on Amazon.

Jani: Well, thank you, Heidi. I’ll slip you that $100 bill later.

Looking Ahead

Jani: Well, let’s circle back to our look ahead now, Heidi. You gave us a wonderful teaser about it. Heidi and I have been praying about what the future should look like in He Restores My Soul. Heidi and I both have a strong desire to disciple other women. We feel it’s our responsibility to leave to the coming generations. A picture of what it looks like to be a woman of God following him.

Heidi: And also the desire to leave to other generations what God has given us, you know? What do we have that we haven’t received?

Jani: Yes, yes. So we are going to be working during these weeks, the next few weeks, Heidi and I together, we’re going to be working on our new series on discipleship, which we hope to produce and put out early in August. Pray for us as we do that, please. And also keep sending in your questions for Ask Jani and Heidi, we love to receive them and put them together in different categories so that we can speak to some of the needs you’re dealing with that we aren’t aware of.

Heidi: And we just want to thank you so much for being with us through 100 episodes. Jani and I are just humbled to sit in these seats and drink tea and try to learn and stumble our way through using podcast equipment. We were just thinking about some of the funny moments that the Lord has helped us go through like when you and Ray recorded a whole episode and your microphones were muted and we sent it in.

Jani: And nothing was there except mumbles.

Heidi: Yes, Kevin said, “I just don’t hear you clearly.” And we said, “Oh, you have to record this.” Or the one episode where I had all three kids with me and they were just having a heyday upstairs playing with the blocks and you could hear them in the background and some very kind loving listener said, “That might be a little distracting.”

Jani: I thought it was sweet noise in the background but I can understand how our listeners would wonder, “What is that banging going on?”

Heidi: Yes or “I hear my own children banging. I don’t need to hear Heidi’s children banging.” And yet they’ve been, my kids have been so sweet and so kind.

Jani: And so obedient, Heidi, to come with us and and play quietly at young ages for a couple hours while we podcast.

Heidi: Yes. But we also want you to know that there’s those moments where they’re just loud children and my children are not perfect either. So but just what a gift to be here and to serve the Lord through 100 episodes. We were just talking before we sat down to record about how this isn’t our doing. There were some days that we came to these microphones and God had really filled our souls abundantly. And there were other days that we came to these microphones and we were struggling, and we were walking through hardships in life. And we said, “Lord, we don’t know what to say today. This is hard. We need you to show up and be faithful.” And how God has been so faithful, every episode, every recording, to speak to us and to speak, I hope, to our listeners, and he has been the one to fill us up. So we just want to take a moment and say this isn’t about Jani Ortlund or Heidi Howerton, this is about the Lord. And we want all of the worship and praise to go to him.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Jani: And so we want to end this 100th episode with a prayer of thanksgiving to our kind king. “Oh, Lord Jesus Christ. To whom be all the glory and praise. We stop and thank you for microphones, for technology, for a webmaster, an editor, for friends that we can podcast with. Lord, you have done a wonderful thing and it is marvelous in our eyes. We praise you. We thank you, Lord. You are the restorer of our souls. We lift up every listener. We ask that, through your Holy Spirit, you would bring mercy and peace and comfort and restoration to each soul. Lord then you will get the glory and we’ll get the joy. Oh, it’s so wonderful being yours. We love you. We thank you. We praise you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Thank You

Thank you for joining us today. This podcast is generously funded through Renewal Ministries. If you would like to discover more about Jani and Ray’s ministry or make a donation, visit their website at renewalministries.com. If you have a question for Jani or would like to learn more about this podcast, please visit our website at herestoresmysoul.org.

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He Restores My Soul with Jani Ortlund seeks to encourage women with God’s renewing power for their busy lives. Episodes include relevant biblical teaching, stimulating gospel conversations with other Christians, and “Ask Jani” sessions where we talk about what’s on our listeners’ hearts.

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