Archives For Peter and Shannyn

Peter & Shannyn – Monday, Dec 16

Fireside Story – Joseph’s Letter Home (From

Dear Mom,

We’re still in Bethlehem–Mary and I and little Jesus.

There were lots of things I couldn’t talk to you about last summer. You wouldn’t have believed me then, but maybe I can tell you now. I hope you can understand.

You know, Mom, I’ve always loved Mary. You and dad used to tease me about her when she was still a girl. She and her brothers used to play on our street. Our families got together for supper. But the hardest day of my life came scarcely a year ago when I was twenty and she only fifteen. You remember that day, don’t you?

The trouble started after we were betrothed and signed the marriage agreement at our engagement. That same spring Mary had left abruptly to visit her old cousin Elizabeth in Judea. She was gone three whole months. After she got back, people started wondering out loud if she were pregnant.

It was cloudy the day when I finally confronted her with the gossip. “Mary,” I asked at last, “are you going to have a baby?”

Her clear brown eyes met mine. She nodded.

I didn’t know what to say. “Who?” I finally stammered.

Mom, Mary and I had never acted improperly–even after we were betrothed.

Mary looked down. “Joseph,” she said. “There’s no way I can explain. You couldn’t understand. But I want you to know I’ve never cared for anyone but you.” She got up, gently took my hands in hers, kissed each of them as if it were the last time she would ever do that again, and then turned towards home. She must have been dying inside. I know I was.

The rest of the day I stumbled through my chores. It’s a wonder I didn’t hurt myself in the woodshop. At first I was angry and pounded out my frustrations on the doorframe I was making. My thoughts whirled so fast I could hardly keep my mind on my work. At last I decided just to end the marriage contract with a quiet divorce. I loved her too much to make a public scene.

I couldn’t talk to you. Or anyone, for that matter. I went to bed early and tried to sleep. Her words came to me over and over. “I’ve never cared for anyone but you…. I’ve never cared for anyone but you….” How I wished I could believe her!

I don’t know when I finally fell asleep. Mom, I had a dream from God. An angel of the Lord came to me. His words pulsated through my mind so intensely I can remember them as if it were yesterday.

“Joseph, son of David,” he thundered, “do not fear to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

I couldn’t believe my ears, Mom. This was the answer! The angel continued, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

The angel gripped my shoulders with his huge hands. For a long moment his gaze pierced deep within me. Just as he turned to go, I think I saw a smile on his shining face.

I sat bolt upright in bed. No sleep after that! I tossed about for a while, going over the words in my mind. Then I got up and dressed quietly so I wouldn’t wake you.

I must have walked for miles beneath the moonless sky. Stars pricked the blackness like a thousand tiny pinpoints. A warm breeze blew on my face.

I sang to the Lord, Mom. Yes, me, singing, if you can imagine that. I couldn’t contain my joy. I told Him that I would take Mary and care for her. I told Him I would watch over her–and the child–no matter what anyone said.

I got back just as the sun kissed the hilltops. I don’t know if you still recall that morning, Mom. I can see it in my mind’s eye as if it were yesterday. You were feeding the chickens, surprised to see me out. Remember?

“Sit down,” I said to you. “I’ve got to tell you something.” I took your arm and helped you find a seat on the big rock out back. “Mom,” I said, “I’m going to bring Mary home as my wife. Can you help make a place for her things?”

You were silent a long time. “You do know what they’re saying, don’t you, son?” you said at last, your eyes glistening.

“Yes, Mom, I know.”

Your voice started to rise. “If your father were still alive, he’d have some words, I’ll tell you. Going about like that before you are married. Disgracing the family and all. You… you and Mary ought to be ashamed of yourselves!”

You’d never have believed me if I’d tried to explain, so I didn’t. Unless the angel had spoken to you, you’d have laughed me to scorn.

“Mom, this is the right thing to do,” I said.

And then I started talking to you as if I were the head of the house. “When she comes I don’t want one word to her about it,” I sputtered. “She’s your daughter-in-law, you’ll respect her. She’ll need your help if she’s to bear the neighbors’ wagging tongues!”

I’m sorry, Mom. You didn’t deserve that. You started to get up in a huff.

“Mom,” I murmured, “I need you.” You took my hand and got to your feet, but the fire was gone from your eyes.

“You can count on me, Joseph,” you told me with a long hug. And you meant it. I never heard another word. No bride could hope for a better mother-in-law than you those next few months.

Mom, after I left you I went up the road to Mary’s house and knocked. Her mother glared at me as she opened the door. Loudly, harshly she called into the house, “It’s Joseph!” almost spitting out my name as she said it.

My little Mary came out cringing, as if she expected me give her the back of my hand, I suppose. Her eyes were red and puffy. I can just imagine what her parents had said.

We walked a few steps from the house. She looked so young and afraid. “Pack your things, Mary,” I told her gently. “I’m taking you home to be my wife.”

“Joseph!” She hugged me as tight as she could. Mom, I didn’t realize she was so strong.

I told her what I’d been planning. “We’ll go to Rabbi Ben-Ezer’s house this week and have him perform the ceremony.”

I know it was awfully sudden, Mom, but I figured the sooner we got married the better it would be for her, and me, and the baby.

“Mary, even if our friends don’t come, at least you and I can pledge our love before God.” I paused. “I think my Mom will be there. And maybe your friend Rebecca would come if her dad will let her. How about your parents?”

I could feel Mary’s tiny frame shuddering as she sobbed quietly.

“Mary,” I said. I could feel myself speaking more boldly. “No matter what anyone says about you, I’m proud you’re going to be my wife. I’m going to take good care of you. I’ve promised God that.”

She looked up.

I lowered my voice. “I had a dream last night, Mary. I saw an angel. I know.”

The anguish which had gripped her face vanished. She was radiant as we turned away from the house and began to walk up the hill together.

Just then her mother ran out into the yard. “Wait,” she called. She must have been listening from behind the door. Tears were streaming down her cheeks.

“I’ll get your father,” she called, almost giddy with emotion. “We,” she cried as she gathered up her skirts. “We,” she shouted as she began to run to find her husband. “We … are going to have a wedding!”

That’s how it was, Mom. Thanks for being there for us. I’ll write again soon.

Love, Joseph

Peter & Shannyn – Tuesday, Dec 17

Fireside Story – The Perfect Christmas Pageant by M.L. Lindvall

Peter & Shannyn – Wednesday, Dec 18

This morning in our It’s News To Us segment we told you about the Mimi Foundation, which is helping cancer patients to rediscover what it means to be carefree through their project If Only For A Second.  To watch the video click here.

Fireside Story – The Lord of the Messy Manger by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

If you think your life is an utter disaster, that God could never use a life as messed up as yours, think again. Let me point you to some familiar Bible stories.
  • Joseph’s brothers hate him so much that they sell him as a slave and make their father believe he has been devoured by animals, but “but God meant it for good” to save thousands from starvation.1
  • Sampson lusts after a Philistine girl — not the nice Jewish girl his parents wanted for him. But the Bible says, “his father and mother did not know that this was from the Lord.”2
  • King Solomon’s son makes a disastrous decision that loses him half the kingdom. What a mess! But God says, “This thing is from me.”3
  • Jacob is a liar and a cheat and has to flee for his life. He sleeps out in the open with only a rock for a pillow. But when he wakes with a vision of angels, he says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”4

Your life may appear well-ordered on the surface, but underneath there may be disarray. Brokenness, pain, shame. Things you seem utterly incapable of fixing.

The good news, my friend, is that God is bigger than your messy life. He is not impotent. He is not confined by your boundaries. He is God! And he is unafraid of working in messy situations. In fact, he gets a kick out of surprising us with his amazing grace.

What are your points of pain? What is the mess that you are struggling with? Maybe, just maybe, God is able to take your mess, and out of it bring blessing.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

How bad can it get? A girl gets pregnant. Her parents are utterly shamed. Her fiancé — not the father — is ready to dump her. And then he is told, “Do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”5

How bad can it get? The girl is in labor, far from home with only a cave-barn where she can lie down and have her baby. The only place to put her newborn is a manger. A cattle trough. We imagine it with fresh, fragrant straw plucked from a bale of hay. But I doubt that the cave was stocked with neat bales stacked against the wall. The straw that night was neither fresh nor fragrant. Life was a mess — but God was in it.

God sees Mary with her tiny infant and sends a host of angels to announce the birth.

“Behold, I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For unto you is born this day
in the city of David
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths
and lying in a manger.”6

The messy manger is itself a sign from God. Is your life a mess? Then let this be a sign to you.

Your very good news is that the God of the messy manger, the resurrected Christ of the cruel cross, and the Holy Spirit, in whom you live and move and have your being, are able to break through in your life, begin to clean up your mess, bless you too. And that — like the messy manger — will be a wonder all its own.

Peter & Shannyn – Thursday, December 19

This morning in our It’s News To Us segment, we told you about the Christmas story audio-version from Faith Comes By Hearing.  To listen click here.

Fireside Story – The Peasant Princess by Lynette Brooks

God had been silent for a long time…or so it seemed to the people of Judea.  The prophets had said centuries ago that God would send a leader, a king, a Messiah who would restore the glory of King David’s throne.

The only ones that spoke about the prophets now were the priests, and that was because it was their job to do so.  The Pharisees paid more attention to the Law and to the traditions.  They were too busy attempting perfection in rules and regulations and measurements to be concerned about mysterious promises.  The Sadducees (being the practical realists that they were) had decided that the old writings were a collection of pretty stories that had no real impact on day-to-day living.  No.  No one thought about those strange old prophets and their odd messages.  Except…except, a faithful few scattered throughout Judea and the world.  Hidden in various walks of life; they thought about them.  They wondered.  They believed.

A young peasant woman in Nazareth believed.  Well, not exactly a peasant.  After all, she and her fiancé could both claim King David himself as one of their ancient ancestors.  But it had been centuries since a descendant of David had sat on a throne.  There was no king in Judea now except Herod, the cruel puppet king sent by Rome.  The world saw her as a peasant…..but God knew that she was a princess.  God had known this young peasant princess before she had developed in her mother’s womb.  Perhaps He had spoken her name before the foundations of the earth were laid.  God knew her.  She was one of God’s favorites, because she had given Him what He finds so precious; a yielded heart, an obedient spirit and a trusting mind.

The peasant princess and her fiancé were betrothed.  More than engaged…more like partly married.  Breaking a betrothal involved much more than canceling the caterer.  It was a very serious matter.  In fact, she could legally be put to death as an adulteress if she were found to be unfaithful to her betrothed.  But that would never happen to her!  All Nazareth knew her as an honorable young woman.

Then came the shock of her life.  The SHOCK of all our lives, the Cosmic Disruption that all of time and eternity hang upon.  She had a visitor with a message from God.  She would miraculously become pregnant.  She would give birth to a Son, the Messiah, and the One that would save His people from their sins.  And despite all that it could mean in terms of her future and her happiness, she says, “Yes.”  God knows what it will cost her and He smiles upon His peasant princess.  But it is a sad smile…because God KNOWS what it will cost her.

The peasant princess gives the message to her fiancé.  He is heartbroken and bewildered.  Some men would have gone into a jealous rage and would have dragged her before the village.  They would have poured out their pain by publicly humiliating her before having her stoned to death.  That’s what the Law says to do with an adulteress; who would blame him?  But he loves her.  And while he also knows and loves God’s Law, he also seeks God’s Mercy.

God knows his pain and confusion and grants the reassurance that he needs.  He may take the peasant princess as a wife.  He is given the honor and the tremendous task of being stepfather to God’s Own Son.  He is given The Name to bestow upon the Son that is to come.

The village reacts much as you would have expected it to, the whispers and the stares, the snickering and the cold shoulders, the hurt of the families from the dishonor, and the help from those that truly love them.  So when the decree came from Rome that they must go to Bethlehem to be taxed…perhaps they welcomed the opportunity and made plans to move.  Perhaps the young husband planned to find work there; he was a good carpenter.  Perhaps that’s why he took the peasant princess with him on such a long journey when she was so near to the time to give birth.  He took her with him, and she would have no mother or other female relative to guide her through that most womanly experience.

They made the long journey to Bethlehem and it was difficult for both of them.  She was uncomfortable and tired.  Her body was cumbersome.  She could not find a comfortable position on the donkey’s back as they traveled several miles a day.  He was worried and tired, worried about the dangers of traveling, worried about her well being, worried about the dangers of childbirth.  The angel had promised a Son…not necessarily an easy birth.  They were relieved when they finally reached Bethlehem, but not for long.

Bethlehem was bursting at the seams.  There was no room to be had, anywhere.  No home opened to hem, no bed made available.  An innkeeper allowed them to stay in his barn.  Did he charge them for it?  Did other poor travelers also share the animals’ beds?

And the appointed time came; exactly when God knew it would happen, exactly as He had always planned.  Incarnate God was born in a barn.  The Word made flesh was wrapped in rags and laid in an animal’s feed box.  And they gave Him the Name that had been given to the husband, the NAME whereby you must be saved.  He was a newborn with tiny fingers and tiny toes.  The peasant princess held Him and counted His tiny fingers and tiny toes, the ritual of new mothers throughout the ages.  Exhausted and exultant she held the promised Infant.

But now there were shepherds, come to tell them of a marvelous tale.  Angels had appeared to them.  Angels had sung, “Glory to God”.  Angels had told them where to find the baby.  Shepherds came to gaze upon the Promise; not priests, not Pharisee, not Sadducee, not king, not ANYONE that we might have expected.  But the peasant princess and the husband hadn’t expected anyone.  They were amazed by the reports the shepherds gave them.  The bewildered couple knew where the baby came from and what to name Him.  They even knew a little of why He had come.  But they hadn’t expected anyone else to know and so they marveled with the shepherds.  And the peasant princess remembered all this.

After some time the husband and the peasant princess found somewhere to stay with the Baby.  We do not know how long they stayed in Bethlehem.  The Baby grew.  Perhaps He was toddling when some strange visitors came, bringing costly and extravagant gifts.  The visitors had first gone to Jerusalem expecting to find there the One that the sky had led them to seek.  Jealous Herod was alarmed by their visit.  He had killed children before, to retain his throne.  No threat, no matter how small, was to be taken lightly.  “Find the child and then tell me where to find Him.  I want to worship too,” was Herod’s clever plan.  But God knew Herod’s heart and warned the visitors and the husband.  The visitors did not return to Herod.  The husband took the peasant princess and the Child and fled to Egypt, that land that He had led His people from more than centuries ago.  Pharaoh once again unwittingly shelters God’s Promise.  And Herod, insane with rage, or coldly wicked, orders the death of baby boys.  Mosaic history repeating itself in Bethlehem—just as Moses was saved but many died—just as the firstborn among the Egyptians died but the Hebrews were Passed Over—so many died now and the Child had His own Passover.  Prophecy was fulfilled, as it always is.  And yet again, mothers grieved for their children.

Herod failed to kill the little King.  The Child grew in Egypt.  And when after some time, God told the husband that Herod was dead, they returned to Nazareth.  Perhaps some wounds had healed.  Maybe hard hearts had softened and once again they could go home.  But there would always be those who pointed fingers.  There would always be those who wouldn’t understand and those who refused to see.  And the peasant princess kept all of these things in her heart.  And the Child grew and became a carpenter like the husband.  Until it was His time…..

Peter & Shannyn – Friday, Dec 20

Fireside Story – Angels We Have Heard On High by John Duckworth (Stories That Sneak Up On You)

Peter & Shannyn – Tuesday, December 10

This morning we talked with Christian meditation expert Brooke Boone about ways to de-stress at Christmas.

Peter & Shannyn – Wednesday, December 11

This morning we were joined by Photographer Jess Burton to tell us how to take great family pictures this Christmas.  If you’d like to learn more about Jess, click here.

Peter & Shannyn – Thursday, December 12

Today Veggie Tales Co-Creator Mike Nawrocki (aka Larry the Cucumber) joined us to talk about the new Veggie Tale DVD Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas.

Shannyn’s Chocolate Truffles Recipe


  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (high quality, 62% cacao or higher), well chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Cocoa powder


  1. Place chocolate in a bowl and refrigerate.
  2. In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (this may take a while, be sure to stir and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula every few minutes).
  3. Retrieve chocolate from fridge, pour cream over chocolate, folding from outside to in slowly.  Allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth. (This chocolate base is called ganache.)
  4. Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove and with a teaspoon roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Roll chocolate balls in cocoa powder place back in the refrigerator until needed.

Makes 30-40 truffles

Tips on Cyber Monday Shopping from

1) First and foremost, download the FREE Hip2Save App, sign up for Hip2Save Hot Text alerts, follow Hip2Save on Facebook and plan to follow regularly throughout the day on Cyber Monday. I will be up super early posting all the best deals so be sure to refresh the site often.

2) If you are planning to shop a specific site on Cyber Monday, sign up for the newsletter and/or consider following the company on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest. Often times, newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans snag exclusive coupon codes or are notified in advance of hot deals.

3) To save time when checking out, create an account with your favorite companies in advance so that your shipping/billing address is already in their system.

4) If you are worried about checking out online with your credit card, consider purchasing a prepaid card to use specifically on Cyber Monday. Many sites also offer the option to check out with Paypal.

5) Since the cost of shipping can often times “kill” a great deal, look for FREE Shipping offers and/or FREE Store Pick-up offers. You may also want to consider signing up for a program like ShopRunner which offers up FREE two-day shipping and free returns across a growing network of nearly 80 retailers including Toys R Us, FAO Schwartz, and Claire’s (in fact, all American Express cardholders can head on over here to score a FREE ShopRunner membership; check out this post for more information).

6) If you are purchasing an item for a friend/family member, consider having the item shipped directly to the gift recipient (this will save you from having to incur additional shipping costs once you receive the item).

7) Look for shipping guarantees. If you are purchasing items for Christmas, take some time to read the shipping policy to ensure your items do indeed arrive in time for Christmas.

8) Search for coupon codes before you buy! Before you hit the purchase button, take some time to search for coupon codes on sites like Also, consider joining a cash back site like or to earn cash back on online purchases.

9) Read the return/exchange policies for each retailer. Some retailers will not refund/exchange items purchased on Cyber Monday so be sure to keep this in mind.

Peter & Shannyn – November 25, 2013

Tenth Avenue North

Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North stopped by this morning to talk about Winter Jam, and their hit song “Worn.”

Peter & Shannyn – November 26, 2013

Son of God

The Bible mini-series on History Channel was one of the most watched shows on television this year.  In February of 2014, it makes the jump to the big screen in the film Son of God.  Watch the trailer here.

Grocery Shopping

Knowing when to shop may be the best way to avoid stress.  Experts say the worst times to shop are:

  1. Tuesday at 6pm – According to many studies, most people like to make homemade dinner for their family on Tuesday evenings. That means that the parking lot will be packed and there will long crowded line at the check-out stands.
  2. Weekdays at 2pm – This is when you see the fewest shoppers but also the fewest employees, which means fewer check-outs open.
  3. Any day at 1am – During this time, you are buying left over foods of the day.
  4. Saturday at Noon – This is when most people are buying food for the next week, so shopping for just a few items can take a lot longer.

So when is the best time to go grocery shopping?

  • Wednesday at 8am – This is when new and fresh foods are being put on the shelves that have been delivered from the manufacturers and farmers. Plus the parking, shopping and checkout is very simple and quick.  Research shows that the staffs are most likely to be well rested, friendly, and helpful – and you also get more sale foods and coupons.

Peter & Shannyn – November 27, 2013

A Very Ducky Thanksgiving

This morning Jase & Missy Robertson joined us to talk about Christmas, the new Duck Dynasty Christmas album, and what they’re thankful for.


This morning we shared a list of some of the stores that will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving Day. There are others, including many locally owned small businesses.

  • A.C. Moore
  • Ace Hardware
  • Apple
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bed, Bath and Beyond
  • Big Lots
  • Costco
  • Dollar General
  • Dillard’s
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Marshalls
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • RadioShack
  • Sam’s Club
  • TJ Maxx


Peter & Shannyn – November 18, 2013

Movie Ratings

A new report in the journal Pediatrics suggests PG-13 movies today contain more violence than the R-rated films of the 1980s, and in particular gun gun violence in PG-13 films has tripled since 1985, the year the PG-13 rating was first introduced.  This morning Bob Waliszewski from Plugged joined us to talk about how to navigate those ratings in your family.

Peter & Shannyn – November 19, 2013

Word of the Year

Oxford Dictionary has named “selfie” it’s Word of the Year (Telling of our culture, right?) If YOU were to sum up YOUR year in one word, what word would you choose? Tell us in the comments section!

Beat the Cold

This morning we talked about how you can heat your home using flower pots & tea lights.  See how it’s done here.

Peter & Shannyn – November 20, 2013

Health for the Holidays

Former Mr. Universe Peter Nielsen dropped by this morning to tell us how to win the battle of the bulge this holiday season.

Uncle Si – Christmas Memory

Peter & Shannyn – November 21, 2013

Related By Chance, Family By Choice

Author Deb DeArmond joined us this morning to talk about navigating that difficult relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, especially at the holidays.  DeArmond and her 3 daughters conducted their own exhaustive research into women-in-laws and found that 1 in 3 women reported that relationship was “bad.”  That was true in Christian homes just as much as outside the faith.

First Annual Morning Show Chili Cook-Off Winner – Dennis’ Recipe


  • 1-1.5 pounds of ground beef
  • 2 red/yellow bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 packet chili seasoning
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • 1 can of chili beans
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder to taste (optional)


  1. Brown ground beef & drain fat.
  2. Stir in chili seasoning, peppers, onion, tomato (all chopped).
  3. In crock pot, pour in tomato soup, chili beans, corn, & spaghetti sauce.
  4. Stir in beef and add pinch of cayenne pepper and chili powder.
  5. Heat & serve.
  6. 10-12 servings.

Peter & Shannyn – November 22, 2013

CS Lewis Anniversary

Besides being the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, today is also the 50th anniversary of the death of CS Lewis.  Today on the show we got the privilege of sitting down & talking with CS Lewis’ stepson, Douglas Gresham.

Intentional Acts of Kindness

Print out the image below when you do an Intentional Act of Kindness to let someone know God loves them!

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