Welcome to CokerCast, a podcast produced by gifted members of Coker UMC

Here at Coker we represent our local church in San Antonio and the larger Christian Community where there is a wide diversity in our ways of thinking. Here at CokerCast we invite you to listen and engage as we converse for the purpose of hearing and being heard, knowing and being known, understanding and being understood. This is the way of love, this is the way of Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NRSV

Episode 3.1 || Lent Devotional Series, Psalm 27 NRSV

In this Episode…Feeling Fear? Hear a reading of Psalm 27 from the NRSV and Pastor David Blanco’s Lenten Devotion. Take a look within and ask, whom shall I fear when God is in charge?

Episode 2 || We’re Back & Quieting the Noise

In this Episode…Anxious much? In a world filled with constant noise – to do lists, work, politics, media – it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In this podcast, you’ll get biblical assurance and easy tips to calm your mind and body in less than five minutes.

Get Rid of Anxiety…“I can do all things through Christ” from Philippians 4:13 is a popular rally cry when we need strength. If we look at a few earlier verses in Philippians, we find that the author and passionate follower of Jesus, Paul, provides a blueprint for freeing ourselves from anxieties that keep us from living in the true power of Christ. 

Step 1. Give your anxieties to God.
Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…present your requests to God.” The Greek word Paul used for anxious means being torn apart, away from the whole. So many things, big and little, compete for our focus and attention, leaving us divided. Paul says we need to give up those things and hand them over to God.

Step 2. Focus on the good.
Once you’ve given over your anxieties, focus on good things. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure…” as Paul says in Philippians 4:8. The Greek word Paul used for true is alethinos, meaning something that cannot be covered up or made untrue. These are the things of God.

Follow steps one and two, and you’ll know what it is to have plenty and be content in God (Philippians 4:10-12). When you are content in God, THEN you can do all things through Christ.

Numbing Out = Psuedo Joy
Coker’s Senior Pastor Adam Knight has been doing a sermon series including 4 sermons on “Hearing God” in the Noise found in our marriages, at work, in our own heads we get distracted. We often turn to things like scrolling through Instagram or watching TV to numb out but really these things are distractions – pseudo joy. These pseudo joy givers deliver a shot of dopamine that can get addicting and ultimately are not calming.

It’s easy to say “don’t be anxious for anything,” but how do we do that?

Quieting Brings True Peace
Simple techniques and tools can help us quiet and bring shalom to our bodies and mind, that kind of peace we want but often get distracted from due to pseudo joy and fake calm.

Quieting is not an emptying out of what’s going on in your head. In a blog posted title Quieting as a Life Skill, Life Model Works author Deni Huttula says, “Quieting is what happens when we allow our thoughts to slow down and savor a peaceful moment. Scientists often refer to it as mindfulness. Mindfulness often helps us become aware of where we are in the exact moment so that the past and the future aren’t screaming at us,” she shares.

Vagus Nerve Exercise
There’s science behind quieting.

The vagus nerve runs underneath your collar bone on both sides of your body and interacts with the control of heart, lungs, and digestive tract. You can stimulate the vagus nerve to bring calm to your body and slow your breathing and heart rate. Add a calming phrase like “When I am anxious (or afraid or angry or any feeling you have), I will trust in You, O Lord.” Watch Dr. Jim Wilder* demonstrate this and other calming techniques.

Use this technique anywhere to take a breather and soothe yourself, bringing calm to your mind and quieting what feels like chaos.

Lifelong Benefits to Mental Health
Using a simple practice like stimulating the vagus nerve can help curb anxiety and depression.

Being able to quiet is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong mental health. In the book Transforming Fellowships: 19 Brain Skills that Build Joyful Community, author Chris Coursey tells of a study in which people participated in a relaxation program focused on meditation, yoga, and stress-reduction exercises. After just eight weeks, participants cut their use of clinical services of 43%, which was estimated to reduce health costs anywhere from $640 to $25,000 per patient each year.

Quieting makes a BIG difference!

Hosted by: Andy McAdams and Sanseria Murray
Researcher: Jamie Johnson
Audio Record: Coker UMC Studios with Brandon Brosted & Zow Martinez
Produced by: Andy McAdams and Team of CokerCast

*Dr. Jim Wilder, Ph.D., Clinical Psycology, and M.A. Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, is the founder and chief neurotheologian of Life Model Works, a nonprofit working to build contagiously health Christian communities.

For more on quieting and brain science that links with the Bible, visit lifemodelworks.org.