March 31, 2021

For You

Holy Week is a time to celebrate and remember all Christ has done FOR YOU! His deep and endless love is shown in his willing sacrifice upon the cross. He did this all for you. 

"I Thirst" reflection link

Prayer at the end of episode: “To Be A Disciple of Christ” by Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR

Lord God, you who provide the fire for a transformed life, I come before you this day and beg for the fire of your love and mercy to forgive my sins and free me from my self-imposed bondages.

I pray for the fire of your Spirit to lead me in repentance and conversion so I may be faithful in following you.

I pray for the fire of your love to ignite my heart with love for my brothers and sisters and lead me to intercede in faith for them.

I pray for the fire of faith to be committed to you and your teaching as a servant to His Master.

I pray for the fire of your desire to save all mankind to inflame me so that I can witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ and be a channel for the salvation of mankind.

Lord, I want to burn for you before all peoples.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.


If we are trying to love and serve the Lord, and interested in growing in holiness, we always want to make sure to make decisions according to the will of God. However, it is not always easy for us to make decisions. We can be tempted to become anxious and fearful when faced with making an important decision. In this episode Kara and Fred share some thoughts from the treasury of the Church’s teaching as well as their own experience in striving to follow the will of God in their own lives.  

Small Group Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your current process of discerning the Lord’s will for your life? In what ways has it worked for you?
  2. What is one thing you learned about yourself through your journey of discernment?
  3. What is one way your relationship with the Lord changed/grew/struggled in moments of decision-making?
  4. Look back on an important decision in your life. How can you see connections to that choice and how God worked in it to bring you here? How might things be different had you chosen the different path?
  5. How did Christ draw you closer to him through this episode?


St Ignatius of Loyola’s key to making a good decision:

“To make a good choice our intentions ought to be simple: only looking at what we were created for; namely the praise of God, our Lord, and the salvation of our souls. So, I ought to choose, in whatever I may do, that which may help me fulfill that end for which I am created.”


Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1:

"God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life."


Recommended questions to consider when making decisions, especially those of greater importance:

“How am I called to serve God?”

“How am I to most fully, and faithfully, live according to my state in life?”

“What does it look like for me to know him, love him, and serve him in my daily life?”

“How does this help me get to heaven?”

“How does it help to get others to heaven?”


Past Episodes Mentioned in the Show:

Four People You Need in Your Life:


Why Are You Catholic?:


The Invisible World – Spiritual Warfare:


The Invisible World – Angels Part 2:


Recommended Reading from This Episode:

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis:


A Method for Making Decisions from St. Ignatius of Loyola:

  1. Place problem before us (especially before the Blessed Sacrament)
  2. Keep in mind that we are created for glory of God and the salvation of our soul.
  3. Pray for God to move your will and make it clear what HE wants!
  4. Weigh the pros and cons; advantages and disadvantages, particularly in light of the purpose for which we were created.
  5. Choose according to the greater inclination of REASON.
  6. Place choice before God in prayer and ask him to affirm it if it’s for his glory

4 Helpful Rules for Discernment by Fr Mike Schmitz:

  • If God has not said clearly, do this or don’t do that, you have to ask yourselves four questions:

    • Is this a good door?
    • Is this an open door?
    • Is this a wise door? Knowing who I am, where I’ve been and who I want to be, is this a wise decision?
    • Is this a door that I want? If its all those things… Do you want to go through this door?


Song Mentioned in This Episode:
by I Am They:

Draw Near intro/outro music © Fred Shellabarger & Kara Kardell

February 17, 2021

WHY Give Up?

In this Ash Wednesday episode, we explore the "why" behind our Lenten sacrifices and devotion; as well as some tips on dealing with discouragement during Lent. We also offer some tips and suggestions from our own experience, on how to draw near to Christ during Lent. 

Lent is a time in which God provides us an opportunity to say, like Peter, “Yes, Lord, I love you more than these.” To put our focus on what matters most and to encounter him in a deeper way. An encounter with Christ that will help to set us on the right path, to think like him, to love like him.

Small Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Why would you intentionally enter into moments of sacrifice in life?
  2. How does making sacrifices in your own life relate to the life of Christ? How can we grow in understanding Jesus better by uniting our sacrifices to his?
  3. Think of past Lenten sacrifices. What was something you gave up? What was your intention behind giving that up? Did it bring you closer to Christ?
  4. How did Christ draw you closer to him through this episode?

Mentioned During this episode: 

Come, Follow Me: 

Life Weeds: 


We are made for relationship... and yet it seems so hard to find those intimate Catholic friendships. You know... the kind where you don't have to pretend to have it all together. The kind where you feel guided, supported, and loved! The friendships where at different times you are being led and then leading and then walking side by side through life. Listen to this episode to hear the 4 roles we need in our lives when it comes to friendships. What does it mean to have a Paul? A Timothy? Barnabas and Silas? 

Small Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Everyone needs a Paul, a Timothy and a Barnabas. What has been your experience with these relationships?
  2. How has a Paul, a Timothy, and/or a Barnabas helped you to grow in your own relationship with Christ?
  3. In what ways are you helping draw others closer to Christ as a Paul? As a Barnabas?
  4. How did Christ draw you closer to him through this episode?

Topics: friendship, mentoring/accompaniment, Pauline Scripture, made for relationship. 

January 20, 2021

As We Forgive

The Our Father prayer says, "Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us." Mt 6:12, 14-15. Each time we pray this, we acknowledge that we are forgiven to the measure we forgive. Listen to this episode to deepen your spiritual understanding of this call to forgive others and ourselves, which is accomplished through Christ.

Included topics: forgiveness, grace, confession, love, Our Father, Sermon on the Mount. 

Subscribe to our podcast for bi-weekly reminders when a new episode is published! 

January 6, 2021

Life of Prayer

In a follow-up episode to Prayer: Intimate Friendship with God, we continue the conversation on prayer with friend and speaker Matthew Leonard. No matter where we are in our relationship with God, He is always calling us to grow in the spiritual life... to grow in union with Him. Prayer is how we do that. 

Included topics: Attention and focus in prayer, how prayer relates to grace received in the Sacraments, modes of prayer, spiritual maturity, and conformity with Christ. 

Prayer: Intimate Friendship with God

Matthew Leonard 

The spiritual IS the practical. Nothing in our spiritual lives (or lives in general) is more integral than a prayer life. This is where we grow in friendship with God! Listen for more on this topic, biblical examples and teachings, and tips to overcoming obstacles in prayer. 

Small Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is prayer important? What impact, if any, does prayer have on your life?
  2. What devotions, prayers, or times of prayer have had the most influence in your relationship with God?
  3. What are some common obstacles to prayer? How can you overcome these obstacles?
  4. In what ways is God calling you to grow deeper in the life of prayer?
  5. How did Christ draw you closer to him through this episode?

Show Notes:

Come Follow Me 

Willingness to Suffer

Why are you Catholic? (testimonies)

Lectio Divina explained (credit to Evangelical Catholic)


December 9, 2020

Why are you Catholic?

There are many questions that we often may never intentionally reflect on. In this episode, we ask each other a couple of these questions and share parts of our testimonies. What led Fred to convert to Catholicism? What impacted Kara's faith in a dramatic way? 

As promised, here are a few questions to reflect on for your own life after you listen: 

Why do you believe in God?

Why are you Catholic?

What difference has your Catholic faith made in your life?

How has your encounter with Christ in the Eucharist changed your life? 

Who, in your life, has shown you the love of the Father? 

When has your faith been most challenged? How did this impact you? 

How have you experienced the grace of God in your life this past week?

When was the first time your were aware of God's presence in your life? 


I Thirst Reflection 

November 25, 2020

Come Follow Me

"'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.' Immediately they left their nets and followed him." Mt 4:19-20

We discuss the impact of this scripture passage and the practical applications for our lives. 

November 18, 2020

Redemptive Suffering

In this short episode, we welcome a friend and well-known Catholic speaker, Matthew Leonard. We had a great conversation with him about love, prayer, the interior life, and suffering. As a follow-up to our "Willingness to Suffer" episode, we wanted to share the audio from the short portion of our discussion regarding suffering. We hope you enjoy! 

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