I have never found so much joy to discover a worthy podcasting app for Android users – Pocket Casts. Even better, I can subscribe to the same podcasts that are typically hosted on iTunes. More importantly, Pocket Casts compels me to actually listen to the wide offering of podcasts on the go, as a phone is more mobile than a tablet and a computer. Yay! Another reason why I don’t need to own an Apple product (most unlikely for me!).

To date, I have been listening to podcasts since June 2017, some four months ago. The reason for tuning into podcasts all of a sudden is partly to be more productive with my daily commute. I currently subscribe to 128 podcast channels. Already, I have listened to a host of inspiring episodes from across the board. I find it liberating to listen to a sermon from select preachers, or learn nugget perspectives about business and culture… or chew on the geeky trends of today powering the world of tomorrow.

During the summer months, I was inspired by Captain “Sully” Sullenberger on The Forbes Interview podcast. Captain Sullenberger is a very humble man who doesn’t like to claim fame, but is passionate about his job and is an advocate in aviation safety. The interview with Captain Sully compelled me to finally watch the biographical film ‘Sully’ that I had purchased on the cheap several months before. Very inspiring and worth watching.

I like the business podcasts and I am learning so much from successful businesses, whilst learning the minds of angel investors and entrepreneurs alike. I was captivated by the conversations of tech and education pioneers including Kevin Rose of Digg and Ryan Carson of Treehouse, both of whom I came to learn through using their services. I am surprised that these guys are down to earth and very humble. I guess there is something exciting about risking your comforts to venture out and make a difference in the world we live in.

I still believe one can pursue a successful business based on good ethics and honesty. I just hope I’m not a naïve millennial, but I know for certain there is a growing market in such characteristics among modern-day consumers. The irony is that the demand isn’t found in churches, but among conscious consumers. I’m just a firm believer of doing Christ-centred mission outside the doors of a rugged church building, whilst reaching to the lost and ministering to people of all nations – without the hyperbole hierarchy of a prideful leadership. Humanly impossible task, but believers must strive to live a life that pleases God and to seek first the Kingdom of God. The underlying paradigm of a prideful leadership has to change, because people get hurt along the process.

From the ridiculous 128 podcast shows that I currently subscribe to, I wish to share a few personal favourites.

Ask Pastor John
Pastor John Piper is one of the few modern day preachers whom I respect. Despite sharing some theological leanings as Pastor John (mainly the continuationist and the complementarian view of gender roles), I deliberately don’t depend on him exclusively. As a result, I mostly listen to his ‘Ask Pastor John’ series. I appreciate his sincerity and character as he genuinely wants to give God the glory in his words, actions and thoughts. Other than Pastor John, how many pastors and/or theologians are willing to give away their books and writings away for free as downloadable PDF files?

Advice from Mom
This series is intriguing, as my vocational dissertation was based on researching the practicalities of biblical Christian counselling. Advice from Mom is a mother and daughter podcast, who naturally get along like peas in a pod. The Mom (aka ‘Momma B.’) is a certified psychologist, whilst the daughter (Rebecca) is a designer and musician. Of course, there is a disclaimer not to take the show’s given advice to heart as gospel prescription. For me, it’s learning to appreciate the psychological side of counselling, where Scripture is obviously not a prescription or source to solving one’s problem, but rather more about examining oneself. Despite the serious topics, there is a lot of light humour and raw honesty which I enjoy.

IRL
IRL (In Real Life) is a techie podcast featuring Internet personality, Veronica Belmont. IRL covers tech-related themes like the ethics of free speech online, net neutrality, ransomware, privacy, etc. It’s a podcast series produced by Mozilla, the same peeps who actively develop Firefox, and champion for Internet privacy, and educate folk in web development.

The Forbes Interview
Think Forbes magazine, but featuring audio interviews with successful entrepreneurs and today’s inspiring leaders.

This Week in Startups
TWIST is a very interesting web series hosted by Jason Calacanis, who is a pioneering Angel Investor who primarily invests in start-ups and tech companies in Silicon Valley. I find TWIST resourceful in learning from investors and entrepreneurs alike. It’s also interesting to learn of guests from tech giants from Silicon Valley.

Reply All
Reply All is a unique podcast surrounding modern life. Each episode is based on investigative reporting. My favourite episodes have so far been:

Episode #50 follows the intimate journey of Ryan and Amy Green as listeners come to learn of their third son Joel who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. For those familiar, this journey spawned a widely reported video game of the parent’s relationship and experience with Joel and his failing health. The autobiographical video game is called ‘That Dragon, Cancer.’ There is also a documentary film called ‘Thank You For Playing’ which follows the development of the game.

Episodes #102 & #103 is a two-part series that started when one of the co-hosts (Alex Goldman) received a call from a telephone scammer. Strangely fascinating and worth a listen.

Security Now
This is my go-to podcast for information security outside of cyber security blogs and research papers. Not only has my paranoia for Internet security increased since tuning in, but I am learning much about the technical know-how of the everyday services that I use and take for granted. Even though some of the technical security jargon flies over my head, I find it healthy to learn from a respected security researcher (Steve Gibson) in learning the latest in cyber security. As a result of each show, I strive to follow suit to safeguard my own digital assets and footprint.

There are more specific podcasts that I tune in that is directly related to this Kingdom-focus vision. I’m just not prepared to spill the exact form of business in the public realm.

I will however factor one underlying motivation of my apparent outward procrastination with this Kingdom-focus vision. I want to pursue a unique business advice that I heard on the TWIST podcast. As this vision aims to disrupt a sector, I am looking at a masking company to protect the core USPs and its long-term goals. I understand this may come across as hearsay, especially when I haven’t sought formal funding or have no formal business partner or motley crew, but I want to follow through a viable and legitimate “blueprint” – a key word that was spoken over me at a prayer session in the summer of 2012, before I studied for my second vocational course.

Audio Galore

Alongside podcasts, I’m slowly investing in select audio books from Christian Audio, mainly audio Bibles and classic literature works like The Pilgrim’s Progress and The Count of Monte Cristo. I have yet to subscribe or join Amazon’s Audible… I am just pleased that Christian Audio has finally bothered to invest money to develop an app that serves Android users. Yay for 2017!

I have a strange relationship with typed words on paper, compared with pixelated text. I am a very slow reader when it comes to physical books. Magazines are a little better paced. It’s been my struggle since childhood. How I passed two undergraduate degree programmes, I have no idea! I can attempt speed reading if I put my mind to it, but the reality is that I have to read each word and digest its entire context. It’s also why I have never read through the whole Bible. And yet, if I were to digest several sittings in a Bible audiobook, then it would only consume 75 hours (based on the ESV Hear the Word edition from Crossway).

As of late, I am indeed exploring podcasts, audio books and magazines. I do however find it challenging to sit through hours scanning typed text on paper alone. Unfortunately, due to my struggle to focus on typed text, I can haver in my concentration to focus on God’s Word.

At the end of the day, I want to rest my faith in peace knowing that I have done everything I humanly could to live each day to please my Heavenly Father. As long as I abide in Him and seek Him in all that I do – and remain faithful in Him, I have victory in Christ.

~Richard