LTP 24- Finding Good News In Harsh Places

In this podcast Episode, David Loveless talks about how good news is birthed in harsh places.

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Here is a brief summary of today’s episode of “The Live True Podcast.”  You can use this as a reference or reminder of key things you feel like you need to pay attention to or pass on to others, in the next 7 days of your life.

For most of us, we’ve believed that good news is birthed in good places, not harsh places.  But Mark 1 turns that notion on its ear.


Mark 1:1-4  The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:  “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— “a voice of one calling in the wilderness/desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness/Desert, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

 I’m drawn toward the fact that the beginning of the good news… the birthplace of the good news is in the desert.- where it feels like bad news.

Listen to David’s examples, in today’s audio podcast, of his time in both deserts and gardens.

All of living, loving, & leading seem to flow on a continuum

between garden and desert experiences.

Garden experiences Desert experiences
Promised land





No mans land





It’s interesting to me that our spiritual story begins in a garden in Genesis 2:8… and our biological story begins in a garden-like womb.

But, look where we’re first introduced to the ministry of Jesus —in the desert.  God’s Good News Tour doesn’t open on top of a scenic mountain or in a palatial garden. It starts from a place of isolated emptiness.

Listen to the audio podcast as David describes how he reacted over the years, to have desert-like experiences and what was the result of them.

 Luke 3: 4-6   “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.  The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.  And all people will see God’s salvation.’”

In your place of difficulty or temptation or hardship where you feel most exposed to enemies activity… God says make a straight path for me there and let me walk there…  let me walk in the desert place of your life and let’s walk straight into it and straight through it.

Here is another part of challenge of Luke 3: many people never step foot in the church because they don’t feel welcomed or invited.  They see the church as an exclusionary institution, that decides who’s right and who’s wrong.

The church often makes mountain tops higher

and the valleys deeper for people to get through.

It tends to turn the whole thing into an obstacle course.

But the job of true religion is to make it easy for people to understand and draw close to the very thing they were made for.

Here’s several things I had to ‘get straight’ in my desert…

A.   I had to ‘get straight’ in my mind that this path, while difficult beyond description, was going somewhere profoundly good and it wasn’t to hell.

B.   I had to ‘get straight’ in my mind that this path, wasn’t going to last forever…. even though I could see no other road ahead.

Jesus came bringing this good news.  And a part of what makes it so good is that it stands up to the heat of even the most difficult places.

Where is your desert?  Your place of need?

Wherever that place is for you, God says let me walk with you THERE, because I’m not ashamed of it anymore than I am ashamed of you.  I’m good news to you in the desert, as well as the garden.  I love you. I’m with you…wherever you are.

Here are some amazing words from Isaiah 35:

Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower—Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color.  Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”

Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert. Hot sands will become a cool oasis, thirsty ground a splashing fountain.

The people God has ransomed will come back on this road. They’ll sing as they make their way home, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,  Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.

David finishes this podcast with a blessing for you in your desert places.

To find out more, listen to this podcast in its entirety by clicking on the play button.

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LTP 23- Accepting Our Necessary Losses

In this podcast Episode, David & Caron Loveless discuss how to live through and actually cooperate with both little and big deaths or losses throughout our lives, so something even larger and more fulfilling can emerge from it all… and how the resurrection shows the way.

Listen to the Audio

Here is a brief summary of today’s episode of “The Live True Podcast.”  You can use this as a reference or reminder of key things you feel like you need to pay attention to or pass on to others, in the next 7 days of your life.

Let’s begin with my confession:  “I don’t like to die!”


It’s no surprise that as humans we avoid physical death, like the plague.  But there’s actually a far more significant death that we avoid… it’s the death of our ego… the death of who we perceive we are, or think we should be… the death of who we think others want us to be or think that we are.  So let me try again.

“I don’t like for anything I’ve manufactured…. created… can take credit for… I’m attached to… my beliefs, my opinions… my compulsive thinking….that i believe enhances or supports my identity.. I don’t like for any of that to die.”

We have a fear of dying our little deaths but it is the thing that keeps us from growing.

LTP 12- Finding Your Way Home

Why is there always a gap between the home we long for and the home we have? How can you find your way home today to a place that represents the answer to that.

Click the above audio play arrow to listen to today’s podcast.

Here is a brief summary of today’s episode of “The Live True Podcast.”  You can use this as a reference or reminder of key things you feel like you need to pay attention to or pass on to others, in the next 7 days of your life.


Whether at Christmas time or normal time, the theme of “home” has a profound sensation to it.

  • Example of: “I’ll be home for Christmas.”
  • Example of “Home” by Phillip Phillips.

There are few words as powerful as “home.” It can fill your heart… it can make you smile… make you cry… not matter what you age or condition of life.

There’s a longing for Home inside us that NO Home in this world can satisfy.

5 Meaningful Ways to Experience Advent

We always meant to observe Advent. We really wanted time for meaningful reflection but there were cards to mail, gifts to buy and wrap, parties to host and attend on top of all our normal responsibilities. As spiritual leaders we found ourselves pulling out the stops for everyone else’s Christmas but not focusing as thoughtfully as we would have liked on own Advent experience.


The Christmas season can distract us all from what we most truly want. So, we’ve learned it helps to have a simple devotional guide.

One resource we use is Advent Reflections by one of our spiritual mentors, Ruth Haley Barton, founder of the Transforming Center ( It has powerfully spoken to us so we wanted to pass on some of Ruth’s thoughtful insights to you.

The season of Advent gives us the opportunity to practice waiting for the light of Christ’s coming into the dark places of our world and our lives. Advent literally means “arrival,” and the themes of this season sensitize us to the coming of Christ—not just back then—but now, in the places we long to see his presence and need his intervention.

An Unexpected Place to Meet God

To connect and be close to God is really the most natural thing in the world. Unfortunately, religion has often made it complicated and un-natural.  Here is just one of five simple ways you can use to bring an extraordinary God into your ordinary day.

Meeting God where your wild beasts roam

Have you ever noticed what happens when you’re all alone… when it gets quiet… when there is nothing to distract you?  Often times, that’s when the “wild beasts” appear.


These ‘beasts’ are the things we would rather not deal with… un-healed hurts… past negative conversations that prick your ego…reminders of past failures… current lack… or anticipated need.

When most of us feel these beasts lurking, we immediately try to distract ourselves because we get fearful or uncomfortable with the feelings they stir up. Stop right there. That is exactly the place, that uncomfortable, fearful, anxious moment, where God is.

LTP 10- The Spiritual Practice of Gratitude

We’re suspicious that one of the primary reasons God urges us hundreds of times in the Bible to be thankful is because He knows how beneficial it is to our true, created identity and how detrimental it can be to our compulsive one, that never feels like it has enough of anything.

It’s also fascinating when we realize gratitude is the healthiest emotion to have.  It leads to emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and relational well being.


Here is a brief summary of today’s episode of “The Live True Podcast.”  You can use this as a reference or reminder of key things you feel like you need to pay attention to or pass on to others, in the next 7 days of your life.

Very often, we hate that we don’t have what we think we want. We think we need more or deserve more and it drives us crazy that we don’t have it in the moment.

The transformational practice of gratitude is to: Love what you have, instead of struggling with what you don’t have.

If You’re Running On Empty

Things seem to go empty just when you need them most.

Like, you’re making a turkey sandwich, you reach in the frig and the mayonnaise jar is empty.  Or, you’re twenty minutes late for an appointment across town and you look down and your fuel gauge reads “empty.” Or you’re hiking in the desert, in August, and you open your canteen but …it’s empty.


Empty things are a problem for us.

How to Be a Better Lover

Most people I know want to be better lovers.


There are a ton of books out there on how to get the love you want, how attract the love of your life and be ecstatically happy with your soulmate forever.  Nothing wrong with getting the love you want or even looking for someone to love you.

But, true love is a gift that’s bursting to be given. That’s what love does.

And, whether we want to give someone 1,000 dollars or one selfless act of kindness we’ve got to possess that thing before we can give it away.

Jesus Shows Us ‘The Way’

Here’s a very personal video message from us for Easter weekend.  We hope you’ll use it as some part of your own private reflections.  May you receive a significant breakthrough as you acknowledge The One Who Shows Us The Way in everything.

Click this on: 

Wrestling With Significance

Everyday, from the moment you wake up till you go to bed, you live your life based on who you truly think you are at your core.  

Every decision you make, every encounter you experience and every attitude you hold about yourself is driven by this root belief.

We’ve discovered you can be successfully achieving good things in your career, your family and for God and, yet, still be living from a false sense of self that can put you at risk for serious turmoil, loss or personal failure.

Have you ever wondered how things can go wrong in your life when much of it seems to be going right?

What if I told you there’s a pretty good chance you may not be living from who you TRULY are? 

There’s a great story in the Bible, about two brothers- Esau and Jacob.  Jacob struggled greatly with his True Significance.   Jacob felt “less than.”  His dad, Issac, was a very significant person in their world, and favored Jacob’s older brother Esau. Jacob didn’t feel as important. He didn’t feel like he had as much.  

When you feel like that you’ll try to find a way to compensate for it.  

That’s what I did in MY story. And that’s exactly what Jacob did.

He went after Esau’s birthright.  Which, at that time meant, he would receive a double blessing and inheritance from their father. 

In Genesis 25:29-34, we’re told that Esau, who was a great hunter and farmer (opposed to Jacob, who was more a ‘home boy’) came in one day from working in the fields… and he was famished!  Esau begged Jacob to give him some of the stew Jacob had just made.  Jacob told Esau he would give it to him in exchange for his birthright, to which Esau agreed. 

 You’ve got to know that if you were looking for significance, you didn’t need to look any further than a birthright.  Typically, one’s firstborn son was entitled to receive a double portion of the inheritance from the father, including a special ceremonial blessing from the father.

A birthright meant you would become the head of the family and have charge of the family, including all the family property.  He would exercise considerable authority over the other members of the family.  So Jacob took advantage of Esau’s weakened condition and basically stole his brother’s birthright.

Now…. Surely Jacob would BE significant…. FEEL significant… LOOK significant.  

But you need to know that TRUE significance comes from WITHIN…  

is actually a gift that’s already been given… is extremely fulfilling… and it lasts forever.  

 FALSE significance comes from WITHOUT… and is something that we try to manufacture… create… on our own… is extremely dissatisfying… and it lasts for a brief period of time.

 Now let’s flip the tables of this story.

 You need to know that the soul is unable to live without deep meaning.  

Esau, is now deprived of his true birthright.  Once he reflects on what he has lost, he wants to take revenge and kill Jacob.  So the family descends into chaos for years to come.

 That’s what happens when a person’s TRUE identity is either never revealed, or gets stolen in some form.  It has dire consequences for everyone.  Esau’s cry is: “Father, do you not have a blessing for me?” (Gen 27:28).

 Meanwhile, Jacob takes off… goes running for his life.  He is ‘on the road’ for many years.  Even though he now has an “outward birthright,” he wanders aimlessly, believing that somewhere “out there” he will find his TRUE identity and purpose for his life.  And then he ‘wakes up.’

 Genesis 28:10-17:

When Jacob reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 

Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.   I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

 What Jacob had connived and manufactured on his own… the birthright of his family…and what he thought would bring him significance actually turned out to be nothing compared to what God really had in mind for him.

God’s vision for his life… and God’s later renaming him Israel… and promising him more than anyone in history, had ever had (& fully delivering on the promise) showed Jacob that God’s TRUE significance is so much more… and so much better !  But that significance is a direct result of a powerful discovery.

 The ladder that Jacob saw was the place where the Divine AND the Human co-exist.  Jacob gets an epiphany of this ladder between heaven and earth.  Who he really was… and what he was being offered as a gift was BOTH being Divine AND Human.  He found out that he was really a son of earth and a son of heaven!  He was shown the gate to it all and given access to it all.  Guess what?  YOU’VE been given the same thing!

Jesus taught that what’s TRUE about YOU in heaven, is also TRUE about YOU here on earth.  

 In re-awakening to your TRUE significance… your TRUE identity…. You will find that it’s more grounded, marvelous, original and freeing than any identity you could devise for yourself.

 To help you anchor these truths we have just released a

FREE video resource — “5 Days To Your True Significance.

It’s will help you discover your TRUE identity that will lead you to TRUE significance.  When you discover what has been yours all along you’ll no longer have to build, protect, or promote yourself to feel significant.  To obtain your FREE copy of  this video resource click this link: “5 Days To Your True Significance” and sign up to receive your FREE copy.  

You can be like Jacob awakening from sleep and joining the chorus of so many of us:  You were here all along, and I never knew it.” 

(Art by Brian Kershisnik)