Sweet Like Jasmine: Healing from Childhood Trauma

The Asian-American story is not often talked about. There are many reasons why, but in this episode, Jeff and Terra talk with Bonnie Gray, who courageously writes and shares the hope and healing from her own childhood abuse and crisis of identity. This interview touched the lives of Bonnie, Jeff and Terra and we think it will be a gift to you too.


Bonnie is the author of Whispers of Rest, Finding Spiritual Whitespace and Sweet Like Jasmine: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness. An inspirational speaker and podcast host of Breathe: The Stress Less Podcast, Bonnie touches thousands of lives using storytelling, soul care, and prayer. Bonnie’s global following of readers come to her for inspiring Christian content in her authentic, unique voice. Her writing has been published and syndicated across a broad online audience. Bonnie lives in California with her husband and two sons.


Bonnie grew up as a Chinese-American daughter of a mail-order bride and a busboy working in San Francisco’s Chinatown. In this episode she shares about her childhood, the effects of abuse, trauma, racism, and how she found grace-filled healing after trying to perform.

Sexpectations, The Bible, and Reclaiming Your Married Sex Life with Debra Fileta & Gary Thomas

The Mattsons invited Debra Fileta and Gary Thomas to talk about their new book, Married Sex: A Christian Couple’s Guide To Reclaiming Your Love Life.


For far too long, the church has remained silent on the topic of married sex. That’s why we are doing a very short, but important series on sex in marriage. The importance of saving sex for marriage is  famously preached, but what about savoring sex after marriage? What happens when people who have been taught that their sexual desires are bad get married and want to instantly awaken their sex life? What happens when the church fails to promote the enjoyment of God’s greatest physical gift to humanity? At best: mediocre sex. At worst: no sex. What happens when our expectations meet reality and we have to work at a our sex life.


Sex is Complicated: Let’s Talk About It with Mike Novotny

We are in the middle of a short series on sexuality and what the Bible has to say about it. According to George Barna's American Worldview Inventory 2021, nearly half of all theologically born-again individuals (43%) say premarital sex is morally acceptable. Millions of Christians, married couples included, still struggle in their own bedrooms. The epidemic of pornography continues to grow. Recent research revealed that a popular pornography site processes 81 million daily average visits. 50,000 searches per minute!


Today Jeff and Terra are joined by Mike Novotny. Mike is a pastor at The CORE, a church in downtown Appleton, WI, as well as spiritual leader and lead speaker for Time of Grace, a media ministry that reaches people more than a million times each month through weekly television broadcasts and podcasts. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, continuing his streak of 37 years of playing organized soccer, running long distances and reading any nonfiction he can get his hands on. Mike is used to tackling taboo topics with an open Bible, including: anxiety, sexuality, gender, depression, divorce, suicide, addiction, abuse, abortion, pornography, and more. He has authored many books over the years, the most recent is entitled: Sex is Complicated: Let's Talk About It.


For different people, sex can be exciting, interesting, bittersweet, triggering or even urgent. And it's a topic that's still unfortunately not talked about enough in the church.

But you know who is talking about it? Everyone else. And who is profoundly influencing thought on it in our culture? Everyone else. So...let’s dive in!

Awareness is Curative for Your Marriage with Dr. Les Parrott

Join Jeff and Terra for a conversation with professor, author, speaker and relationship expert, Dr. Les Parrott, on practical tips for a healthy relationship, including the most common issues couples face. In this episode, Les explores the unique challenges for leaders and their marriages as well as the key factors define healthy relationships. As Les said many times throughout this episode, awareness is curative.

Understanding the needs of boys & men with John Eldredge (author of Wild at Heart)

At Living Wholehearted, we believe deeply in learning to live and lead with integrity. And though most of us would say we believe this too, many of us have not been given the tools, the “how to”, or even good examples to follow. So instead, we hear messages like, “Stop that” and “Hide that” and “Quit doing that” without any insight into the why and the deeper needs of our humanity. In fact, we are living in a time when men and boys are experiencing the greatest mental health crisis we’ve ever known. We have invited a leading authority on masculinity to join us in a very important conversation.


Our guest today has had a significant influence on Jeff's journey and may have had an impact on you as well. We will be talking about the core needs of men and boys with best-selling author and counselor, John Eldredge. He is the president of Wild at Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God and recover their own hearts in God’s love. John and his wife, Stasi, live near Colorado Springs, Colorado.


In this episode, John shares his own story, the cultural shifts impacting men and boys today, the effects of a global pandemic on males, and how they can learn to meet their relational needs. John also shares how women can help the men in their lives live more fully. 

Building Intimacy in Your Marriage and Emotional Dr. Michelle Engblom-Deglmann

Join Terra for part 2 of her conversation with Dr. Michelle. Discover some essential truths about building emotional intimacy in marriage. As an expert EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) therapist, Dr. Michelle helps us understand why couples fight and how that can be fuel for intimacy. She shares common relational patterns for couples for those who find themselves in the rut of life, with very little friendship or romance. Terra and Dr. Michelle vulnerably share honestly about their own marriage attachment patterns and hope that anyone listening will find grace for where they are in marriage.

Dr. Michelle Engblom-Deglmann is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and currently serves as the Living Wholehearted Clinical Director. In addition to being a professor, she is in private practice working with individuals, couples, and coaching/supervising therapists. She received a Bachelor's degree at the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota, followed by a Master's in Counseling Psychology at St. Cloud State University, with a certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. She went on to become a licensed MFT, before receiving a Ph.D. in Family Therapy from St. Louis University. Dr. Michelle also teaches as a graduate professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at George Fox University. Prior to moving to Portland, she was a professor and Clinical Training Director at Simpson University in Redding, California. As a professor she has presented and published, both regionally and nationally, on topics of divorce, remarriage, trust, and attachment among others.

How to be a Healthy Helper - Avoiding Burnout

In this episode, Terra talks to Dr. Michelle about how to be a healthy helper in an anxious world. We explore the inner life of helpers (pastors, counselors, youth workers, psychologists, spiritual directors, nurses, doctors, etc…) and what they need to maintain their own integrity as they strive to balance the work they do and the life they live outside the office.

God Made You to Be You: Fighting the Lies of Comparison

Terra had a fantastic conversation today with podcaster/you-tuber/ best-selling author/mom, Jamie Ivey. Jamie loves creating things that help people believe the truths about who God made them to be. She does this mostly through her popular podcast, “The Happy Hour”, her new YouTube show, The Jamie Ivey Show, and through multiple books geared towards women. Now she’s taking this passion to a younger generation with her new children’s book, God made you to be you. As a mama to four kids, she knows the value in kids learning at a young age that God made them to be themselves! Her whole family, plus two dogs, live in Austin, Texas, and they all love to visit the West Texas desert as often as possible!

In this episode, you will hear more about how Jamie started her career and how she combats the lies of comparison in her own life and with her four teens. She shares about the difference between the cultural message, “You Be You,” and her recent book release that speaks to standing in the design God has for each of us. She shares honestly about current struggles to avoid comparison and she leaves leaders and parents alike with wisdom for the weary soul.

The intersection of Biblical Truth and Neuroscience to Heal Toxic Experiences

The Mattsons invited Dr. Tiffany Tajiri to the podcast to talk about trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and how God’s Word can help us restore our fractured pasts. Dr. Tiffany Tajiri is a licensed and board-certified clinical psychologist, a veteran US Air Force officer, and currently the chief of the largest behavioral health clinic at Fort Bliss, Texas. She is the CEO and founder of Stand Up and Recover, Inc., the creator of Rhythm Restoration, and co-author of Abundant Recovery curriculum at Abundant Church. She recently authored a powerful book, Peace After Combat; Healing the Spiritual & Psychological Wounds of War (David C. Cook, 2020).

Dr. Tiffany shares her experience with combat veterans who have confronted some of the most horrific places of pain in their stories and how they come to find wholeness, forgiveness, and peace again. She broadens her approach to those with any intrusive experiences, explaining Rhythm Restoration and how deeper healing is possible when we integrate God’s Word with the science of the mind, body, and soul.