Discussing the Fear of God and Awe

We are discussing the book, “The Joy of Fearing God,” by Jerry Bridges. {Affiliate link}

You can find the first discussion on chapter 1 here: What is the Fear of God?

The discussion on chapter 2 here: What is Awe?
On this episode I take a detour to talk for a few minutes about defining faith, and then about how we can trust God. We see and experience bad things that God allows in our lives, (things that are not a direct result of a sin we committed, such as miscarriage or natural disasters), so He doesn’t seem “safe.” However, He is good, perfect, compassionate, and loving. We have to come to a place of trusting God, Who isn’t safe, but He’s good.

Chapter 3: Soul of Godliness – Should Christians Fear God? is up next.

I’m attempting to post once a week, but I fell out of my intended schedule. My apologies for that. I appreciate grace:

Life Happens

  • I had to put some things on “pause” to get all of our tax info together to send to the accountant. (We file extensions around here, so September is the month I’m getting everything ready.)
  • My two oldest daughters are on a hybrid school schedule, so they’re home 3 days a week, completing assignments online. I have to be very involved in keeping their work organized, keeping them on task, and helping with general and tech issues. I’m still trying to get into some sort of routine with it, but their workload is different each week.
  • I’ve had to do things like take my husband’s car to be inspected; take our semi-longhair cat to the groomer because it was matted up; and take my car for an oil change.
  • We’re planning a 16th birthday party for our oldest and looking into what we have to do for getting her driving permit
  • We’re dealing with our oldest having her first boyfriend and meeting his parents
  • Driving our oldest back and forth to work
  • Driving our youngest to and from school each day
  • Driving our middle daughter to and from cheer practice…and two weeks ago, she broke her foot (5th metatarsal) at cheer practice…so it was doctors appointments and x-rays…and helping her carry things/get things, since she’s on crutches

Bigger Projects on my To-Do List

I have a couple other big things on my list to take care of in the near future, too. I need to clean out and organize our bedroom closet. And, we want to make a “teen hangout/man cave” area in the basement. We have a couch and chair with an area rug and coffee table, a couple shelves with board games on them, and a small TV in one corner. There is a card table set up to use for board games/puzzles. We have a small exercising trampoline and an elliptical behind the couch. And we have a ping-pong table to set up. The kids have quit hanging out there due to bugs and spiders on the cinder block walls. I need to take the vacuum down and clean things up, sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around the perimeter to deter bugs, finish painting the wall with Dry-Lok to seal the wall that has some moisture, and go through boxes and stuff there, sort it out, and organize it. The way things are going, it seems like it would work best to use the days the kids are all in school to get these projects done.

The Podcast

However, in the midst of all this, I’m going to keep on trying to keep on with a regular posting of the podcast. It might end up an every-other week thing or just taking more time than I had planned to get through the discussion of the book. As it is right now, we will have to definitely go into January.

My husband and I were discussing the podcast and how I fell behind the schedule. I need to have time to read the book and go through the study guide on the chapter, and plan from that what I’m going to talk about on each episode. So there is significant prep time. The recording itself seems to take me 1-2 hours, because I’m usually not able to get it all done at one shot, but I’m going to work on that! Then the editing of the podcast seems to take me an average of 5 hours. I go through it and take out all the “um”‘s, “uh”‘s, “and so”‘s, mis-speak’s, and big pauses or patches of silence. I’m really not a polished podcaster…yet! My goal is to get to the point of sitting down, recording within an hour, and not really needing to edit at all, except to splice in the beginning and ending music.

My hubs thought it would be cool if I could get the author of the book, Jerry Bridges, to come on for an interview. But I’m not an interviewer, not a good question-asker, and not good at thinking quick on the fly. (I.e. Not a good conversationalist!) My goal has never been to do interviews and have guests. Then he suggested the possibility of breaking all the content for the chapters down into smaller episodes, of 20 minutes or less. That might cut down on some of the prep time each week, and some of the editing time, but I’m undecided on that idea right now. So any way we do it, the schedule will be extended.

If you’re reading the book, go ahead and read ahead. I’m sure you’ll still benefit from the episodes as I get them out. I will be posting the memory verses as printables and bookmarks as I come to them.

The YouTube Idea

As for the YouTube live streams I wanted to do, I encountered some technical issues on the day the first one was supposed to happen. It’s not as simple as aiming a camera and pushing a record button. I had to download extra software to stream, try to learn it on the fly, and then see if my computer even has the power to stream. I did the show, but it didn’t work, so I deleted it. The new plan on that is that I’ll have to do some pre-recorded shows for a while, build up a following, and then look at live streams. I’ll be working on posting some videos on the YouTube channel once I get into a better routine for the podcast. Stay tuned for that. You can go to the channel and “subscribe” so you’ll be notified when I start posting videos.

On the show that failed, I made a spiced tomato soup cake and seltzer bread, (beer bread but using seltzer water instead of beer). The cake was okay. The bread didn’t come out well. Maybe I’ll come back and re-visit those recipes later. I look forward to having some fun in the kitchen with this.

The Bible memory verse is Hebrews 12:28-29, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and this offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

Check out the Christian Podcast Community for many wonderful podcasts.

Visit the Contact Page (click the link) if you’d like to get in touch.

Looking to Christ,

Book Club Details

The Joy of Fearing God

Above is the picture of the book we will be going through for the remainder of 2020 on the podcast, “The Joy of Fearing God,” by Jerry Bridges. (Click the title for an affiliate link to go to Amazon to purchase if you choose to read along. But you won’t need to purchase to listen to the podcast.)

Listen to the latest podcast episode by clicking: A Book Club Introduction.

Below is the schedule to read along with us if you wish to. Also included in this post is the printable memory verse sheet and printable bookmark (for the first verse) that you may want to use if you wish to try memorizing the verses with us.

Our first memory verse is:

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

This will be our memory verse through chapters 1 & 2, so we’ll be working on this one until the week of Sept. 13th. Having almost a month for the first verse will ease us into memorizing. Remember the app BibleMemory.com that might help.

Read along schedule:

Week of August 23rd – I’ll post an intro episode
Week of August 30th – Chapter 1
Week of Sept. 6th – Chapter 2
Week of Sept. 13th & 20th – Chapter 3
Week of Sept. 27th – Chapter 4
Week of Oct. 4th – Chapter 5
Week of Oct. 11th – Chapter 6
Week of Oct. 18th & 25th – Chapter 7
Week of Nov. 1st – Chapter 8
Week of Nov. 8th – Chapter 9
Week of Nov. 15th – Chapter 10
Week of Nov. 22nd – Chapter 11
Week of Nov. 29th & Dec. 6th – Chapter 12
Week of Dec. 13th – Chapter 13
Week of Dec. 20th – Chapter 14
Week of Dec. 27th – Chapter 15

Memory Verse Printables:

Click ==> Hebrews 12:28-29 Sheet PDF to download and/or print

Click ==> Hebrews 12:28-29 Bookmark PDF to download and/or print

Please let me know if there are any issues with these links to the PDFs. Thanks!

Ladies may request to join the private Facebook group for more discussion at: In Awe & Wonder Facebook Group

You can visit the podcast page on the Christian Podcast Community to listen to the first four episodes I posted in January. Subscribe to the podcast so you can follow along as I get on with producing new episodes. Click ==> In Awe & Wonder Podcast

For the intro episode to “The Joy of Fearing God” book, let me know what you think of when you hear the phrase “fear(ing) God.” Post a comment or shoot me an email: inawewonderpodcast at gmail (dot) com.

For His Glory!


In Awe & Wonder Podcast, Book club, & YouTube


I have several announcements and exciting things coming soon. I’ll explain an overview of the “In Awe & Wonder” podcast, book club, and YouTube channel all here. I’ll be releasing a new podcast episode that also explains it. Then the next blog post will contain more details about the book club with the schedule of reading and printable memory verse pages and bookmarks.

I have been working on this blog site, including all the static pages, (meaning that if you go to the blog page at http://www.kristen-hamilton.com, you will see a menu bar at the top of the page), you can click on any of those pages to read more about this ministry, what I believe, and who I am. I encourage you to go there, (I am making it easier by putting a link on the word About so you can click it), and particularly read the “About” page. The About page explains a lot of the new stuff coming up.

Hosting a podcast is something that I’ve been wanting to do for two or three years. I bought a cheap microphone and made a few rough test recordings. I played with editing them and even went ahead and released one episode on my own, without really knowing what I was doing. Things were hectic in life at that time, as we were trying to find my husband a new job and relocate from Maine back down to PA or even Ohio to be closer to our families. Things were so up in the air and I was feeling lots of stress, so it didn’t go any further.

Fast forward to just over a year ago, after we had found something for my husband and moved back to PA, I talked to a podcaster friend who was helping to start a community of Christian podcasts. I got excited about the opportunity, went through the process, and joined the Christian Podcast Community, part of Striving for Eternity Ministries.

Around the same time, I took a full-time job as a grammar school aide at a classical Christian school in our area. Even though I was only gone during the same school hours as my kids, it was too much for me in this season of life. I didn’t have time to relax, read, spend time in the kitchen (cooking and baking is one of my favorite things to do), blog, podcast, or do ministry with my church. Life was a cycle of running out the door to work, then later cooking supper, helping kids with homework and running them to after-school activities, and dropping into bed exhausted. I thrive on having a slower pace and some allotted alone time every week so I can re-charge and focus, and be the wife, mom, and “home manager” my family needs (and I love being). I loved the work of an aide and this school very much, so it was a hard decision, but I have chosen to leave that job.

Part of my concern was all the crazy surrounding the COVID pandemic. The private school had a different schedule anyway, than the schools my kids go to. Last year, all three of my kids were in different schools, which was crazy enough. This year, my oldest two are attending a tech high school and my youngest will be in middle school. The tech school is opening with a hybrid schedule, which means the two oldest will only be in school (in-person) two days a week, and working online from home three days a week! The middle school is offering full time in-person instruction, but has plans for closures (with students working online from home) if needed. I feel it is best if I am home with my kids when they’re home to supervise, make sure work is getting done, help with tech issues, and help if they have questions.

So, I’m planning (hoping) to have two days a week at home by myself. In those days, I am planning to do things that need done to run my household, help my husband with bookkeeping for one of his businesses, reading, and blogging, podcasting, and doing a live YouTube show. Basically, I’ll record a podcast episode on Mondays, though not sure if I’ll get it edited and uploaded the same day. Then I’ll be doing a live YouTube (if all goes well with technology) on Tuesdays at 1:00PM EST, beginning September 1st. {Update: I attempted a live stream on YouTube on Sept. 1st, but it failed. I will be recording videos soon and may attempt a live show again in the future.}

Podcast & Book club

You can visit my podcast page with the Christian Podcast Community to listen to the episodes I already have posted. You can subscribe from there to follow the podcast or bookmark that page and go there to download and listen (click this link) ==> In Awe & Wonder Podcast.


From now through the end of 2020, I’m going to do a book club on the podcast. We will be going through and discussing topics from the book, “The Joy of Fearing God,” by Jerry Bridges. (Click the title of the book to be taken to Amazon through an affiliate link if you’d like to purchase it.) You may follow the podcast without the book, as I think the discussion will still be relevant and profitable. There is a study guide in the back of the book, which is useful for deeper study and will be used to guide some discussion.

I want to work on Bible memory verses throughout the book club, as I think it’s beneficial and important to memorize Scripture. Jerry Bridges suggests verses to memorize in the study guide, so those are the ones we’ll be using. I’ve made the schedule so that we will have at least two or more weeks to work on each verse. I’ll be posting a downloadable/printable sheet and bookmark on the blog with each verse as we come to them. They might be helpful in memorization. Also, I have heard that the app at BibleMemory.com is very useful as well.

There is a private Facebook group for women only, where if I have time, we will use for further discussion and questions related to the book, or topics in the book. Click on this link to request to join ==> In Awe & Wonder Facebook Group.

YouTube Live Show

The YouTube live is going to be most Tuesdays (because all my kids should be in school most Tuesdays, Lord willing), at 1:00PM EST, starting September 1st. I wanted to do a live show so that it will be what it is without the need to do video editing. {Update: I attempted a live stream on YouTube on Sept. 1st, but it failed. I will be recording videos soon and may attempt a live show again in the future.}

This may seem surprising or disjointed or out of left field, but the live show is mainly going to be cooking/baking, meal planning, saving money, special diets, food substitutions, etc., along with a time for sitting down with some coffee or tea to chat. My “Tuesday Tea” chats will be short times of reflection on a topic from the podcast, or Psalm, or Proverb, or section of Scripture.

You can head over to YouTube and click to subscribe to the channel so you’re set to get notified when videos start being posted ==> In Awe & Wonder YouTube Channel.

I’ll be doing another post with the reading plan for the book club and the first memory verse printable and bookmark.

If you would like to support this ministry, you can go to the Patreon page ==> In Awe & Wonder Patreon.

Finally, In Awe & Wonder is now on Instagram ==> In Awe & Wonder Instagram.

Let’s talk: What do you think of when you hear the phrase “fear of God”?

Keep reading your Bible!


Gearing up for a return and podcast launch!

Sunset and Appalachian Mountains out our front windows. (All the sunset pics in this post are views from our home.)


I have not written on my blog in a LONG time! So I’m going to write this post in the form of a letter, like to an old friend, catching up.

The last post I really wrote was back in August, 2016! We had moved up to Maine in 2015 and I homeschooled our three girls for the 2015-16 school year. The following year, ’16-’17, I homeschooled our oldest and helped teach at our co-op, while the younger two girls went back to school. I had volunteered to blog about the Homeschoolers of Maine Convention, so I did a series based on the information they gave me to help promote it. That was really all the writing I did during that time, aside from maybe 3 or 4 articles on the Satisfaction Through Christ blog.

I was going through a season of spiritual growth and maturity all during this time, too. God removed some blinders on my “spiritual eyes” so-to-speak and worked on my heart to bring the gospel and theological issues to a new understanding. I will be sharing more about these things as I go. Right now, suffice it to say that I had gone from a place of mostly traditional/conservative evangelicalism, to a mixture of conservative and liberal evangelicalism, to charismaticism, and finally to conservative orthodoxy – which is how I’ll state that I came to find Reformed theology and the doctrines of grace – for those who may not be familiar. Looking back, it was a very weird and confusing way to get there, but in God’s all-knowing wisdom, that’s the way it went, and in some ways, I’m thankful for it. If it hadn’t gone like this, I wouldn’t have experience and appreciation of varying theologies and churches. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not meaning to say that I’ve “arrived,” nor that I’m now all “spiritually mature,” nor that I’m “holier than thou.” All of life is growing, learning, maturing, and being sanctified.

Birds-eye view of our new town from up along the Appalachian Trail in PA!

Now then, we sold our house in Maine in late 2017 and moved into a log cabin along a lake. God provided a magnificent place for our housing need. Everything worked out almost perfectly. Then we were able to move back down to our home state, PA – but a part we’ve never lived in before, last year. Moving 485 miles, settling into a new house, new schools, new town, finding a new church, and new routines has been a huge process, and several things, such as this blog, plans for a podcast, and social media, took a back seat while all these transitions were happening.

It’s been almost a year since our move back to PA. Our girls are getting older – two of them are teenagers now!!! And our youngest just turned 10! So in addition to settling a home, and finding doctors and where everything is, the girls are involved in extracurricular activities, a larger homework load, and making new friends – so it’s been a season where new routines, rules, and doing life in general, has had to be created. In addition, I went back to working in the school district as a substitute secretary, aide, and cafeteria lady. (I had done this for one year in PA before we moved to Maine.) Unlike the prior district, this one has a huge need for subs of all kinds. So I’ve been trying to keep it around 2-3 days a week, but it could easily be 4-5 days. It is difficult to plan ahead or have a routine being a sub, when sometimes I get called (a personal call) from a school in the morning, asking me to come in. So it’s been a bit hectic and the whole family has been adjusting to everything that comes with a big move.

The summer is almost upon us, which will mean another change in routines. I hope things will be a little less hectic and to get some more free time to read, write, and work on a new venture…podcasting! If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you’ll know that the last post I made was a recording that I reluctantly called a podcast, for lack of a better term. That was in 2017, and I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to commit to doing a podcast that would entail being locked into regular episodes. So I made the recording and thought maybe I’d do more audio than writing on the blog, but do it on no particular schedule. The recording was really long and the quality wasn’t the best. It was also my first attempt at editing audio…and let’s just say I had a lot to learn! (Still do!) I’ve removed the link to it from the post because of what I stated above, plus that I’ve now recorded 3 new episodes, and working on the 4th, where I’m re-launching and talk about many of the same things from that first episode, but in a more concise and polished way.

So, the exciting news is that in spite of a hectic schedule, new seasons of life, and settling into a new place, I’m going to push through and launch a podcast! Things are in the works behind the scenes and I have a wonderful friend who is helping me as a podcast mentor. All the episodes and episode notes will be posted here on the blog. I’ll start out doing episodes every-other week, so usually twice a month. Then if I have time and/or ideas for other topics, I will write and post them here. The podcast will be named the same as the blog: “In Awe & Wonder.” I also have a Facebook group for ladies to gather and study Scripture – it was called, “Tea & Scripture,” but I have changed the name to “In Awe & Wonder,” so that all the media is the same name and easier to find. My goal is for the three outlets – blog, podcast, Facebook group – to work in tandem.

I have ideas for things like a monthly Bible verse, which I hope you’ll join me in trying to memorize some verses; prayer request threads; encouragement; studying the Bible; and possibly a summer read-along/book club. On the podcast, one episode per month, for however long it takes, I’ll be talking about various attributes of God. I’ll post things here on the blog that goes along with all that. Basically, the podcast will be a way to learn and discuss “on the go;” the Facebook group will be to connect in community; and the blog will be like a compilation of those – a way to follow along, plus get additional articles and resources.

I hope to kick off in the next couple weeks! You’re invited to come along on this venture! Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you find them convenient to listen to while you’re doing things like dishes, driving, or putting on makeup? Let me know in the comments and/or go request to join the Facebook group. {There’s also a pubic Facebook page, which you can “like,” where I share a lot of content from other sources.}

Your friend,

In Awe & Wonder Podcast!

Please note: This post has been edited to remove the link to the podcast recording. The audio quality and editing wasn’t the best – I had a lot to learn! And the episode was quite long. You can read my notes below that outline what I talked about. Join me for the new and improved podcast coming soon! (Updated on 5/21/19.)

Podcast Notes:

Welcome! I’d love to give the feeling via “podcasts” or audio on the blog that we are sitting down for coffee or tea together. I’m normally very quiet and do most of the listening, so to be on the spot for all the talking, there were some pauses and “um”‘s, as I processed through my thoughts. If we were actually getting together for coffee, I would for sure be letting you do most of the talking!

It’s been a long while since I have posted a blog. Many changes and adventures have happened. We moved to Maine in 2015, starting off renting a house on the ocean and homeschooling our three girls. Then we bought a house and moved more inland. Last school year, two of our girls went back to school and I continued homeschooling our oldest. This year, all three are in school. I’m digesting the fact that I am now a mom of a teenager!

Another change is spiritually. I have done a 180 degree turn in my theological and doctrinal beliefs. We began attending a charismatic church (unbeknownst to us) when we first moved to Maine. But due to disagreeing with many aspects of what they believe, I could not continue attending that church. We found a new one. In this process of getting back into the Bible, wrestling with some theological questions, and finding different preachers/teachers/music/podcasters to listen to, I have embraced the Doctrines of Grace and Reformed theology.

I renamed the blog, “In Awe & Wonder.” To help explain the new name and focus/direction of the blog/podcast, I read from the book, Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do, (affiliate link), by Paul David Tripp. Here are the points I went over from the first chapter, under “Awe The Helicopter View”:

  1. Awe is everyone’s lifelong pursuit.
  2. God created an awesome world.
  3. God created you with an awe capacity.
  4. Where you look for awe will shape the direction of your life.
  5. Awe stimulates the greatest joys and deepest sorrows in us all.
  6. Misplaced awe keeps us perennially dissatisfied.
  7. Every created awe is meant to point you to the Creator.
  8. Awesome stuff never satisfies.

I read parts of an article by Jen Wilkin from Desiring God on July 14, 2016, called, “Women, Trade Self-Worth for Awe and Wonder.” (Click to go to the article and read it in its entirety.)

Bible verse I read on fear:

  • Psalm 2:10-12

Bible verses I read on wonder:

  • Psalm 9:1
  • Psalm 77:11
  • Psalm 77: 14
  • Psalm 78:4
  • Psalm 89:5
  • Psalm 136:4
  • Psalm 139:6

Bible verses I read on awe:

  • Psalm 22:23
  • Psalm 33:8
  • Psalm 65:5
  • Psalm 65:8
  • Psalm 66:1
  • Psalm 66:3
  • Psalm 66:5
  • Psalm 99:3
  • Psalm 111:9
  • Psalm 119:161
  • Psalm 145:6
  • Exodus 15:11
  • Exodus 34:10
  • Deuteronomy 7:21
  • Deuteronomy 10:17
  • Deuteronomy 28:58
  • Hebrews 12:28

New focus and direction on the blog:

  • Bible study
  • Biblical literacy
  • Discernment
  • Doctrines of Grace/various theological topics
  • Five Solas
  • Recommended Resources (there is a page I made for this on the blog)
  • Combining writing (blogging) with audio (podcasting)

I am open to questions, comments, resources, and topics for discussion and learning. You can contact me the following ways:


Thanks for stopping by! I hope we can learn and grow together!

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