I've been enjoying my sporadic series on God - I hope you have, too. In case you missed the first two episodes, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2.

In this episode, I talked about the inevitable association that nearly all of us will have with a religious tribe - that group of people with whom we share spiritual affinity, similar beliefs, and shared values. I also talked about what happens when you feel like you no longer fit within that tribe, how to process that in a healthy way, and how to move into something different. I talked about how to lose your tribe without losing your faith. 

I talked about closed systems, broken systems, and open systems.

I talked about what Jesus was really talking about when he said he didn't come to bring peace, but a sword, and that you're supposed to hate your father and mother. 

And I talked about how to graciously keep growing, even when it's confusing to you and everybody else. 

Enjoy the podcast. 

P.S. I also mentioned my new book that's coming out on August 22nd! Take a look

Music on today's episode by my good friend Matt Moberg. 

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Tsh Oxenreider (yep, that's how you spell it) is the author of Notes from a Blue Bike, Organized Simplicity, and At Home in the Word: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe. She's also the founder of the community blog The Art of Simple, and she hosts the top ranked podcast The Simple Show

Tsh and her husband Kyle and their three kids sold their house, put their furniture in storage, and spent nine months traveling the globe. They went to China, Singapore, Australia, Uganda, France, Croatia, and beyond, "world-schooling" their kids (look it up, it's a thing) and experiencing wanderlust and contentment. 

I loved catching up with Tsh, and I think you'll be inspired by her story of adventure alongside ordinariness. 

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Paul Pastor is a writer living in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge. His writing on Christian spirituality has won numerous awards and critical recognition for its beauty, insight, and depth. Paul just released The Listening Day: Meditations on the Way, Volume One. In it are 91 reflections, meditations, and thougths on the bible and spirituality - you might call it a poetic devotional for those who think devotionals lack beauty and depth. This book is thoughtful, lyrical, and beautiful. I enjoyed my conversation with Paul, and I think you will, too. Paul is also providing a free 12-week group discussion guide based on The Listening Day. Download for free here.

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On this week's episode, I chatted with my friend Stu G, who has just released a beautiful record and also a book into the world, centered on the paradoxical teachings of Jesus in the beatitudes - blessed are the poor, those who mourn, the merciful, the meek, which directly contrasts today's measures of who is blessed and who is not. I've had the chance to sit around a campfire late into the night with Stu, who is brilliant, humble, and so gifted. Here's what Stu G has to say about words:

I am in love with words - a would-be poet even - but am often at a loss for what to say. I used to think I spoke best through my guitar, but I now see how easy it is to hide behind the ambiguity of music. I am more enthralled by the power of words, which can bring life and death. Words are dangerous - even controversial - depending on how they are used or interpreted. Like the teaching of Jesus, I want to be challenged - though it can be painful and fearful. And I want to challenge others - encouraging them to take risks and embrace adventure, to share their hopes and fears, and to live the questions to the answers they seek. I myself am a thinker who is always questioning, always wrestling, always trying to find a better way. I used to live for the future, like weekends or holidays. I used to say, ‘One day I will do this or that.’ But all we have been promised is today. ‘Today is the day of salvation,’ says St. Paul. In an age of social media, we need to work at being present to others, to the task at hand, and to stay in the moment - living for eternity but in the here and now. The new ‘now’ for me is one of community and collaboration - of creating with and performing for a wider group of people. I’m passionate about the connection we make when God inhabits the creative space between artists and seekers. For me this is an authentic expression of church and a foretaste of heaven.

 

Check out more information about Stu's book, record, and upcoming film here.

You can support me on Patreon here.

My work:

I host a weekly podcast. I wrote a book. I have a website. I am the pastor at a great little church. I am sometimes available to travel to hang with your tribe to help you all become more you. And yes, I do Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Oh, and if you’d like to stay up to date with my writing and events and such, you can subscribe to my email list. There. We’re all caught up.

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Stephan Bauman is a new friend who has written a courageous new book called Break Open The Sky: Saving Our Faith From a Culture of Fear.  Stephan is the former President of World Relief, and he has seen firsthand in some of the most difficult places in the world how it is possible to embrace love in the face of fear. He describes his book this way: "An expedition into living a life of authentic faith, free from the fear that so often plagues our faith communities. We can either turn away or choose to be brave. The journey is not for the faint of heart. 

As I have gotten to know Stephan, what I appreciate most is that his fierce message is wrapped in his own humility. He's gentle and winsome, and therefore I am finding his message irresistible. 

Enjoy the podcast. 

Music on today's episode is by Andy Gullahorn (Song: If You Want to Love Someone).

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For the 100th episode, my brothers in law (Joel and Adam) decided to turn the tables and interview me. I'd say I was nervous, but that would be lying. I had a blast and I couldn't wait to do it. We talked curiosity, God, writing, my next book, creativity, and so many other things. 100 episodes????? Whaaaaaat????

Music on today's episode is by Joel Hanson (Song: Keep On Singing).

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So, let's talk about God. What is God? Where is God? Who is God? And how does God inhabit our stories, our hopes, our fears and our dreams? Where is God taking all of this, if God is taking all of this anywhere at all? 

In this series - and I have no idea how many episodes it will take - I'm going to do what I do: I'm going to share my own journey of understanding God, I'm going to talk about some odd, poignant and interesting stories in the Scriptures, and I'm going to invite you to show up with your story as well. 

In the second episode of this series, I talked about the universal temptation to label and judge everything in comparison to something else, and to decide that one is good, and one is bad. We learn this as children, and it's very helpful. But if we don't learn to hold the tension of two seemingly opposing thoughts, we'll always choose sides, we'll only seek out the facts that support our side, and we'll dehumanize the other side (the enemy). There's a better way. Enjoy! 

Music on today's episode was by Grayshot (Song: You Know the Way). 

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Zach Hoag is one of many people who are noticing declining church attendance in the United States. Unlike many people who see it as a collapse, a loss, or even a death, Zach sees a surprising resurrection happening just below the surface. He calls this post-Christian reality an "apocalypse" in the truest sense of the word: a revealing is happening, and it just might be the best thing to happen to the church. 

"Could it be," Hoag writes in his brand new book, The Light is Winning: Why Religion Just might Bring us Back to Life, "that what this apocalypse is revealing is our need not merely to be spiritual or merely to cling to religious ritual but to embrace a spiritually resurrected religion? To inhabit the rooted religious practices that can sustain us over the long haul and bring life to the world?" 

I loved my conversation with Zach. He's humble, funny, brilliant, and I sincerely believe he's on to something really rich here. The Light is Winning is a story of death, resurrection, and a brilliant new beginning. It's the story of how the church will resurrect, revive, root down and find true flourishing. 

It's the story of letting there be light. You can purchase Zach's insightful new book here.

Enjoy! 

Music on today's episode is by Matt Moberg (song: Pirate Song)

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So, let's talk about God. What is God? Where is God? Who is God? And how does God inhabit our stories, our hopes, our fears and our dreams? Where is God taking all of this, if God is taking all of this anywhere at all? 

In this series - and I have no idea how many episodes it will take - I'm going to do what I do: I'm going to share my own journey of understanding God, I'm going to talk about some odd, poignant and interesting stories in the Scriptures, and I'm going to invite you to show up with your story as well. 

In this first episode, I talked about the three reasons I'm doing this series: (1) I am part of a larger phenomenon that I believe is happening globally - we are in the middle of a massive shift in how we understand God, each other, and the world; (2) The most common question I get is why I have such a love affair with the Hebrew language and the Hebrew Scriptures - and so I want to take that further into how it helps me understand God outside of my own categories and my unconscious narrative; and (3) I want to give you a third way of understanding God apart from the tired progressive/conservative binary.  

This is meant to be a conversation starter. So let's converse! 

Music on today's episoe was by Matt Moberg (song: Minnesota Man). 

Please check out my Patreon Page for lots of new content that you can only find there. 

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Born just over 36 hours apart, Justin & Patrick are life-long friends with a rich, deep relationship that spans beyond 40 years. They travel together, live life together through its ups and downs, and most importantly, will do anything for each other.

I had such an amazing, inspiring time talking to Justin and Patrick on this week's podcast. I can't wait for you to get to know them and their remarkable story.

Over the past 20+ years, a progressive neuromuscular disease has slowly taken away Justin’s ability to use his arms and legs. From each morning until night, Justin requires daily assistance in every aspect of life such as eating, getting dressed, bathing and even using the restroom.

In the spring of 2012, Justin learned about the Camino de Santiago while watching Rick Steves on Public Access TV. Soon after, Justin asked his lifelong friend, Patrick, what he thought about tackling the ancient pilgrimage. Patrick's response was simple and direct. He said, “I’ll push you.”

Two years later, they started their journey and had absolutely no idea how they would make the 500 miles from the southwest of France to the Cathedral in Santiago; over several mountain ranges like the Pyrenees, through rivers, and across the vast “desert of Spain" called the Meseta… they just knew they had to get there.

Justin and Patrick had to rely on the help and strength of friends, acquaintances and even complete strangers in order to navigate the many challenges they faced on their 35-day journey.

Since returning from Spain, they have used their heartfelt storytelling to share the comical details of their journey… the joys, the struggles, the beautiful relationships, and the lessons they learned in faith, hope, love and friendship.

Go to I'll Push You to find out all the details about the book and the film, book Justin and Patrick to speak at your church, business, or school, and purchase their book, I'll Push You.

Enjoy the podcast!

My work:

I host a weekly podcast. I wrote a book. I have a website. I am the pastor at a great little church. I am sometimes available to travel to hang with your tribe to help you all become more you. And yes, I do Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Oh, and if you’d like to stay up to date with my writing and events and such, you can subscribe to my email list. There. We’re all caught up.

 
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