September 20, 2017

Episode 113: Forgiveness

Let's be honest: Forgiveness is so very hard. 

I suppose that we all know that letting go would be of some value to our own personal well being; we just can't seem to be able to do it. Or maybe you've been to church and you were told that you "had to" forgive, which only heaped shame and guilt on your already burdened shoulders.

So let's not do that.

But let's talk about forgiveness. What isn't it? What is it? And how can we move towards it, even when it feels impossible? 

Enjoy. 

Music on today's episode is from my brilliant friend Matt Moberg (Tangled Up)

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September 14, 2017

Episode 112: Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan Friar, and the author of many bestselling books, including Everything Belongs, Falling Upward, and The Divine Dance. I met him last summer when a few other pastors spent a weekend with Father Richard at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was hilarious, wise, deep, generous with his time, and we all loved our time with him. So when I reached out to him to be on the podcast, and he graciously agreed, I couldn't wait to share him with you. He's one of the most influential theologians of the 21st century, and is way ahead of his time. 

Enjoy!

Music on today's podcast is The Prayer of St. Francis, performed by Meredith Van Voorst. 

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This is the second time I've had Seth on the podcast - I love this guy. September is National Recovery month, so in this episode, we talked about how his understanding of sobriety has matured since Coming Clean: A Story of Faith came out two years ago. We talked about the foundational principle that God has created everything for good - including sex and beer. But we also talked about the pursuit of the deeper desire of intimacy with Christ that seems both elusive and right in front of our face. 

Enjoy the podcast! 

And then connect with Seth on his website, or by subscribing to his Tiny Letters, or by joining his Patreon Community. And make sure to grab a copy of Coming Clean.

Music on today's episode is from Andy Gullahorn (Song: I Want to Be Well). 

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August 31, 2017

Episode 110 | Dialogue

Emotions are so raw right now. White supremacy, CNN, Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Fake News, Fox & Friends, Antifa, President Trump, Nashville Statement... the list goes on and on.

We all know what instant reaction looks like.

What does dialogue look like? Is it possible to learn more about each other, even while holding wildly differing views? How do we give dignity to someone when we disagree? How do we learn from someone even if we don't change our mind? 

In this episode, I talk about tangible ways to enter into dialogue with "the other" - not necessarily to adopt their point of view, but to humanize them instead of caricaturing them. 

Enjoy. 

Music on this episode is from Stefan Van Voorst (song: Love Will Show its Face

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August 24, 2017

Episode 109 | Whole, Part 2

"When something shatters, the broken pieces find their way into hidden cracks and crevices. Then they end up inside of us, causing pain, especially to the most vulnerable. It’s easy to walk past the fragments of brokenness. We’re busy and overwhelmed. And maybe that particular piece of jagged glass hasn’t hurt you. But it is hurting someone.

Last night, I watched a video showing a five-year-old boy in Aleppo, Syria, being pulled from a burning building and placed in an ambulance. His home had just been bombed, and he was covered in dust, stunned. The left side of his face was bloody, but he didn’t say a word. He didn’t cry. He simply touched his face with his hand and then wiped that blood on the orange seat where he sat.

Who is going to pull the jagged glass out of his mouth?

I’m a pastor, and I live in the suburbs, far away from buildings that get bombed. But I see jagged glass everywhere. Last Sunday at church, a dad came up to me with tears in his eyes. “He’s back in treatment,” he choked out, speaking of his youngest son and the addiction that keeps getting the best of him. I hugged this brokenhearted dad, prayed with him, and held him as he cried."

That's from the preface of my second book, Whole: Restoring What is Broken in Me, You, and the Entire Worldwhich just released on Tuesday, August 22nd. This one took a long time to write. Lots of editing, lots of head scratching in front of a blinking cursor. I felt lost a lot of the time. But I'm really, really proud of what came together. 

My good friend Becky read it several weeks ago, and we spent about an hour discussing what went into writing this book, and why it's important for this time in our world. This is part 2. You can listen to Part 1 here.

Enjoy! 

Music from this week's episode is from Joel Hanson (song: Let Me Tell You Everything). 

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August 17, 2017

Episode 108 | Whole, Part 1

"When something shatters, the broken pieces find their way into hidden cracks and crevices. Then they end up inside of us, causing pain, especially to the most vulnerable. It’s easy to walk past the fragments of brokenness. We’re busy and overwhelmed. And maybe that particular piece of jagged glass hasn’t hurt you. But it is hurting someone.

Last night, I watched a video showing a five-year-old boy in Aleppo, Syria, being pulled from a burning building and placed in an ambulance. His home had just been bombed, and he was covered in dust, stunned. The left side of his face was bloody, but he didn’t say a word. He didn’t cry. He simply touched his face with his hand and then wiped that blood on the orange seat where he sat.

Who is going to pull the jagged glass out of his mouth?

I’m a pastor, and I live in the suburbs, far away from buildings that get bombed. But I see jagged glass everywhere. Last Sunday at church, a dad came up to me with tears in his eyes. “He’s back in treatment,” he choked out, speaking of his youngest son and the addiction that keeps getting the best of him. I hugged this brokenhearted dad, prayed with him, and held him as he cried."

That's from the preface of my second book, Whole: Restoring What is Broken in Me, You, and the Entire World, which is set to release on Tuesday, August 22nd. This one took a long time to write. Lots of editing, lots of head scratching in front of a blinking cursor. I felt lost a lot of the time. But I'm really, really proud of what came together. 

My good friend Becky read it several weeks ago, and we spent about an hour discussing what went into writing this book, and why it's important for this time in our world. Part 2 will be next week.

Enjoy! 

Music from this week's episode is from Joel Hanson (song: Let Me Tell You Everything). 

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Esther Emery was lost: her marriage was a mess, her career had stalled out, and she didn't know what to do. So she decided to go off of the internet for a year. A YEAR. 

Then she wrote a book about that experience, and it's gorgeous, thoughtful, and challenging. Her book is called What Falls from the Sky: How I Disconnected from the Internet and Reconnected with the God Who Made the Clouds. It's so good. 

Here's what Sarah Bessey has to say about Esther's book:

"You've never read a book like this one: frankly self-deprecating, boldly complex, intense, joyfully honest, devastatingly beautiful, heartbreakingly funny. What Falls From the Sky is about so much more than one woman's year without the internet, it's about marriage and choices, faith and rest, community and family, grief and hope, food and dirt, all the thigns that make our lives worth living. It is impossible to live an unexamined life with Esther as your friend. She is completely herself and so her story sings of freedom within the silence and even within the noise."

I loved my conversation with Esther, and I think you will, too. Get in touch with Esther and all she does by visiting her website

The music on today's episode is from Nichole Nordeman (Beautiful Day). 

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I wasn't ready for how much I would enjoy my conversation with Science Mike - I've heard his voice a bunch on his own podcast (Ask Science Mike) and The Liturgists - his story is expansive, rich, beautiful, and hopeful. We talked about God, fundamentalism, Spiral Dynamics, America, and... Ghostbusters. 

Mike McHargue (better known as Science Mike) is an author, podcaster, and speaker who travels the world helping people understand the science of life's most profound experiences. His bestselling debut book, Finding God in the Waves, has helped thousands understand faith in the 21st century.

Mike hosts Ask Science Mike, a weekly question and answer podcast helping hundreds of thousands explore the questions they've always been afraid to ask. He cohosts The Liturgists Podcast with his friend Michael Gungor. With over a million downloads per month, The Liturgists Podcast is reshaping how the spiritually homeless and frustrated relate to God.

Mike frequently appears before sold-out audiences in New York, Chicago, and London. He's a favorite for churches, colleges, and conferences exploring the intersection of science and faith, with recent stops at The University of Georgia, Mars Hill Church (Grand Rapids), The Wild Goose Conference, and Google. Mike is a frequent contributor to RELEVANT magazine, Storyline, BioLogos, and The Washington Post. He's also a frequent guest on radio program and podcasts worldwide, including recent interviews on SiriusXM and NPR.

Mike McHargue is one of those rare voices that can speak knowledgeably and authentically about both science and faith. He's a for anyone looking to dig deeper into doubt, atheism, and how God rewires our brains. Mike's mix of honesty, humor, and affability allow him to connect with remarkably diverse audiences.

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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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