I recorded this podcast on location in Little Falls, Minnesota, which is something that most podcasters only dream about.
During this episode, I talked about five ways that I'm trying to tend to my own soul in this time of angst, extreme reaction, polarization, and overall insanity. I hope it helps you! It helped me to stop and think about some tangible ways to stop the insanity.
A pastor for almost two decades, Carol Howard Merritt as served Presbyterian (USA) churches in the swamps of Cajun Louisiana, a bayside village in Rhode Island, and an urban neighborhood of Washington, DC. Her committee and board work with the church includes serving as Moderator of the Special General Assembly Committee on the Nature of the Church in the 21st Century. This breadth and depth of practical experience informs her consultations with denominational governing bodies, seminaries, and local churches.
The award-winning author of Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation, Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation, and Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church. Carol is a frequent contributor to books, websites, magazines, and journals. She is a regular writer at the Christian Century where her blog is hosted.
Carol is an Adjunct Faculty member at Dubuque Theological Seminary and a Senior Consultant at Center for Progressive Renewal. She is a founder and host of UNCO, an open-space “unconference” that attracts church leaders across denominations and generations. Since 2011, a growing community of participants meets to generate ideas and develop plans for ministry.
You can find Carol on Twitter, Facebook, and on her website.
I want to help you get started on that thing you've been dreaming about, but you haven't started yet.
That piece of technology.
That piece of art.
That piece of jewelry you want to put on Etsy.
That small business.
I've been creating things for my entire life, and if I could sit down with you and hear about the thing that you're dreaming about, I'd want to ask you the five questions that I talked about in this episode.
And there is a special invitation at the end - because I believe this world is going to be better the sooner you get your idea out there in the real world.
We waste time. We spend time. We wish time would slow down, or speed up.
Mostly, we're all too aware that there's not enough time for everything we want to squeeze in.
Time is a bully.
But what if there was a different way to look at time? How can we capture those moments that are ripe with life, brimming with hope, and exploding with possibility?
In this episode, I talk about two different kinds of time: Chronos time, and Kairos time.
Winn Collier is the pastor of All Souls Charlottesville, and he just wrote an "epistolary novel" called Love Big, Be Well: Letters To a Small Town Church, which I devoured in 3 hours. Winn is a pastor's pastor, with a sacramental, hopeful outlook on what it means to be faithful in an age that is being formed by the dumpster fire that is social media.
This was the first time that Winn and I talked, but from the very beginning, I knew he was a kindred spirit. If you need to get a sense of hope, this is the person to listen to. Then go out and get this book - it feels like coming home.
You can connect with Winn on his website, on Facebook, or Instagram.
Music on today's episode is by Sara Groves (He's Always Been Faithful)
Nearly three hundred years ago, a young preacher by the name of Jonathan Edwards gave a sermon called "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," which has aruably become the most influential sermon in the history of the Evangelical church. In it, he says “The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood.”
Brian Zahnd is the founding pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. When he was in his twenties, he was greatly affected by Edwards' vision of God as angry, violent and retributive. "What I did know was that I liked Jesus," Zahnd says, "But I was really scared of his Dad, the faceless white giant with obvious anger issues."
In his brand new book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News, Zahnd paints a very different, very biblical portrait of God: one that looks like Jesus. In it, he asks questions like: Is seeing God primarily as wrathful toward sinners true or biblical? Is fearing God a normal expected behavior? And where might the natural implications of this theological framework lead us?
I loved this book, and I loved my conversation with Brian.
Oh, and Here is the hilarious and poignant youtube video of "Fyodor Dostoyevsky" reviewing Brian's book.
Music on today's episode is by Masss (Silver Collar)
Carlos A. Rodriquez was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and he's traveling there early next week with as many water filters as possible so that people can have access to clean water. Please join me by donating here so that Carlos can get thousands of water filters to people in need. They cost $13 apiece, so please consider being generous!
Carlos is a pastor in North Carolina, and he's also the author of Simply Sonship, and his brand new book, Drop The Stones.
Oh, and make sure to check out his podcast - he has had some amazing conversations with people like Brian Zahnd, Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, and others.
Carlos is hilarious, deep, gentle, and I loved my conversation with him. Enjoy!
The music on today's episode is from Stefan Van Voorst (Halfway).
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?
Music on today's episode is from my brilliant friend Matt Moberg (Tangled Up)
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.
Music on today's podcast is The Prayer of St. Francis, performed by Meredith Van Voorst.