What difference are you making in the world, and how can you know if you're wasting your time?
Who are you to think that you have influence over people in a way that might make their life better?
How do you know your own sphere of influence? How can you tell where it starts and where it stops?
How can you grow healthier in the way that you view influence?
In this episode, I tackled the dirty word "influence." I believe you can be wrecked by constantly wanting more and more influence, always hungry for the affirmation that it never really gives. But I also believe there is a way to think about influence that is healthy, necessary and life-giving.
Books & Podcasts I mentioned:
The Typology Podcast with Ian Morgan Cron
The Road Back to You Podcast with Suzanne Stabile and Ian Morgan Cron
The Road Back to You book by Suzanne Stabile and Ian Morgan Cron
The Sacred Enneagram by Chris Heuertz
Sean Palmer is the teaching pastor of Ecclesia Houston, a diverse church in the heart of downtown Houston. Ecclesia has been a huge part of the recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey nearly destroyed the city, raising more than $2 million dollars and hosting volunteers from all around the world, putting them to work at rebuilding.
Sean and I talked a lot about the church - particularly how it can be a beloved community in the world once again. His new book, Unarmed Empire: In Search of Beloved Community, is a powerful message of hope about the church in 2018 and beyond.
You can get in touch with Sean on Facebook and Twitter, and by listening to his podcast, Not So Black and White.
Steve Saccone is a pioneer in the field of unrestricted education and leadership development. For more than a decade, he has partnered with churches nationwide, as well as globally, to design and launch innovative internship programs called Protégé. His work in and with local churches has equipped many to develop transformational leaders and more effective leadership pipelines. He has written several books, including Relational Intelligence, Protégé, The Protege Playbook, and his latest one, Talking About God: Honest Conversations About Spirituality.
I've known Steve for more than a decade, and his compassion for people shines brightly in this conversation, and also in this book. Please check out his website for more information, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Rabbi Alan is back!
Well, sort of. It's been so long since I've had him on that I needed to resurrect this brilliant episode that we recorded last Christmas. Because - maybe you missed it then, or you are new around here. Either way, you're going to love Rabbi Alan.
I met Ash Gallagher in southern California, but that's not where she lives. She's a correspondent and producer working and living in the middle east, covering stories in Iraq, Israel, and Palestine. Our conversation was broad-ranging - we talked about the effect that President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is having on Palestinians, and we talked about the heroic spirit of the Iraqi people. She's knowledgeable, gritty, and hopeful.
You can get in touch with Ash by checking out her website or by following her on Instagram.
Other resources mentioned in this episode:
Rabbis For Human Rights
Preemptive Love Coalition
Inhale, exhale. Waking, sleeping.Working, resting. Giving, receiving. Day, night. Grabbing hold of, letting go. Confronting, forgiving.
All of life is based on Sine Waves - we go up, we come down. Advent especially is a time to recognize those places where we've gotten stuck and are no longer moving through the regular rhythms. It's a time to cry out in desperation. It's also a time to receive comfort from the God who actually cares.
So what is the Eucharist?
Maybe you call it the Lord's Supper, or Communion, or Holy Communion, or the Common Table, or something else entirely. Maybe you celebrate it daily or weekly at Mass. Maybe you celebrate it monthly at church. Maybe you don't think about it or celebrate it at all.
Well, it's one of my very favorite things. To practice and also to talk about.
In this episode, I talked about the language and history of the Eucharist and about where it's found in the Scriptures. I told a story about a time that the Eucharist changed every atom in my body, and I offered a new way to think about practicing the Eucharist.
Enjoy the podcast.
Where can we find truth in a culture where everybody feels lied to all the time?
What happens to the psyche of a people who feel lied to?
In this episode, I compared and contrasted three definitions of truth - and explored what it would look like to reimagine a culture full of people who graciously carried truth, not like a weapon, but like a firm place to stand in a culture where everything feels like quicksand and fog.
I have a strong suspicion that many of my listeners and readers are the kind of people who hate Christian cliches and who are tempted to throw away their faith because of troubling doctrines like...
Hell - how can we possibly believe that a loving God could decide that anyone needs to spend an eternity of conscious torment?
A Violent God - how does the God we seem to see in the Old Testament square with Jesus?
The church - are we at the beginning of a new reformation?
Sound like you?
In this episode, I tackled all three, in the hopes that you might find a way to hang on to your faith, but also explore some new ways to see some old things.
Some of the resources I mentioned in this episode:
The Four Views of Hell
Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
Purchase my new book, Whole: Restoring What's Broken in Me, You, and the Entire World here!
I host a weekly podcast. I write books. I have a website. I am the pastor of 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.
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.