December 7, 2017

Episode 124 | The Good Gift

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.

November 30, 2017

Episode 123 | Truth

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 



My work:

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 FacebookTwitter, 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. 



Kaitlin's brand new book, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places is out, and it's gorgeous. You're going to want to get it RIGHT NOW. We live in a hurricane generation, and we're getting uprooted all. the. time. Kaitlin's book has a grounding effect; it is a slow kindness that will spread all throughout your being. 

Kaitlin is a Native American writer, teacher, and worship leader. You can get in touch with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on her website, where you can read her blog and book her for a speaking event.



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

October 26, 2017

Episode 118 | Start

I want to help you get started on that thing you've been dreaming about, but you haven't started yet. 

That book. 

That podcast. 

That piece of technology.

That film.

That nonprofit. 

That church.

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. 

Enjoy, friends. 


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.”

Lovely image.

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



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