Dan Stanford | Losing the Cape: The Power of Ordinary in a World of Superheroes

May 15, 2018

"You don't have to have an 'S' on your chest if you have a savior in your heart."—Dan Stanford

North American culture is saturated with the superhero motif. Why is that, and what hopes and needs is the pop culture superhero tapping into? Why do we flock to superhero stories, and what does it mean to embrace ordinary-ness as a better way to life?

Episode 52 of Spirituality for Ordinary people features an interview with Dan Stanford, author, and pastor of The Well Church in Kenosha, WI. Dan's latest book is Losing the Cape: The Power of Ordinary in a World of Superheroes

The discussion in this episode is wide-ranging. Dan doesn't advocate for simply a safe life, claiming we are made for adventure. He believes that God calls ordinary people to serve others in big and small ways. We aren't waiting for a super-hero to save the day, nor are we superheroes with the burden of saving others.

Key Learnings

The people who are willing to do the little things that make the greatest difference over a period of time.

God's got people all over the planet, so begin by making a difference where you are trusting that God has placed you where you are and placed others where they are. Comparison to others can be crippling. We must realize that we are stewards of what God has given us, so being where you are and with the resources you have.

Things to Think About

What are some of the ordinary ways of serving others that you might be called to?

Spiritual Practices Discussed in this Episode

Dan journals on a regular basis, usually starting with Scripture and spending time outside near Lake Michigan.

Their family usually asks a "strategic question" (e.g. what was the best thing that happened today?) for discussion over dinner and they spend time helping each other see God in their every day lives. He also actively looks for opportunities in everyday life to have conversations with his kids about God presence and activity.

Dan also spoke about the freedom to experiment with different ways of approaching his devotional life.

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J. R. Briggs | The Power of Questions for the Spiritual Life

May 8, 2018

 "Good questions can change the trajectory of peoples' futures."—J.R. Briggs

People are asking deep and difficult questions in their lives and there is an inclination in our culture to fixate on easy or quick-fix answers. What does it look like to sit with questions, ask better questions, and how can a focus on questions help us in our walk with Christ?

Episode 51 of Spirituality for Ordinary people features an interview with J.R. Briggs, author, pastor, and founder of Kairos Partnerships. J.R. brings thoughtful reflection, study, wisdom, and encouragement in the area of question asking.

Key Learning

We often seek guidance and direction from God just wanting "the answer." But God's invitation to us is full of delight, wonder, and the unknown.

Curiosity and wonder can be central to journeying with Jesus. We engage in wonder with a mindset of questions rather than only wanting answers.

We study the parables of Jesus, the miracles of Jesus, but rarely do we study Jesus' questions. The gospels record Jesus as asking 325 questions. People asked him 183 questions and he only answered 5-8 of them directly.

Things to Think About

What big question are you living with right now?

What question is God asking you right now?

Spiritual Practices Discussed in this Episode

J.R. uses the Moravian Daily Text  followed by a simple prayer. He journals every day and records five things he is grateful for. He focuses on simple things, giving examples like warmer weather, the taste of the coffee, etc. He also practices Sabbath and finds it helps to guardrail against burnout, reminding him that God doesn't need him.

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Matthew Brough | Episode 50 - The One Year Anniversary

April 3, 2018

Episode 50 celebrates the one year anniversary of the Spirituality for Ordinary People Podcast. Ashley Boychuk joins our host, Matthew Brough, and she interviews him. 

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Peter Bush | On Being Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada

March 27, 2018

MARCH 27 - LAST DAY TO ENTER THE BIG GOD BOOK GIVEAWAY WITH 24 BOOKS!

ENTER HERE: https://spiritualityforordinarypeople.com/giveaway

Episode 49 features an interview with Rev. Peter Bush. Peter is serving a one year term as the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He is the minister at Westwood Presbyterian Church in Winnipeg and the author of several books. He is passionate about congregations and individuals living the love of Jesus in action and telling the story of Jesus in words.

Peter has a heart for small congregations, having led workshops, coached leadership teams and offered training events to help small congregations thrive in remote, rural, suburban and urban contexts. To this end he has authored two books, In Dying we are Born (Alban, 2008) and with Christine O’Reilly, Where Twenty or Thirty are Gathered (Alban, 2006).

Some of What We Talk About

  • How interactions on social media have been among the most surprising things about his year as moderator.
  • Why his prayers as the moderator have struck such a chord across the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
  • The value of prayers that are timely and responsive to the actual realities of our world and lives.
  • What is it that drives his passion for the number of things he is passionate about.
  • How we need to remember the 1994 confession of the Presbyterian Church to Indigenous People.
  • The importance of having conversation and real relationship with Indigenous Peoples in our neighbourhoods and communities, as congregations and individuals.
  • Why is history so important (including a fun anecdote about James Robertson!) and how it can teach us humility.
  • Loving the Bible and whether there can be connections between devotional life and sermon preparation.
  • Being spiritual fed through reading.
  • The intentionality of writing prayers and having set times to pray.
  • The importance of a diversity of ways to pray.

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Lacey Buchanan | Through The Eyes of Hope

March 20, 2018

Episode 48 features an interview with Lacey Buchanan. Lacey and her family are truly amazing. Her oldest son, Christian, was born with a rare form of cleft lip and palate called Tessier cleft lip and palate, classifications 3, 4, 5. Christian is completely blind. He is medically complex, but rocking this thing called life! Christian and his mom, Lacey, are on a mission to spread hope to others, share truths about having a disability and raising a child with one, and showing the world how to overcome life's toughest obstacles!

Lacey shares her family's story openly through her facebook page and through her book, Through the Eyes of Hope.

Lacey's book is also part of this MASSIVE giveaway that is open until March 28th, 2018. click here to view the main giveaway page and see the other books being featured! 

Some of What We Talk About

  • Seeing God in the midst of life's roller coasters
  • The difficulty and the heaviness of their
  • What it really means to have a relationship with God and to really trust in God.
  • How we often miss the beauty in difficult circumstances
  • Making a decision to stick with God when life is falling apart
  • Struggling with the question of why we face tragedy or challenges
  • The gift of her children
  • We are all going to have the worst day of our life. Do we respond with blame? How else can we respond?
  • "No matter how hard our days might be the truths about God are still the truth?"
  • Finding joy in small things, including the fun of being around children.
  • Allowing joy to come in letting go of what is not in your own control.
  • Resting in how loved you are by God.
  • Why Lacey felt she needed to share her story.
  • The importance of a Church Community.
  • The importance of reading the Bible, even if it is just for a few minutes a day.

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Lacy Clark Ellman | Pilgrimage at Home and Abroad

March 13, 2018
Episode 47 features an interview with Lacy Clark Ellman. She is a spiritual directormaker, and facilitator who speaks the language of pilgrimage and is always ready for the next adventure, having traveled to over twenty countries on four continents. Lacy provides resources, courses and guidance through her website, A Sacred Journey.
 
Partway through the interview, Lacy shares her "rule of life for pilgrims," or "Pilgrim Principles," which was awesome! She goes through all seven principles and it is so good! You can get a free pdf of the principles by signing up for her newsletter at her website.
 

Some of What We Talk About

  • Pilgrimage and journey
  • How do we understand or define pilgrimage
  • Connections between walking, wandering, traveling, slowing down, and connecting with God.
  • The biblical roots of pilgrimage and wandering
  • "the seeker is at the heart of each one of us."
  • How we are invited into journies every day.
  • How "going to Church" can be seen as a pilgrimage.
  • How does someone live out being on a sacred journey in their everyday life.
  • 7 principles for pilgrims: a rule of life.
  • Why curiosity in daily life is important.
  • Why Spiritual direction is important and who it is for.

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Steve Saccone | Talking About God

March 6, 2018
Episode 46 features an interview with Steve Saccone. He is a pioneer in the field of unrestricted education and leadership development. For more than a decade he’s been partnering with churches nationwide to design and launch innovative internship programs. He has been in pastoral ministry for more than fifteen years, and currently works with Southeasten University.
 
Steve is the author of several books, including the one we speak about in this interview (co-written with Cheri Saccone), Talking About God: Honest Conversations about Spirituality
 

Some of What We Talk About

  • What is a spiritual conversation?
  • How does one have authenticity in your beliefs or worldview while engaging in spiritual conversations with people who do not share that worldview?
  • The importance of clarity on your own convictions and being honest with people, but not imposing views.
  • Why is being open to a spiritual conversation with a non-believer is important?
  • Do we come into spiritual conversations with an agenda?
  • What it means to walk with gentleness and respect, coming in peace.
  • What it means to be sent by God to others.
  • Why is entering a spiritual conversation so anxiety-inducing?
  • The importance of engaging with the Bible.

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Paul Sohn | Quarter-Life Calling

February 27, 2018
Episode 45 features an interview with Paul Sohn. Paul is a leadership coach, speaker, and author. Formerly employed by both a Fortune 50 company and a Top 100 Great Place to Work Company, he the founder and CEO of QARA, an organization committed to empowering twenty-somethings to discover their God-given identity and calling. Paul is the best-selling author of Quarter-Life Calling: Pursuing Your God-Given Purpose in Your Twenties.
 

Some of What We Talk About

  • How many 20 somethings are experiencing quarter-life crises.
  • The danger and damage of comparing yourself to others, especially through social media.
  • How finding your "dream job" may not bring fulfillment.
  • The lostness of 20 somethings and what to do about it.
  • The search for purpose - when do we ask God about His purpose for our lives.
  • When does one become an adult
  • Coping with the pace of change
  • How calling is primarily about the caller
  • We ought to always talk about callings (plural) rather than calling.
  • How can one discover their callings
  • Does everyone have a calling? Is it only for Church jobs? Is it only for the upper middle class?
  • What does it mean to let go of control of your own life and trust in God.
  • How we think about work and why is our understanding and concept of work important.
  • The power of reading Scripture.

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Jon Fuller | Are You Real?

February 20, 2018

Episode 44 features an interview with Jon Fuller. Jon is the host of the Are Your Real: Finding the Authentic You Podcast, one of the top podcasts in Religion and Spirituality. He is the author of D.I.Y. Remodel Your Life. Jon is also just a regular person—his main job is running a construction business.

 
Jon explains why he started his podcast, and how it moved from a hobby to a close to full-time ministry, and how it is expanding. He is completely honest about his early walk with God, including the bumpy road of actually accepting Christ. Jon is simply full of energy and is generally a fascinating person to listen to.
 

Some of What We Talk About

  • Podcasting and providing a platform for others.
  • What being honest and authentic looks like
  • Why it is important to be yourself - only you can be you.
  • Jon's story of healing and restoration.
  • The common thread in the Are You Real Podcast - obedience and trust.
  • Journey and the building of character
  • What it means to let your light shine. Why it is a good thing to be great at using the gifts you've been given.
  • What it means to lay down your life for others.

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Jo Saxton & Stephanie O’Brien | The Dream of You

February 13, 2018
Episode 43 features and interview with Jo Saxton and Stephanie O'Brien. Jo and Steph are the leaders and voices of the LeadStories podcast, which focusses on telling leadership stories. They speak about leadership in the broadest senses: at church, in the workplace, at home.
 
Jo Saxton  is a Nigerian Londoner - A pastor, missional leader, speaker and leadership coach. She is board chair of 3DMovements, and on the advisory board for Today’s Christian Women. Jo is the author of 4 books, including her lastest book that we talk about extensively in the interview:  The Dream of You.
 
Stephanie O'Brien is one of the lead pastors of Mill City Church. She is a professor for ministry classes at Bethel University and Seminary and has experience coaching leaders and churches around the United States and Canada with 3DMovements, The Missional Network and as well as through her own consulting content.
 

Some of What We Talk About

This is such an amazing conversation. So much is covered! Toward the end, we of course talk about their individual spiritual practices. Here are our basic topics:
 
  • Leadership
  • Women in leadership
  • What men in leadership can do to support women in leadership
  • The Dream of You book
  • How can we help people recover/uncover their identity and purpose
  • Understanding your own story
  • Allowing your story to begin having a redemptive trajectory
 

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