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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Rev. Tim Schenk | Lent Madness

February 6, 2018
You’ve heard of March Madness. Well, what about Lent Madness? The guest on episode 42 is the Rev. Tim Schenk, who started Lent Madness in 2010. In seeking a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Anglican Church’s Calendar of Saints, Tim came up with this unique Lenten devotion. Combining his love of sports with his passion for the lives of the saints, Lent Madness was born…
 
This interview was a lot of fun. It is a reminder to not take ourselves too seriously—even in the very serious season of Lent! Tim talks about how important it is to still be joyful in the season that is marked with penitence, claiming that Lent is really about drawing nearer to God, strengthening our relationship with God—and what is more joyful than that!
 

But what is Lent Madness?

You can listen to the interview, or visit the Lent Madness website, but basically, here’s the deal… 32 saints are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket. Each pairing remains open for a set period of time and people vote for their favorite saint. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo.
 
 

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Karl Vaters | Following Jesus in the Small Church

January 30, 2018

Episode 41 features an interview with Karl Vaters. Karl writes and speaks about leadership in the small church, including his own blog, and a Christianity Today blog called Pivot. He is the author of a Small Church Essentials: Field-Tested Principles for Leading a Healthy Congregation of under 250 and  The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking that Divides Us and is the pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California.

 

SOME OF WHAT WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Why focus on small churches?
  • What does it mean to be a healthy small church?
  • Over 80% of churches are small churches (under 200 people)
  • Over half of Christians are part of small churches - that is over 1 billion people.
  • Why is there not more material directed toward or produced by small churches and small church leadership?
  • What are the possibilities for spiritual practices that exist in a small church that may not be present in a larger church?
  • Being forced to deal with conflict and how working it through provides greater health and healing.
  • The beauty of multiple generations being church together.
  • Why “online” church is church, but is not enough church.
  • The changing landscape of culture, church, and spirituality.
  • Taking time for prayer, Bible reading, and slowing down.
  • What does it look like to slow down and notice the presence of God?
  • Finding your own rhythm, and the best time for prayer or devotional.

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Cheryl Wunderlich | Finding Rest in the Everyday

January 23, 2018

Episode 40 features an interview with Cheryl Wunderlich, author of Sacred Rest: Finding the Sabbath in the Everyday. Here's a bit from here bio... After years caught up in the whirlwind of family life, motherhood, work, and ministry, Cheryl couldn’t imagine allowing rest for herself—until cancer forced her to stop. In her crushing battle with exhaustion, she began to hear God’s still, small voice inviting her to hope, be restored, and to find deep soul-quenching rest in Him. God’s rest was her way back to life.

 

Some of What We Talk About:

  • What the Bible says about rest
  • How we can be far off from God’s vision of rest for our lives
  • God ordering the world with a pattern of regular rest
  • How breaking the Sabbath is more serious than we think
  • How keeping sabbath is an act of faith/trust in God
  • How sabbath is a gift
  • How we need boundaries to prevent working too much
  • Sabbath as a time for worship and abiding in God
  • Evaluating the work that you are doing - asking whether the busyness of your life is really what God wants you to be doing.
  • How to fight against busyness
  • Looking to the life of Jesus and his retreats to quiet, desolate places
  • Setting posteriorities - writing down those things that you are going to not do.
  • Instead of juggling priorities or things on the schedule - prune things (even good things!) in order to be more fruitful.
  • Thinking about what delights your soul, and incorporating that into your Sabbath rest.
  • The day of preparation for the Sabbath
  • The challenge of taking a true day of rest where you do not do any work - AT ALL!
  • How Sabbath helps us remember that we are here for more than this life.
    What kinds of things to do (and not do) on the Sabbath.

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Sarah Bessey | On Jesus, Church, and Unanswered Prayers

January 16, 2018

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Episode 39 of the podcast features an interview with Sarah Bessey. She is the author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts and has also written for numerous publications including Huffington Post, The High Calling, Conversations Journal, ChurchLeaders.com, Her.meneutics – Christianity Today’s Blog for Women, Converge Magazine, SheLoves Magazine, RELEVANT Magazine, and Today’s Christian Woman. Sarah preaches and teaches regularly.

I found out pretty quickly that Sarah is generous and gracious. What an amazing interview! What she shared is a little tough to summarize, but we basically talked about Jesus, Church, and how her introduction to ancient practices helped her find a home in a time when she was hurting and experiencing unanswered prayers.

Some of What We Talk About:

  • Sarah’s family background and how her family coming to faith was complete turn your life around
  • Knowing a lot about Church, but not really knowing Jesus
  • How knowing Jesus as an adult can be complicated, nuanced, and beautiful.
  • Why Jesus is central. What does it mean to really follow Jesus?
  • What is so important about “plain old church?”
  • “Church” in the abstract vs. participating with the people of the Church
  • Church as a spiritual discipline
  • Church as counter-cultural practice
  • Church as not tame
  • The shift that took place in Sarah’s spiritual life.
  • Finding room for people who have unanswered prayers, or are having trouble with joy, or happy songs.

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