February 23, 2017

Episode 79 | Yeses and Nos

On today's podcast, I talked about your body, your soul, your mind, and your spirit. In all of those areas, what are you saying yes to? What are you saying no to? What limits are you recognizing and how are you gently noticing what you need, and then moving toward those things? In this season of such high anxiety and stress, it's important to pay attention to these four areas, and start getting serious about what you are saying yes to, and what you are saying no to. Enjoy! Resources: Music on this podcast brought to you by Ben Rosenbush and the Brighton, from their album A Wild Hunger. Sabbath, by Wayne Mueller; A Prayer Guide for Lent by Daniel Lukas. And email me at steve (at) stevewiens.com if you live in Syndey and want to meet likeminded folks! 

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Jeff Johnson is the founder and director of Motion 117 Productions, where he creates films, primarily because he's fascinated with the question "why." Jeff's also a part of the incredible band Cloud Cult, who produced a feature film called The Seeker, which Jeff directed. It's beautiful, haunting, and surprising. Jeff's a very good friend of mine (he's also the father of twins). I loved talking to him about his creative process and the journey of telling fascinating and hopeful stories in the world. Enjoy! 

Living in Awe, Running With the Wolves, and Through the Ages all appear on this podcast with kind permission from Cloud Cult. 

You can follow Jeff on Facebook and Twitter

Cloud Cult's Stories from the Road, (and other Cloud Cult videos) can be viewed here

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Almost exactly one year ago, Scott Madison fell 30 feet from a truss high above the stage at the church where he works. He probably should have died (but, well... he didn't). Scott's remarkable recovery and startling insights into a new life with God are inspiring, challenging, and humbling. I've known Scott for about ten years, and I loved this conversation. Enjoy! You can follow Scott on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

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February 2, 2017

episode 76 | decisions

Sometimes we make decisions way too quickly and we regret them. Sometimes we let decisions drag on forever as the anxiety piles up like laundry. Sometimes we let others make our decisions for us. What's behind that? What are we afraid of? Is there a better way? I was recently trying to make a decision about a risky idea that has been nagging at me for quite a while. I elicited the help of some friends via email and got wildly different reactions. I swung wildly with those reactions, promising myself I'd never do the idea and then convincing myself I had to do it. Then I had a conversation with one of my friends that honestly changed everything. She helped me see decision making from an entirely different point of view. So that's what this podcast is all about. Enjoy! 

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In which I interviewed the inimitable Nish Weiseth, a self-proclaimed Enneagram 5 with a 5 Wing, author, speaker, mother, feminist, and hopeful-yet-angsty activist. We covered a range of topics, from being raised by atheist parents in the buckle of the bible belt, to getting Facebook stalked by vicious alt-right trolls. She talked a lot about how she is embracing the reality that in many ways, she's always been an outsider. We talked about how hard that's been, but also how that has been transformed into courageous action. We talked about where she sees hope in the world, and also what drives her crazy. We even talked about the reality of getting demoralizing royalty statements (because misery really does love company). I loved getting to know Nish - and I think you'll love our rollicking conversation as well. Connect with Nish on Twitter and Facebook, and please consider buying her book, Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World.

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In which I interviewed my friend Dan Lukas, and he actually blew my mind about how he thinks about prayer. So many of us are terrified that we're getting it wrong, and we give up before we've even started. "I pray," he says, "so that I am made to look more and more like my creator." We tackled a lot of the big questions about prayer, including if prayer changes God's mind, what to do when prayers aren't answered, the many different ways to pray, how to figure out if it's God speaking or yourself, and many more. This was easily one of my favorite podcasts so far. You're going to love Dan's wisdom and humility. Get in touch with Dan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at his church. And please check out his podcast, Lord Teach Us to Pray.

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January 12, 2017

episode 73 | learning

In which I invited everybody to the uncomfortable - or exciting, depending on your personality - place of allowing yourself to learn new things, to change what you think, and to expand as a human being. Would you be willing to watch/read the news from a different source for a while? Would you be willing to look stupid but ask what something is when someone brings up something you don't know in a conversation? Would you be courageous and ask to spend time with someone who knows more about something than you do? Would you be willing to use your imagination more than your intellect from time to time? Let's be learners, friends. 2017 needs it. 

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January 6, 2017

episode 72 | epiphany

In which I talked about cultivating the ability to see the light of Christ in the world in unexpected places, while taking unfamiliar journeys. In the Christian household, Epiphany is the season where we look for the light of Christ, and we wonder what unexpected, unfamiliar place(s) it will show up in the world. Epiphany means "revelation" or "showing forth," and during its season, we remember the three pagan astrologers who left everything, following a star to find a baby in a manger. Their response wasn't doubt or cynicism, but wonder, awe, and joy.

Can we open our eyes this season to see the unexpected places that the light of Christ is shining? Can we abandon the familiar in order to go on an unfamiliar journey? And when we find it, can we allow ourselves to respond to wonder, awe, and joy instead of cynicism, even if it shows up in a very unexpected place?

I mentioned Ruth Haley Barton's wonderful Epiphany post. You can read it here.

I also quoted J. Phillip Newell's book The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings.

You can purchase Beginnings on kindle for $2.99 (through January 7th).

You can purchase These Good Words: 30 Days of Scripture and Reflection for .$99

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In which I talk about a different way to approach the idea of resolutions. Resolutions tend to make us feel "less than," and that life can only be enjoyed when we've reached our goal. Change that actually changes you involves taking the time to listen to what your soul really wants, and where God wants to lead you, instead of only focusing on what you don't like about yourself. And please consider using my new journal - These Good Words: 30 Days of Scripture and Reflection, available as an immediate download here. You can find this episode's ShowNotes here

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In which Rabbi Alan and I talk about how LIGHT is always found hidden in the darkness in the Scriptures, beginning with Genesis 1 and ending with Revelation 21. Some juicy quotes: "Sacred wisdom isn't on demand." Come on now! And, "God-light is at its essence, freeing." Enjoy. 

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