"Violence unmakes the world, but preemptive love has the power to unmake violence."

Jeremy Courtney is the founder and CEO of the Preemptive Love Coalition, which brings relief to families fleeing war in Syria and Iraq. They help refugees rebuild their lives. And we provide lifesaving medical care for children in conflict zones. 

Jeremy and his wife Jessica moved to New York City just after 9/11, then to Istanbul, and finally to Iraq during the Iraq War in 2006. Their story is less heroic than it is humble; they have simply fallen in love with the Iraqi people, so they are in it for the long haul because in their words, the Iraqi people are "our people." Enjoy. 

Become a monthly sponsor of Preemptive Love. Read Jeremy's book, Preemptive Love. Read Jeremy's article in the Washington Post: The World is Scary as Hell. Love Anyway. 

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John D. Blase is a gentle, wise soul, and he just published a book of poetry, titled: The Jubilee: Poems. His words help me want to love better, stay grounded in what matters, and use my words to heal and restore, instead of divide and conquer. He's also the author of Know When to Hold 'Em: The High Stakes Game of Fatherhood, Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas, and he co-wrote of All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir, with Brennan Manning. We talked poetry, of course, but we also talked about writing in general, about the importance of civil discourse, Brennan Manning, and what it means that our words form us. You can purchase The Jubliee: Poems here, and you can connect with John on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on his website. The music on this episode comes with permission from one of my favorite singer/songwriters, the brilliant Sara Groves. The song is called Floodplain.

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Ruth Haley Barton is one of my dear friends, and has also been a mentor for many years. She's the author of many books, and is also the Director of the Transforming Center, which is dedicated to strengthening the souls of pastors, Christian leaders, and the congregations and organizations they serve. In this episode, we talked all about the nature of transformation -- it was so good for my soul. Ruth just recently launched a brand new podcast called Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, and season 1 is all about Developing Sacred Rhythms in the Life of a Leader. I got the chance to interview her in all nine episodes; we had some expansive conversations that I think will really be helpful in your own journey of spiritual transformation. Enjoy this conversation, and then make sure to check out her new podcast!

Music: I am New by Joel Hanson

 

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Have you ever experienced that awkward moment when someone asks you a question, and you know they want an either/or response, but you just can't go there? Have you ever wanted to demand a better, more expansive question, one that respects the nature of your answer, and the fact that their small question can't contain the truth of your nuanced answer? Well, well, well. You need to get to know Mu. Enjoy! Links: Music kindly provided by Sisters of Murphy (songs: 17 and Green Over Red (Radio Edit). Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. And - I meant to mention this, but forgot: Listen to this fabulous interview with Krista Tippet and Padraig O Tuama to hear more about Mu. 

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February 28, 2017

Episode 80 | Lent

Lent is the season when most of us feel deprived, guilty, and hungry. But it was really meant to be a season where those of us who feel lost, lonely, and empty could return to God to be filled and finally satisfied. It's a season to get really honest about the ways in which we've gorged ourselves on things that don't satisfy. It's a season to come home. Enjoy. Music used by permission from The Brilliance. Songs: See The Love, Oh Earth, Brother (featuring Propaganda), and Night Has Passed/Morning Has Broken

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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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