Poema Podcast

Exploring The Intersections Between Creativity & Spirituality - Hosted by James Prescott

The Poema Podcast (formerly James Talks) is a twice-weekly podcast hosted by James Prescott.

Poema is a word from scripture, which talks about our lives being works of art, God’s masterpieces. It’s a word which sums up the intersections between spirituality, creativity, and identity, and those are the big themes of this podcast.

The podcast combines interviews with major authors and thinkers like Rob Bell, Glennon Doyle Melton, Pete Rollins & Sarah Bessey, as well as neuroscientists, philosophers, and social scientists, alongside personal reflective episodes each week.

The podcast began life as James Talks before changing to Poema in 2017 and we’re at over 70 episodes & 10,300 downloads now. It’s always so much fun to do and so inspiring to hear from so many great people.

Come and join us!

Poema 021 | Gungor

I'm delighted to welcome Michael and Lisa Gungor to the podcast today. Michael and Lisa have created some amazing music over the years and have some phenomenal wisdom on spirituality, creativity, and the personal journey. I'm so excited to share this interview with you.

Poema 020 | The Blacksmith’s Daughters on Making Melodies

Today I'm joined by Julida and Sean Alter, who make up one half of 'The Blacksmith's Daughters', a folk/rock band from Minneapolis. The band is comprised of Julida and Sean, and Julida's sister Anella Platta and her husband Brent. Julida and Anetta are from a family with a long history of being blacksmiths - hence the name 'The Blacksmith's Daughters'

Poema 019 | The Sacred Art Of Wrestling

On the show today I do a short reflection on the importance of wrestling with the divine, and how I've learned from my own experience that being honest with God, voicing your doubts, questions, frustrations and anger towards God is actually the sign of a healthy relationship with Him

Poema 017 | Putting Ego In The Back Seat

On today's episode I share some reflections on the most reason season of my life, a book launch, confronting difficult truths - and why I'm taking a short sabbath from writing. I talk about how ego can be a good thing but how when we let it dictate our lives, when we let our ego define our value, we can come to an unhealthy place.

Poema 016 | Sarah Heath on Seeing Your Story Through God’s Eyes

Today my friend Rev Sarah Heath returns to the podcast, to discuss her new book 'Whats Your Story - Seeing Your Life Through God's Eyes', a book about seeing our lives through the concept of story, using the Biblical story of Joseph as a lens to examine our own stories.

Poema 015 | Wendy H Jones on the Spirituality of Crime Writing & Marketing With Integrity

Today on the podcast I'm joined by my friend Wendy H Jones. Wendy is a hugely successful crime writer, and international speaker. She's authored the Shona Mackenzie adult crime series which has sold tens of thousands of copies internationally, 'Power Packed Book Marketing', a book on how to successfully market your books with integrity, and is on the committee of the Association of Christian Writers.

Poema 014 | Alexander Shaia & The Good Friday Resurrection

Alexander Shaia returns to Poema today to share about the Quadratos journey through the Easter story. He takes us back to an understanding of the story older, and wider than the traditional 'Holy Week' we all know and takes us into the story of the Christ and how we can identity with Jesus as He walks His passion.

Poema 013 | Jessica Aguilar-Christy on Yoga & Christian Spirituality

Today I'm joined by my friend Jessica Aguilar-Christy. Jessica is a yoga instructor, and teaches yoga through the lens of Christianity with Soul Stretch Christian Yoga and at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church. Today Jessica shares about the history of yoga, dispels myths many Christians believe about yoga and the truth behind the science and spirituality of yoga.

Poema 012: Jo Cleary on her Radical Love Journey

I'm joined today by Jo Cleary, a learning development officer, and writer from Coventry in the UK, who blogs on issues of identity, self-worth and learning to love yourself. Jo shares her powerful story of depression, psychosis and chronic fatigue syndrome, and how they have all influenced both her spiritual and creative journey.

Poema 011 | Chasing Lovely on the Spirituality Of Songwriting & Kickstarting a New EP

Today my dear "wolfie" friends, musical and creative duo Chloe and Taylor Turner (AKA Chasing Lovely), join me again. Today we talk about the personal stories and influences behind their work, as well as the spiritual and personal journeys which influence all of us creatively, and shape who we are and who we become - and how you can support their next big creative project.

Poema 010 : Laura Parrott Perry on Surviving Sexual Abuse & Valuing Our Stories

Today I'm joined by my dear friend Laura Parrott Perry. Laura is an author and a speaker, and co-founder of Say It, Survior, a non-profit dedicated to helping survivors of sexual abuse. With great courage and honesty, Laura shares her own story of abuse, and it's impact on her and her family - and the power of story to heal and shape us.

Poema 009 : Brian McLaren on the Great Spiritual Migration

Speaker, author and theologian Brian McLaren joins me today. Brian is the author of many books, such as 'A New Kind Of Christian' and 'A Generous Orthodoxy'. Today on the podcast we discuss his most recent work, 'The Great Spiritual Migration', which explores how our world is looking for a better way to be Christian. Brian shares with great wisdom and insight about why the traditional models of church and Christian faith are no longer working - and offers us hope of a new kind of church.

Poema 008 : Sarah Heath on Creativity & The Art Of Community

Today I welcome Rev Sarah Heath onto the podcast. Sarah is a minister in a small but growing church in Costa Mesa, California, as well as an artist, writer and author. Sarah talks about her biggest passion, creativity. And together we explore the process of creativity and how this applies to all walks of life, not just the arts. Sarah talks about how she expresses her own creativity - and how she's applied the principle of creativity in her work of helping create a church community.

Poema 007 : Shelly E Johnson on Finding Our Mosaic Of Grace

Today on Poema I'm joined by singer/songwriter/worship leader Shelly E Johnson. Shelly shares her own powerful story, of losing a parent at an early age, how it impacted her relationship with God and her creative journey - and helped her understand the true meaning of grace.

Poema 005 : Matthew Schmitt on The Table Setters & Loving Your Enemies

Today I'm joined by Matthew Schmidt, co-founder of The Table Setters, a new organisation running diversity workshops, and doing consulting that helps to develop culturally integrated lives in churches, schools & businesses in the US. Matthew and I talk about issues of race and equality in the US today, and the challenge of what it really means to love your enemy.

Poema 004 : Kyle Strobel on Harry Potter & The Christian Way Of Power

Today, theologian and author Kyle Strobel joins me to talk about the challenging topic of what true wisdom is, and Christianity in relation to the concept of power, how this has been misunderstood and abused, and about what Harry Potter can teach us about true Christ-like character.

Poema 003: Shane Claiborne On Executing Grace & The End Of The Death Penalty

The inspiring author, speaker and activist Shane Claiborne joins me today. He talks about his most recent work in campaigning for the end of the death penalty in the US. Shane passionately and with great wisdom shares about how the death penalty is about more issues than justice - it's about race, equality, restorative justice, and above all, about grace.

Poema 002: Max Strom on Healthy Breathing & Why There Is No App For Happiness

For my first Poema interview I welcome Max Strom.  Max is an author of several books, including A Life Worth Breathing and 'There Is No App For Happiness'. Max is passionate about us all having a holistic, healthier rhythm to life, and teaches healthy breathing exercises and routines, including some yoga-based exercises, and speaks about this internationally, including the TED conference.

Poema 001: What Is Poema?

In this first episode of the 'Poema Podcast' (formerly James Talks), I unpack the scriptural roots of 'Poema', and explore the idea of our lives as divine works of art, and us as co-creators with God of the life He calls us to.

Episode 76 | Books, Seasons & A Word About Masterpieces

In today's podcast I tell a story about my own journey of the last year, about confronting our demons, and how grace has impacted my life in the last year. And I share about some exciting new projects coming up, including my upcoming book, 'Mosaic Of Grace', writing projects, the blog, and the future of the podcast.

Episode 75 | Our Gospel Christmas Journey with Alexander Shaia

Today Alexander Shaia returns to my podcast, for a special Christmas episode.

It's now around the Winter Solstace, December 21, the date Christmas used to be celebrated - the date light begins to come into the world in a physical sense. Alexander and I explore the reality behind the Christmas story as shared in the gospel, and he talks about some of the hidden meaning and symbolism in a story which has become familiar to many of us.

Episode 74 | Chasing Lovely 3: The Wolfies Reunited (With Exclusive LIVE Performance)

My friends Chloe and Taylor Turner, AKA Chasing Lovely, return to the podcast today for the fourth time - third time as guests. As ever, we have a whole load of fun discussing spirituality, creativity, mystery, doubt and loads more. Chloe and Taylor share what's happening on their own journey, as individuals and as a band, both creatively and spiritually. They also discuss how their spiritual journey is impacting their creative journey, and the continuing intersections between those two areas. The duo also discuss their next musical project, and exclusively share a new, unreleased track performed live and exclusive for James Talks. Plus, you'll finally hear the secret story behind how and why the Chasing Lovely episodes are called 'Wolfie' episodes! 🙂 Talking to these guys is always so much fun and they have such wisdom and maturity beyond their years in the areas of creativity and spirituality. I know you'll all love this episode.

Episode 73 | Steve Austin on Suicide, Depression & Messy Grace

Author, speaker and pastor Steve Austin joins me today. He shares his powerful journey, which took him from being a pastor to porn addiction, depression and a suicide attempt, leading to a spell in therapy. But the story didn't end there. Steve rebuilt his marriage and his life, and became a successful author, blogger and now, again, a pastor. It's a challenging, inspiring and deeply moving story, a story of messy grace which can give hope to us all. Whatever your circumstances, take a listen to Steve's story, and I think you'll find a reason to hope.

Episode 72 | Sarah Arlen on Creativity, Suffering & The Two Types Of Creator

Actress, producer & filmmaker Sarah Arlen joins me today. Sarah is currently putting the finishing touches to 'Twice' a film she both produced, wrote and starred in. Sarah shares her own powerful story of her battles with depression and how that's impacted her creative journey. We discuss in more detail the links between suffering and creativity, and the healing power of creativity. Sarah then goes on to discuss the two types of creator, and how we can better explore our own creative side and find healing through artistic expression. Sarah is a dear friend, and here she shares with great courage and honesty about her struggles, and she has incredible wisdom on creativity. Give it a listen!

Episode 70 | Nish Weiseth on the US Presidential Election

My dear friend Nish Weiseth returns to James Talks today, in a special episode to discuss the imminent US Presidential election. Nish and I are both passionate about politics, and it's role in the world - and the US election result affects us all, which is why we...

Episode 69 | Sarah Simmons & A Story Of Grace

Today Sarah Simmons, writer & blogger, shares her own powerful testimony. It’s a story of suffering, lost dreams, but also one of hope, restoration and grace which is truly inspiring. Sarah shares about how we can find grace even in the midst of our own imperfect...

Episode 68 | Kyle Strobel & The Beloved Dust

Kyle Strobel, teacher, writer and preacher, joins me today. He is the assistant professor of Spiritual Theology and Formation at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and helped start Metamorpha Ministries. He’s also author of several books, including ‘Beloved...

Episode 63 | Faith Circus with Kathy Escobar & Karl Wheeler

Today Kathy Escobar & Karl Wheeler of the Faith Curcus podcast join me to share their powerful, unique & inspiring story. They share about the challenges of starting a new type of faith community, dealing with issues of theological difference & the issues...

Episode 62 | David Mike on Dishonour & Grace

David Mike, author & former solider, joins me today to share his challenging and inspiring story. David was a solider who became a drug addict and dealer, resulting in a term in prison. But whilst in prison he experienced the transforming love and grace of both...

Episode 60 | Cindy Brandt on Art & Justice

Author & blogger Cindy Brandt joins me today to talk about creativity, faith, culture and justice. Cindy shares her own powerful story and talks about authenticity in her art, being vulnerable in our art, as well as her passion for justice, and building a church...

Episode 59 | Alexander Shaia Takes Your Questions

Alexander Shaia is back on James Talks and this week he’s taking your questions! Today Alexander answers questions sent in by listeners, including ike: What’s your favourite gospel, and your favourite passage from the four gospels - and why? What are your thoughts on...

Episode 57 | Kent Sanders & The Artists Suitcase

Kent Sanders - author, coach, teacher, blogger, joins me today. Kent shares his own creative journey and about strategies he has discovered which can help artists overcome fear, take action in their creative path, and be more productive in their creative life, which...

Episode 56 | Luke Strickland & Potting Shed Creativity

My friend Luke Strickland of ‘The Potting Shed Podcast’ (& others) joins me today. Luke is a podcaster, creator, blogger and author, and a great guy. Here he shares his creative journey and how it intertwined with his own faith journey. We talk writing, creating,...

Episode 55 | Jim Woods & How To Be Authentic In Our Art

My friend Jim Woods, an author, writing coach, and blogger, joins me today. We discuss his own creative journey, and the challenge of leaving a stable job behind to risk it all on a creative career, in his case, as a writer. Today we talk about how to maintain...

Episode 54 | Christine Sine & The Spiritual Rhythms Of Life

Christine Sine of Mustard Seed Associates, blogger, author, missionary & gardener joins me today. Christine shares her fascinating journey which took her from Australia all over the world, led her to found Mustard Seed Associates, a Christian charity, create and...

Episode 53 | Alexander Shaia & Our Gospel Journey 3: Luke

Today it’s the final part of our series with Alexander Shaia on the gospel journey of Quadratos. Today, we examine the book of Luke, and how we mature in service, and take the lessons we’ve learned, and the good news of the Christ out into the world.  Alexander &...

Episode 52 | Alexander Shaia & Our Gospel Journey 2: John

Alexander Shaia returns in the second of our three part journey through the gospel(s). Today we focus on John, and how we discover joy, even in the midst of the most terrible suffering, and then enter into a resurrection path into a new tomorrow.

Episode 50 | The Fiftieth – Back Forward Now

It’s the 50th episode of James Talks! Today I share some updates on my latest work, including my upcoming book, blog posts, the podcast, and mostly, a personal reflection on my recent journey. I talk about what I’ve been facing & what it’s taught me about the...

Episode 49 | Orlando & Guns – An Outside Perspective

We’ve all been shocked & deeply moved by events in Orlando this week. Today I posted a blog post about Orlando itself, and in this podcast I discuss the issue of guns, gun crime, and the myth of redemptive violence. From the perspective of a UK citizen living in...

Episode 48 | Redefining Rich with Matt Ham

Author, speaker & radio host Matt Ham shares his powerful story today. It’s a story of how he nearly lost everything, but instead discovered a life and a faith richer than anything he had known, and learned how to redefine what it means to be rich. It’s a story of...

Episode 47 | Brandan Robertson: In & Out, A Nomad’s Journey

Brandan Robertson joins me today to share his powerful, moving and often painful story of reconciling an emerging faith in Jesus as a teenager, with his own sexuality. His is a powerful story of being in, then suddenly finding himself out, again and again - and...

Episode 46 | Spiral Dynamics with Dr Don Beck

Dr Don Beck, who joins me today, is a leading authority on Spiral Dynamics. This is a theory about the development of human consciousness, and the human journey. It divides the human journey up into 2 levels of consciousness, and within those two levels are different...

Episode 44 | Deconstructing Faith with The Deconstructionists

John Williamson and Adam Narloch, AKA The Deconstructionists join me today. John & Adam are two friends with a nerdy passion for discovery, deconstruction, grace, acceptance, authenticity and humble wrestling. They run a hugely successful podcast, ‘The...

Episode 43 | Alexander Shaia & The Four Stages Of Quadratos

Alexander Shaia joins me today to explore a revolutionary way of reading & understanding the gospels which he calls ‘Quadratos’ - a four fold journey of identity & transformation.  We explore how this journey takes us back to Jesus as ‘the’ Christ, and opens...

Episode 42 | Lisa Delay & Ignatian Spirituality

Lisa Delay from the Spark My Muse podcast returns to James Talks today to talk about spiritual practices from what’s called ‘ignatian spirituality’. Lisa shares how these can help give us spiritual discernment and make wiser decisions about what we’re going to do with...

Rob Bell on James Talks (& Why Asking Matters)

Today I'm delighted to welcome the one and only Rob Bell to my podcast. When you start a podcast, and a lot of it is taken up with interviews - as many podcasts are - you know there's some people you'd absolutely dream to interview. In truth, I'm interested in sharing...

Episode 36 | Rob Bell Is Here!

Rob Bell, New York Times Bestselling Author of Love Wins and several other books, international speaker, podcaster and former Pastor, joins me on James Talks - and I gotta say, he's freaking awesome.

Episode 35 | Anita Wing Lee & The Soul Of Humanity Project

Anita Wing Lee, Periscoper, communicator & writer, joins me today to talk about a really important cause. The Soul Of Humanity is a book of stories, photos and creative work surrounding the story of refugee crisis, with all profits going to aid awareness and give...

Episode 34 | Shane Blackshear & Seminary Dropout

Shane Blackshear of the ‘Seminary Dropout’ podcast joins me today, to share his own powerful story of being a seminary dropout, then pastor & planting a church. He shares lessons he’s learned about faith, and what led him to start his ‘Seminary Dropout’ podcast. ...

Episode 32 | Andy Gray & The Karma Shema Drama

Today pastor & author Andy Gray shares his own powerful story, and talks about the revolutionary yet Biblical idea of Shema.  Shema means to hear, and Andy passionately explains how God wants us to hear His call to live lives overflowing with God’s love. A love...

Episode 31 | Steve Chalke & A Vision For Inclusive Church

Today I host pastor, speaker & author Steve Chalke. Steve shares the powerful story of how Oasis Trust - a network of churches, schools and more - started and the impact it’s had on individual’s lives. He outlines his vision of what church can and should be, and...

Episode 30 | Repentance Part 2 – Turn & Return

Today is the second & final part of my series on repentance. In this episode I unpack the true meaning of the word ‘repent’ & reflect on what this might mean for us. Ending with a message of hope, and a challenge as to how we might respond. ***** This series...

Episode 29 | Repentance Part 1 – Archery & Living Out Of Tune

Today is the first of a two-part series on Repentance, unpacking & exploring sin, and what we really mean when we use that word. Because our understanding of sin is fundamental to understanding repentance. This series is linked to this months #synCREATE theme of...

Episode 27 | Pamela Hodges on Creativity, Cats & Meeting Bono

Today I’m joined by writer, blogger, painter & author Pamela Hodges. Pamela shares her unique story - including when she met Bono - and talks about maintaining authenticity & artistic integrity in our creative work. Finally, Pamela talks about about her...

It’s Time To Write: Christine Niles on ‘James Talks’

Writing is one of my biggest passions. It’s my calling you might say. I coach writers and I run a Facebook group for writers called ‘Writers Together’ (you can join that group here). I know that many of you reading this are writers too. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll know one of the biggest barriers to writing is, in fact, the very act of getting started. The challenge of overcoming resistance to get going on your writing journey is one of the most significant challenges writers face. But your words can't change the world, if they aren't in it. One person well qualified to help us deal with this issue is my dear friend, author and writing coach Christine Niles. Today on my podcast ‘James Talks’ I’m interviewing Christine, an experienced writer, blogger, author and coach from Fort Wayne, Indiana. And she has an exclusive offer for all 'James Talks' listeners!

Episode 25 | Start To Write with Christine Niles

Today I talk to my good friend, writer, blogger & coach Christine Niles, about writing and the creative process.  Christine has years of blogging & writing experience, and like me has spent a lot of time coaching writers. She’s seen the ups & downs, the...

Episode 24 | Calling: Part 5 – Don’t Ask Permission

The series on calling concludes with a call to action - talking about how we don’t need to have permission to pursue our calling, the role of wise counsel, and challenging us to have the courage to step out & embrace the life we were created for. 

Episode 23 | Calling: Part 4 – Curious Ache

We’ve discussed what calling is…but how do we discover our calling? Today in this series I talk about following our curiosity, and listening to that ache inside of us. Our callings often reside both in the things we are curious about, or in the inner aches, desires,...

Episode 22 | Calling: Part 3 – Have Fun

In part 3 of this series on calling, I explore the a simple but forgotten truth about calling - that callings can, and should, be fun. To be enjoyed. To be something we ultimately find joy in.  We may not initially want to do what we’re called to, but if we’re really...

Episode 21 | Calling: Part 2 – Before You Begin

Before we begin exploring what our calling is & how to pursue it, we need to ground ourselves in the right place. In part 2 of my series on calling, I explore how often put our security in our calling or vocation - and how if we are to really thrive, we need to...

What Is Calling? – A Podcast Series

Calling. It’s a word more and more of us are thinking about, and using in our day to day lives. Calling speaks to our desire for purpose and meaning. It causes us to ponder what we really wish to do with our lives. It whispers to us in our imaginations, and makes us wonder whether our life might just be about something bigger than ourselves. Calling and vocation can, however, be easily misunderstood. So every day on my podcast this week, I'm going to be unpacking this subject, and these a bit more. You see, many often talk about calling in terms of one calling for life. These

Episode 20 | Calling Part 1: What Is Calling?

This week I’m doing a five-part series on the subject of calling. Calling is a word we use more and more often, but can be misunderstood. In this series I examine various questions/issues/misunderstandings around calling, and how we can discover our own calling. Today...

Episode 18 | Life Happens – Choosing Your One Word For 2016

It’s the time of year man of us choose our goals for the coming year. What I’ve done in recent years is choose one word to give me focus and direction, and which sums up all my goals - and it’s had a massively positive impact. So today I share about the #OneWord365...

Episode 17 | Darkness & Light – A Christmas Reflection

From Dec 21st there will be a little more sunlight coming into the world. Christmas is a story of new hope. It’s a symbol of new light coming into a world of darkness. And that metaphor is demonstrated in God’s creation. Today on the podcast I reflect on the metaphor...

Episode 15 | Lisa Delay & Sparking The Creative Muse

Lisa Delay of the Spark My Muse podcast is my guest today. Lisa is an author, podcaster & communicator, and the co-founder, with myself, of #synCREATE, a collaborative creative community, as well as a friend. She’s passionate about inspiring people to discover...

Episode 13 | Taylor Duvall & The Creative Journey

Today I have writer & blogger Taylor Duvall on the show. Taylor has a powerful, challenging story to share, which takes in writing, moving from traditional church to a more progressive spirituality, discovering a new life and purpose beyond her divorce at 22, and...

Episode 12 | Troy McLauglin (Project Pastor)

Today I talk to podcaster, blogger and pastor Troy McLaughlin about creativity, calling, faithfulness and keeping integrity in our work. Troy shares about his own powerful journey of calling & how it’s led him to where he is today, and his online work on Project...

Episode 11 | Sarah Bessey

Today I’m joined by Sarah Bessey, blogger, speaker & author of the new book ‘Out Of Sorts’, and ‘Jesus Feminist’. Sarah shares her own story of faith, leaving & coming back to the church & finding Jesus in the process.  Sarah & I chat about what it...

Episode 10 | Be Evangelical: A Way Of Life, Not A Members-Only Club

What does it mean to be ‘evangelical’?  Today I share parts of my own story try to encourage those questioning what is called the ‘evangelical church’. And I explore how in fact an ‘evangelical’ is a type of person, a way of being in the world, not a label,...

Episode 8 | Lauren Ward – Feminism & Faith

Lauren Ward from FeministFaith.com shares her story today. Lauren talks about what she calls ‘Christian Feminism’, and how her feminist and Christian beliefs have shaped her story and her life choices, including her recent engagement.  Finally, Lauren offers...

Episode 7 | This Is How It Rolls

We need to have the courage to admit to ourselves, and eventually to others, who we really are, what we really believe and where we are in our journey.  It’s time to have the courage to say ‘this is how it rolls with me’. And if we do, we’ll find freedom, we’ll find...

Episode 6 | Chasing Lovely (The Wolfie Episode)

Today I’m joined by multi-genre musical duo Chloe & Taylor Turner, aka Chasing Lovely. Chloe & Taylor share their story, talk about creativity & their own spiritual journey. Plus, there’s an exclusive live acoustic performance of the title track from their...