April 1st 1985.
It was the first Monday of Holy Week. Little was I to know it would become the moment my life descended into hell.
I still remember. I remember the lights of the ambulance lighting up my bedroom window. I remember creeping downstairs in a hallway lit up mainly by outside lights, seeing the ambulance outside. And I remember walking into our front lounge, seeing my mum, sitting in the chair.
Eyes looking downwards, not moving.
She was completely still. Her body paralysed by a severe asthma attack. (more…)
Kaitlin Curtice joins me on the podcast today. Kaitlin is a Native American Christian author, speaker and worship leader. As an enrolled member of the Potawatomi Citizen Band and someone who has grown up in the Christian faith, Kaitlin writes on the intersection of Native American spirituality, mystic faith in everyday life, and the church.
Kaitlin and I discuss her new book, ‘Glory Happening’, real stories of finding the divine in everyday places. We also explore how we can see the divine in the every day, why and how we believe, and how our spirituality can impact our creativity.
Kaitin is a woman of grace and deep spirituality, and has so much wisdom to share with the world. This one’s definitely worth a listen.
I’m delighted to welcome author and speaker Matt Bays to the podcast today.
Matt begins by sharing the powerful and moving story behind his book “Finding God In The Ruins”, his painful childhood which led to struggles with alcohol addiction, and how in the midst of his recovery he faced yet more challenges as his sister tragically lost her life to cancer.
We talk about dealing with grief, addiction and being honest with both God and ourselves about suffering, and asking those tough questions. About doubt, questioning and the mystery of the divine, and how we believe.
Matt is humble, wise and honest, and it was a joy to talk to him. Have a listen and then check out his book.
Author and blogger Tanya Marlow joins me today to talk about her new book ‘Those Who Wait’. It’s a book about learning the art of divine patience, and stories from scripture and life which teach us about waiting on God.
Tanya has a powerful personal testimony which has taught her a lot about patience, both in life and in faith, and with her theological background has taken several stories from scripture and shown what they can tell us about waiting on God.
Everyone is waiting. We wait for a bus, a spouse, a different job, a better life. We wait for Christ. At best, it’s irritating; at worst, unbearable. But what if our frustrated longings have spiritual value?Tanya discusses this with me today, with great wisdom, insight and joy. Tanya is one of the wisest, most grace-filled people I’ve encountered and it was a joy to chat to her. I know you’ll be truly inspired by this conversation.
Today I’m joined by author, speaker and theologian Kent Dobson.
Kent, with great vulnerability and wisdom, shares his own spiritual journey, including his pilgrimage up what is often known as Mount Sinai – where he was bitten by a camel, both physically and metaphorically. This is a story he tells in his new book ‘Bitten By A Camel’.
Religion, God, Spirituality, Nature, Sacred Texts, Mystery, and the Human Soul are all being rethought, turned over and reborn. This unfolding conversation is wild and full of life. It crosses disciplines and backgrounds and languages. Kent’s life is about joining and promoting this generative conversation, and today he shares this wisdom and story with us.
Today musical quartet the Blacksmiths Daughters return to the podcast. Julida & Sean Alter return from our first interview we’re also joined by the other half of the band, Annella and Brent Platter. Julida and Anetta are sisters, and together with their husbands, and others, are creating truly authentic, personal music.
Their new video “You’re My Man” releases not long ago, and their new album ‘Seasons Turn’, releases 10th October, and today we talk about the new songs, the new album, and the creative journey behind it. As we examine different songs written by different members of the band, we see how our personal stories can have a direct impact on the kind of work we create.
This is a fascinating look at the creative journey behind an album, and well worth a listen.
My dear friend and author Chris Morris joins me today. Chris is a long time advocate of issues surrounding chronic illness, and reconciling these with faith. As someone who lives with chronic illness himself and has family members with chronic illness, he knows the challenges chronic illness can bring – as well as some of the stigma, in particular around some religious circles.
Today Chris shares a bit of his story, lessons he’s learned and research he’s done behind the subject, all of which has resulted in the publishing of his new book, ‘Perfectly Abnormal’. Chris shares the truth behind a lot of stigma and misinformation, and the authentic experience of living with chronic illness – and gives hope and inspiration for those living with chronic illness themselves.
I’d highly recommend ‘Perfectly Normal’ to all those who live with chronic illness, and anyone who knows someone who lives with it In the book Chris strives to destroy some common myths facing the chronic illness community, including a poor theology of illness. From there, he begins a conversation about how to build a healthy place for the chronic illness community to be safe.
The book is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or wherever books are sold.
Today our ‘Questions We Don’t Ask’ series continues, with the fundamental question of ‘How Do I Believe?’
Continuing from where we left off last week, Charles Porter and I discuss how, whilst so often we discuss what we believe, that maybe the deeper, more fundamental question is how we believe.
These conversations aren’t merely about answering the question. The questions are more jumping off points into a much bigger, wider and deeper exploration of Christian spirituality and our own journeys – because ultimately, all our journeys are connected, and there’s many of us asking these kind of questions.
This question takes us from spiral dynamics, to the mystics, to Richard Rohr & non-dual thinking, via Trump & Brexit, and on to tons of other places. We explore some challenging, uncomfortable territory – but territory it’s absolutely necessary to cover to gain both a deeper understanding and depth to our spirituality.
Come and join us.
Season 2 of the Poema Podcast kicks off with a new series we’ll be doing on and off over the next few months – “Questions We Don’t Ask”. This series will see me and others discuss raw, honest and challenging questions of faith and our spiritual journey. Questions I’ve been asking myself a lot in the last year. The type of questions many of us don’t like to ask, but the ones we need to ask more than anything if we really want to grow and move deeper in our spirituality.
These conversations aren’t merely about answering the questions. The questions are more jumping off points into a much bigger, wider and deeper exploration of Christian spirituality and our own journeys – because ultimately, all our journeys are connected, and there’s many of us asking these kind of questions.
Today, my friend Charles Porter, previous guest, formerly host of the Fable Podcast and founder of the Neighbourhood Liturgies, joins me to discuss the first question.
“What Do I Believe?”
This conversation goes into some deep, wide and interesting places way beyond the initial question, places we never expected to go. I hope you’ll join us, and that this helps you explore this and other questions on your own journey – and maybe raises some more.
If we’re going to go create work, and share it with the world, there’s some serious questions we need to ask ask ourselves first.
Why do I create?
What am I doing this for?
Who am I doing this for?
And this leads us to some more fundamental questions:
Do I create because I love to write?
Do I create because I have something to share or a story to tell?
Do I create because I love creating and using my gifts to help people?
Do I create because I have something to offer others?
Do I create because my confidence and security rests on the outcome?
Do I create to boost my ego?
Do I create to impress?
Do I create to please others?
Do I create solely with intention of making money?
These are questions all of us creators need to ask. Writers, painters, musicians, speakers, coaches. All of us.
Because if we’re doing it for the second set of reasons, our work will never have integrity. The truth behind that piece of work is about self, it’s about ego, pride, money.
And people can always smell the money. The truth, heart and energy behind a piece of creative work always comes through.
Art always tells the truth about it’s heart.