melinda schmidt-episode 163

Melinda Schmidt joins me on the podcast as we follow up on the ancestry topic of last week. We step into a conversation on using our gifts and teaching others to open them up to spiritual practices and scripture in new ways.

Mentioned: Immerse

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• blog
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Instagram

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Melinda & Michelle episode 162

 Melinda Schmidt and Michelle Van Loon join me on this week’s Faith Conversations to talk about ancestry. We had a long conversation in a text thread between us talking about family and those boxes of pictures that are waiting to be sorted through. Michelle wrote a beautiful line where she said, “My bone marrow is talking.” Lovely sentence. It got me thinking that we need to take this conversation from text to podcast!

Why do you or don’t you pay attention to your heritage? We raised a number of questions that go along with this topic on the podcast.

Mentioned on the podcast:
Henry Louis Gates Jr. series, “Finding Your Roots”
23 and me
Michelle’s book Born to Wander


Find Michelle:
The Perennial Gen blog
Find Melinda:
Fac…Read More

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Mike Murphy-episode 161

It’s been a while since Mike Murphy has joined me on the podcast. Always provocative, this episode is no different. We talk about Martin Luther King Jr., the late poet Mary Oliver, and we certainly touch on political things as we use Mike’s Friday Rumblings from January 25, 2019, as our springboard.

Follow Mike on Facebook.

Here are the Rumblings we looked at: Rumblings. 1.25.19

1.On Monday, Anita and I watched the movie Selma again and found ourselves tearing up a time or two. Our nation prides itself in having come so far in regard to race relations but in so many ways we’ve traveled a thousand miles to only move but five miles down the road.

Racism is still one of the most divisive issues facing us as a nation. And yet we still see folks justifying its existence by clinging to a selective and narrow reading of both s…Read More

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Diana Shiflett-episode 160


Diana Shiflett has been leading people into the heart of God for years. She has been opening up the world of spiritual practices to them in the context of community. She joins me on Faith Conversations this week to walk us through a number of the spiritual practices she writes about in her new book Spiritual Practices in Community.

Find her on Twitter @pastordianas

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Michelle DeRusha-episode 159

Have you ever thought of decluttering your heart, mind, and soul? Or do you even have a handle on what that might look like? When we start letting go of false identities, our relationships change including our relationship with God. On this week’s Faith Conversations, Michelle DeRusha joins me to talk about what it means to let go of your false self to uncover the person God created. Sound like something you’d like to sign up for? Take a listen as we talk about True You.


Find Michelle here.

Follow Michelle on Twitter.

Find Michelle on Facebook.

Find Michelle on Instagram.


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Ruth Haley Barton-episode 158


We talk about time away with God, then often never get around to it. Ruth Haley Barton joins me on the podcast to focus in on her latest offering, Invitation to Retreat. If you are like me, in this new year, you want to make it happen and not just talk about it.

This is a relevant and real topic not to mention greatly needed. Ruth says it’s a necessity of the spiritual life yet doesn’t get much press from our pulpits. I hope you’ll check out this week’s podcast with Transforming Center founder and seasoned spiritual director, Ruth Haley Barton.

Find her on Twitter @RuthHaleyBarton and also @TransformingCnt

And on Facebook here.


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Phileena Heuertz-episode 157

Phileena Heuertz is a spiritual director, yoga instructor, public speaker, retreat guide, and author. She is also a founding partner of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism. On this week’s podcast, we focus on her latest offering, Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation.


One thing most of us can agree on is the crazy pace with which most of us live. Phileena was no different. After a point where she experienced the deconstruction of her worldview, faith, and identity, Centering Prayer was a significant remedy. We talk through the importance of solitude and silence and stillness.

We also mention Phileena’s first book, Pilgrimage of a Soul.

Find her on Twitter.

And on Facebook.


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Kathy Khang-episode 156

Kathy Khang joins me on the podcast this week and she admits it can be hard to speak up, especially due to the ugly climate on social media. But it’s important to speak up and to have our voice rooted in the image of God.


On the podcast, we talked about the importance of finding and speaking our own voice, but also using our voice to speak up on behalf of others. Kathy’s book, Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up, is an important one and I highly recommend it.

Find Kathy on Twitter @mskathykhang

Find Kathy on Facebook


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Rick McKinley-episode 155

Rick McKinley is the founder and lead pastor of Imago Dei Community and a prolific author. He is a nationally known conference speaker at conferences including Q, Catalyst, and The Justice Conference. He has been putting one foot in front of the other in Portland, Oregon, for many years and was even voted one of Portland’s 50 Most Influential People in 2012.


On the podcast, we take a look at issues of faith, culture and the Church. Rick guides us through the question, “What does it mean to be the people of God now?” This is a question he answers in even more depth in his latest book, Faith For This Moment: Navigating a Polarized World as the People of God.

You’ll hear an enlightening conversation and Rick’s book will develop it even further.

Find Rick on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And check out The Adve…Read More

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Shawn Smucker-episode 154

Shawn Smucker joins me to tell a story of friendship. It’s a story of unlikely friendship, actually, and one that is beautiful and hard and inconvenient at times. I highly recommend Shawn’s book Once We Were Strangers: What Friendship with a Syrian Refugee Taught Me about Loving My Neighbor.


As Shawn struggles to make a living as a writer, into his life comes Mohammad, struggling to make a new life with his family in a strange new place.  The story is riveting and the struggles real.

This is a podcast that will make you think and ponder a bit.

Check out Church World Services Global that gets mentioned a few times during the podcast. And Church World Services in Lancaster County where Shawn lives.

Follow Shawn on Twitter @ShawnSmucker.

Find him on Facebook.


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