Melinda Schmidt-episode 153

Melinda Schmidt joins me on Faith Conversations this week. It’s been months since we’ve talked on the podcast and it was a wonderful reunion. You know what it’s like to not talk to a friend for a while—one of those really good soul friends—and when you see them you pick right up where you left off? It was exactly like that. We talked about life and grief and maybe about writing a book together.


Follow Melinda @melindaschmidt on Twitter.

Find her on Facebook here.

And Instagram here.


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Heath Adamson-episode 152


Heath Adamson is a speaker at conferences, seminars, universities, and churches. He has an amazing backstory coming out of drug abuse and the occult. He currently serves at Convoy of Hope, a global nonprofit focusing on compassion and justice.

The focus of our conversation on the podcast is Grace in the Valley: Awakening to God’s Presence When He Feels Far Away. Heath walks us through Psalm 23 in a unique way. He asks provocative questions that we don’t usually think of when reading through Psalm 23, like “What if the green pasture and valley of the shadow of death are the same place?” That kind of hooked me and Heath and I were off on a fascinating conversation about the nooks and crannies of a Psalm I thought I knew really well. I hope you’ll come along on the journey, too!


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Karen Swallow Prior-episode 151

Karen Swallow Prior is an award-winning professor of English at Liberty University and she is an acclaimed author. If you follow her on social media you know that she not only posts thought-provoking articles but also possesses a quick wit.


Our conversation on the podcast centered around her latest release On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books. Prior walks us through some important virtues using great books as the backdrop.

While we talk extensively about her latest book, we begin by talking about the serious accident that sidelined her for half of this year, the current stories circulating about plagiarism in Christian circles, and how she is one of the Evangelical women who reject Donald Trump.

Follow her on Twitter @KSPrior and on Facebook here.


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Grace Ji-Sun Kim-episode 150


Grace Ji-Sun Kim joins me on the podcast this week as we talk about Healing Our Broken Humanity. Grace and her co-author Graham Hill have written about practices for revitalizing the church and renewing the world. We touch on only some of those practices. Lament and repentance as well as relinquishing power and reinforcing agency definitely enter our dialog. If you don’t think we need the healing and hope of Christ, then your head has been in the sand. I hope this conversation spurs you on to prayer and action.

Find Grace Ji-Sun Kim at her website here.

Find Graham Hill at his website here.


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Natasha Sistrunk Robinson-episode 149


Natasha Robinson joins me on the podcast this week to talk about what it could look like to choose freedom and courage in a divided world. Natasha is an international speaker, leadership consultant, mentoring coach, and the founder of Leadership LINKS, Inc. She is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and a former Marine Corps officer. On the podcast, we focus on her latest book A Sojourner’s Truth.
Find Natasha online:
She blogs at
Facebook: NatashaSistrunkRobinson
Instagram: @asistasjourney
Twitter: @asistasjourney

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Amy Julia Becker-episode 148


Amy Julia Becker joins me on the podcast this week to talk about privilege through the vehicle of her book, White Picket Fences: Turning Toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege. The word privilege is one that provokes strong reactions. People often become defensive. Amy Julia Becker talks about how we can engage in fruitful conversations about privilege even while looking at the wounds of privilege.

Becker lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children and has authored several books. White Picket Fences is her latest.


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Michelle Van Loon-episode 147


Michelle Van Loon, besides being a great writer, is a wonderful conversationalist. Her latest book is Born to Wander: Recovering the Value of Our Pilgrim Identity and I highly recommend it.

On this week’s podcast we take a look at character, how it’s developed, how we teach it to our children, and how the Church needs to engage with this topic.

We also look at the book of Ecclesiastes. Michelle is co-teaching a class on that book and she has some interesting observations for how we might live our lives without guilt.

And we take a look at International travel and all we can learn from it. But, let’s face it, it’s a luxury not all can afford. How else might we open ourselves up to the world without stepping on a plane and traveling for 8 – 20 hours?

I also mention a giveaway of a Tim Tebow book, his latest, titl…Read More

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Daniel Hill-episode 146


Daniel Hill has spent decades working and investing in the city of Chicago. He is the founding pastor of River City Community Church, a multicultural church community in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and author of White Awake, a book chronicling his own journey into understanding and embracing his white cultural identity.

This edition of Faith Conversations focuses on a variety of posts on Daniel’s Facebook page. I asked Daniel for a partial list of books he would recommend for reading on issues of race and justice. Books mentioned are:
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The Minority Experience by Adrian Pei
The Myth of Equality by Ken Wytsma
Rethinking Incarceration by Dominique DuBois Gilliard
The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark
Disunity in Christ by …Read More

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Aaron Niequist-episode 145


Aaron Niequist joins me on the podcast this week. He is an influential worship leader who combines ancient and modern Christian spiritual practices to help people who might feel stuck on their spiritual journey. This is part of Aaron’s own story which led him to launch a service called “The Practice,” which is all about a practice-based faith—a Christian faith that embraces tradition while recognizing that belief alone isn’t enough. He has recently written The Eternal Current: How a Practice-Based Faith Can Save Us From Drowning.

If you find yourself unsure of why you attend church, or questioning leaving your current place of worship, I encourage you to read Aaron’s book. It might just help keep you connected to God and the larger Christian community.

As we talked, Aaron mentioned Dallas Willard’s book, The Divine…Read More

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Steve McConnell-episode 144



I’m excited to have one of my pastors, Dr. Stephen McConnell, on Faith Conversations this week. He is the Senior Pastor of Church of the Palms in Sarasota, Florida. Our conversation was really an opportunity for me to get to know more of his story while I introduced him to my podcast audience. He is a 4th generation Presbyterian pastor, and I think you will enjoy his story as pieces of it unfold on the podcast.

The books mentioned are:
The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Middlemarch, Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda, The Mill on the Floss – all by George Eliot
Steve has written these three titles:
Take Me to Aslan
When the Wind Is Against You
Safe at Home
&n…Read More

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