melinda schmidt-episode 130

Long-time friend and former co-host of Midday Connection, Melinda Schmidt, joins me on the podcast. We riff off of the last stanza of Mary Oliver’s amazing poem, “When Death Comes,” off and on during the conversation, as well as Melinda’s latest blog post found here.


We also talked about Aaron Niequist’s new book, The Eternal Current, available for pre-order. Melinda also talked about her favorite podcasts that she is currently listening to: Personality Hacker, The Minimalists, The Bible for Normal People (Pete Enns), The Robcast (Rob Bell), and Super Soul Sunday (Oprah).

Follow her on Twitter @melindaschmidt and on Facebook. And find both Melinda and me at the Friends of Midday Facebook page.



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kaitlin curtice-episode 129

Kaitlin Curtice is a voice to pay attention to and a writer to watch. She is a Native American Christian author, speaker, and worship leader. You may have read her writing in Sojourners. She also writes at on the intersection of culture and spirituality.


We talk about reading, writing, and the amazing prayers that are included in Kaitlin’s beautiful book, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places.

Here are the books Kaitlin mentioned that she is currently reading: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer, Grateful by Diana Butler Bass, and I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown.

Follow Kaitlin on Twitter @kaitlincurtice and on Facebook at KaitlinCurtice/Writer.


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michelle van loon – episode 128


Michelle Van Loon returns to Faith Conversations to talk about what happens when a church leader’s sin has been revealed. The #MeToo movement dominated headlines for months. Now the #ChurchToo hashtag has taken a turn in the spotlight—and it’s heartbreaking.

Check out the blog post that Michelle wrote on the topic here. If this is a topic that has affected you, we’d love to hear from you. You can email me at

Follow Michelle on Twitter @michellevanloon.

Find her on Facebook here.



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John Lustrea-episode 127

John Lustrea is back with me on the podcast to discuss a movie that both he and I watched. We had such an overwhelmingly positive response to the last movie we discussed, The Way, that we decided to do it again.

This time we tackle Queen of Katwe. If you’ve not watched it, we highly recommend it. Some great themes present themselves and we model on the podcast how to discuss a movie or a TV episode or a book, with at least one other friend—maybe more! We also encourage you to shoot us an email about what you thought or with other movie, TV or book suggestions.  Email us at

John also introduces the spiritual practice called Havruta.


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Brian Allain-episode 126

Brian Allain is an entrepreneur. He’s an IT guy who made the leap to the literary world—first by becoming the Founding Director of the Frederick Buechner Center and then as Producer of Writing for Your Life. Allain grew Mr. Buechner’s online presence from zero to over 2 million Facebook fans and over 300,000 Twitter followers. Needless to say, he is a marketing genius who also founded Enliven Your Tribe.


On this week’s podcast, we focus on how to become a published author as we talk about a variety of conferences Brian holds around the country under the monikers Publishing in Color and Writing for Your Life as well as online webinars that are available through Writing for Your Life.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @writing4urlife, @publishincolor, and @brian_allain

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Gregory Thornbury-episode 125

Gregory Alan Thornbury, Chancellor of The King’s College and Vice President of New York Academy of Art, joins me on the podcast to talk about Larry Norman, “father of Christian Rock.”


In the recently released biography on Larry Norman, titled Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?, Thornbury talks about Larry Norman and the perils of Christian Rock. Larry was the one who helped launch a billion-dollar industry that has become something Larry probably wouldn’t like or recognize today.

I grew up during the Jesus movement and can still sing many of Norman’s songs from memory. Billboard called Norman “the most important songwriter since Paul Simon,” and his music went on to inspire members of bands such as U2, the Pixies, and Guns N’ Roses. Larry was a thorn in the religious establishment’s side. The book is fascin…Read More

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Michelle Van Loon-episode 124

Good friend, Michelle Van Loon, joins me on the podcast sitting across from me at my kitchen table. Nice having her on my home turf and not via Skype!


It was a bit of a Millrose program as we went from topic to topic. Michelle and her friend Amanda Cleary Eastep founded a wonderful blog called The Perennial Gen which addresses the audience of those in midlife and beyond. It is a worthy blog to read. We also mentioned Michelle’s new book, to be released July 3, 2018, but can be pre-ordered, titled Born to Wander.

On the heels of The Perennial Gen we addressed the topic of end of life issues and why they are difficult to discuss. Then related to that, we talked about legacy creation and what that might look like. Michelle and I began talking about telling stories and passing on legacy through recipes. Check out Miche…Read More

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Adam Hamilton-episode 123

Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of the 20,000 member Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. He is a prolific author with 25 books to his credit. Making Sense of the Bible is a favorite of mine.


On the podcast we talk about his latest, which is Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. A leaders guide for group study is also available here. Adam mentions that there are a variety of supplemental resources for Unafraid. You can find those here.

Adam addresses some of the most prevalent fears in our society and talks about how to counter fear through using helpful psychology and biblical texts.


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Elaine Storkey-episode 122

Elaine Storkey is known for her work as a scholar, author, speaker, and journalist. She has been a tireless advocate for the marginalized. Most recently she was the President of Tearfund. On the podcast, Elaine and I talk about the global pandemic of violence against women. She recently penned a book titled Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women.

This book was the culmination of 8 years of research and writing. It is a tremendous resource if you are seeking to elevate your own knowledge on this topic or broaden the knowledge of your church or your friendships groups.

Follow Elaine @elainestorkey


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John Lustrea-episode 121

John Lustrea joins me this week on Faith Conversations to discuss a movie. The focus of the podcast is The Way, a movie starring Martin Sheen, which takes viewers on a 500-mile trek across Spain called the Camino de Santiago.

John leads us through a spiritual practice as we discuss the movie through the lens of ‘growth’ and then pick a passage to do Lectio Divina with.


An interesting discussion and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Email us at

Also mentioned, again, is the book I’m reading, again, The Soul of a Pilgrim by Christine Vaulters Paintner.

You can also contribute to the podcast on PayPal using that same email address, or mail a check to Anita Lustrea, 8 White Oak Terrace, Sarasota, FL 34237.


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