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Modern mystics are quite user-friendly--but the early Christian saints encouraged us to sail into some deep waters. This week, Dave Schmelzer explores the kind of unity with God that early greats like Augustine and Athanasius encouraged us was the central goal of being alive--and was what offered the hope of immortality to come. Mentioned on this p…
 
Constant change can feel uniquely hard. Do, say, beloved friends come and go? Or do we lose work or living situations that once were great? The mystics tell us that this is right at the core of reality--and that it's not all bad, particularly as we learn the key skill of living in the present moment as all that change swirls around us. Join Dave Sc…
 
Being lighthearted, while pleasant, can sound trivial. But it turns out to be a far bigger deal than we might think, in fact to be a central aspect of being loving and maybe even (if we believe a great Christian creed along with people like the Dalai Lama) of finding the meaning of life. Join Dave Schmelzer for a look at how spiritual masters (and …
 
It's a paradox. Faith overtly offers us the chance to hear and live out promises from God. And then great saints (and, frankly, our friends whom we most trust) seem to suffer even more than normal people. Living in that paradox is at the heart of great spirituality. Join Dave Schmelzer as he tells vivid stories and learns from people like Catherine…
 
Contemplative spirituality might suggest becoming more "inner"--being aware of all that's happening inside your consciousness. But it actually is meant to go just the other way--towards being so present to the moment at hand that nothing gets past you, that you notice people and a world that you otherwise certainly would have missed. Great souls li…
 
How "should" we feel in the craziness of the world around us? The answer might lie in Blue Mind, a joyful, contemplative state that neuroscientists tell us might affect how we age, how we experience today, and even how we might productively engage with our ideological enemies. Mentioned on this podcast: Amishi Jha: www.amishi.com Elissa Epel: www.a…
 
Of course we all want to maximize pleasant times and minimize difficult ones, but the great spiritual teachers--in many cases taking perspective from the eccentric biblical book Ecclesiastes--tell us that learning to fully inhabit both the hard and the good times transforms everything as we're taken into a sort of God Zone. In this story-rich episo…
 
"What's new?" has become a difficult question for many of us to answer during the pandemic, and yet neuroscientists tell us that novelty is a key to happiness. Dave Schmelzer offers us insight from spiritual masters from Christianity, Judaism and Zen on this crucial question, with a particular look at often-misunderstood wisdom from St. Paul. As a …
 
Many earnest churchgoers have found great encouragement from lots of Bible reading. But, as life goes on, many of them not only burn out on Bible reading, but become disturbed by parts of the Bible that didn't bother them before. Dave Schmelzer takes a contemplative, journeying look at the good and bad elements of reading the Bible and, finally, at…
 
As life moves forward, faith changes for many people, which can feel unsettling. Where, some might ask, is Jesus in whatever this new phase is? Dave Schmelzer has processed this with lots and lots of people. Here's the best stuff he's learned.Mentioned on this podcast:The Seek CourseNot the Religious Type and Blue Ocean Faith, by Dave SchmelzerJour…
 
Maybe finding our calling right now actually isn't so hard--that the trick is living it out. Join Dave Schmelzer as he looks at the wisdom of one contemplative who explores how calling changes over time, how we all face pressures to live out someone else's calling, how embracing our calling gives meaning and power to our suffering, and how a four-p…
 
One very simple but hard to pull off move, we're told, is the building block of what Paul calls "renewing our minds" and Jesus calls "becoming pure of heart and so seeing God" and some Eastern sages might call Enlightenment. Dave Schmelzer will walk through that one move and then pull back the curtain to chat briefly about why this move is so centr…
 
If we listen enough to the great spiritual teachers, it will hit us that the spirituality they're describing, while absolutely appealing, is different and more chill than the spirituality we've been taught. Jumping off from a list from one modern contemplative, Dave Schmelzer details how this unexpected spirituality can really help in a world which…
 
In this remarkable time of protesting injustice, do the great spiritual teachers we look at here have anything to contribute? Dave Schmelzer will take a look at what Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Dalai Lama--each of whom has led their people through oppression--want to tell us.Mentioned on this podcast: A six-week online "starte…
 
Neuroscientists and mystics tell us the same thing: our minds have been conditioned towards negativity, which all of us then do more or less well at fending off. But the great teachers tell us it doesn't have to be that way. Join Dave Schmelzer for a look at how bone-deep loving kindness can change us from the inside out. Mentioned on this podcast …
 
We're taught by the great mystics that fully experiencing God's work in our life today--even at risk of being unprepared for potential suffering just around the corner--is the source of the life we want, even in a pandemic. With wisdom from Thomas Merton, Jesus, St. Paul and some modern contemplatives, Dave Schmelzer looks at your superpower in thi…
 
Among the encouragements of ongoing spiritual growth is that the great teachers--for instance, Thomas Merton in this episode--tell us that all that growth has every chance of making our relationships better than they've ever been. Dave Schmelzer will talk both about contemplative and folk wisdom about keeping your most important relationships stron…
 
In this time of Covid-19, great spiritual teachers remind us that, counterintuitively, a daily experience of enthusiasm, joy and love not only is our birthright, but is the thing that will give us the best chance of responding well to whatever circumstances come our way. But of course spiritual teachings like theirs run the risk of encouraging a fa…
 
On the last Journey On, Dave Schmelzer talked about classic spiritual approaches that were discovered during pandemics and offer happiness even during such stressful times. Here he'll look at how understanding a few, particular things about God has also proven encouraging and useful even when things are most challenging. Mentioned on this podcast: …
 
Perhaps the richest spirituality in the Christian tradition was forged during a pandemic, of all things. Dave Schmelzer will look at what Julian of Norwich and some modern spiritual masters have to tell us about thriving during such a time. And, who knew?, they start by urging us that happiness, even in such times, is the goal and is possible. Ment…
 
It turns out that there's a powerful, unexpected bright spot to our suffering and disappointment. Join Dave Schmelzer for a look at how spiritual masters from around the world--including Mother Teresa and John of the Cross--tell us about how our dark nights might not be as bad as they appear. In his preface, Dave offers some contemplative reflectio…
 
On the previous Journey On, we talked about how growing spiritual people might lead all of us out of our current deep cultural divisions. Here we'll look at how much smaller choices that lead to our own continued astonishment at the world are in themselves a profound start that direction. You'll hear from a legendary peace activist who also, deligh…
 
Our world is so divided, politically, culturally, and religiously--even among people who claim the same religion as our own. Perhaps a certain sort of growing spirituality can help us not only personally thrive but also help lead the way through this moment to a better future. Join Dave Schmelzer as he looks at thoughts from great spiritual masters…
 
20th Century America was a golden era for optimistic teaching about how to succeed. While the advice was great from point to point, as a whole it often left people less happy than they were before learning it. But the great spiritual teachers have their own take on how to succeed that takes us to a very different place. With lots of storytelling an…
 
We all hit problems in our lives that don't have easy answers and so, in the absence of obvious ways to solve them, we obsess over them. Many great spiritual teachers talk about what this is like and they have both a surprising way through these problems and a surprising upshot that will lead us to a solution we couldn't have seen coming. Join Dave…
 
Many great spiritual teachers (looking to the Bible) agree that there's one straightforward spiritual thing you can do that is basically a joy guarantee...and yet it's, strangely, rarely done! Dave Schmelzer details the one-stop joy hack while offering inspiration from the Desert Fathers and Mothers, Pentecostals, and his own recent past.Mentioned …
 
Loneliness is hard--and boldly following God into uncharted territory can risk its own kind of loneliness. The good news is that the great spiritual teachers--and even some scholars--have a lot of thoughts on how to find the kind of connection and relationship that our hearts crave.Mentioned on this podcast: Theology of Joy: Lisa Miller and Matt Cr…
 
We've all heard about or experienced occasional unexplainable stories--was it an angel? a ghost? an alien? a praying friend? Of course they might have rational explanations in the end, but the spiritual masters nonetheless encourage us to lean into how those uncanny stories feel and what they might mean, telling us that those things are important c…
 
Worrying more than anything else keeps us from living our best life. Of course it feels horrible, but it also keeps us from walking with God into the life we want. Join Dave Schmelzer as he reviews some of the richest lessons ever offered as we stop worrying and start living! Mentioned in this podcast: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale…
 
How do we find and sustain the kind of meaningful work that's at the heart of our deepest dream? Dave Schmelzer looks at how great contemplative teachers suggest that common biblical wisdom about this question works just great--until it doesn't, and we realize we're being invited into a different experience of life than we'd anticipated. All with o…
 
What are you hoping for from your spiritual life? Beyond rules for living and rich community and even spiritual power, many spiritual masters encourage us to keep our hearts eager for great adventure and wonder. Join Dave Schmelzer to explore guidance from Brother Lawrence, Tuesdays with Morrie, the Bible, and his own journey of giving this stuff a…
 
Jesus and Paul join contemplatives, neuroscientists and pop spirituality teachers in agreeing on one thing: your life is quite a bit better than you think it is. But sadly you, like all people, have a built in bias towards negativity. Overcoming this is the road to what Jesus called "faith." Join Dave Schmelzer for an encouraging look at the good t…
 
Deep, spiritual thinkers like Francis of Assisi, Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama seem to think our growing spirituality can also help us find our way in our larger, political world--while not becoming miserable or outraged, but rather joyful, hopeful and useful. A miracle! Join Dave Schmelzer for a fascinating look at how you might bridge divides, …
 
Finding out who we actually are--and perhaps fulfilling our potential--turns out to be a more surprising challenge than we could have guessed. But the rewards that the great spiritual teachers suggest will come to us are pretty great, as we realize that God has been doing things for us behind the scenes that we've previously missed. Jumping off wit…
 
In this new, story-filled podcast focusing on an experience of Jesus that's fun, contemplative, practical and cultural, Dave Schmelzer of Blue Ocean Faith talks about how the new documentary The Biggest Little Farm makes a case for what spiritual masters have been saying for millennia. Namely, that learning to observe what looks like a threat to yo…
 
Heather King owes her well-being to prayer. After hitting the rock-hard bottom, she changed her life around – though not immediately. She became a Catholic and adopted the discipline of prayer. She writes about her practice in Holy Desperation. We chatted about: what prayer means the different types of prayer why prayer is for us – not God how pray…
 
I’m a 17 year old stuck in a 46 year old body. For real! Luckily, Jennifer Grant feels the same way I do and even though both of us HAVE 17 year olds, it doesn’t change the fact that we are young and everyone around us is old. Ok – I may need a reality check. Tune in and listen to our conversation. In her book, When Did Everybody Else Get So Old, J…
 
I do remember moments of mothering. Big moments. You know – births, first days of school, when they were old enough to stay home alone…things like this. Barbara Mahany remembers the big moments and lucky for us, recorded the small moments. Barbara artistically weaves these memories into a nest of her own snippets, sharing her observations with read…
 
Something happened to me after I read Blue Ocean Faith. An inner peace I haven’t experienced in a long time washed over me. Instead of anxiety wondering what is right and wrong about the Bible, instead of anger when “Christians” don’t act Christ-like, instead of tension when discussing interpretations of Scripture…I felt “Solus Jesus”. Dave Schmelz…
 
Jason Stellman is drunk. Probably. Maybe. I mean, he does label himself AND his podcast as such. He used to be in ministry. Therefore, he’s a drunk ex-pastor. Jason’s book, Misfit Faith, is a collection of thoughts about God. Not the “Evangelical” God or the “Catholic” God or the “Protestant” God; just God who loves us. All of us. Jason and I talk …
 
Christine Marchetta can help you communicate with loved ones who have passed from this life. And she may make you laugh while doing it. I have to admit, I don’t know a lot about the Medium profession, contacting those who have died or “spirit guides”. After chatting with Christine, my mind has opened to the possibilities. Listen to the conversation…
 
Maggie Rowe was going to hell. At least that’s what she told herself. From a young age, Maggie couldn’t tell if she loved God enough to save her soul. Publisher’s Weekly endorsed, “Rowe’s fantastic book is a born-again version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” You need no more explanation from me. Listen to Maggie comically share about her time …
 
Reading a book about depression and mental illness isn’t a first choice for someone who suffers from depression herself. Crossing Myself: A Story of Spiritual Rebirth isn’t about darkness, but rather the light of what Greg Garrett sees in community, history, music, and service. Greg’s voice throughout his story will make you think, will make you la…
 
Yes. I know. This would have been much more rad if it were “Episode 4”. It’s not. However, I do have “a new hope” for the latest direction of this podcast. I hope you like it and are ready to expand your boundaries. Life is different for me than it was a few months ago. I need my podcast to reflect that. Welcome to “Pieces of Faith.” *Artwork by Do…
 
How lucky am I to have been given the opportunity to host a radio talk show? One of the greatest experiences of my life, I was proud to take my listeners with me via podcast when I left the noontime airwaves last year. Stumptown Christian was my follow up to Rose City Forum. But now, the show with a Portland, OR focus is turning into so much more. …
 
Suzanne Stabile’s co-author, Ian Cron, describes her as a “ninja level, Mr. Miagi from the Karate Kid, kind of teacher.” I feel like Daniel-son. The Enneagram has fascinated me for the last year, but talking to Suzanne after reading her book, The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey To Self Discovery, I think I […]…
 
Mike McHargue is a Fundamentalist turned atheist turned Jesus follower. He now hosts the podcast, Science Mike, co-hosts The Liturgists, and is author of Finding God in the Waves: How I lost my Faith and Found it Again through Science. If you’ve been listening to Stumptown Christian, you know I had my own “turn of […]…
 
Everything about Carrie Newcomer is beautiful: Her voice. Her heart. Her lyrics. Her poetry. The name of her latest CD. Everything. And after listening to this episode, you’ll notice there is no other adjective I could find to adequately describe how I feel about her gifts. Listen to our conversation, get your hands on her […]…
 
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