A Spoken Word


Bradley Hathaway is wordsmith and composer of heart.  He has been pouring out with pen on paper and with melody and tone.  As a spoken word poet and a folk singer and songwriter, Bradley gives a raw and evocative performance.  He is humble and intentional and we appreciate that he was willing to step out from behind the pages today.

Be sure to check out his music (you can listen here) and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Silence is one of our favorite poems:

What’s happening here?
I was once so alive and now I’m so full of dread and almost dead
Show me your wounded head that is lead to communion with the father
But where did he go?
His presence seems farther and farther away each day
but I’m trying so hard to steer his way
Yet still lonely and confused on this cold hard ground I lay

Speak to me wise mouth and say “it’s all good kid, it’s nothing that you did, and though it feels like I’m not here with you right now just be still and silent and listen for that sound..
Shhh..
Did you hear it?
Listen again.
Did you hear it?
That silent voice that just spoke nothing, that is me, I’m listening to your plea with open ears Counting all your tears flowing from your irritated eyes
Searching the skies looking for that hope that beyond there lies.

Oh you young worrisome sparrow, find rest
Lay your battered head upon my omnipresent breast and make it your nest
No strong cold wind could ever blow and carry you from this your home
Look around, see the life shooting up from the ground
Spring colors springing fourth and celebration of your trusting

It’s a constant process this is
Growing you into the man you are to become
But when you sense the setting of the sun know it is only rising and has just begun
Now go fourth, sing songs of faith, and lift up others in the midst of this race
And if you can’t keep the pace or lose sight of my face
Know that I’m always near so you need not fear
But don’t worry about all that right now
Just sit here and enjoy the peace I offer in my silence
When I am silent I am listening, and not abandoning.


Tune in and turn up as we listen and learn together!

 

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Daniel P. Horan

Shane Claiborne

Kelly Minter

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Lemonade Happens


Don Jacobson runs the best lemonade stand in town.  He is a walking, talking lemonade story.  He knows all about what it’s like when life gives you lemons and he is grateful that lemonade happens.

Don’s passion has become sharing his story about how God made lemonade in his life and also encouraging others to do the same.  By doing so, he’s moved from sour to sweet.  After writing a book about his story, Don now collects stories from around the globe to share in hope and inspiration.

He shares:

“We’ve all heard the saying ‘stuff happens.’  Here’s what I discovered – along with all the bad stuff that happens in life, lemonade happens as well.”   

So, what’s your lemonade story?

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Jeffrey Dean

Michael Kelley

Brian Bennett

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Thinking About Sustainability


Ed Cyzewski is a wordsmith.  He is an author, editor, and blogger.  He’s got a self-proclaimed sarcastic and imperfect tone when it comes to writing about Jesus, but is passionate about sharing truth and helping other’s develop their relationships with God.

His favorite topics are Christian living and theology and we’re thrilled to have had a chance to get to know him better in this interview.  He shared with us:

“One of the things that I’ve tried to do in my work and in my writing is to talk about carving out that time for God in our lives.  So that means making sacrifices and cutting things out, but at the same time, thinking about sustainability. “

Be sure to check out Ed’s blog:  In a mirror dimly – where he writes about sustainable discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Stephen Brewster

Tyler Braun

Craig Borlase

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

 

The Attractive Emergence Movement


You might imagine Phyllis Tickle as the coolest grandma around – but not just because she makes a mean chocolate chip cookie.  She’s cool because she’s the epitome of wisdom and lives her life as an expression of grace.

One thing is for certain – She knows her stuff.  Considered an authority on religion, Phyllis serves as the founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly.  She’s also written over three dozen books, served as a professor and dean, and is now a lay eucharistic minister and lector in the Episcopal Church.

Phyllis is a theorist and student of the Emergence Church movement and this episode will help you comprehend the related beliefs.  She shares about the attractive emergence movement and what has captivated her.  For instance,

“Emergence Christianity represents, or names, a set of sensibilities:  non-hierarchical, deeply liturgical, deeply narrative, non-doctrinal, very green.”

“One of the things I find most attractive about Emergence Christianity is it’s real fair of human arrogance and it’s real sensitivity to it and how it limits our worship and our sense of awe.”

Get ready to take it all in as we hear from Phyllis!

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Ed Cyzewski

Stephen Brewster

Tyler Braun

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Doug Pagitt, Possibility Evangelist


Doug Pagitt’s business card might read a little differently than most.  He gives himself the title of Goodness Conspirator and Possibility Evangelist.  He is a creator with an entrepreneurial spirit who seeks to find ways to invite people to join in on the desires God has for us all.

Doug certainly wears many hats while serving as an author, Pastor of Solomon’s Porch church, consultant, radio show host, and director of the Cana Initiative.

He believes in humor, taking a different approach, being vulnerable, and finding creative and progressive ways to share truth.  A lot of his beliefs spring from the following:

“We have this great opportunity to make things happen, and what we’re called to as human beings – as people who are alive physically and spiritually, emotionally and mentally – is to generate the kind of world that we want to live in.”

We hope you’ll catch a bit of his contagious spirit as you listen with us today!

 

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Ginny Owens

John Dominic Crossan

Steve Carter

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net

Discipleship #009: Missionaries There & Here

When we hear the word “missionary” we tend to think of a ministry that is distant from us, or foreign to us.  But in the broader sense of the word, missionary is simply a disciple sent by Christ to preach in his name and make new disciples, someone who takes into heart the command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Missionary is not only the person who leaves her comfortable home for a third-world country forever, but also the African Christians reaching out to Muslims in America. Missionary is also an ordinary boy inviting his lonely pal to go to Sunday school together. Therefore, although technically a Christian missionary refers to a specific calling, a life-time occupation supported by the church, there is no doubt that all of us, as Disciples of Christ, have the same mission to make more disciples.

A Story of a Missionary

This is the story of Lee. Lee was born in Chun ju, South Korea, in 1963. He was not Christian by birth, and no one in his family was either. When he was a kid, he would show up for Sunday school when he was bored and just for the holiday events when the pastors would give away free candy. It was not until he went to the city of Pusan for college that he found a good church and started believing in God.

After studying mechanical engineering for three years, Lee decided that he was going to be a missionary. Nothing really dramatic had happened to him to prompt his decision, nothing close to the calling of Samuel or Paul’s dream of the Macedonian. Every weekend he had helped his pastor evangelize to foreigners who arrived to the port, and he had found that he simply wanted to do this kind of work for the rest of his life. The missionary work abroad he envisioned for his future was to be an extension of the missionary work he was been practicing at home.

Lee graduated in 1987. He applied to a seminary in Pusan in 1989 and after three years, he moved to Seoul to obtain his masters degree. He enjoyed studying at the seminary a lot more than when he had studied engineering.

Then the rest worked out like a puzzle. Though in the beginning, Lee’s intention had been to go to Japan and work there as a missionary, his church thought that Japan was too close and well-off for missions work and rejected his proposition. So Lee did some research and learned that the countries with the least number of missionaries were Peru and Mexico. After a couple of months, a message from Peru came saying that they needed a missionary.

Eventually the time came for Lee and his wife to leave their homes, families, and culture. Carrying a three year old, a baby of ten months, and two large immigration bags, they set foot on the arid city of Trujillo in the month of June, 1995. When asked about what he had felt when he arrived to the opposite side of the globe, Lee answered, “In that situation, there is no space for thought; there is no space for feeling. You just find yourself focusing every minute on adapting to the new environment.”

Among the hardships Lee and his family had to go through were homesickness, the inability to digest the local food, and the lack of knowledge of Spanish.

For one year, they stayed with another missionary in Trujillo to learn about the language and the culture of the country. In their second year, they moved to a town of red clay roads called Pucallpa in the Amazon jungle to help a colleague build a school. In 1998, they returned to Trujillo, and from that time on they remained in that city as the only Korean family in the area.

Lee specialized in planting churches and helping them grow until they were able to become independent. In the course of 17 years he had planted three small churches, which in turn built two other churches by themselves. Each of them had its own set of problems of economy, leadership, and fellowship. But sometimes they met for a picnic at the beach or a volleyball tournament.

He was the happiest when he saw people change for good. He found it the hardest to see people who had been Christians for a long time refusing to change. He never regretted coming to Peru. He knew what his role was in God’s plans. He had not worried much about how his decision would affect his children. He had been sure that God would take their futures into His hands.

According to Lee, his job had always been to “evangelize and serve others while sharing his life with them.” Like Lee said, a missionary’s job is not to simply go and make as many converts as possible, it is to share one’s own life with others. Just like Jesus shared his.

“Local” Missionaries

Mother Teresa once said, “It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”

Being a missionary abroad has its own list of hardships, but being a missionary at home is just as hard. We humans are creatures of compartmentalization that many times like to have our jobs separate from our hobbies, our church friends separate from our school friends. But when being a “local” missionary, our identities as disciples are not nametags we use when we go to church or volunteer at another town— they are lifestyles.

John Eldredge is President of Ransomed Heart Ministry. He furthers the spiritual lives those around the U.S. through his work and books of counseling. Jenny Simmons’ music reaches out to those that are heartbroken in their homes. Adam Sterenberg, as the principal of Tree of Life School in Kalamazoo, shows his love and passion for the Lord through education and the renewing of minds.

These are only a few of the “local” missionaries around us. Let us be inspired by them and ask ourselves how we are being “local” missionaries ourselves. There is just so much to do right here.

Criticism

Missionary work comes with its own set of controversies. For instance there are concerns that missionaries lack respect for other cultures as they put their goals of evangelization first. For example the Akha people of South East Asia complained the missionaries prioritized the building a church than building a clinic. Also, because Christianity often requires change within the culture and could potentially destroy traditional social structures and values, sometimes mission work is perceived as a threat to cultural diversity.

On the opposite spectrum, there is the concern that the original mission of evangelization will be overshadowed by the needs of the people. As Oswald Chambers points out in My Utmost for the Highest, “to the point that human sympathy for those needs will absolutely overwhelm the meaning of being sent by Jesus.”

As imperfect people, missionaries always tend to lean to one side more than the other. This is why we need the greater wisdom from God to balance both sides, to not neglect the needs of the people while bringing the gospel to the culture to add to it rather than to take the pieces that are precious and beautiful away from it. God calls us to be disciples and missionaries outside the country, in the streets, our churches, and our homes. After all, love and the Gospel are not things that can be limited by space and time.

Singing A Broken Hallelujah with Jenny Simmons

Jenny Simmons is a woman of faith whose outpouring of love affects everyone she meets.

Through her career with Addison Road as well as her solo album, she has been on an amazing journey filled with love, hope and heartbreak.

Join us as we learn more about her journey and how it has shaped who she is today.

Start a Fire in Your Heart


In our busy and hectic lives, it is easy to get lost in the problems of our lives. How can we focus on growing in our faith in such a crazy world?

Rochelle Frazier is a small-town Mississippi woman who is focused on lighting fires in the hearts of women who are looking for God. By teaching to seek, love and follow Him, Rochelle empowers women through her speaking, writing and attitude towards life.

Join us as we learn about what Rochelle is doing in the lives of many by helping people in their spiritual growth.  Sit back and listen and Rochelle will teach you how to start a fire in your heart.

Words Left Behind

Jerry B. Jenkins helped to re-awaken the world to the forthcoming return of Jesus in his Left Behind series.

One thing is for certain, after authoring over 180 books, Jerry has certainly “left behind” a trail of breadcrumbs that points readers toward God.

Join us in discovering the journey, methodology, and passions of Jerry in his work as a best-selling author, Chairman of the board of trustees at Moody Bible Institute, owner at Jenkins Entertainment, and owner of the Christian Writers Guild.

What’s coming up?

Be on the lookout for our upcoming episode releases from:

Andrew Farley

Rachel Olsen

Rochelle Frazier

Jenny Simmons

John Eldredge

And many more!

Have a guest idea?

Contact us:  ashleigh@goodberry.net