This was a wonderful review I got recently. Thank you, Noel!
If you haven’t left a review on iTunes, won’t you please take a moment and do that today?
Somewhere over the rainbow I’ll find what I’m after lost in a lullaby.
Today, on Soul School I share a story of watching the movieThe Wizard of Oz as a child. I loved the story: The longing for more, the wanting to find home again, the fear of the evil witch, the friendships found along the way, the adventure and jolly fun, and the surprise ending that embedded a truth in me that I carry inside even now. It made a big impression on me and now I’ll share its secret.
Thanks for listening today. Be sure to subscribe (see below) and listen to the Friday episode with author and creative maven Rachel Toalson.
• After you listen to PART I (click the audio button below) be sure to watch the video lesson, PART II.
• It also comes with a handout and some great resource links. It is part of Varsity Club–the way listeners support the show. Find that here.
• Quick details about Varsity Club: Listeners, like you, support Spark My Muse and keep it going. It’s all YOU!
• With as little as a monthly $5–that’s a tiny $1.25 per week, you help make all this work and are rewarded with weekly extras and other perks that even include the option of 15 minutes of exclusive time with me, (each monthif you so desire) to ask any questions related to any podcast or Soul School episode. We can have some fun and take a deeper dive together. • Future live events, and live and exclusive online member-only events are included too. Access video lessons and handouts go all the way back to Lesson 18!
I was a sweaty, nervous wreck on my first periscope.
It’s comical…did anyone ever see Broadcast News (the movie)?
I needed two tissues for my sympathetic nervous system.
(Some technical difficulties threw me just before broadcast and I talked SO VERY fast.)
If you didn’t get to see it here you go!
THE #1 Myth about the SOUL…
is that we have one.
But first….we should get on the same page…
WHAT IS A SOUL?
(what are we talking about?)
This is how I’m describing it:
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for soul is nephesh. We might use it this way, “1,517 souls were lost in the Titanic disaster.”
SOUL ≠ dead BUGS BUNNY …like a floating ghost and that sort of stuff.
Not a faint rendering of bugs bunny leaving his body to play a harp on a cloud with Porky Pig. Not something that is ghosty and haunting a house or helping Demi Moore on a Pottery Wheel. (Patrick Swayze-style..google it, young people.)
Ancients thought of the mind and heart differently (the will and the emotions)…
Maybe these verses come to mind…but you’ve been thinking about them in your own context instead of the ancient context from which they were written.
Remember this one?
The heart is deceitful and wicked above all things JER 17:9
(Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
….The writers of these scriptures were not talking about emotions and feelings when they said “heart” (like we associate the heart today…they were talking about the HEART as one’s will and control center of a person…(the thing we now associate with the mind.)
For them, the emotions (the heart for us in our context) were associated, instead, with the bowels. Perhaps a bit gross..but there is some
MEDICAL TRUTH/correlation : anxiety and stress are closely associated with disease and problem that happen in the intestines…like….ulcerated colon, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (bloating, constipation, gas, and other fun things), digestion issues, food sensitivities and problems in that part of the body. These are extremely related to one’s emotions and levels of stress.
The GEM MODEL of the Soul (my version)
Think of the SOUL as a gem and the facets are ways to see the soul.
You can go as far as saying other things beyond these are facets:
family of origin, social economic situation, skin color (if that has been a defining factor in your life)
education, the country you live in,
Even Christianity is a facet. A worldview is a facet that we can gain a kind of look at who we are.
Grace is central to Christianity, for instance. We can look at our soul through the facet of grace.
When light is added to a stone you can see its flaws and imperfections and you can see its quality (color, cut, clarity, caret)
UGLY soul? Is that possible? what do you think?
In his book Care of Souls, David Benner writes, “We can define soul care as the support and restoration of the well-being of persons in their depth and totality, with particular concern for their inner life. Soul care is done in the context of community.”
The vantage point of Soul Care views struggle or failings not as fatal flaws or illness to be “cured”. Not therapy or self-help.
It’s a sustaining endeavor for our interior lives and our relationships, like water and food is for the body. Incidentally, caring for the body falls within the bounds of Soul Care.
Ten Signs that You Need the Renewal of Soul Care
1. Fruitlessness. Are there observable deficits in the enacted your Fruit of the Spirit? That means, is there any lack or slack in the
areas of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control? (If not, I think E.T. went home without you. Phone again. You might want to text, and retweet as well.)
2. You find yourself perceiving things others say as personally offensive, or as direct attacks.
3. You are “venting” more in person or online. 4. You feel unloved. 5.You feel increased frustration, restlessness, or disconsolation.
6.Your fears and anxiety are more prevalent.
7.You have increased tension in relationships.
8. You struggle with one or more of the “seven deadly
sins”: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
9. You have problems sleeping or bad dreams.
10. You’re in a creative slump.
THE #1 myth about the soul is that…. you have one. You don’t have a soul you are a Soul. You have a body. George MacDonald, in 1892 (C.S. Lewis quotes him and the quote is mistakenly attributed to him sometimes)
Think of the Soul as “the real you” the essence of you. contained in a body, yes, but made up of everything about you in a pure sense.
Some might say the soul gets extinguished or goes to paradise or gets absorbed into the great Life Force (God) …but in terms of what you need…you always need Soul Care, because you are a soul and that include both the visible and the invisible.
All this more and much more is available in my book. Shame-filled plug.
Shane Claiborne graduated from Eastern University and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Eastern. His adventures have taken him from the streets of Calcutta where he worked with Mother Teresa to the wealthy suburbs of Chicago where he served at the influential mega-church Willow Creek. As a peacemaker, his journeys have taken him to some of the most troubled regions of the world – from Rwanda to the West Bank – and he’s been on peace delegations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Shane is a founder and board member of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. He is married to Katie Jo, a North Carolina girl who also fell in love with the city (and with Shane). They were wed in St. Edwards church, the formerly abandoned cathedral into which homeless families relocated in 1995, launching the beginning of the Simple Way community and a new phase of faith-based justice making.
His work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, Christianity Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been on everything from Fox News and Al Jazeera to CNN and NPR. He’s given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame. Shane speaks regularly at denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe. Follow him online at:
About 15 years ago Shane Claiborne and a few friends founded The Simple Way in the poorest section of Philadelphia where drug and sex trafficking became the main “industries” when the factories closed. Ever since then, he and his friends have been living in a communally within the neighborhood and serving the residents there in many ways.
I ask Shane, How have they sustained their communal lifestyle for so long?
Shane shares some things that have helped:
1. We are not attached what it should look like in expression or form as much as we have chosen to love each other and Jesus well and allow community to flow out of that.
“For folks that are independent and self-sustaining it’s hard for us to know that we need God and other people.”
“Independence is not a gospel value. We need interdependence. It’s good to need other people and to need God.”
Besides people wondering what happened to his dreadlocks, people ask Shane this question the most.
Sometimes we have to challenge our location. (The places) where we (live) end up or are built around (that which) counters (opposes) gospel values. Like “suburban sprawl” which was created to get away from the urban problems (we should work to fix) and keep us from doing good for others who need it most.
It’s about living a life, not where we do great things, but where we do small things with great love (Mother Teresa). It’s not how much we do, but how much love we put into every act (of serving God).
We must ask:
What are my skills and passions and how might they connect to this world’s pain and injustice?
Whether it’s being a doctor, lawyer, plumber, or whatever, simply do your part.
What REALLY happens to the “dreds”.
Thank you, Shane! Blessings to you and your work. May we find our place to do good too.
I’d like to find out who’s listening to the show. Please help out and take this short audience survey. It will take about one minute and it’s 100% anonymous. Thanks for helping!
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Want to answer the Question of the Day?
QOTD: What is the “Calcutta” near you and what gift might you bring to it ?
Shane is a Soul Friend (Spiritual Director) with a focus on artists and creatives, be they “yuccies”, “slashies”, painters, musicians, or any one in need of deeper and more sustaining, soul-level communing.
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That’s all. :)
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(Your ears are not fooling you. In Columbus, Ohio at 9:30 pm a man rides a bike around and rings a bell as he sells frozen chocolate covered bananas. Too funny. And it sounds delicious, if not suspicious. That’s why I’m featuring chocolate in the wine segment today! Enjoy it. It’s bananas, after all.)
Want to try the practice of EXAMEN?
In this episode Ed and I chat about one of his favorite spiritual practices. It’s been very transforming for me too. It’s the practice of Examen (typically pronounced: EGGS-Aye-men).
This age old practice of reflection, mindfulness, and prayer to begin and end one’s day goes back ages in Christian History and is reflected in spirit throughout the bible. Like in David’s sentiments in the Psalms (like Psalm 119) and in Isaiah 26:9.
“My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you…”
So today I offer you my personal version of the Examen practice!
I call it “The Daily Sharpening Ritual”
–It’s the perfect way to supercharge and renew personal and spiritual awareness in your life.
It’s a simple but effective worksheet makes the practice easier to sustain. I hope you give it a try. The practice takes just 3-5 minutes each morning and just before bed. • You can see surprising changes in awareness in only 5 days.
(Simply print out 5 copies and follow-through for 5 days!)
Both EXAMEN-like worksheets below work like an Examen practice, but the 2nd one features prayer more fully in addition to reflection and mindfulness.
Check them out to see which one you like best. Print out both if you’d like:
(Enjoy these resources with my compliments…tipping what you can is optional.)
How we find spark:
We are in this together. As you listen and become part of what is happening here, it will be obvious that I spend a lot of time and a bit of money doing the show: website, paying for media hosting, producing it, editing, adding music, finding and speaking with guests, more editing, more research, and all the rest to bring you something of value in the Spark My Muse podcast.
Lots of heart, sweat and occasionally tears for your enjoyment and inspiration. You get to decide what that means and what it’s worth.
So, I invite you to just listen, read, and contribute what the episode is worth to you.
• If nothing, I apologize. Please, come back and listen again soon.
• If you think it’s worth one dollar, five dollars, twenty-five dollars, six hundred billion-gazillion dollars…you see where I’m going with this…, or offer something of equal value that is not monetary, simply contribute what it has been worth to you. HERE.
(or contact me here if it’s not monetary. Be creative!)
Best tips for the tastiest pairing Party of chocolate and wine!
A chocolate and wine tasting party is so much fun.
• It’s ideal for groups of 3-12 people.
• Have each person bring some wine and provide samples of high quality chocolate and let the fun start!
It’s the acid:
One of the tasty things you can do is pair chocolate and wine. Both chocolate and wine have higher levels of acidity which makes them a naturally delicious match.
Well-paired wine and chocolate work together to make each one taste better. Delicious qualities come out in both the wine and the chocolate and even form a third taste. A careful selection is needed.
Here are some ideas of which wine to pair with which kinds of chocolate treats.
The most important tip to remember is to keep the wine sweeter than the treat it’s pair with.
(If you don’t it can make the wine seem less tasty and flavorful or heighten its bitterness. yucky.)
Make sure you have high-quality chocolate.
Many supermarketers have a premium chocolate section and you probably only need one bar of each kind or just a good quality box assortment. Baked good work as well and you can search online too.
Taste test the chocolate ahead of time: Pick out certain fruit flavors, determine the sweet and bitter components they have, check for nuttiness qualities and levels of acidity. If the chocolate has a creme center this will take on added complexity that might pair well with fruit-forward wines.
A rule of thumb is that darker wines tend to pair better which darker chocolate and should be served first: More full-bodied, (heavier feeling in the mouth) dark and drier (not a sweet style) red wine pair well with the more bitter chocolates that have a higher cocoa %.
White wines tend to pair well with milk chocolate blends and chocolates that have sweeter and fruitier flavor notes.
TIP 5 Remember TIP #1 one …keep the wine SWEETER than the chocolate!
MAKING A MATCH
Pick your wines according to the flavors you’ve tasted in the chocolate, and ask your guests to bring a specific variety of wine.
Here are some specific ideas for the kinds of wine you may want to serve, but you can feel free to experiment and see if your palate prefers something different.
Bittersweet chocolate (70% to 100%): This chocolate type enters the bitter range with deep intensity. Good choices include Bordeaux wines (merlot, cab franc, cab save), Beaujolais, Shiraz, Port, Malbec.
Dark chocolate (50% to 70%): Pair this with more robust wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, off-dry chamborcin and Port. A Chianti can match well with chocolate around 65 percent cocoa content.
Milk chocolate: Try Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Muscat, and dessert wines. Champagne is also a natural match for milk chocolate. The crisp, dry flavour of the bubbly contrasts perfectly with the creaminess of a simple milk chocolate tablet. Be careful of the higher sugar levels in milk chocolate, as these may cancel out any fruitiness in dry red wines, leaving them tasting bitter.
White chocolate (which is really cocoa butter) : Match with Sherry, Muscato (a.k.a. Muscat) a fruity Chardonnay (un-oaked), These wines will pick up on the buttery, slightly oilier tones of the cocoa butter. Vidal Blanc, Niagra blends, catawba blends.
Champagne or sparkling wine goes well with all chocolate types. It is a variety that compliments many kinds of wines. Many fortified dessert wines work well across the chocolate spectrum as well because they tend to be sweeter.
PARTY TIP To keep every one sharp and feeling well, Offer your guests some bread or light fare before you begin and keep the wine samples to just an ounce.
HOW TO TASTE THE PAIR 1. Take take a small sip of wine and note the aromas and tastes. Some hosts offer guest a sheet to jot down their observations.
2. Then bite into the chocolate and note what it happening as you taste and eat it.
3. Then you sip the wine again and note the new flavor notes and changes that the chocolate brought to the wine. It’s amazing how much the taste of the wine will change according to what it is paired with.
4. Don’t rush through the pairing. 7-10 minutes per pairing is about right. Allow people to really luxuriate on the experience and talk about the flavors and taste combinations they are experiencing.
AMBIENCE TIP This is not a consumption event, it’s a sensory group experience where enhanced awareness is key. Relax and take your time. Chocolate and wine are luxury items.
THE TAKEAWAY It’s a great lesson for life too. The point isn’t to bulldoze through life and get it out of the way, but to really notice what is happening and take it all in deeply. Downshift to a better appreciation of encounters with others, with our surroundings, and ultimately with ourselves and to God who makes a home within us.
• Enjoy yourself and let me know of the pairings you came up with (in the comments section) and how your pairing experimenting went, or what your plans are. I’d love to know. You can post pictures at the Spark My Muse Facebook page too.
Do you have questions? Leave them here, use the voice mail feature, or use the contact page and I’ll try to answer them in future episodes.
Trying to encourage others to be redemptive and holding back if he can’t do it in a redemptive way. Waiting is important.
How we change. Example: Women in Ministry and how Ed’s mind changed.
“God is all about the long game.”
(It’s not helpful to create animosity)
(Lisa) “The power of heightening Empathy (to solve problems). Sharing stories helps.
The job of a person who is called to communicate for something bigger than themselves is to ask…
‘Am I able to show people something that they haven’t seen, but then once they see they know it’s true. And they can’t unseen it’.”
“And to feel it too…what that (other) person is feeling.” -Ed
(If you’d like to have Ed back to discuss how writing can be “soul-killing” and what to do about it, please let us know and leave a comment! Was the show too long? Too short? Ed and I decided we are curious about this, so let us know.)
Friends, readers, listeners…I need a little help with this anonymous survey.
It’s takes under one minute. It’s 100% anonymous. The survival of Spark My Muse just may depend on it.
Thanks for your kindness and coming back each Wednesday for a new show. (You can subscribe here and get an alert sent to you. No fuss: no worries…and you can unsubscribe any time).
Shane Claiborne is joining Spark My Muse as a guest this summer! WHOOP whoop !!!