Eps 64: TWIN-CASTING with Minimalist, Jeff Sandquist who Returns with a Surprising Story

Eps 64: TWIN-CASTING with Minimalist, Jeff Sandquist who Returns with a Surprising Story

Today, is a special TWIN-cast. I’ve NEVER done this before and I’m excited!
Brace yourself for this news:
Not only do I have Jeff on as a return guest today, but Jeff interviewed ME. That conversation is released today too. What a treat, right?

Find a link for that below at the end of the show notes.

DON’T FORGET about the Special 1-hour SOUL SCHOOL LIVE Event– this Wednesday, June 8th (2016) at 8pm, EDT.
GET MORE INFO info here.

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JefSandquistSHOW NOTES:

(Click to hear the previous Spark My Muse podcast episode with Jeff. March 2016.)

MIN 2:00
The significant birthday this year that changed Jeff’s life and why.

Does losing a parent at a young age change how you live?

MIN 12:00
Trying to be perfect. Trying to control and conquer life and death.

MIN 14:30
The common pain of loss in death and loss of the attachments.

MIN 19:30
Prioritizing relationships and experiences over goals, achievements, grades, and materials things.

MIN 23:00
Was minimalism coming to a place of healing from consumerism that came from loss?

Being curious.

MIN 27:00

• Does grief, loss, and death inform how Jeff lives and how does it?

Death: Not fear based motivator, but a passion-based motivator.

“The Obstacle is the Way” Ryan Holiday

“Behind every mountain is another mountain.”

Mortality is a time limit makes you efficient and have a better perspective.

MIN 33:00

Twitter What do you want to exchange your time [your life] for?”

MIN 35:00

What do you want to share and where do you want to go from here.

The Episode with his “rock-star” mom.

Grit and gratitude.

MIN 44:30
Jeff’s funk

MIN 48:30

Find out what Jeff asks me on his podcast HERE.lisaWjeff

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EPS 28: Ways to Short-curcuit Perfectionism and Achieve Greatly

The strange and surprising ways we become more productive! Today’s guest is a lawyer, mom, writer, productive podcaster, and “productivity geek”, Laura McClellan.

She’s on twitter here.

Listen to her podcast here. 

Scroll down for show notes with links!


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How did this lawyer-by-day get involved with podcasting on Productivity?

Listening to Michael Hyatt podcast on her commute.


Cliff Ravenscraft Podcast: Podcasting AnswerMan

Taking his HOW TO course.


The two terrible fears that stopped her from following through at first.

Brene Brown Daring Greatly

the Brene Brown TED TALK

(with over 21 Million views)


What helped Laura overcome her fear and begin.



How we evolve in our endeavors and perfectionism is another word for fear.


Missing out on things because of fear.


On being okay with mistakes and building confidence.


The closet recording.


The  worldwide community we get to be a part of.


Meeting fans


Being a productivity geek and helping others (and herself) get organized.


“It’s not about getting more stuff done, but about getting the right stuff done.”


Having time to feed your soul.


Making a life that matters is different for everyone. It’s about asking the right questions first.


Her best tip is “write everything down and don’t try to remember everything.” This frees up “mental RAM” or bandwidth to be more productive.


Getting Things Done David Allan

Writing things down is a great strategy for getting to sleep or staying focused in prayer or writing a book, other things that need more mental energy than we realize.


Great ideas that come in  the shower.

Aqua Notes for the shower.


The myth of the efficiency in multi-tasking.


The concept of being truly productive revolves around concentrating on what a really essential and letting other things fall to the side.


Greg McKeown
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less


Saying “no” to the good to make space for the great.


The Pareto Principle

80/20 principle


How we measure our self worth.

Busyness is a badge of honor.

What are we fearing about ourselves.


Life before cell phones and being always accessible.

The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) syndrome


What Laura is afraid she’ll miss out on.

Not likely surprises and wanting to be informed or missing deals for her law firm.


On teaching yourself new habits to create more space.


“No one will respect your time if you don’t respect it. We teach people on to treat us.” (Lisa)


Deciding what values you want to live your life by and pass on opportunities outside those values.

50 :00

Getting a permission slip


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Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

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Shownotes for Episode 13  Wine lovers have God to thank + guest Doug Jackson

First, I want to feature the book Doug and I wrote …

entitled Dog in the Gap because of a C.S. Lewis quote “Man and his dog close a gap in the universe”.


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Thank you! Enjoy the show!

With love,



Who do we have to thank for wine?

God and the Church, actually.

Wine lovers in Western civilization have the Church in Europe (and the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire–which was neither holy nor Roman ) to thank for the large-scale production, the prevalence and the excellence of wine!


Because liturgy involving wine for communion was central to Christian religious practice. Wine was ingested as the saving holy blood of Christ (and bread as the holy body of Christ), usually each and every day. The sacraments of Communion served as saving grace afforded to the Church.

As Roman Empire became officially a Christian Empire (circa 313 CE) many vineyards had to be planted, properly cultivated, and harvested. Grapes had to be made into a lot of to support the daily practice of communion throughout the Empire.

Communion served as wine was the norm among Christians world-wide until recently–in the era of pasteurization. To keep juice from grapes in a state were they would not ferment meant it had to be sufficiently boiled so the natural yeast would die. 

Vehemently opposed to alcohol, Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician, dentist, and Methodist pastor from Vineyard, New Jersey, figured out the process in 1869 with Concord grapes. Most churches did not accept the switch as proper and stayed with wine.

The juice later became more popular during Victorian era because of prominent values of abstinence. A shift then began in the U.S. that made grape juice the main communion beverage (at least among certain Protestants sects).

Several hundred vineyards operating in Europe today can trace their history to monastic origins.

In the 9th-15th centuries almost 1,000 monasteries dotted Europe. They were centers of education, stability, and technical innovation. Monks and nuns could read and write–this was quite uncommon then.

Monasteries cared for the sick, helped the poor, created places of education, and invented Universities. They could not fund all this through donations. Surplus wine was sold to finance ministry work (and also beer, fruit brandies, and cheese, among many other things..even prayers and Salvation ..which–in hindsight–appears to have been a mistake ) .

So, basically, thank God (and many monks) for wine!


Sparking your muse

 Enjoy the fantastic chat with Doug Jackson!


Douglas Jackson, D.Min.
Director of the Logsdon Seminary Graduate Program

Doug Jackson came to SCS in 2006, after serving as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, since 1993. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Jackson functions as a liaison between Logsdon Seminary and local churches in Corpus Christi. His areas of specialization include spiritual formation and pastoral ministry. Dr. Jackson has published and presented several articles and essays in religious and literary venues, including articles and lectures on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis.
• D.Min. – Truett Seminary (2006)
• M.Div. – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985)
• B.A. – English Literature, Grand Canyon College (1982)

His blog is here.


Interview / chat notes:


MIN 8:00
on Doug preparing for a his Fall class.

A resource he is using by NT Wright – “The new perspective on Paul”
The covenant people God has saved.

Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.

Confronting individualism
and thoughts on human flourishing.

on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”

on his work about CS Lewis

Mere Christianity

The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.

on his Oxford lecture
Owen Barfield an influential life-long friend of CS Lewis

Another lecture on Walter Miller – A Canticle for Leibowitz
Apologetic self-proclaimed validity on the rational scheme of knowing.

“Scholarship is about knowing more and more about less and less so that eventually you know everything about nothing.”

James Sire

Malcolm Guite https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.guite
Chaplain of Gerton college and Cambridge
“Faith Hope and Poetry”

He covers the imagination as a way of knowing (an epistemology).

Holly Ordway
Houston Baptist University
“Not God’s Type”

Her 2-track movement toward conversion

Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)

on Spiritual atheism

….if we come up with a system that covers everything (Christians and Atheists alike)…

“Humans are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable to a wasteful degree evolutionarily speaking…highly valuing the arts.” (Lisa)

Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monk and Abbot
Philip Lawrence, New Mexico
…slipping in and out of atheism….

HG Wells, and the fundamentalist reaction to him and others of his ilk.

on how science and religious circles have had an absolute unwillingness to be in one another presence and (have not wanted) to admit any weaknesses and (instead) just shout louder.


“The best apologetics can do is make Christianity credible and I don’t think it can make it inevitable.”


22:30 “Any belief in any ideal is still a leap of faith for anyone… like Justice, Love, Hope…” (Lisa)

on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)

Theories of “survival behavior value” for Morality and Justice kicks the can. or it lands on simple absurdity and meaninglessness where suicide becomes a valid option.


Doug answering the question….”Is fundamentalism evolving”?

Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”

A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.

How the psalmists had to cry out to God when the answers didn’t suffice any longer. For us, this is a return more than a departure.”

“I have gained the gift of being able to respect other traditions and admire things they bring us, but I talk to people across that spectrum that have that experience.”


“We go from trusting our denominational address or theology address to trusting Christ but it doesn’t mean an abandonment of it. Choosing a room in the same house to live in.”

Spiritual disciplines most meaningful to him:
On solitude and privacy (the difference). Henri Nouwen explains the difference.
 Henri Nouwen explains in “Out of Solitude” 

Doug: Solitude is for battle. Privacy is to be alone.

Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.

Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…

My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)


“(My) Inability to be with people was driven by a failure to have a real self.”

“you are nearer to me than my own self.” Augustine

Doug realized:

“My real Self can’t be with people because it’s threatened by them, because they’re going to colonize my Self and going to make me into something I’m not. As opposed to having a real Self that can listen because God is protecting that Self.”

Father Francis Kelly Nemeck wrote
The way of Spiritual Direction (his director)
…Doug and I discuss Detachment and Holy Indifference…

St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)

“the nada” (God is “no thing” the silence before God

…on staying in the problems and not panicking.

…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology

(unknowing) Apophetic theology

“John of the Cross didn’t want that we should abandon the metaphors but move through them.”


“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”

(which is terrifying but life-giving)

Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!


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Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

How-to MEASURE Maturity

(creative common photo)
(creative commons photo)

I used to think that people got better as they aged. They learned things and got more mature, and became better people.

As a kid, especially, I thought of how little I knew in comparison to my mom and dad, and other adults. I was changing and learning and growing in every way, every day–and I just supposed that growth and improvement were part of the deal in exchange for aging, and not being able to pull off wearing trendy clothes anymore and loose fitting skin.


Now, of course, I realize that maturity has very little to do with time spent alive.

Hurts happen.

Wounds can fester.

People can grow bitter and nasty.

People can stay petty and insecure.

They can get lodged in a cell of shame and self-protect or start a habit of attacking others.

True maturity is rare.

Wisdom is a gift received through awareness and often through suffering, but it is not a pension that is received across the board and acquired like Medicare.

Time can work you over like a expert boxer works over a fresh challenger with body blows.

Nevertheless, there is a kind of measure you can employ to see where you stand.

Of course, the temptation will be to first, or more thoroughly, measure others with it. (The more the temptation to do it, or actually doing it, means what? Can you guess? Yes, the more you lack on the scale.)


9 Categories Measure True Maturity:

• love

• joy

• peace

• patience

• kindness

• goodness

• faithfulness

• gentleness

• self-control

Now, on a scale of 1 to 10, how are you doing?

All 10s?


If you’ve noticed some gains and big improvements in these 9 qualities over the last few years, you are getting more mature!

If others have noticed, you might actually be right.

If you sense some problems with a few (or more) of them, then you might be stuck in arrested or delayed development. Ultimately we all should try to grow up…


BUT, that’s not to say “grow old” … There’s a big difference.

The surprise twist is that a spiritually (and in all other ways) mature person usually has a youthful timelessness to himself or herself.

Mature people have a humility that keeps them in a state of learning and growing. They don’t allow themselves to take themselves too seriously or suffer from sustained flare-ups of self-importance. So, in them you see a lack of arrogance, self-righteousness, or aloof disposition.


What should you do if you don’t measure up?

1. Admit it.

2. Ask for help (from God and others).

3. Keep trying and learning as you go.

4. Never think “I’ve made it!” or “I’m better than someone else.”



Galatians 5:22-23

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

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