Special “Ask Sparky” Episode: Responses to 5 Burning Question

Special “Ask Sparky” Episode: Responses to 5 Burning Question


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Here, just the Father's beard could wipe out planet Earth
(Hey, God doesn’t have a body.)

Shownotes for the Special “Ask Sparky” Episode: Responses to 5 Burning Questions

MIN
1:30

1. It’s hard to pray to God as Father when you’ve had a bad dad. What should I do?

• How do we think about God? (usually like a human person or institution)

• God is Spirit not an old white man in the sky with a long beard.

What adjectives will help you connect with the Being typically called “God”

4:00

Hebrew word for God is a description too (yahweh “I am” a verb) that was not used. Adonai  was substituted and that simply means “Master/Lord” and is a term of respect.

4:30

It’s misguided to think that God can be contained or described well using a “Proper Noun”. God can’t be called a proper name/noun…like “Billy” (and that would make Jesus “Billy Jr.”).

Hebrew names are descriptive when referring to people (not how we use names to address people today).

5:00

YAHWEH (Hebrew word), means I AM (or “is”) and works like a verb denoting Presence an Love in Action. It defies typical proper names and descriptions.

5:50

2. On Forgiveness

“What should I do to forgive when I can’t forget?”

6:10

Forgiving is a continual process.

Thinking of forgiveness as transactional–a debt clearing mechanism. Be an accountant and don’t worry about your emotions being on the same page.

7:20

Remembering that you are not your thoughts.

8:00

What Justice is actually (Shalom). Making things right and reconciliation.

8:50

3. What to do about envying others (in this case writers in the field) and being jealous of their success.

9:15

Seeing the negative emotions as tools. Reframing them to use them to find our calling, gifts, and passions.

9:30

Not getting caught up in “should” and “oughts” and comparisons.

9:45

When you can say of your work, “Wow, I get to do this!” you can have enough gratitude to be comfortable with the success of others.

10:15

It’s common and normal to get feelings of jealousy. It’s only when the take over our hearts and mind do we need to reevaluate and recalibrate what we are doing and thinking.

11:00

Deciding that the options of other people and the opinions should have huge power is a choice we can change.

12:05

4. Getting over feeling guilt and shame that keeps resurfacing.

Daring Greatly Brene Brown (the difference between guilt and shame.

• Guilt is important so we can learn and correct and grow and become better people.

• Shame is a belief that something, un fixable, is wrong with you.

Shame whispers lies in your ears. Shame becomes a decision of who we are as person.

14:05

Being put to shame by parents and others.

14:50

A mistake isn’t part of who you are.

Redemption is always possible. You can start anew.

15:10

My caveat.

15:50

5. Church isn’t working for me anymore and I feel guilty leaving the church, but I don’t feel fed.

In the U.S. we often go to church as a consumers and look for what we can get out of it. Church can be piss poor.

17:00

Look for ways to give and minister and find connection in other ways.

18:00

For me, small groups were a starting point that lead me to seminary.

18:50

Bringing back the potluck and sharing life with people.

19:30

Sometimes we sense church isn’t “working” when meaningful connection is lacking.

20:30

“we” is better than “me”.


Thank you for listening and sharing the show with others. If you’ve gotten an enjoyment from Spark My Muse, come back every Wednesday for something new, or save your mental energy and subscribe!

 

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”.

 

And there’s a BONUS EDITION with lots of goodies!
Read a sample here!


Will you fan the spark?

Inspired by how musician Amanda Palmer put it, “Don’t make people pay [for art]. Let them,” I am altering how Spark My Muse stays alive…from bottom to top (literally).

How does it work?

It’s up to you. I need at least $75 per episode to keep it solvent.
Every little bit helps!
So, I invite you to just listen, read, and give as you can.

 

Thank you! Enjoy the show!

With love,

~Lisa

WINE SEGMENT:

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!

Why? 

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!

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.

8:50
Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.

9:00
Confronting individualism
and thoughts on human flourishing.

9:50
on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”

10:30
on his work about CS Lewis

Mere Christianity

11:00
The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.

12:30
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.”

14:30
James Sire

15:70
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

18:00
Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)

19:00
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….

21:30
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.

22:20

“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)

23:30
on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)

24:00
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.

25:00

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

26:00
Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”

27:20
A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.

28:20
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.”

29:30

“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.”

30:10
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.

31:00
Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.

32:00
Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…

33:30
My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)

34:00

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

34:30
“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…

39:00
St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)

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

40:00
…on staying in the problems and not panicking.

41:00
…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology

44:30
(unknowing) Apophetic theology

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

45:00

“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”

(which is terrifying but life-giving)

46:00
[GOOD NEWS]
Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!


 

If you enjoyed the show please give it a stellar review on iTunes here!

Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

Episode 9 – Wine: moderation vs. medication (The famous HALT method)

Episode 9 – Wine: moderation vs. medication (The famous HALT method)

Shownotes:
Spark My Muse
Episode 9 – Wine: moderation vs. medication (The famous HALT method)

 

This is a surprise “mid-week” episode. This show normally goes live each Wednesday. Episode 10 and 11 are longer special interview episodes.

Episode 10 (airing May 27th) Emily Miller writer and journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times and Relevant Magazine

Episode 11 (airing June 3rd) Daniel J. Lewis prolific creator of an entire network of podcast programs, including nationally-awarded shows on how to podcast, comedy, and the #1 rating discussion show for ABC’s series “Once Upon a Time”.

Check back for those!


This episode was brought to you by “The Daily Sharpening Ritual”–The perfect way to supercharge and renew personal awareness in your life.
The simple but effective worksheet was designed to create extra awareness and transformative improvement with minimal planning and effort.
It takes just 3-5 minutes each morning and at night.
• You can see big changes for the better in only 5 days. Give it a test try, you have nothing to lose.
(simply print out 5 copies and follow-through!)

 

While tipping is appreciated…these are yours to use for free.
Choose either or both options and see which one you like best:

• The SHARPENING Ritual 

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(PRAYER-centered VERSION)


Wine segment

How much wine is considered “drinking in moderation”?

Rule of thumb: 2, 5oz glasses per day is moderate drinking, and no more than one drink per hour, or four drinks per occasion (like an all-day event like a picnic or wedding)

But if it’s hard to go a day without drinking wine (or wanting to), rethinking your relationship with wine is needed.

The show details some physical repercussions of over-consuming wine, and a practical way to build mindfulness.

• If you unsure that your consumption is healthy, jot down the feelings behind the desire to consume wine so it doesn’t master you.

• Wine can too-quickly be used to medicate ourselves, and this hurts our Souls. Be mindful. :)
(“Soul” meaning what it does in Hebrew: our whole-self, mental, spiritual, creative, relational, etc)


Sparking your muse

Featuring the book by Brennan Manning called, “The Wisdom of Tenderness”.

Explaining “the HALT method” for decision-making:

Brennan Manning died last year, and he is probably best known for writing the Ragamuffin Gospel. He accumulated a lot of wisdom through life, but it didn’t come cheap. Poor choices, wrong turns, and hard lessons molded him, eventually, into a person of great compassion and grace–a sage for the poor in spirit and those smart enough to listen. Many sought him out for his wisdom.

When Manning came into recovery as an alcoholic he learned a buzzword from AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). AA folks use it as a method and smart tool to create greater awareness in those vulnerable to slipping back into alcohol abuse.

• They stay on the lookout for four qualities that make them susceptible to relapse and are encouraged to seek help when they identify them occurring in their life. Before they take a sip they look for the signs and call for backup.

halt

If H.A.L.T., then halt.

Regular internal check for these:

H – Hungry (not just for food, but a longing in general)

A – Angry (or stressed, or frustrated)

L – Lonely (or rejected, or left out, feeling alone in the world)

T – Tired (often tired from helping others or being otherwise overcommitted)

We all need to cultivate an awareness of our vulnerabilities to avoid a slide into poor choices, creative slumps, or dangerous behavior.

Sometimes we don’t even realize our feelings while we are having them or how we are trying to soothe our selves.

Let’s develop the awareness to halt and take an internal inventory or seek help when we get run down, over-extended, or when we find ourselves feeling in some way hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.

 It is awareness which is at the heart of any ingenious creative pursuit, meaningful transformation or spiritual growth.


 

NEW next week (May 27)…A great interview with my friend, Emily Miller (writer and journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times and regular contributor to Relevant Magazine).

JUNE 3rd, comes an interview with expert creative, Daniel J. Lewis!

 

Please take part in this anonymous 30-second listener-survey so I can continue to produce the show.

Spark My Muse

Episode 3 (Five best tools for opening wine and guest Natalie Hart)

Shownotes
Spark My Muse – Episode 3 (5 best tools for opening wine and guest Natalie Hart)

 

Spark my muse is The podcast for curious creatives types, wine newbies, and those willing to put up with my occasional silliness. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me.

This episode is brought to you by:
Life As Prayer:
Life As Prayer: Revived Spirituality Inspired by Ancient Piety

Today’s wine segment!

I open dozens of bottles of wine per week as a manager of a wine tasting room at Spring Gate Vineyard. We use a simple tool, I hadn’t seen before to make it quick and simple with very high levels of success.

BASICALLY only the cork should get screwed.  No broken corks, no puncture wounds–for you!

Cork screw is also called a wine key, or a waiter’s pry.

There are a few tools that are poor choices for opening bottles….

There are the best tools which may include some you may want to avoid.

These (affiliate) links will get them for you at a good price.

• Basic lever corkscrew – very inexpensive, small and portable, comes on an army knife. (There’s a better option below…keep reading.)

• Electronic one – large, slow, overly complex for my taste. It can be glitchy, run out of power…

• Winged or butterfly…It has arms that go up as you twist it down into the cork…Easily can cause broken corks when not done right. (Tip: hold the arm down tightly until you get it firmly pinned down to the cork and begin twisting straight down.) It’s slow, and has higher failures.

• The rabbit style. Large, more complicated than necessary. Table mounted options. If you have the room, like a full bar in your house…go for it.

• Air pressure bottle opener. It uses a needle CO 2 80 bottles…meh.

What’s the best tool?

The 2 lever waiter’s corkscrew!
It’s portable,fast, and low tech. The secret is the double hinge. It only takes about three rotations. (TIP: Go straight down and use the lever to pull the cork straight up. Don’t crank the cork to the side. First you use the top lever and then you switch to the bottom one.)

Here’s a video of the same tool I use at work and how to use it. Skip to minute 1:00.



Spark My Muse guest:
Writer – Natalie Hart

Natalie’s Webiste
• Her book: The Giant Slayer

We discussed:

• Biblical fiction genre

• Her favorite way to get unstack creatively

• Identity (David’s, and the rest of us.)


Thanks for listening / reading. Please subscribe, or leave comments. I’d love to hear if you like the show.

 

For just $1 you can help the show purchase better sound equipment for better quality in future podcasts!

Special perks and rewards are available too. Join with the Spark My Muse community at the Spark My Muse page at Patreon! Click the image for more info.

patreon

Before trouble comes “H.A.L.T” (on awareness)

I’m reading the book by Brennan Manning called, “The Wisdom of Tenderness”.

Here is a gem I read today on page 107 and that I found really potent.

Brennan Manning died last year, and he is probably best known for writing the Ragamuffin Gospel. He accumulated a lot of wisdom through life, but it didn’t come cheap. Poor choices, wrong turns, and hard lessons molded him into a person of great compassion and grace–a sage for the poor in spirit and those smart enough to listen. Many sought him out for his wisdom.

When Manning came into recovery as an alcoholic he learned a buzzword from AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). They use it as a way to create greater awareness in a person who is vulnerable to slipping back into alcohol abuse.

• They stay on the lookout for four qualities that make them susceptible to relapse and are encouraged to seek help when they identify them occurring in their life. Before they take a sip they look for the signs and call for backup.

halt

H.A.L.T.

H – Hungry (not just for food, but a longing in general)

A – Angry (or stressed, or frustrated)

L – Lonely (or rejected, or left out)

T – Tired (often tired from helping others or being otherwise overcommitted)

People in AA have to rely on each other to find support and avoid the demon booze. People in AA need to cultivate an awareness of their vulnerabilities to avoid a slide into dangerous, even life-threatening, behavior. But, don’t we all need help in the same sorts of ways? We engage in all sorts of bad habits from over eating, to binge tv watching, trolling on Facebook, eating a pint of ice cream out of the box, to watching or reading licentious content, to pill popping....or whatever…it’s probably very different for each person.

Sometimes we don’t even realize our feelings or how we are trying to soothe our selves.

Let’s develop the awareness to halt and seek help when we get run down, over-extended, or when we find ourselves feeling in some way hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. It can be the escape route from trouble, bad choices. It is awareness at the heart of any meaningful transformation or spiritual growth.

Will you be able to know to H.A.L.T. before trouble?

I’ll post other tidbits as I find them. Enjoy the book for yourself if you can. You can get it used for pocket change.

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