Prophecy: Beauty Will Save the World [SSL 303]

The meaning of Dostoevsky’s puzzling words, his biography steeped in suffering, and interacting with the transcendent are featured today. Don’t miss Part II ⬇️ at the substack page with important links, images, references, and extras.


To get the spiritual formation book I wrote (The Wild Land Within)… 🎁 ❤️ 
just click the book or google search the title to get one or a few.

• You can find out about my publisher Broadleaf Books here

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The Singing of Angels [SSL 255]

WINTER SOLACE 2023 – January 6-8, 2023 (online!)
I hope you will join us!

Featuring readings from Howard Thurman and Campbell McGrath

Find For the Inward Journey (Dr Howard Thurman) here:
(Amazon Affiliate link)

Find the newsletter called Still Life from Michael Wright here:

Read The Mercy Supermarket by Campbell McGrath here:

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(featured lamp art co-created with night cafe AI)

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Thresholds [SSL156]

John O’Donohue
Today, I’m featuring my notes and reflections from the work of @thishumanmoment . Session 2 was called Friendship with the Unknown with Keith Yamashita of SYPartners and @kristatippett of the On Being Project, among others. She featured audio and the sagacious ideas of poet @Johnodonohue . John’s latest book introduced in 2018 is Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World and a list of his other work is available HERE .

FIND MORE! Get links to John’s work and much more by supporting the program for a minimal amount, HERE.

(Support the program today and unlock extras from many episodes, and get news on Lisa’s upcoming book published with Broadleaf Books – contains over 325 audio episodes, an online store, and resources. Enjoy!
Listen now with the AUDIO PLAYER:

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EPS 38: Friendship as an Improvisational Art- Lori Neff is back!

Broadcasting pro, Lori Neff is back, as promised, and this time we have a great conversation spanning a few interesting topics and we have plenty of fun and laughter along the way too.

Visit Lori’s website HERE and make sure to listen to her new podcast that offers a variety of prayer exercises that can breathe fresh life into your devotional practice!
Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 12.10.49 PM

What was the biggest fiasco at Midday connection?

Why is just a 5 year window the ideal beauty apex for women we’ve agreed to anyway?

Will powdered wigs make a comeback?

Lori’s tale of the cringe-worthy “friend-date” gone wrong…

What makes a great friend and what might an improv class have to do with it?

And much more. ENJOY!

Scroll down for shownotes!

The worst fiasco at Midday Connection


What does a radio producer do?

Do people often try to trick the call in shows?

MIN 8:30
The stickiness of the one mean person in a sea of good folks.
Hate mail

MIN 11
Ellen DeGeneres is okay with herself and it’s served as an inspiration for being okay with people who don’t like us.

MIN 14
Being okay in your own skin. The 40 year old happy milestone.

MIN 15
Anne Lamott thinking about her looks.

MIN 16
Going through the body-consciousness and anxiety in one’s 20s.

MIN 17
I’m supposed to be upset about how I look so they can sell products.

MIN 17:30
Michelle Van Loon

The five years of life that is cherished as valuable.

MIN 18:30
Powdered wigs and white faces to reflect the value of aged beauty of the time. The construct of cultural beauty changes radically.

MIN 19:30
Dress hem lines changed because of health concerns.

MIN 21:00
Fashion, modesty and mindlessness.

MIN 23:30
Friendship was solace and rescue for me (Lisa).

MIN 25:30
Lori’s experience with friendships early on.

MIN 26:30
How personality played a part and how her wonderful college roommate taught her how to be a good friend and have a healthy fight / disagreement.

MIN 28:00
People would commonly ask “How do I find friends?”
“I feel disconnected and I don’t feel I have a best friend” was a common report from listeners who contacted Midday Connection.

MIN 28:30
Being intentional about finding and keeping friends.

MIN 29:30
Friends for a season.

MIN 30:00
The tale of a bad “friend date”.

Friendship is a vulnerable risk. The emotional risk is there.

MIN 34:00
The challenge of couple friendships.

MIN 37:30
How men and women do friendship differently and how personality plays a part.

MIN 38:00
Having a club or a project to build the friendship around.

MIN 39:30
How Lori got into Improv and starting having a blast.

The tools that improv brings.

MIN 42:00
Amy Pohler “Yes, Please”

NPR show improv.

“yes, and”

Learning to be with others. Life-giving. learning love and empathy

MIN 43:00
I see you and here’s something else. I’m not invalidating you. and I’m going to add to it and then you can add to it. A socially healthy mode of being.

Being authentic and flexible.

MIN 44:00
Teamwork and sometimes it goes a direction you didn’t think it would go. You have to let the spark go and help the other person and the team.

MIN 45:30
Ego crushing?

MIN 46:00
Do things ever get messy?

Trust in the team and trust that the good idea with come back around.

MIN 46:30
The hilarious Office episode with Michael Scott being bad at improv. (Season 2 / Episode 9)

MIN 48:00
Going with the process and not be tense about life and improv of regular life.

the fear block our creativity and the ability to be present in the ordinary moment

MIN 50:30
The improv mindset will help in friendship.

MIN 51:00
Thinking of things as play and roll with things.

MIN 53:00


My new book is here. I’ll be reading some excerpts from it on the podcast soon, so watch for a bonus episode very in a day or so.

It’s called FORKED: A Discernment Pocket Guide (for Choosing Between Two Good Things).

If you’re in the middle of a tough decision or at a crossroads season of your life, this is the resource for you. To read a sample click HERE.

Click the image for more info.


Episode 18 – Nicole Unice is “Brave Enough” AND so are you!

Nicole Unice

Nicole Unice is on staff at Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia, and the author of the breakout book: “She’s Got Issues” which she wrote from her counseling and ministry experiences. The book produced and encouraged a refreshing and radical honesty that she’s built on in her new book “Brave Enough”.

Enjoy the Shownotes and links below and please share this with friends that you know CAN be “Brave Enough“. Thanks for listening!




P.S. Would you like to get a special, cozy Spark My Muse t-shirt?

Let me know HERE.



Get  Brave Enough or find out more here:

Like to listen instead of reading? Get the AUDIO book here.

Shownotes – Episode 18 Nicole Unice is honest, enthusiastic, and “Brave Enough”, so you can be too.


MIN 1:10

Nicole on staff at Hope Church

on the Richmond VA place and new midtown location.



Nicole’s podcasting experience (the Becoming Podcast) doing hundreds of episodes with her pastor doing 15 minutes shows for commuters.

Lisa asks: Is “campus” a Christian code word for mega church?


How she grew with Hope Church for 18 years, as they started out small in an elementary school “cafetorium”.


The “Youth Lodge” plans and the unique setting with wetlands and hills.


On the importance of Beauty, Setting, and Art in architecture and church building planning to evoke the imagination, inspire awe, and connect with the heart.


Collaborative workspace, and place where kids can do their homework and where people can enjoy the time away in a beautiful setting.


“artist come through the side door of the soul and preachers come through the front door.”


The history of the church and Christian tradition is one where the Church is source of beauty, wonder and connected to art because God is a the Creator.


Her first book: She’s Got Issues

6 main issues women (and men) face that can be a hinderance.

A rich relationship with God can come to a dead end as the ways we do life stop working.


How was it received? The #1 thing Nicole heard was, “You’re so honest.”

Why would honesty be such a revolution in Christianity?


She leaned into that for her next book “Brave Enough”


The story of how she got the title for the book:

To the question, “Do you think you can be brave?” Lucy Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia says, “I think I can be brave enough.”


Few women will self-identify as brave. [and not many men will either]

“After we identify the hinderances, what does it look like to walk forward in freedom?”


Brave Enough is about Grace and its effects, inside and in action.


Nicole answering the question: Do men have the same problems in this area?


“Women hearing teaching from women is like hearing in your first language.”


Ways Nicole leads and teaches men.


on how women have to translate teaching from men into their “language” and context.


On how, similarly, Brené Brown was challenged (by a man) to include men in her writing and teaching. (Lisa)


How men and women have similar vulnerabilities though they might deal with them differently.


“up speak” tones in language in women and men revealing different insecurities. (Lisa)


Nuggets from the Brave Enough book:

How the ingredients mixed into something she didn’t expect. It follows a narrative “arch of the heart”. How we can be full and free and confident in life.


on why (inner) freedom is illusive for men and women.

On “Fake Grace” in our head. (the excuses we make or how we blame others). Inviting God/Jesus into those places.


We all (default) and go back to rules and laws and how to short circuit that pattern.

It’s about resetting the heart with a new spiritual reality.


Radical honesty about our ugly parts inside the heart.


Nicole’s Parable: The violently stopping of the elevator door…(and how it relates to our soul).


Open ourselves to God’s Presence and healing.


(Lisa) God uses what bothers us about other people is a mirror of what we don’t like in ourselves.


How our baggage works to impede our progress.

Brave Enough includes major parts on forgiveness


God’s breathing on us and giving us the mission of forgiveness, first.

(Click to read the reference John 20:19-23)


When we keep living out of a wounded place.


How we continue categorizing our experiences to support our false and faulty premises and hypothesis about ourselves.


Questioning what is really true about ourselves (and the mental “tapes” we play).


God gives us opportunities to practices forgiveness every single day, often in small ways in the relationships and event of regular life.


If we can’t be gracious to ourselves we can’t be gracious with others.


The economy of our heart: if we forgive little then we love little.


(Nicole asks Lisa) “What have you learned in doing podcasting?”


We have the chance to never stop growing and transforming and God never gives up on us.


Brave Enough is also an AUDIO book. Find it here.


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Want to extend the good times and answer the question of the day?

What “bad/negative tape” do you have playing in your head most often?