REPLAY of the LIVE class (on Periscope)! with notes!

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!
(Twitter pulled the plug on this feature – sorry everyone)




THE #1 Myth about the SOUL…

is that we have one.

But first….we should get on the same page…


(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 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)

or Proverbs 4:23 

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 desolation.

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.

Demi Moore as a mirror to the human condition

click for photo source


In the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar, actress Demi Moore replies to the question, “What scares you?” by saying,

“If I were to answer it just kind of bold-faced, I would say what scares me is that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m really not lovable, that I’m not worthy of being loved. That there’s something fundamentally wrong with me … What scares me the most is not knowing and accepting that just about everything is not in my control. That makes me feel unsafe.”

Some people may claim the Hollywood starlet is speaking of a “God-shaped void” as Blaise Pascal once referred to it. But wait just a minute…

Not everybody will admit to this sort of thing. Some never gaze inward long enough to see it. But there it is. While many won’t realize what what the jilted Moore is talking about for themselves, I think this women has hit on a fundamentally human frailty fraught with universal relevancy. (And it has virtually nothing to do, in fact, with a certain shaggy-headed addition to the Two And A Half Man sitcom.) This frailty, I might add, is not actually negative, as we might first imagine, but rather part of the vulnerability that is the stuff of being human.

It’s these same underlying and exquisitely human fears that we mask, medicate, bury, avoid, deflect, or anesthetize, that cause all manner of destructive behaviors and coping mechanisms. For Demi, who was just hospitalized for stress-related health issues (namely exhaustion…and likely malnutrition), it can create potent consequences. It’s something wealth, influence, fame, accolades, and beauty doesn’t seem to ameliorate. Curious, no?

For many religion or spiritual practice helps to blunt the reality of our human predicament, but clearly that alone doesn’t seem to actually mend the situation. I refer not to just the situation of being mortal, but of being fundamentally impotent. Rarely is this gnawing sense placated for long. Demi, for one, is connected to the practice of Kabblah, but it hasn’t helped this core need.

Though her vulnerability and frailties are up for public scrutiny, many possess the same sorts of fears and maladies, and even despair, but go unnoticed.

To me, our condition seems unmendable…purposefully, that is.

Christians may argue they are the exception; they feel a great sense of hope because of belief in Jesus Christ, arriving to our world as the incarnation of God to make a pathway back to God. Alas, Redemption! Closure, right? Yet a cursory survey of believers (even 3 minutes scanning twitter feeds) show they too are rife with the same sorts of problems as Moore, and Jesus hasn’t seemed to fix that for them.

(The particulars of why are widely speculated and even hotly contested. Some call for more faith and prayer, while others osmotically move into greater embracing of “the mysteries”.)

The funny things is, I get Demi. I feel those things too. I wrestle with them, and I’ve taken up the journey to walk through all the rough patches, which are aplenty.

I think it’s high time to bring what it means to be human out it the open.

A kind of unlearning happens as we grow wiser, and the sort of acceptance of our weaknesses may take hold as we become more acquainted with our human condition. Maturity I think it’s called. The “Will we ever get there?” question lingers.

What do you think about Demi’s quote?

Do you relate to her, or do you see things differently?