Rebirth into Recovery | AA’s Bill Wilson influenced by Carl Jung [SSL 239]

Featuring the fascinating mail correspondence between Dr Carl Jung and AA’s Bill Wilson that focuses on conversion a.k.a. ego collapse as necessary for growth and recovery. ⬇️

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EPS 55: Living out the Resurrection – Guest Christine Sine

I have an Easter treat for you, and of course it’s a gift that will give all year long–no matter when you stumble onto this episode!

My guest is Christine Sine, M.D. an author, blogger, teacher, gardener, spiritual contemplative and the Executive Director of Mustard Seed Associates.

She has much to tell us about Christian spiritually lived in a healthy, whole, and fully-embodied way.


The Show Notes are SO full of links to books and resources. Scroll down for all of those.

Please share this episode liberally. It truly is lovely to glean from Christine, especially as we begin Spring; and my wish is that as many as possible are exposed to her and her work. Thank you!

If you enjoy or benefit at all from what you hear, please remember that just a few dollars from you helps my efforts so very much so I can continue.

Leave a ONE-TIME gift HERE. Thank you.



Be sure to visit the Godspace – Mustard Seed Associates website frequently, like I do, for many treasures on your journey.


Christine’s experience as a medical doctor and director on Mercy Ships and her development on the ideas of health and wholeness.

MIN 4:30

Wholeness and the connection she found to Celtic Christian Spirituality.


Celtic Christianity as a brand of faith was identified with the poor and family and not connected with wealth and power associated with the Holy Roman Empire and European monarchs.

MIN 11

Creation in translucent. God is shown through it.

MIN 14

God speaks through two books: The Bible and The Book of Creation.

MIN 17

The many expressions of faith that shaped Christine.

MIN 20

Tapping into the tools, history, and learning resources (often through technology) to enliven and enrich our faith.

MIN 21

Listening for the voice and presence of God and joining God in what is already happening. This avoids burnout. The Jewish view of the day starts with rest and sleep and God at work.

MIN 24:30

On her website and the resource center with guest writers.

MIN 27

Easter and the Resurrection

MIN 29

Seasonal resources and family resources

MIN 30

Books recently influential to Christine:

To the Table: A Spirituality of Food, Farming and Community by Lisa Graham McMinn

A Spirituality of Listening by Keith Anderson

Barbra Brown Taylor “An Altar in the World”

“Learning to Walk in the Dark”

Henri Nouwen

Christine Valters Painter
Lectio Divina

Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Completive Practice

MIN 35

Contemplative Christian spirituality

her poem

This is a link to Christine’s other books

Find Christine on these outlets:

  • Twitter
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  • Facebook
  • Youtube

    Thank you so much for your interest and for listening today.

    Spark My Muse has new episodes TWICE per week.

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Sin and Riptide?

escape riptide daigramI love this handy-dandy safety chart on riptide. As you swim inland a rip current will prevent you from coming to shore. It will pull you under and drag you out to sea. Even in shallow water a strong swimmer can drown in rip current, so get wise to the wicked water and read it!

In the start of a new series leading up to Easter, my pastor (Jeff Byerly) began on Sunday talking about Recovery. Using themes from the 12 step program (and the Celebrate Recovery organization) he mentioned that even though we don’t all suffer the torments of pronounced addictions, the path to healing remains the same. This is one of the benefits of a support group like Celebrate Recovery. It functions like a life guarding outpost when the rip current is subtly strong.

Whether we tend to get into co-dependent relationships, spend time looking at pornography, succumb to retail therapy (shopping), fixate on eating too little (or feel the compulsion to eat too much) our compulsions and hang ups read like a similar story, a human story. A normal story.

The most piercing portion of the talk came when Jeff referenced some thoughts from C.S. Lewis…here I’m paraphrasing from Jeff’s paraphrase…but it goes something like…

–Bad people really don’t know that much about their badness— (maybe some of you Lewis fans can point me to the exact reference)

In sinning (which is the normal but deadly stuff of life), we go along with things as they come. We don’t distinguish much as we do mostly what we please. It’s only when we resist, try to consistently do what is right and good and when we try to go against the opposing and fierce force within and without that we run into a kind of riptide trying to pulling us under and kill us. Goodness then is a right mirror showing what still needs work in us. It reflects an ugly picture we don’t care to look at.

Paul really fleshes this out in Romans….What a great devotional read this makes. (Go on and click here for that)

So, it is in doing right where we come against the reflecting pool that shows us how bad are really are. Simply because we have terrible failures. We hit a snag. The contrast our need of rescue. Without the challenge of doing what we know is right, we never really assess the weight and scope of our sinful ways. But, my, how unpopular this concept is. Off-putting and out of vague. Time for a few reassuring pats on the back… But try to be unwaveringly good for a while, and we see how true it is.

And how you’ve ever noticed how self-satisfied people are? It’s probably because they aren’t making much of an effort at consistently doing what is right. They haven’t been humbled by failure. They’ve rarely seen felt this opposing monster for themselves because the room is too dark.

Maybe you’ve felt the same way too at times, “Well, I’m not so bad. I’m certain not as bad as most people.” Trust me, the day will not pass before this thought is likely to cross my mind as well.


It’s that kind of subtle self-dellusion that can thwart our willingness to be a part of the ongoing sanctification of  the Holy Spirit. He works us over and makes us over. It’s that mauling process, if you will, that does the hard work. So, Jesus said, “Only the sick need a doctor.” He was of course talking to sick people at the time, only they didn’t think of themselves that way. There’s nothing more hopeless than that.

If we ever went a whole week noticing and noting all the strays from what we know is right and good and set about to only do right…WATCH OUT. The proof of our weaknesses, problems, and short-comings will pop up like an angry bee sting.


Fatigued then, in a fight to do what’s right, sometimes we realize it is in he surrender to our powerlessness that we find rescue. It’s counter-intuitive as much as swimming out to sea is when you’re almost drowning. But it works. This is part of the powerful of observing a season of Lent.

The great relief from sin and that sort of deadly riptide comes from repentance and forgiveness. This theme is never more potent than when we celebrate on Resurrection Sunday. More on this sort of thing in posts to come. Please click for updates (right sidebar)


Have you felt this kind of riptide?

(You can leave me a voice message with your thoughts, if you’d like. Click the voicemail tab on the right)

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Evil & The Justice of God

 “When people deny the humanity of others, they become evil themselves.”  -N.T. Wright


I’m preparing to do a quarter of a year (January-March) teaching with the themes and the companion videos of Tom Wright’s book Evil and the Justice of God.

We’ll be tackling some tough territory:

• Why is there so much Evil in the world? (More than ever?)

• Why does God let it happen and what, if anything, is God doing really about it? (What’s going on?)

• How does the Bible approach the subject? (Whoa. Lots of common misunderstandings here!)

• How does Justice work? (Revenge, Justice, Mercy, we’ll be sorting that out.)

• What is our role or best response with regards to Evil? (Do we stand against it, roll over, avoid it, bear it? The answers may surprise you.)

If you can’t make the classes Sundays 9:30-10:15 a.m. at Bethesda, I’ll be highlighting items here as I work on it and as I teach.

Here’s an intro video trailer. The book is remarkable. I highly recommend it.