Poema 024 | Matthew Brough On Spirituality For Normal People

July 12, 2017

Today I'm delighted to host Matthew Brough, pastor, author and host of the 'Spirituality For Normal People' podcast. We talk about whole range of topics, including creativity, the spirituality of writing fiction, spiritual practices and more.

Matthew shares his own story, and talks about how writing fiction has influenced his spiritual journey, and the circle of creativity and our spiritual journey - where each impacts and is part of the other, and how this has impacted his own role as a pastor. He also talks about his own spiritual practices, and how these have evolved and changed and the impact they've had on his creative side, in particular the birth of his podcast, 'Spirituality For Normal People', which explores creativity and spiritual practice. 

Matthew's got a lot of wisdom and insight to share on both spirituality and creativity, and this is well worth a listen.

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Poema 023 | Joy Resor & Finding Joy On Your Shoulders

July 5, 2017

Today I'm joined by author and spiritual counsellor Joy Resor. Joy shares her own story of how suffering and grief set her on the path to finding her true purpose, and how she discovered joy in the process. It's a powerful story of expanding spirituality, creativity as a healer, and how suffering can be a catalyst for authentic and even positive change in our lives.

Joy shows how it's possible to have truly hopeful, joyful perspective on our journey, whilst still bearing the scars of our past. This is definitely worth a listen!

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Poema 022 | Rebecca Lombardo on Creativity & Living With Mental Illness

June 28, 2017

Today author, blogger and podcaster Rebecca Lombardo joins me on the podcast. For 25 years Rebecca has battled with mental illness of various kinds. She's also had to undergo the trauma of losing both parents, and battled with suicidal thoughts. Yet through writing, publishing a book, podcasting, and an incredibly supportive husband, she has survived and is doing amazing work creating safe spaces for people to discuss mental illness.

Rebecca, with great courage and honesty, shares her story, and the truth that it's not always about having a happy thriving ending, but that the challenges of mental health are ongoing, a daily battle, and that everyone struggling with mental health has to find their own unique way of surviving, and maybe even, occasionally, thriving. 

Rebecca's story will both challenge and inspire you, and leave you encouraged. 

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Poema 021 | Gungor

June 6, 2017

Michael and Lisa Gungor are on the podcast today. Husband and wife, creatives, musicians, Jesus-followers, Michael and Lisa have created some amazing music over the years and have some phenomenal wisdom on spirituality, creativity, and the personal journey.

Michael and Lisa share with great honesty and wisdom about their own personal journey, the challenges and struggles they've had to confront in recent years, and how they've shaped their spiritual and creative journey.

The Gungors talk about the creative process and spiritual journey behind their recent One Wild Life album trilogy, and how creativty is both a spiritual and an organic process. They also unpack more of their own spiritual practices, and we discuss together how a real spiritual practice can be as simple as playing with your kids, and the truth about our habits and decisions.

Finally, they talk about what's happening in the world right now, the atmosphere of fear, of a force in the world "pulling back from the progress we've made" - and how and why here might be hope for us all.

This is truly inspiring, life giving and eye-opening interview, without doubt, one of the most amazing and inspiring I've ever done. Michael and Lisa have such wisdom, humilty and grace, and this is well worth a listen. 

****

"Spiritual practice is when you are sitting down and training your body and mind to engage with the divine in each and every moment" - Michael Gungor

"We often don't make decisions about what we do. We act on habit." - Lisa Gungor

"There's a force in the world pulling back from the progress we've made" - Michael Gungor

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Poema 020 | The Blacksmith’s Daughters on Making Melodies

June 2, 2017

Today I'm joined by Julida and Sean Alter, who make up one half of 'The Blacksmith's Daughters', a folk/rock band from Minneapolis. The band is comprised of Julida and Sean, and Julida's sister Anella Platta and her husband Brent. Julida and Anetta are from a family with a long history of being blacksmiths - hence the name 'The Blacksmith's Daughters'.

We discuss the creative process involved in songwriting and recording, and their unorthodox but effective approach to how they make their music. We also explore what true authentic creativity is, and holding in balance between creating great, honest work, but also wanting to put that work out into the world. 

This was such a fun interview to do. Julida And Sean are a great couple who have great insight into the creative process, and offer encouragement to all of us to go out and make melodies in our own creative work, whatever that might be - and to be ourselves.

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Poema 019 | The Sacred Art Of Wrestling

May 17, 2017

On the show today I do a short reflection on the importance of wrestling with the divine, and how I've learned from my own experience that being honest with God, voicing your doubts, questions, frustrations and anger towards God is actually the sign of a healthy relationship with Him.

I also talk about how sacred wrestling is something which deepens our faith, not weakens it - and finally about the voice of grace which says to us in those moments "Friend, do what you came here to do".

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Poema 018 | Identity & Moral Injury with Dr Kate Hendricks Thomas & Dr Karl Hamner

May 10, 2017

Today I'm joined by by returning guest Dr Kate Hendricks Thomas, and new guest Dr Karl Hamner, to discuss the issues of identity and moral injury. We discuss how to handle transitional periods of our lives, big shifts away from something familiar, which might have defined us, into a new season of life - and potentially a new identity.

Karl and Kate share how these concepts work in practice, in their own work and research in the military, transitioning former soldiers out of military service into civilian life, and the challenges and conflicts this brings for them - and what that might look like for the rest of us.

This is a fascinating examination of identity, where we ground ourselves, and how we confront those necessary and inevitable transitional periods of our lives. It's about the grief of leaving one season behind and how we move forward into a new one.

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Poema 017 | Putting Ego In The Back Seat

May 3, 2017

On today's episode I share some reflections on the latest season of my life - a book launch, confronting difficult truths, and why I'm taking a short sabbath from writing. I talk about how ego can be a good thing but how when we let it dictate our lives, when we let our ego define our value, then we can come to an unhealthy place.

And I also discuss how sometimes the best thing we can do for our vocation, passion and calling is to lay it down for a season, why practicing sabbath, and good self-care is so important, and finally, how who we are is more valuable than what we do.

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Poema 016 | Sarah Heath on Seeing Your Story Through God’s Eyes

April 26, 2017

Today my friend Sarah Heath returns to the podcast, to discuss her newly released book 'Whats Your Story - Seeing Your Life Through God's Eyes', a book about seeing our lives through the concept of story, using the Biblical story of Joseph as a lens to examine our own stories. 

Sarah talks about how she discovered the power of story in her own life and how it's impacted her story, and we discuss together how conflict and suffering are realities whichever path we take, but how God can use them to shape our lives for the better. Sarah shares how through scripture, and in our own lives, we can see that darkness and death isn't the end of the story, and there is hope and resurrection. 

Finally we talk about examples of the power of story in scripture, including both Joseph and Jesus, and how we can see our own stories in the lens of Christ, and how that can lead us to a deeper, more intimate relationship with the divine. 

Sarah is always such fun to talk to and has such wisdom and insight - her book, and her thoughts on the concept of story and scripture, had a profound impact on my life, I'm sure it will do for you. Take a listen!

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Poema 015 | Wendy H Jones on the Spirituality of Crime Writing and Marketing With Integrity

April 20, 2017

Today I'm joined by my friend Wendy H Jones. Wendy is a hugely successful crime writer, and international speaker. She's authored the Shona Mackenzie adult crime series which has sold tens of thousands of copies internationally, 'Power Packed Book Marketing', a book on how to successfully market your books with integrity, and is on the committee of the Association of Christian Writers. 

Wendy shares her story, and the background to how she got into writing adult crime fiction and how her Christian faith has influenced those books. And we talk about engaging with our dark sides, and where creative inspiration truly comes from.

Finally we discuss the realities of book marketing in the age of social media, and again how Christians in particular can market our work with integrity and keeping to the values of our faith.

Wendy is smart, fun, inspiring and has a lot of wisdom to share, this is well worth a listen!

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Poema 014 | Alexander Shaia on The Good Friday Resurrection

April 12, 2017

Alexander Shaia returns to Poema today to share about the Quadratos journey through the Easter story. He takes us back to an understanding of the story older, and wider than the traditional 'Holy Week' we all know and takes us into the story of the Christ and how we can identify with Jesus as He walks His passion. 

We examine in brief the difference between the gospel interpretations of the story, and what these different interpretations mean for our own journey, and take a deeper look into Gethsemane. There we find a Jesus who names the betrayer, but then calls him friend, and a Jesus whose struggles with obedience mirror our own.

Finally we examine Jesus cry 'My God, My God, Why Have You Forskaen Me?', and discuss how this is not a moment of despair, but a victory cry, not a moment of doubt, but supreme faith. And we see why every day of the Easter Story, from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, is a story of resurrection.

This will blow your mind and expand and deepen your understanding of the Easter story, and the scriptures, and bring the passion of Christ alive in a fresh way, as it has done for me. 

I'd encourage you to listen to this and engage with it over the Easter season, I certainly will be - and I believe it will make our Easters richer, deeper, more honest and more joyful. Have a happy and blessed Easter everyone.

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Poema 013 | Jessica Aguilar-Christy on Yoga & Christian Spirituality

April 5, 2017

Today I'm joined by my friend Jessica Aguilar-Christy. Jessica is a yoga instructor, and teaches yoga through the lens of Christianity with Soul Stretch Christian Yoga and at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church. 

Today Jessica shares about the history of yoga, dispels myths many Christians believe about yoga and the truth behind the science of yoga. She also talks about the spiritual discipline of yoga and the impact it can have on one's Christian faith, and the impact it's had on her own spiritual journey.

This was such an eye-opening, inspiring and refreshing conversation which opened my eyes up to a new way of experiencing the divine, Jessica speaks with such wisdom and honesty, and is one of the most centred people I know. I was privileged to meet her and her husband last year on my trip to America. Jessica truly practices what she preaches, and there's no doubt yoga has had a big impact on deepening and centering her relationship with Jesus. 

This is well worth a listen. Also feel free to check out Jessica's work at https://www.jesuyogini.com/ 

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Poema 012 | Jo Cleary on her Radical Love Journey

March 22, 2017

I'm joined today by Jo Cleary, a learning development officer, and writer from Coventry in the UK, who blogs on issues of identity, self-worth and learning to love yourself. Jo shares her powerful story of depression, psychosis and chronic fatigue syndrome, and how they have all influenced both her spiritual and creative journey. 

We discuss together how mental health can impact your relationship with both God and the church, and the power of creativity for healing and transformation. And Jo shares honestly and vulnerably about how the her mental illness impacted her relationships and her day to day life. Jo explains how she discovered that God is someone who, no matter how much we might push him away, no matter how much we think He's abandoned us, will remain to pick up the pieces of our broken lives, and redeem them.

Finally Jo talks about her recent work, with the Radical Love Journey Facebook group & blog, and how she is using her story to give hope to others. 

Jo has a powerful story and great insight to share, on some important issues, it's definitely worth a listen.

 

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Poema 011 | Chasing Lovely on The Spirituality of Songwriting & Kickstarting a New EP (Wolfie #4)

March 15, 2017

Today my dear "wolfie" friends, musical and creative duo Chloe and Taylor Turner (AKA Chasing Lovely), join me again. Today we talk about the personal stories and influences behind their work, as well as the spiritual and personal journeys which influence all of us creatively, and shape who we are and who we become.

Chloe and Taylor talk about the journey of their first EP, Unbridled, (which released 2015 and is available now), and also, the the powerful, personal stories behind the songs on their upcoming EP - which they are currently raising money to make via Kickstarter. We also talk about how we interact with our own work and how others interpret creative work isn't always how we intended, that each of us comes to a creartive work with our own story, and how great art will meet us where and impact us there.

It's always great fun talking to Chloe and Taylor, who are wise beyond their years, and have great insight on creativity and spirituality - and are just plain awesome people! 

Take a listen, then, if you can, please ensure their new EP gets made, by going to support their Kickstarter in any way you can - you can find it here

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Poema 010 | Laura Parrott Perry on Surviving Sexual Abuse & Valuing Our Stories

March 8, 2017

Today I'm joined by my dear friend Laura Parrott Perry. Laura is an author and a speaker, and co-founder of Say It, Survior, a non-profit dedicated to helping survivors of sexual abuse. 

With great courage and honesty, Laura shares her own story of abuse, and it's impact on her and her family, and the story of how a phone call with her cousin and a blog post sharing her story, led to her co-founding a non-profit which now provides a safe space for survivors of sexual abuse to get the support and healing they need. 

Laura also talks about the importance of valuing our own story, and the power of owning our story and being honest about our journey. Laura argues passionately that all our stories have value, and all deserve respect, and to be received with love and grace - and when that happens, we can begin our journey to healing and transformation.

Laura speak with great wisdom, insight and courage, and her story is well worth a listen. 

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Poema 009 | Brian McLaren on The Great Spiritual Migration

March 1, 2017

Speaker, author and theologian Brian McLaren joins me today. Brian is the author of many books, such as 'A New Kind Of Christian' and 'A Generous Orthodoxy'. Today on the podcast we discuss his most recent work, 'The Great Spiritual Migration', which explores how our world is looking for a better way to be Christian.

Brian shares with great wisdom and insight about why the traditional models of church and Christian faith are no longer working, why the church is dying and it's connections with the rise of the political right in the West. And he shares an exciting new vision of what church can and could be if we choose to move beyond traditional boundaries of 'conservative' and 'liberal' and to a more transcendent, non-dual view of Jesus and the Christian faith.

Brian argues with great conviction that the most important thing is not simply what we believe - but how we believe it, and why it's important to be open to allow God to take us ever onward and deeper into more transcendent, mysterious, and inclusive understandings of who He is and what He wishes for His church to be. 

Brian is a man of great wisdom and insight, with a deep love for Jesus and His church - and his message is much needed. Definitely worth a listen!

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Poema 008 | Sarah Heath on Creativity & The Art Of Community

February 22, 2017

It's my pleasure to welcome Rev Sarah Heath onto the podcast today. Sarah is a minister in a small but growing church in Costa Mesa, California, as well as an artist, writer and author. Her first book 'What's Your Story? Seeing Your Life Through God's Eyes' releases this coming April. 

Sarah talks about her biggest passion, creativity. And together we explore the process of creativity and how this applies to all walks of life, not just the arts. Sarah talks about how she expresses her own creativity through painting, drawing, art, as well as writing - and how she's applied the principle of creativity in her work helping to create a church community. 

We discuss the myth that some people are creative and others are not creative - and Sarah makes a strong case to say we are all creative people, whether we're accountants, scientists, pastors, or writers. Sarah talks about he sees her role as helping others create the authentic lives and work they were made to live, and how that begins by her living autnentically. 

Sarah is such fun to talk to, has such wisdom, insight and passion for creativity and spirituality, and her words are so life giving and inspiring. Take a listen to her today & you'll be inspired to go out and create. 

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Poema 007 : Shelly E Johnson on Finding Our Mosaic Of Grace

February 15, 2017

Today on Poema I'm joined by singer/songwriter/worship leader Shelly E Johnson. Most well-known for writing the powerful worship anthem “Power of the Cross”, which has been recorded by Natalie Grant, Steve Green and is being used in churches worldwide, Shelly has served as worship leader alongside Beth Moore, Tony Nolan, Andy Stanley, and toured North America with renown Irish Hymn-writers Keith & Kristyn Getty.

Today Shelly shares her own powerful story, of losing a parent at an early age, how it impacted her relationship with God and her creative journey. Having lost a parent myself, and as an artist, much of her story resonated with my own, and we explore some deep truths about grief, suffering and the spiritual journey.

We also discuss the true meaning of grace, and how God through our experiences, we have seen how God takes these broken pieces of our lives, and rebuilds them into something more beautiful - a Mosaic Of Grace, the title of one of Shelly's most memorable songs, and the title of my own bestselling book.

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Poema 006 : Sarah Bessey on The Creative Altar Of God ( & The Spirituality Of Doctor Who)

February 8, 2017

Today Sarah Bessey, author of 'Jesus Feminist' and 'Out Of Sorts', joins me on the podcast. We talk about writing and creativity as ways we interact with the divine, and express ourselves spiritually - as well as the spirituality of the TV show Doctor Who.

Sarah talks about writing as her altar, her way of interacting with God, and expressing her spirituality - and how this can be true for all of us in all our creative work, not just the work we share publicly. Sarah and I also talk about authentic creativity really is, and how as artists, we can deal with both criticism and praise in a healthy, Godly way.

Sarah shares with great wisdom and insight, how what we believe about God shows up in every area of our lives - our parenting, our marriages, our work - whatever we do - and why we need to listen to our lives to see where our relationship with God is. 

Finally we talk about our mutual love of the TV show 'Doctor Who', the divine and theological truths we have found in the show, and how the show impacts our spirituality and relationship with God.

Sarah has such fierce integrity, wisdom and compassion, and a genuine love for God and others - talking to her is always such a blessing and again, in this interview, is so inspiring, encouraging and challenging. 

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Poema 005 : Matthew Schmitt On The Table Setters & Loving Your Enemies

February 1, 2017

Today I'm joined by Matthew Schmitt, co-founder of The Table Setters, a new organisation running diversity workshops, and doing consulting that helps to develop culturally integrated lives in churches, schools & businesses in the US.

Matthew and I talk about issues of race and equality in the US today, and the challenge of what it really means to love your enemy. The concept of the Table Setters is to bring people of different perspectives, races, backgrounds, beleifs around the same table and have healthy dialogue, and Matthew and I discuss together what this looks like - in particular in the current political climate in the US.

And with the election of Donald Trump as President, we talk about how progressives and conservatives, instead of hating on each other, might follow Jesus example, come around a table together, and hear each others stories - and how that is what may bring about the change we desperately need.

Matthew is a truly inspiring man, doing some groundbreaking work, and his words will both encourage and challenge you. 

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Poema 004: Kyle Strobel On Harry Potter & The Christian Way Of Power

January 25, 2017

Today, theologian and author Kyle Strobel joins me to talk about the challenging topic of what true wisdom is, and Christianity in relation to the concept of power - and how this has been misunderstood and abused.

Kyle and his colleague Jamin Goggin have interviewed some of the oldest and wisest prominent Christian leaders and learned a lot about what true Christ-like wisdom. We discuss how, in fact, the way of Jesus is about surrender, about giving up power, not claiming more and more. We talk about the myth of Christian celebrity, and Kyle shares the powerful metaphor of Harry Potter, and how his story is a metaphor for this in many ways, and what the story of Harry Potter has to say to our own spiritual journeys.

This is a fascinating insight into important issues of power, wisdom and surrender - and Kyle has great wisdom on the topic. Definitely worth a listen!

*****

Kyle's new book 'The Way Of The Dragon Or The Way of the Lamb', which explores this topic in much more depth, releases Jan 25. 

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Poema 003: Shane Claiborne on Executing Grace & The End Of The Death Penalty

January 19, 2017

The inspiring author, speaker and activist Shane Claiborne joins me today. He talks about his most recent work in campaigning for the end of the death penalty in the US. 

Shane passionately and with great wisdom shares about how the death penalty is about more issues than justice - it's about race, equality, and about grace.

He shares some moving testimonies of people on death row, and argues that as Christians we are called to believe that no one, not even murderers, are beyond redemption, and for an approach to justice which begins with grace, with mercy - and beginning to see all people as God sees them.

This is one of the most inspiring interviews I've ever done - and whether you're Christian or not, this will challenge, encourage and inspire you. 

 

Quotes:

"The death penalty has survived not despite Christians but because of us. The Bible belt is the death belt."

"We live in a world where violence is pervasive, we've created this myth of redemptive violence, this myth we can fight violence with violence. Violence is the problem, not the solution. The disease, not the cure"

"Support for the death penalty has hit historic lows"

"Jesus was an executed, forgiving victim of tremendous violence, who died with grace on His lips, saying 'Father forgive them, they don't know what they're doing'. That should change us."

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Poema 002 : Max Strom On Healthy Breathing & Why There Is No App For Happiness

January 18, 2017

For my first Poema interview I welcome Max Strom.  Max is an author of several books, including 'A Life Worth Breathing' and 'There Is No App For Happiness'. Max speaks and trains people all over the world around these topics, and has also spoken at TED.

Max is passionate about us all having a holistic, healthier rhythm to life, and teaches healthy breathing exercises and routines, including some yoga-based exercises.

Max and I talk about what a healthy breathing pattern really looks like, how anxiety can be directly linked to grief, and also touch on the damage our culture's addiction to social media can do to our personal well-being.

Max has great wisdom and provides some genuine, healthier alternatives to the rhythms we often choose live by and consumerism can pressurise us to follow, refreshing alternatives which can help us all lead a healthier life, inside and out.

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Poema 001 : What Is Poema?

January 17, 2017

Today 'James Talks' relaunches as the 'Poema Podcast'. This week we have three episodes - today, tomorrow and Thursday. The others will have very special guests, today's is the first of some reflective episodes - all of these will be hosted and curated by me, James Prescott.

In this first episode, Poema's I'll be talking about the changes to the podcast, what we'll be doing in this first season of the 'Poema Podcast'. I also explore what this word 'Poema' really means, its roots in scripture, and how it's fundamental to us exploring our identity, finding our calling, and stepping out in faith to create the life God intended us to live.

I unpack the idea that we're all God's masterpiece, our lives are works of art - and share how if we root ourselves in grace, we can be liberated to create the life God always wanted for us - and ultimately, help create a better world.

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Episode 76 | Books, Seasons & A Word About Masterpieces

December 28, 2016

In today's episode I tell a story about my own journey of the last year, about confronting our demons, and how grace has impacted my life in the last year. And I share about some exciting new projects coming up, including my upcoming book, 'Mosaic Of Grace', writing projects, the blog, and some exclusive, important news about the future of the podcast. 

We all go through seasons in life, everything has its time, and in this episode I talk about how this is being reflected in my own life and work, and how this is something all of us go through - and how to do that well. I share a story of how grace transforms us, how it confronts the truth, and about freeing ourselves to risk, to step out in faith - and how the goal isn't the result, but the process itself. 

And finally, I talk about Poema - a word from scripture about us being God's workmanship, God's masterpiece. I explore how it relates to our own lives, how it encompasses all the work I'm doing, and how my work, especially the podcast, will be changing to embrace this word and it's meaning. And I share how and why this will be the last episode of James Talks in it's current format, and how the podcast will be changing in 2017.

There's also more detailed information on my upcoming book, including the release date itself, and an opportunity to get involved with the launch and get a ton of freebies - you can do that here.

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Episode 75 | Our Gospel Christmas Journey With Alexander Shaia

December 20, 2016

Today Alexander Shaia returns to my podcast, for a special Christmas episode. It's now around the Winter Solsatace, December 21, the date Christmas used to be celebrated - the date light begins to come into the world in a physical sense. Alexander and I explore the reality behind the Christmas story as shared in the gospels.

Alexander talks about some of the hidden meaning and symbolism in a story which has become familiar to many of us, and in doing so, makes this story come alive in a fresh way, a way which speaks to all of our journeys, and into our exploration of our identity in Christ. 

I hope you'll take a listen, as Alexander makes an old story refreshing, relevant and inspiring in a fresh, encouraging way, which can give us all hope as we approach Christmas, and the coming of the Messiah.

Wishing you all a blessed and wonderful Christmas. 

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Episode 74 | Chasing Lovely 3 - The Wolfies Reunited (With Exclusive LIVE Performance)

December 6, 2016

My friends Chloe & Taylor Turner, AKA Chasing Lovely, return to the podcast today for the fourth time - third time as guests. As ever, we have a whole load of fun discussing spirituality, creativity, mystery, doubt and loads more. 

Chloe & Taylor share what's happening on their own journey, as individuals and as a band, both creatively and spiritually. They also discuss how their spiritual journey is impacting their creative journey, and the continuing intersections between those two areas. The duo also discuss their next musical project, and exclusively share a new, unreleased track performed live and exclusive for James Talks.

Plus, you'll finally hear the secret story behind how and why the Chasing Lovely episodes are called 'Wolfie' episodes! :)

Talking to these guys is always so much fun & they have such wisdom and maturity beyond their years in the areas of creativity & spirituality. I know you'll all love this episode. 

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Episode 73 | Steve Austin’s Story Of Suicide, Addiction & Messy Grace

November 29, 2016

Author, speaker and pastor Steve Austin joins me today. He shares his powerful and inspiring story, of going from being a pastor to addiction, depression and a suicide attempt.

But the story didn't end there.

Steve rebuilt his marriage, his faith and his life, and became a successful author, blogger and now, again, a pastor. It's a challenging, inspiring and deeply moving story, a story of messy grace which can give hope to us all.

Whatever your circumstances, take a listen to Steve's story, and I think you'll find a reason to hope.

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Episode 72 | Sarah Arlen on Creativity, Suffering & The Two Types of Creator

November 23, 2016

Actress, producer & filmmaker Sarah Arlen joins me today. Sarah is currently putting the finishing touches to 'Twice' a film she both produced, wrote and starred in. Sarah shares her own powerful story of her battles with depression and how that's impacted her creative journey.

We discuss in more detail the links between suffering and creativity, and the healing power of creativity. Sarah then goes on to discuss the two types of creator, and how we can better explore our own creative side and find healing through artistic expression.

Sarah is a dear friend, and here she shares with great courage and honesty about her struggles, and she has incredible wisdom on creativity. Give it a listen!

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Episode 71 | Anita Wing Lee on How Creativity Can Change The World

November 15, 2016

Periscoper, writer, and creator Anita Wing Lee returns to James Talks today. Anita has used her creative talents to make huge difference in the world - Periscoping from refugee camps to raise awareness of the refugee crisis, and combining her talents with a friend to create and crowdfund a book of stories and photographs of these refugees to raise money to support them.

What we need right now are people willing and courageous enough to step out and create a new world, a better world, for all of us. Anita and I both believe strongly that we have the power to create the work, the lives, and the world we want - if only we can claim that power and use it positively. Anita and I discuss this in the podcast and explore how you and I can begin that process in our own lives and the world around us today. 

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Episode 70 | Nish Weiseth on the US Presidential Election

November 7, 2016

My dear friend Nish Weiseth returns to James Talks today, in a special episode to discuss the imminent US Presidential election. Nish and I are both passionate about politics, and it's role in the world - and the US election result affects us all, which is why we decided to do this special episode.


Nish & I explore in more detail about the potential implications of a Trump Presidency, both for Nishs' own state of Utah, the US and potentially the world too, and we talk about what the implications of Trumps' campaign - whether ultimately successful or not - says about American culture, American politics, the evangelical church, and what the future might hold. 


This was recorded just after the first Presidential debate, before the controversies on both sides which have arisen since - but is still a fascinating discussion on what's a really important topic. Not just the election, but culture, and the church, are all impacted by this election. Nish has such wisdom and passion, and it's definitely worth a listen. 
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Episode 69 | Sarah Simmons & A Story Of Grace

November 2, 2016

Today Sarah Simmons, writer & blogger, shares her own powerful testimony. It's a story of suffering, lost dreams, but also one of hope, restoration and grace which is truly inspiring. Sarah shares about how we can find grace even in the midst of our own imperfect lives, and how that brings us hope.

*****
In our conversation we discuss questions like:

- How did Sarah learn to find joy in the mess, what does that look like for her, and how can we all find joy in our own messes?

- How do we find hope and contentment in that space between the 'what is' and 'what should be'?

- How Sarah's experiences have shaped her creative journey, and how has creativity been a help to Sarah along the way?

****

Sarah is an amazing writer, good friend & real woman of God, and a real inspiration, I know you're going to be so blessed by her story & wisdom. 

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Episode 68 | Kyle Strobel & The Beloved Dust

October 26, 2016

Kyle Strobel, teacher, writer and preacher, joins me today. He is the assistant professor of Spiritual Theology and Formation at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and helped start Metamorpha Ministries. He's also author of several books, including 'Beloved Dust'. 


Kyle & discuss his own journey of faith, the 'Bevloved Dust' book and the inner spiritual journey to discovering your own identity & and deepening relationship with God, both through prayer, scripture and other routes/practices. 

We discuss questions like:

- How do you balance the reverence and sacredness of our relationship with God, with the need to have a real, honest relationship, rather than simply a formal one? 

- How we can look to the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and community as “informers” used by Christ to grow, mould, and form us into his image

- The best bit of wisdom Kyle's ever received

- A brief introduction to the spirituality of Harry Potter.


Kyle has such wisdom, humility and insight, and speaks in a way which is easy to understand but is challenging and inspiring - this is definitely worth a listen!





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Episode 67 | Pamela Hodges On Creativity, Identity & How To Be A Cat

October 19, 2016

Author Pamela Hodges returns to the podcast today, and we have a lot of fun talking about creativity, identity, authenticity, being a creative entrepreneur - but above all, how to be a cat. 

Pamela talks about her late cat Pooh Hodges, who was an author she transcribed for and has published the book 'How To Be A Cat', transcribed and illustrated by Pamela, and before his death completed a memoir with Pamela's help. Pamela talks about that creative process, how she's explored her creativity in different and imaginative ways, and the journey which has led her into self-publishing - and writing on behalf of cats. 

It's a fun discussion and you'll learn so much about creativity and expressing your imagination - take a listen!
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Episode 66 | Dr Kate Hendricks Thomas & Sarah Plummer Taylor on Resilience, Yoga & Personal Wellness

October 11, 2016

Neuroscientist Dr Kate Hendricks Thomas returns to James Talks today, and with her is Sarah Plummer Taylor, who is a Denver-based holistic health and wellness wellness counsellor. As a mental health professional, Sarah mentors people and organisations to help them find clarity and discover how to live happier, healthier lives.

Following on from my chat with Mike McHargue about science & faith last week, Kate, Sarah and I have a discussion of Kate's neuroscience work and it's overlaps with Sarah's work on holistic health and wellness. We examine in detail the links between physical and mental health, and their ties to Christian spirituality. We also discuss yoga, it's history, and why it's beneficial to our spiritual, mental and physical well-being. 

We examine together what a holistic, integrated spirituality involving the physical, mental, emotional and supernatural can look like and how it can have a positive impact on our lives. Then we discuss some spiritual practices which might be helpful in integrating this into our daily lives. 

This was hugely insightful and eye-opening chat, and I know you'll learn a lot from both Kate & Sarah.
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Episode 65 | ‘Science Mike’ McHargue on Finding God In The Waves.

October 4, 2016

'Science Mike' McHargue is back on James Talks this week, to discuss his new book, 'Finding God In The Waves' & answer some searching questions about science, and how it connects with our spirituality.


Mike talks about how he lived anonymously as an atheist for two years, being in leadership in his local church & even leading his own daughter to Christ whilst being an atheist. Mike shares the conflicts, the challenges, the emotions which he experienced during that time, and what his faith looks like now, having come back to Jesus through science. 

I then ask Mike some science/faith questions (which you kinda have to do when you've got Science Mike on your show), like these: 


- Do you think there's an element of the supernatural in the scientific, and what do you believe about the links between them?

 - One thing which is argued by Christians is the idea we're all born fundamentally flawed - what's your perspective on that, and scientifically what does that look like in terms of how the brain works and it's desires, it's needs?

- What's your thoughts on the idea, suggested by some experts, that this universe might be simulated, and what’s your definition of what's real, and what isn't real?

-  Do you think science will ever get to the point where we agree, without necessarily 100% proof, that there is an external intelligence, or intelligent design behind the universe, and the argument may well become who that is, and what it looks like, rather than whether it exists?


Mike finishes with a message of hope for all struggling with faith, doubt sharing from his own experience. This was one of my fave shows to do, and can't wait for you to take a listen.

And remember to check out Mike's new book 'Finding God In The Waves' - it's truly inspiring & mind blowing, and it's available to order on Amazon right now!




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Episode 64 | Chasing Lovely Interview James Prescott - James Talks 1st Birthday Roast

September 27, 2016

James Talks turns 1 year old this week! And to celebrate, today we have a very special edition - Chloe & Taylor Turner, AKA Chasing Lovely, who were my first guests on James Talks, are interviewing me, James Prescott! And it's a combination of a total roasting, and some deep discussion on spirituality, creativity, calling and the issues I'm passionate about.


There's some fun questions like random facts about me, embarrassing stories, celebrity crushes, my soul animal, and who I'd interview if I could interview anyone in history. 


Then we move on to some more serious questions, about grace, how we find our calling & identity, habits of creativity, how I found my voice, and exploring who I think Jesus is, what I think about the Bible & what I think it means to live a life in tune with the divine. Plus there's some exclusive info about my first book, and the book I'm currently writing!


Chloe, Taylor & I had so much fun recording this and I'm so excited for you to hear it. Here's to many more James Talks episodes to come!
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Episode 63 | Faith Circus with Kathy Escobar & Karl Wheeler

September 21, 2016

Today Kathy Escobar & Karl Wheeler of the Faith Curcus podcast join me to share their powerful, unique & inspiring story. They share about the challenges of starting a new type of faith community, dealing with issues of theological difference & the issues which confront the modern church today.

Kathy & Karl talk about how their conversations and story evolved into a podcast called Faith Circus, a discussion on church & the modern Christian faith, and some new challenges they face as they move into a new season.

Kathy & Karl are great fun, honest & have a lot of wisdom on modern faith & the church - take a listen, then go subscribe to Faith Circus to hear more of them.

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Episode 62 | David Mike on Dishonour & Grace

September 13, 2016

David Mike, author & former solider, joins me today to share his challenging and inspiring story. David was a solider who became a drug addict and dealer, resulting in a term in prison. But whilst in prison he experienced the transforming love and grace of both family, and God,

Today David shares how he came to be in prison, and the conflicts, challenges and emotions he experienced there. And he tells the incredible story of how a letter, and an experience of grace transformed his life - and how he discovered writing as a way to use his story to encourage others, and move forward into his calling
*****
David's first book, 'Dishonor' is out now. 
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Episode 61 | Glennon Doyle Melton on Grace, Divorce, Addiction & Being A #LoveWarrior

September 6, 2016

I'm delighted to welcome Glennon Doyle Melton - AKA Momastery - onto James Talks today. Glennon shares her powerful and challenging story of alcoholism, her struggles with established church, and working through a difficult marriage. 

Glennon shares honestly about the importance of confronting our pain and walking through it, rather than avoiding it, and talks about the transforming power of grace. She shares passionately about how damaging church can be and what she believes healthy church should look like. 
Glennon also talks about what she learned about what healthy relationships and marriages are meant to look like, how one person cannot save a marriage and why some relationships - even marriages, including her own - come to a healthy, complete ending with mutual love and respect remaining.
Here's some quotes: 

“My whole writing career has been about trying to find a place I can be as honest as in AA”

"Whatever happens in the personal, happens in the universal"

"Every time we get evicted from our life, we’re invited into a new life"

"The only thing I use to define myself now is child of God..it's the only thing no one can take from you"

"When everything's falling apart, that's when you need to start paying attention, that's when the change is coming"

"I'm running towards my pain every single day and it's changing everything"

This is one of the most inspiring, honest, and powerful interviews I've ever done, and it will challenge you, inspire you, and give you hope you didn't know existed. Take a listen, then go buy Glennon's new book Love Warrior today!

*****

www.Momastery.com

www.LoveWarriorBook.com

@Momastery

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Episode 60 | Cindy Brandt on Art & Justice

August 31, 2016

Author & blogger Cindy Brandt joins me today to talk about creativity, faith, culture and justice. Cindy shares her own powerful story and talks about authenticity in her art, being vulnerable in our art, as well as her passion for justice, and building a church where all are welcome, and all are truly valued.


Cindy & I also discuss the links between art and justice, and that if we believe justice to be a central theme of the gospel, then imagination and creativity is vital to achieving that, and the challenges and risks that can come with that, and how the act of being prophetic is authentic.

*****

You can find Cindy's work at cindywords.com 
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Episode 59 | Alexander Shaia Takes Your Questions

August 23, 2016

Alexander Shaia is back on James Talks and this week he's taking your questions! Today Alexander answers questions sent in by listeners, including ike:

What’s your favourite gospel, and your favourite passage from the four gospels - and why?

What are your thoughts on the issues of discipleship and evangelism, and do you see the end of Matthew as an invitation alone, or an invitation and a commission?

What does the cross look like differently in each path?

It's a fascinating, eye-opening and inspiring episode with Alexander, as he gives us more insight than ever into the Gospel path. Alexander will be back on James Talks later in the year....

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Episode 58 | Amy Boucher Pye on The Intersection Between Creativity & Faith

August 16, 2016

Author & blogger Amy Boucher Pye joins me today. Amy is an American married to a Vicar living in the UK, and recently launched her first book 'Finding Myself In Britain'.

In today's episode Amy shares about her creative journey, which on top of authoring books, has included both blogging and book editing, and aligns this with her own spiritual journey. In this episode we see how faith and creativity intertwine and intersect, impacting one another - as we see how we're all creators made in the image of a creator.

And, in the process, we find how being creative is simply being human in the divine image - and that, in fact, the act of creativity can draw us closer to the divine.

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Episode 57 | Kent Sanders & The Artists Suitcase

August 10, 2016

Kent Sanders - author, coach, teacher, blogger, joins me today. Kent shares his own creative journey and about strategies he has discovered which can help artists overcome fear, take action in their creative path, and be more productive in their creative life, which he calls his 'Artists Suitcase'. 

Kent shares honestly and vulnerably about his own creative struggles, and how he overcame them to become a prolific author and blogger who coaches and encourages many other creative people on their own journey. Kent is a great encourager & one of the most humble people I know, with such wisdom on creativity - this is definitely worth a listen.
*****

Find Kent's work online at KentSanders.net.
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Episode 56 | Luke Strickland & Potting Shed Creativity

August 3, 2016

My friend Luke Strickland of 'The Potting Shed Podcast' (& others) joins me today. Luke is a podcaster, creator, blogger and author, and a great guy. Here he shares his creative journey and how it intertwined with his own faith journey. We talk writing, creating, podcasting & vision for our lives, and how this connects with a life of faith.

Luke and I also explore how to find your authentic voice, about recognising your dreams and making them closer to reality, and finding the courage to share your work with the world.
Join us, have a listen and then go check out Luke's awesome new book 'Sight Lines: Clearer Vision, Closer Dreams', which is available to buy on Amazon now!
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Episode 55 | Jim Woods & How To Be Authentic In Our Art

July 26, 2016

My friend Jim Woods, an author, writing coach, and blogger, joins me today. We discuss his own creative journey, and the challenge of leaving a stable job behind to risk it all on a creative career, in his case, as a writer.

Today we talk about how to maintain authenticity in our work, how to keep our artistic integrity and find our true voice as artists. Jim shares about the challenges he's faced maintaining his own integrity whilst making it his living, and great wisdom on how to do creative work and create a life which is truly authentic, and really matters.
Come and join us!
*****
Find more of Jim's work online at jimwoodswrites.com 
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Episode 54 | Christine Sine & The Spiritual Rhythms Of Life

July 19, 2016

Christine Sine of Mustard Seed Associates, blogger, author, missionary & gardener joins me today. Christine shares her fascinating journey which took her from Australia all over the world, led her to found Mustard Seed Associates, a Christian charity, create and grow a blog and co-create several books. You'll also hear about how she discovered a deeper spirituality in the routines of every day living, even in the seemingly small discipline of gardening. 

Christine talks about the liturgical calendar and how we can use it to help us have a healthier rhythm to life, and precisely what the spiritual rhythms of life are, and how we can build our lives around them. Christine also discusses creativity as a spiritual act, touching on what it means to live an authentic, creative spiritual life in tune with Jesus. 

Christine has so much wisdom, experience, insight and enthusiasm, and I know you're really going to be blessed by this conversation. Take a listen! 
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Episode 53 | Alexander Shaia & Our Gospel Journey 3: Luke

July 12, 2016

Today it's the final part of our series with Alexander Shaia on the gospel journey of Quadratos. Today, we examine the book of Luke, and how we mature in service, and take the lessons we've learned, and the good news of the Christ out into the world. 

Alexander & I talk about the background the book of Luke, why and when it was written and what this means for us. We discuss how even in the face of conflict and change, and the difficult realities we face every day, we can through the Gospel journey find hope for ourselves, and for others, and a way to take that hope out into the world.
For more information on the Quadratos journey go to Quadratos.com, and if you have any questions for Alexander, send them to james@jamesprescott.co.uk - we may be having a Q & A episode with Alexander sometime soon!
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Episode 52 | Alexander Shaia & Our Gospel Journey 2: John

July 6, 2016

Alexander Shaia returns in the second of our three part journey through the gospel(s).

Today we focus on John, and how we discover joy, even in the midst of the most terrible suffering, and then enter into a resurrection path into a new tomorrow.

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Episode 51 | Alexander Shaia & Our Gospel Journey 1: Matthew & Mark ,

June 28, 2016

Alexander Shaia returns to James Talks today, for the first of a new series over the next three weeks, walking us through the Gospel Journey of Quadratos in much more depth.

In our previous discussion, in Episode 43, we briefly covered all four stages of our journey of identity through the gospels - or as Alexander prefers, the four stages of the one gospel of Christ. In this series we'll be spending entire episodes on different stages, and exploring the books much more deeply. 

Today we begin with Matthew & Mark - the story of Matthew is about how we face change, about confronting the truth of the change in our lives & culture, and living with that change. There are dramatic changes which come through Jesus, through alientation, through events in history, and Matthew teaches about that

In Mark, we move through change & confront our own sense of isolation, abandonment, how Jesus often felt this way, how this gospel was written to a people often feeling this way, and what this can tell us about those seasons in our own lives. 

Alexander unpacks this all with his relaxed, friendly and insightful way - and will leave you wanting more. 

Listen in, and join us next week for John.

*****
If you want to follow the journey in a lot more detail as you listen, go to Quadratos.com & download Alexander's book heart & mind - and if you want to study this in a group, there's other resources there for you to download. 
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