Season 2: Episode 16 - Philip Yancey Part I, “Amazing Grace”

May 28, 2017

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Philip Yancey is an award winning journalist and best-selling author whose books have sold over 14 million copies around the globe. His work has been lauded by everyone from Billy Graham to U2’s Bono. And no wonder, in light of Yancey’s preoccupation with the universal themes of suffering and grace. A few of his books include What’s So Amazing About Grace, The Jesus I Never Knew, Where Is God When It Hurts, and Disappointment With God.

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Season 2: Episode 15 - Heather King Part II, “A Life Aflame”

May 21, 2017

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Heather King is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, and former commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered (listen to Heather's commentaries here).

Her books include Parched: A Memoir; Redeemed: Stumbling Toward God, Marginal Sanity, and the Peace That Passes All Understanding, and Shirt of Flame: A year with St. Therese of Lisieux.

In part 2 of Michael's conversation with Heather, they discuss Shirt of Flame, including how St. Therese was a saint for our generation precisely because she "was so neurotic", an idea which might inspire hope for those of us wondering if the messiness and dysfunction of our own lives disqualifies us from our own saintly calling.

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Season 2: Episode 13 - Debra Hirsch Part II, “Redeeming Sex”

May 7, 2017

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In Part 2 of my conversation with Deb Hirsch we discuss shame, why it’s so hard to talk about sexuality in the church, and what it means to bring grace into sexual shame.

Deb Hirsch is the author of Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality. As a speaker, church leader, and writer she has led churches in both Australia and Los Angeles and is one of the founders of Forge Mission Training Network. She is the co-author (with Alan Hirsch) of Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship, and her book Redeeming Sex reflects her own journey and attempts to bring new conversations about sexuality into the context of the church. Deb has been involved in social work, community development and as a trained counselor has worked in the field of sexuality for over twenty-five years. She and her husband live in community with others in Los Angeles.

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Season 2: Episode 12 - Debra Hirsch Part I, “Redeeming Sex”

April 30, 2017

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Deb Hirsch is the author of Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations About Sexuality and Spirituality.  As a speaker, church leader, and writer she has led churches in both Australia and Los Angeles and is one of the founders of Forge Mission Training Network. She is the co-author (with Alan Hirsch) of Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship, and her book Redeeming Sex reflects her own journey and attempts to bring new conversations about sexuality into the context of the church. Deb has been involved in social work, community development and as a trained counselor has worked in the field of sexuality for over twenty-five years. She and her husband live in community with others in Los Angeles.

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Season 2: Episode 11 - Chaim Potok Part II, “Giving Shape to Turmoil”

April 23, 2017

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Chaim Potok (1929-2002) was a legendary novelist, rabbi, Judaic scholar, and philosopher. This interview--Part 2 of a two-part interview-- is a dramatization of the written text originally published in The Mars Hill Review.

Special thanks to Rabbi Brian Newman for reading the part of Chaim Potok.

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Season 2: Episode 10 - Chaim Potok Part I, “Giving Shape to Turmoil”

April 16, 2017

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Chaim Potok, who passed away in 2002, was a legendary novelist, rabbi, Judaic scholar, and philosopher. His many books include, The Chosen, My Name Is Asher Lev, and Wanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews. This interview is a dramatization of the written text originally published in The Mars Hill Review. Special thanks to Rabbi Brian Newman for reading the part of Chaim Potok.

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Season 2: Episode 9 - Joy Sawyer Part II, “Poetry and the Soul”

April 9, 2017

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Joy Sawyer is a Denver-based writer and poet. In addition to several nonfiction books, Joy is the author of a poetry collection, Tongues of Men and Angels (White Violet Press, 2016), Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in such diverse publications as Books & Culture, Christianity & Literature, Inklings, Lilliput Review, Mars Hill Review, New York Quarterly, and others.

Since 2009, Joy has taught both poetry and intro to creative writing classes at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, the largest nonprofit literary center in Colorado and the Mountain West. In addition to Lighthouse, she also taught writing & poetry coursework in the masters of liberal studies program at the University of Denver (2003-2013). Joy received her MA from New York University, where she was awarded the Herbert Rubin Award for Outstanding Creative Writing.

Be sure to visit Joy's website at www.joyrouliersawyer.com.

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Season 2: Episode 8 - Joy Sawyer Part I, “Poetry and the Soul”

April 2, 2017

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Joy Sawyer is a Denver-based writer and poet. In addition to several nonfiction books, Joy is the author of a poetry collection, Tongues of Men and Angels (White Violet Press, 2016), Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in such diverse publications as Books & Culture, Christianity & Literature, Inklings, Lilliput Review, Mars Hill Review, New York Quarterly, and others.

Since 2009, Joy has taught both poetry and intro to creative writing classes at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, the largest nonprofit literary center in Colorado and the Mountain West. In addition to Lighthouse, she also taught writing & poetry coursework in the masters of liberal studies program at the University of Denver (2003-2013). Joy received her MA from New York University, where she was awarded the Herbert Rubin Award for Outstanding Creative Writing.

Be sure to visit Joy's website at www.joyrouliersawyer.com.

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Season 2: Episode 7 - David Donaldson Part II, “Awake and Alive at 85”

March 26, 2017

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In this episode Michael continues his conversation with saint and sage Dr. David Donaldson, 85 year old clinical psychologist who continues to practice psychotherapy after more than sixty years.

In this part of the conversation, David shares the wisdom gained from living 8 1/2 decades, specifically—what he has learned about grace, the journey to wholeness, and what he’s thinking about heaven.

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Season 2: Episode 6 - David Donaldson Part I, “Awake and Alive at 85”

March 19, 2017

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In the 19th chapter of the book of Leviticus, God speaks through Moses saying, “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.” Another translation reads, “You shall rise up before the gray-headed and honor them.”

On this episode and the next, Michael will be honoring the “gray-headed” man who has taught him more than ANYONE about the heart of God and the restoration of the soul. Dr. David Donaldson is a clinical psychologist who has practiced psychotherapy for sixty years. At the age of eighty-five he continues to see clients at his practice in Golden, Colorado. Born in 1932 and raised on a farm in Missouri, David went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fuller.

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Season 2: Episode 5 - Steve Siler Part II, “Music for the Soul”

March 12, 2017

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Steve Siler is a prolific song writer; the winner of four GMA Dove Awards and numerous CCM # 1 singles to his credit. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Music for the Soul, a Christian ministry that exists to creatively use the power of songs and stories as a bridge to hope and healing for those facing life’s most difficult issues.

A few of the issues and topics discussed include:

  • The range of topics in the Music for the Soul catalogue including issues such as breast cancer, eating disorders, sexual abuse, abortion, suicide, grief, sexual addiction, and others.
  • How Music for the Soul collaborates and serves individuals and family members, churches and pastors, therapists, Music Therapists, Pastoral Counselors, seminaries, and topically-focused ministry groups and small groups.
  • How Steve got a phone call from his close friend to attend a sex addicts anonymous meeting and ended up writing the Somebody’s Daughter project/DVD (this podcast features a full-length play of the song Somebody’s Daughter).
  • Steve’s book, Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart

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Season 2: Episode 4 - Steve Siler Part I, “Music for the Soul”

March 5, 2017

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Steve Siler is a prolific songwriter who has to his credit 4 GMA Dove Awards and 9# singles. He is the founder and director of Music for the Soul in Nashville, TN, and is the author of Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart

In Part I of our 2-part interview, a few of the vtopics we discuss include:

  • Steve's embarrasment over accepting an assignment to write a song for Chippendales male strip club.
  • He struggles with how much of Christian music addresses issues on the surface of life and how there are too many happy endings.
  • How Music for the Soul speaks to people in life's most difficult circumstances.
  • This episode features the full length song, "Chaos of the Heart", written for those grieving the suicide of a loved one.

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Season 2: Episode 3 - Rob Mathes Part II, “Living and Breathing Music”

February 26, 2017

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Welcome to the Season 2, Episode 3. Today you’ll be listening to Part 2 of a 2 part conversation with composer, arranger, producer, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist, Rob Mathes. Rob is a Grammy-nominated, Tony-nominated artist who won an Emmy award for his musical direction of the Kennedy Center Honors.

In Part 2, a few of the topics Rob and I discuss include:

  • How Rob’s song, “Although It Is the Night” was inspired by St. John of The Cross’s poem “Dark Night of the Soul”
  • Listen to the song of the same name played in its entirety.
  • Why great music mixes the sacred and the profane, “the gears grinding and the heavens singing.”
  • How Rob’s train engineer grandfather—a man of deep faith—influenced his life and faith and became the inspiration behind Rob's magnum opus, “Evening Train.”
  • Understand why Rob feels it’s important to “poke holes” at aspects of Christianity that are seemingly crazy.

Follow these links to watch videos of Rob as musical director for the Kennedy Center Honors:

Led Zeppelin – “Stairway To Heaven”

Aretha Franklin – “You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)”

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Season 2: Episode 2 - Rob Mathes Part I, “Living and Breathing Music”

February 19, 2017

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Rob Mathes is Emmy award-winning, Grammy nominated, Tony nominated music producer, composer, arranger, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and guitarist. The list of names that Rob has worked with is extraordinary--including production and songwriting collaborations with Sting on his last three albums, and serving as musical director on Sting's “The Last Ship: World Tour with the Royal Philharomic". As an arranger Rob has written orchestrations for artists all over the stylistic spectrum—from Jay Z, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Yo Yo Ma, Luciano Pavaorotti, and Panic at the Disco.

In Part One of Michael's interview with Rob, some of the content discussed includes:

  • Why Rob feels closer to God listening to Bach or Mahler than a Sunday morning sermon.
  • How Tony Bennet insisted Rob immediately go out and purchase what he considered to be the greatest record of all time.
  • What it's been like to collaborate with Stevie Wonder, Sting, Yo Yo Ma, and other renowned artists.
  • What lies behind truly great songwriting and musical production.
  • Complete tracks of Rob’s music, including “Christ Came Back and Trashed the Cathedral” and “William the Angel.

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Season 2: Episode 1 - Jill Phillips, “Lead Me Home”

February 12, 2017

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Jill Phillips is a Nashville based singer/songwriter whose guitar based folk-rock sound blends deep and penetrating lyrics with an ever fresh take on the joys and sorrows of life.

Jill’s debut album, self titled “Jill Phillips” was released in 1999 and produced by Grammy-winning songwriter, Wayne Kirkpatrick. Jill currently performs and records as an independent artist who just released her tenth album, “Lead Me Home.”  Visit Jill’s website at www.jillphillips.com.

A few of the topics Jill shares in this interview include:

  • The impetus behind her newest album of hymns and traditional gospel songs.
  • The Cvil Rights history and suffering beneath several of the songs on her album.
  • What it means to live awake and alive and how Jill has been impacted by the practice of spiritual direction.
  • Featuring two songs from Jill’s newest album: "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" & "Keep Your Eyes On the Prize"

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Season 1: BONUS EPISODE - Michael John Cusick, “Less is More”

November 25, 2016

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As we come to the end of our first podcast season, I am so thankful for the opportunity to share the Restoring the Soul podcast with you--our listeners. As a way of saying thank you, I’m sharing this podcast which includes a special Christmas song from my friends Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips. I’m also sharing a message I recently gave at Denver Seminary student chapel called, “Less Is More” about our need to be still and rest in what God has already done in Christ. It’s a very timely for the often hectic holiday season.  

For those of you who may be wondering, Season 2 of Restoring the Soul will premier on February 7th, 2017. You can look forward to more in depth interviews and several fresh voices about how we flourish from the inside out. Until then, many blessings to you through the Christmas season and into 2017. From my family to yours.
 
Michael
 
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Season 1: Episode 21 - Gordon MacDonald Part II, “Our Broken Souls”

November 20, 2016

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Gordon MacDonald served for over forty years as a pastor and was President of World Relief, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and now serves as Chancellor at Denver Seminary. He is an author, speaker, and teacher whose books include Ordering Your Private World, Rebuilding Your Broken World; Renewing your Spiritual Passion, Mid Course Correction, and A Resilient Life, Going Deep, Shoring Up the Foundations of Leadership. He writes regularly for Leadership Journal and also writes a column which appears on the LeadershipJournal.net website.

Gordon and Gail MacDonald have been married 53 years and live in Concord, New Hampshire. Their great satisfaction is in their two married children and five grandchildren. The MacDonalds are also hikers, bikers, kayakers, and voracious readers.

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Season 1: Episode 20 - Gordon MacDonald Part I, “Our Broken Souls”

November 13, 2016

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Gordon MacDonald served for over forty years as a pastor and was President of World Relief, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and now serves as Chancellor at Denver Seminary. He is an author, speaker, and teacher whose books include Ordering Your Private World, Rebuilding Your Broken World; Renewing your Spiritual Passion, Mid Course Correction, and A Resilient Life, Going Deep, Shoring Up the Foundations of Leadership. He writes regularly for Leadership Journal and also writes a column which appears on the LeadershipJournal.net website.

Gordon and Gail MacDonald have been married 53 years and live in Concord, New Hampshire. Their great satisfaction is in their two married children and five grandchildren. The MacDonalds are also hikers, bikers, kayakers, and voracious readers.

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Season 1: Episode 19 - Crystal Renaud Part II, “Dirty Girls Come Clean”

November 6, 2016

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On Episode 19 Michael’s guest is Crystal Renaud, author, speaker, and pioneer in the growing movement to address pornography addiction in women and girls. Crystal is the Founder and Executive Director of Dirty Girls Ministries (DGM) as well as an author, speaker, and professional life coach from the Kansas City area. DGM exists to provide help, hope, and healing to women struggling with pornography and sexual addiction. In her first book, Dirty Girls Come Clean (Moody Publishers), Crystal shares her story of freedom from eight years of pornography use with steps and recovery questions for personal or group study. In her second book, 90 Days to Wholeness, Crystal expounds upon the steps outlined in Dirty Girls Come Clean to help journey women journey through 90 days of daily recovery devotionals. 

Her work has been featured in the New York Times, ABC News, CNN, Christianity Today, 700 Club, and more. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Liberty University and four certifications including Professional Life Coaching from the American Association of Christian Counselors.

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Season 1: Episode 18 - Crystal Renaud Part I, “Dirty Girls Come Clean”

October 30, 2016

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On Episode 18 Michael’s guest is Crystal Renaud, author, speaker, and pioneer in the growing movement to address pornography addiction in women and girls. Crystal is the Founder and Executive Director of Dirty Girls Ministries (DGM) as well as an author, speaker, and professional life coach from the Kansas City area. DGM exists to provide help, hope, and healing to women struggling with pornography and sexual addiction. 

In her first book, Dirty Girls Come Clean (Moody Publishers), Crystal shares her story of freedom from eight years of pornography use with steps and recovery questions for personal or group study. In her second book, 90 Days to Wholeness, Crystal expounds upon the steps outlined in Dirty Girls Come Clean to journey women through 90 days of daily recovery devotionals. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, ABC News, CNN, Christianity Today, 700 Club, and more. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Liberty University and four certifications including Professional Life Coaching from the American Association of Christian Counselors.
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Season 1: Episode 17 - Julianne Cusick, “Devastated But Not Destroyed”

October 23, 2016

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Today’s episode is very special since you’ll be listening to a message from Julianne Cusick, Michael's bride of 25 years. Her talk, “Devastated but not Destroyed” is a message she gave in 2004 where for the very first time she shared her story of heartbreak, hope, and healing from sexual betrayal and sexual addiction that was exposed in 1994. Giving this talk took a tremendous amount of courage and strength, and as you will hear she delivered the message with profound grace and dignity. 

Julianne is a registered psychotherapist and adjunct counselor with Restoring the Soul where her passion is to fight for the hearts of women silenced by shame and fear related to their husband's sexual brokenness. She holds a bachelor's degree from St. Leo University and is currently a candidate for a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. A dynamic and engaging communicator, Julianne speaks to Christian organizations, women’s groups, and retreats, all from the voice and hope of her own story of healing and redemption. Julianne is the mother of two active teenagers and enjoys gardening, the outdoors, and spending time with friends.
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Season 1: Episode 16 - Ian Morgan Cron Part II, “The Road Back to You”

October 9, 2016
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On Episode 16 Michael's guest is Ian Morgan Cron. Ian is a bestselling author, nationally recognized speaker, Enneagram teacher, psychotherapist, Dove Award–winning songwriter, and Episcopal priest. His books include The Road Back To You, the novel Chasing Francis and spiritual memoir Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me. 

In the second part of Michael's discussion, he and Ian talk about the crucial need of self-knowledge, the nature of the true self, the beauty of the Gospel, and the counter intuitive idea that we grow in loving others as we grow in loving ourselves.

 

As you will discover, Ian draws on a wide array of disciplines—from psychology to the arts, Christian spirituality and theology—to help people enter more deeply into conversation with God and the mystery of their own lives. He and his wife, Anne, live in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Season 1: Episode 15 - Ian Morgan Cron Part I, “The Road Back to You”

October 2, 2016

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On Episode 15 Michael's guest is Ian Morgan Cron. Ian is a bestselling author, nationally recognized speaker, Enneagram teacher, psychotherapist, Dove Award–winning songwriter, and Episcopal priest. His books include The Road Back To You, the novel Chasing Francis and spiritual memoir Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me. As you will discover, Ian draws on a wide array of disciplines—from psychology to the arts, Christian spirituality and theology—to help people enter more deeply into conversation with God and the mystery of their own lives. He and his wife, Anne, live in Nashville, Tennessee.
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