053: Heart Strong – A Conversation with Chuck Bolton (Episode 3 of 3) [podcast]

Start by doing what’s necessary;
then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

-St. Francis of Assisi


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It has been an incredible privilege to invite you into an intimate mentoring encounter with Chuck Bolton in this three-part Become Good Soil series. Among the many treasures in this final conversation, Chuck offered this gold: “I want to be authentic with everyone, transparent with fewer, and intimate even fewer.” Join me as Chuck helps us unpack a Kingdom-centered view of the Twelve Steps recovery process and guides us into deeper possibilities for cultivating healthy and vibrant relationships.

Let’s dive in to the final episode in this series.

For the Kingdom,

Morgan

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052: Heart Strong – A Conversation with Chuck Bolton (Episode 2 of 3) [podcast]

Prison was so holy, because there was such a dependence on God. I had the gift of desperation. I couldn’t fix anything. I couldn’t do it. I had to lean into the Father.

-Chuck Bolton


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One of the lenses I often use when I’m looking to recover the way back to the narrow road is to search for couples who have courageously cultivated friendship in their marriage. I know couples who choose to love and stay together and do hard things together, but I’ve only observed a handful who really have fun together and really laugh together. Chuck and Michelle have a marriage like that. What most stands out about them is their fun, their laughter, and their willingness to do the work to become people who actually enjoy each other.

In part two of our series with Chuck, we go deeper into his time in prison and what it looks like to navigate prison and marriage and love. Let’s dive in together!

For the Kingdom,

Morgan

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051: Heart Strong – A Conversation with Chuck Bolton (Episode One) [podcast]

I’ve spent 15 months in federal prison, but I can say the loneliest, darkest prison I’ve ever been in was my addiction. It was because I was alone and because I was living in secrets.

-Chuck Bolton


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Heart strong and soul safe. That’s what I think of when I think of Chuck Bolton. I had the privilege of sharing over four hours in the studio with this mentor, friend, and hero. He’s been close to hell and back more times than you’d want to count. Our conversation spanned federal prison, private jets, big dollars, big deals, and devastating losses and glorious recovery.

If you want to become the kind of man who, in time, has a wife who can say confidently, “I not only love my husband, but I actually really enjoy him,” spend time considering the wisdom that flows from Chuck’s Kingdom ventures.

Let’s dive into the first in this series.

For the Kingdom,

Morgan

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050: Question Response Volume 1 [podcast]

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The questions came pouring in. From near and far. They have been rich and meaningful. What I thought would be one podcast celebrating the 50th episode of Become Good Soil is sure to turn into an extended volume of conversations over time.

For this first volume and to celebrate you—the tribe of like-hearted around the globe—we are diving into these questions:

  • Taking the lowest seat at the table: When is it time to take a higher seat and assume a role of greater leadership?
  • Initiating daughters: We’ve received treasures on initiating sons. I have daughters and girls in my world. Is it similar? Different?

Join me for this—and more—in the 50th episode.

For the Kingdom,

Morgan

I’d love to keep receiving questions for future volumes in this series. You can submit them HERE.

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049: Parenting and Styles of Relating

“Love and relationship are the bottom line of the Kingdom of God. And they must be ours if we are to establish a Kingdom culture in our homes.”

-Danny Silk,  Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Making a Heart-to-Heart Connection


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It was 21 years ago, but I remember the interaction like it was yesterday.  

I was in the home of a mentor, and he and I were talking in the kitchen while two of his boys played in the adjoining room.

A few minutes into our conversation, a conflict arose between the boys. And in the blink of an eye, as sometimes happens in the glorious fellowship of boys, the older son laid a couple of solid knocks on his younger brother. Immediately, I turned to their dad to see how he was going to respond. And the way he did blew my mind.

Having observed the whole thing out of the corner of his eye, their father caught my eye and signaled a pause in our conversation. Then, he went over to the son who had taken the swings at his younger brother.

Calmly kneeling before him, my friend looked directly in the eyes of his son and slowly said this:

“Son, God has made you strong for a reason. I love your strength. I see your strength. But do you think God made you strong to hurt or to help your brother?”

It was a sacred moment that continues to reverberate with instruction for me decades later.

Instead of only addressing his son’s behavior, my friend dropped below to the level of the heart. He validated his son’s strength and then appealed to his son’s own understanding of his strength, directing him to consider for himself God’s intentions for his strength. Rather than moving against his son and exacerbating the atmosphere of battle, my friend chose to calm himself first, then harness his own adult strength in order to move toward his son in love.

Much was at stake, in the boy’s heart and also in mine.

As we have explored in previous resources, understanding our styles of relating (first given visibility through Karen Horney) has been powerful to help me and many grow in awareness of our own impact as well as curiosity about how to move from reactivity toward integrated responsiveness in my relationships.

And as I engage this work, it is in the realm of parenting that I am feeling both the exposure of where I still operate with dysfunctional styles of relating and also the power of applying the material for truer connection with God, myself, and my children.

I was recently interviewed by Paul Edwards on the topic of the Styles of Relating applied in the realm of parenting. He has graciously made the audio of his podcast available for the Become Good Soil fellowship. I hope you enjoy.

For the Kingdom,

Morgan

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048: Initiating Five Sons with Paul Ryan [podcast]

Though it is rare, there are people who have built a strong inner character, who have achieved a certain depth. In these people, at the end of this struggle, the climb to success has surrendered to the struggle to deepen the soul.
-David Brooks, The Road to Character


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In The Road to Character David Brooks explains the crooked timber tradition, an ancient way of understanding human nature. The crooked timber tradition holds two facets of the human person in stable tension: humans have a genuine capacity for goodness and greatness (the timber); and, there are grains within each of us that are inherently “crooked” and must be addressed. If something beautiful, good, and true is to be constructed from a person’s life, the inner “bentness” must be corrected through an intentional process of pervasive inner transformation. In the mission and message of Become Good Soil, we have come to call this traveling the ancient road.  

Brooks intimately scrutinizes key historical figures whose lives exuded a particularly generative power, illustrating how each of these uniquely transformative men and women consciously devoted themselves to an ongoing process of personal reformation. Through his study,  Brooks distills this universal theme: “You have to give to receive. You have to surrender to something outside of yourself to gain strength within yourself. You have to conquer your desire to get what you crave. Success leads to the greatest failure, which is pride. Failure leads to the greatest success, which is humility and learning. In order to fulfill yourself, you have to forget yourself. In order to find yourself, you have to lose yourself.”

How rare it is to sit with a man who has traveled this crooked timber way, a man who reckons honestly with our God-given capacity to participate with God’s life and offer genuine strength for the sake his Kingdom, and also continually confronts the bent places within. How much rarer it is to lean into a man who has not only been initiated himself, but has also invested much of his strength to initiate five sons over the course of more than two decades. (This video is an example, a glimpse into one of the many initiation stories of Paul’s son Aaron.) Simply put, we are initiated as we initiate others.

Paul Ryan is this kind of man.

As part of the living legend series, I had the privilege to host an initiation conversation with Paul, a Become Good Soil mentor who serves as Director for Ellel Ministries in Australia, and more importantly is husband of Joanne and father to five sons and a radiant daughter.

Join us as we dive deep, excavating another layer of masculine initiation.


Note: In our conversation we reference Healing the Masculine Soul by Gordon Dalbey.

 

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