040: Intensive Series (Episode 1 of 8) [podcast]

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Many are saying that in the automobile industry, there has not been a revolution of this magnitude since Henry Ford inaugurated the assembly line for the Model T Ford on December 1, 1913. Yet as with every revolution and in every growing kingdom, there are hidden costs. Even in an endeavor as brilliant and groundbreaking as the Tesla Corporation.

‘This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career. It was excruciating.” These candid words belong to Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla. (1)

There are hidden costs in every kingdom. With vulnerable emotion, Musk describes 120-hour work weeks at the hefty expense of time with his kids and his friends. As an example, Musk confesses racing to his brother’s wedding (he was the best man) by private jet, arriving a mere two hours before the wedding, only to fly out immediately afterward in order to be back at his desk—the same desk where he spent his birthday entirely alone, minus friends or family or even a step outside the building.

The names change, but the storyline is ever present: dramatic success often has its own hidden and painful costs. “There is nothing new under the sun,” as the author of Ecclesiastes put it almost 3,000 years ago. (2)

Falling men and falling kingdoms.  

Good and beautiful and heroic desires are embedded in the center of the masculine soul. Yet there is also something corrosive at work. Some drive to answer a searing question for which we have no words. Some compulsive need to push and strive that lures us so often to prioritize the things that matter less over the things that matter (or are supposed to matter) most to us.

What are we to make of this dilemma?

If we venture below the surface, into the sacred inner geography of the soul of a man, what treasures would we find? What type of rescue mission might we initiate to help recover the life for which we are made? And what path of wholehearted restoration might we find that could put us on a trajectory so that, a decade from now, these words might be true?

Life is different now in tangible and meaningful ways. Circumstances are no less difficult, yet my soul is thriving. My relationships are strong. A courage-filled and cultivated “yes” is at work in my soul. My kingdom and those under my care are doing increasingly better. My heart is more whole; not only my strength but also my smile has been restored. No doubt, I am still under renovation. Yet I have come to an experiential knowing of the promise of the One to whom I am apprenticed, and my experience is this:

I was tired and worn out…burned by people and things and myself most of all. Yet I drew nearer to my Guide. I risked consenting to a process. I began asking the hard questions. I began risking love: love for my own soul, love for those around me, love for the One who sets all good things in motion. I drew away and slowly and assuredly began to recover my life. I watched my Master as he modeled how to take a real rest. I walked with him and worked with him. I watched with a fresh and steadfast curiosity how he navigated precarious terrain and engaged in it without being ruled by it. I learned what I can only name as unforced rhythms of receiving God acting in my life to accomplish a goodness far beyond my ability to create on my own. I gave up what was heavy and ill-fitting. I kept more and more company with my Master; and in time, I am learning to live freely and lightly. My masculine soul is being restored, and everyone in my world is better for it. (3)

Welcome, friends, to this first of an extended podcast series in which we’ll step behind the scenes into never-before-released teaching from the 2017 Become Good Soil Intensive.

You are the core fellowship of the message of Become Good Soil, and I am so excited to bring this podcast to you first. It is my prayer that through this series, God would deepen your hope, resolve, and capacity to recover the ancient path and become the man God meant when he meant you.

Through October 12, we are accepting applications for the next Become Good Soil Intensive. Find out more here.

For the Kingdom,

Morgan


  1. New York Times Article, August 16, 2018
  2. Ecclesiastes 1:9
  3. Matthew 11:28-30

 

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039: Contemplative Prayer – Episode 3 of 3 [podcast]

In time it sometimes comes to pass that familiarity can give way to presumed familiarity. That presumed familiarity can then give way to unfamiliarity. And unfamiliarity can give way to boredom, obscurity, or even contempt.
– Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy


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There’s nothing like the practical.  

In this third and final episode of an Inquiry into Contemplative Prayer, we explore the pragmatism of integrating this practice into our daily lives, concluding with a third opportunity to practice together this accessible and time-tested means of experiencing the Kingdom Among Us.

If you haven’t experienced the first two episodes of this series, you’ll want to start with episode one.

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038: Contemplative Prayer – Episode 2 of 3 [podcast]

Meditation and contemplative prayer is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in him whom we have found, who loves us, who is near to us, who comes to us to draw us to himself.
― Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer


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What is it like to really know God? Not just know about God but to know him, thoroughly and comprehensively in the most essential places of our souls?

What if there were a way to practice experiential knowledge of God? What if we could regularly encounter God on a level far deeper than creedal statements through a vibrant knowing of a faithful God, even when we are lacking confidence in his reliability? How do we find a way to regularly access the life of God even deeper than our cognitive representations of things and in a manner which has the power to change our actual experience of our everyday life?

Friends, Cherie and I are excited to welcome you into part two of a three-part Become Good Soil podcast series intended to be an onramp to the spiritual practice of centering prayer.

For the Kingdom,

Morgan and Cherie

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037: Contemplative Prayer – Episode 1 of 3 [podcast]

All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.
–Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ


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I find it fascinating that when Jesus speaks of eternal life, it’s less often about a specific time or place where we transition into some other state of being and more often about a quality of life—robust, deep vitality—that is being made available to us, right here and right now. He offers this invitation to a rich young man who has found his trust in things of this world. (1) He regularly teaches the thirsty that the Kingdom of God is at hand. (2) He leans into this idea on the night of his betrayal and abandonment by the men closest to him.

In intercession for these same friends and for us, he cries out to his Father, “The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you.” (3)

If deep, whole-person union with God is the invitation and inheritance of Christianity, what are the means by which we respond to this invitation? How exactly do we go about entering into this union?

Join my wife, Cherie, and me as we explore some deep waters in part one of a three-part podcast series on the practice of contemplative prayer. Our hope is that together we can recover one of the greatest means of deeper union—and through it, deeper life—embedded in the rich history of God’s people through the ages.

 


(1) Matt. 19:16-30
(2) Matt. 3:2
(3) John 17:21 MSG

If you’d like to go deeper, here’s one resource that helped launch our journey into centering prayer: Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating.

 

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036: Jonathan David Helser – Episode 3 of 3 [podcast]

Spontaneity is the fruit of preparation.

-Jonathan David Helser


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“Did you bring me out here in the storm to kill me?”

This pained and brutally honest prayer poured from Jonathan David Helser’s heart in the midst of a moment of exposure and hand-to-hand battle with the living God.

Jonathan explains,

Over the years, the Father has engineered circumstances to expose some of the core beliefs and lies that have tried to silence my heart. He has led me on a journey of initiation to excavate and transform these deep-seated beliefs in order that I might come into the fullness of life as it was meant to be.

Praying my most honest prayer gets me to my core beliefs.

And in response to “Did you bring me out here in the storm to kill me?” the Father spoke back this truth:

“I did not bring the disciples into the storm to kill them.

I brought them into the storm to kill their fear.

Son, I have brought you into the storm to kill the fear that lives in you.”

Join me in this final installment of a three-part journey of receiving more of the wild love of our Father alongside songwriter, musician, father, husband, and son, Jonathan David Helser.  

If you haven’t listened to part one or part two, you’ll want to start there.

Explore more of the treasures in this three-part series here:

JonathanHelser.com

18InchJourney.com

 

For the Kingdom,

Morgan

 

 

 

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035: Jonathan David Helser – Episode 2 of 3 [podcast]

If we have a crisis in this country, it’s more than a fatherless crisis, though. It’s a crisis of manhood, of masculinity. It’s affecting our families, our schools, it’s filling our prisons, and it’s killing the hearts of our women.

Donald Miller


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Check out the news on any given day and you’ll find stories that illuminate a crisis of masculinity. It’s a crisis rooted in the loss of effective masculine initiation, for a boy does not become a good man on his own, but by the soul-food of loving mothers and the soul-forging of loving fathers.

Yet we are not without hope. God is ever faithful to supply provision for every problem. In pockets of redemptive communities around the world, God continues to turn the hearts of Kingdom-oriented fathers and mothers back toward those under their care and influence.

Jonathan and Melissa Helser are part of God’s provision to manifest the love of God on earth as it is in the Kingdom. Together, they offer servant leadership for a redemptive community in North Carolina and kingly care for an apprenticeship school for the next generation of Kingdom leaders, songwriters, and musicians.

Join me for part two of a three-part conversation with my friend and hero Jonathan David Helser.

If you haven’t listened to part one, you’ll want to start there.

Here are two options for digging deeper:

JonathanHelser.com

18InchJourney.com

For the Kingdom,
Morgan

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