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The classic book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis finds its power in showing us a simple faith. A plain faith. One that leaves an immense impact without a lot of noise and fanfare. That's one way to describe Nashville singer-songwriter, Andy Gullahorn. Andy's music and life are purposely quiet and understated, but they are no less powerful. He speaks to us as a close friend. One who helps us relax. To laugh. To feel the joy of community and counsel. But he also shows us a way to discover holiness in the most common, everyday things, broadening our view of how to live eternally in the here-and-now. Join us for this first in a series of Unto Life Interviews: an in-depth conversation with Andy Gullahorn on his life, focus, and mission. (Music courtesy of Andy Gullahorn and Coma-Media from Pixabay.)
In this second Unto Life Interview, John speaks with Ukrainian Orthodox priest, Father Anthony Perkins. Father Anthony has led a fascinating life, living as a political scientist, military intelligence specialist, college and seminary professor, and in his most recent years, as an Orthodox priest and pastor. On the other side of the more simple ways we can experience God, Father Anthony dives deep into the waters of theology and mystery. He seeks to recognize eternity within the rituals of worship, through the use of imagination, within social relations and politics, in music, literature, nature, and so on. He says we should join God in his work to restore harmony in a world that is so often discordant and broken. In this interview, you'll learn how to better nurture God's presence and holiness in most every corner of your life. Only by doing so will you ever discover the patterns of perfection that lie just under the surface of the world in which we live. (Music courtesy of Father Archimandrite Sergius and Coma-Media from Pixabay.) To explore Father Anthony's extensive online presence, listen to his podcasts, and watch his YouTube channel, look through the "My Outlets/Content" box on his website, orthoanalytika.org.
In so much of life, we feel adrift. Bounced left and right by the chaos of our world, pummeled by the anxiety of just making it through the day. We need a stable shore, a place of shelter and solace to know we're safe and that there's hope for life beyond the things of earth and frail humanity. The sacred beauty in Fernando Ortega's music gives us this hope. It awakens in us a desire for something more and empowers us to believe we can experience that something in the here-and-now. Join John for his third interview in the Unto Life series—a conversation with Christian singer-songwriter Fernando Ortega about his upbringing amid the high terrain of New Mexico, his approach to quiet and worshipful songwriting, his love for nature and other mediums of art, and his belief that God can use both sacred and secular art to draw us to him, calm our souls, and offer us peace under the shadow of his wings.
Spiritual growth should be the goal of every Christian. As God's children we are, like any child, supposed to grow up into maturity and take hold of this new life that has taken hold of us. But unlike physical change, spiritual growth isn't always that simple. We'll have growth spurts as Christians, but then our change may stop in its tracks or even regress. We want to be mature, but our desires and weaknesses so often get in the way. Few people understand this better than Curt Campbell. As the Program Director of the groundbreaking Nashville Tennessee prison ministry, Men of Valor, Curt has seen both the joys and sorrows involved in pursuing change. His ministry equips the incarcerated and ex-offenders with what they can do to change. But fundamentally, it shows them how to surrender their lives to the God of change--the God who calls us into his family and invites us to grow up in him. Join John for his fourth interview in the Unto Life series—a conversation with Curt Campbell about the God who makes the impossible, possible. The God who works this miracle of transformation on anyone who will give their lives to him.
The word, "temper" can be understood in different ways. Our first thought is usually related to anger, or the effects of anger. But something can also be tempered when it's been made stronger or more stable by things like pressure, heat, or the passage of time. Both understandings are closely linked with the formation of writer, priest, and pastor, Arthur Boers. In John's fifth interview in the Unto Life series—Arthur shares how his life-experience and the influence of God have shaped him into who he is today. In Part One, Arthur shares thoughts from his book, Living Into Focus, on ways he has strengthened his center by focusing on what's most central to life. He says we can find more stability, contentment, and truth by turning away from the virtual and returning to what's real and true. In Part Two (minute 51:30), Arthur explores themes from his newest book, Shattered: A Son Picks Up the Pieces of His Father's Rage. In his earliest years, Arthur was the victim of his father's temper. He interweaves this trauma—along with stories of his Dutch immigrant heritage and faith formation—with the metaphor of glass. The way glass shatters when broken. The way glass—through exposure to pressure, heat, and time—can be formed, or tempered, into something strong and beautiful. And so, while sometimes still brittle along the edges, the center of Arthur's life is well-tempered. Out of the lure of the virtual, he has found contentment. Out of severe family trauma, he has discovered understanding and healing. Arthur's hope is that through his story and wisdom, others might strengthen their center, too.