Hints of Hope Podcast

Hints of Hope Podcast 006: Writing as a Spiritual Practice

In this episode, I explore writing as a spiritual practice. Too many people think writing is only for publishing books, articles, and reserved for an elite group of artists.

I argue, everyone can, and should write. Writing can be essential for untangling emotions, thoughts, and expressing our devotion to God. This episode will examine why anyone can write, how writing can be an important spiritual practice, how writing can serve others, how writing can heal, and much, much, more.

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Hints of Hope Podcast 004: The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, Calling, and True Success

By Angela George at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sharongraphics/ - Image e-mailed from author to uploader, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15088738

In this episode, I discuss the new documentary The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. Shandling was a successful comedian in the 80's and 90's who died suddenly in 2016. He was known for his stand up, The Garry Shandling Show, and Larry Sanders Show.

The film documents the life of Shandling through his diary entries. While Garry would be considered a success to some, he was a tortured soul, never quite finding show business delivering on its promises. I discuss what we can learn from Shandling's up and down life in regards to calling, vocation, success, and true happiness. 

Signs of hope and grace are everywhere, and their opposites. Garry Shandling's life is a reminder of where true happiness is found.

Hints of Hope Podcast 003: Preaching the Gospel to Yourself

If you didn't know, I created a new podcast called Hints of Hope. See a description of the latest show, and listen below. 


Fifteen years ago I learned a spiritual practice which changed my life: preaching the gospel to myself. It was a discovery originating from the pen of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones in his book Spiritual Depression:

“The main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problem of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself, ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been repressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you’. Do you know what I mean? If you do not, you have but little experience.

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why art thou cast down’–what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’–instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: ‘I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God’. -D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures, pp. 20-21; emphasis added.

In the latest episode of Hints of Hope, I talk about implementing this practice into your life. Too many times, we fall victim to the voices in our heads, and not the objective, loving, and sure words of Jesus from the Scriptures. 

Preaching the gospel to ourselves is about telling the lies, to please go away. Preaching to the soul is about finding hope in God, renewing joy in Jesus when we can’t breathe, are overwhelmed with life, and when the soul is downcast, and warring within. 

Check out the episode below:

New Project: Hints of Hope Podcast

About five years ago, I started a podcast with a couple friends. It morphed into two different shows: The Everyday Theology Podcast, and later, The Gospel Marinated Soul Podcast. 

These show(s) were conversations around faith and living as disciples of Jesus in everyday life. We interviewed authors, pastors, Christian influencers, and gave our two cents on a variety of subjects. 

A solid fan base grew over time, and producing the podcast was a blast, to share with two good friends. But because of time restraints and other pressing issues we shut the show down. 

Tears…

What I learned doing the podcast was invaluable. Here are a couple lessons learned:

  1. People like podcasts. They can listen anytime and anyplace. You have access to people 24-7. And they are evergreen.
  2. Podcasts are becoming the new radio. People listen on the way to work, on the train, bus, working out, and mowing the lawn. They have full access to the medium on their terms.
  3. Podcast technology has become easier to navigate. One problem with my first couple attempts at podcasting was time. It took too long to produce a decent show and get it out into the world. 
  4. You need not be a big name. You need something interesting to say and interviewing interesting people helps.
  5. Impact. You can impact the lives of people on a variety of subjects with speaking your ideas into their ears. I love podcasts for the learning, wisdom, and inspiration they offer. 
  6. It's a lot of fun!

There are many other reasons I could add to my love for the podcast medium. But let me keep moving…

So after a couple failed podcasts I wanted to do another one. Not sure the subject, but writing kept coming to the surface. 

December 2016, I launched a writing podcast called: The Prolific Writer.

I’m an indie writer and author who believes in the power of the written word. I wanted to create a show where I would interview the most prolific indie writers on the planet and learn from their experiences. And give hints, tricks, advice, and inspiration of what I had been learning after writing and publishing a dozen books. 

To my surprise, The Prolific Writer took off, and has found a solid audience. I’m spoiled, as I get to interview people around the world, and hear their stories and experiences in writing and publishing. Not a week goes by where I don’t get a “thank you” for the show.

It has been a blast.

But something continued to stir in me, and I’d hoped one day, I could do another podcast around questions and conversations regarding faith, life, art, and culture. 

I have learned so much from two failed podcasts. What it takes to interview guests, how to produce shows with minimal effort, and how to find an audience. 

Well, after marinating on some ideas for a couple years, I’ve launched a new podcast: Hints of Hope.

The Prolific Writer is not going anywhere, but I’ll be adding Hints of Hope to my podcast family. 

What is Hints of Hope? Glad you asked.

HofH is a podcast about conversations and questions related to faith, life, art, and culture. Why these subjects?

First, these are subjects I love to talk about, think about, and read as a pastor, a disciple of Jesus, and human.

Second, as a pastor for over fifteen years, I’m daily engaged with how faith/God intersect with culture, and people, like you and me. 

It's time conversations about faith make a legitimate appearance in the public square. I hope the podcast will serve as a catalyst for developing a more integrated biblical faith that can withstand varying views and sometimes flat out rejection in our society. 

Third, if Jesus is Lord over everything, we must find threads and signs of redemption and grace and hope in art, film, music, pop culture, and society. We’ll find the opposite, too. 

Fourth, in our current political, religious, and social climate… we need hope. As I observe the vitriol on social media, fear, complaint, and guilt-posturing, I hope, see what I did there, to offer conversations and reflection on where I see hope, and how we can have an ultimate hope regardless of current circumstances. 

This does not mean HofH will only discuss “religious” or “Christian” themes. But I hope (there’s that word again) to show how the Christian gospel and the person and work of Jesus is vital and essential for understanding our times and finding hope amid them. And, I hope (okay, I’ll stop), to engage with differing viewpoints in gracious, humble, and winsome ways, when our desires for change are for the same things, maybe done in different ways.

The show will be short episodes, like 30 minutes or less, and maybe 1-2 per week, we’ll see. This project is not because I have nothing going on, I have plenty. But, may it serve, encourage, equip, and build up disciples of Jesus, and any curious listeners. 

If you have questions, ideas, or comments for the show, please hit me up via email (hello@ryanjpelton.com), social media (@ryanjpelton), or leave a comment below. 

The first two episodes are live, so check it out, and tell me what you think?

Episode 1: The One About Hope

Episode 2: The One About The Revenge of Analog