Become Good Soil

Become Good Soil
By Morgan Snyder
About this podcast
Latest episodes
Nov. 15, 2017
The whole point is presence, the with-God life. That’s the real substance of our relationship with God. –Dallas Willard, 1935-2013 Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download Amidst the clamor of contemporary life, there is the narrow path of slowing down and setting our souls before the insight of the elders. We can take heart: there are wise ones who have gone before us, men and women who have recovered the lost treasure of the Gospel and can effectively communicate it. Wise ones who now make known to us the path of Life. Join me in this deep and rich interview with Dallas Willard and Michael Cusick and spend some time in the company of true elders. Michael is an ally of our Ransomed Heart team. As both president of Restoring the Soul and lead counselor of a team of like-hearted warriors, he is devoted to the restoration of the hearts of men. You can find out much more about Restoring the Soul and the retreats, intensive counseling opportunities, and marriage ministry they offer at RestoringTheSoul.com. Here is just a sample of the realities Dallas and Michael touch on in this conversation: How do God and His Kingdom usually work? What is God’s preference in the “how” of uniting heaven and earth in the kingdom of God? Rather than focusing on the ways God can work, what if we focused our energy on participating in the ways God prefers to manifest His kingdom on the earth? Pascal said “all the troubles of the world come from the fact that people cannot go into a room, sit down, and be quiet.” Why is stillness important, and how can we participate in the art of sitting down and being quiet? Solitude is a radical discipline that breaks the hold the world’s system has over us. Solitude suspends the activities that pull at us, distract us, and energize our unaware-of-God identities and habits. Dallas  and Michael explore how solitude is a reliable activity—within our power to do—that enables us to experience the with-God life through interactive knowing and being known. Wholeness is the functioning of all aspects of the self in harmonious union. It’s what enables a person to be truly good, doing good under God. If you’re interested in deeper restoration, I encourage you to connect with Michael Cusick and his team at Restoring the Soul. Strength and Honor, Morgan
Sept. 26, 2017
The important achievement of Apollo was demonstrating that humanity is not forever chained to this planet, and our visions go rather further than that and our opportunities are unlimited. – Neil Armstrong, NASA astronaut Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download Brad Beck has spent a lifetime offering strength in a myriad of roles in countless missions. As a flight surgeon in a supersonic jet for NASA, a crew member in international theater performance with YWAM, a physician in private practice, a coach of high school football, and a co-leader of men’s missions with Ransomed Heart around the globe, Brad has left his fingerprints on the lives of many and much. Yet none of these powerful roles inspire the breadth of redemptive pause as his role of Dad and his path of loving his family, particularly loving a special needs child through her short years in this world and gently and lovingly into the next. Join me in a podcast that will surely lead us back to the Narrow Road. Recently we featured Brad and his wife, Lisa, in a beautiful short film that echoes the story of hope infused in John’s most recent book, All Things New. As a complement to this interview, I strongly encourage you to check out the film as well as All Things New.
July 21, 2017
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. –John Muir Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download Piecing together a string of single-track trails that meander through a dry, rocky, cactus-strewn landscape, it’s possible to make a 48-mile continuous trek across Zion National Park. For most people, this trek would be one of the epic adventures of their lives; if you’re Dave Eitemiller, you count it as a solid training workout for yet another 100-mile adventure race. Nearing the sixth decade of his life with a frontiersman’s heart akin to the likes of Lewis and Clark, Dave is partnering with God in the corners of the globe to father leaders in the Kingdom. With experiences spanning corporate executive roles in Shanghai to adventures with fly rod and skis in the backcountry of the West, Dave’s the kind of man with whom it’s good to share a campfire. I had the privilege of hosting a conversation with him prior to his recent venture into the wild of Zion National Park. Join us as we savor a conversation sure to beckon each of us forward along the frontier of the masculine journey in unique and collective ways. To connect with fathers in the Kingdom, consider applying for a future Become Good Soil Intensive. And for all of us, let this podcast be a reminder of this Kingdom reality: We are each invited to become what we did not have.  
June 16, 2017
“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.” –Victor Hugo, Les Misérables Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download Kelly and Phil are getting a divorce. The email from a mutual friend sharing the news hit me like a punch in the stomach. Brandon and his dad are in deep contention. It’s the kind of painful, two-sided misunderstanding that could finally sever the strained relationship. Tragic stories of ruptured relationships continue to stream into my world, and I’m sure into yours as well. My heart never builds resiliency. Rather, it seems to break even more with every fresh story. But increasing ever more are the stories of restoration. Resolution. Resolve. And many, through the miracle of validation—a practice of coming to the center of the soul of another—through which God’s life seems to flood in like morning sun. This practice of seeking experiential heart knowledge of another for her or his own sake is perhaps one of the most courageous and loving acts a spouse, a friend, a sibling, or a parent can ever take. I will go as far as to say that the breakthroughs in our marriage over the past 16 years have often been directly proportional to the process that has begun with my capacity to come to the center of the present reality of my wife’s soul. And to offer her the same access to mine in crazy, risky love. In Renovation of the Heart, Dallas suggests, The hidden dimension of each human life is not visible to others, nor is it fully graspable even by ourselves. We usually know very little about what moves in our own soul, the deepest level of our life, or what is driving it. Our ‘within’ is astonishingly complex and subtle. And within this complex, hidden dimension is the power and possibility of love. The practice of coming to the center of another involves putting aside—for a time—my own pain, my need, my presumption, and my agenda in order to know and enter into the experience of the hidden dimension of another for his or her own sake. It is a participation in the Life of Christ, who does unendingly what we intend to do for a moment: enter into the internal experience of another. That is the space of transformation. Join Cherie and me as we head back into deep waters. Let’s become the kind of people—the kind of marriages—where we can cause the world to believe, as Paul says, though much is not as it should be, the Kingdom of God is growing. The Message bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, in us and through us. (Phil. 2:15, Col. 1:5-8) This is the fourth of a marriage podcast series. If you haven’t heard the first three, I’d encourage you to start at the beginning.
April 17, 2017
Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download The offer is Life. Yet that abundant life is often found in the least likely of places. What is the most effective path toward the much looked-for restoration in the heart of your spouse? Join Cherie and me in this second half of a conversation in which we reflect on the particular elements of Reality as Jesus reveals what can bring more life to our marriages than we ever thought possible. Jesus, we choose to pause. Jesus, we open the gate of our soul and trust that You are reliable and fully capable of providing a way where there is no way. In this episode we offer some reflection questions for deep consideration. Take the time to stay with God in those questions until you are led into the more He is making available. With deep anticipation, Cherie and Morgan Note: If you haven’t listened to the first portion of this conversation on The Plank and the Speck, you’ll want to start here first.
April 4, 2017
Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download Jesus and His words… are essentially subversive of the established arrangements and ways of thinking. That is clear from the way they first entered the world, their initial effects, and how they are preserved in the New Testament writings and live on in people. He himself described his words as “spirit and life” (John 6:63). They invade our “real” world with a reality even more real than it is. Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy Where are Jesus and His words subverting your established arrangements and ways of thinking? How are His words and way invading your “real” world with a reality more real than it is? A mentor encouraged Cherie and me to immerse ourselves in the four Gospels, taking our places as Jesus’ apprentices, attentive to what He said and taught. We are discovering much treasure, including Jesus’ teaching on what is wonderfully Well in the Reality of the Trinity; and we are discovering much challenge, including sobering insight into what is still unwell within and between us, where is it not “on earth as it is in Heaven.” Yet even in the revelation of what is unwell, Jesus’ words insist on the Good News that the Kingdom is open to us right here and now, even in these places. Particularly, Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7 on “the plank and the speck” has revealed something unwell in our marriage and illuminated a way back into the joyous Kingdom-Among-Us. Join Cherie and me in this second episode of conversations reflecting on the particular elements of Reality as Jesus reveals that are becoming the new and reliable foundation for the house of our marriage. Jesus, we give You permission to subvert us. Open our eyes, subversive Christ.
March 22, 2017
  If we are relational to our core, fashioned in the image of the One who is Three, then it is in dynamic relationship that we participate in the unending Life of God. And among human relationships, there is none more brimming with the loving potential to both expose our “not yet” and to beckon us forward than marriage.   In The Mystery of Marriage, Mike Mason writes, The book of Proverbs as a whole takes a view of marriage that remains proverbial to this day: there is nothing in the world worse than a bad marriage, and at the same time, nothing better than a good one. Man, if we haven’t tasted that truth, for better and for worse. As we reflect on our marriage and on the stories others have shared with us, we hear Love’s offer that pain need not be the final word. Rather, we are finding that the pain in our marriage is becoming a spiritual trailhead of sorts, inaugurating a journey to increasing expanses of goodness and life. “You are a rare couple. You are choosing not to just phone in some prescription and call it good enough.”   These were the words that marriage counselor spoke into the lives of good friends of ours last week. When my buddy shared them with me yesterday, they became a mirror, causing me to inquire in my own soul—could the same words be spoken of my marriage? I was reminded of how much easier it is—at least in the short term—to settle, find some medication for the pain we experience in our marriage, and simply call it good enough. It is far riskier to let the pain be a teacher, guiding us to risk both the belief and the action toward choosing the more. Our friends’ choice for more surfaces a question: Am I willing to forsake the shallow waters of good enough and set out into deeper waters where it is all frontier? Seventeen years ago, having very little acquaintance with what it really meant, Cherie and I included the following poem by Sir Frances Drake on the final page of our wedding program.   Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, 
 when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, 
 when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore. 
 Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; 
 when having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity; 
and when in our efforts to build a new earth, 
 we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim. 
 Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas, 
where storms will show your mastery, 
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. 
We ask you to push back the horizon of our hopes, 
and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love. This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ.  Now, with a bit more experience, more pockets of pain, and yet a growing vision of the Goodness of Trinitarian Reality, we take hold of these words afresh, drawn forward by the promise that we do not go alone. There is one who offers His kind, competent—though unnerving—leadership if we are willing to follow. Our need is great: there is much that is hindering love. We are in need of deeper submersion into the Life of the Trinity; we are in need of the continual exposure of our imposing blind spots; we are in need of deliverance from our vast entanglements with the narrow self-life and all the harm it brings to us and to our marriage. Yet our hope is greater still: we want it all, the full portion of what is available between a man and a woman in marriage. We want to uncover and experience all the treasure hidden in this mysterious union as two become one: all of the transformation, joy, co-creativity, ecstasy, play, intimacy, shared mission, and unending giving and receiving of love, honor, cherishing, and delight that is available. In the spirit of a shared expedition, with joy and a healthy dose of trepidation, Cherie and I offer this series of Become Good Soil podcasts as we venture out toward the more in our marriage. Together may we seek, ask, and knock unceasingly in order that as it is in the Trinity who is Love, it might be in us and between us and through us.    God, you have our yes. And, friends, we invite you to set sail into deeper waters with us as we all risk believing there is more. With all our hearts and hope, Morgan and Cherie Looking to go deeper into the mystery and possibility of the full portion in marriage? Consider these onramps to the Narrow Road. Intimate Allies by Dan Allender Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge Love and War Video Series Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason  
Jan. 13, 2017
Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download By day and by decade. These words have become a mantra for my masculine soul. A sort of North Star as I attempt to orient and re-align my life with the Reality of God and His Kingdom. Allen Arnold and I had an opportunity to share some dialogue and prayer regarding how we’re choosing to orient our souls at the beginning of this new year. In the podcast, we reference A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God, which I’d recommend strongly as a read to launch this next year. I also reference Gerald May’s Addiction and Grace.Also, as part of the podcast I reference a blog from a January past titled I Love Beer More Than Jesus. In The Pursuit of God, Tozer offers these words: In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of [God’s people] there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct ‘interpretations’ of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water. Friends, be encouraged. You are woven into a redemptive community. A fellowship that spans the globe of like-hearted men who will not be satisfied with less than the full portion of what is available under Heaven. As you set your face like a flint toward another year of choosing to become good soil, know you are not alone. Nothing is wasted. Let’s keep going.
Dec. 3, 2016
Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download   This most recent episode was a treasure to record, featuring Esther Sparks, a Scottish poet and musician whose music has been uniquely sustaining to Cherie and me throughout this decade of excavation and becoming. Offering transparently from her own story, Esther’s music speaks to central themes of the human experience: love and loss; betrayal and forgiveness; abandonment and embrace; birth, death, and resurrection. Luminous in her insights and raw in her offering, Esther draws us deeper into our own stories and the Kingdom-among-us that connects all therein. Her songs have become dear companions for the narrow road, songs that say, “Yep. Me too. You are not alone. Don’t give up. We can find our way together.” Join me as Esther shares the stories behind some of our favorite songs. Her music is substantive food and drink for hearts that beat to become good soil and have been broken along the way. You can find more on Esther Sparks here. Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download You’re invited to join us for the Sons of Thunder Brewing Christmas Party and you can hear Esther Live. And as a gift from her heart to yours, Esther is making available the following tracks to the Become Good Soil listeners for your continued nourishment: Cry All Over You http://www.becomegoodsoil.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/04-Cry-All-Over-You.mp3 Back To Life http://www.becomegoodsoil.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Back-to-Life.mp3
Nov. 1, 2016
Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Play in new window | Download   It has been said, “The lives of many rest in the courage of a few.” How are you becoming the kind of person to whom God can entrust the lives of others? How are you becoming the kind of person to whom God can entrust His Kingdom? In this third episode of a three-part series, I take us deeper into a Become Good Soil Intensive, where we are invited to participate in portions of a guided session inviting more of us to belong to more of God. We are now accepting applications for the upcoming Become Good Soil Intensives in Colorado and Australia in May of 2017.   Deadline for complete applications is November 15, 2016.   To learn if you qualify to apply and to find out more about the message of Become Good Soil, go to www.RansomedHeart.com/BecomeGoodSoil.
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