The Habit

By The Rabbit Room Podcast Network

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Description

Conversations with writers about writing, hosted by Jonathan Rogers.

Episode Date
Ron Block Abides
2737

Ron Block is the banjo player for Alison Krauss & Union Station and the author of Abiding Dependence: Moment by Moment in the Love of God. In this episode, Ron and Jonathan Rogers discuss finding one's true identity, repentance without negative self-talk, and getting free of the anxiety and fear that eat up processing power for a writer or artist.

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Oct 02, 2022
Katelyn Beaty Doesn't Want to Be a Celebrity
2840

Katelyn Beaty is the author of Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits are Hurting the Church. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called the book "a must-read for anyone invested in the fate of evangelicalism." In this episode, Katelyn and Jonathan Rogers talk about the difference between fame and celebrity, the need to challenge (and not mimic) celebrity culture, and the importance of embodied community in an ever more digitized world. 

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Sep 26, 2022
David Zahl Doesn't Think Too Highly of Himself (or You)
2824

David Zahl is the founder and director of Mockingbird Ministries, editor-in-chief of the Mockingbird website, and co-host of The Mockingcast. His new book is Low Anthropology: The Unlikely Key to a Gracious View of Others (and Yourself). He writes, "Low anthropology keeps the avenues of communication open. It provides a bulwark against burnout. It has led to a kinder view of myself and a fount of curiosity, courtesy, honesty, humor, compassion, connection, and love." 

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Sep 19, 2022
Melanie Penn Feels More Alive
2760

Melanie Penn is a singer-songwriter with a background in musical theater. Through the pandemic, she produced and released twenty pop singles. Those singles have been bundled into two albums: More Alive, Volumes 1 and 2.

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Sep 12, 2022
Joshua Stamper on Dissonance and Discord
2775

Joshua Stamper is a composer and collaborator on projects that cross genres and disciplines, from jazz, classical, and avant-garde music to film, dance, visual art, and poetry. In this episode, Joshua Stamper and Jonathan Rogers discuss discord and dissonance, complexity and contingency, and paying attention to the music that is all around us.

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Sep 05, 2022
Doug Powell Has Done a Lot
2540

Doug Powell is a musician, songwriter, designer, coder, Christian apologist, amateur magician, and now a fiction writer. He recently published Among the Ashes, the second in his Graham Eliot series of biblical archeological thrillers.

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Aug 29, 2022
Sarah Mackenzie Makes Things A Little More Beautiful
2679

Sarah Mackenzie is the host of Read-Aloud Revival, a podcast, website, and membership that helps parents nurture warm family relationships and book-loving children through reading aloud. Her new book, is itself intended to be read aloud. Sarah recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for her picture book A Little More Beautiful, which was illustrated by Breezy Brookshire.

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Aug 22, 2022
Lore Ferguson Wilbert Is Curious
2783

Over the last few years, Lore Ferguson Wilbert has been moving toward a more contemplative and expansive faith. She has learned to be more curious, living into questions as a way of being present with God, rather than seizing too quickly on answers that may not be as helpful–or true–as they first appear. That trajectory gives shape to her new book, A Curious Faith.

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Aug 15, 2022
Julian R. Vaca on The Memory Index
2824

Julian R. Vaca is the author of The Memory Index, a novel set in a world where a disease has ravaged human memories, and people depend on artificial recall.

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Aug 08, 2022
Richard Gibson and Jim Beitler Write Charitably
3046

Richard Gibson and Jim Beitler are English professors at Wheaton College. In 2020 they published a book together called Charitable Writing: Cultivating Virtue through Words, in which they explore the ways that writing can be a spiritual discipline and a means of loving God and loving our neighbors. 

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Aug 01, 2022
Glen Scrivener on the Origins of Contemporary Values
2164

Glen Scrivener is the Director of Speak Life, a UK-based organization that shares the love of Jesus through creative communication. He is a speaker, a producer of online content, and the author of several books. His latest book is The Air We Breathe: How We All Came to Believe in Freedom, Kindness, Progress, and Equality. In it, Glen makes the case that Western culture isn't as post-Christian as we may have thought.

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Jul 25, 2022
Dave Connis on Kids, Creativity, and the Image of God
2236

Dave Connis has written young adult novels in the past—Suggested Reading and The Temptation of Adam. But his most recent books are icture books that explore the connections between human creativity and the creativity of the God in whose image we are made. The Inventions of God (and Eva) came out in 2021. The Stories of God (and Kiki) came out earlier this year.

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Jul 18, 2022
Mary McCampbell on Art and Empathy
2900

Mary McCampbell is Associate Professor of Humanities at Lee University in Tennessee. She is also the author of Imagining our Neighbors as Ourselves: How Art Shapes Empathy. In order to truly love and welcome others, she argues, we need to exercise our imaginations, to see our neighbors more as God sees them than as confined by our own inadequate and ungracious labels. 

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Jul 11, 2022
Nancy Guthrie is a Sub-Apocalypter
2325

Nancy Guthrie is a Bible teacher and speaker and the author of twenty-something books. Her most recent book is Blessed: Experiencing the Promises of the Book of Relevation.

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Jul 04, 2022
Allen Levi Bears Witness to a Good Life
2971

Singer-songwriter Allen Levi lost his brother and best friend Gary ten years ago this summer. He memorializes his brother's life—and especially the year he was his brother's full-time caretaker—in The Last Sweet Mile, recently re-released by Rabbit Room Press. In this episode, Allen and Jonathan Rogers discuss the impossible challenge of putting words to the things that matter most, and the reasons for trying anyway.

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Jun 27, 2022
Helena Sorensen has something to say to women (and those who love them)
2679

Helena Sorensen is an author, speaker, and writing coach. This episode was recorded live at the first Habit Writers' Retreat at Nashville's North Wind Manor. She speaks with Jonathan Rogers about the particular challenges faced by women (especially mothers) who are struggling to find the permission they need to write.

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Jun 20, 2022
Scott Sauls Wants You To Be Beautiful
2864

Pastor Scott Sauls is the author of six books, most recently Beautiful People Don't Just Happen: How God Redeems Regret, Hurt, and Fear in the Making of Better People. In this episode, Scott speaks with his old friend Jonathan Rogers about the beauty that can grow out of past hurts.

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Jun 13, 2022
Jeremy Begbie on The Art of New Creation
2846

Jeremy Begbie is the Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Research Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School. He teaches systematic theology and specializes in the interface between theology and the arts. He is a senior member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an affiliated lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge.

Along with David O. Taylor and Daniel Train, Professor Begbie co-edited the recently-released collection of essays, The Art of New Creation, in which artists, theologians, and scholars explore the ways in which the biblical promise of new creation informs the work of artists of all kinds.

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Jun 06, 2022
Robyn Wall, Recovering Perfectionist
2032

Robyn Wall is the author of the picture books My First Book of Beards and My First Book of Tattoos (Random House Kids), as well as a story in The Lost Tales of Sir GalahadIn this episode, she speaks with Jonathan Rogers about perfectionism, baby steps, and watercolor lessons.

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May 30, 2022
Katy Bowser Hutson & Flo Paris Oakes
2667

Flo Paris Oakes and Katy Bowser Hutson have been longtime songwriting collaborators through the Rain for Roots collective, which makes singable scripture songs for kids and grownups alike. Both children’s ministry directors, they think a lot and very deeply about the spiritual formation of children. In this episode, Flo and Katy discuss their most recent project, Little Prayers for Ordinary Days, a book of prayers for children that they wrote  with Tish Harrison Warren.

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May 23, 2022
Matthew Clark on Only The Lover Sings
2869

Matthew Clark is a singer-songwriter, podcaster, and essayist. He’s exceedingly thoughtful and well-read, and all that thinking and well-reading makes its way into everything he makes–and every conversation. His most recent project is an album called Only the Lover Sings, and a companion book of the same title–a compilation of essays by various writers inspired by the songs on the album.

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May 16, 2022
Esau McCaulley Feels Defiant Joy
2504

Esau McCaulley is a Bible scholar and Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. He’s a contributing writer at Christianity Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. His book Reading While Black won the 2021 Christianity Today Book Award for the category “Beautiful Orthodoxy.” His most recent book is a picture book called Josey Johnson’s Hair and the Holy Spirit.

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May 09, 2022
Sandra McCracken Sends Out Light
2315

Singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken released her first book in 2021. Send Out Your Light: The Illuminating Power of Scripture and Song is a memoir of a creative life and a meditation on the creative process.

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May 02, 2022
Galahad Lives! Editors Pete Peterson and Jennifer Trafton
2636

The Lost Tales of Sir Galahad is a collection of "newly discovered" tales of the Arthurian knight's adventures in the Wild Forest. In this episode of The Habit Podcast, husband-and-wife editorial dream team Pete Peterson and Jennifer Trafton discuss their work in bringing this work to life.

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Apr 25, 2022
Leslie Bustard Loves Children's Books
2872

Leslie Bustard is a writer, a teacher, a conference organizer, a publisher, and a museum-goer, among other things. She recruited forty writers to contribute essays to Wild Things and Castles in the Sky: A Guide to Choosing the Best Books for your Childrena book she curated and edited with her daughter Carey Bustard and editor Thea Rosenburg.

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Apr 18, 2022
Mitali Perkins Speaks for Outsiders
2627

Mitali Perkins has been a nominee for the National Book Award. She was born in India, but has lived all over the world. So it comes as no surprise that her books for young readers all explore the crossing of borders of one kind or another. Her newest book, Bare Tree and Little Wind, is a picture book that tells the story of Holy Week. In 2021, she published her first nonfiction book for adults, Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children’s Novels to Refresh our Tired Souls.

In this episode, Mitali and Jonathan Rogers discuss the benefits of being an outsider, the transmission of morality and hope, and literary "aunties and uncles."

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Apr 11, 2022
Tom Douglas Harnesses Hurt
2682

Tom Douglas is a country songwriting legend and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He recently released a movie—a one-man show called Love, Tom: A Letter of Hope to a Desperate World, streaming on Paramount Plus. It's a beautiful, wise, and honest meditation on the creative process. In this episode, Tom Douglas and Jonathan Rogers talk about harnessing hurt and rejecting idolatry in the creative process, and steering a middle course between apathy and anxiety.

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Apr 04, 2022
Jessica Hooten Wilson wants you to be a saint
2220

Jessica Hooten Wilson is the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas. She has written books about Flannery O’Connor, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Walker Percy, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Her most recent book is The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints. In this episode, Dr. Wilson and Jonathan Rogers talk about the ways that reading great works of literature cultivates an imagination that moves us toward holiness.

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Mar 28, 2022
Russ Ramsey Wants You to Love Art
2665

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with author and pastor Russ Ramsey.

Russ is a pastor in the Nashville area, a masterful storyteller, and Jonathan’s go-to resource for all art-related questions. His love of art and story come together in his new book, Rembrandt Is In the Wind: Learning to Love Art Through the Eyes of Faith. It’s an art history book, but more importantly, it’s a book about the beauty that comes out of stories of human brokenness. Beauty matters; nobody makes that case better than Russ Ramsey.

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Mar 21, 2022
Caroline Cobb Stopped Striving
2211

Caroline Cobb is a singer-songwriter from Texas. In 2011, she decided to write a song for every book of the Bible in one year. That ambitious goal set her on a path that she’s still on, more than ten years later. She has said, “That year, I discovered that I love writing songs from the Bible: delving into a passage, putting myself in each character’s shoes, trying to understand how this one small story connects with the whole, then coming up with a way to communicate that story through song.” That project has led to four studio albums so far: The Blood and the Breath, A Home and a Hunger, A Seed, a Sunrise, and, most recently, A King and His Kindness.

In this episode, Caroline speaks with Jonathan Rogers about producing without striving, the upside-down-ness of the Gospel, and the reasons she decided to take a sabbatical.

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Mar 14, 2022
Dana Gioia on Poetry & Beauty in Solitude
2987

This week on The Habit Podcast, we invite you to listen in on a conversation between poet Dana Gioia, former Poet Laureate of California and former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, and Cherie Harder, President of The Trinity Forum. They discuss the ways that poetry works as a kind of enchantment, creating a state of heightened consciousness and heightened receptivity, and Dana Gioia makes the case that beauty is a way of knowing the world as it really is. He also reads a couple of poems. This interview was recorded in 2020, relatively early in the pandemic, as part of the Trinity Forum’s Online Conversations series.

If you don’t already know about the Trinity Forum, we hope you’ll seek them out. They’ve been good friends to the Rabbit Room, and we love the work they do to contribute to the renewal of society by cultivating and promoting the best of Christian thought, and helping leaders to think, work, and lead wisely and well.

Find them at TTF.org & tune into their Lenten podcast series by searching “Trinity Forum Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts.

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Mar 07, 2022
Curt Thompson Puts Himself in the Path of Oncoming Beauty
2970

Curt Thompson is a psychiatrist and founder of Being Known, an organization that develops resources for hope and healing at the intersection of neuroscience and Christian spiritual formation. His books include The Soul of Shame and The Soul of Desire. In this episode, Curt and Jonathan Rogers discuss the left brain and the right brain, the power of beauty to awaken us to goodness and truth, and Andy Gullahorn.

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Feb 28, 2022
Christie Purifoy Plants Flowers
2507

Christie Purifoy is a writer and gardener committed to growing flowers and growing community and cultivating beauty. Her newest book is Garden Maker: Growing a Life of Beauty and Wonder with Flowers. She’s also the host of the Black Barn Garden Club, an online community for aspiring gardeners.

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Feb 21, 2022
Dorena Williamson Builds Bridges
2830

Dorena Williamson is an author, a bridge-builder, a speaker, and a co-planter of a multi-racial church that has been doing beautiful work in Nashville for 25 years. Her most recent picture book, Crowned with Glory, is an ode to Black hair and Black girl joy.

In this episode, Dorena and Jonathan Rogers talk about representation, writing the books you want to read, and the perils of "color-blindness."

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Feb 14, 2022
Lisa Sharon Harper Closes the Narrative Gap
2685

Activist and author Lisa Sharon Harper spent three decades researching ten generations of her family’s story through DNA research, oral histories, interviews and genealogical records. That research is the basis of her new book, Fortune: How Race Broke My Family and the World—and How to Repair It. In this episode, Lisa Sharon Harper and Jonathan  Rogers discuss truth-seeking, truth-telling, forgiveness, and repair.

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Feb 07, 2022
Philip Yancey Is Still Amazed by Grace
2980

Philip Yancey has written more than 25 books, including What’s so Amazing about Grace, Disappointment with God, Where is God When It Hurts, and The Jesus I Never Knew. His most recent book, from 2021, is his memoir Where the Light Fell.

In this episode, Philip Yancey and Jonathan Rogers discuss the complex interactions between identity, memory, and memoir, and the journey from fear to gratitude.

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Jan 31, 2022
David French Tries to Move the Elephant
2820

David French is a political and cultural commentator and senior editor at The Dispatch. He’s a contributing writer at The Atlantic Monthly and the author of several books, including Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation as well as the French Press newsletter. He’s the co-host—with Curtis Chang—of the new podcast, Good Faith

In this episode, David French and Jonathan Rogers discuss persuasion in a polarized and ideologically super-charged climate.

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Jan 24, 2022
Kelly Kapic Is Lacking
2980

Kelly Kapic is a professor of theology at Covenant College. His most recent book is You're Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God's Design and Why That's Good News. In this episode, Dr. Kapic and Jonathan Rogers discuss productivity shame, gratitude, and the truth that finitude is not a sin.

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Jan 17, 2022
Amy Baik Lee Notices Small Splendors
2464

Amy Baik Lee writes essays and short memoirs for The Cultivating Project and on her own blog, A Homeward Life. She is also the co-director of the Arts Guild of The Anselm Society. In this episode, Amy and Jonathan Rogers talk about the discipline of noticing small splendors, the ways that art reminds recipients that they mean something to someone, and the ways that time and distance unpack our memories to show us meaning that was there all along.

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Jan 10, 2022
Justin Whitmel Earley and Better Habits
2853

It's a new year, and a new season of The Habit Podcast. if you are looking to form better habits, heed Justin Whitmel Earley, author of The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose in an Age of Distraction. His most recent book is Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms.

The new theme music for Season 4 of The Habit Podcast is Drew Miller's song "Grace."

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Jan 03, 2022
John Cal, Writer-Chef
3000

John Cal is a celebrity chef—at least among those who have participated in the Rabbit Room's Hutchmoot gathering in the past few years. His food-related essay/orations are a Hutchmoot highlight. In this final Habit Podcast episode of 2021, John Cal and Jonathan Rogers talk about feasting, fellowship, and other pleasures relevant to the Christmas season.

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Dec 20, 2021
Shawn Smucker Has Been Working Hard.
2866

Shawn Smucker has published five novels in the last five years—most recently, The Weight of Memory. He has also co-written some thirty books. Shawn and his wife Maile Silva coach, teach, and encourage other writers in a creative community they call The Stories Between Us. They host a podcast of the same name.

In this episode, Shawn Smucker and Jonathan Rogers discuss revision, point of view, and when it's ok for writers to stop pushing and take a break.

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Dec 13, 2021
Daniel Grothe Thinks Small.
2493

Daniel Grothe is a pastor, a rancher, and the author of The Power of Place: Choosing Stability in a Rootless Age. In this episode, Daniel Grothe and Jonathan Rogers talk about embracing obligation, the value of thinking small, and the possibility that God is a materialist.

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Dec 06, 2021
Jill Phillips Goes Deeper Into Love.
1788

Jill Phillips is a singer-songwriter and the star of the Gullahorn Happy Hour along with her husband, Andy Gullahorn. She’s also a Marriage and Family Therapist. Jill will soon be releasing a new album called Deeper Into Love, a collection of songs that take a journey through grief, healing, and redemption.

In this episode, Jill and Jonathan talk about the gap between the truth and how it feels, integration and disintegration, and going boldly into the house of grief.

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Nov 29, 2021
Carolyn Leiloglou Follows the Rules (Sometimes)
1439

Carolyn Leiloglou writes books for children. Her picture book Library's Most Wanted was a 2021 WILLA Award Finalist. She was also a 2018 finalist for the Katherine Paterson Prize. Her poems and stories have appeared in children's magazines around the world, including Highlights, Ladybug, Cricket, and Clubhouse Jr.

In this episode, Carolyn and Jonathan discuss rule-following, characters who take themselves too seriously, and other things.

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Nov 22, 2021
Carolyn Weber was surprised by Oxford.
2376

Memoirist Carolyn Weber is the author of Surprised by Oxford and Sex and the City of God. This conversation between Dr. Weber and Jonathan Rogers was recorded in front of a live audience at New College Franklin, where Dr. Weber is a professor. They discuss St. Augustine, spiritual memoir, and the idea that "selection is the hardest part of creation."

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Nov 15, 2021
Elizabeth Harwell on The Good King's Feast
2008

Elizabeth Harwell's new book is The Good King's Feast—An Invitation to the Lord's Table. It's a picture book that helps children understand Communion. In this episode, Elizabeth and Jonathan Rogers discuss writing for children and what it means to invite them into a story that they are already a part of.

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Nov 08, 2021
Luci Shaw and Ned Bustard Put the O in Hope
2804

Luci Shaw is one of the great living Christian poets. She has been a pioneer and role model for generations of writers. Her poem "The O in Hope" is now a picture book, illustrated by Ned Bustard.

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Nov 01, 2021
Hannah Hubin on Collaboration
2076

Hannah Hubin is a writer, poet, lyricist, and the originator of All the Wrecked Light, a stage show that explores Psalm 90 through song and spoken poetry. In this episode, Hannah and Jonathan discuss collaboration as a way of reaching beyond one's own limits and what it means to pray, "Establish the work of our hands."

Hannah is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to produce a studio album of All the Wrecked Light. Find out more at kickstarter.com/projects/hannahubin/all-the-wrecked-light.

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Oct 25, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Dave Barnes
3176

Dave Barnes is a singer-songwriter, a standup comedian, and a cohost of the Dadville podcast. This episode, the 2021 finale of the Sad Stories Told for Laughs series, was originally released in video form as part of the Rabbit Room's onllne conference, Hutchmoot: Homebound. In this episode, Dave talks about awkward radio promotions, disastrous shows, and doing standup comedy for patrons who thought they had come to hear music.

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Oct 18, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Don Chaffer
2314

Don Chaffer is a singer-songwriter (Waterdeep), a composer-lyricist-librettist (Son of a Gun, The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph's Baby), and a professor (Lipscomb University's School of Music). His stories are often sad and often funny—and often at the same time. In this "Sad Stories Told for Laughs" episode, Don Chaffer talks to Jonathan Rogers about the difference between embarrassment and shame, ironic distance, and other matters.

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Oct 11, 2021
Alan Noble Says You Are Not Your Own.
2192

Alan Noble is Associate Professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture. His new book is You Are Not Your Own: Belonging to God in an Inhuman World. Tim Keller has said “Alan is, I hope, the beginning of a new generation of scholar-writers who can bring the insights of [more esoteric thinkers and philosophers] down to earth and apply them in the most practical, compelling, and helpful form.”

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Oct 04, 2021
Rachel Donahue on Place and Poetry
2400

After years overseas, poet Rachel Donahue settled into life on a property that had been in her husband's family for generations. Paying attention to that piece of land transformed her poetry. Beyond Chittering Cottage is a collection of the poems that grew out of that new attentiveness. In this episode, Rachel and Jonathan Rogers talk about stewardship, place, and writerly friendship.

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Sep 27, 2021
Ben Palpant Writes Letters from the Mountain
2536

Ben Palpant is a poet, memoirist, novelist, and writer of nonfiction. His new book, Letters from the Mountain, is a collection of letters to his daughter about writing, creativity, paying attention, and generativity. He speaks of these and other matters with Jonathan Rogers in this episode of The Habit Podcast.

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Sep 20, 2021
Ashley Hales on a Spacious Life.
2057

Ashley Hales is a writer, a speaker, and the host of the Finding Holy Podcast. Her new book is A Spacious Life: Trading Hustle and Hurry for the Goodness of Limits. In this episode, Ashley Hales and Jonathan Rogers discuss a paradox: embracing your limitations can create more space and lead to greater creativity.

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Sep 13, 2021
The Gray Havens feel Sehnsucht
2696

Dave and Licia Radford constitute the husband-wife duo, The Gray Havens. Their upcoming album, Blue Flower, is inspired by C. S. Lewis's autobiography, Surprised by Joy and explores "inconsolable longing" and every human's homesickness for a place they've never been. Most of the album's songs are available on Spotify.

In this episode, Dave Radford and Jonathan Rogers talk about the ways that joy is both a spur and a guide for creative work. You might also check out the Blue Flower Podcast, in which Dave talks through the origins of each song on the album.

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Sep 06, 2021
Taylor Leonhardt Holds Still
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Singer-songwriter Taylor Leonhardt's second solo album, Hold Still, releases in September, 2021. (You can hear several of the songs already on streaming services.) In this episode of The Habit Podcast, Taylor and Jonathan Rogers discuss what it means to be God's idea, and coming to terms with the truth that we are all in suspense and incomplete.

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Aug 30, 2021
Carolyn C. Givens on Rosefire & Bandersnatch Books
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Carrie Givens is a publisher and co-founder of Bandersnatch Books. She is also the author of the recently released novel Rosefire. In this episode, Carrie speaks with Jonathan Rogers about writers' groups, dry spells, the role of "namers" in our creative lives, and characters who arrive unbidden in our stories.

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Aug 23, 2021
Governor Bill Haslam on Faithful Presence
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Bill Haslam was a two-term governor of Tennessee and a two-term mayor of Knoxville. In a political climate marked by metastasizing outrage and division, he found success by finding common ground and treating everyone—allies and opponents alike—with decency and respect. Bill Haslam is the author of Faithful Presence: The Promise and the Peril of Faith in the Public Square.

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Aug 16, 2021
Diana P. Glyer on C.S. Lewis's Ransom Trilogy
2896

Professor Diana Pavlac Glyer is an expert on Tolkien and Lewis, especially with regard to their collaboration in the Inklings group. She is also the editor of A Compass for Deep Heaven—a collection of essays about Lewis's Ransom Trilogy. This book is the fruit of Professor Glyer's practicing what she preaches in generous collaboration with emerging scholars.

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Aug 09, 2021
JJ & Dave Heller
2522

JJ Heller writes lullabies with her husband Dave and sings them for children, their parents, and the children inside the parents. Since 2017, the Hellers have released a new song on Spotify the first Friday of every month. One of those songs, "Hand to Hold," grew into a picture book by the same title, released a couple of weeks ago. In this episode, JJ and Dave talk with Jonathan Rogers about bedtime liturgies and the work of giving language to parents' deepest hopes for their children.

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Aug 02, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Buddy Greene & Jeff Taylor
2944

For a decade and a half, Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor have been making music together in a wide variety of venues and a wide variety of costumes. They are remarkable as performers, but even more remarkable is their friendship and good humor. As Jeff says, even a worst-case scenario performance is redeemed when it becomes a sad story told for laughs shared between friends.

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Jul 26, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Doug McKelvey
2384

Doug McKelvey is best known as the author of Every Moment Holy, “new liturgies for daily life.” He has also been a songwriter and a screenwriter. In this episode, the Sad Stories Told for Laughs series continues with Doug’s stories of fan letters gone wrong, fostering misunderstanding for the sake of humor, and a finger puppet.

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Jul 19, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Jessica Hooten Wilson
2437

Jessica Hooten Wilson is Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas. She’s a much sought-after speaker and the author of books about Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Walker Percy, and Flannery O’Connor. Spring of 2022 will see the release of her new book, The Scandal of Holiness: Renewing Your Imagination in the Company of Literary Saints. The academic world is a rich source of Sad Stories Told for Laughs. In this episode, Jessica Hooten Wilson tells some of hers.

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Jul 12, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Thomas McKenzie
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Thomas McKenzie is an Anglican priest, the founding pastor of Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, and the author of The Anglican Way. Also, he once blew up a gas station.

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Jul 05, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Ellie Holcomb
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Singer-songwriter Ellie Holcomb has just released a new solo album called Canyon—which, she says, is about a deeper sorrow, a higher hope, and the brokenness that is integral to our humanity. Hopefully she will come back in a later episode to talk about that project.

But in this episode we’re going to talk about the times she and her husband Drew found themselves performing in community college cafeterias, the time they got kicked out of a community college cafeteria and instead had to play a study room, and other sad stories told for laughs.

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Jun 28, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Andrew Osenga
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Andrew Osenga is a singer-songwriter, an artist & repertoire director, and the host of the podcast The Pivot: Stories of People Who Have Made a Change. In this installment of Sad Stories Told for Laughs, Andrew talks about performing to empty seats, losing a toe, and playing a music festival organized by a money launderer.

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Jun 21, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Maryrose Wood
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The “Sad Stories Told for Laughs” series continues with Maryrose Wood, author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and Alice's Farm: A Rabbit's Tale. Before Maryrose Wood was a novelist, she was an actor. In this episode, she tells the story of her Broadway debut, in one of the most spectacular flops in Broadway history. It is a story of youthful naïveté, public chagrin, a brutal review in the New York Times, and, ultimately, perseverance and triumph.

(The documentary The Best Worst Thing That Could Have Happened tells the story of Merrily We Roll Along, the show that was Maryrose Wood's Broadway debut. You can find it on Netflix.)

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Jun 14, 2021
Sad Stories Told for Laughs: Harrison Scott Key
1991

"Sad Stories Told for Laughs" is a special summer series of episodes in which writers speak of their public humiliations for your edification and entertainment. In this episode, memoirist Harrison Scott Key, author of The World's Largest Man and Congratulations, Who Are You Again? tells about the strange places he's done readings and the dream that wanted to eat him.

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Jun 07, 2021
S3 E22: Matthew Dickerson
2430

Songs from the Silent Passage explores the literary career of Walt Wangerin, Jr. through a collection of essays by Wangerin's friends and colleagues—including Eugene Peterson, Luci Shaw, Philip Yancey, and John Wilson—edited into its final form by Matthew Dickerson. In this episode, Matthew and Jonathan discuss the relationship between pain and beauty in storytelling and the idea that art "won't hug a pulpit."

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May 31, 2021
S3 E21: Sho Baraka
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Sho Baraka is a hip-hop artist, an activist, a co-founder of the AND Campaign, and an author. His new book is He Saw That It Was Good: Reimagining Your Creative Life to Repair a Broken World. In this episode, Sho and Jonathan Rogers discuss memory and imagination, constructing a new normal through storytelling, and the perils of accepting a smaller identity than the one God gives us.

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May 24, 2021
The Habit Turns 100: A Retrospective (Part 2)
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In this 100th conversation of The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers and producer Drew Miller play back and discuss favorite moments from the first 99 episodes, as identified by listeners.

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May 17, 2021
The Habit Turns 100: A Retrospective (Part 1)
2323

In this 100th episode of The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers and producer Drew Miller play back and discuss favorite moments from the first 99 episodes, as identified by listeners. To help The Habit celebrate this milestone (and to help other listeners find this podcast), would you consider rating and reviewing?

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May 10, 2021
S3 E18: Lancia E. Smith
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Lancia Smith is the founder of Cultivating, a quarterly online magazine, and the Cultivating Project, a nurtured community of writers and artists committed to pursuing spiritual maturity and creative excellence. Lancia writes about brilliant people doing brilliantly good things related to faith, character formation, and the creative arts. She is also a photographer and portraitist. In this episode, Lancia and Jonathan talk about the relationship between editing and discipleship, the balance of sensitivity and maturity, and the habit of cultivating wonder.

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May 03, 2021
S3 E17: Janna Barber
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Janna Barber is a blogger, poet, and memoirist. Her most recent book is Hidden in Shadow: Tales of Grief, Lamentation, and Faith. This memoir is one woman’s honest reckoning with the truth that even as our faith waxes and wanes, God is constant, and he loves his children even when they don’t know what he’s up to.

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Apr 26, 2021
S3 E16: Stephen Roach
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Stephen Roach is a poet, musician, speaker, and creative coach. He hosts the Makers and Mystics podcast and is the founder of The Breath and the Clay, a creative arts movement. His latest book, a collaboration with Ned Bustard, is Naming the Animals: An Invitation to Creativity. In it, Stephen and Ned make the case that creativity isn't just a talent given to the chosen few, but an invitation extended to all, an essential part of God's design for partnership for humanity.

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Apr 19, 2021
S3 E15: Rachel Pieh Jones
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Rachel Pieh Jones has been living and writing in the Horn of Africa for the last eighteen years. Her new memoir is Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus. In this episode, Rachel and Jonathan Rogers discuss the value of being an outsider and what it means to be a witness.

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Apr 12, 2021
S3 E14: Doug McKelvey
2805

Every Moment Holy, Volume II is a book of liturgies and prayers for seasons of dying and grieving. Doug McKelvey spent two years in dialogue with bereaved and dying readers as he wrote this book. In this conversation, Doug speaks with Jonathan Rogers about loving the reader, stewarding gifts and opportunities, and listening to the people you wish to serve in your work.

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Apr 05, 2021
S3 E13: The Hobbit Podcast (feat. Malcolm Guite)
1022

The poet Malcolm Guite wears waistcoats. He smokes a long-stemmed pipe and blows smoke rings. He often ambles about in the countryside. He's not very tall. He loves breakfast. Draw your own conclusions. In this episode of The Hobbit Podcast, Malcolm Guite and Jonathan Rogers (who is not himself a hobbit, only hobbit-adjacent) discuss first breakfast, second breakfast, and elevensies.

Thanks to Drew Miller, the visionary for this podcast.

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Apr 01, 2021
S3 E12: Andrew Peterson and Friends on the Wingfeather Tales
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Wingfeather Tales started out as a Kickstarter stretch goal for The Warden and the Wolf King, Book 4 of Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga. Andrew recruited five of his friends to write stories (and a poem) set in Aerwiar, the world of the Wingfeathers. He also recruited some of his favorite illustrators to illustrate. That compilation has been re-released in hardcover by Waterbrook Press.

In this episode, five of the contributors—Andrew Peterson, Jennifer Trafton, Pete Peterson, Doug McKelvey, and Jonathan Rogers—discuss collaboration, community, and Wingfeather Tales.

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Mar 28, 2021
S3 E11: Winn Collier on Eugene Peterson
2006

Winn Collier is the Director of the Eugene Peterson Center for Christian Imagination at Western Seminary in Holland Michigan. He was friends with Eugene Peterson and was chosen by the Peterson family to write his authorized biography, A Burning in My Bones.

In this episode, Winn and Jonathan Rogers discuss friendship, “earthy spirituality,” and writing that goes beyond the informational and motivational.

 (The Eugene Peterson Center is currently taking applications for a Doctor of Ministry cohort focused on "The Sacred Art of Writing.")

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Mar 22, 2021
S3 E10: Hannah Anderson
2645

Author, gardener, and woods-walker Hannah Anderson wrote, “More than a metaphor, the natural world is a living, pulsating experience of truth that surrounds and enfolds us, teaching us deep realities without words.” She puts words to many of those wordless realities in her new book, The Turning of Days: Lessons from Nature, Season, and Spirit.

In this episode, Hannah and Jonathan Rogers talk about observation, repetition, “gardening shame,” and cooperating with forces of a broken world.

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Mar 15, 2021
S3 E9: Kristin Kobes Du Mez
2445

Kristin Kobes Du Mez is a history professor at Calvin University and the author of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation. In this episode, Kristen Du Mez and Jonathan Rogers discuss stories as a means of reframing reality, the role of fear in political storytelling, and confirmation bias.

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Mar 08, 2021
S3 E8: Benjamin Myers
2338

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Benjamin Myers, author of A Poetics of Orthodoxy: Christian Truth as Aesthetic Foundation.

In A Poetics of Orthodoxy, poet Ben Myers makes the case that Christian orthodoxy provides a “reality-based way of knowing what kinds of poetry, what poetic characteristics, most resonate with true human experience.” Poetry, he argues, is a kind of re-incarnation (not THAT kind of reincarnation), and so works against the disembodying tendencies of the digital age. 


In this episode, Ben and Jonathan discuss the dangers of gnosticism and the embarrassment caused by beauty, among other things.

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Mar 01, 2021
S3 E7: W. David O. Taylor
2205

David O. Taylor is a theologian of the arts, Associate Professor of Theology at Fuller Seminary, and a director of initiatives in art and faith. His most recent book is Open and Unafraid: The Psalms as a Guide to Life. In this first-ever practical episode of The Habit Podcast, David Taylor walks listeners through the spiritual practice of writing psalms of lament.

Click here for more resources related to the writing of psalms of lament, including a worksheet, a chapter excerpt from Open and Unafraid, and a forum where you can share and discuss your psalm of lament.

Click here to watch the short film in which David Taylor gets Bono and Eugene Peterson together to discuss the Psalms.

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Feb 22, 2021
S3 E6: Jen Pollock Michel
2463

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Jen Pollock Michel, author of A Habit Called Faith: 40 Days in the Bible to Find and Follow Jesus.

Jonathan and Jen discuss the inescapability of seeing what we expect to see, habits as creating your own momentum, the stifling posture of spectatorship, and the lessons to be learned from finishing well.

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Feb 15, 2021
S3 E5: Tish Harrison Warren
2643

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers and Tish Harrison Warren discuss the difference between true human vulnerability and the "curated" vulnerability of Instagram, writing as an inescapable encounter with one's own weakness, and the under-appreciated gift of receiving well-placed criticism.

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Feb 08, 2021
S3 E4: Lisa Deam
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Lisa Deam is an art historian and the author of 3,000 Miles to Jesus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life for Spiritual Seekers. (She also blogs at The Contemplative Writer.)

In this episode, Lisa and Jonathan discuss the process of writing as a pilgrimage, the human desire to leave signposts for those who come after us, the infamous “long middle” of the writing journey, and the instructive power of inefficiency.

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Feb 01, 2021
S3 E3: Matthew Clark
2526

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with songwriter and storyteller Matthew Clark.

They discuss the many facets of Matthew's mission to "make things that make room for people to meet Jesus," his tour van that he calls "Vandalf the White," and human creativity as a posture of synthesis rather than analysis.

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Jan 25, 2021
S3 E2: Ruth Naomi Floyd
2863

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with speaker, singer, educator, and activist Ruth Naomi Floyd.

They discuss the intimate relationship between truth and beauty, the liberating power of art, and the immense legacy of the African American spiritual.

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Jan 18, 2021
S3 E1: Joel Clarkson
2527

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Joel Clarkson, author of Sensing God: Experiencing the Divine in Nature, Food, Music, and Beauty.

They discuss writing’s role in waking us up to the physicality of the world, Jesus as both firstborn of creation and firstborn from the dead, and the limits of intellect to account for the depth of what it means to believe.

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Jan 11, 2021
S2 E51: Renee Mathis
2234

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Renee Mathis, fellow writing teacher and mentor at the CiRCE Institute's apprenticeship program.

They discuss Renee's experience as a Jeopardy champion, her philosophy on mentoring teachers, the teaching methods used by Jesus, rhetoric as the pursuit of truth in community, and the still-relevant application of Aristotle's principles of rhetoric.

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Dec 21, 2020
S2 E50: Reagan Dregge
2383

It's the season for writing Christmas letters. This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with letter-writer Reagan Dregge.

They discuss the art of physical letter-writing, the personal attention it involves from sender to recipient, and the inherent embodiment that comes with putting pen to paper.

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Dec 14, 2020
S2 E49: Randall Goodgame
2243

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Randall Goodgame, songwriter, TV show host, and leader of the Slugs & Bugs universe.

They discuss the essential role of collaboration in all of Randall’s work, the importance of writing out of freedom and not out of condemnation, and the irrepressibility of childlike joy.

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Dec 07, 2020
S2 E48: Christiana Peterson
2209

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Christiana Peterson, author of Awakened by Death: Live-Giving Lessons from the Mystics.

They discuss the link between mysticism and mortality, our culture’s lack of rituals for confronting death, the writer’s role in engaging with mortality as an antidote for self-absorption, and death’s ability to teach compassion.

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Nov 30, 2020
S2 E47: Tsh Oxenreider
2303

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Tsh Oxenreider, teacher, podcaster, literary tour guide, and author of Shadow and Light: A Journey into Advent.

They discuss the challenging art of graceful endings, the perils of absolute accessibility, and what sets the Advent season apart from merely a "happy clappy countdown to Christmas."

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Nov 23, 2020
S2 E46: Crystal Downing
2566

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan talks with Crystal Downing, author of Subversive: Christ, Culture, and the Shocking Dorothy L. Sayers.

They discuss the danger of Christian celebrity, the strategy of shock in Dorothy Sayers' work, and the subversion at the very heart of the Christian faith.

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Nov 16, 2020
S2 E45: Charlotte Donlon
2364

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Charlotte Donlon, author of The Great Belonging: How Loneliness Leads Us to Each Other and host of the Hope for the Lonely podcast.

They discuss the two-way street between loneliness and belonging, the power of stories to de-stigmatize our loneliness, and the crucial difference between loving someone and understanding them.

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Nov 09, 2020
S2 E44: Dane Ortlund
2114

Jonathan Rogers talks with Dane Ortlund, former Senior Vice President of Bible Publishing at Crossway and current Senior Pastor of Naperville Presbyterian Church near Chicago.

They discuss the simultaneous necessity and insufficiency of theological correctness, the recovery of beauty as a meaningful philosophical category, and sanctification as the ongoing renewal of surprise.

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Nov 02, 2020
S2 E43: Andrew T. Le Peau
2516

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Andrew T. Le Peau, former Associate Publisher at InterVarsity Press and author of Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality.

They discuss the simple power of physical exercise to generate creative ideas, what Andrew has learned as an editor about what gets in the way of the writer's voice, and the constructive tension between Jonathan's emphasis on self-forgetfulness in writing and Andrew's claim that all writing is autobiographical.

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Oct 26, 2020
S2 E42: Anne Snyder
2694

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Anne Snyder, editor-in-chief of Comment Magazine and host of the podcast, The Whole Person Revolution

They discuss our culture's antipathy towards institutions, the role of theological reflection during a time of crisis, and her work with Comment Magazine to serve both readers and writers in uniting thought and action.

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Oct 19, 2020
S2 E41: Brown Bannister
3187

Jonathan Rogers talks with music industry legend Brown Bannister about the difference between “Here I am” and “There you are” personalities, the similarities between producing a record and teaching students, and how Brown has stayed away from cynicism over his long career.

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Oct 12, 2020
S2 E40: Russell Moore
2723

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and author of The Courage to Stand: Facing Your Fear without Losing Your Soul.

They talk about the various ways that fear presents itself to the writer, the self-sabotage of chasing relevance, the temptation to write our own life stories, and the timeless danger of trying to be no more than who your audience wants you to be.

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Oct 05, 2020
S2 E39: Barnabas Piper
2769

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers interviews Barnabas Piper, author of Hoping for Happiness.

They talk about the unrealistic expectations that artists can sometimes project onto their craft, how much easier it is to write while sad than while happy, and the distinction between hope and optimism.

Transcripts are available for The Habit Podcast. View them at RabbitRoom.com/podcast.

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Sep 28, 2020
S2 E38: Marilyn McEntyre
2469

This week on The Habit Podcast, Jonathan Rogers talks with Marilyn McEntyre, author of Speaking Peace in a Climate of Conflict.

They discuss the rich etymological depth of the word "conversation" and its connection to "dwelling with," the lost art of visiting, the transactional nature of conversation in a capitalist world, poetry's abiding danger to the status quo, and the recovery of metaphor.

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Sep 21, 2020
S2 E37: Irwyn Ince
2705

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Dr. Irwyn Ince, pastor and author of The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best.

They discuss beauty's refusal to be possessed, the aesthetic impact of pursuing racial justice, and the joy to be found in responding to God's calling—even and especially when that call entails "divine dissatisfaction."

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Sep 14, 2020
S2 E36: Ross King
2653

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Nashville singer/songwriter Ross King about the instructive power of rejection, the complexities of writing for a living in today's world, and advice for dealing with artistic competitiveness.

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Sep 07, 2020
S2 E35: Vesper Stamper
2538

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Vesper Stamper, illustrator and author of A Cloud of Outrageous Blue. They discuss how illustration became for Vesper a doorway into storytelling, what her research into the Middle Ages for her new book has taught her about plagues, and synesthesia as the beginning of metaphor.

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Aug 31, 2020
S2 E34: Gina Dalfonzo
2574

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Gina Dalfonzo, author of Dorothy and Jack: The Transforming Friendship of Dorothy L. Sayers and C. S. Lewis. They discuss the often overlooked friendship between Dorothy Sayers and C. S. Lewis, Sayers' innovative depiction of Jesus in The Man Born to Be King, and her lifelong wrestling with Lewis on the issue of artistic conscience and calling.

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Aug 24, 2020
S2 E33: Daniel Darling Has A Way with Words
2787

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with bestselling author, pastor, and podcast host Daniel Darling about the complex mix of motivations that go into online interaction, the double-edged sword of content curation, and how to communicate well in an age that prioritizes communicating quickly above all else. Daniel Darling's new book is A Way with Words: Using our Online Conversations for Good.

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Aug 17, 2020
S2 E32: Christine Flanagan on The Letters of Flannery O'Connor and Caroline Gordon
2394

Jonathan Rogers talks with Christine Flanagan, English professor at the University of the Sciences in Pennsylvania and editor of The Letters of Flannery O'Connor and Caroline Gordon.

They talk about the fascinatingly elusive influence of Caroline Gordon on Flannery O'Connor, the mystifying invisibility of some writers in our collective historical record, and the indispensability of thoughtful, engaged critique from a trusted mentor.

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Aug 10, 2020
S2 E31: Sandra McCracken
2066

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with singer/songwriter and hymn writer Sandra McCracken. They talk about the formative power of hymns, the ancient balance established by the psalms between lament and a vision for what lies ahead, Sandra's first book, and the role of true confidence in human flourishing.

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Aug 03, 2020
S2 E30: Cindy Bunch
2200

This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Cindy Bunch, author of Be Kind to Yourself and associate publisher and director of editorial at InterVarsity Press. They talk about how to maintain a healthy relationship with the inner critic, the many misplaced wishes that writers often throw onto their writing, and the mystery of which readers resonate and which readers don't.

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Jul 27, 2020
S2 E29: Andrew Osenga
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This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with music industry veteran and host of The Pivot podcast Andrew Osenga. They talk about what Andrew’s podcast has taught him about listening, the multilayered complexities of career, and how Andrew's own pivots have changed the way he approaches songwriting.

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Jul 13, 2020
S2 E28: Claire Holley
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This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with singer-songwriter Claire Holley. They discuss the role of fear in writing, object writing prompts, how to discern what music is “saying,” and what Claire has learned over time about her songwriting process.

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Jul 06, 2020
S2 E27: Emily P. Freeman
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This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Emily P. Freeman, author of The Next Right Thing, creator of the Next Right Thing Podcast, and co-founder of the online writing community Hope Writers.

They discuss writer’s block as a form of decision fatigue, the demand on our attention created by unmade decisions, the problematic desire “to be great,” how her training as a sign language interpreter has made her a better listener, and what a difference can be made by merely investing in our aspirations to write.

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Jun 29, 2020
S2 E26: Jericho Brown (feat. Matt Conner)
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Jonathan Rogers loved Matt Conner's interview with Jericho Brown so much that he wants you to hear it, too. Jericho Brown won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection The Tradition and is one of America's great literary geniuses.

Originally aired on The Resistance Podcast, Matt and Jericho discuss the necessarily conflictive posture of the poet as one who speaks truth to a culture he must also inhabit. Jericho's work has called him to become both insider and outsider, and it's taken a special kind of resilience to follow that call.

You can follow The Resistance wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Jun 22, 2020
S2 E25: Amy Alznauer
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Jonathan Rogers talks with Amy Alznauer, author of The Boy Who Dreamed of Infinity and The Strange Birds of Flannery O'Connor..

They discuss Flannery O’Connor’s early-onset fascination with birds and the ways O'Connor's birds taught her how people react to strangeness; how Amy’s father taught her to love mathematics; and the ways in which both math and writing invite the discovery of a happiness that was there before you found it.

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Jun 15, 2020
S2 E24: Michael Ward
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This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Michael Ward, C. S. Lewis scholar and author of Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis. They discuss Michael’s surprising thesis about the Narnia books, the medieval notion of the “music of the spheres,” and the necessity of allusivity in communicating theological reality. Find out more about Michael Ward's work at MichaelWard.net.

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Jun 08, 2020
S2 E23: Scott Sauls
2493

In this episode, Jonathan and Scott discuss the difference between being for and being against, why we've recently seen such a renewed interest in Fred Rogers, writing as an instrument of peace, and how gentleness can survive in a world that has made hostility into an asset.

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Jun 01, 2020
S2 E22: Karen Swallow Prior
1835

Jonathan Rogers talks with Karen Swallow Prior, author of On Reading Well and BookedThey discuss common mistakes in how we read classic literature, the vaster meaning of the word “comedy,” the excellent new film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, and the difference between portrayal and endorsement in art.

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May 25, 2020
S2 E21: Leif Enger Is Delighted
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Jonathan Rogers talks with Leif Enger, author of Virgil Wander and Peace Like A River. They discuss Leif’s love of beautiful places in his favorite novels, the ability of readers to feel the delight of the author, and the magic of discovering the way a story goes as you’re writing it.

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May 18, 2020
S2 E20: Diana Glyer
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Jonathan and Diana discuss how the Inklings got started and the factors that contributed to their health, the sharpening power of writing groups, and the “curse of knowledge”—knowing so well what you’re trying to say that you’re unable to say it well.

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May 11, 2020
S2 E19: Malcolm Guite
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Poet-priest Malcolm Guite has become one of the most important Christian poets of our time. In this episode, Jonathan and Malcolm discuss the “salvaging of the mistakenly abased gift of imagination,” the vital distinction between what things are and what they are made of, how Malcolm inherited the gift of poetry from his mother, and the invention of writing as the gateway both to remembering and forgetting.

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May 04, 2020
S2 E18: Scott James
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Scott James is a pediatric physician and author of Where Is Wisdom? A Treasure Hunt Through God's Wondrous World, Inspired by Job 28.

In this episode, Jonathan and Scott discuss the practical complexity of applying wisdom, the role of empathy in good reading, the instructive power of story for life's moral questions, and grace as God’s surprise ending.

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Apr 27, 2020
S2 E17: Laura Fabrycky
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This week, Jonathan Rogers talks with Laura Fabrycky, author of Keys to Bonhoeffer's Haus: Exploring the World and Wisdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

They discuss the multiple competing narratives of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the centrality of place in the stories of our lives, and connections between writing and civic housekeeping.

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Apr 20, 2020
S2 E16: Nancy Guthrie
2402

In this episode, Jonathan and Nancy discuss the invaluable resource of deep focus, research as practicing the posture of learning, and the clarifying power of talking before writing.

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Apr 13, 2020
S2 E15: Ned Bustard
2104

Ned Bustard is a graphic designer, illustrator, author, and printmaker from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In this episode, Jonathan and Ned discuss the fraught topic of success in art, the clarifying effect of working for one’s community, and how he and his wife, Leslie, have planted seeds in their hometown.

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Apr 06, 2020
S2 E14: Jeremy Casella Knows What to Do with Hurt
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Jeremy Casella is a singer-songwriter in Nashville. In this episode, Jonathan and Jeremy discuss songwriting as a means of processing life, the abiding value of failure, and the centrality of truth-telling.

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Mar 30, 2020
S2 E13: Trillia Newbell Endures
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Trillia Newbell is the author of several books including United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity, and, most recently, Sacred Endurance: Finding Grace and Strength for a Lasting Faith. She is a former journalist and currently the Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. Jonathan and Trillia discuss the role of endurance in a writer’s life, the importance of being realistic about what it means to do the work, and writing as bearing witness to reality rather than inventing it.

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Mar 23, 2020
S2 E12: Lee Camp's Controversial Orthodoxies
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A man of many interests, Lee Camp is a theology professor, the host of the Tokens variety show, and the author of Scandalous Witness: A Little Political Manifesto for Christians. In this episode, Jonathan and Lee discuss Lee’s controversially orthodox assertions, the necessity for a hermeneutic of love, and the inextricability of true hope and the courage to encounter a new story.

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Mar 16, 2020
S2 E11: A 2008 Wingfeather Release Day Review (Bonus)
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Going all the way back to 2008, here's an episode of the old Rabbit Room Podcast in which Jonathan reads aloud his release day review of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness—with an introduction by Andrew Peterson impersonating Alfred Hitchcock. Yeah, we never were sure exactly what that was about.

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Mar 10, 2020
S2 E10: Francis Su Re-Enchants Mathematics
1742

Francis Su is the author of Mathematics for Human Flourishing. In this episode, Jonathan and Francis talk about revealing the unseen, the ability of math to teach virtue, and what it might mean to re-enchant the discipline of math.

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Mar 09, 2020
S2 E9: Remembering Charles Portis, with David Kern
2806

In this episode, Jonathan and the Circe Institute's David Kern reminisce about the work of the recently deceased Charles Portis. They discuss the connections between fiction and flim-flammery, the role of the ridiculous in comic storytelling, the importance of leaving some work for the reader to do, the world's smallest perfect man, and one of the world's most perfect opening sentences.

David Kern heads up the Circe Institute's Podcast Network. He hosts the Close Reads podcast, The Daily Poem podcast, and the Libromania podcast. A shortened version of this conversation will be posted as an episode of Libromania.

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Mar 02, 2020
S2 E8: Jen Pollock Michel Waxes Paradoxical
2075

Jen Pollock Michel is the author of three books, most recently Surprised By Paradox: The Promise of And in an Either-Or World. In this episode, Jonathan and Jen discuss the role of paradox in writing, the difference between either-or and both-and, and the difference between mystery and paradox.

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Feb 24, 2020
S2 E7: Seth Haines Wakes Up
1614

Writer and photographer Seth Haines is the author of Coming Clean and The Book of Waking Up. In this episode, Jonathan and Seth discuss the slow process of waking up in the "key of joy," the instructive power of pain, and the under-publicized companionship between creativity and sobriety.

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Feb 17, 2020
S2 E6: Elyse Fitzpatrick & Eric Schumacher
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Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher are co-authors of Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women. In this espisode, Jonathan, Elyse, and Eric discuss writing as an antidote to reducing other people to categories, the church’s responsibility to defend victims of sexual abuse, the cowriting process for Elyse and Eric, and how they have chosen to navigate a politically fraught topic.

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Feb 10, 2020
S2 E5: Lore Ferguson Wilbert
1816

Lore Ferguson Wilbert is the author of Handle With Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry. She has been blogging since 2000 at Sayable.net. In this episode, Jonathan and Lore talk about the idea of touch as the mother of all senses, the exceeding vulnerability of Jesus, and the surprisingly symbiotic relationship between tenderness and resilience.

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Feb 03, 2020
S2 E4: Heidi Johnston
1733

Heidi Johnston is the author of Choosing Love, a book that tries to tell teenage girls the truth about relationships. Jonathan and Heidi discuss the various roadblocks to writing—particularly procrastination and imposter syndrome—the task of writing to tell a truer story, and the wellsprings of originality. 

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Jan 27, 2020
S2 E3: Meredith McDaniel
2047

Meredith McDaniel is the author of In Want + Plenty: Waking Up to God's Provision in a Land of Longing. She's also a licensed professional counselor. Jonathan and Meredith discuss the deep connections between counseling and storytelling, the importance of bodily liturgies for a writer, and learning to give no more or less than what we have to give.

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Jan 20, 2020
S2 E2: Harrison Scott Key
2159

Memoirist and humorist Harrison Scott Key is the author of Congratulations, Who Are You Again? and The World's Largest Man, which won the Thurber Prize for humor. In this episode, Jonathan and Harrison discuss the difference between anecdote and memoir, the value of not knowing everything about your own stories, and the link between memoir-writing and therapy.

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Jan 13, 2020
S2 E1: Andrew Peterson
2065

Jonathan and Andrew discuss the relationships between creativity and loneliness, the problem of ambition, and the paradox of the age-old search for originality.

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Jan 06, 2020
Episode 30: Don Pape
1758

A veteran of the publishing business, Don Pape is publisher at NavPress. In this episode, Jonathan and Don discuss all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into publishing a book, how Don got into the business himself, and the many curious intersections of creativity and industry.

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Dec 16, 2019
Episode 29: S. D. Smith
2363

S. D. (Sam) Smith is the author of the much-loved Green Ember series. In this episode, Jonathan and Sam explore storytelling as an act of love and service, a magic trick, and an occasion for practicing true humility.

Sam is currently offering a free audiobook of The Green Ember, the first book in his series.

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Dec 09, 2019
Episode 28: Chris Wall
2162

Chris Wall is a film producer in Nashville. He was at Big Idea Productions for eleven years, working on VeggieTales and 3-2-1 Penguins! and other projects. More recently, he produced the Wingfeather Saga short film and the Slugs & Bugs Show. In this episode, Jonathan and Chris discuss the making of the Slugs & Bugs Show and the many collaborative situations Chris has found himself in over the course of his career.

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Dec 02, 2019
Episode 27: Christie Purifoy
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Christie Purifoy is the author of Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace. She says, "I believe that life, in all its pain and beauty and mystery, is a journey of love. Writing keeps my eyes wide-open to this astonishing reality."

In this episode, Jonathan and Christie discuss the analogy between writing and gardening, how to name and and rename "weeds," and what it means to extend hospitality to your reader.

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Nov 25, 2019
Episode 26: Tish Harrison Warren with Doug McKelvey
2376

Tish Harrison Warren is an Anglican priest and the author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, winner of Christianity Today's Book of the Year Award for Spiritual Formation. She is joined by Doug McKelvey, author of Every Moment Holy.

In this episode, Jonathan Rogers talks with Tish and Doug about what Tish means by the word "ordinary," the power of liturgical rhythms to quietly transform our daily lives, and personal liturgies surrounding the practice of writing.

Writers who make Tish want to write:

  • Flannery O'Connor
  • Annie Dillard
  • Scott Cairns
  • C. S. Lewis
  • Rich Mullins
  • Eugene Peterson
  • Anne Patchett

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Nov 18, 2019
Episode 25: Ron Block
2324

Ron Block is a banjo player and a long-time member of Alison Kraus's band, Union Station. He is also an amateur theologian, a George MacDonald aficionado, and the star of O Brother, Where Art Thou? (he's the banjo player in this scene).

In this episode, Jonathan Rogers and Ron Block discuss the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, the "try-harder cycle," and how to turn that negative cycle into a positive cycle that liberates our creativity rather than suffocating it.

Writers who make Ron want to write:

  • C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia)
  • George MacDonald 

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Nov 11, 2019
Episode 24: JJ Heller
1919

JJ Heller's songs remind people that they are loved. She and her husband Dave have been writing together since before they were married. Lately they have taken up a new discipline: On the first Friday of every month, they release a new song to the various digital platforms.

In this episode, Jonathan talks with JJ and Dave Heller about the quest of finding one’s voice, anxiety, the tension between wanting to be impressive and wanting to make something that lasts, and the liberating gift of collaboration.

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Nov 04, 2019
Episode 23: John Hendrix
2041

John Hendrix is a much-decorated author and illustrator and an art professor at Washington University in St. Louis. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Esquire, The New York Times, and elsewhere. His most recent book, The Faithful Spy, is a graphic novel about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the plot to kill Adolph Hitler. It won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. In today's episode, Jonathan and John discuss the painstaking process of crafting The Faithful Spy, the interdependence of text and image, and the many motivations for making things.

Writer who makes John Hendrix want to write: 

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    Oct 28, 2019
    Episode 22: Maryrose Wood
    2348

    Maryrose Wood is the author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, an exceedingly funny six-book series about a governess whose three young charges have been raised by wolves. She is also the proprietor of The Swanburne Academy, an online academy for families who love to learn and grow together. In this episode, Jonathan and Maryrose discuss the ways that stage acting has impacted Maryrose's writing, the implications of improv for overcoming writer's block, and some ways to get comfortable with uncertainty in the writing process.

    Writers who make Maryrose want to write:

    • William Shakespeare
    • Stephen Sondheim
    • Charlotte Bronte
    • E.B. White (Charlotte's Web)
    • J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)

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    Oct 21, 2019
    Episode 21: Drew Miller
    2385

    Drew Miller is a Nashville singer-songwriter, content developer for the Rabbit Room, and the producer of this podcast. This fall and winter he is releasing two EPs, Desolation and Consolation. In this episode, Jonathan and Drew discuss the interdependence of desolation and consolation, how to evoke genuine emotion in listeners, and the importance of truth-telling in a world full of false consolations.

    Writers who make Drew Miller want to write:

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    Oct 14, 2019
    Episode 20: Jonny Jimison
    2174

    Jonny Jimison is a graphic novelist and the author of The Dragon Lord Saga. In October of 2019, Rabbit Room Press is re-releasing Martin and Marco, Book 1 of Jonny's Saga, in full-color. In this episode, Jonathan and Jonny discuss visual storytelling, the age-old search for authentic voice, and board games.

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    Oct 07, 2019
    Episode 19: James K. A. Smith
    2128

    James K.A. (Jamie) Smith is a philosophy professor at Calvin College and the author of many important books, including Desiring the Kingdom, You Are What You Love, How (Not) To Be Secular, and (most recently) On the Road with Saint Augustine. In this episode, Jonathan and Jamie discuss Augustine’s account of human desire and its implications for fiction-writing; the ever-elusive mystery of the self; and the drama of redemption as the re-directing of our deepest loves.

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    Sep 30, 2019
    Episode 18: Sarah MacKenzie
    2440

    Sarah MacKenzie is the host of Read-Aloud Revival and the author of The Read-Aloud Family. In this episode, Jonathan and Sarah discuss the curious connection between the writer who works in quiet solitude and the family reading aloud together, the instructive power of life's limitations, and Sarah's recent forays into writing picture books.

    Writers who make Sarah want to write:

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      Sep 23, 2019
      Episode 17: Randall Goodgame
      2275

      Randall Goodgame is the creator of Slugs & Bugs, a family music and entertainment brand that includes eight albums, two books, and now a television show. It starts streaming on September 27. In this episode, Randall and Jonathan talk about the truth-telling of a childhood perspective, the relationship between silliness and sincerity, collaboration, and the sticking to one's vision even when the other people in the room know more than you do.

      Preorder the Slugs and Bugs TV Show.

      Writers who make Randall want to write:

      • J.R.R. Tolkien
      • Kate DiCamillo
      • Maurice Sendak

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      Sep 16, 2019
      Episode 16: Rebecca Reynolds
      2424

      Rebecca Reynolds is the author of Courage, Dear Heart: Letters to a Weary World. She is currently "transposing" Spenser's Faerie Queene for a 21st-century audience. In this episode, Jonathan and Rebecca use the trinitarian paradigm of Dorothy Sayers' Mind of the Maker (Idea, Energy, Power) to discuss the multitude of influences that together make an artist's voice, then apply this wisdom with excellent practical advice on how we can better know and tend to our own creativity.

      To see Rebecca's diagrams on general and particular inspiration and the energy cycle, click here. 

      Writers who make Rebecca want to write:

      • Gerard Manley Hopkins
      • Wendell Berry
      • T.S. Eliot
      • George Herbert and John Donne
      • Nature

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      Sep 09, 2019
      Episode 15: Mark Meynell
      2179

      Mark Meynell has done a lot of thinking about civility and cynicism and the writer's responsibility not just to win arguments, but to tell the truth. In this episode, Jonathan and Mark discuss the practice of generosity involved in both writing and reading, the virtues and vices of rhetoric, and how fiction and nonfiction persuade us in different ways.

      Writers who make Mark want to write:

      • Graham Greene
      • John LeCarre
      • Elizabeth Strout

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      Sep 02, 2019
      Episode 14: Jessica Hooten Wilson
      2211

      Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, Associate Professor of English at John Brown University, is currently preparing the unfinished manuscript of Flannery O'Connor's last novel for publication. In this episode, Jonathan and Jessica geek out about Flannery O'Connor, exchange strategies for balancing academic writing and fiction, and discuss how reading poetry has made Jessica a better writer. 

      Writers who make Jessica Hooten Wilson want to write:

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      Aug 26, 2019
      Episode 13: Mary Laura Philpott
      1873

      Mary Laura Philpott is the author of I Miss You When I Blink, a nationally bestselling memoir-in-essays. Her writing also appears in publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review Daily, The Washington Post, O The Oprah Magazine, and others. In this episode, Jonathan and Mary Laura talk about the unexpected correlations between perfectionism and humor, the fascinating question "Who were you before you wondered who you were?" 

      Mentioned in this episode:
      Jerry Seinfeld: How to Write a Joke

      Writers who make Mary Laura want to write:

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      Aug 19, 2019
      Episode 12: Joseph Patton
      2351

      Joseph Patton is a staff songwriter at Sony/ATV Music Publishing on Nashville's Music Row. In this episode, Jonathan and Joseph talk about what happens in Music Row writing rooms, the difference between songs that help people remember and songs that help people forget, and the tensions between commercialism and "loving thy listener."

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      Aug 12, 2019
      Episode 11: Karen Swallow Prior
      2035

      Karen Swallow Prior is the author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books. In this episode she talks with Jonathan about the instructive power of fictional worlds to shed light on our own, how fiction can teach us to love our enemies, and joy as a courageous act of imagination.

      Mentioned in this episode:

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      Aug 05, 2019
      Episode 10: Shawn Smucker
      2238

      Shawn Smucker is the author of Light from Distant Stars (among other books). In this episode, Jonathan and Shawn discuss the nitty gritty of Shawn's writing habits, the unique challenges and rewards of ghostwriting, and how Shawn goes about encouraging and upholding creativity with his family at home.

      Mentioned in this episode: Ira Glass on the creative process (2 min. video)

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      Jul 29, 2019
      Episode 9: Kristy Dempsey
      2052

      Jonathan and Kristy talk about her new book Papa Put a Man on the Moon (written in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing), the process of writing and publishing picture books, the difference between "sweetie pies" and "smart alecks" in character arcs, and her own family's proximity to the moon landing itself.

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      Jul 22, 2019
      Episode 8: Helena Sorensen
      1898

      Jonathan and Helena (author of the Shiloh series) talk about balancing affirmation with criticism, the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, and the importance of maintaining sensitivity to the world.

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      Jul 15, 2019
      Episode 7: Doug McKelvey
      2023

      Jonathan and Doug discuss the search for "a word that rhymes with everything" and how this search characterizes Doug's writing process aesthetically, morally, and theologically.

      Doug McKelvey is the author of Every Moment Holy, a book of liturgies for everyday moments in life. 

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      Jul 08, 2019
      Episode 6: Russ Ramsey
      1882

      Jonathan and Russ go back and forth about the fine line between fact and fiction, the fallibility of human memory, and where truth comes from, specifically as these issues pertain to Russ's memoir Struck.

      Show Notes:

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      Jul 01, 2019
      Episode 5: Claire Gibson
      2344

      Jonathan Rogers interviews Claire Gibson about her new book Beyond the Point, befriending our inner critics, writing as service, and the landscape of storytelling—and at the end, she even asks Jonathan a few questions.

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      Jun 24, 2019
      Episode 4: Christopher Williams
      2024

      Jonathan Rogers interviews Christopher Williams about his new concept album, We Will Remember, based on the book of Joel. As Jonathan says, "You've never heard a better concept album based on a minor prophet." They discuss their love-hate relationships with deadlines, the difference between writing a song and writing a novel, and what the book of Joel has to say to today's church.

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      Jun 19, 2019
      Episode 3: Jennifer Trafton
      2235

      Jonathan Rogers and Jennifer Trafton discuss the vital role of play in creativity, the tricky business of self-forgetfulness, and how to recover and retain our childhood loves even in the throes of adulthood.

      Books mentioned in this episode
      Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing.
      Susan Wooldridge, Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words.

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      Jun 10, 2019
      Episode 2: Pete Peterson
      2039

      Jonathan Rogers and Pete Peterson discuss playwriting, the secrets to a compelling story, and Pete's upcoming stage adaptation of Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place.

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      Jun 03, 2019
      Episode 1: Katy Bowser Hutson
      2362

      Jonathan Rogers interviews Katy Bowser Hutson about her chapbook Now I Lay Me Down to Fight, the surprisingly motivating force of mortality, and how the "pre-verbal" component of trauma can be profoundly expressed through the verbal medium of poems.

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      May 24, 2019