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Rhett Smith Podcast

Therapist + Writer + Speaker In this long-form interview format Rhett explores the lives of various thought leaders to discover what helped them thrive in multiple areas of their lives, and what lessons we can learn from them. Rhett is particularly interested in the intersection of self-care and relationships, and he loves to explore how one can thrive physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He interacts with people such as therapists, athletes, spiritual leaders, entrepreneurs and many others, covering a variety of topics from fitness, leadership, mental health, and spirituality. What would your marriage look like when you are thriving? What does your parenting look like when you are thriving? What does your work look like when you are thriving? What does your faith look like when you are thriving? When we thrive in these areas of our lives we become people who are "life-giving." And when we are "life-givers" we impact all the relationships around us in positive ways. So engage the podcast and discover how you can thrive personally and relationally.
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Now displaying: October, 2015
Oct 27, 2015

There are two stories in the Bible that have gripped my imagination for the last 5-6 years. One is the story of Jesus at his baptism, specifically in the gospel of Mark 1:9-11, which records the voice of God the Father in Heaven declaring to his son Jesus (while the Spirit is descending like a dove), "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Here is the passage:

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (NIV)

The other story is found in Genesis 32-33 and records the story of Jacob as he prepares to be reunited with his estranged brother Esau. In earlier years jacob had stolen Esau's birthright and blessing and is now preparing to meet up with again...with some fear and trembling I might add. I am fascinated by the story of Jacob wrestling with God. I am fascinated with this scene:

24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

But what is really fascinating to me is the ensuing encounter that Jacob has with Esau after he has wrestled with God. There is a beautiful play on the word for eyes in Hebrew, and a very beautiful encounter of not only seeing God face to face, but seeing his brother Esau face to face. Both of these stories are examples of a person being and living out of their Truth, and therefore, they lend insight to us about what that might look like for us to be and live in our Truth in our lives.

Identifying, acknowledging, being, and living out of your Truth is a hard task for most people that I know. Many feel they don't know or have a Truth, while others struggle to practice and access it in their daily lives. The reality is, is that living in our Truth is not a work of perfection, or arriving at it permanently, but rather an ongoing struggle to believe and live beyond ourselves. For when we do this, not only are we transformed, but so are our relationships.

In this episode I explore:

  • what it means to be in our Truth
  • Jesus' baptism and the model it presents for being in our Truth
  • Jacob wrestling with God and what it teaches us about being in our Truth
  • how being in our Truth impacts not only us, but our relationships
  • 3 sources for finding our Truth
  • Henri Nouwen and his book, In the Name of Jesus

 

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

 

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Henri Nouwen and In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership

Henri Nouwen and Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

Genesis 32 and 33

Mark 1:9-11

Restoration Therapy

Oct 21, 2015

This last week was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I'm still processing it and will for much time to come. But as I talked about in Episode 30 of this podcast, I set out last February to redefine my success as showing up, rather than just achieving a goal. And in order to do that I set my sights on a monumental goal for myself that held a high risk of failure. So I signed up for the Palo Duro 50 Mile Trail Run in the Palo Duro Canyon outside of Amarillo, TX.

Well that goal came to fruition on Saturday after I crossed the finish line of the 50 mile race in 11 hours and 48 minutes. It was a long, lonely day at many points, but I learned some really important lessons that day that have great implication for my life, for future goals I will set...and I strongly believe that these lessons are transferable to your life and any goals you set out for yourself.

So in this podcast I explore those three lessons:

  • the importance of having a support team on your side when choosing to set and achieve a goal. Setting and achieving goals is never a solo act, and if it is, it often leaves a wake of relational destruction behind it.
  • the importance of being mindful that sometimes achieving certain goals require a level of unbalance in our lives for a season. So how do you work on being healthy when things will be unbalanced?
  • the importance of investing in and including your support team from the beginning through the end...because you are going to need them to achieve the goal.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Oct 13, 2015

I have been looking forward to having Dr. Cameron Jorgenson on my podcast for a long time. Dr. Jorgenson is one of the smartest and most thoughtful people that I know, and so it was with great anticipation that I had him on this week's episode.

 

But first a little backstory. I first met Dr. Jorgenson in and around 1993/1994 at Grand Canyon University when we were both freshmen. A lot of things have changed since we first met in an introduction to philosophy class -- GCU used to be a very tiny, Christian liberal arts college for one; and I'm sure our philosophical and theological outlook has also changed quite a bit since that first class. Dr. Jorgenson didn't have his Ph.D then and I only knew him as Cameron. In our time at Grand Canyon we sort of knew each other, but often ran in different social circles. But in January 1998, six months after we graduated, we both ended up at Fuller Theological Seminary's Southwest Campus in Phoenix. And for the next three years Cameron and I took every class together and studied relentlessly (Greek, Hebrew, Systematic Theology, Church History, etc, etc.). I can't even tell you the thousands of hours we put in studying over coffee in various coffee shops and book stores in the Phoenix area.

 

And it was in this time that our friendship really began to develop and grow, and I came to really admire Cameron for his love of Christ, his intellectual rigor, and the way he put those into loving practice in the relationships and communities around him. Cameron and I then went on to live in Antigua, Guatemala with some host families for three months while we studied Spanish, followed by a trip with Fuller Southwest to Syria, Jordan and Israel. And then we ended up rooming together in Pasadena for one year as we finished up our Master of Divinity degrees at the main campus. Cameron then went on to Baylor to get his Ph.D, and now teaches Theology and Ethics at Campbell Divinity School in North Carolina.

 

I give you this backstory to paint for you a better picture of the friendship I have with Cameron. Because when he and I started talking about having him on the podcast he pitched to me the idea of talking about the 7 deadly sins and relationships/marriage I wasn't exactly sure what I thought about the idea. I talk a lot about marriage and relationships, and I'm familiar with the 7 deadly sins, but I wasn't sure of how we might connect them and offer something to the listener of value. So I was intrigued. And my intrigue was not disappointed.

 

In this episode Dr. Jorgenson (sorry I keep switching from Cameron to Dr. Jorgenson) talks about what he refers to as the 7 vices, and why they should be of interest to us today, what we can learn from them, and how they can teach us in more depth about who we are and how we struggle.

 

In this episode we explore:

  • the 7 vices (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride)how the 7 vices point out to us a "disordered desire" for something specific
  • we explore in greater depth sex and food (lust and gluttony) and how they impact our relationships
  • resources to help one better understand and learn from the 7 vices
  • the work of Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung and her book Glittering Vices
  • sex and pornography
  • food and table

 

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

Resources and People Mentioned in this Episode Dr. Cameron Jorgenson Grand Canyon University Baylor University Fuller Theological Seminary Campbell Divinity School

Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba

Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food by Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan

The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si, of the Holy Father, Francis, On Care for Our Common Home by Pope Francis

Fight the New Drug

On Evil by Thomas Aquinas

Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith by Fred Bahnson

Pornography and Acedia by Reinhard Hutter

Alton Brown on Foodies, Fame, Fast Food, and Guns

Oct 6, 2015

About 8 months ago I was looking for a new challenge in life. I felt like I had begun to play life a little too safe, and was starting to get too comfortable...you know the type of comfortable where you start making excuses for taking risks? The type of comfortable where you stop challenging yourself? That is a dangerous place to be in life. Why? Because when we stop taking risks and doing scary, anxiety provoking things, we often tend to stop growing as well. So we have a choice in life...take risks, grow, and keep moving forward. Or choose to play life safe, not grow, and regress and move backwards. Those are our options. There is no static state, a place where you can just hit cruise control. Either you are taking risks and growing, or you are playing it safe and regressing.

 

And it just happened that I had also finished Brene Brown's awesome book Daring Greatly the year before. And fresh on my mind was her story of her daughter and swimming. I won't get into the story here (you can hear more about in this episode or read the book), but essentially, Brown talks about the value of showing up ("getting wet") and reframing success. And I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to show up and redefine my success, as not whether I ran a certain time, or even finished (though that's my goal), but that I risked failure by taking a risk.

 

That being said I started looking for a new challenge and I immediately went to an area of life that has really helped me a grow a lot....running. Few activities have transformed me as fully as running. Each time I completed a long and hard training season, or finished a marathon or 50k...or just came back from a morning run...I usually learned something new about myself, and the anxiety provoking experience that led to the growth, also gave me a lot of confidence in the process.

 

So as I chose this new challenge I had just a couple of criteria. 1) I had to show up (I will talk about this in this episode); 2) And there had to be the risk of failure (so not doing something I knew I could do for sure); 3) I saw this as basic criteria to help me grow....show up, but also risk failure.

 

As I recorded this podcast and typed up this post I'm well aware of the fact that I'm about a week and half out from this huge growth experience. On Saturday, October 17 I will be running my first 50 mile race at the Palo Duro Trail Run outside of Amarillo, Texas. Just getting to this point has been a huge opportunity for growth as I've trained really intensely for the last 6 months; had to hot summer days in training; nagging injuries; and just the mental capacity to focus on a task like this for an extended period of time. And probably the most important factor in all of this is that it has been a team effort. Without the support of my wife and kids I wouldn't even be able to do this. They have sacrificed a lot for me to do this event. So I'm really looking forward to driving out there with them in a rented motor home as we experience this race together. Though my challenge just happens to be a running event right now, all of us find our own challenges in life to help us grow. Many of you have set out on challenges that required you to show up and risk failure...and those experiences have helped you grow

 

So in this episode I want to explore with you:

  • what it would look like for you to show up ("get wet")
  • what does it look like for you to risk failure and what can you learn from that
  • reframing success
  • growing vs. regressing vs. static states
  • fears/anxieties of taking risks/growing
  • what your next steps might look like

 

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes -- Stitcher

Player FM -- Libsyn

 

Topics and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Palo Duro Trail Run

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

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