INTERMISSION

It’s intermission!

The curtain has dropped on the first half of the movie.

The band has stepped off the stage to take a break.

The first half of this year’s journey is about to pass the baton to the second half.

It’s the perfect time to re-examine where we’ve come from and fine tune where we’re going.

And all are encouraged to do just that.

Let’s all come to the table and go to the lobby to get ourselves a treat.

Featuring “Rock My Soul” by Josh Garrels (Used by Permission through Musicbed).

THE BIRDITUDES WITH COURTNEY ELLIS

Courtney Ellis is a bird enthusiast, a pastor, and an author. Her newest book is Looking Up: A Birder’s Guide to Hope through Grief. She also hosts a wonderful podcast called The Thing with Feathers.  

Today’s episode is a whimsical, ornithological, and theological swoop through Jesus’ beatitudes from His Sermon on the Mount.  I asked Courtney to pair a bird to match each of Jesus’ eight exclamations and she soared to the challenge.  What a fun way to kick off Summer Solstice! 

You can find Courtney at https://courtneybellis.com and also on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (now called X, but birders still prefer sending Tweets).  

Featuring “Songbird” by J.J. Heller (Used by Permission through Musicbed).

DRAWN IN TO THE PIXELS

I remember my family’s first color television.  I came home from school one day as a boy and there it was in our den.  I sprawled out in the floor and watched the Sergeant Jack Show, featuring Dick Tracy cartoons, on Channel 42 out of Birmingham.   I was enthralled.  I was drawn in to the screen and would sometimes sit so close, I could see the hundreds of multicolored dots that made up the greater image. And I heard those famous words from my parents every child has heard – “Don’t sit so close to the screen; you’ll ruin your eyes.”

I’m grateful to say, I have yet to need prescription glasses.  But I am still being drawn in to the pixels.  Perhaps you are as well.  And if you’re not, I would highly recommend it.  Because there’s a lot more beauty coming at you than you realize.  But the only way you can catch more of it is to zoom in and slow down.  A life-changing mystery awaits when you do.

Featuring “Re-Enchanted World” by John Mark McMillan (Used by Permission through Musicbed).

WORSHIP

Consider your worship.  In the first 22 weeks of 2024, what worship moments have been most memorable to you?

Worship is an easy word to ignore.  It’s wrapped in plain brown paper.  We imagine we could guess the content of today’s Table without opening or listening.  Yet, it’s the very thing that can calm and rattle your life at the same time.

God is ready to meet you right now wherever you are.  When He does, will you take off your shoes to walk on holy ground, or will you walk on by?   

Featuring “All In All” and “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Josh Garrels (Used by Permission through Musicbed).

A HOST OF FRIENDS

Welcome to our 150th Redemption’s Table!  

I am learning how to host a podcast.  I now have 150 episodes of practice.  And I think the secret is to not take yourself too seriously while taking your guest and your subject very seriously.

Come join us for some fun as the host becomes the guest and I get grilled by three of the sharpest people I know.  Along the way, I’ll share a little bit of my motivation for doing this podcast and how the Table has changed since that first episode back in 2019.  Get ready to smile, to be encouraged, and perhaps hear that one thing awaiting your discovery that has the potential to change the rest of your year. 

I am a host of friends and I have a host of friends.  And you are one of them.

Featuring “Let’s Go Outside” by The National Parks (Used by Permission through Musicbed).

NAVIGATING YOUR SOUL

I like the word navigate.  I like the images that come to mind when I ponder that word.  It falls into a category of simplicity, of a way of life that brims with more intensity, with more pure oxygen than any artificial substitute our culture keeps seducing us to embrace.

To navigate is to know where we are, and to know where we want to go.  Once those two points are established, we follow the way.  It behooves us all to choose our path wisely.

You can navigate a trail, a river, a kayak, a surf board. But can you truly navigate your soul?  Yes, I believe you can.  Because if you don’t, someone is going to.  And they might just have you believing the path you are on is where you really want to go.

Featuring “Constellations” by Ellie Holcomb (Used by Permission through Musicbed).

ECLYPSO

ECLYPSO

Eclipse.  Last month, millions in North America migrated both near and far to fall under the wonder of a moon shadow for a few, brief moments.  A total solar eclipse.

Calypso.  A musical style which originated in Trinidad, Tobago, and spread throughout the West Indies of the Caribbean.

Eclypso.  A combination of two familiar words to inspire a brand new thought.

Eclypso.  It’s the song, it’s the dance of your soul before God that rises in an eclipse-like moment, as you become enthralled with awe.

Let your curiosity draw you in.  Consider the question – when was the last time your soul was caught up in the rhythm of eclypso?

Featuring “Great Sky” by The National Parks (Used by Permission through Musicbed).

HEARTSONGS & SPARKLEFLIES

Conversation with Special Guest:  Raymond Turner

Recorded Live in Sparklefly Studio in CookChildren’s Medical Center – Fort Worth, Texas.

We step in and out of sacred spaces every day, oft times unaware.  But every now and then, we are overwhelmed from the outside in and the inside out simultaneously, just by being where we are.  

That’s how I felt when I visited Raymond Turner at Sparklefly Studio in Fort Worth, Texas.  Raymond is the Recording Studio Producer at Sparklefly – a professional state-of-the-art recording space inside a children’s hospital.  Talk about innovative and one-of-a-kind.  Raymond helps children battling illness write and record their own songs.  Some of Raymond’s work includes taking the heartbeats of little ones in the NICU unit and lovingly turning it into music for their families.  Some of these children are either premature, struggling to survive, or have already passed away.

How incredibly redemptive is that!

Featuring “Brand New Day” and “HeartSong” – recorded and produced by CookChildren’s patients and Raymond Turner (Used by Permission).

BONUS REPLAY – IF I DON’T HAVE TO BE ME ANYMORE

A Very Special 5th Birthday Table Episode 

Featuring Special Guest:  Chris McLane

Originally Recorded July 19th, 2019 – Dinner and Conversation at Mooyah’s Burgers in Birmingham, Alabama.                                                                                          

Originally Released July 22nd, 2019

Redemption’s Table was launched 5 Years Ago today – April 22, 2019.  And since then, 146 episodes have been released.  The original idea was simple.  Invite a special guest each week to share a meal at a restaurant of their choosing and record a conversation with them in the restaurant after the meal.  That idea and this podcast almost didn’t happen – until I had a conversation with one very special person I already knew.  My good friend – Chris McLane.

I met Chris at Brother Bryan Mission in downtown Birmingham. He was truly one of a kind. A brilliant mind and sharp wit. I saw a theologian or a Christian apologist within. We often met at Vulcan Park to walk the trail from Vulcan to Green Springs and back.  Those walks were good, rich conversation. I was grateful to have been present when Chris went under the waters of baptism at Redeemer Church in Avondale.

Chris stepped into the presence of Jesus last summer.  And I’m one of many who miss him.  But I know Who Chris knew, I know Who Chris trusted, and I know where Chris is because Chris surrendered to Jesus.

I owe Chris an enormous debt. I think of him almost every week as each new podcast episode is released. Without Chris, this podcast idea would probably still be sitting on the runway. His computer expertise made it happen and he co-produced and edited the first 36 episodes. And somewhere in the archives, waiting to be found again, was Chris’ own episode – “If I Don’t Have to Be Me Anymore.”  

It suddenly came to me last night where Chris’ story might possibly be.  And when I checked, there it was.  So on this 5th anniversary of the Table, I can think of no other story that represents better what Redemption’s Table has always aspired to be.  I believe this release honors Chris and honors Jesus.  It’s Chris’ authentic account of his story and how Jesus redeemed him.

I think of something often said by author Brennan Manning – “God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be.”  That’s especially true for me.  That’s my story.  That’s Chris’ story.  That’s all of our stories.

THE SECRET SAUCE OF BEING A DAD

Lunch and Conversation with Special Guest:  Larry Cobb

Recorded Live at Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill in Montgomery, Alabama.

I believe my good friend Larry Cobb has discovered the secret sauce of fatherhood.  During today’s live table over Salsarita’s two taco special, Larry never uses the term “secret sauce,” but I think he’s found what it is.  He’s a 3-D dad.  His three children were born in 3 different decades.  Twenty years of continual fatherhood has gifted Larry with perspective and one particular parenting skill every child craves from their father.  Larry listens to his children.

And you’re invited to listen as well.  Grab a taco and some tomatillo sauce.  We saved you a seat.

Featuring “Only You” by Antoine Bradford (Used by Permission through Musicbed).