Lunch and Conversation at Sinclair’s East in Montgomery, Alabama
Featuring Special Guest: Katie Blair
Of the four original seasons, almost everyone I know has a favorite. But I don’t know a single solitary soul who likes the fifth season – the season of brokenness. This season overstays a welcome it was never extended in the first place. While the others are three months and done, death, loss, grief, and pain leave a trace of their lingering presence the rest of our lives.Today’s podcast guest Katie Blair and her entire family has been in grief’s shadow of late. From a son battling a chronic illness to a fire that destroyed their home to the death of both of Katie’s parents, these past few years have been a chapter right out of the book of Job. Yet even in the midst of all this, there is hope. We welcome Katie to the table and look forward to the launch of her own podcast coming later this spring – “She Said Death.” A chair awaits you at the table. We recommend the quesadillas.
If today’s podcast guest were to paraphrase Jesus’ words in John 10:10 – “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full,”he probably would translate Jesus saying it something like this: “I have come that you may live life to the extremes, living it all the way to the edge of yikes!”That’s how Bob Goff lives his life. As a lawyer, he took Ugandan witch doctors to court to stop child sacrifices. His “Love Does” organization has been fighting for human rights and providing education to children in conflict zones for over 15 years. He authored a couple of New York Times’ bestsellers to support this work. He teaches classes at San Quentin. He shares his “Dream Big” Framework in conferences and encourages hundreds to pursue their God-given dreams. So grab a pen and paper and join us for a treat! We saved you a seat.
King Cake from Deaux Boys and Conversation Around the Home Table in Millbrook, Alabama
Featuring Special Guest: Hunter Harris
If Jesus was Cajun, one of His most famous invites might o’ sounded like this: “Who dat who is tired, worn slap out, and frazzled? Come unto Me and I’ll show you how to take a real, good rest, for my yoke is the big easy and my burden, it be light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Well, Cajun or not, Jesus is the namesake to king cake.
The journey of Lent begins this week. I define it as a wonderful journey of intentionality. When I thought of that trait, today’s guest, Hunter Harris, came to mind. When I asked Hunter how I could pray for him this year, he said, “I feel like I have a lot to learn and I want my ‘rest’ to be my ‘abiding’ in Christ…” That’s a good ask. That’s intentionality. So join us at this table planted betwixt where Mardi Gras ends and Lent begins. Set a spell and rest your weary bones while we rustle up a slice of king cake; we saved you a seat.
Conversation at Insights Counseling Center in Birmingham, Alabama
Featuring Special Guest: Tal Prince
Psalm 139 declares us “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Yet a lot of us are walking around convinced we are “fearfully messed up” and almost to the end of our hope. It is a delight to welcome Tal Prince to the podcast. Tal is owner, director, and therapist at Insights Counseling Center. This fresh Prince episode brings porn to the table, – and the death penalty, and The Innocence Project, and addictions, and isolated pastors, and a whole mess of other stuff that needs to be brought out into the open. This conversation is gonna stick with you for a while and needs to be shared with every one you know, ministers included. For every shade of grey in your life, a million shades of mercy await at the Father’s table. He saved you a seat.
Lunch and Conversation at Klingler’s Café, Bakery, & Catering in Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Featuring Special Guest: Ethan Milner
Imagine the next 24 hours of your life were scripted and filmed for a movie to be premiered at the end of 2020. What would the account of a single day reveal about you? Would it a comedy, a drama, or an adventure? Would it be a cautionary tale or one of incredible inspiration? Everybody’s got a story! What is yours telling?Today’s podcast guest Ethan Milner is the Visual Arts Director at Shades Mountain Baptist Church. He leads an incredible group of creatives who specialize in Gospel-centered storytelling that flavors and shines. Ethan and I met at a wonderful German bakery specializing in tasty Reubens, Black Forest Cheesecake, and some of the best oom-pah ambience we’ve ever had on this podcast. The table is waiting; we saved you a seat.
Brunch and Conversation at Heritage House Coffee & Tea in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Featuring Special Guest: Braidyn Lazenby
Life is a pageant of praise to our Creator Who crafted the earth as our stage. His carpenter Son not only planted the forests and measured the boards where our beautiful feet await the invitation to walk, run, and dance whenever He calls our name. His Spirit animates and accompanies our every breath. Today is our day to step into His spotlight.Today’s podcast guest Braidyn Lazenby perhaps understands those words a little better than most. She has received quite a few crowns along the way including Autauga County’s Distinguished Young Woman, Miss Leeds, and Miss Birmingham. Last summer, she competed in her final event – the Miss Alabama pageant. Braidyn and I sat down to her favorite table in T-Town where she is currently working on her Masters. So grab you a scone and a cup of coffee and join us. We saved you a seat.
Dinner and Conversation at Martha’s Place in Montgomery, Alabama
Featuring Special Guest: Andrew Roberts
I hope my grandkids some day encounter a schoolteacher like Mr. Roberts. He has been teaching in public education at the same school for 23 years. He purposefully chose to return to the same elementary school where he was once a student. And with the grace of God, he overcame a few potentially sidelining obstacles to get there.The first time I met Andrew, I was struck by his presence. He cares about people and it shows. He’s very upfront about his style of teaching: “I aim for the heart.” But as with every gifted teacher, Andrew also exhibits the humility of a student. He is still being flipped upside down by the One the world recognizes as “Good Teacher.” Andrew and I shared some tasty Southern meat and three at Martha’s Place. So jump in the buffet line, fill up your plate, and come on back to the table. We saved you a seat.
Conversation at Wishbone Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Featuring Special Guest: Marty Raybon
They sing about sacred Sundays in the south, double blessings of roses, and getting to the church on Cumberland Road on time, among other things. And every solitary one of American country band Shenandoah’s 26 singles, 5 #1 Hits, 3 Gold Records, and 1 Grammy winning song is still sung somewhere in the vicinity of the heart.Today’s podcast guest Marty Raybon is the lead singer of Shenandoah. I was blessed to catch up with Marty on New Year’s Eve day in the Sweet Home Alabama town that’s got the Swampers who’ve been known to pick a song or two. Marty and I talked about the early days of Shenandoah, including the band’s amazing sophomore album “The Road Not Taken.” And from there, Marty shared his own personal journey and the road surrendered. I encourage you to put down the TV Guide, grab you up some barbecued chicken, and set a spell at “the Table.” We saved you a rocking chair.
Lunch and Conversation at Heard’s BBQ & Soul Food in Maplesville, Alabama
Featuring Special Guest: Kenny Lenoir
Today we want to encourage you to learn a new art form. I call it “the art of leaning forward.” It is the posture of one who is always anticipating; ever watching for Jesus to show up somewhere throughout their day, ever listening for God to speak through whomever and whatever and wherever He chooses.Today’s podcast guest Kenny Lenoir is a master craftsman of this medium. So when I was looking for someone to reflect with me on the best God-sightings of 2019, my friend Kenny was the logical choice. He and I sat down to an outdoor table for some of Roman Heard’s incredible fried catfish (I kid you not, the best I have ever tasted in Alabama). Set a spell, lean in to the conversation, and walk away with at least 20 subtle God-whispers to nudge you in a good direction for your own pursuit in the coming year.
(Featuring Brief Musical Excerpts from “Christmas At Shades”and “Behold the Lamb of God”)
The first Christmas came in its own way and on its own terms. Mary and Joseph anticipated the birth of their son Jesus, but they never could have guessed the way it actually went down. Unexpected road trip. Animals intruding Mary’s birthing suite. Shepherds gawking at the door. A mess of a wonder and a wonder of a mess.Christmas comes on it’s own terms. And that how I choose to celebrate it. I just let it come. I just watch it unfold. I anticipate it, but I deliberately choose to not become frantic about it. And that is so liberating. So instead of coming to a table this week, I invite you to accompany me on my Advent season. Along the way we’ll stop and take in a song or two from two of the most incredible worships I have ever attended – “God With Us. God For Us.” from “Christmas At Shades” and Andrew Peterson’s incredible “Behold the Lamb of God.” Come share this journey and let us wonder as we wander.