I am excited to share my interview with Matthew Brough from The Spirituality for Ordinary People Podcast.
Pulled directly from his web site, Matthew describes his show as:
“You know those people who say “I’m spiritual, not religious?” That’s not me. Not that I ever considered myself religious either. You might think it a little strange for a pastor to say these kinds of things, but it’s true.
I’ve struggled with spirituality and with religion, and neither of these terms or their associated behaviors is what attracted me to God, Jesus, and the Church in the first place. I just wanted to do my best to follow Jesus.
The thing is, every one of us needs certain practices or habits that will help us keep on track with God.
This podcast features interviews with pastors, authors, artists and other ordinary people about the practical ways they stay connected to God. Find out what practices and habits have worked for church leaders and thinkers, as well as what works for plumbers, farmers, teachers, moms, dads, and grandparents.
Join me for conversations designed to help you stay connected to God!”
Now on to the interview.
Tell us a little bit about your podcast: The Spirituality for Ordinary People Podcast. When did it start? Why did you begin your podcast?
I began the podcast in April 2017 after having wanted to start a podcast for some time. One of the main reasons for starting a podcast about Spiritual practices is that I’ve struggled with the idea of “spirituality.” I always just wanted to learn the Bible and follow Jesus, and often recoiled at the idea of the interior spiritual life.
I’ve come to learn that regular practices are necessary for the life of faith and wants to explore that further. At the same time, I was particularly interested in discovering what other people do, and also in helping ordinary people discover the wealth of ways in which people interact with the triune God.
You interview people to discover the practical ways they stay connected to God. What are some of the ways and practices that you utilize to stay connected to God?
I regularly walk and pray. This is perhaps my favorite practice. There is something about being outside and being on the move. At times I will use a labyrinth as well as a way of being a bit more focused. I regularly pray for God’s guidance or direction and I find the metaphor of walking to be very helpful.
I also pray open ended questions and then try to leave space to hear what God might be saying. My anchor practice that I go back to when I get off-track, is reading the Psalms. Sometimes that will be just on a random day, but something I will spend a month reading through the Psalms.
What are some unexpected fruits that you have experienced as a result of your podcast?
I was honestly not expecting to enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and various denominations of Christianity as much as I have. The conversations themselves with their focus on God and how one connects with God have been such a blessing.
What is prayer? How do you pray?
Prayer is being in the presence of God. My prayers have shifted toward a two way conversation, where I ask questions and listen for answers. Often the answers do not match up with the questions. I may ask something like, “what should I do?” and an answer will be a sense of God’s love, or a sense of God saying “trust me.” Through this, my prayers are beginning to shift again toward more of a sense of God and I being together without there always being a need for conversation.
I see you are an author of both fiction and nonfiction books. Tell us a little bit about your past and present writing projects.
My past non-fiction books are primarily reflections on key Biblical texts and are meant to provoke ways of thinking about the activity of God in two areas. Let God Be God is about how we tend to allow other things take the place of God in our life, and how we need to shift our thinking to actually being to allow God to be God. Let God Be Present is about how we can often try to connect with God only on our own terms, but in Scripture God tends to “show up” quite independently of our actions, and often in surprising ways.
I am also in the middle of writing a series of fantasy adventure books for children ages 8 and up. Actually, I find that many adults enjoy these books. There are two in the series so far: Del Ryder and the Crystal Seed and Del Ryder and the Rescue of Eleanor. Book three is coming soon!
What is (are) the best place for people to find you to learn more about you and your work?
spiritualityforordianrypeople.com is probably the best starting place. People can sign up to get a free copy of Let God Be Present or receive a quick 6 tips guide for staying more consistent in connecting with God, and they can be added to my mailing list that focusses on the podcast primarily.
For my fiction, people can visit mattbrough.com/book
Matthew thank you for taking the time for this interview.
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