Friday, May 27, 2011

Marcia Z. Nelson, Interview #140

Name:  Marcia Z. Nelson

Where you live: suburban Chicago

What you do as a vocation or avocation? 
Author,  The Gospel According to Oprah&
religion reviews editor, Publishers Weekly;
avocationally: gardener
Your two favorite books: The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman; No Future without Forgiveness by Desmond Tutu

Your two favorite songs: Amazing Grace; Let It Be by the Beatles

Why you are interested in spirituality? it keeps me in touch with the better angels of human nature

Your favorite quote: Be still, and know that I am God (Ps 46:10)

Your favorite web sites: Facebook, the New York Times, and ZooBorns

Your hero? Desmond Tutu

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? shutting up (see favorite quote, above)

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" my garden (see avocation, above)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kristina Neuhauser, Interview #139

Name: Dr. Kristina Neuhauser

Where you live: I live between the UK, Hungary, and India. I spend a lot of my time travelling

What you do as a vocation or avocation? 
I am certified Feng Shui Master with the Imperial School of Feng Shui and practice as a Consultant globally. I am also a Psychodrama Therapist and a Motivational Coach and work across Europe helping individuals unlock their true potential. Originally I was a lecturer of English and Russian at University but then in the '80s decided to retrain as a Nutritionist and my husband and I started a nutrition business. We've worked in nutrition for over 25 years now and combine our knowledge of nutrition with psychodrama, motivational coaching and Feng Shui to offer holistic services to clientele across the globe.

Your two favorite books: Currently my two favourite books are "Have you got the guts to be really healthy" by Don Chisholm & "Cleanse & Purify Thyself" by Richard Anderson. Both fantastic reads, giving great insight into how you can lead a healthy life free without the intervention of pharmaceuticals.

Why you are interested in spirituality? Sprituality is deeply ingrained in my way of life. I was raised of the Christian faith and felt that there was a vast hidden spirituality in my household. After my children were born I decided to delve deeper into the meaning of connectedness and universal consciousness. I explored Buddhism and made a conscious decision to live a more spiritual life and felt great personal rewards. I brought this new sense of connectedness to my family and watched with great pride and a warm heart as my children explored their own sense of self and spirituality. Spirituality is not just an interest for me, it is part of who I am, what I believe and every decision I make.

Your favorite quote: 
 "If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation." Jiddu Krishnamurti

  Your favorite web sites: 
Your hero?
  Helen Keller. She was born deaf and blind. Instead of fearing her personal challenge, she worked hard and embraced the gifts that came with it. As a result she became an accomplished author and a great spiritual teacher. She showed us all that truly is possible.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?
To expect less of myself and be patient. These are life-long lessons for a naturally-born overachiever like me.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"
The Island of Bali, Kerala (India) and Sri Lanka. These are spiritual power houses where I find myself connecting to the locals, travellers and most of all to the breath-taking nature. Otherwise, when I am with my family.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Michael Wenham, Interview #138

Name:  Michael Wenham

Where you live:  Wantage, near Oxford, UK
What you do as a vocation or avocation?  
My vocation is to be a limping follower of Jesus Christ; my avocation is writing.
Your two favorite books:  
(Excluding the Bible and Shakespeare, as they say on the UK's radio programme, Desert Island Discsthey'd have to be Jane Austen's Collected works (and if pushed Persuasion)  and Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy.
Your two favorite songs:  Dove sono from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, and Et in terra pax from Vivaldi's Gloria RV589 - and for light listening I Hope you Dance Lee Ann Womack
Why you are interested in spirituality?  I'm not sure I'd quite put it like that! Having ALS (or Motor Neurone Disease) has been an interesting test case for me. Would it disprove the existence of God? That's not been my experience. In fact faith has made more sense and paradoxically more mystery. I have found more richness in life and more depth in friendships. Life seems to be infinitely precious and love infinitely powerful. How can that be if we are just machines, or the products of mere chance? My convictions were first intellectual. Then I had an experience of the Holy Spirit. And now I'm discovering the quiet companionship of Christ in hard times, and he hasn't deserted me. 
Your favorite quote:  Way out in front: 'I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, 
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.' (St Paul, Letter to Romans)

Followed in the 20th century by:

'We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.' (T.S.Eliot, Little Gidding)

Your favorite web sites:
Christian Medical Comment -

Your hero? Without doubt Jane, my wife who is quietly inspirational and keeps me alive.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?  Not to pity myself.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"
Christ Church, Exmouth, in the UK - an utterly unpretentious chapel where I sense a community of love. 

Michael's site and where he blogs:


Friday, May 13, 2011

Janet Oberholtzer, Interview #137

Name: Janet Oberholtzer
Where you live: Mohnton, PA
What you do as a vocation or avocation? Writer, speaker and I blog at
Your two favorite books: I'm an avid reader, so this is a tough question ... but two that have impacted me over the past few years are Born to Run by
 Christopher McDougall and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Your two favorite songsYou Raise Me Up by Josh Groban and Firework by Katy Perry
Why you are interested in spirituality? It's been an interest as long as I can remember. As a child, I'd lie in the grass studying the stars wondering if there really was a God and if so, what the connection is between the divine and humanity.
Your favorite quote: Again, how can I pick one? I love quotes! But the one that has kept me going over the past few years after receiving horrific injuries in an accident is "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have." Theodore Roosevelt. By doing that, I've recovered much better than expected ... doctors weren't sure if I would ever walk again and recently I've completed a half-marathon.
Your favorite web sites: For a laugh: To make me think:
Your hero? Right now - Dean Karnazes, he recently completed a Run Across America in 75 days. 
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? How to live fully alive as me ... not as someone that I think others want me to be.
A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"
Outside in nature ... either being still or going for a run.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ray Clements (J.B.), Interview #137

Name:  Ray Clements (J.B.)

Where do you live? Newburyport, Massachusetts

What do you do as a vocation?  I write.

What are your two favorite books?
Having read them both at a very impressionable time in my life, there are two books that have stayed with me through the years; Upton Sinclair's, The Jungle and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe.

What are your two favorite songs?
The Pretender by Jackson Brown, (who explains the song like this; "'s not me exactly, although sometimes people applaud for me at the moment in the song as if I am, but in truth there is a bit of the Pretender in me, but it's anybody that's sort of lost sight of some of their dreams...and is going through the motions and trying to make a stab at a certain way of life that he sees other people succeeding at. So maybe it's a lot of people of a certain generation who've embraced a very material lifestyle in place of dreams that they had that sort of disintegrated at some point."), and John Lennon's Working Class Hero.

Why are you interested in spirituality?
I think for the complete answer you would have to read my book, Zor. The short answer would be, "It's time." With so much dividing the world; capitalism, politics, religion, race, sex, education, culture, etc; we need to concentrate on something that unites the world.  Spirituality is the answer and, for the first time in history, philosophy, spirituality, and science are leading us to the same conclusion. 

What is your favorite quote?
"Everything is the result of something else. To have, what you have not; you must do, what you do not."-Zor

Your Hero?
Mohandas Gandhi, for obvious reasons.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? 
No one can save the world, but any one can change it.

Where do you feel spiritually connected.
I have always been drawn to the ocean, and that is where I am the most spiritually connected.

My web site is
My amazon page is

Monday, May 9, 2011

Elissa Elliott, Interview #136

Name: Elissa Elliott           

Where you live: Rochester, MN           

What you do as a vocation or avocation? Author, blogger, and podcaster

Your two favorite books:  Usually it’s the one I’m reading currently, but I’ll play along and say Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible.

Your two favorite songs:  Again, this list comes from what I’m currently listening to, so let’s just say they’re Brandon Flowers’s “On the Floor” and Arcade Fire’s “Intervention.”

Why you are interested in spirituality?  I find it fascinating that the two main questions we want to ask are: Is there Something out there?  And how do we relate to that Something?  Obviously, the questions don’t come with easy answers.  If they did, we’d all believe the same thing…and obviously we don’t. Some have even gone on to reject the notion completely.  I long for discussions among people of different beliefs, I guess.  We don’t have too many (discussions) that are open-minded (or even civil) anymore.

Your favorite quote:Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

Your favorite web sites:

Your hero? A person who is kind.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? How to love properly.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" Online, I’d have to say.  It’s the one venue I can find others like me, easily and safely.

Speaking: Wild Goose Festival on June 23, 2011, Shakori Hills, NC

Media: Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Robert Hunt, Interview #135

Name: Robert Hunt            

Where you live: Dallas,Texas

What you do as a vocation or avocation? I administer a program of global theological education at Perkins School of Theology, and teach courses in World Religions.

Your two favorite books: Only two? I find Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld series and P.D.James works always thought-provoking and entertaining.

Your two favorite songs: Again only two? Carrie Newcomer’s "Betty's Diner"
 and Sophie von Otter, “Take it With Me” (by Tom Waits, produced by Elvis Costello) 

Why you are interested in spirituality? I’m interested in all the ways that humans in their finitude seek and are sought by the transcendent. Because spirituality is a distinctly human phenomenon, and to me humans are really the most fascinating thing there is in all creation.

Your favorite quote: At the moment: 
“The universe and the facts of life are stubborn and recalcitrant and the quest for simple explanations is doomed to failure . . . . If any domain of the history of man and of his thought seems to us quite straightforward, we may be fairly certain that we are ill-informed about it or view it from a partisan standpoint.” Arthur Darby Nock

Your favorite web,,
Your hero? Ulysses as imagined by Homer and Tennyson, Prometheus as imagined by Shelley. 

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? Oddly, given the above, “to learn to be still.” 

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" At sea.