Restoring the Soul with Michael John Cusick

Dec 04 2020 35 mins 132

Conversations that cultivate freedom, flourishing, and wholeness of heart through Jesus-shaped spirituality. If you would like further information about Michael and Restoring the Soul, visit restoringthesoul.com



















































































Episode 92 - Chuck DeGroat, “Wholeheartedness", Part I
Apr 11 2019 26 mins  
Finding Wholeheartedness“Wholeheartedness is living life in the presence of God.” - Chuck DeGroatOn this episode of Restoring the Soul, you’ll hear the first of a two-part conversation between Michael and Chuck DeGroat. Chuck is Professor of Counseling and Christian Spirituality at Western Theological Seminary in Holland MI, and Co-Founder and a Senior Fellow at Newbigin House of Studies, San Francisco.He has spent the last 20+ years in a fluid combination of pastoral ministry, seminary teaching, and clinical counseling and writes mostly about the intersections of psychology, theology, and Christian spirituality…with a focus on our lived experience of oneness and worthiness in Jesus.Chuck has written Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness Places, which represents his narrative biblical paradigm for understanding counseling, care, and formation. His second book, The Toughest People to Love focuses on caring for the most difficult people leaders encounter. Finally, Chuck’s third book Wholeheartedness brings a vision of wholeness amidst perfectionism and shame-based culture. His self-published Lenten devotional is called Falling Into Goodness.Learn more about Chuck DeGroat here.In this podcast, we hope you will discover:How to find balance and groundedness in your lifeThe importance of practicing the presence of God & contemplative prayer The damage that can be done by being caught in the “trauma loop”













Episode 81 - Tony and Vivian Lemus, "The Soul of Immigration"
Jan 17 2019 54 mins  
The Soul of Immigration “We just need to start seeing each other as God-created human beings instead of all these other labels that we have.” - Vivian LemusMarch 26, 2018 was the day that has forever have changed the lives of Tony and Vivian Lemus. It was on that day they were officially sworn in as United States citizens. We celebrate this special day with Tony and Vivian on this episode of Restoring the Soul and are excited to take you inside their nearly 17-year journey of becoming US citizens to help show that the issue of immigration is not just tied to laws and whether or not migrants are “dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s”. In Michael’s hour-long conversation, he hopes to show that immigration is a living and breathing story of people’s lives that have gotten caught in the sticky spokes of politics and misunderstanding.Tony Lemus is originally from Guatemala. He serves as Program Director at El Centro Humanitario where he oversees the design, development and execution of programs to serve the homeless seeking employment. He holds a law degree from Guatemala, as well as certificates in Public Management and Political Strategies acquired in Costa Rica and Taiwan. Vivian Lemus is also originally from Guatemala and serves as a paralegal at a Denver Immigration law firm. She has worked in administration and teaching, having interacted with people of different cultures and backgrounds throughout her life.In this podcast, we hope you will discover:What the process of “letting go” feels like for immigrants.The challenges associated with raising 3rd Culture Kids.The stresses related to immigrants living in the United States, legal or undocumented.



Episode 79 - Evan Moffic Part II, "The Happiness Prayer"
Dec 26 2018 37 mins  
The Happiness Prayer “Happiness is a sense of looking back on our life and knowing it’s been well-lived.” - Rabbi Evan MofficOn this edition of Restoring the Soul, Michael concludes his conversation with Rabbi Evan Moffic. Evan serves as the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Solel in suburban Chicago. He uses his experience as a rabbi working with people of all ages who experience the highs and lows of life, combined with the most cutting edge research in positive psychology and neuroscience, to explore what practices help us feel a greater sense of satisfaction, meaning and purpose in our lives.Rabbi Moffic is the author of three best-selling books, and a fourth set to release in early 2019. He is regularly featured as part of the Religion Panel on Fox and Friends, and his articles appear in Huffington Post. Evan speaks across the country to faith based groups and corporations wanting to improve strategies for understanding one another, facilitating increased productivity and harmony in the workplace and in our social circles. He is a skilled retreat leader, “lunch and learn” speaker, and large group debate moderator. He is at home in sanctuaries, company boardrooms and civic auditoriums.To learn more about him, visit https://rabbimoffic.com/In this podcast, we hope you will discover:The connection between forgiving your parents and forgiving yourself.The ten elements of the Happiness PrayerThe difference between happiness and pleasure









Episode 71 - Aundi Kolber Part II, “Healing Trauma: Getting Unstuck and Becoming Whole”
Oct 31 2018 27 mins  
Healing Trauma: Getting Unstuck and Becoming Whole"Understanding the role that shame plays in our life can be a catalyst for change.” - Aundi KolberOn this episode of Restoring the Soul, Michael concludes his conversation with Aundi Kolber. Aundi is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), writer, and speaker in Castle Rock, Colorado. She specializes in trauma and body centered therapies, including the highly researched and regarded Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Aundi is passionate about the integration of faith and psychology, and its significance for the Church today. She has written for Relevant, CT Women, (In) Courage, and more. As a survivor of trauma and a life long learner, Aundi brings hard won knowledge around the work of change, the power of redemption, and the beauty of experiencing God in our pain. Aundi has been happily married to her best friend for over eleven years and is the proud mom of Matia (6) and Jude (1). Aundi will be releasing her first book with Tyndale Publishers in January of 2020. Sign up for her newsletter to follow along: http://bit.ly/signup_bravelyimperfect Or find her on Twitter and Instagram: @aundikolber In this podcast, we hope you will discover:How shame is its own kind of trauma.How to discover and build your “window of tolerance”.How Aundi’s writing allowed her to integrate her faith and psychology


Episode 70 - Aundi Kolber Part I, “Healing Trauma: Getting Unstuck and Becoming Whole”
Oct 24 2018 32 mins  
Healing Trauma: Getting Unstuck and Becoming Whole"Understanding the role that shame plays in our life can be a catalyst for change.” - Aundi KolberOn this episode of Restoring the Soul, Michael is joined by Aundi Kolber. Aundi is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), writer, and speaker in Castle Rock, Colorado. She specializes in trauma and body centered therapies, including the highly researched and regarded Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Aundi is passionate about the integration of faith and psychology, and its significance for the Church today. She has written for Relevant, CT Women, (In) Courage, and more.As a survivor of trauma and a life long learner, Aundi brings hard won knowledge around the work of change, the power of redemption, and the beauty of experiencing God in our pain. Aundi has been happily married to her best friend for over eleven years and is the proud mom of Matia (6) and Jude (1).Aundi will be releasing her first book with Tyndale Publishers in January of 2020. Sign up for her newsletter to follow along: http://bit.ly/signup_bravelyimperfectOr find her on Twitter and Instagram: @aundikolberIn this podcast, we hope you will discover:What is a trauma informed perspective.Strains of “stuckness” and how to overcome them.The importance of self-compassion and mindfulness.The difference between shame and healthy guilt.

Episode 69 - Jonathan Merritt Part II, “Speak God”
Oct 17 2018 34 mins  
Speak God“As I got older, I had to consider whether or not that word “God” needed to mature alongside me.” - Jonathan MerrittOn this edition of Restoring the Soul, Michael’s concludes his interview with Jonathan Merritt. Jonathan is an award-winning writer on religion, culture, and politics. He currently serves as a contributing writer for The Atlantic and contributing editor for The Week. Jonathan has published more than 3500 articles in respected outlets such as The New York Times, USA Today, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. As a respected voice, he regularly contributes commentary to television, print, and radio news outlets and has been interviewed by ABC World News, NPR, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, Fox News, and CBS’ “60 Minutes.”In fact, the New York Times has recently published a fabulous Opinion piece by Jonathan titled, "It's Getting Harder to Talk About God".Jonathan is also author of several critically-acclaimed books, including Learning to Speak God from Scratch, Jesus is Better Than You Imagined, and A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars. and has collaborated on or ghostwritten more than 50 additional books, with several titles landing on the New York Times, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists. Additionally, he trains hundreds of young writers through his Write Brilliant course.In this podcast, we hope you will discover:The understanding of words is an internal process, a spiritual process as much as it is a cognitive understanding of words.There’s no way to express the Gospel without words.The vocabulary of faith is growing and evolving over time.How to S.P.E.A.K.

Episode 68 - Jonathan Merritt Part I, “Speak God”
Oct 10 2018 37 mins  
"Speak God"“Living languages can die but a dying language could also be revived.” - Jonathan MerrittMichael’s guest on this episode of Restoring the Soul is Jonathan Merritt. Jonathan is an award-winning writer on religion, culture, and politics. He currently serves as a contributing writer for The Atlantic and contributing editor for The Week. Jonathan has published more than 3500 articles in respected outlets such as The New York Times, USA Today, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. As a respected voice, he regularly contributes commentary to television, print, and radio news outlets and has been interviewed by ABC World News, NPR, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, Fox News, and CBS’ “60 Minutes."Jonathan is author of several critically-acclaimed books, including Learning to Speak God from Scratch, Jesus is Better Than You Imagined, and A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars. and has collaborated on or ghostwritten more than 50 additional books, with several titles landing on the New York Times, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists. Additionally, he trains hundreds of young writers through his Write Brilliant course.In this podcast, we hope you will discover:Only 7% of the American population say they have a regular spiritual conversation.The connotation of sacred words have changed so much they have become triggers for many.The thirteen top reasons why people avoid using sacred words.What qualifies as a spiritual conversation.Why Speaking God matters.


Episode 66 - Dr. Curt Thompson Part II, “Being Known”
May 02 2018 42 mins  
“Being Known”“The degree to which I am deeply known by God experientially is directly related to the degree that I am deeply known by other human beings.”On this episode of Restoring the Soul, Michael concludes his conversation with Dr. Curt Thompson. Curt is a psychiatrist who received his MD from Wright State University. He authored Anatomy of the Soul and founded the Center for Being Known, a nonprofit that develops resources to educate and train leaders within the fields of mental health, education, business, and the church about the intersection between interpersonal neurobiology and Christian spiritual formation. Thompson believes that the findings of interpersonal neurobiology point to important tenets of Christian faith that enable us to reflect on, understand, and experience that same faith in fresh, trustworthy ways. Through Being Known, Dr. Thompson is now creating a platform for educating clinicians, individuals and groups through the development of training materials, seminars and other resources.He and his wife Phyllis, a licensed clinical social worker, and their two children reside in Arlington, Virginia.In this podcast, we hope you will discover:Why our mind is different than our brain.The necessity of being connected to others in relationshipHow your mind can truly flourish.How to identify mature or insecure forms of emotional attachment.The importance of the engagement of your right brain as it relates to your faith and spiritual life.


Episode 65 - Dr. Curt Thompson Part I, “Being Known”
Apr 25 2018 35 mins  
“Being Known”“My calling is to preach the gospel in the language of neuroscience.” ― Curt ThompsonMichael speaks with Dr. Curt Thompson on this edition of Restoring the Soul. Curt is a psychiatrist who received his MD from Wright State University. He authored Anatomy of the Soul and founded the Center for Being Known, a nonprofit that develops resources to educate and train leaders within the fields of mental health, education, business, and the church about the intersection between interpersonal neurobiology and Christian spiritual formation. Thompson believes that the findings of interpersonal neurobiology point to important tenets of Christian faith that enable us to reflect on, understand, and experience that same faith in fresh, trustworthy ways. Through Being Known, Dr. Thompson is now creating a platform for educating clinicians, individuals and groups through the development of training materials, seminars and other resources.He and his wife Phyllis, a licensed clinical social worker, and their two children reside in Arlington, Virginia.In this podcast, we hope you will discover:How Curt chose to become a psychiatrist and what it entails to become one.Why neuroscience, or the study of structure of the brain and nervous system, is extremely supportive of the entire biblical narrative, especially what is seen in the first few chapters of Genesis.Interpersonal neurobiology and its implications to faith and a relationship with God.What does it mean for us to be known?


Episode 64 - Ellen Haroutunian Part II, “Centering Prayer”
Apr 18 2018 24 mins  
“Centering Prayer”“Centering prayer is really the prayer of no words. It’s a place of safety with God“On this episode of Restoring the Soul, Michael concludes his conversation with Ellen Haroutunian. Ellen is a psychotherapist, life coach, spiritual director, and writer, with a focus on the awakening and strengthening of the truest self in Christ. This focus includes an emphasis on gender, sexuality and identity formation as well as the healing of relational struggles, abuse, trauma, codependency, anxiety, and depression. Through her private counseling practice she has spent almost two decades listening to personal stories and helping people to see the movement of God in their lives and to grow towards emotional wholeness and integration, as well as wisdom for the larger telos for humankind of which we are all a part. As a former nurse, she is passionate about all human flourishing, and takes an integrated approach to include support in physical as well as mental and spiritual health.In addition to seminary training, she is certified as a Spiritual Director by Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Spring, and in the Christian contemplative tradition through the Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM. She is currently a doctoral student, focusing on spiritual formation and transformation.She has two grown children and lives in Lakewood, CO with her husband Aram, two ex-racing greyhounds and two non-racing cats.In this podcast, we hope you will discover:The importance of practicing Centering Prayer in Ellen’s life and how it impacts her walk with Christ.How Centering Prayer triggers certain emotions that may not otherwise surface.The influence of Fr. Thomas Keating on Michael and Ellen and how the practice of Centering Prayer can be traced back to him.Ellen’s recommendations on how to begin practicing Centering Prayer.The difference between Listening Prayer and Centering Prayer.

Episode 63 - Ellen Haroutunian Part I, “See the World Through the Lowly”
Apr 11 2018 22 mins  
“See the World Through the Lowly”“Jesus really views this world very differently than we do. What is up for us is down for Him.”Ellen Haroutunian is Michael’s guest for the next two Restoring the Soul podcasts. Ellen is a psychotherapist, life coach, spiritual director, and writer, with a focus on the awakening and strengthening of the truest self in Christ. This focus includes an emphasis on gender, sexuality and identity formation as well as the healing of relational struggles, abuse, trauma, codependency, anxiety, and depression. Through her private counseling practice she has spent almost two decades listening to personal stories and helping people to see the movement of God in their lives and to grow towards emotional wholeness and integration, as well as wisdom for the larger telos for humankind of which we are all a part. As a former nurse, she is passionate about all human flourishing, and takes an integrated approach to include support in physical as well as mental and spiritual health.In addition to seminary training, she is certified as a Spiritual Director by Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Spring, and in the Christian contemplative tradition through the Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM. She is currently a doctoral student, focusing on spiritual formation and transformation.She has two grown children and lives in Lakewood, CO with her husband Aram, two ex-racing greyhounds and two non-racing cats.In this podcast, we hope you will discover:How the AIDS epidemic impacted Ellen’s faith.How to see the world through the eyes of the lowly and the suffering.What brings us to the place of transformation; great suffering or great love?How Jesus resolves the tension we experience through mercy and love.How Jesus views ISIS.







Episode 57 - Dan Allender Part I, “Healing Sexual Brokenness”
Feb 28 2018 33 mins  
In this heartfelt and thought provoking conversation, Michael speaks with Dan Allender about topics such as: Why every one of us is sexually broken whether or not we have experienced sexual abuse or specific sexual harm.The major differences between man and woman, male and female as we are made in God’s image. Why women just may be more like God than men—and how this leads to the misogyny and violation of women driving the “#metoo” movement. The category of lust as “desire gone mad” and why it’s crucial to understand lust in terms of both relief and revenge.Why every man must come to terms with “the first woman in his life” which Dan describes as our mother.Dr. Dan Allender has pioneered a unique and innovative approach to trauma and abuse therapy over the past 30 years. Central to Dr. Allender’s theory and approach are the categories of Faith, Hope and Love, and their converses betrayal, ambivalence, and powerlessness. Through identifying and engaging these categories in one’s personal narrative, healing and transformation can occur by bridging the story of the gospel and the stories of trauma and abuse that mark so many.Dan continues to serve as Professor of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School. He travels and speaks extensively to present his unique perspective on sexual abuse recovery, love and forgiveness, intimacy and marriage, worship, and other related topics. Dan is the author of The Wounded Heart, The Healing Path, To Be Told, and God Loves Sex, and he has co-authored several books with Dr. Tremper Longman, including Intimate Allies, The Cry of the Soul, Bold Love, and Bold Purpose.








Episode 49 - Andy Crouch Part II, "The Tech-Wise Family"
Oct 23 2017 31 mins  
Michael's guest on this podcast is the first "alumni guest" on Restoring the Soul. Author, musician and speaker, Andy Crouch, joins Michael in a concluding discussion about his book, "The Tech-Wise Family".Andy is an eloquent communicator who masterfully makes connections between culture, creativity, and the Christianit faith. He is also on the gobverning boards of Fuller Theological Seminary as well as the Council for Christan Colleges and Universities. For more than 10 years he was an editor and producer at Christianity Today including serving as the Executive Editor from 2012-2016. Andy joined the John Templeton Foundation in 2017 as Senior Strategist for Communication and his work and writing have been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine.Andy Crouch is the author of several books including "Culture Making", "Playing God", and "Strong and Weak" (which in his first appearance on Restoring the Soul, we explored in-depth). On this podcast Michael and Andy will discuss, "The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place". According to Andy's website, "Making good choices about technology is more than just using internet filters and limiting “screen time.” It’s about developing wisdom, character, and courage in the way we use digital media, rather than accepting technology’s promises of ease, instant gratification, and the world’s knowledge at our fingertips."

Episode 48 - Andy Crouch Part I, "The Tech-Wise Family"
Oct 16 2017 31 mins  
Michael's guest for the next two podcasts is the first "alumni guest" on Restoring the Soul. Author, musician and speaker, Andy Crouch, joins Michael in discussion about his book, "The Tech-Wise Family".Andy is an eloquent communicator who masterfully makes connections between culture, creativity, and the Christianit faith. He is also on the gobverning boards of Fuller Theological Seminary as well as the Council for Christan Colleges and Universities. For more than 10 years he was an editor and producer at Christianity Today including serving as the Executive Editor from 2012-2016. Andy joined the John Templeton Foundation in 2017 as Senior Strategist for Communication and his work and writing have been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine.Andy Crouch is the author of several books including "Culture Making", "Playing God", and "Strong and Weak" (which in his first appearance on Restoring the Soul, we explored in-depth). On this podcast Michael and Andy will discuss, "The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place". According to Andy's website, "Making good choices about technology is more than just using internet filters and limiting “screen time.” It’s about developing wisdom, character, and courage in the way we use digital media, rather than accepting technology’s promises of ease, instant gratification, and the world’s knowledge at our fingertips."










































Episode 13 - Mako Fujimura Part I, “Silence and Beauty”
Sep 18 2016 28 mins  
Today on the program, and into the next episode, Michael is speaking with Mako Fujimura, visual artist, author, thought leader, and cultural-shaper who was recently appointed Director of The Brehm Center at Fuller Seminary. His paintings have been exhibited around the world and he is one of the first artists to paint live on stage at New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall. A popular speaker, he has lectured at numerous conferences, universities and museums, including the Aspen Institute, Yale and Princeton Universities, Sato Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992, a non-profit whose “Encounter” conferences have featured cultural catalysts such as Dr. Elaine Scarry, Dennis Donoghue, Billy Collins, Dana Gioia, Calvin DeWitt and Miroslav Volf. Fujimura’s second book, Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture, is a collection of essays bringing together people of all backgrounds in a conversation and meditation on culture, art, and humanity. In celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible, Crossway Publishing commissioned and published The Four Holy Gospels, featuring Fujimura’s illuminations of the sacred texts. In 2011 the Fujimura Institute was established and launched the Four Qu4rtets, a collaboration between Fujimura, painter Bruce Herman, Duke theologian/pianist Jeremy Begbie, and Yale composer Christopher Theofanidis, based on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. The exhibition will travel to Baylor, Duke, and Yale Universities, Gordon College and other institutions around the globe.















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