When college alone doesn’t cut it.

When College Doesn't Cut It


I’m curious: When did your vocational dreams and realities begin to diverge?

For me, it started in college.

I was a Journalism major, with minors in Creative Writing and Religion. I lived to get to the bottom of a story, and share that story with passion and craft. I grew up admiring courageous journalists who risked everything to get the story and tell the story.

Back then, I figured I’d go to school for four years and be set up for a job I loved. In my case, I was planning to be a newspaper reporter. I was good at it – at my campus newspaper, I took stories others deemed too controversial (like when the KKK rolled into town) or complex (like the Y2K computer bug – I’m dating myself). I won awards for my writing.

But then the turn of the century happened (the 21st, don’t get any ideas – I’m not that old!), and I came face-to-face with the ways college did not prepare me for the changing workplace.

It turned out, if I wanted to be a reporter, I couldn’t just start out at my city’s big newspaper; I’d have to do time at my small-town county newspaper. Which would have been fine, but starting pay – if you could even get in the door – was minimum wage. Pretty much fast-food workers’ pay.

I had dreams and bills and wanted to start a family – I was heartbroken.

I loved to find and tell stories – I lived to write – but there was no way entry-level conventional employment was going to sustain me.

And so, I did what I do: I adapted. I networked. I created. I took time to drill down to the essence of what I really wanted to do – communicatte well – and re-imagined what this could look like in a world without limits.

In my case, I became an independent publishing consultant. I connected with editors and authors and agents, attended trade shows from Denver to New York City, read every how-to book I could get my hands on, and started:

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Marketing

…buidling a business as I went along, from the ground-up.

I’ve been on this journey for over 12 years now. It’s been quite the adventure – while friends of mine with “safer” jobs have experienced layoffs and daily frustration with their companies or bossess, I’ve been my own boss – doing my own work in some seasons, and choosing clients I love in other seasons.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Still…I wish I’d had a guide – something beyond a book – to help me navigate the ground beneath my feet. Because the road hasn’t always been smooth; I’ve made my fair share of mistakes.

Time-wasting, energy-draining, opportunity-missing mistakes.

But a guide to creating a life you love from the written word and an entreprenurial spirit didn’t exist – so I created one.

Enter The Buzz Seminar.

You may have heard me talk about the Buzz in an earlier email, and I’ll say more about it in a moment. But first, I want to tell you about two instant-access webinars that I’m giving away. I sat down with my friend and Buzz Seminar co-creator Frank Viola, interviewing him about the best-practices that have enabled him to hit 7 best-seller lists and have a top-rated blog in his genre, respectively.

The results are two webinars that are free to you:

















Buzz Basics: Authors dives into what the “experts” never tell you about how to actually hit a best-seller list – and Frank’s key strategy to help you beat the odds.

Buzz Basics: Bloggers shows how Frank quadrupled his blog traffic in just 30 days, paving the way for him to earn a sustainable income through blogging alone.

I know you might not consider yourself a “writer” or a blogger; even so, if you run a business of any kind – or dream of doing so – I think there’s something in these for you. So feel free to download one or both of these – my gift to you.

And: If you get value from the webinars, I think you’ll love the full Buzz Seminar. You can find out everything about it on our site, so I won’t go into too much of it here – only the highligts. Your Buzz membership contains:

  • 562 minutes of in-depth teaching from our four speakers (9.5 hours total), experts in our fields – we hold nothing back.
  • A 120-page Buzz Workbook that operationalizes everything in the audio teachings so that you can implement a strategy that works for you.
  • Lifetime access to our ever-growing Resource Page which keeps the course evergreen and up-to-date with the latest resources.
  • Lifetime access to The Hive, our closed Facebook group that gives you access to your instructors plus a growing peer-learning group of business owners, authors, bloggers and entrepreneurs.
  • And this time around, we’ve also included 5 bonus sessions by best-selling author and professional blogger Jeff Goins, renowned copywriter Ray Edwards, a publicist, a literary agent, and a successful blogger.

Here’s the thing, though: The Buzz Seminar goes away in 24 hours. Enrollment in this self-paced Seminar is limited; we only open it up for the public a few times a year.

My recommendation:

1.) Get one or both free Instant Webinars today – Authors and Bloggers.
2.) Actually take the time to watch them, today. Don’t put it off – see if the material we cover is valuable to you.
3.) Ask yourself: Is the webinar content enough, or could I learn alot and save years of trial-and-error by taking the full Buzz Seminar?

(By the way, I don’t think there’s an inherent right or wrong answer to #3. Only you know for sure, so I recommend you trust yourself and go with your gut. But give yourself the opportunity for a well-informed decision by watching the webinar you choose.)

Once again, here are the links:

Instant Blogger webinar
Instant Author webinar
Buzz Seminar – full course

If you’re ready for a change in your vocation, I hope my story encourages you to make the next steps to get to where you want to be. If the Buzz Seminar can help, please avail yourself of our complimentary webinars. And remember: the full course closes tomorrow (Thursday) night.

Thank you for everything you do – I look forward to hearing about your next adventures!

To your flourishing…

The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe – Andrew Boyd

One With Universe
What is to give light must endure burning.
– Victor Frankel

Many of us have set out on the path of enlightenment. We long for a release of selfhood in some kind of mystical union with all things. But that moment of epiphany – when we finally see the whole pattern and sense our place in the cosmic web – can be a crushing experience from which we never fully recover.

Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. You can not turn away. Your destiny is bound to the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.

To seek enlightenment is to seek annihilation, rebirth, and the taking up of burdens. You must come prepared to touch and be touched by each and every thing in heaven and hell.

I am One with the Universe – and it hurts.

 Holding you in the Light – and the darkness. 

Andrew Boyd, Daily Afflictions

Find yours at:

A Speck of Our Source – Sleeping at Last

you fixed your eyes on us,
your flesh and blood,
a sculpture of water
and unsettled dust.

when there was bad blood in us,
we learned our lesson:
genesis to the last generation.

so we wrestle with it all-
the concept of grace
and the faithful concrete
as it breaks our fall.

our questions are all the same.
identical words; how they feel brand new against different time frames.
identical words against different time frames.

we know it all by heart-
the whole is greater
than the sum of its parts.

we’ve heard it all before-
in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.
in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.

like firewood,
burning bright
in the dead of winter,
by only a flicker
we cling to this life.

so we huddle over maps;
is it faith or prediction,
will or tradition
until we collapse?
we argue our bearings
until we collapse.

we study our story arcs-
inherently good,
or were we broken right from the start?

our hesitant fingerprints
trace every mountain,
lace every valley
until we’re convinced…

that we know it all by heart-
every blade of grass
bears our mark.

in the name of being brave,
though it’s just another word for being afraid.

we know it all by heart-
the whole is so much greater
than the sum of these parts.
we’ve heard the truth before,
for in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.
in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.
in beauty there echoes a speck of our source.

Sleeping at LastBad Blood 

Get the Sleeping At Last – Atlas: Darkness EP from:



See Also:

The Music of Ryan O’Neal

Still Wide-Awake

Relevant Podcast

Jungian Tree of Life

Addiction & Sobriety: Interviewing Dan Maurer

Speakeasy - Sobriety - Daniel Maurer

I love comic books and graphic novels. From childhood on, comics have grown with me, from the teenagers of Riverdale High to superheroes like Peter David‘s Incredible Hulk to complex tales of myth and biography. But I’ve never seen a graphic novel like Dan Maurer’s semi-autobiographical Sobriety. I was so moved by its story and even existence that I wanted to share a deeper cut of his insights with you, here.

Dan, what inspired you to write Sobriety?

There’s a story behind this. When I was in treatment at Hazelden in Center City, Minnesota, my father had given me a copy of another graphic novel. The topic (believe it or not) was Bertrand Russell’s attempt to prove the foundations of mathematics. (That book is actually a New York Times bestseller.) I was so taken by the format of comics to show such a powerful story, that I began to wonder if anything like it existed in recovery publications. There wasn’t.

There were a lot of different mediums and styles you could have chosen to talk about this journey – why on earth did you choose to do this as a graphic novel?

Now that the book is a reality, I’m convinced all the more of the potential groundswell of comics to enter into mainstream culture. Comics are simple without being simplistic. The medium itself is actually quite old, ancient really — look at the cave drawings in France or the walls inside the pyramids of Egypt. Artwork doesn’t dumb down the subject matter any; it only makes it more accessible and entertaining. Comics rock.

Sobriety SampleYou were a Lutheran pastor in another lifetime. If you don’t mind sharing, how did your faith and vocation play into getting you into addiction – and bringing you out?

Ha! In another lifetime … I like that. Yes. I initially went into ministry probably out of some innate desire to please my mother. Maybe that’s too Freudian, though. I was good at what I did back then, but being a pastor is a very lonely life. Moreover, you have to be okay with being alone, especially so in rural ministry, which was where I served in western North Dakota. But let me be honest: I abused drugs and drank, because I like to get high. That’s all there is to it in the end.  I thought all the others who we see nearly constantly in the news, or friends or relatives … they were just weak. I thought I could do both. I couldn’t. So how that plays into my faith life today is that I believe that all the sh*t I got myself into was ultimately the situation I needed in life to allow me to really live, to really understand how God genuinely loves us, despite our frailties and weaknesses. Today, I’m a believer, not because I published a book, but because I believe I’ve been given a purpose and meaning to share my story. My failings also gave me a great gift, you know. It’s the gift that no one’s story — my own included — is never really finished. God alone determines that and I remind myself of this fact daily.

Are the characters in Sobriety real people you know?

Short answer: no. But some people I’ve known (and know, present-tense) probably influenced characteristics each of the characters has. You know, everyone has mannerisms. Probably I swiped a few to give the characters more depth.

I was impressed by how your characters navigated their very different spiritual backgrounds, from devout Christian to atheist to several points in-between. Do you observe these kinds of conversations happening a lot these days in AA and NA circles?

Great question, Mike. Honestly, “in the rooms” a person sees the whole gamut. In the Midwest, where I live, the spectrum isn’t as wide, I believe. However, some of the people with the deepest spiritual lives I know wouldn’t proclaim themselves as Christians. For me, that used to be anxiety causing. Nowadays, I’m more relaxed. I guess I try to see a Christ-like existence working in others, even when they, themselves, don’t know it. It’s very freeing.

What’s one thing you wished non-addicts (or at least, non-identified addicts) understood about addicts and recovering addicts?

It’s not our fault. Really. And by that I don’t mean all the crazy crap we do. No … for that we’re culpable. That might seem contradictory, but what I’m saying is that we didn’t choose our brains. If we’re really going to embrace the illness/disease concept of addiction, we have to acknowledge that the craziness that goes with it is only expected. That doesn’t mean the legal system should give us a free ride. Not at all. In my case, the legal system was probably the “bottom” I needed to shake me into understanding who I was, and who I will always be: an addict. We’d definitely need more time to explore this topic fully, but I hope people understand that the brain, too, is an organ that can get sick. It becomes well when a spiritual conversion takes place. That’s all the Twelve Steps are about, after all, an orchestrated spiritual conversion. It doesn’t seem like it should work, but it does.

What’s one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you began your recovery journey?

That things can get better. I was a ball of nerves when I started. I had lost almost everything. It’s hard to look up to the sky when the well seems so deep, and the water you’re standing in seems to be rising. It does get better. Sometimes we need to experience a real death to know what rising again is about. That’s painful … but it gets better. Much better!

How can interested readers (whom I think will be many by now!) find out more about you and your work?

Thank you for asking! I keep a blog of transformational stories (more than only recovery-based stories) called Transformation is Real. It’s found on my website, Dan the Story Man. I hope you’ll visit!

Dan Maurer IIDan Maurer is a freelance writer and openly lives in recovery in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His current books include Sobriety: A Graphic Novel and Faraway: A Suburban Boy’s Story as a Victim of Sex Trafficking (co-written with R.K. Kline). Dan enjoys spending time with his two boys and wife, Carol. He plays the Great Highland Bagpipes and also makes a mean latté … although not at the same time. His non-fiction writing focuses on stories of transformation and how anyone’s story is never yet finished, even in times of great struggle.

The Day I Met Jesus: Interviewing Frank Viola & Mary DeMuth

DIMJFrank, Mary – why did you write  The Day I Met Jesus?

Frank: Back in 2007, I got an idea to create a new genre of Christian literature. I call that genre “biblical narrative.”

The new genre would contain autobiographical fiction closely based on the Scriptural narratives and faithful to first-century history. It would also contain a nonfiction section that practically applies the narratives to our lives. Finally, it would include a discussion guide so that readers could better digest and apply the content.

God’s Favorite Place on Earth (2013) was my first book in this genre. In it, Lazarus tells the story of when Jesus came to His hometown Bethany and all the amazing things that took place there.

The Day I Met Jesus (2015) is the second book in this genre. I wanted it to tell the story of five women whom Jesus encountered, allowing each woman tell their own story. I also wanted to draw out practical lessons and critical insights from each narrative.

Because I’m not a woman, I couldn’t do justice to the stories on my own, so I asked the top female Christian fiction writer of our time — Mary DeMuth — to coauthor it with me.

Mary: I wrote it because I love stories, and I felt that some of these encounters with Jesus didn’t get the air time they deserved. By doing careful research and weaving more of a story arc into the five women’s encounter, I hope to show people that the “characters” of the New Testament are actual, breathing people with stress and dysfunction and hopes just like us. Frank pioneered the idea of this book, so all credit goes to him for imagining it. I’m grateful he asked me to be a part.

How did you two came to coauthor this?

Mary: Frank wrote God’s Greatest Place on Earth and had long wanted to do something similar with five women of the New Testament. He approached me about writing the fiction side of The Day I Met Jesus after he found out I wrote fiction as well as nonfiction.

Frank: When I began to think about a female coauthor for the project, I wanted it to be someone who (1) writes fiction (2) is a remarkable writer, and (3) believes in the classic tenets of the Christian faith (Jesus is divine and human, He rose again from the dead, Jesus is Lord and Savior of the world, etc.)

As I investigated authors who fit the bill, I quickly thought of folks like Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury. But then I discovered that Mary DeMuth wrote fiction. I had known that she was a non-fiction writer, but had no idea that she could “switch hit.”

I also discovered that she was an outstanding writer of fiction as she was of nonfiction. (I regard Mary to be the Mickey Mantle of Christian literature — she has enormous power from both sides!) So Mary ended up being the only name on my “short list.”

You feature five women from the Gospels. Why pick women in particular as your subjects?

Frank: Some of the most gripping, instructive, inspiring stories in the Gospels involve women. The longest recorded conversation that Jesus ever had was with a woman. And some of the most amazing things He said and did related to women. So I thought that a book in which some of these women told their own stories about Jesus would not only bring the Gospels to life in our minds, but it would also bring Jesus alive in our hearts.

Mary: Women had significant, personal encounters with Jesus, a fact that we sometimes miss, particularly since so many stories revolve around the 12 disciples (who were men). I love that we’re elevating these stories, helping people reimagine just how radical it was that Jesus so beautifully interacted with these women.

Which one is your favorite – and why?

Mary: For me, it’s hard to say. I love them all in different ways. This week, I’ll say it’s Mary of Bethany. She didn’t have a blatant “need” for Jesus. She was just downright faithful and often misunderstood. I think a lot of people can relate to that.

Frank: Mary of Bethany is my all-time favorite disciple of Jesus. This came home to me when I wrote God’s Favorite Place on Earth. (Mary was the sister of Lazarus, so she gets ample airtime in that book.)

I love Mary because she knew Jesus better than most, anticipating His reactions and even His impending death. She also paid the price for loving Him, for she was falsely accused by both her sister and the other disciples (on two different occasions), mostly out of jealousy. In both situations, Mary embraced the spirit of the Lamb, refusing to defend herself. But Jesus Himself rose to her defense on both occasions. He also gave her an enduring honor that He gave no one else.

Why would someone want to read this book?

Frank: If someone wants a good story to get tied up into . . . or if they want to see the Bible come to life in a compelling way . . . or if they want to experience Jesus Christ anew and afresh . . . or if they want to identify with people who were far worse off than they are, and see what Jesus did for them . . . or if they want to be given hope and encouragement in their situation . . . or if they are lacking love for the Lord and want that love to be rekindled . . . or if they want new motivation and fresh inspiration to follow Jesus more closely . . . or if they want to increase their faith and expectation in the Lord, they’ll want to read The Day I Met Jesus.

Mary: Someone would want to read it because it’s truly unique. It’s biblical narrative, but in short story form, but it doesn’t end there. After you’ve been absorbed into a page-turning story, Frank exegetes the wisdom from each encounter and helps you apply it to your life.

Did I hear that there’s a course that supplements the book!

Frank: Yes. The Day I Met Jesus Master Course is designed for those who wish to delve deeper into the themes set forth in the book. It includes a workbook and 20 audio messages delivered by Mary and I. In addition, it includes 8 bonus eBooks from Mary and I. It also includes a closed forum where people can access us both directly for Q&A and dialogue. People can check it out at thedayimetjesus.com/course

Tell us what readers get if they purchase The Day I Met Jesus from March 3rd to March 17th from Parable.com.

Frank: They’ll get these 7 exclusive bonuses:

  1. An exclusive audio interview where Mary and I give a behind-the-scenes look at all the facets of the book. The interview covers where the idea of the book came from, why we wrote the book, what it was like collaborating, the hardest part about writing it, and much more.
  2. Mary’s Book Beautiful Battle in Kindle & Nook formats.
  3. My Book, Rethinking Spiritual Growth in PDF, Kindle, and Nook formats.
  4. A never-before-released audio conference message entitled “A Woman Inside of a Man.”
  5. Mary’s Book What To Do After People Poop on You in PDF.
  6. A never-before-released audio conference message entitled “He’s Not Ashamed to Call Them Brothers and Sisters.”
  7. A 15% discount off The Day I Met Jesus Master Course.

Click here to order The Day I Met Jesus from Parable before March 17th and get your 7 exclusive bonuses.

Rene Girard’s Mimetic Theory with Head AND Heart – “Desire Found Me” available now!

Desire Found Me II


Mimetic Theory: French anthropologist Rene Girard’s exploration of the nature of violence, sacrifice and scapegoating in global religious cultures has moved from an obscure academic idea to an influential – and exciting – interpretative philsophy among Jesus-followers in recent years, inspiring fresh readings of spirituality, human behavior, Scripture, and the very meaning of Jesus himself. But those of us wading into this rich body of literature often feel lost:

  • Where do we start?
  • Is mimetic desire always negative?
  • Is there anything that makes this practical?

In Desire Found Me, itinerant minister Andre Rabe masterfully paints a paradigm-shifting picture of atonement that stretches the very limits of who we know ourselves – and God – to be. Exploring the unconscious movement of desire – how it forms us, connects us, shapes our greatest ideas, molds our societies, influences human history and is bound up in our very hope of the Life of Ages, Desire Found Me is an encounter with beauty…with God…that will leave you practically, practice-ably changed.

If other books on mimesis and Girardian theory have left you confused or intimidated, I think you’ll find Desire Found Me to be warm and readable. It’s a mimetic mediation on the Good News of God’s contagious splendor that has head and heart.

Request a review copy via Speakeasy

For a limited time, Andre’s book is available via my independent bloggers’ reviewers network, Speakeasy. If your request is approved, your agreement is to blog about Desire Found Me within 30 days of posting, sharing your blog’s review URL in the comments section below. Go here to see Speakeasy’s full review terms.

Sound good?

Request Desire Found Me here (US residents only)
Request Desire Found Me eBook (Kindle only)

A taste of Desire Found Me:

The Bible is therefore not a book that holds to any one theology – it contains multiple competing theologies in conversation with one another. Often these conversations were responding to the ethics, the historic situation, and the beliefs of its time and region. And so in it we see ideas develop.

We will look at five developing ideas in the chapters that follow. We will discover in the scriptures how events were re-interpreted and adjusted. On occasion, religious practices that were common and acceptable in earlier Israelite religion were later condemned and replaced. It’s a fascinating journey and even if you do not agree with the approach I trust you will find the journey informative.

The five ideas we will explore are: the mystery of who God is, the changing story of sacrifice, the paradox of evil, the history of Satan, and the growing expectation for a coming Messiah.

Here’s what others are saying about Desire Found Me:

“Using Rene Girard’s ground-breaking anthropological insights, Rabe has crafted a masterpiece… The strength of this particular book lies in the way he has brought together critical scholarship on the Old Testament with a generous Spirit-filled devotion; a mix rarely captured by authors who seek to be both informed and inspiring. I heartily recommend this book…”
– Michael Hardin, Executive Director of Preaching Peace; author, The Jesus-Driven Life

“Andre’s brilliance as scholar and teacher combines in this epic study on Mimetic Theology. He boldly tackles many traditional beliefs and superstitions, providing insights that would shift paradigms for many! In buying Desire Found Me, you are investing in a library of thought in one brilliant volume!” –Francois du Toit, author of The Mirror Bible

“Just when I thought I had wrapped my mind around this beautiful, too-good-to-be-true Gospel, Andre comes in and delivers one of the most thought-provoking, paradigm-shifting, and enlightening books I’ve ever had the privilege of reading!”
– Cory Dueck, Lead Pastor, Genesis Church, Abbotsford, BC

“It is a complete game-changer regarding our understanding of who we are and what brings meaning and fulfillment to our lives. This book is a must read for anyone who is seeking to understand the deep questions of human identity and meaning. Whether you agree with all of the assumptions or not, it will stretch the very notion of who you are, and will help you to let go of self-limiting mindsets.”
Michael Wayne Regier, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist

“Andre Rabe has done us all a favor by taking a topic which is often presented in a very academic and complex manner, and making it clear, simple, and practical.”
Martin Trench, Lead Pastor at Gateway Alliance Church, Edmonton

Want to learn more?

alwaysloved.net – Andre’s home online
Andre on Twitter
Andre on Facebook
Andre on Youtube

About Andre:

Andre Rabe, along with his wife, Mary-Anne, are acclaimed speakers, authors, musicians, and missionaries, having lived and served in some of the most obscure corners of the earth as well as in some of the most well known cities. In 2010, with their kids all grown up, Andre and Mary-Anne packed everything they had in two suitcases and took to the road, knowing only that they had a message that made life worth living for them and everyone who understood it. Whether it’s a small group or a large church, whether it’s an academic audience or a charismatic party – to inspire love remains equally relevant.

They have published five books and two music albums that reflect the unique focus of this message. Their online course ‘Word Made Flesh’ has been translated into a number of languages and used in many churches and small groups.

3-6-5 4-3-2-1 – Ignition

My heart burned within me like a molotov cocktail
Melting atrophied organs of sense and perception
Third eyes blinking open from awakenings rude
Iridescent night vision seeing sights long subdued.

Tricksters, gods and monsters find themselves drawn in
To boys kicking off the covers revealing themselves to be men
Without apology.

Things hidden share secrets by flickering flames
Word-making devices now turning a page.

Ruthless grace shows up – mercilessly – picking me off the ground
Charred nuclear shadow where unused conscience once lay
Shrugging off my hangover from that first awful drink
‘Good’ and ‘evil’ hallucinations – that overripe fruit.

“Get up, Man,” Kali taunts me, blue angel of death
Shrunk heads of men who died trying hanging mute ’round her breasts
Her lips curled in kindness, a shared moment between us
Daring me to do better, Mars rising from Venus

While Michael, archangel, the template of me
Stands silently, original, master of all that he sees
Bedouin warrior of Thrones, desert Jinn and bright devils,
Has work to do once my apocalypse settles.

Alchemy seeps down deep in my bones
Leaden dreams long abandoned now spin into gold
Boy’s nightmares arouse to find themselves man’s playmates
(Amid tonight’s deadline and next week’s penciled play-dates)

Eden – alas – left me no forwarding address
Shangri-La (from saved seeds) now blooms in its stead
Could this garden-city be New Jerusalem’s nest?
I’ve been saving ’till now; it’s time to invest.

The invitation is intuition
A ceremony of recognition – my body and blood’s rhythmic repetition
Mercury’s metal on my tongue and sweat on my brow
Life’s transubstantiation – here and now.

Remembrance is re-cognition
Re-membering this disposition
That gives rise – then and always – to original face
Holy Sun Absolute shining shelter and grace

Kindling the compost of what had begun
Seraphim and Destroyer erect such a pyre
Food for the moon from all left undone
“Why not be utterly changed into fire?”


Reimagining How the World is Fed


“Rejuvenating the earth should be the outcome of the food system.” Vandana Shiva made this call for awareness and action last week during her visit to Wake Forest University. On Tuesday, Nov. 4, Shiva lectured as a part of the “Make Every Bite Count” speaker series, organized by the university’s Office of Sustainability and co-sponsored by the School of Divinity’s Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative. On Wednesday, Nov. 5, Shiva led a community forum with students, faculty, and staff at the School of Divinity.

The “Make Every Bite Count” series featured other events including a panel discussion and film screening of GMO OMG with filmmaker Jeremy Seifert. The series aimed to investigate the role of agricultural biodiversity in our local, regional, and global food systems. The final keynote lecture by Shiva highlighted the challenges and opportunities of feeding the world with sustainable agriculture.

Shiva is the author of Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development and the founder of Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote sustainable farming and fair trade. Her newest book, Who Really Feeds the World?, will be available next year.

During her lecture and in the community forum, Shiva consistently referred to the “patenting of life,” in relation to the patents held on seeds by industrial food producers. “Ecosystems produce food, not companies,” she said. “Destroying seeds destroys life. Saving seeds is an ethical duty.” The world is at a point where the diversity of creation needs to be reclaimed and valued for that diversity.  Saving seeds is one way to preserve and continue the variety of life forms around us.

“We are not masters of the earth, we are a part of the earth family,” Shiva said during Tuesday’s lecture. “The process of commercial agriculture displaces diversity and people. There is a division in labor and knowledge.”

Shiva has concerns not only for the production methods of agriculture, but also the impact of food on health and wellbeing. “How we grow food is related to disease,” she said. She gave examples on how malnutrition occurs because food lacks essential minerals and the ways toxins from the chemicals used impact bodies in negative and life-threatening ways.

“Rejuvenating the earth should be the outcome of the food system.” This call echoed as Shiva gave glimpses of hope about the work that is being done and the work religious leaders are called to do on food issues. She recalled the abolition movements in the U.S. and India as a historical framework of resistance movements that changed social practices. She encouraged faith communities to plant “gardens of hope” as a beginning point of resistance. “Faith communities throughout the world already are responsible for feeding communities through soup kitchens and food pantries,” Shiva said. “Let’s link the feeding and outreach to the growing of food.”

Shiva’s call to action resounded with many. Fred Bahnson, director of the School of Divinity’s Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative, said it was encouraging to have her on campus. “She inspired us, challenged us, and made us laugh. To hear this global food leader talk about the importance of faith communities working to create food justice and ecological healing was especially encouraging, because it means we’re on the right track.”

Second-year divinity student Pia Diggs is interested in learning more about holistic health and how the food industry is impacting the food she consumes. “After hearing Shiva speak, I have an increased awareness to be more cognizant about my intake of food and a greater concern for how it is being produced,” she said. Diggs worked in a community health center last summer in a low-income area of Greensboro, NC that has been designated as a food desert. “What you eat effects your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional states, so if you are not eating well-prepared food, it will directly affect your entire being.”

See also:

Focus on food in the forest – WFU News

Make Every Bite Count: Fall Speaker Series

Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative

Thrive: Well-Being at Wake Forest University

Two New Babies

Mike Nova Blog PicFall is in the air! I hope this new season is greeting you with grace and opportunity.

This week, my family and I celebrate six months with our new addition, Nova Rain! She is adorable – I realize I might be biased. :)

I’m also celebrating another baby today – the release of the Buzz Seminar Master Class! This summer, bestselling-author and top-rated blogger Frank Viola and I invited two other friends to spend a weekend in Orlando sharing everything we know about how to make a real, sustainable living online – just like I do.

The in-person response was so positive that we decided to convert the 9+ hours of course content into into a Master Class Course which you can take from the comfort of your own home …and we made it more robust than ever.

The course is a physical edition that’s shipped directly to you. The Course contains all the talks from the seminar on an MP3 CD, plus a hefty manual. In it, we share how writers, speakers, bloggers, and really, entrepreneurs and business people of all stripes can earn a real, sustainable living from their online presence while reaching people eager to hear their message.

buzz-seminar_packageThe Buzz Seminar Master Class is only available for 8 days – we’ll be closing it on October 2nd at 8:00 AM EST.

We have limited copies, and the course won’t be available again for several months. And when it re-launches, the price will go up.

Go to the BuzzSeminar.com for details, testimonials, bonuses, and ordering info if you’re interested.

Thanks. And may the new babies in your life continue to grow!