Write Brilliant

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One of the most powerful ways we give and receive joy is through storytelling. But how do you tell stories that inspire and linger? That brings life and levity and transformation?

That’s one of my great passions, and why I’m so excited for you to listen in on my conversation with Jonathan Merritt.

Not only is he America’s premier religion writer, whose work has appeared everywhere from The New York Times to USA Today to The Washington Post to The Atlantic, but he’s also an author of the award-winning Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing–and How We Can Revive Them.

Tucked in this interview is some first-to-know news that only those who listen in and subscribe to my e-newsletter will find out first.

You don’t want to miss this.

{You can listen to the show HERE, and make sure you never miss The Joycast – subscribe using your favorite podcast app (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play) And of course, I would love if you would share with your friends!}


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Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg


Jonathan’s latest books Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing–and How We Can Revive Them.

Write Brilliant Houston


Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken
The Barefoot Contessa 

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 lemons, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
1 sliced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 (4-5 pound) chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
½ cup drinkable dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the thyme, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground. Combine mixture and oil into a cup.

Place half the lemon slices in a cast-iron skillet. Add onion and garlic. Lay the chicken, skin side down, on top of the onion.  Brush with half of the oil-spice mixture. Flip the chicken skin side up and pat it dry with paper towels. Then brush with the rest of the oil and herb mixture.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan (not on the chicken) and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken reaches 160 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle it with the lemon juice from remaining lemon slices, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 1o minutes. Cut the chicken into quarters or eighths, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices, cooked lemon, and onion.

Adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers. Click here to buy this amazing book.