‘Off the Cuff’ with Wordsower, Tom Meyer


Redding, CA – American author and speaker Tom Meyer can recite twenty books of the Bible including the entire book of Revelation. He travels the country teaching the skill of Bible memorization, having learned the ancient techniques from Jewish rabbis and Christian monks in Jerusalem. He shared some of his lighter moments with Journonews.

My secret pleasure is … Watching anything with Tom Selleck.

My first job was … Working in a baseball card trading store.

My most annoying habits are … Being too punctual.

A clear childhood memory is … Being born again.

What makes me nervous is … Letting someone else drive.

The best advice my parents gave me was … Walk by faith, not by sight.

If I weren’t a Wordsower, I’d be … Doing something in Hollywood.

I’m most thankful for … The Lord Jesus Christ.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … Going to the dentist.

A book I love is … The Sacred Bridge.

The Sacred Bridge - Tom Meyer's favourite book

My favorite meal is … Steak.

My ‘happy place’ is … Being with my wife and three kids.

My most embarrassing memory is … Like Peter, denying once that I knew Jesus.

My hidden skill is … Knowing baseball facts.

If I were a dog, I’d be a … Pitbull.

A song that resonates is … Oh the deep, deep, love of Jesus

It’s a bit corny, but I’d love … To sail around the world.

I’m most at peace when … I am memorizing the Scriptures.

The country I’d love to visit … Turkey.

Favorite quote … The just shall live by faith.

The just shall live by faith - Tom Meyer's favourite quote

Connect with Tom:




Tom’s Method for Memorizing Scripture

  1. Prayerfully select a verse
  2. Divide the verse into several lines so that the number of words in each line acts as a memory aid. Begin lines with prepositions if possible (with, for, in, etc.)
  3. Write out the verse just like you’ve divided it. Include the number of words in the right-hand column
  4. Speak the verse as you write it out
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you’ve memorized the verse
  6. Move to the next verse.

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‘Off the Cuff’ with ACL Managing Director, Lyle Shelton


CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — A journalist by profession, Lyle Shelton initially worked in rural journalism as a roving reporter in Queensland and then Victoria. In 2000, Lyle was elected to Toowoomba City Council. He was re-elected in 2004 and unsuccessfully contested the 2006 Queensland state election. After a short stint as a political adviser in federal politics, Lyle was appointed in 2007 as Chief of Staff at the Australian Christian Lobby, based in Canberra. He served in this role for six years before being appointed Managing Director in May 2013. He chatted to JournoNews.

My secret pleasure is … red wine

My first job was … shovelling chook manure

My most annoying habits are … singing in the presence of others

A clear childhood memory is … sitting on my dad’s lap while attempting to steer the tractor

What makes me nervous is … speaking to people who do not agree with my values

The best advice my parents gave me was … it doesn’t matter how poor you are, you can always keep your shoes polished

If I weren’t Managing Director of ACL I’d be … a journalist

I’m most thankful for … my wife Wendy

My favourite meal is … Thai cashew chicken with coconut rice

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … cucumber

A song that resonates is … ‘Working Class Man’ by Jimmy Barnes

A book I love is … The Great War by Les Carlyon

If I were a dog, I’d be a … Staffy / Kelpie cross

My ‘happy place’ is … my BBQ area

My most embarrassing memory is … spilling red wine on the white shirt of the president of the Downs Club

My hidden skill is … composing Tweets

It’s a bit corny, but I love … my RM boots

I’m most at peace when … I’m jogging by the lake

The country I’d love to visit … Belgium

Favourite quote … “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”

Martin Luther King Jnr

Connect with Lyle:



ACL YouTube Channel

JN’s past “Off the Cuff” Guests

‘Off the Cuff’ with Wendy Francis

Wendy Francis

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — Wendy Francis has many strings to her bow. She is Queensland Director of the Australian Christian Lobby and is the ACL spokesperson for the rights of children and women. She is also a tireless campaigner against sexual exploitation. Professional experience includes managerial positions at Griffith University and Queensland Baptists. She was also Executive Producer of the Lord Mayor’s Carols in Brisbane for eight years. In addition, Wendy is a Director and Board Member of Samaritan’s Purse Australia and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a board member of Queensland Family Council, the Queensland Alliance for Kids and the Australian Marriage Forum. Wendy regularly travels to countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh and Cambodia to oversee projects which seek to rescue women and children from sex slavery and to work on literacy projects amongst rural women. Her husband, Peter Francis, is Vice-Principal of Malyon College in Brisbane. They have been married for 36 years, have three married children and ten grandchildren. She chatted to JournoNews.

My secret pleasure is … I’m actually really good at keeping secrets!

My first job was … working as a manager’s assistant in the National Bank of Australasia – now NAB – I was a good typist, so had to help out the real estate next door when they needed contracts typed up!

My most annoying habits are … not putting things back in the same place, or not putting them away at all!

A clear childhood memory is … hiding coins in a hole in an old neighbourhood fence with my best friend. There was a little shop at the end of our street and my mum would send us down to buy milk or bread and she would say we could keep the change. So we would hide it there and wait until we had enough to buy some lollies together.

What makes me nervous is … snakes! I hate them – can’t even look at them in a book or on the TV screen.

The best advice my parents gave me was … to seek after the truth and be a teller of truth.

If I weren’t Qld Director of ACL I’d be … a top lawyer – even a judge! And I would be a good one!

I’m most thankful for … my family – my parents, my husband, my children and my grandchildren.

My favourite meal is … grilled salmon with sweet potato mash and garden salad.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … taking any tablets – I’m sure it’s psychological, but I just can’t swallow pills very easily – I gag!

A book I love is … Riven Fetters by Sallie Lee Bell. I first read it when I was a very young girl and it had a big impact on me then – I still love it.

A song that resonates is …I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack – And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance … I hope you dance!

My ‘happy place’ is … anywhere family is, but my favourite places with family are either home, or the beach.

My most embarrassing memory is … buying a Mark Holden single (back in the days), and being asked by Mark Holden himself (who happened to be in the shop) whether I wanted it signed, but not recognising him … He did end up signing it when he explained who he was.

My hidden skill is … that I make an amazing lemon meringue pie.

If I were a dog, I’d be a … Golden Retriever – a bit clumsy, but very loyal, and would never hurt anyone intentionally

It’s a bit corny, but I love … Sandra Bullock’s humour – she would be on my list of who I’d love to have for dinner.

I’m most at peace when … I’m with my husband at the end of a day and we get time to just talk.

The country I’d love to visit is … Antarctica

Favourite quote … “Nah” – this was Rosa Parks‘ response to the police officer who demanded she move from her seat on the bus because she was coloured and a white man wanted to sit where she was sitting. I love it – No! we will not bend to injustice.

Rosa Parks

Connect with Wendy



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‘Off the Cuff’ with Karl Faase, CEO of Olive Tree Media

Karl Faase

SUTHERLAND, NSW, AUSTRALIA — Karl Faase is a well known Australian Christian communicator, media presenter, leader and social commentator. He is the CEO of Olive Tree Media, through which he produces programs of excellence for Christian media and local church use internationally. He chatted to JournoNews.

My secret pleasure is … Watching sport on TV and eating Kettle chips – it might also involve a quality glass of red wine.

My first job was … Bank clerk and teller in Lithgow NSW, working for Commercial Banking Company of Sydney (CBC Bank).

My most annoying habits are … retelling pointless stories of minor sporting experiences or achievements to my wife who is not interested but I tell her anyway.

A clear childhood memory is … living on the farm in country NSW just outside Tambar Springs, my dad was a farm hand and we lived on the property. I remember having a day off school and sitting in the cabin of a harvester for the day.

What makes me nervous is … dealing with technology (phones, computers etc) when my IT specialist son is not around and I am not patient enough to wait to get him to do it. Always ends in tears, usually mine.

The best advice my parents gave me was … don’t chase after what looks like success. Just be yourself and do what you love (my interpretation of the many comments they made that pointed to this phrase).

BonhoefferIf I weren’t a Christian communicator, media presenter, leader, and social commentator, I’d be … either a company CEO or have a career in politics.

I’m most thankful for … my wife Jane, three wonderful kids and 3 grandchildren & another on the way. Truly blessed.

My favourite meal is … Great Italian pasta dishes.

A book I love is … too many to narrow down to one – but a brilliant recent read, Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … waiting patiently – for anything.

A song that resonates is … not a whole song just a phrase “a thousand times I’ve failed, still your mercy remains, should I stumble again, still I’m caught in your grace” (From The Inside Out – Hillsong).

My ‘happy place’ is … There are several for me. One of my favourites is playing on a quality golf course late in the afternoon as long shadows are cast across stunning fairways and greens. This highlights the contours of manicured fairways in beautiful afternoon light. It also helps if I am playing well!

My most embarrassing memory is … A number of years ago I was asked to do an introduction to a speaker. She was a good friend, respected leader, and speaker who at the time was in her late 60’s. I thought I had a very clever introduction but, in the end, it came over as sexist and ageist, I still cringe when I think about it.

My hidden skill is … being able to recount the number, length, par, shape and difficulties of each golf hole on a course I have played more than once.

If I were a dog, I’d be a … perhaps a Bloodhound — a dog on the trail of a scent and relentless in pursuit.

It’s a bit corny, but I love … anthemic worship songs played and led by skilled, Godly musicians.

I’m most at peace when … one of the places of peace for me is actually very strenuous. Riding the magnificent mountains of Europe (Pyrenees, French & Italian alps). Stunning scenery and just toil away in the quietness by myself with my own thoughts and taking in the beauty of the mountains.

The country I’d love to visit … Nepal.

Favourite quote … “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Connect with Karl:






JN’s past “Off the Cuff” Guests

‘Off the Cuff’ with Author, Deborah Kirsten

Off the Cuff with Debbie Kirsten

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — Author, Deborah Kirsten’s autobiography, Chai tea & Ginger beer was penned from her unique experience as the wife of international cricketer and coach, Gary Kirsten. A sought after motivational speaker, Deborah lives in Cape Town with her husband and three children. She reveals some candid gems with JN.

My secret pleasure is … A big slice of lemon meringue pie, a good ‘chic flick’ (romantic comedy) and my journal.

My first job was … I guess that would be teaching Sunday school at the age of about thirteen (but of course, that was unpaid). My first paid job was waitressing in a restaurant.

Author, DEBORAH KIRSTEN with husband, GaryMy most annoying habits are … My husband would have a field day with this question. He would definitely say never hanging the car keys on the key hook. (It completely mystifies him why I bought a special hook for keys and then never hang the keys there). Other annoying habits are my tendency to accumulate clutter and my inability to pass up a good bargain!

A clear childhood memory is … Crossing a flooding mountain river stream with my family. We all linked arms to support one another. I learnt a lot about life that day and the strength of a family when they stick together and support one another.

What makes me nervous is … Driving on a cliff edge or through a mountainous pass. Having had a few bad car accidents, cars generally make me nervous. Also, watching my sons play rugby.

The best advice my parents gave me was … In everything put God first and He will direct your steps.

If I weren’t an author, I’d be … My trained profession is a primary school teacher – I love teaching. But if truth be told I’ve always dreamt about being an actress or a singer.

I’m most thankful for … My relationship with Jesus, my husband, my children, my extended family and my girlfriends.

My favourite meal is … Without a doubt, lamb chops and crispy fresh vegetables… and maybe cheesecake to finish it off.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … I have tried and tried to substitute green tea for ordinary tea or coffee – but I just can’t. It really is quite revolting.

Debbie Kirsten's three favourite books

Books I love … Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Traveling Light by Max Lucado and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Songs that resonate … Lifesong by Casting Crowns

and Better Together by Jack Johnson

My ‘happy place’ is … Our little cottage on the banks of the Breede River. It is far from the city with only the sound of the birds. When we go there, life is lived simply – there is no TV and no cell phone reception. The kids play in the mud and the water. We all fish and have good wholesome family fun time together.

My most embarrassing memory is … Thinking how ‘super cool’ I used to try and act as a teenager when attempting to impress boys.

My hidden skill is … Fishing and playing marbles (my sons always boast to their friends that I used to beat all the boys at marbles when I was a kid – it’s quite true!) I also fancy myself as a bit of a ‘handyman’.

If I were a dog, I’d be a … A golden retriever … definitely not a poodle or a yappy little thing. I’d also be sure to demand a bath once a week.

It’s a bit corny, but I love … The part in the movie when the guy kisses the girl. I always get goose-bumps and all teary. The boys in my house think it’s hysterical … but secretly I know they love that part too!

I’m most at peace when … I’m in a space where I can feel the tangible presence and love of my Father God. This is often in nature and away from the noise of the city. I am also incredibly peaceful when I’m with my beloved husband and my three children – anywhere on planet earth.

The country I’d love to visit … I would love to visit Thailand.

Favourite quote … “I am but the pen in God’s hand, He is the Author of my story” – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa1 (1)

Connect with Deborah


Chai tea & Ginger beer Facebook Page



“Off the Cuff” with Entrepreneur, Greg Nicholls

Greg Nicholls

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—Nicholls Technologies managing director, Greg Nicholls, has a passion for taking new and innovative products & services to market. His insatiable curiosity and entrepreneurial skills have led him to build multiple start-ups in Australia since emigrating in 1997. These include Australian Graphic Supplies, Xanita, Triga Systems, Virtualize and of late, Lifdek— wood-free, corrugated fiberboard pallets which assemble in 30 seconds. JournoNews chats with Greg.

My secret pleasure is … unplugging and going for a kneeboard surf.

My first job was … Emergency Paramedic.

My most annoying habits are … checking email before breakfast.

Sardinia Bay

A clear childhood memory is … fishing in crystal clear gulleys at Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabeth.

What makes me really nervous is … fear of failure.

The best advice my parents gave me was … The Lord is my Shepherd.

If I wasn’t an entrepreneur, I’d be … sailing around the world.

I’m most thankful for … my beautiful wife and two children.

My favourite meal is … Seafood.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … Cauliflower!

A book I love is … What would Google do?: Reverse-Engineering the Fastest Growing Company in the History of the World

A song that resonates is … U2 Beautiful Day

My ‘happy place’ is … anywhere in the ocean.

My most embarrassing memory is … stage fright in an interview with Peter Switzer.

My hidden skill is … African dancing.

If I was a dog, I’d be a … German shepherd.

It’s a bit corny but I love … being corny with my brothers.

I’m most at peace when … in the ocean.


Country I’d love to visit … Botswana.

Favourite quote … “Friction-free capitalism” by Bill Gates.



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‘Off the Cuff’ with the BENHAM BROTHERS

Benham Brothers

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA — Acclaimed North Carolina real estate entrepreneurs and former professional baseball players, David and Jason Benham have achieved untold success in their sporting careers and property ventures. Today the duo live out their faith by helping people from all walks of life in the areas of leadership, work, family, and culture. The twins shared their lighter side with JN.

My secret pleasure is …

Jason … eating peanuts and chocolate chips late at night
David … chocolate chip cookie cake with white icing (addicting!)

My first job was …

Jason … mowing lawns with my brother
David … taking out the trash for my neighbor in Dallas ($.10 per bag)

My most annoying habits are …

Jason … taking small sips of water while I eat – I just can’t stop
David … I don’t like to step on sidewalk lines

A clear childhood memory is …

Jason … riding big wheels with my brother in Kentucky – we were 3
David … when Jason and I threw rocks at cars!

What makes me nervous is …

Jason … thinking about my kids growing up in this culture
David … getting warmed up before a competition workout

The best advice my parents gave me was …

Jason … bloom where you’re planted
David … read the Bible from cover to cover every year

If I weren’t an entrepreneur, I’d be …

Jason … a professional movie critic
David … a Military commander

I’m most thankful for …

Jason … the wife God gave me – I don’t deserve her
David … my wife

My favorite meal is …

Jason … ribeye steak, sweet potato, green beans, caesar salad with anchovies
David … Ribeye steak (medium rare), sweet potato, mushrooms, salad

I know it’s good for me, but I hate …

Jason … drinking Kombucha
David … Apple cider vinegar (with the Mother)

A book I love is …

Jason … Jude – small but powerful
David … How Now Shall We Live, by Chuck Colson

A song that resonates is …

Jason … I Remember L.A. by Celine Dion

David … We Will See, by Gateway Worship

My ‘happy place’ is …

Jason … at home on my porch swing with my wife while our kids play outside
David … in the gym working out

My most embarrassing memory is …

Jason … farting on a blind date!
David … kicking a hole in the gym wall during a basketball game

My hidden skill is …

Jason … I’m a killer DJ – I can get people on the dance floor pretty easily
David … I love to interior design/decorate

If I were a dog, I’d be a …

Jason … Boxer
David … German Shepherd, to stop the bad guys

It’s a bit corny, but I love …

Jason … watching chick-flicks with my wife
David … romantic, heartfelt music

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 10.32.30 pm

I’m most at peace when …

Jason … I’m sitting with my wife and my kids aren’t arguing!
David … reading my Bible after a workout and a shower

The country I’d love to visit …

Jason … Italy
David … Italy

Favorite quote …

Jason … “I’d rather have bad breath than no breath at all” – my father-in-law, Frank Cantadore


David … “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering” – Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt








‘Off the Cuff’ with Sean McDowell

Sean McDowell

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIFORNIA ― Dr. Sean McDowell is an Assistant Professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University. He’s a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church, and in particular, young people, to make the case for the Christian faith. Traveling throughout the United States and abroad, Sean speaks at camps, churches, schools, universities, and conferences. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Stephanie, and the couple has three children. He chatted with JournoNews.

My secret pleasure is … Chocolate peanut butter ice cream

My first job was … Resident Assistant in college

My most annoying habits are … biting my nails

A clear childhood memory is … going to the Final Four championship with my dad

What makes me nervous is … turbulence on a plane

The best advice my parents gave me was … to stay faithful to my wife and love my kids

If I weren’t a Professor and Youth Worker, I’d be a … sportscaster

I’m most thankful for … my family

My favorite meal is … spaghetti and meatballs

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … stretching

Henry Nouwen

A book I love is … The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri Nouwen

My ‘happy place’ is … Home

My most embarrassing memory is … misstating some words in a speech. I was supposed to say “peanut” but, well, something else came out

My hidden skill is … ping pong

If I were a dog, I’d be a … I would never be a dog. I’d be a cheetah

It’s a bit corny, but I love … 80s music

A song that resonates is … Faithfully by Journey

I’m most at peace when … I’m with my family

The country I’d love to visit … Ireland

Favorite quote … Anything by John Wooden, such as, “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”


Sean McDowell

Connect with Sean


Sean’s Books


YouTube Channel

Facebook Page

‘Off the Cuff’ with Luxury Africa’s Patrick Siebel

Patrick Siebel

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA—Fancy an extravagant and indulgent African adventure? Luxury Africa takes a sumptuous slant on ‘going bush’ with its bespoke, high-end service and insider knowledge of the top safari spots in Africa. Owner, Patrick Siebel chatted to JN.

My secret pleasure is … Driving a really fast & responsive car on a twisty but scenic mountain pass.

My first job was … Church Administrator at Glenridge Church International.

My most annoying habits are … Being pedantic about how things should look or are how they should be executed.

A clear childhood memory is … Skiing down a run on my own, straight up to a restaurant where I ordered something to eat. Davos, Switzerland – aged 4.

What makes me really nervous is … My kids being in a situation where they are not able to stand up for themselves.

The best advice my parents gave me was … You need to be able to sit on the side of the road with a beggar, yet just as effortlessly be able to have tea with the queen.

If I wasn’t a tour-operator, I’d be … an architect.

I’m most thankful for … God’s amazing undeserving love for me.

My favorite meal is … Sushi-Rainbow Roll Reloaded at Willoughby’s Cape Town.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … exercise & watching what I eat.

A book I love is … The Shack by William P. Young.

A song that resonates is … Amazing Grace and What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong).

My ‘happy place’ is … Piloting a light aircraftit puts me in an immediate good mood!

My most embarrassing memory is … My mother suggesting that for a fancy-dress gymkhana at primary school, that I dress up as a scuba-diver (not sure how that related to the equestrian world but I agreed). Anyway, on the day when I put the wetsuit on she had brought to boarding school, it was so tight that I could not mount my steed. Instead, I had to lead my horse around the parade ground. Everybody just packed up laughing.

My hidden skill is … Being able to speak fluent German.

If I was a dog, I’d be a … Golden Retriever.

Luxury Africa Cape Town

It’s a bit corny, but I love … Having an afternoon nap on a weekend, after a long lazy lunch.

I’m most at peace when … I am in the presence of the Holy Spirit whilst worshipping God.

The country I’d love to visit … Antarctica.

Favourite quote … “We rule with the heart of a servant, we serve with the heart of a king” by Bill Johnson.


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