Skip to main content
The Journey Is Real
"Real People, Real Passions, Real Hearts."

The Journey Is Real "Real People, Real Passions, Real Hearts."

By C.J. Peterson
Everyone has a story, and from that story many passions reside. It is that passion which drives people. Whether it be writing, drawing, animals, nature, photography, or even a passion for people or a charity, it is that passion that fires them up, and propels them to do great things.
C.J. dives not only into their passion, but also why it is their passion - the story behind the passion. Take a journey with her listeners as her guests talk about what's closest to their heart!
Take a listen. You may find your new passion among her guests!
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Tracy Lamourie - People, Not Profits, Are The Bottom Line

The Journey Is Real "Real People, Real Passions, Real Hearts."

Mark Ryall – The Heart Of Coaching
Mark is a retired economics and mathematics teacher. He taught in Toronto and Hamilton for 24 years. He coached hockey, cross country, and track & field. He currently serves as a volunteer cross country coach for Westdale Secondary School. He has published a scifi novel, “Age-Decoded.” To learn more about him, go to: Mark’s Bio: Age Decoded link:
March 16, 2022
Terry Tucker – The Battle From Within
Terry Tucker is no stranger to the struggles life throws at people. His biggest was being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called: Acral Lentiginous Melanoma. In addition to his faith, he uses 4 truths to guide the decisions he makes in life: 1) Control your mind, or it will control you; 2) Embrace the pain and discomfort we all experience in life and use it to make you a stronger and more determined individual; 3) What you leave behind is what you weave in the hearts of other people; and 4) As long as you don’t quit – you can never be defeated. He has written a book called “Sustainable Excellence.” To learn more about him, go to his website:
March 16, 2022
Martha Hoy – Triumph Over Tragedy
Martha Hoy has taken the tragedies in her life, and has transformed them to victories! List as she shares her story today. She also shares about the books she wrote regarding her journey. They may be able to help you or someone close to you. You can find her online at her FB page:
March 16, 2022
Shane Flemens - Keeping It Reel With Conviction
Since his release from prison in 2015, Shane Flemens has been successfully running his own landscaping and general contracting company, ABE Landscaping and Maintenance. He also owns and operates Rise n’ Ride Rentals, a watersport company with his daughter, Ashley. Now a free man, Shane is driven to shine a bright light on the darkness of prison through his writings, which he began on the inside: ask hard questions and share truth. He hopes that through these stories, and those of his fellow inmates, he can affect positive change in the lives of others. To learn more about him and his books, go to:
February 28, 2022
Vito Altavilla – Laughing Through Life
The path that has led Vito Altavilla to this point in his life has been anything but traditional.  He became an industrial research chemist who participated in several technological breakthroughs, holds over a dozen patents, and took a very interesting path to get there. Growing up in the city, his time in the Navy, University and his work life has made for a lot to reflect on, so, here it is. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. before WW II, he’s been in the middle of some unique situations, most of them very funny, and all of them true.  Vito walks you through a few dozen of these wonderfully told snap-shots of life in America during a time some of us remember,  and most of us can relate to. To learn more about him, go to:
February 22, 2022
Eden Gold – Fearlessly Chase Your Dreams
It’s Eden Gold’s life mission to reach as many young adults as she can, to give them a powerful layer of support and guidance as they navigate adulthood in a way that inspires them to live a great future. To her, success is more than academics. She says, “Success is prioritizing your mental health. Success is the ability to open up and seek help when you are struggling. Success is loving our body through all of its developmental changes. Success is taking criticism of others lightly, and not letting it dim your shine. Success is never giving up. Success is your mindset.” To learn more about her, head over to:
February 14, 2022
Marc Johnston: ICU Marriages – Solving Impossible Problems
Over the past 12 years Marc Johnston has helped hundreds of clients make real changes in their lives. Now, as one of the founders of High Thrive Coaching, he is able to share some of his secrets to success on a much larger platform. Marc has helped clients save their marriages, improve their communication, overcome addiction, move beyond abusive relationships and more. After a spectacular failure, and nearly losing everything Marc has learned how to use failures in relationships and life as tools to springboard to success. To learn more, go to:
February 10, 2022
Gayle Martz – Turning A Passion Into A Business
Gayle Martz’s mission and passion is helping people enjoy and live their lives with their animal companions anywhere and everywhere. Making it possible for people to take their pets wherever they go is her ultimate goal. In Gayle’s story titled “IT’s IN THE BAG,” her hope for you to learn the great lengths she went to have pets on board and have a greater appreciation for traveling with your loving companion. To find out more about her, the Sherpa Bag, or her book, go to:
February 02, 2022
Annie Mack - Abstract Photography
Annie Mack is a prize-winning fine art photoartist and the author of Badass Pix with a Cheap-Ass Camera, which includes abstracts, macros, and non-traditional perspectives as examples of creative expression through photography. You can find out more about her unique style of photography, as well as more about Annie Mack, by going here:
January 26, 2022
René Murata - Transformational Leadership – Leading With Purpose & Passion
My guest today is René Murata! She is the CEO of CEO Essence. CEO Essence is leadership training designed for women by women. “It takes the essence of who we are, intuitive, innately strong, and nurturing and combines these traits with business strategies, financial and marketing awareness to create a full spectrum training designed to provide you with tools to advance your career. To learn more about René and CEO Essence, go to:
January 18, 2022
Dmitry Badiarov – Reviving & Preserving The Ancient Culture Of Handmade Violins
Coming from the least privileged background, Dmitry Badiarov has made a name for himself as a core member of La Petite Bande. He created instruments for world-class musicians, and has preserved the art of hand crafting violins for over 25 years. To learn more about Dmitry and his violins, go to:
January 10, 2022
Dr. Marni Hill Foderaro – From Pain To Power
Dr. Marni Hill Foderaro is an award-winning and celebrated author, speaker and educator.Inspired by hundreds of true accounts, Marni’s critically acclaimed and 2020 Best Books Award-Winning Spiritual fiction “God Came To My Garage Sale”, about a questioning Atheist woman who experiences numerous Spiritually Transformative Encounters, has received praise from prominent endorsers, including James Redfield, best selling author of “The Celestine Prophecy” series. To learn more about her and her book, go to:
January 04, 2022
Elizabeth Power, M.Ed. – Turning Trauma Into Treasure
Elizabeth Power, M. Ed., CEO of EPower & Associates, Inc., is a sought-after speaker, facilitator, teacher, and consultant. "All I do is help people with change, resilience and self-care, and alignment. And everything is done from the trauma-informed perspective," she says. "Even courses directly about working with trauma are about change." To learn more about her, head over to her website:
December 28, 2021
Jake Shumate - A Man On A Mission: A Fire Engine, An Ambulance, & A VW Bus…
Joy Bus Journeys is an online show where we cruise in our 73 VW Joy Bus to go on amazing adventures, visit healthy restaurants, and explore local farms. Eating healthy can be confusing and overwhelming. We will take you on exciting adventures full of amazing food that is good for you and the planet. To learn more about The Joy Bus Journeys or Jake Shumate, go to:
December 20, 2021
David Essel: Reach For The Stars – Successfully Meeting Your Goals
David Essel, M. S. O.M., is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach, international speaker, and minister whose mission is to positively affect 2 million people or more every day, in every area of life, regardless of their current circumstances. David has helped thousands of people from around the world achieve their greatest goals in every area of life. From doubling and even tripling their income, to freedom from addictions, preparation for deep love, getting the body they’ve always wanted, releasing long held negative attitudes, overcoming deep depression and anxiety, overcoming emotional and sexual abuse, changing careers or creating dramatic success as business owners, public speaking, as well as helping couples recover from affairs and creating a deep personal connection with God or one’s higher power. To learn more about him, go to:
December 08, 2021
Mark Merriwether Vorderbruggen, Ph.D – Be Ancient, Live Long
Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, Ph.D. has always walked the path of the medicine man. He grew up in the wilds of Minnesota where his parents and grandparents utilized the amazing wild foods and medicinal plants found in local woods, fields, and lakes. His parents understood the healing powers in nature...whether it be plant, mushroom, or physical interactions. The healing connection with nature that Dr. Vorderbruggen has known since childhood is foundation to who he is today. To learn more, go to: OR
December 07, 2021
Dr. Joye Pugh - We Are More Than Grains Of Sand
Dr. Joye Pugh’s background involves working as a researcher, counselor, mental retardation professional, human services director, and consultant. Dr. Pugh appears in several television documentaries on the History Channel concerning end times. She has written many books, has an audio edition of one of her books, as well as, an album of her original songs. To learn more about her, go to:
November 30, 2021
C.K. Donnelly – It All Begins With A Map: The Passion Of World-Building
C.K. Donnelly is an award-winning fantasy author. For those who read fantasy, they are aware fantasy has an element not shared by all genres – world building. C.K. talks to C.J. about the ins and outs of building a world. Afterward, head over to her site to find out more about her and her books:
November 23, 2021
Sara Zeff Geber, PhD – Meeting The Challenges Of Solo Aging
With her speaking and writing, Sara Zeff Geber has been raising awareness about Solo Aging for the past 10 years. She believes Solo Agers have unique needs in later life that warrant greater foresight and a more robust approach to planning. She is a recipient of the “Influencers in Aging” designation by PBS’ Next Avenue. She is an author, retirement transition coach, and professional speaker on retirement and aging. to learn more about her, go to:
November 15, 2021
Traci Moreno, PsyD – Seeing Light Through The Darkness
Traci Moreno states that, “This is not your average therapy, and I’m not your average therapist. I am a coaching psychologist. I’m not someone who just listens, nods her head and agrees with whatever your say. I will challenge you, encourage you to dig deeply, and offer insights and feedback that can help you change your life for the better. I focus on helping people succeed and reach their true potential.” To learn more about her, go to:
October 25, 2021
Julie Kramer - Discover Your Calling, Purpose, & Mission In Life
Julie Kramer is an experienced executive, career and transition coach who has recruited hundreds of C-level, Vice President and Director Level executives to new opportunities at companies including Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer, VMware, Netscape, Looksmart, E-trade, Charles Schwab, Wells Fargo, Lucky Stores, McKesson, and KPMG Peat Marwick. She has coached professionals into expanded leadership roles and works with professionals who want to change positions, industries or careers. To learn more about her or Roadspring:
October 18, 2021
Karen Ford - Budget Is Not A 4-Letter Word
Karen Ford is a motivational speaker and Master Financial Coach. She motivates listeners to break the chains of debt, as well as give practical insight in how to create and build wealth, and has a gift for teaching in a practical and fun manner. In her personal life, she and her husband have been married since 2007 and have 3 children. To learn more about her, go to:
October 12, 2021
Jeff Rasley - Philanthro-Trekking – You have To Get Lost Before You Can Be Found
When my guest, Jeff Rasley, first mentioned ‘Philanthro-Trekking,’ I have to admit I was intrigued. The best way to describe it is how he describes his book with the same title: “It’s memoir of suffering, grit, and love of the Himalayas and Basa Village. It is also a travelogue through the Himalayan region and a book about transitioning from a mere adventurer to a committed philanthropist doing culturally sensitive development in the Basa area of Nepal.” Still not sure? Take a listen to enlighten yourself! It will definitely give you something to think about. To learn more about Jeff Rasley, go to:
October 04, 2021
Leah Forney – Turning Pain Into Purpose
My guest, Leah Forney, learned early on the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ from her maternal grandmother who raised her in the church. As she continues to accept the calling God has placed on her life, Leah is open to seeing where her gifts and talents will take her. She has released seven books over the last 4 years. She is the podcast host of Hey Queen, Thrive! For more on Leah Forney, go to:
September 27, 2021
Robert Pardi – Possibility In Action
Robert Pardi’s journey has not been an easy one, but it has been an insightful one. Take a listen to find out how he went from receiving an MBA from Columbia University, living a wonderful life with his wife, to battling an enemy from within. After losing his wife, he reevaluated his life with the help of his life coach. Together, they came up with new plan. After becoming a life coach, his new goal is to help others find their purpose and fulfill their goals. He put all of this in his book Chasing Life. To find out more about him, go to:
September 20, 2021
Carey Conley & Laurel Wilson - Vision Is Victory: Thriving In The Face Of Adversity
This mother/daughter duo are no strangers to trauma and adversity. Losing Carey’s husband (Laurel’s Dad) and Laurel’s brother (Carey’s Son) both within a few years of each other to suicide, they pushed past the emotional turmoil that would normally separate families, and bonded together. Instead of wilting in the aftermath, both Cary Conley & Laurel Wilson choose to thrive and help others! From workshops to masterclasses, to books, and Facebook groups, there are plenty of opportunities for you to thrive as well! To find out more, go to:
September 14, 2021
Justin True – Take A Walk In His Shoes: Mental Heath Awareness
In recognition of suicide awareness month, Justin True invites you to take a walk in his shoes. He loves action, adventure, and extreme sports. His aim is create motivation and awareness to those who are in need with his high level of physical feats. He has been noticed many times, shining a light on his goals. His next feat will involve a massive triathlon across America to shine a light on mental health awareness. Follow him on his journey by checking out these links: Website: KTVZ story: YouTube:
September 10, 2021
CJ Warrant - Baking Joy & Humor Into Life
CJ Warrant is an award-winning author of romantic suspense and contemporary romance, she also loves family, baking, and coffee. Baking brings her joy and clarity in life, especially if she’s stuck on a storyline. See how those elements all combine to create the stories you love to read. To find out more about this bright spirited author, head over to:
September 06, 2021
Faust Ruggiero – Transforming From The Inside Out
Faust Ruggiero is a published research author, clinical trainer, and a therapist who has worked in settings that have included clinics for deaf children, prisons, nursing homes, substance abuse centers, inpatient facilities, major corporations, both national and international, and as the President of the Community Psychological Center in Bangor, Pennsylvania. In that capacity, he developed the Process Way of Life counseling program, and has developed it into a formal text presented in the Fix Yourself Handbook. To learn more about him or his works, go to:
August 30, 2021
Bracha Goetz - Nourishing Your Hungry Soul
My guest, Bracha Goetz, has a light about her. She loves to share that light with others. Whether it’s her zest for life, food, or her various books she has out, she loves to share with others! She overcame nourishing her food addiction, and replaced that addiction with nourishing her soul! To find out more about her and her books, go to:
August 23, 2021
Ben Winter - The Journey Of Expectation
Ben Winter has had full life. Within his many ventures, he found one constant…a battle of the mind. He is quoted as saying, “the only reason anyone gets upset is because an expectation hasn’t been met.” He’s taken that philosophy, and wrote “What To Expect When Having Expectations.”  His book helps you understand where your expectations come from, what drives them, why you aren’t always aware of them, and how to come to peace after being upset by and unmet expectation. To learn more about him or his book, go to:
August 16, 2021
Michael Messner – Look Out! The Violence of Youth Sports
Michael Messner played hockey at Penn State, and has received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. He understands hockey from the inside. His children are both into hockey as well, which is where he got a realistic view of checking at young ages. He combines his passion for film, hockey, and his family to create the movie: 1st Year Checking. He has been directing and producing for over 25 years. He is a partner at the Pittsburgh based, Awesome Films, and has won regional Emmy’s, including Best Director in the Mid-Atlantic, Sunshine, and New York Chapters for his collegiate sports television shows. To learn more about him and this movie, go to:
August 09, 2021
Dr. Walter Sims - Finding Christ In A Crisis
If you ever met Dr. Sims, you would not forget it! He is a man with incredible energy and enthusiasm. His passion for Christ is unmistakable! Take a listen to this fun interview with the one and only Dr. Walter Sims! He has been a spiritual leader for over 20 years. He has a Master’s of Ministry degree; Doctorate of Divinity; Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering; certified in the expertise of coaching, and has coached several highly respected life coaches. He is also a published author, and a dynamic leader who has ministered to thousands of people. His motto is, “You have to live it…to know it…to teach it..and to coach it.” To find out more about him, go to:
August 09, 2021
Angel Ribo - Inspiring The Next Generation Of Leaders
Angel Ribo has an inspiring mission with his foundation: Wisdom For Kids. The foundation states: “There are 81 million kids living in poverty in Latic America right now. Our Mission is to help 810,000 kids in need in Latan America become entrepreneurs within the next three years using local resources.” Angel Ribo is investing in the next generation to shape it for the better of all. To find out more about Wisdom For Kids or Angel Ribo, go to:
August 05, 2021
Brimstone - A Foundation Of Strength
Some may know the name “Brimstone.” However, when you take a listen to this interview, you’ll learn more about the man behind the name. His successful career has spanned over four decades. His ventures include: professional wrestler, radio host/professional podcaster, actor, voice actor, author, musician, philanthropist, food critic, horror model, and comic book/animated/children’s book/video game hero. After taking a listen, head over to his website to get to know more about The Real Brimstone:
July 26, 2021
Fran Graham – Rising From The Ashes
Fran Graham’s extensive background in law enforcement, search and rescue, community emergency response training, international disaster relief, fire and police chaplaincy, critical incident stress management, and the medical field, provides a vast knowledge of wealth and expertise. This enables her to support, encourage, and help others through crisis and psychological trauma. She also has a book out, titled, What To Do When Life Sucks.” To learn more about her, go to:
July 26, 2021
DC Glenn – Learning To Learn
The Journey Is Real Podcast: DC Glenn – Learning To Learn DC Glenn is most known for his part in Tag Team. However, he’s so much deeper than that. Sitting down with him was fascinating. We probably could have talked for hours. Take a listen and find out what he means by, “Learning To Learn.” To find him on social media or online, go to: @dcglennatl @tagteamwhoomp #scoopthereitis #sprinkles #tagteam #whoompthereitis
July 21, 2021
Kristin Burke - Maximizing Your Potential and Achieving Your Definition of Success
Kristin Burke’s goal is to empower women to advance themselves professionally. She does this by helping set achievable, clear goals. By also encouraging them to reach levels of self-confidence and strength, she helps women to achieve those goals. Take a listen. You may find your own inner strength! To learn more about her, go to:
July 19, 2021
Davy Jones – A Cartoonist’s Journey: Ink, Sweat, & Tears
Since he was a child, Davy Jones had a dream. It was to bring laughter and joy into the world through comics. Over the years, he tried many avenues, until he got the idea to create a comic no one would like…only find out that’s exactly what people were looking for! Now, years later, Charmy’s Army is a hit! Take a listen to find out more about Davy Jones and his journey! To learn more about what’s next for him, head over to:
July 14, 2021
Jeremy Nunes - Comedian & Mayor: A Story of Joy
I know my next guest’s story sounds like a work of fiction, but it’s all true! What happens when a comedian becomes a mayor? Take a listen to Jeremy Nunes’s story to find out! You’ll enjoy some lighter points of his story as he shares his passion for making others laugh, while combining it with the love of his city, a podcast, and a book called, “You Can’t Write City Hall.” To find out more about him and all he has going on, head over to:
July 12, 2021
Tracy Lamourie - People, Not Profits, Are The Bottom Line
Tracy Lamourie took her love for helping people to the next level when she successfully fought for one man. She took what she learned and converted it into helping others via public relations! Her heart still leads and guides her though the maze of the public relations world. If you need help navigating it, or want to find out more about her, head over to:
July 05, 2021
The Journey Is Real Podcast: Patti Talbot - How To Change The World From The Inside Out
My guest today, Patti Talbot, is “changing the world from the inside out”…one story at a time! Using the Changemaker Journey on the Blue Roads Education site, she chats with individuals and leaders in their community to cultivate homegrown change for a better world! To learn more about her, Blue Roads Education, or Changemaker Journey, head over to:
June 28, 2021
Jan Cavelle - Recession Proof Yourself As You Follow Your Dreams
This UK based entrepreneur learned the hard way about the ups and downs of owning your own business. She utilizes those lessons learned to help others become entrepreneurs as well! Jan Cavelle then decided to put a lot of that advice into a book called, ‘Scale For Success.’ Jan says she passionately believes that entrepreneurship is essential for the healthy economic futures of any country. To learn more about Jan Cavelle, her book, her podcast, or many speaking opportunities she has, head over to:
June 21, 2021
Jacob Craig - Helping Others With Their Self-Improvement Journey
My guest, Jacob Craig has been on a journey himself through the years, and he shares that journey with us. He takes what he's learned and is turning around to use it to help others. He does individual advising, as well as company. He also has a book, Inspiring Leaders In Health & Fitness, and is working on another one regarding Leaders In Motivation & Success. To find out more about Jacob Craig, head over to:
June 14, 2021
Debbie Ausburn – Stepping Into The Lives Of Others
Debbie Ausburn has a heart for others. She pours herself into others, which in turn, blesses her beyond measure. She shares some of those stories in her book, Raising Other People’s Children. Debbie has spent decades working with traumatized children, serving as a social worker, group home parent, criminal prosecutor, volunteer and board member, attorney defending youth-serving organizations, foster parent, step-parent, and grandparent raising a grandchild. To learn more about this amazing woman, head over to:
June 07, 2021
Chloe Traicos - Introducing Chloe (Acting/Save Zimbabwe Movement)
Chloe Traicos is an actor, writer, and activist in her own right! Her movie, “Introducing Jodea,” won for “Best Comedy” at the Cannes Silk Road Film Awards. The Director and Editor, JD Cohen, won for “Best Editing” at the Top Indies Film Festival. It was also nominated for “Best Picture,” “Best Comedy,” “Best Actress,” and “Best Script”! While being an actress is her passion, she also wrote “Introducing Jodea”! This multitalented lady, has another passion connected to her childhood. She is a part of the “Save Zimbabwe Movement.” Growing up there gave her an in-depth perspective on the life of the Zimbabwe people. They hold a special place in her heart, and she shares what this movement is about. Take a listen and find out more about this amazing woman – Chloe Traicos! IMDB: “Introducing Jodea” Movie Trailer: Coming 04JUN to Laemmie Movie Theaters! I’ve had the opportunity to view this movie. It’s one you don’t want to miss! Find it near you!
June 02, 2021
Jamie Loreth - Doing My Part
Jamie Loreth’s passion is two-fold. It started off as a book, but spawned a charity called, “The Pink Blanket.” This charity provides pink blankets to women and children who are domestic violence survivors. It wraps them in a blanket of hope! She shares about her passions, as well as a little of her own story. To find out more about Jamie, her book, or her charity, head over to:
May 31, 2021
Trav Bell - The Bucket List Expert
Trav Bell has a unique passion of “The Bucket List”! Find out how this became is passion, and how this can change your way of thinking! He shares this passion with energy and enthusiasm like only he can. Find out what a bucket list is, and how it can be applied to your life right now! Don’t wait until it’s too late. This is one you have to hear! To learn more about Trav Bell, go to:
May 24, 2021
Ben Jacoby - Extreme Sports & Entrepreneurship – What’s the Connection?
My guest today, on this special episode of The Journey Is Real Podcast, is Ben Jacoby! He has had quite and adventure in life so far! They include military service in the Israeli Military, travels throughout Europe and Asia, traveling around Australia in a party bus, going for a world record, and so much more! To find out more about him, and the documentary he has about him, head over to his YouTube Channel: You can also find out more about him on his web pages:
May 20, 2021
Aimee Ravichandran - What It’s Like Being Abundantly Social
Aimee Ravichandran has her hands full with many plates spinning! She not only has two little girls two and under, but also runs two companies, Abundantly Social and Perceptive PR; runs a podcast on Monday mornings at 10AM CT, Author Talk, with her, Russell Little, and Fern Brady; is a co-host of The Con Hour, with Greg Kelso and C.J. Peterson; and yet, still has time to look after her group of authors on Monday Night Training called Through The Eyes Of Authors and go to Comic Cons! This lady knows how to balance and have fun! To learn more about Aimee and her ventures, head over to:
May 17, 2021
Eric Protein Moseley - Reaching The Homeless On Another Level
My guest today is Eric Protein Moseley. He’s going to be talking about something especially close to his heart – the homeless. He discusses the various levels as well as how we can help. He also shares some stories from the streets. He has a first-hand perspective, as he used to be homeless as well. Eric is producing a documentary shining a light on this issue. To learn more about Eric and his mission, you can find him at: You can also find him online with the handle: @ericmoseley18
May 11, 2021
Edward Di Gangi - The Unexpected Story of Adoption
Imagine you were adopted into a family as an only child. Your life was great! However, you always felt something was missing. Now you are in the steps of my guest today, Edward Di Gangi! His unique story takes him back, allowing to learn more about his birth mom than he ever thought possible!  a cemetery visit and a book about a favorite author’s search for lost family compelled him to embark on a genealogical quest to discover his origins. What he found was more than he ever imagined! Watch or listen to this podcast, and then check out his book, “The Best Gift Given: A Memoir” today:
May 10, 2021
The Journey Is Real Podcast: Tom Parnell - A Father’s Pain Can Not Be Silenced
More than 70,000 Americans died from drug-involved overdose in 2019, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids. This is a growing problem that is a hidden killer. This special episode is airing to talk about a movie that came out on 04MAY2021 – Painkiller. This movie takes on a special meaning for the filmmaker. Watch as C.J. sits down with Tom Parnell to find out the story behind the story. They discuss what inspired the movie, and why he is so passionate about the message behind the movie. Painkiller: After a man loses his daughter to a drug overdose, he begins a vigilante campaign to bring down the white-collar criminals, including the doctors and pharmaceutical companies, behind the opioid epidemic. Painkiller Trailer: Links for Painkiller: PHYSICAL Amazon (use link) Walmart DIGITAL Apple Prime Video (use link above provided for physical); DirecTV; Dish; Fandango Now; Google/YouTube (own/purchase); Hoopla; In Demand (Comcast, etc); VUDU
May 05, 2021
Terrie Gardner: The Secret of Addiction – Hiding Behind The Stigma
Sadly, Terrie Gardner's story is an all too familiar one lately. To the outside world, things seemed perfect. However, Terrie shares a different story of how her husband's substance abuse, and protecting her husband’s reputation, hurt their family. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. To find out more about Terrie, or her book, "Landslide: A Story of Faith, Hope, and Love," head over to:
May 03, 2021
Tolik Borts - The Cinderella Story of Altrunite NonProfit
Altrunite is derived from the words: Altruist - A person or group of people unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others. Altruistic/Altruism - Is the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings, resulting in a quality of life. My guest today, Tolik Borts talks about his NonProfit: Altrunite. See how this nonprofit started, and the journey behind the mask. To learn more about Altrunite:
April 26, 2021
Dorothy Graham - The Overcomer: Facing Challenges With Faith & Courage
Despite life's challenges, today's guest, Dorothy Graham continued to push forward. Through pain of loss, illness, and more, her strength and faith in God pulled her through. She's using what she learned, and compiled it in a book called: The Overcomer - Book Link:  To connect with Dorothy, head over to Facebook:
April 19, 2021
Larry Indiviglia – Embracing Life – A Powerful Choice
We make choices every day. We choose to love or to hate. We choose to smile or to cry. The choices we make shape us into who we are. My guest today is Larry Indiviglia. He made a choice to love, knowing it would not be forever. If you knew the love of your life was terminal, would you make the choice to love, or save yourself the heartache. Find out Larry's choice, and how it changed him forever! You can find out more about Larry Indiviglia here:
April 13, 2021
The Journey Is Real Podcast Update & Restart – C.J. Peterson & Trevor Dallas-Orr
The Journey Is Real is a journey for many who have joined the viewing and listening audience. C.J. and Trevor sit down and discuss many of their favorites, or things that have stood out to them through the first year of The Journey Is Real Podcast. They also discuss what has been going on that caused the suspension of the podcast over the last few months. So, sit back and relax as you take a journey of The Journey Is Real Podcast’s first year! To find out more about The Journey Is Real Podcast:
April 05, 2021
Jason Goodbread, CFP, CEPA, CVGA - Business Education: Know Your Value
Justin Goodbread is not our normal guest, but the information he has to share, and his passion, is something needed at this time! Please take a few minutes. What you could glean from him, could help you and your business. For more information on Justin Goodbread:
January 12, 2021
Justin Russell - From 8-5 to Commercial Beekeeper
Justin Russell had a great job in construction. What made him want to give it up to be a commercial beekeeper? Learn about bees and understand this passion by taking some time to listen to this podcast! To learn more about Justin and his bees, you can find him on:
January 05, 2021
Steph Cannon - A Marathon. Not A Sprint.
Running can be therapeutic. With everything going on in this world, it's a great outlet. Steph Cannon has her hands full with family, content writing, even over the last year finding out that she has ten siblings after being an only child for most of her life. How did she handle it? Take a listen and find out! To learn more about Steph, head over to:
December 28, 2020
Chris Haneline - He Talks To The Bees
C.J. and her husband are beekeepers. She was delighted to find a fellow beekeeper in Chris Haneline, who agreed to sit down and talk bees with her! Take a listen and find out what it's like to live in the apiary world! To contact Chris, feel free to email him at:  To find out more about The Journey To Fruitfulness Blog C.J. mentioned, head over to:
December 22, 2020
Thane Ringler - Game Changer: Don't Settle Take Ownership of Your Life
Thane Ringler is a young man, with wisdom beyond his years. He uses this wisdom to help others be their best self. He sees the potential within you, and offers you help via his podcast, webinars, blogs, and books! To find out more about Thane, head over to his website today:
December 14, 2020
Julie Connor - To Travel Is To Live
The author of 'Savoring The Camino de Santiago' has a unique past that fostered her love for travel. Sit back and take a listen as Julie Gianelloni Connor and I talk travel! To learn more about Julie:
December 08, 2020
Nir Bashan - Creativity Decoded
Creativity is an outlet many have either been cheated out of by the words of another, or we just dismiss it but admire it in others. My guest today believes it is within all of us at our core to be creative, and it is his mission to 'decode it' in all of us! To find out more about Nir Bashan: Let him help you find your creativity within!
December 01, 2020
Leslie Ferris Yerger - Losing Is Not An Option (Breast Cancer)
Breast Cancer is a scary thing to face when you know it's there, but what happens when conventional ways don't work in detecting it? C.J. sits down with Leslie Ferris Yerger, a woman in that exact position. She shares her story, her heart, and alternative ways to detect it so her story does not become yours! To learn more about Leslie:
November 24, 2020
Terrina Wilder - Never Underestimate The Power Of A Planted Seed
Gardening can be very cathartic. Planting a seed, watering it, nurturing it, watching it produce the desired product. This is the same in our spiritual life. Planting the seeds, and watching God take over is an amazing sight. Take a listen as I talk to Terrina Wilder about 'Never Underestimate The Power Of A Planted Seed." To learn more about Terrina Wilder:
November 16, 2020
Ruth Biza - #ThisIsMyEra
“I'm passionate about building businesses for impact and want to inspire others to get out of their comfort zones and step into their power.” - Ruth Biza Ruth is an inspirational young lady. She uses her past to fuel not only her future, but also future generations of young African students. To learn more about Ruth Biza and #ThisIsMyEra -
November 09, 2020
Rashod Coleman: Fatherless Son – Journey From Growing Up Fatherless, To Being A Father To Many
Today's guest is Rashod Coleman. His father was in jail from when he was only three. However, through his life, there were many who spoke into his life, and guided him through. He used this example when he was older. First a Police Officer, then a mentor to many kids who need guidance and stability!  To learn more about Rashod Coleman:
November 02, 2020
Brian Penso - Who You Are And Why?
Brian Penso has had a rough past. He uses that past to push him toward his dream! He not only achieved his dream, but also wants to share with you how he did it! He shares his story and his heart in this episode of The Journey Is Real Podcast. To find out more about Brian Penso:
October 27, 2020
DC Gomez - Dare To Dream
DC Gomez loves to inspire others to be their best self! She even takes her own advice once and a while. With her amazing background, she's one tough cookie! Take a listen to find out more about this incredible lady! To learn more about DC Gomez:
October 19, 2020
The Journey Is Real Podcast: Edward Hancock II and Kathryn Haueisen - Winds of Time
What do history, genealogy, and two completely different authors have in common? Find out on this episode of The Journey Is Real Podcast, where C.J. talks to authors Edward Hancock II and Kathryn Haueisen. Ed talks about his years of studying his genealogy, while Kathy talks about the Mayflower and what connection she has to those who were aboard. They discover an interesting connection partway through the discussion! To find out more about Edward Hancock II: To find out more about Kathryn Haueisen:
October 13, 2020
Rebeka Shadpour - Journey of the Heart
Rebeka Shadpour has many talents, one of them is being a life coach. She takes time with C.J. to talk about how that journey came about, and how she is able to help others. With a heart for people, she makes a great spiritual healer. To find out more about Rebeka Shadpour, head over to: - -
October 05, 2020
Tony Loyd - Thrive, Not Just Survive
Tony Loyd has a passion for people! He wants others to not only survive but to THRIVE! His energy is infectious. He enjoys working with social entrepreneurs - who exist at the intersection of profit and purpose. To learn more about Tony Loyd, head over to:
September 29, 2020
Mike Kowis, esq - From Dust To Glory
Mike Kowis is a long-time amateur racer with a passion for off-road racing. He grew up riding three-wheelers in the woods along the Trinity River and is currently competing in his 14th season of off-road racing in a turbo-charged Side-by-Side vehicle together with his teenage son, Cash. Mike recently published a nonfiction book (Texas Off-road Racing) that reveals what off-road racing feels like from the driver’s seat and shares the gritty details of each side-by-side race that he and his teenage son (Cash) competed in during their run for the 2019 Championship.
September 21, 2020
Chris Chapman - Passion Drives Performance
Chris Chapman learned to help others at an early age. As he grew, this became his passion. Helping others to find their passion may sound unique, but it is true calling! For more information on Chris, you can find his LinkedIn Profile at: LinkedIn: Podcast:
September 14, 2020
James Roberts - Sink or Swim
James Roberts has an amazing story! He never let his limitations hold him back. As a matter of fact, they pushed him to go faster and farther. Take a listen to this man's inspiring story. He also talks about his A.M.P. method to help others achieve their goals. To find out more about James Roberts, head over to his website:
September 08, 2020
Shelley F. Knight: A Self Kick Lifestyle
Shelley F. Knight is a once upon a time nurse turned writer who provides an eclectic blend of clinical, holistic and spiritual expertise in her specialist subjects of Positive Changes, Spirituality, and Grief. Shelley is passionate about encouraging individuals on a transformational journey towards positive changes, particularly following times of loss in their life, be it the loss of a known and trusted way of life, or loss of a loved one. To learn more about Shelley F. Knight, head over to:
August 31, 2020
Nate Peo - Going All In
Nate Peo encourages people to live life to their fullest potential! To Nate, guiding people do the uncomfortable things that will help them take risks, find their passion, and finally do the things they were meant to do is his where he thrives. To find out more about Nate and/or his podcast, head over to his website:
August 25, 2020
David Wells - Texas Baptist Men (TBM)
Texas Baptist Men is not just men doing ministry, but women help as well. These folks respond to natural disasters free of charge to those they help. Whether it's food, chain saw teams, or simply ministering to the hearts of those lives they touch, they are there to do the work. To find out more about TBM, head over to:
August 17, 2020
Jeremy Jack - Role-Playing Games: Not Just For Nerds Anymore!
Role-playing games spark the imagination of the young and old! Jeremy Jack talks about his role-playing game - Planetbound! It combines genres in a fun-filled action-packed game that YOU are in control of! Jeremy Jack is full of energy and enthusiasm! As my guest today, he does not disappoint! To find out more about Planetbound, Jeremy Jack, or Successor Games, head over to:
August 10, 2020
Paz Ellis - The American Dream
Paz Ellis is a first-generation citizen. Her parents came from the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Paz takes some time to share her family's journey in becoming American Citizens! She also has a book about it, along with a couple other books. You can find out more about her on:
August 03, 2020
JoJami Tyler - Ladies Roadmap Lifestyle Journal
JoJami Tyler and her partner, Lana, fire up your imagination and your spirit. with a blend of fun, guidance, and inspiration with the Ladies Roadmap Lifestyle Journal! Take a listen to find out how it came about. Afterward, head over to:  To check it out for yourself! Ladies Roadmap Podcast and Journal walks with YOU unearthing age old patterns of stuck in order to make room for more of the stuff you’re craving (like abundance, joy, expansion and energy).
July 27, 2020
Lee Chambers - Finding Authenticity Through Challenge
Lee Chambers is no stranger to challenges. His life did a one-eighty practically overnight. Take a listen and find out how this young man with a strong heart and positive attitude changed his life for the better! To find out more about Lee Chambers and his story:
July 20, 2020
Evan Knox - Caffeine Marketing
With everything going on in today's world, businesses need all the help they can get! My guest today is Evan Knox of Caffeine Marketing. Learn the story behind Caffeine Marketing, as well as a few tips and tricks to help in today's world! To learn more about Caffeine Marketing, go to:
July 13, 2020
ST Rappaport - Relationship Photography & CJEA
What is relationship photography and CJEA? Find out when I sit down with ST Rappaport on this week's episode! You will learn some practical application for Creative Journal for Expressive Arts, as well as what relationship photography is, and how it can benefit you! To find out more about ST Rappaport:
July 07, 2020
Maxwell Ivey - What's Your Excuse?
Maxwell Ivey is an inspirational gentleman, who grew up in a unique environment. His desire was to continue the family business, but that was not an option for him. Instead of being upset, he chooses to look at the bright side of life. Starting a blog called "The Blind Blogger," he motivates many to look at the brighter side of life. To find out more about him, head over to:
June 29, 2020
Katherine Salamanca - Pink Cloud 9 = Recovery
Katherine Salamanca sits down with C.J. and shares a rough portion of her story. It’s more than a story of recovery…it’s a story of hope! Katherine battles a myriad of addictions, on top of being bi-polar. She shares different resources and ways she uses to keep a healthy mindset. These resources helped her, they may be able to help you too! You are not alone! You can find her online: Pink Cloud 9 Podcast: FB:
June 22, 2020
Cosplay Panel Fun! (Pt 2)
Yep! I talked them into a second interview! The same crew talking Cosplay is back! They are: Paul T. Watson (Star Trek Pathfinder); Cassie LaGrand (Mermaid Cosplay); Wilhelm Deinbeck (Will D'Alien Cosplay). Cosplay is a passion for those who do it. What's it like? Why do they do it? What are Comic Cons actually like? Join the fun as I do a TWO-PART series on Cosplay! Mermaid Cosplay and Instagram: mermaid_cosplay95_ Wil D'Alien Cosplay: FB/Instagram search: "Wil D’Alien Cosplay" Paul T. Watson: FB/Instagram: "Star Trek Pathfinder" & "Paul T Watson
June 15, 2020
Cosplay Panel Fun!
My guest today talk about Cosplay! They are: Paul T. Watson (Star Trek Pathfinder); Cassie LaGrand (Mermaid Cosplay); Wilhelm Deinbeck (Will D'Alien Cosplay). Cosplay is a passion for those who do it. What's it like? Why do they do it? What are Comic Cons actually like? Join the fun as I do a TWO-PART series on Cosplay! Mermaid Cosplay and Instagram: mermaid_cosplay95_ Wil D'Alien Cosplay: FB/Instagram search: "Wil D’Alien Cosplay" Paul T. Watson: FB/Instagram: "Star Trek Pathfinder" & "Paul T Watson"
June 09, 2020
Shawn Oueinsteen - Using Fiction To Combat Climate Change
Today's guest uses his talent of writing in a unique way. His passion is climate change. He has a blog, and is writing a fictional book in order to shine a light on this issue. To learn more about Shawn Oueinsteen, along with his blog:
June 02, 2020
Katheryn Haueisen - Life After Divorce
Ever felt the loneliness of divorce, and not sure what to do to bring yourself back up? Ever wonder if there really is life after divorce, or if where you are is where you'll stay? You are not alone! My guest today, Katheryn Haueisen, is here to share her real-life example of what happened during her journey after divorce. To find out more about Katheryn Haueisen:
May 26, 2020
Christy Summers - Epic Battles: Overcoming Anxiety and Depression
We all have experienced one of those times in our lives, where a battle inside you, threatened to overtake you. How did you handle it? The guest for this podcast, Christy Summers, gives you a raw look at her battles. She shares her journey on overcoming depression and anxiety. It is a deeply personal story, that ends in hope! You will not regret listening!
May 18, 2020
Kathy Golliher - Operation Battle Buddies
Our Veterans served, giving everything they have, and everything they are. Once they come back, adjusting to regular life can be a challenge. That's where Operation Battle Buddies comes into play! ​Operation Battle Buddies was established in 2015. We give well-bred labrador retriever puppies to veterans suffering from military related injuries. We also provide the dog training so the puppy can be a successful companion for the veteran. All of this is at NO COST to the veteran! Our ministry is funded 100% by donations. The cost to train just ONE puppy is approximately $3,000. Please consider supporting this ministry by sponsoring an Operation Battle Buddies puppy. They are also on FB: YouTube:
May 12, 2020
Arlene Gale - Why Writing Your Story Could Change The World
Everyone has a story. You may think your life is normal or boring. You may think what you have to say doesn't matter. Well my guest today, Arlene Gale begs to differ. Your story may be exactly what someone else needs to hear! For more information on Arlene Gale or how to contact her, head over to her website: Helping you share your story is her passion!
May 05, 2020
Sherry Hall - Breast Cancer
Sherry Hall's passion is Breast Cancer Awareness. She has used a few unique ways to show this. Take a listen and find out what she has done to draw attention to this cause. Here is the link for the YouTube video mentioned in the podcast: To find out more about Sherry Hall: There was also an article mentioned in the podcast: Here are a few statistics regarding Breast Cancer: About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime; About 2,620 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2020. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883; About 42,170 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2020 from breast cancer; As of January 2020, there are more than 3.5 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
April 28, 2020
Melissa McGinnis - Heroic Inner Kids
The mission for Heroic Inner Kids of East Texas is: "Our mission is to inspire those with challenges to realize their Inner Hero via education, outreach and advocate efforts." They use a unique way to reach out to children with challenges. Take a listen as Melissa McGinnis shares her heart and her journey with Heroic Inner Kids. Find out what keeps her going after all these years, and how YOU can help! Heroic Inner Kids Website: Heroic Inner Kids Facebook Page:
April 21, 2020
Lori Maben - Krabbe Leukodstrophy
Krabbe disease is rare and is thought to affect 1 person in every 100,000 people in the general population. Lori Maben is a nurse in Ohio. She shares her story in being a nurse for a young girl with Krabbe. She also shares what came of this unique story!  You can find out more about Krabbe, along with resources on:
April 14, 2020
Lydia Mann: Summer Camps
Lydia Mann has been working with summer camps for over thirty years. Her company, CampTV creates videos for summer camps. She has seen first-hand the impact these get-aways have on young people. For more information on CampTV: For more information on Lydia Mann: YouTube:
April 06, 2020
Terrie McKee - God’s Presence, Power, & Provision During Trauma
Terrie McKee has a unique perspective regarding a traumatizing event in the life of their family. She shares this, along with some of the things she has learned since. Also, she is a homeschooling mom with resources that will be priceless for those parents who have suddenly found themselves as 'teachers' to their kids! You can find all of these and more on her website: YouTube Link:
March 31, 2020
Tom Oswald - Breaking Free From What's Breaking You
Tom Oswald has a unique story. His story isn't just a story about losing weight, it's about a journey of the heart. He shares the foundational impact The Lord had on not only his weight loss experience, but also his heart-changing, life-changing experience.  He also has a world-wide blog, "The Opinion of the Minion" he shares about as well. To find out more about Tom, head over to his website:
March 24, 2020
Ashley Conner - Children's Ministry
Ashley Conner has been in Children's Ministry for Summit Heights Fellowship for over ten years. She was there from before the church was even started! She shares her journey on what that was like, how much it has changed over the years, and what keeps her giving her time and talent to the children in the community! She uses her high energy and creative mind to reach the hearts of the young people around her. Take a listen to hear more! To learn more about her children's ministry, head over to:
March 17, 2020
Nancy Carter - Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas
Nancy Carter started Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas to make sure that every military member overseas knows they are loved and respected. Take a listen to hear why she started it, and what keeps her going. Here is a little about Airborne Angel Cadets: "We have about 150 volunteers. No paid staff. We send soldiers care packages year round. We ship to about 15,000 troops overseas each year. About 250,000 U.S. military troops are deployed overseas. We mailed 3,200 cartons in 2018. We support American troops from all 50 States. We support all branches of the U.S. military. We do not concentrate on any one group. We focus on troops serving in remote areas. We have been sending care packages since 2005. We welcome support from Americans in any State."  To learn more, or to help this purely volunteer organization, head over to:
March 09, 2020
Katherine Boyer - North Texas Book Festival (Literacy)
The North Texas Book Festival is celebrating 20 years of battling literacy on multiple fronts. From giving grants, to having a book show that is free for attendees. You can meet the authors behind the books for yourself, as you peruse the vast genres that make up the North Texas Book Festival - including books in Spanish, YA books, Children's books, Historical books...and so much more! You don't want to miss this event in Denton, TX - this year on August 29 from 10AM-4PM at:  Patterson-Appleton Arts Center  400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201  For more information on the North Texas Book Festival, take a look at their website:
March 01, 2020
Lou Alpert - A Mother's Journey Through Her Child's Heroin Addiction
This is a story about a mother’s heartbreaking journey working through her daughter’s heroin addiction. Her daughter survived the addiction, but many do not. Lou Alpert takes on the journey from seeing her pregnant daughter on a CNN interview, to how she finally got her the help she needed. - From 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 Americans died from overdosing on a drug.  - About 494,000 Americans over the age of 12 are regular heroin users.  - About 25% of people who try heroin will become addicted.  - In 2017, 81,000 Americans tried heroin for the first time. The beds are limited for those to get the help they need. Lou Alpert has multiple resources on her website that may help you if you find yourself or your child in the same situation:
February 25, 2020
About The Journey Is Real Podcast
This is a short four minute description and reason C.J. created The Journey Is Real Podcast. Take a listen, and make sure to subscribe or follow The Journey Is Real Podcast, so you don't miss a single episode!
February 25, 2020
Kat Ledkins - Adoption
More than 400.000 children are currently in the foster care system in the United States alone. Here are a few more statistics to consider: Out of 100 couples in the United States, about 12 to 13 of them have trouble becoming pregnant. About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Of non-stepparent adoptions, about 59% are from the child welfare (or foster) system, 26% are from other countries, and 15% are voluntarily relinquished American babies. Adoption gives one a different perspective on the world. The selfless act can change lives on so many levels! It changes not only the life of the child, but also of those who choose to foster or adopt these littles. My guests on this episode, along with her husband wanted a family. They have a lot of love they wanted to share, but they had issues with infertility. She shares that journey, as well as the journey that changed their lives when they chose to adopt. She shares their adoption journey, along with a little surprise at the end! Take a listen! For those looking for options, adoption is one to strongly consider. There are amazing families, as you have met on this podcast, who are looking to love on and raise a little one. Kat mentioned the agency they connected with in East Texas. This is the website she referenced:
February 18, 2020
Ryan Thomas - Hope's Door New Beginnings Center (Domestic Violence)
The domestic violence statistics are staggering. For those who have experienced this epidemic, or are perhaps currently in this situation...there is hope! Ryan Thomas of Hope's Door New Beginnings Center shares his passion regarding Hope's Door and their outreach. We also discuss the different programs Hope's Door offers. C.J. is a domestic violence survivor as well, and shares a little from her perspective during this segment. Hope's Door New Beginnings Center Website: Their 24hr Hotline: 972-276-0057 National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 There is hope!
January 30, 2020
Edward Hancock II - Overcoming Challenges/A Wheelchair Guy In An Able-Bodied World
Edward Hancock II is, as he calls it, "a wheelchair guy in an able-bodied world." Take a listen and see what a portion of his world looks like. Also, we talk about his challenges, successes, and the lessons he has learned along the way! He is also an author. You can find him online at: Website: FB:
January 28, 2020
Carrie Cowan - Juvenile Diabetes
Carrie Cowan explains their journey in being 'baptized by fire' into the world of Type 1 Diabetes with her granddaughter. She also tells of how they went about finding a way to get the 'Queen Bee' Brooke a service dog. Their inspirational journey will have you amazed at how God set it all up before they even knew they would need her service dog. #BeeSomebodyBrave FB: YouTube:
January 19, 2020