Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Episode 12 | Building on a Better Foundation


Welcome to episode 12 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. Let's talk about sameness, conformity, community, and building our lives on a better foundation. Religion equates sameness with community. It tells us that if we're all the same, believing all the same things, and acting out life in all the same ways, life is good. But when we start to think independently of that reasoning and the Holy Spirit starts us on a different journey, causing us to re-think what we used to assume was correct, we become a threat to those who equate sameness with community and we find ourselves outside of the group we used to be a part of.

Genuine community requires honest conversation in an environment that is safe to express differences and changes in our own journey, while being allowed to be ourselves and openly question what was once assumed.

Other topics we explore in this episode:

  • The forgiveness of sin
  • Conviction
  • Am I simultaneously justified and a sinner? Is there a part of me that is still in sin? Who am I in Jesus?
  • Resting in Jesus' finished work
  • Reading Scripture in context
  • Old Covenant/New Covenant
  • Moralism
  • Spiritual fruit
  • Sermon application
  • Tenderness
  • Star Trek

Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Episode 11 | Living in the Quiet


Welcome to episode 11 of the Grace Cafe Podcast! In the previous episode, we re-aired our conversation from January, 2016 with Allison Stanley. We called it Living in the Wait because her life seemed to be on hold as she waited to see where things were going to land in the midst of a divorce. This episode is our follow-up conversation with Allison that we recorded yesterday, Feb 6, 2018. 

Far from emerging as a Christian superhero following a trial, what most often happens is that in his love, the Father brings us into a quiet place - a normal place where we just get to slow down life's pace and know him better, experiencing his kindness. We think you'll be encouraged by our conversation with Allison and we explore her story of moving from living in the wait to living in the quiet.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Episode 10 | Living in the Wait



Welcome to episode 10 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. We've crossed over into double digits with this episode. Yay! This episode is one from our old Chief Sinner Podcast from January, 2016 where we had a conversation with a good friend of ours, Allison Stanley. One of the reasons we're reposting it here is because we'll be doing a follow-up conversation with Allison that will be posted next week. This episode will give you some background and context for the new one.

When we talked with Allison two years ago, she was in the middle of a divorce and she talked openly and frankly with us about her experiences and what was going on inside and with others around her. You'll hear her describe the uncertainty of that time and what hope meant in the context of that uncertainty. She described it as living in the wait. We think you'll be encouraged by what you hear and if you're in similar circumstances, know you're not alone.


Enjoy!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Episode 9 | Am I Simultaneously Justified and a Sinner?


Welcome to episode 9 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. Let's talk about our identity. What is my identity in Jesus? Am I a mixture of my old self and my new self? Do I have two natures? Am I simultaneously justified and a sinner? Am I both righteous and still a sinner? Does the New Testament label Christians this way, as both sinners and just? Is there a part of me that is still in Adam while at the same time, being in Jesus? Does Jesus' death on the cross leave me in a condition of being both justified and a sinner? What about Paul referring to himself as a chief sinner? Did Paul teach simul?

Pull up your favorite chair and grab your favorite beverage and let's talk about our identity in Jesus. Who are we in Jesus? What does it mean to be righteous? Am I really righteous right now, or am I only "positionally" righteous? What are the implications? Let's talk about it.

-Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Episode 8 | De-Calvinized


Welcome to episode 8 of the Grace Cafe! This episode is a reflection of conversations we've had with friends over the last 10 days or so. Specifically, a conversation Mike had with AJ, a young man who is on a similar journey of examining past and current beliefs in light of a better understanding of grace and the gospel. 

Paul told the Thessalonian assemblies to test everything and hold fast to what is good. That type of examination is healthy as our individual journeys unfold. Unfortunately, most organized systems of theology won't let you question or have healthy conversations that might take you in a different direction from the the accepted norm. We're afraid of change, yet the Christian life is seldom stagnate for long.

Join us as we begin talking about our own ongoing changes including the shifts in our view of Calvinism and how that is affecting our view of the Father in light of Jesus' words, "He that has seen me has seen the Father." Is Calvinism an accurate reflection of the Father Jesus showed us? Grab your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and join the conversation.

AJ, this episode is dedicated to you. Thank you for the honest and open dialog. I'm looking forward to more!

-Enjoy


Monday, November 20, 2017

Episode 7 | Untouchable


Christian, where is your identity? Who are you really? Are you the sum of your failures and fears? Are you the shame you receive from others? Who are you as a Christian? What does the Father think of you? Is he disappointed in you? How does God see you?

If your life is hidden with God in Christ (and it is), what are the implications of that? When I feel condemned, shamed, unworthy, worthless, useless, and defeated, what does it mean that my entire life is hidden with God in Christ? Christian, on your worst day, you are untouchable and beyond accusation and condemnation. That's the grace that comes to you from outside of yourself. Your bad record in Adam is gone and the righteousness of Christ is yours and will never be taken away. Let's talk about. Let's talk about your identity in Jesus and what it means to be untouchable in him.

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-Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Episode 6 | Perfect Love Casts Out Fear


Welcome to episode 6 of The Grace Cafe Podcast with Mike and Susan Adams. Most of us are probably familiar with this verse from the New Testament letter of 1 John:

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18)

Most of us probably equate the fear John is talking about with the things we fear most in life, and rightly so. Things like death, cancer, the sudden loss of a loved one, disabling health issues, financial ruin, or loss of relationships.

But what about the day-to-day stuff? What about the things in life we don't normally think of as fears but when they are challenged, we find ourselves zealously protecting them for fear of change or of being proven wrong in what we assumed was correct about them? Things like depression or mental illness, for example. What if you've embraced the idea that depression is somehow sinful and the cure is correct doctrine or better theology but then one day, depression shows up at your door, coming from nowhere, like a bruise, and your doctrine has no effect on it. What then?

What happens when the Holy Spirit begins a work in us to expose these kinds of prejudices that cause us to view people as issues to be fixed instead of human beings to be loved? What happens when the beliefs we thought were so secure and right, begin to crumble? Let's talk about it.

Susan reads an excerpt from Sarah Knaub's blog post entitled, Who Are You and What Have You Done With My Sister?. You can find it at:

http://www.p82homes.org/blog/2017/9/18/who-are-you-and-what-have-you-done-with-my-sister 

Enjoy!


Monday, October 30, 2017

005 - Bonus Episode: Out of My Chains and Into Your Mercy


Welcome to episode 5 of the Grace Cafe Podcast! In this episode, we reach back to 2015 and pull over one of our favorites from the old Chief Sinner Podcast. The audio is a little rough because we were still trying to figure out how to podcast. What you are going to hear in this episode was originally episode 19 of the Chief Sinner Podcast, airing on October 19, 2015! In it, Susan and I talked about her the recent blog post, Out of My Chains and Into Your Mercy. If you haven’t read that post yet, you may want to read it before listening to this episode.

After 6 1/2 years of depression, anxiety, good counseling, and good friends, she made the decision to see a therapist. We talked a little more about our story and her time in both the counselor’s office and the therapist’s office in her struggle to overcome PTSD and the therapist’s use of EMDR as part of the cure. If you’re not familiar with those terms, the blog and podcast will explain them. In her blog post, Susan wrote:

"How old was I when I became convinced that in order to be acceptable to people, I needed to wear masks. When were the words spoken to me that had convinced me that I would be unacceptable and worthless if I were to remove those masks? That I was a disappointment to everyone around me and to God? I had to record how I felt at that moment. That moment when I confessed I had been diagnosed with severe depression, that I didn’t think I was a believer, and that I couldn’t keep being what everyone wanted me to be. How did I feel in that moment when I was told by my pastor that I was dragging the name of Jesus through the mud? Where did I feel it? In my stomach? in my brain? In my chest? Well, I can remember that moment with great clarity when all of my fears became true and all of my doubts were confirmed. The belief that God was not really pleased with me. That I was a disappointment to Him. That if I ever removed my masks and showed others who I really was, with all of my struggles, that people would be disappointed in me as well.”

Susan’s blog post that this episode is based on can be found here:

https://gracecafeblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/out-of-my-chains-and-into-your-mercy.html 

Enjoy!


Monday, October 23, 2017

004 - And Have Mercy On Those Who Doubt



Welcome to episode 4 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let's talk about mercy. The small letter of Jude in the New Testament closes by saying, "and have mercy on those who doubt." This, in a letter that has strong words for those outside the faith who are attacking the purity of the gospel. If anything is added to, or taken away from the gospel, the gospel morphs into law. Jesus plus nothing equals everything, but Jesus plus anything becomes some form of law.

Jude tells us to contend for the faith - to fight for the purity of the gospel, but we often interpret his words to mean fight for our tribal doctrine - the things that make our group unique from other groups. It's that mindset that gets us into trouble because when we start doing that, mercy falls off the radar and we lose sight of it, thinking instead that our goal is to win an argument.

It's in the context of contending for the purity of the gospel that Jude reminds us to have mercy on those who doubt. Have you ever doubted the gospel? We have. Have you ever doubted your own salvation? We have. And when we do, we don't need harsh reminders of tribal doctrine. We need to hear the gospel all over again and be comforted and built up by that message because that is the only message that produces and restores faith and hope. Let's talk about it.

You can find us on-line at http://www.gracepodcast.cafe/

Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

003 - Paul, Timothy, and Women in the Church



Welcome to the 3rd episode of the Grace Cafe Podcast, the podcast formerly known as the Known & Loved Podcast! In this episode, we take a closer look at the Apostle Paul's words to Timothy concerning women in the Christian assembly. Specifically, we talk about the words in 1 Timothy 2:8-15. This section of Scripture contains some weird verses concerning women that are normally taken to be an across-the-board instruction manual for "doing church." Here are a few examples:
  • I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;
  • likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
  • Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
  • For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Timothy was a resident of the city of Ephesus when he received this letter from Paul. The city of Ephesus had one of the largest pagan temples to the Greek goddess Artemis in Asia Minor. Acts 19 gives us some background to the culture there and the prominence of Artemis worship. Your Bible version may read "Diana" instead of Artemis. It's okay, as either name is good. Artemis was the Greek name for this Greek goddess and Diana was her Latin name, so we would expect Rome to call her Diana.

But who was Artemis? That's a loaded question with a complete answer far beyond what we can provide in this podcast description. In short, Artemis was a goddess of and a protector of women and she had hundreds of titles reflecting that. Those women in the Artemis culture looked to Artemis for divine help in childbirth, also believing that Artemis required them to wear their best clothes when in her presence, being more attentive to their requests if they dressed their best. Artemis was also looked upon as a woman's protector in labor and childbirth. Consequently, within the Artemisian culture, women were the dominate ones, often exercising dominance over the men. In the Artemisian culture in Sparta, men were often flogged as part of Artemis worship.

Far from being an across-the-board manual for how to "do church," we believe Paul's words to Timothy in the passage above were addressing the Artemis practices that were being brought into the church, not a manual for how women should dress and act in the Christian assembly.

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We hope you enjoy this episode!