Welcome to episode 83 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Fear and doubt. These are two emotions we can all relate to and we all experience to varying levels and at different times. In performance-based, top-down religious environments, fear and doubt are common byproducts because the spotlight is on our own failed performance. At the same time, fear and doubt are not allowed to be expressed in that environment because they’re counterproductive to it. In performance-based Christianity, fear and doubt require us to wear masks and pretend we’re something we’re not, increasing our level of fear and doubt. The goal is to clean it up and get back to pretending.
Welcome to episode 80 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. In this edition of Take Five, let’s talk about what is often referred to as spiritual disciplines. Specifically, the assumed discipline of dying daily. Paul told the Corinthians he died daily. I believe we have incorrectly inserted ourselves into that passage in an attempt to make dying daily a spiritual discipline that we’re to be actively doing. But is that what Paul had in mind? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 77 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is a recent conversation we had with Pooja Chilukuri. Pooja was born and raised in India and now resides in the U.S. She reached out to us several weeks ago and told us a little bit of her story and pointed us to her book, And Then There Was Jesus, which chronicles her journey out of Hinduism, into Christianity, and then to Jesus. And Then There Was Jesus is divided into 3 parts that help the reader know in advance where the story is going:
There was Hinduism
There Was Christianity
And Then There Was Jesus
This conversation with Pooja is one of our favorites! As worded on her website, it’s her journey from India to the USA, from Hinduism to Christianity, her struggles with both religions, and a subsequent chance encounter with Jesus. She talks openly and honestly about her experiences in Hinduism and performance-based Christianity and how religious systems prevent us from knowing what God is really like. In the book’s introduction, she writes:
“If you believe that God is displeased with you at the slightest deviation from what your church or pastor preaches, and you have never been consumed by the overwhelming love of God, this book is for you.”
Our conversation with Pooja merely scratches the surface of the full story outlined in her book. Here are some helpful links to her book and for getting in touch with Pooja:
Welcome to episode 73 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s talk about what happens when our personal preferences become hard and fast rules that we impose on others. Paul said that he wanted to know nothing among others except Jesus Christ and him crucified. But we get caught up in side issues like legalism, tribal doctrine, and religious tradition that take us away from what really matters and close down any chance for meaningful and honest conversation. Sometimes the freedom we have in Christ scares those who aren’t experiencing it to the degree that we are and as a result, we get labeled or categorized with various names and we’re considered dangerous or rogue.
We talk about these things and more in this episode as we share with you a couple of personal stories that reinforce our ability to forget our identity in Jesus and forget how free he has made us. We also reference and recommend this music video by Jason Gray – Remind Me Who I Am: