089 | A Look Back At An Unexpected Decade

Happy New Year! Welcome to episode 89 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. In this episode we take a look back at our own journey over the past decade and our trek out of performance-based Christianity. It’s been 10+ years of healing for us after having left the different religious environments in 2009 that we were a part of for many years. 

We know many of you are on similar journeys out of toxic religious experiences and we hope our podcast provides a safe place for you to process your own experience. We hope this episode will encourage, strengthen, and remind you of the hope and love that is yours in Jesus. Click Play to listen in.


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088 | Am I Obedient Enough?

Welcome to episode 88 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. In this episode, we catch you up on some of the things that have been going on with us personally, eventually landing on the topic of obedience. But along the way we talk about Christmas, Mike’s skin cancer diagnosis (not the bad kind thankfully) and his experience under the doctor’s knife, the future of this podcast, other podcasts we enjoy and recommend, and our gratitude to you for allowing us to be a part of your lives and for listening to our show.

Links to other sites/podcasts we recommend in this episode:

We’ll be back in 2020!


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083 | Fear and Doubt

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. 

“And have mercy on those who doubt.” Jude vs. 6

-Enjoy!


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082 | Take Five: Is Taking Up My Cross a Spiritual Discipline?

Welcome to episode 82 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. In this edition of Take Five, Mike talks about taking up our cross and following Jesus. When Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24) was he referring to a spiritual discipline that involves denying my own needs and bearing up under trials? That’s a common interpretation of this passage. We’re told that when trials come, we all “have our cross to bear” and my ability to hold up well under trials becomes the litmus test for revealing how strong or weak my faith is, based on my ability or inability to deny myself and bear my cross.

But is that what Jesus meant? A more intentional look at the context reveals something completely different. This is not a spiritual discipline, but an invitation to believe. Here’s a link to the blog post I quoted from in last week’s edition of Take Five as well as this week’s:

-Enjoy!


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081 | Rooted and Grounded in Grace: A Conversation With Joel Brueseke

Welcome to episode 81 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Joel Brueseke joins us on this episode as we talk about what it means to be rooted and grounded in grace. Joel is co-host, along with Mike Kapler, of The Growing in Grace podcast and Joel also has a solo podcast and blog called Grace Roots. Our conversation took us into the many things that so easily distract us and lure us away from what it means to be rooted and grounded in grace alone, apart from performance. You can find Joel on line at:

We hope this episode encourages you like it did us.

Enjoy!


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080 | Take Five: Is Dying Daily a Spiritual Discipline?

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.


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078 | Take Five: How To Have a Jesus-Lite Theology of the New Covenant

Welcome to episode 78 of the Grace Cafe Podcast and this edition of Take Five. Let’s talk about how to have a Jesus-lite theology of the New Covenant and the dark side of making the New Covenant more about our performance than Jesus’ shed blood. This episode is based on a blog post I wrote by the same title. For your convenience, here’s a link to that blog that serves as a loose transcript for this episode.

I hope you find encouragement here!


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077 | And Then There Was Jesus

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:

  1. There was Hinduism
  2. There Was Christianity
  3. 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:

And Then There Was Jesus – on Amazon

And Then There Was Jesus – on Facebook

Pooja’s Website

-Enjoy!