021 | Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Welcome to episode 21 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This is the second of two episodes we recorded during our recent stay in Chattanooga Tennessee. Our friends, Chris Stapleton and Josh Scott from The Simple Gospel Podcast joined us again for this conversation, recorded in our Chattanooga loft. We were also thrilled to be joined by Chris’ parents, Rick and Sharon Stapleton. We’ve been wanting to get them on our podcast for quite some time and it finally came together.

In The Message Bible, Matthew 11:28-30 reads,

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Our conversation was centered around our own experiences with those “unforced rhythms of grace” as we shared life stories and  experiences. For Susan and me, our 7-day stay in Chattanooga was a warm example of unforced rhythms of grace as the common bond we shared was both instant and unforced. We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did.


020 | How Religion Strips Away Our Humanity

Welcome to episode 20 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! We were podcasting from Chattanooga Tennessee in the presence of greatness for this episode. This is the first of two episodes with our friends Chris Stapleton (not the country singer), Josh Scott, and Dan Hampton of the Simple Gospel Podcast, who joined Susan and me in a conversation about how religion strips away our humanity.

Religion demands we not be real; that we not be ourselves. It requires us to wear masks to cover up who we really are and to project a false version of ourselves to those around us. It even strips away Jesus’ humanity and doesn’t allow the human side of him to be really human. In short, religion is crippling and the only remedy is a return to grace. Grace frees us to be who we really are with no shame or fear attached. Grace is the enemy of religion and in the same way video killed the radio star, grace kills religion.

Grab your favorite beverage, get comfortable, and listen in as the five of us talk it through.


019 | Bonus Episode: Runaway Radical

Welcome to episode 19 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is one of the favorites we pulled from the archives of our old Chief Sinner Podcast. It’s an interview we did with Amy and Jonathan Hollingsworth in 2015 about their experiences while Jonathan was on the mission field in Africa and after his return home. As relevant as this episode was when we initially aired it in 2015, we feel it is just as relevant now, if not more so. Coinciding with the recent #ChurchToo movement and other stories of abuse in religious institutions, theirs is a story of spiritual abuse and being bullied and shamed into silence by their abusers.

Amy and Jonathan co-authored the book, Runaway Radical: A Young Man’s Reckless Journey to Save the World and Amy is the author of The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World’s Most Beloved Neighbor. This episode is built around Runaway Radical and both books are talked about during the course of our conversation. Links to both books are below. We highly recommend them.


018 | The Church’s Fear of Mental Illness

Welcome to episode 18 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. In this episode we had a conversation with our friend Sarah Knaub about the subject of mental illness. Sarah knows a thing or two about mental illness first hand as it was an uninvited guest that found its way into her home at a young age and robbed her of a healthy relationship with one of her siblings. Sarah shared that story in a blog post she wrote entitled, Who Are You and What Have You Done With My Sister? You will find that article at:


We interacted with that post in episode 6 of this podcast and now we’ve had the privilege of talking with Sarah face-to-face about this often misunderstood and feared topic.

Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage and join our conversation. We think you’ll be challenged and encouraged as Sarah tells her story and shares the insights she’s gained along the way.


017 | #ChurchToo

If it leaves a trail of abused victims, it isn’t Jesus. In this episode of The Grace Cafe Podcast, we had an informal conversation about the different types of abuse in the church and the impact the #ChurchToo movement is having on exposing abuse. Victims of abuse are finding their voice and speaking up about abuse that has been going on for years, which the church has been working hard to spin, cover up, and keep quiet. It is our opinion that the top-down authority structures found in most institutional church settings is a huge part of the problem that feeds attempted cover-ups of abuse within its walls while silencing its victims through shame, threats, and intimidation.

Join our conversation as we talk through #ChurchToo.


016 | Bonus Episode: Don’t Be Who They Made You

Welcome to episode 16 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. We’re reaching back into the archives and grabbing one of our old episodes from our Known & Loved Podcast. That episode was entitled Don’t Be Who They Made You and originally aired in March of 2017. Our friends Joe and Deirdre joined us on this episode as we talk about a favorite line in the movie Logan. That line is the title of this episode: Don’t Be Who They Made You.

The inspiration for this episode came shortly after seeing the movie Logan in March of 2017, when we came across a blog post called, Is Reformed Evangelicalism a Place for the Traumatized? In it, the author recounts his seminary experience as it relates to the line from Logan, “Don’t Be Who They Made You.” For your convenience, the link is below.

Is Reformed Evangelicalism a Place for the Traumatized?


015 | Growing in Grace: A Conversation with Mike Kapler and Joel Brueseke

We’ve been looking forward to sharing this episode with you, and the day has finally arrived. Pull up your favorite chair and your favorite beverage and join us as we talk with Mike Kapler and Joel Brueseke from the Growing in Grace podcast. Our casual conversation took us to places like these:

  • Christ in us and us in Christ
  • The once-for-all forgiveness of sin
  • Our true identity
  • Confession of sin
  • Moralism, legalism, and mental illness that results from law-based living
  • The futility of “do more, try harder” religion
  • The Old Covenant is obsolete. Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant, but we mix the two together

I could go on, but listening is more fun! Links for this episode:


Episode 14 | What Tribal Doctrine Steals From Us

Welcome to episode 14 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s talk about some of the things religion and tribal doctrine steal from us as well as some of the misconceptions we’re left with that give us an incorrect view of God and what he thinks of us. A few of the things that came to mind for us as we talked were:

  • Prayer
  • Sinner/Saint
  • Accountability and Judgement
  • The Holy Spirit as a Comforter

Pull up your favorite chair and grab your favorite beverage as we have a conversation about the things tribal doctrine steals from us and the struggle to take it back.