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 76 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Susan takes the mic again in this edition of Take Five to talk about loving those who are deconstructing and/or reconstructing their faith. This deconstruction/reconstruction is going on all around us. Susan speaks from her own experience with this reminder to stand down and love one another instead of trying to fix one another or give up on one another.
Welcome to episode 75 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. The New Covenant, which we enjoy living under, was first spoken to Abraham by way of promise and then confirmed to him by way of an oath (Hebrews 6:13-20). The writer of the letter to the Hebrews calls this promise and this oath, two unchangeable things. What makes them unchangeable is that God cannot lie and because God cannot lie, we have this sure hope as an anchor for the soul.
We also interact with a letter from a listener who had a question about 2 Peter 1:3-15. This passage is a gospel reminder of the same precious promises of the New Covenant and the fruit of the Spirit that comes from a relationship with Jesus. Let’s talk about it….
Welcome to episode 74 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s talk about performance-based Christianity in this edition of Take Five. Nothing will cripple you faster than a view of God that sees him as never satisfied and always demanding more. But that’s how performance-based Christianity views him whether we admit it or not. In performance based Christianity, how I think I’m performing at any given moment is the barometer for what God thinks of me and my identity in Jesus gets lost in the shame and guilt. Let’s talk about it….
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:
Welcome to episode 72 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! In this edition of Take Five, let’s talk about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has a bad reputation in many Christian circles. We’ve been told, and we tend to believe, that the Holy Spirit is policing our sin and policing our every move, anticipating our next failure and waiting in the wings to bring heavy-duty conviction when we sin.
But is the Holy Spirit treating believers like convicts? Does he convict us of our sins or guide us deeper into truth? Let’s talk about it…
Welcome to episode 71 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s talk about rest. What does it mean to enter rest? In this episode we take a closer look at Hebrews 4:11-16 where the subject matter is resting with God. Rest under the Old Covenant was a foreign concept. The work was never done. There was no rest in the true sense of the word because the Law provided no true forgiveness of sin. You couldn’t approach the Holy of Holies under the Old Covenant with confidence.
But all of that has changed under the New Covenant because a greater than Joshua is here. This Hebrews passage tells us that although Israel experienced physical rest in the promised land under Joshua’s leadership, they never experienced spiritual rest because that is something Joshua was unable to provide. True spiritual rest comes through Jesus, our New Covenant priest and substitute. Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 70 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! This 70th episode marks the 3rd episode of our new Take Five episodes. As if that weren’t exciting enough on its own, this edition of Take Five is Susan’s first! Listen in to this short episode as she talks about a topic close to her heart: mental health, depression, and suicide.