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The Grace Cafe Podcast

Author: Mike and Susan Adams

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Rediscovering grace apart from religion - You've reached the podcast home of Mike and Susan Adams, a former pastor and pastor's wife who survived a crash and burn out of rules-based religion and back into grace in 2009. What we bought before, we just can't sell.

We invite you to pull up a chair and your favorite beverage and join the conversation. We're Jesus-centered and gospel-focused (no, really!) with no strings attached. We hope you enjoy your stay. Welcome to the Grace Café Podcast!
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Welcome to episode 95 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. After a four month hiatus, we're back! We thought we would pick back up by talking about how the way we view our journey out of performance-based faith continues to change, as our understanding of who we are in Jesus becomes more clear. Knowing who you are in Jesus can't be overstated! It's our security during times of change when life around us seems out of control. Our identity in Jesus never changes because he never changes. We don't rehearse the details of our story again in this episode. Those details are woven throughout this podcast in different episodes and in blog posts on the Grace Cafe Journal. We reference several of those resources in this episode and the links are below for your convenience. Previous Podcast Episodes Related to our Story: 03 - Paul, Timothy, and Women in the Church 05 - Out of My Chains and Into Your Mercy 35 - The Increased Frequency of Spiritual Abuse 37 - Our Journey Out Of Institutional Religion 46 - Humility, Jesus, & Top-Down Authority in the Church 47 - A Conversation About Spiritual Abuse 48 - The Intentional Brutality of Spiritual Abuse 49 - Recovering From Spiritual Abuse 52 - Rethinking Formal Church Membership 68 - Does God Require Progress? 70 - Depression and Suicide Previous Blog Posts Related to our Story: Rethinking Religion (6-part series) Out of My Chains and Into Your Mercy Church, Ativan, and Gospel Misfits My Valentine's Day Performance Massacre When Grace Shows Up Bruised Jars of Clay -Enjoy!
Adding To The Noise

Adding To The Noise

2020-03-2624:20

Welcome to episode 94 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. We hope that you all are coping well with this global pandemic we find ourselves in. None of us have experienced anything like this before. It's a first for all of us and it's normal to have fears, worries, and uncertainties. We have them too. We talk about that in this episode as well as the additional noise that social media adds to our lives and Mike's decision to leave Facebook because of that noise. Links to Mike's podcast editing course: Audacity Bootcamp: Beginner to Advanced -Enjoy!
Welcome to episode 93 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is the result of a lot of conversations the two of us have had over the last 5-6 weeks as the trajectory of our lives has undergone a definitive shift. A friend of ours, Matt McMillen, recently put this quote on Instagram: "Sometimes it takes 10 years to get that 1 year that will change your life."  Matt's quote was a catalyst that brought clarity and defined more precisely what we've been experiencing and talking about for the last 5-6 weeks. We invite you to listen in. We think you'll be encouraged.
Welcome to episode 92 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. In a conversation with the Pharisees of his day, Jesus made an amazing statement concerning the Old Testament. He told them, "You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness of me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life." The Pharisees of Jesus' day believed that an academic pursuit of the Old Testament scriptures was life-giving and in so doing, they missed the point of the scriptures, Jesus. Their academic pursuit of the scriptures worked against them and caused them to settle for something less than knowing God; knowing information about God. And their interpretation of that information led them to a wrong view of God to the point that when he showed up in the person of Jesus, they didn't recognize him. Do we do the same thing on some level? Is the Bible a textbook to be mastered? If so, why do Group A and Group B disagree with one another on its interpretation when both are using the same Bible? Even the Pharisees and the Sadducees of Jesus' day couldn't agree on a consistent interpretation of the scriptures even though both groups had the same information. This episode is an open and honest conversation about the Bible. Let's talk...
Welcome to episode 91 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is an energized conversation with Matt McMillen about the New Covenant and our identity in Jesus. God's opinion of us is the first thing that gets obscured by organized religion. Here's a sample of where our conversation took us: The New Covenant and the gospel. Dealing with bitterness and anger. Growing in grace, maturing, and change. Mixing the Old and New Covenants. Setting boundaries. The Christian's identity. Theology, spiritual gifts, religious hierarchy and the simplicity of the gospel. Top-down authority in religious systems. When did the New Covenant begin? We've died to the law. Life under law and life in the Spirit. We've died to sin and we can be ourselves. Grace is our life, not an add-on. Rest Social media. Religion Free Movement. Matt has authored several books with more on the way. Yes, we talked about those too. You'll find Matt on-line at: https://mattmcmillenministries.com/ Grab your favorite beverage, get comfortable and join the conversation. 
"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:1-2) Did you catch that? John, using a term of gentle affection (little children), tells us that when we sin... remember. Remember what we already have in Jesus, the forgiveness of sins. "I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake." (1 John 2:12) We get ourselves all worked up over sin because we think we're supposed to confess all of our sins over and over again up to this point in time in order to be forgiven all over again up to this point in time. We don't read past 1 John 1:9 and its context into chapter 2 to see what John tells believers to do when they sin: Remember. Let's talk about it in this edition of Take Five...
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.
Am I Obedient Enough?

Am I Obedient Enough?

2019-12-2247:29

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: The Field's Brothers Podcast Grace Fallout on YouTube Relevant Church Chattanooga The Growing in Grace Podcast The God Journey Podcast The Gospel Picture Show Podcast Hold My Iced Coffee Podcast The Jesus Unfiltered Podcast Soul Thankful Artisan Jewelry We'll be back in 2020!
Welcome to episode 87 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Sarah Knaub joins Susan in this episode as they talk about the church's dismissive view of women. This excellent conversation was prompted by John MacArthur's "go home" statement directed toward Beth Moore. Susan and Sarah's conversation is loaded with rich and important content. Roles, submission, spiritual gifts, personal preference, teaching, marriage, men, children, strength, and theology are just a few of the topics this episode covers. Push play and join the conversation. Share it with a friend and subscribe in your favorite podcast app or on iHeartRadio.
Preach The Word?

Preach The Word?

2019-11-2456:57

Welcome to episode 86 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. The phrase "the Word of God" appears several times in the New Testament. I had always heard and believed that "the Word of God' was a reference to the Bible. I assumed that the Bible is the Word of God and that the phrase "the Word of God" was another way of saying the Bible. When Paul told Timothy to preach the word, it's assumed he meant preach the Bible.  But the Bible never calls itself the Word of God. That phrase is reserved in Scripture for Jesus (Rev. 19:13) and the gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:9, 13), as determined by context. Tradition has given the Bible the title, the Word of God, but the Bible itself never does. That topic is sandwiched in the middle of this episode from our old Known & Loved podcast that originally aired in March of 2017 and was a conversation that took us in several directions. Shout out to our friend Rocky Glenn in this episode who wrote us a letter that we interacted with. We hope this episode encourages you.
Welcome to episode 85 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. We've had some recent conversations with others who've related their stories to us about how asking honest questions resulted in being shunned, shamed, and even asked to leave the group they were in. When our journeys take a turn away from performance and toward a more genuine experience with grace, the resulting freedom that accompanies that experience is scary to those who haven't discovered it yet and asking questions or expressing new opinions based on your new-found freedom, is a threat to those in charge or those whose journey is all about performance. Let's talk about it.
Welcome to episode 84 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. When John wrote, "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17), was he giving us a formula to keep grace in check with truth? Does grace need balanced with truth in order to keep it manageable? Is truth somehow opposed to the free operation of Grace? I lost count years ago of the number of times I've heard John's words explained this way. Let's talk about it in this edition of Take Five.
Fear and Doubt

Fear and Doubt

2019-11-0426:06

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!
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: Prioritize Your Church -Enjoy!
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: The Growing in Grace Podcast The Grace Roots Blog and Podcast We hope this episode encourages you like it did us. Enjoy!
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 79 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let's talk about suffering. Our view of God will determine our view of suffering. Is God trying to teach me a lesson through suffering? If so, am I responsible to figure out what God is trying to teach me in my suffering? Am I suffering for Jesus enough? How does our theology impact our view of, and our response to, suffering? Let's talk about it.
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. How To Have a Jesus-Lite Theology of the New Covenant I hope you find encouragement here!
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: And Then There Was Jesus - on Amazon And Then There Was Jesus - on Facebook Pooja's Website -Enjoy!
Take Five: Stand Down

Take Five: Stand Down

2019-10-1003:28

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.
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Comments (1)

davy mac

Hi guys, your ministry is such a huge blessing to us. You have no idea how much encouragement and confirmation you have communicated through the power of the Gospel. You guys are proper DANCING Davy and Jan Edderton Scotland

Feb 16th
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