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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!
 Episodes
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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?

2019-11-2400:56:57

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

2019-11-0400:26:06

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!
And Then There Was Jesus

And Then There Was Jesus

2019-10-1400:45:18

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

2019-10-1000:03:28

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.
Two Unchangeable Things

Two Unchangeable Things

2019-10-0700:36:15

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 destroy you quicker 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. My identity in Jesus gets lost. 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: https://youtu.be/QSIVjjY8Ou8 
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...
Strive To Enter That Rest

Strive To Enter That Rest

2019-09-2300:28:23

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.  Enjoy and be encouraged!
Welcome to episode 69 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let's talk about law-based Christianity and its affects. What happens when we become duty-focused and rules-based in our relationship with God? Some of the results are shame, self-loathing, and self-righteousness, where many eventually give up. We become judges of ourselves and others based on individual performance.  But in the gospel, apart from law, our righteousness and acceptance is by grace alone, apart from any work, and that never changes. Jesus came to set the captives free, not to give them a to-do list. Let's talk about it. We also interact with an email we received from a listener concerning duty-laden churches that exhaust its members.
Welcome to episode 68 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let's take five and talk about Jesus. We hear messages of moral improvement, behavior modification, and moral progress all around us all the time. The message of progress has replaced the message of the gospel. We're told that God himself is measuring our progress and the more progress we make in doing the right things, the more pleased he is with us. But that's a lie. Here's the truth: God requires perfection, not progress, so he gave us a Substitute, not a goal. Christian, you are complete in Him already, apart from what you do or don't do. Pull up a chair. Let's take five and talk about it.
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