Category Archives: Religion

Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith



unafraid benjamin corey

In Episode 48 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Benjamin L. Corey, author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, joins Steve Austin for a powerful conversation about rethinking everything about faith.

Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and holds his doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com


Show notes:

  • What would you say to someone who doesn’t know what they believe anymore?
  • Put the Theological Gas Cans Down
  • How do you turn a crisis of faith into an awakening? How do I move forward?
  • How do we begin to reframe our faith after deconstruction?
  • What if you’re a faith leader and you find yourself in a crisis of faith?
  • Benefits of secular mental health counseling or therapy for ministers
  • How do we help people stop living the miserable Christian life?
  • Have we made an idol out of the Bible?
  • Does what we believe about the future matter?
  • What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever lived through? And how have you reconciled that with your belief in a God of love?
  • When we have our faith ass-backward, how do we start over?

The #AskSteveAustin Podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. If you’re looking for affordable, accessible, quality help for your mental health, go to BetterHelp.com/AskSteveAustin today.


overwhelmed steve austinConnect with Steve Austin:

 


STEVE AUSTIN IS AN IN-DEMAND LIFE COACH, SPEAKER, AND AMAZON BEST-SELLING AUTHOR. 

IF YOU ARE READY TO: CLARIFY YOUR VISION, DISCOVER YOUR PASSION, OWN YOUR STORY, EMBRACE INTENTIONALITY, CULTIVATE RESILIENCE, AND ROLL YOUR CHAOS INTO CALM…CONTACT STEVE TODAY!

LIFE COACHING WITH STEVE AUSTIN TURNS ICEBERGS INTO ICE CUBES. THROUGH A SERVICE-ORIENTED APPROACH AND HONEST CONVERSATION, STEVE EMPOWERS CLIENTS TO CREATE HEALTHY PATHWAYS TO LIVE WELL: MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT.


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Ending song: “Dream” by Act of Congress


outward starts invward

How to Create a Larger Vision (Jeremy Lopez)



The second episode of 2018 is all about vision, which Dr. Jeremy Lopez says begins with a journey inward.

Dictionary.com defines the word “vision” as – the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be; And those of us who have grown up in the church most of our lives have constantly heard things like, “Without vision, the people perish”.

But what is the importance of having a vision in 2018?

create a larger vision

Quotes you can’t miss:

  • The outward is just an overflow of the inward.
  • You attract what’s in your heart.
  • Your body is one big memory bank.
  • All emotions have a foundation. When you feel strongly about something, you are just projecting the highest vibrational frequency of that particular energy.
  • What you behold, you become.
  • All of us create monsters or demons every day because we don’t understand our creative power.
  • Visualization means to peak, view, or give your attention to something. It’s from the same Hebrew root as the word Behold.
  • Vision combines attention and intention.
  • Everything in your life right now is a manifestation of what you have said, done, or thought.
  • Manipulate your mind. Manipulation is not always bad. Convince your mind of what it should think or look like.
  • Presentation to God is everything. What are you presenting to God?
  • My dream is to know the highest version of myself.
  • If you want something outwardly, you always have to go inward.
  • Frustration is trying to tell you something.
  • Get to know yourself.

Today’s guest is Dr. Jeremy Lopez, Founder and President of Identity Network, one of the world’s largest prophetic resource websites. He is an entrepreneur, successful dream and life coach, motivational speaker, humanitarian and teacher. His love and passion for discovering and teaching people how to release the mindsets that holds them back from achieving their fullest potential is what drives him and gives his life purpose and meaning.


The #AskSteveAustin Podcast is brought to you weekly by the folks at BetterHelp. If you’re looking for accessible, affordable, professional help, go to BetterHelp.com/AskSteveAustinBetterHelp will match you to one of 2,000 licensed therapists. Get feedback, advice and guidance from your counselor.


Steve Austin is a life coach, speaker, and author of Self-Care for the Wounded Soul. Steve’s goal is to help you create a lifestyle of focused emotional health and clarity. Subscribe to Steve Austin’s free weekly newsletter by clicking right here. Looking for more? If you’re ready to change your life, email steve@iamsteveaustin.com today.

Music by Bensound.com


big year-ender

The Big Year-Ender! (feat. Devin Balram & Ukulele Tracy)



Episode 45 is THE BIG YEAR-ENDER! This is one awesome and random mashup of messy grace and mayhem. In this episode, Steve Austin chats with musical guest, Devin Balram, plus his friend (and fellow heretic), Tracy Kane, AKA Ukulele Tracy.

big year-enderShow Notes:

Also from the Messy Grace Tribe this week:

Top 3 Listener-Favorite Episodes of 2017:

  1. How Do I Get More Sex?
  2. How to Survive When Your Spouse Tries to Die by Suicide
  3. 6 Ways to Defeat Discouragement Today

Lyrics to, “Weak Sometimes”:

 V1

You’re put to together, you’re so well & put together

That even on your tragic days, you seem fine

You try so hard, to hide that there’s a fight inside

But I can see it in your eyes, that you seem fine

 

Chorus

Who ever said, it was wrong to be weak sometimes,

To cry yourself to sleep, & wake up with your tears barely dry

You might feel like you’re dying, that the end is no where in sight

Who ever said, it was wrong to be weak sometimes

 

V2

You say that pain just gets in the way

Just let it sit, it’ll dissipate

You say that no one’s had a better day,

By dealing with their shame.

Download Devin’s music today – https://noisetrade.com/devinbalram/

Coming up in 2018:

  • Benjamin L Corey
  • Carol Howard Merritt
  • Jay Bakker
  • And we’re getting close to my 50th episode – stay tuned!

Steve Austin is an Amazon best-selling author, life coach, and self-care consultant. Feeling stuck, stressed, or overwhelmed? Get your copy of Self-Care for the Wounded Soul on Amazon today!


christmas 2017

The Miracle and the Mystery of Christmas



In Episode 44, Steve is joined by friend of the show, the Rev. Ed Bacon. This episode is also packed full of your stories! Check this fun-filled episode out for Christmas carols with Ben and Cara, plus favorite Christmas memories from listeners. And don’t miss Ed Bacon’s thoughts on why Christmas still matters. This is a holiday celebration for the whole family!

christmas 2017

Show notes:

Steve Austin is an Amazon best-selling author, life coach, and self-care consultant. Feeling stuck, stressed, or overwhelmed? Get your copy of Self-Care for the Wounded Soul on Amazon today!


something better than christianity

Is There Something Better than Christianity?



In Episode 43 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve is joined by Scott Watkins – an ex-pastor, and former co-host of the Holy Heretics Podcast. In this conversation, the guys talk about to talk about life after Christianity and what it means to be a secular humanist.

Most folks who listen to this podcast love to throw around the word “deconstruction”, but most of them still call themselves some kind of Christian. But what happens when you deconstruct your faith and what you’re left with is no longer appealing? Deeper than that – what happens when it no longer feels like Truth? What do you do when you deconstruct and no longer call yourself a Christian?

something better than christianity

Highlights from today’s episode:

  • “If you love everybody, then you don’t love anybody.”
  • “When your religion becomes toxic, you need to run from it.”
  • “Religion is simply a meaning-making device.”
  • “Spirituality isn’t about answers, but meaning.”
  • “I’m not against Christianity, but I’m for humanity.”
  • “I don’t think Church is about following Jesus. I think it’s about the consolidation of power.”
  • “God is just a projection of the deepest part of our self; and quite frankly, so is the Devil.”
  • “We should absolutely say that people matter more than beliefs.”
  • “Life a life useful.”

Got kudos, questions, or criticism? Leave Steve a voicemail!

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Music by Bensound

ORDER YOUR COPY OF SELF-CARE FOR THE WOUNDED SOUL: 21 DAYS OF MESSY GRACE, BY STEVE AUSTIN TODAY ON AMAZON.

STEVE AUSTIN IS A LIFE COACH, SPEAKER, AND AUTHOR OF SELF-CARE FOR THE WOUNDED SOUL. STEVE’S GOAL IS TO HELP YOU CREATE A LIFESTYLE OF FOCUSED EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND CLARITY. SUBSCRIBE TO STEVE AUSTIN’S FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE. 


gifts of grief

The Gifts of Grief? Are You Serious?



In Episode 42, Steve has way too much fun with the best-selling author (and ok, fine, his friend, Natalie Can-I-Get-Your-Autograph Brenner).

gifts of grief

So, in many instances, the AskSteveAustin podcast has become the place where progressive Christian authors and artists come to share their work. And let me tell you – Natalie Brenner has written a book that I love. This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the Gifts of Grief and the Fullness of Life is beautiful. The writing…omg…it’s beautiful. There are a few writers I know whose words like sing right off the page, and they are, Sarah Robinson, Anne Voskamp, and Natalie Brenner.

When books make me silently weep, without fanfare, just cry those big fat releasing tears because my soul is saying yes – that’s a good book. That’s a really REALLY good book.

Questions about the gifts of grief:

  1. You talk about Jesus in a very genuine and loving way – but your heart at times has nearly been crushed under the weight of grief. How do you reconcile the two? And what the heck do you mean when you say the gifts of grief?
  2. Can we talk about the struggle with church hurts when all you really want to do is love Jesus and his people?
  3. Who is Jesus?
  4. Why is it so important to create a safe space for others to be vulnerable?
  5. What’s it like to parent a child of a different race?
  6. Autographed book giveaway! Retweet this week’s pinned post on twitter @iamsteveaustin for your chance to win a personalized, autographed copy of This Undeserved Life by Natalie Brenner
  7. Compassion means to co-suffer. OMG. Yes, she said that.
  8. NatalieBrennerWrites.com
  9. Music: Bensound.com
  10. Get all of Steve Austin’s info at iamsteveaustin.com

Following Jesus Out of the Evangelical Church

Following Jesus Out of the Evangelical Church



In Episode 41 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin talks with David P. Gushee, author of the brand-new book, Still Christian: Following Jesus Out of American Evangelicalism. Tony Campolo says, “Still Christian takes us on the journey of a Christian leader who endeavors to maintain his integrity while navigating his way from a rigid fundamentalism with its right-wing political agenda into a progressive worldview.” Listen now at AskSteveAustin.com or on your favorite podcasting app!

Following Jesus Out of the Evangelical Church

A piece of my journal from March of 2016 says this:

I’m too liberal for the Republicans and too conservative for the Democrats. I’m a 30-something Southerner, born and raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt. I was dunked by the Baptists, spoke in tongues in the Assemblies of God, went to a Church of God college, returned to my Baptist roots as a youth pastor, became a Methodist, and now agree with about 80 percent of the Catholic Church’s teachings. I attended George W. Bush’s first inauguration as a senior in high school but have voted Democrat in the last election. I study the King James Bible with a concordance but I read The Message on my iPhone for enjoyment, while having a glass of wine and smoking a cigar.

I’m a walking contradiction.

Maybe there was once room for people like me. Maybe everyone is like me, if we’re all honest with each other. But our culture no longer allows contradictions. I run from discussions with other Christians because it almost always ends poorly. A loss of friendship, a loss of faith, a loss of fervor. I’m tired of being burned.

When many people of faith force it to be an either/or battle of choosing sides, how do you find your voice without losing your soul? This is what today’s episode with David Gushee, author of Still Christian, is all about.

Some questions from today’s conversation:

  • What’s it like to become a born-again Christian in 1978, during the Presidency of Jimmy Carter and the formation of the Religious Right?
  • How has stepping away from American Evangelicalism impacted the way you pastor and parent?
  • What is life like for you, as a pastor or Christian leader, when church life in America seems to be on the decline?
  • Do you have any advice for folks like me, who are in the midst of a personal deconstruction of faith…on how to hold onto their faith, while not abandoning their intellect or ignoring the questions?
  • Is the Bible literally true?
  • How similar were the religious wars of the 1980’s to whatever we’re experiencing today with the marriage of President Trump and the Religious Right?
  • If we look at life through the lens of American Christianity, politics, and culture in 2017 – when do we compromise, and when we do we stand our ground?
  • Do you have any advice for Evangelical Christian pastors who feel stuck, Sunday after Sunday, with the obligation to support their family pressing right up against their secret affirmation of the LGBT community, or their support of women, or their disdain of the President?
  • You have been described as “every liberal’s favorite evangelical” and you have also been described as “every liberal’s least-favorite evangelical”. Which one would you rather be, and why?
  • You are an anti-torture, pro-environment, LGBTQ-affirming, academic…and yet you seem to still consider yourself a Baptist? If so, how and why?
  • After all that you’ve been through, how is this not just a book about a disillusioned ex-Christian?

Favorite quote? “I’m disillusioned. But I’m not an ex-Christian.”

Music: BenSound.com

“Hey Jesus” by Trey Pearson

You can also listen on iTunes.

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ORDER YOUR COPY OF SELF-CARE FOR THE WOUNDED SOUL: 21 DAYS OF MESSY GRACE, BY STEVE AUSTIN TODAY ON AMAZON.

STEVE AUSTIN IS A LIFE COACH, SPEAKER, AND AUTHOR OF SELF-CARE FOR THE WOUNDED SOUL. STEVE’S GOAL IS TO HELP YOU CREATE A LIFESTYLE OF FOCUSED EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND CLARITY. LOOKING FOR MORE WAYS TO CREATE SPACE? SUBSCRIBE TO STEVE AUSTIN’S FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE. 


trey pearson

Trey Pearson says Love is Love



In Episode 38 of The #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin is honored to have Trey Pearson on the show. In this episode, Trey shares songs from his new EP, “Love is Love”, plus dives deep into his story of coming out of the closet while he was married to a woman.

trey pearson
Source: treypearson.com

Some questions from today’s conversation:

  • What’s it like growing up in a conservative home, being taught that sexual orientation is a matter of choice, and having to suppress your thoughts and feelings and desires?
  • And what advice would you give to the teenager, being raised in a conservative family and/or evangelical Christianity, who is just waking up to who they really are?
  • You were married to a woman for 7 years before you came out as a gay man, what was the tipping point for you?
  • What do you want to say to the gay man, who is scared to death, hiding behind the mask of a heterosexual marriage?

From TreyPearson.com

With his band Everyday Sunday, Trey Pearson has sold hundreds of thousands of records, and amassed millions of streams. He has scored 5 #1 U.S. singles and 20 Top 10 hits. His song “Wake Up! Wake Up!” was the most-played Christian rock song of 2007, and his 2009 album, “Best Night of Our Lives,” broke onto the coveted Billboard 200 chart. Pearson has toured in all 50 states and 20 countries, playing with top Christian musicians such as Toby Mac, Switchfoot, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Relient K and others.

Recently, Trey Pearson, the founder and owner of Everyday Sunday, has come out of the closet to make national news. His announcement started a national conversation with a television appearance on The View. It has been covered by The New York Times, Billboard Magazine, CNN and more, as he became the most trending topic worldwide on Facebook.


Trey is so generous and so excited about this album that he wants to give away one autographed copy of his brand-new Album, love is love. For your chance to win, follow me on Twitter @iamsteveaustin and Retweet my pinned post that’s all about today’s episode. I’ll announce the winner of the autographed copy of Love is Love at the beginning of next week’s show.

You can also listen on iTunes.

JOIN THE EXCLUSIVE #ASKSTEVEAUSTIN FACEBOOK COMMUNITY FOR AS LITTLE AS $1 PER MONTH! DETAILS AT PATREON.COM/IAMSTEVEAUSTIN

ORDER YOUR COPY OF SELF-CARE FOR THE WOUNDED SOUL: 21 DAYS OF MESSY GRACE, BY STEVE AUSTIN TODAY ON AMAZON.

*Music: Bensound.com

“The Good Grief” and “Love is Love” by Trey Pearson. Both songs shared with permission.


burned out sabbath

Burned Out? How to Sabbath in a Noisy World



In episode 36 of The #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin chats with J. Dana Trent about her new book, For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community. If you’re burned out and ready to learn how to create a sabbath plan in this busy, 24/7 world, this is the episode you’ve been waiting for!

burned out sabbath

Show notes:

Today’s questions:

  • What are the roots of sabbath and why is it applicable in today’s world?
  • How can we begin to see Sabbath as liberating, rather than just one more thing to add to our already insurmountable to-do list?
  • For those of us who identify as clergy, or even spiritual helpers, self-care often gets tossed to the wayside, due to the various tasks that seem to beg for our immediate attention. What are a few tips you’d give to those who are too busy to practice much Sabbath on Sundays?
  • What issues does the church (as a whole) need to address when it comes to sabbath-keeping?
  • What do you mean when you say relational Sabbath?
  • What are some practical tips for overcoming obstacles and keeping sabbath in a noisy, 24/7 world?
  • You talk about crafting a sabbath plan. Where do we even begin?
  • Stealing Sabbath Back (series from 2014) http://jdanatrent.com/2014/09/new-blog-series-stealing-back-sabbath/

The Rev. J. Dana Trent is an ordained Baptist clergywoman, award-winning author and World Religions faculty member at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC. Her work has appeared on Time.com, Religion Dispatches, Religion News Service, The Christian Century, and Sojourners. Her second book, For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community, is available now. She loves naps with cats, vegetarian food, and teaches weight-lifting for the YMCA. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @jdanatrent on Facebook.


To the God Nobody Knows

To the God Nobody Knows



“I believe that the greatest truths of the universe don’t lie outside, in the study of the stars and the planets. They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul. Until we understand what is within, we can’t understand what is without.”

Anita Moorjani

Do you ever have those moments where your skin tingles a little extra, like someone else’s guardian angel just whisked by in a hurry to get to their next assignment? Those moments where you’d swear God was sitting right next to you, be it in the car, at the office, or the coffee shop? It doesn’t have to be for any reason in particular, and the space doesn’t have to be particularly sacred, but do you ever have those days where it seems like God is whispering things – yet unknown – to the deepest parts of your soul?

Your ways, O Lord, are higher and

Your knowledge is immense;

So give us strength to trust You when

Life doesn’t make much sense.Sper

Logic might say it was just a strand of hair that tickled my neck. Or the air conditioner being turned on in the office. It could have been a nerve-ending gone haywire. Or a random case of goosebumps.

Maybe so. Maybe not.

The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion.

1 Corinthians 2: 14-16

These rare and precious moments happen to me from time to time, and all I can say is that they feel like God. I can’t argue it with logic. I can’t explain it away with science. I can only tell you that in those brief moments, time stands still, and I sense the embrace of God. Those silent few seconds, when no words are audibly spoken, deep things are being written on my soul.

In the silence, I’m transported to another dimension. I close my eyes, and I feel grace washing over me. I know it’s grace, and not just a whiff of the honeysuckle outside my window because the honeysuckle has never given me eternal hope in the midst of trying times. This silence – this washing – the Comfort belongs only to the Holy Spirit of God – an invisible Connector between my soul and my Creator.

In Acts 17, some Greeks inscribed a message TO THE GOD NOBODY KNOWS, but the greatest mystery of faith is that this seemingly unknown God is intricately familiar to every woven fiber of my soul.

THE GOD NOBODY KNOWS isn’t a human-made statue. It’s not an idol, carved by hand. God doesn’t equate to dogma, devised by the imagination of those who hunger for power. The God of Mystery is thicker than the incense that fills the altar. And in that Mystery, I store up hope for future days when my heart is overwhelmed.

So to whom will you compare me, the Incomparable? Can you picture me without reducing me? I am God, and there is none like Me.Isaiah 46:5-9

It’s easy for me to get caught up in trying to answer all of life’s big questions. In this season of my life, there seems to be a new existential crisis at every turn. Should I take the Bible at face value? Is the Jesus of the Bible the only way to God? Can I embrace my faith without abandoning my intellect? While the old me sought solutions for these and many more stumbling blocks, the new me is learning the power of the pause.

With each breath, God is whispering truth to my soul:

Breathe in: I love you.

Breathe out: I am here.

Breathe in: I will never turn my face from you.

Breathe out: I am more than your wildest dreams.

For in Him we live and move and have our being.Acts 17:28

I’m leaning in. I’m taking deep breaths. At this point, I’m not even asking what God is saying. Instead, I am embracing Divine Mystery. My spirit is being cultivated by The God Who Sees Me. I have a deep inner-knowing that the Source of Love is here with me, breathing life back into my dry and cracked lungs. And that is more than enough for me.

To the God Nobody Knows

Steve Austin is a life coach, speaker, and author of Self-Care for the Wounded Soul. Steve’s goal is to help you create a lifestyle of focused emotional health and clarity. Looking for more ways to create space? Subscribe to Steve Austin’s free weekly newsletter by clicking right here. 

If you have a suggestion for this weekly feature, please email Steve at steve@iamsteveaustin.com today. If you’d like to suggest a topic or request Steve’s perspective on a particular word, please reach out!

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Music Provided by BenSound.com