Category Archives: Religion

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


Is it Time to Rethink Church?



Is it time to rethink church? In Episode 33 of The #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin welcomes Ryan Dunn to the conversation. Lots of folks have been wounded by the church. And others feel that the church has lost touch with modern life. Does that sound like you? Or are you a clergy person, struggling to connect with those who have walked away from traditional church? If any of those examples sound like you, don’t miss this episode!

rethink church

Show notes:

  • Is church just a thing we do for an hour on a Sunday morning?
  • What do we think about when we think about church?
  • What is it about the Church that makes you want to walk away?
  • Can people of faith really ever walk away from the church?
  • What advice do you have for pastor’s to re-engage with people who have walked away?
  • “Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors” – why does this phrase matter today more than ever?
  • How should the church respond in trying times like these?
  • The church should be an invitation to authenticity and intimacy.
  • How does someone continue to live with their questions, but not run (or disengage) from a church who is constantly giving them the answers?
  • A lot of times when it comes to faith, we’re aiming at moving targets.
  • What if we created a church community around the questions?
  • One Thing Depressed People Need from the Church (by Steve Austin)
  • Scars and Church (by Steve Austin)
  • Music: “Sunny” https://www.bensound.com

Ryan Dunn bio: Convinced that social media is increasingly where people gather, Rev. Ryan Dunn seeks to help the church meet the world through online relationship building. He currently serves with United Methodist Communications as the chief blogger, editor, and social media minister for the Rethink Church initiative. His prior work experiences include youth pastor, sports blogger, web marketer, and radio producer.

On Sunday, November 5th, I’m participating in the Out of the Darkness Walk in Birmingham and my personal fundraising goal is $1,000. Want to support the cause? Click here to donate!

Also, are you looking for a safe community, where you can kick your shoes off and just be yourself? Join the OFFICIAL #AskSteveAustin Facebook group. You can join for as little as $1/month by going to patreon.com/iamsteveaustin

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. 

Church should be an invitation to authenticity and intimacy.


Stop Trying to be The Proverbs 31 Woman



Stephanie Long joins Steve Austin for Episode 28 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast. Stephanie says women should stop trying to be The Proverbs 31 Woman (because she wasn’t even a real woman). In this episode, we’ll talk about women in the church, feminism, rape culture, and so much more!

proverbs 31 woman











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stephanie long

Bio: Stephanie Long is a writer, editor, wife, and mother. She writes at redeemedformore.com about life, faith, social justice issues, and mental health. Connect with her on Twitter @stephanielong85 and on Facebook at facebook.com/redeemedformore.

YOU CAN ALSO LISTEN ON ITUNES OR PODBEAN.

Show Notes:

  • Women are not the afterthought of creation.
  • The Proverbs 31 Woman was not a real person.
  • Link to Not Your Pastor’s Pulpit Episode
  • Relevant Magazine Article – #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear
  • Objectification of Our ‘Dangerous’ Bodies
  • Abuse and Rape in the Church
  • Women’s Roles and Identity
  • Racism and Sexism
  • So if I’m a male leader in the church – or just a Christian who happens to be a man – what do you need from me? 
  • Abortion
  • Rape culture
  • Why does the church assume it is the woman’s responsibility to not in any way ‘provoke’ men?
  • Music by Act of Congress

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.


When You’re Not Sure What You Believe



On Episode 26 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, David Hayward (The Naked Pastor) joins Steve Austin to talk about dealing with theological anxiety. Why would a pastor of 30 years choose to walk away from church? We’ll talk about this and so much more in this can’t-miss episode of the show.

deconstruction for beginners











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Show notes:

  • What is deconstruction? “When the earth under our feet seems to be shaking uncontrollably and we need this (whatever this word is) to try and describe that our heads are going to explode and we’re going to die and go to the hell we aren’t sure exists anymore, it’s nice to have a word to hold onto.” – David Hayward, The Lasting Supper
  • Who are the “nones”?
  • “We have been taught to obsess over what we believe until it makes us physically sick, due to mental anguish.”
  • James Fowler, “Stages of Faith” book.
  • Dealing with questions and doubts – and the fear that surrounds them.
  • Facing the devastating fears that all this might not be true is scary as hell. What do you do now?
  • “Don’t worry about what you believe. I personally don’t think Jesus ever threatened people with judgment about what they believed. Jesus wasn’t a professional theologian. He was a mystic and a teacher. He was most concerned with what people said and did. Not what they thought or believed.”
  • What do you do in the early days of deconstruction when you feel all alone?
  • What do you do when you get asked the questions you can’t or don’t want to answer?
  • The problem with arguments? Words. It’s our choice of language that seems to divides us.
  • The level of intimacy we’ve had with people in the church isn’t normal or healthy.
  • The importance of self-love, self-care, and self-compassion during deconstruction.
  • What is the TLS Community and how can I get involved? www.thelastingsupper.com
  • Send David your questions! haywardart@gmail.com

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.

You can also listen on iTunes or Podbean.

Bio:

David Hayward was baptized Anglican as a baby, came to faith in a Baptist church when he was a teenager, changed to Pentecostal in his late teens, married another Pentecostal named Lisa, was ordained Presbyterian, pastored a Vineyard church, and planted others.

David started a blog callednakedpastor in 2006, and initiated his public analysis of religion, religious community and spirituality through his writings, art and cartoons. Thousands of people are challenged and entertained by nakedpastor every day. He also launched an online community called The Lasting Supper where people can learn and live spiritual independence.

Looking for more?

Check out Steve Austin’s brand-new weekly feature, “Who Are You?” A combination of affirmation, Christian meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Week One is live now and it’s all about LOVE. Click here to listen.



The Lasting Supper: Letters for Deconstruction

By David Hayward


BONUS: Forgiveness is the Death of Ego



What would you do if someone you loved deeply was murdered with a jackhammer, and then burned alive? Could you forgive them? Could you go even further than forgiveness? In Episode 24 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve’s friend and mentor Ed Bacon shares truths about forgiveness.

forgiveness is the death of ego











Show notes:

  • We have been forgiven so many times by God that our identity changes to be among the world’s “forgiven ones”, meaning there is no limit to show how many times we will be a forgiving one.

  • If we are still counting how many times we are supposed to forgive, we have missed it.

  • From the Cross, Jesus never mentioned repentance or vengeance. Jesus forgave with no strings attached.

  • Whether we are forgiving or unforgiving is a matter of consciousness that forms our very character.

  • Medical facts:

    • The one glaring characteristic of people who are prone to disease is grudge-holding.

    • Unforgiveness compromises the immune system in production of certain hormones and the ways our bodies fight off infections.

  • Forgiveness does not mean forgetting.

  • Forgiven people forgive people, no matter what has happened to us.

  • The essence of God is forgivingness.

  • The way God deals with evil is through redemptive forgiveness.

  • We are called to restorative justice.

  • When we forgive, our ego-self has to die.

  • To forgive, I must see God in the person who has harmed me.

  • There is no future for us if we choose not to forgive.

  • Sources for this sermon:

Ed with Archbishop, Desmond Tutu

Ed with Archbishop, Desmond Tutu

Ed and Hope Bacon with His Holiness, Dalai Lama

Ed and Hope Bacon with His Holiness, Dalai Lama

REV. ED BACON IS FORMER RECTOR OF ALL SAINTS, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA. HE IS A FREQUENT GUEST ON OPRAH’S SOUL SERIES, AND ALSO CONTRIBUTES TO THE HUFFINGTON POST AND TRUTHDIG. ED HAS RECEIVED NUMEROUS ACCOLADES FOR HIS PEACE AND INTERFAITH WORK. CONNECT WITH ED ON TWITTER, HIS WEBSITE, OR BUY 8 HABITS OF LOVE: OPEN YOUR HEART, OPEN YOUR MIND 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.

You can also listen on iTunes or Podbean.



8 Habits of Love: Overcome Fear and Transform Your Life

$13.77

By Ed Bacon


6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Being Muslim



In Episode 21 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin talks with Mohamed Ghilan and Sakinah Kaiser about life as a Muslim. The media, politicians, and even fear-based religious leaders would have us believe that Islam is the enemy, but it just isn’t true.

christian muslim bar











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Muslims aren’t the enemies of white Christian Americans. Islam isn’t the enemy of Christianity. The enemy is fear and hatred and ignorance. And the only way to combat fear and hatred and ignorance is to move past rhetoric, get past our labels and boxes and actually look our neighbors in the eyes and see the human being across from us.

We’ve got to start listening to each other if we ever want to stop killing each other. Stay tuned. This episode is going to rock your whole freakin world.

Show notes:

  1. Evangelical Christians talk about a “personal relationship with God” – do Muslims think of faith in the same way?

  2. What do you need or want to see from Christians in the U.S. or abroad to squash Islamophobia?

  3. Judaism and Christianity have conservative and liberal interpretations of their religions. Does Islam have something similar? If so, how do conservative and liberal interpretations of Islam differ?

  4. There are Christians in the U.S. who believe they are being persecuted – I wonder how Muslims feel? What does religious persecution REALLY feel like?

  5. I am always hearing that Islam is a “violent” religion, according to some who have read (and likely misinterpreted) the Quran. Where does that stereotype come from?

  6. On the topic of Sharia Law – the Quran states that Muslims are instructed to tax Christians and Jews if they will not convert to Islam – or face the death penalty. This has happened in Syria and Iraq recently – how is this an attitude of Love? How can this be justified? Where is is Grace? 

Sakinah Kaiser is a mental health advocate and blogger from the D.C. area. She writes about bipolar, anxiety, OCD and ADHD issues. Her goal is to help educate the Muslim community and people of color about general mental health. She wants to help people live well with mental illness and to have accurate info to help erase stigma. Learn more about Sakinah’s story by clicking right here. Follow Sakinah on Twitter @themuslimhippie and on her Patheos blog.

Mohamed Ghilan received his PhD in neuroscience in 2015 and is currently pursuing a medical degree at the University of Queensland. He’s been studying Islam with traditional scholars since 2007 and his interests lie in the intersection of theology, philosophy and science, as well as the role modernity plays in shaping cosmological values and beliefs. Follow Mohamed on Twitter @MohamedGhilan and at AndalusOnline.org.

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.

You can also listen on iTunes or Podbean.

Support the show today and join the #AskSteveAustin Community on Facebook – details at patreon.com/iamsteveaustin


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BONUS: Faith that Heals Bigotry and Bodies



Episode 17 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast is BONUS CONTENT!

Steve Austin introduces a talk by Rev. Ed Bacon from Trinity Episcopal Church in Bessemer, Alabama. Steve was present for this talk on Sunday, August 20, 2017. In this brief sermon, Rev. Ed breaks down a portion of Scripture from Matthew 15, about a woman whose persistence changed Jesus. In light of the events from Charlottesville and other places, this is the timeliest of messages.

faith that heals bigotry and bodies

Show notes:

  • Matthew 15
  • Want to change history? Believe in what your heart is telling you to hope for.
  • Christ lives in the marginalized.
  • Faith is action. Faith is a verb. Faith does something.
  • Sometimes we have to sail off the map we have received from our parents, culture, etc.
  • Listen to this episode online or on iTunes today. (And please leave a review!)

Rev. Ed Bacon is former Rector of All Saints, Pasadena, California. He is a frequent guest on Oprah’s Soul Series, and also contributes to the Huffington Post and Truthdig. Ed has received numerous accolades for his peace and interfaith work. Connect with Ed on Twitter, his website, or buy 8 Habits of Love: Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind 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.

You can also listen on iTunes or Podbean.


The Wonderful Truth about Heaven and Hell



On Episode 15 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin talks with a very special guest, The Reverend Ed Bacon. Together, these friends discuss the wonderful truth about Heaven and Hell. Having conversations around Heaven and Hell can be heavy, scary, and devisive. That’s exactly why Steve invited Ed Bacon for this “Ask the Expert” segment.

the wonderful truth about heaven and hell

Notes from Steve:

  • This is the most important conversation I’ve ever had on the #AskSteveAustin podcast. In this episode, we ask the all-important question, “Is God a god of Love, or Fear?” Your answer to that question changes everything.
  • Is your identity based in Love or Fear?
  • Do you want to look at your screw-ups and be able to forgive them?
  • Are you terrified of Hell?
  • How do we reconcile a God of Love with multiple Biblical accounts of a God of vengance and violence?
  • If no Hell, why Jesus?
  • What would it mean to redefine salvation?
  • “But what about murderers, rapists, and pedophiles?” Trust me, we’ll cover that one, too.
  • If we say “God is Love”, & “nothing can separate us from God”, isn’t that a bit dangerous? I can’t wait for you to hear Ed’s response to this!

A few quotes by Rev. Ed Bacon:

  • “Fear is the opposite of reconciliation, harmony, and peace.” 
  • “I have never had an experience with God that was fearful.”
  • “It is very exhilirating to know, believe, preach, and embody the fact that God is love.”
  • “We are better than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

Rev. Ed Bacon is former Rector of All Saints, Pasadena, California. He is a frequent guest on Oprah’s Soul Series, and also contributes to the Huffington Post and Truthdig. Ed has received numerous accolades for his peace and interfaith work. Connect with Ed on Twitter, his website, or buy 8 Habits of Love: Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind 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.

You can also listen on iTunes or Podbean.


8 Habits of Love: Overcome Fear and Transform Your Life

$14.37

By Ed Bacon


What is The #AskSteveAustin Podcast?



 

In this brief introductory episode, Steve Austin introduces himself and the whole idea of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

  • Who is Steve Austin?
  • Who is this show for?
  • What are we going to talk about?
  • Who is welcome here? Why should I listen?

Get the answers to those questions and more in this short, 10-minute mini episode.

Want to schedule self-care coaching with Steve Austin? Go to iamsteveaustin.net/coaching

Follow Steve’s blog at iamsteveaustin.com and email your questions to steve@iamsteveaustin.com

Connect on social media!

Music on today’s show by Bouwakanja.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

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.

Steve’s other books: