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Can a Christian Be Gay? (#470)

sexualityThe expansion of gay rights in American culture in unprecedented in the last five years and has dramatically changed the public dialog about homosexuality in America. It has changed the dialog inside Christianity as well as some people claim the Scriptures used to condemn homosexuality have been misinterpreted. In this climate how do we find a way to be true to our convictions and at the same time share the Father’s love with those who see this issue differently than the way we do. In this special podcast Wayne muses on the difficult questions surrounding this critical issue and shares his current thoughts about the changing culture and our possible response to people we know who deal with same-sex attraction.

Podcast Links:
LGBTQ Christians: Hope for the Unseen by Benjamin Moberg
NY Times article about Exodus International Disbanding
NPR’s Sunday Conversation interview of Allen Edwards
David Dunn’s column for Huffington Post: Civil Unions by Another Name
Our latest update from Kenya
A Journey Out of Sexual Brokenness, a previous podcast about sexuality
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Your Host: Wayne Jacobsen

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As a writer and teacher Wayne travels the world helping believers sort out what it means to live freely in the life of Christ. His latest books include He Loves Me: Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection and So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore. He also collaborated on the writing of The Shack and helped create Windblown Media, the publishing company behind the phenomenon. He was a pastor for 20 years and a Contributing Editor to Leadership Journal and has authored numerous articles on spiritual formation, relational community and engagement of culture. His home website is Lifestream.org where you can find his blog, books, articles, and audio teachings. He resides in Newbury Park, California with his wife Sara and enjoys his adult children and three awesome grandchildren.

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Of Lone Wolves and Free Rangers (#469)

emptypewsIt seems like everyone is talking about the decline of the traditional congregation, though it is often in vastly different ways. Some see it as a threat, accusing those who leave as lone wolves out for their amusement, unconcerned or unconnected to the real church. Many who have left tell a different story, that the congregational system they were a part of did more to undermine the connection they wanted with Jesus’ church than it did to facilitate it. Does this decline spell the the death-knell for the church in the west, or is it an opportunity to see God’s church as a greater reality that can help people experience a more vital connection with Jesus and his family? And can we participate in the conversation in a way that builds up Christ’s body instead of tearing it down further?

Podcast Links:
Lone-Wolf Christianity by Jordan Chamblee
The Most Disturbing Church Trend of All at Charisma
Order Finding Church by Wayne Jacobsen
Our latest update from Kenya
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Why Won’t God Just Change It? (#468)

hopeHow many times have you prayed that God would change a circumstance or take away an emotion that causes you so much pain? Why doesn’t he do that more often? If he truly loves me wouldn’t he make my life better by doing so? In the first podcast of 2015 Wayne sorts through some listener email that provokes his thoughts about the way God sets people free, not by changing external things but by transforming us from within by renewing our minds to help us see him, ourselves, and the world the way he does. That will lead us to make different choices and the consequence of those choices will lead us into his freedom and life. He also answers a question about whether God’s love is unconditional by asking another, is true love for someone ever conditional?

Podcast Links:
The latest update from Kenya
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Questions for Wayne (#467)

wayne2015In his year-end podcast Wayne clears out his desk at the end of the year and with it a number of questions that people have wanted him to address on the podcast. Since none of them were enough to fill a podcast he combines a potpourri of them here to at least share how he and Sara have worked through these questions in their own journeys. Is buying insurance or preparing for retirement a violation of trusting God that can come back to haunt you? What curriculum is best to use to help children a relational journey? How can you give anonymous gifts to someone you want to help if you don’t want them to know where it is coming from? What about communion, is it another sacred cow to be slaughtered? If the idea is to relax into Father’s affection, how can we hurry up that revelation in our own hearts?

Podcast Links:
Engage videos
FindingChurch.com
The latest update from Kenya
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Living Gleefully in the Hallway (#466)

hallwayMoments of transition are possible where we look beyond our circumstances and get a glimpse of a greater reality and freedom that lies at the heart of the Father’s love for us. Will we risk what we have to embrace something new? Wayne reflects on last week’s podcast on experiencing the new creation through the words of many who wrote him talking about their own experience finding their way into God’s life. It has made Wayne aware that his favorite place to spend time with people are when people are standing on the verge of a new reality, but still hesitant whether they can or should risk the security of what they know to take a chance on more wide open spaces. The conversations he loves most are those with people who are ready for the encouragement that takes them down the road less traveled.

Podcast Links:

FindingChurch.com
The latest update from Kenya
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Seeing Into the New Creation (#465)

Looking beyond the religious systems of this world to a greater reality isn’t always easy. Wayne works through some recent correspondence first from a woman who argues that our congregational systems are the only valid expression of Jesus’ church in the world and deeply misunderstands the freedom that many are finding to connect as his church beyond them. Does Jesus build his church on commitment, accountability, and hierarchical systems, or is she built on the love and affection of the cross? The second email wonders if I’m overselling the reality of the new creation this side of the final resurrection. In all of this we get to talk about church views, church discipline, how real the new creation is in this age, and what does it mean to listen to Father.

Podcast Links:
Christianity Today Discussion: Does my local church have authority to declare that I am not a Christian?
FindingChurch.com
The latest update from Kenya
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When You No Longer Fit (#464)

What do you do when you come to see that the beautiful bride of Christ cannot be crammed into human systems without causing collateral damage? Wayne follows up last week’s podcast as he interacts with listener emails and blog postings to discuss the challenges many face when they are no longer part of a system. What if your spouse sees it differently? How can I find friendships that will respect my journey? How do we avoid creating our own systems? And how do I handle the infamous, “Where do you go to church?” question. There are not easy answers to any of these because the flow out of a process of finding our freedom, learning to live in our freedom, and learning to share that freedom with others no matter where they are in their journey.

Podcast Links:
FindingChurch.com
Wayne’s Travel Schedule
The latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Nones, Dones And a Wider Conversation (#463)

Where have all the people gone? Pew Research announced a couple of years ago about the rise of the “Nones”, those who no longer claim any religious affiliation. Now, there’s a growing conversation about the rise of the “Dones”, those who are leaving traditional Sunday morning congregations to find more authentic expressions of community. Research shows that these maintain a deep passion for God, but that it is unlikely that they will ever return. Brad joins Wayne as they talk about the research here as Wayne had an opportunity to speak with the lead researcher on this project. The research does not bode well for the future of traditional congregations.

Podcast Links:
FindingChurch.com
The Rise of the Dones
Dr. Josh Packard’s research on The De-Churching of America
The latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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The Antidote to Control (#462)

Current research shows how easily we all create illusions whenever it serves our own self-interest. How then can we know we are processing life around us objectively and accurately? Ultimately we can’t. Wayne and Brad take on this dilemma using some listener emails and some research by Dan Ariely. By recognizing that our desires and fears make us want to take control of circumstances and people around us to our own benefit. On the other hand, genuine affection for others around us will help us seek a better reality than our own personal gain. Only by growing in love can we hope to see more accurately who we are and what’s going on around us.

Podcast Links:
Order Finding Church
The audio clip we used is not linkable, but it was from Duke Researcher Dr. Dan Ariely, author of The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves.. You can find his website here.
The latest update from Kenya.
Previous Podcast about Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me: Honest to God.
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Can a System Ever Love? (#461)

Can any system humans design to justice to the transcendent beauty of Jesus’ church as she takes shape in the world? As more an more people are coming to the conclusion that our systems don’t function well, especially when people need to know the reality of love, rather than the rigidity of a program. Wayne dives back into the mailbag for a discussion about our religious systems and why they are destined to fail at the critical moments of life. The more we come to know his love, the more we lose hope that any system can reflect God’s love and life. That opens the door for some pretty powerful lessons and a way of living that expands his love in the world.

Podcast Links:
FindingChurch.com
Order Finding Church
If you can help with the needed medications in North Pokot, you can get more details here.
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