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Doubling Down on Obligation (#479)

conformityIn the face of declining participation in traditional congregations, why are many religious leaders doubling down on the obligation card? Could it be an admission that their view of the New Testament community not compelling in its own right? After his appearance on Up For Debate on Moody Radio, Wayne has been drawn into ever-more conversations about why people are leaving traditional congregations and recognizing how the relationships between believers who go and those who don’t is becoming increasingly hostile. He examines the twelve reasons some put forth as to why membership in a local congregation is mandatory for all and why it is based on a distorted view of Scripture and of his church in the world. He also shares more of his perspective that didn’t get on the debate and why all of this is so important to help us define the true nature of Jesus’ church in the world and participate freely in her reality in spite of those who seek to exclude us.

Podcast Links:
Up For Debate show on “Is Church Attendance Mandatory?”
Freeman’s “Twelve Reasons Why Membership Matters”
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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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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How Love Shapes Us (#478)

wolfeLearning to live in the Father’s love and share it freely will take you to places you would never have dreamed and invite you to lay down your life not because you have to, but because we can’t imagine not doing so for someone we love. Wayne finishes the conversation he started last week with Jimmy Wolfe, a husband and father who is learning how to live in the Father’s love where God has placed his family in Woodstock, GA. They pick up the theme of what it means to love what you can’t control and can’t even guarantee its permanency in your life. Their conversation ranges from how light travels in love so it isn’t just nice to people but opens them to God’s wisdom and truth to what it means to equip those who want to build up Jesus’ church in a given area without creating an institution to manage.

Podcast Links:
Email Jimmy
Previous Podcast with Jimmy Wolfe – Listening To Your Yuck Meter
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Listening To Your Yuck Meter (#477)

wolfeJimmy and Melissa Wolfe from Woodstock, GA thought they were headed for “ministry” as part of the mega-church movement in that area before God sidetracked them with a better journey. Wayne sat down with Jimmy (pictured at left with his “son” Benjamin) for a conversation during his recent stay in the Atlanta area. They discuss how a would-be church planter ended up on a road less traveled and what it looks like to live as a ministry as the Spirit knits them into the fabric of their community, rather than trying to start a congregation that needs to be managed. They talk about the nature of eldership in the church of the new creation and how love opens incredible doors to impact the world around us. This is what happens to those with well-set Yuck Meters and who don’t ignore them even if it is in their self-interest to do so.

Podcast Links:
Email Jimmy
The Yuck Factor Podcast
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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It’s a Relationship Not a Performance (#476)

hopeWayne’s back from his Southern Swing through Georgian and South Carolina with a fresh passion to help people discover a transforming relationship rather than let them stay mired in lifeless religious obligation that will only lead to frustration and failure. He shares some of his experiences in his most recent trip and an amazing encounter on the way home that helped bring freedom to a broken heart. Some of our listeners join in with their comments as Wayne talks about moving from religious rituals into a vibrant life in him with prayer and with engaging his work in the world. Finding ourselves in a relationship with a Father who has great affection for us changes everything and then following him is not a cumbersome chore, but an endearing reality as he puts his glory into the world.

Podcast Links:
Up for Debate: Wayne’s Interview on Moody Radio on Saturday, March 7 at 12:00 noon Eastern time
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Creating Space Where God Is Known (#475)

prayerWhat part do each of us play in our growing relationship with the transcendent God? Wayne and Kevin’s conversation continues from last week as they explore the long, slow process of growing to know God and recognize his work in our lives. They talk about how they come to recognize his voice, and what part the spiritual disciplines or practices play as they are learning to walk alongside him through life. Keeping the relationship alive means they have to continue to make space for God’s revelation by how the respond to him. They talk about marriage and how for the relationship to grow each spouse needs to make room for the other as they grow and change. In the same way we need to make room for God as our perception of him grows and our own lives shift in his reality.

Podcast Links:
Up for Debate: Wayne’s Interview on Moody Radio on Saturday, March 7 at 12:00 noon Eastern time
Last week’s podcast with Kevin about the Interactive Nature of Trust
Kevin’s website ChristianSimplicity.com: Conversations about God, Money, and Trust
Previous podcast with Kevin: Myths of Mammon
Previous podcast with Kevin: Passive Follower or Active Participant
Our 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 Interactive Nature of Trust (#474)

ktupperTrusting God is not, as some may assert, a blind leap into the darkness. Trust is the fruit of a growing interactive relationship with God where we come to know him and learn to follow the insights and impulses he breathes into our spirits as we learn to walk alongside him. He is joined by Kevin Tupper, long time friend and director of ChristianSimplicity.com, a website designed to stimulate conversations about God, money and trust. As Wayne and Kevin share about their own relationship with God, they talk about the Christian practices, what some call disciplines and the importance of seeing beyond the physical world and connecting with God and his unfolding glory. Learning trust is a process where failure and growth is to be expected as we learn the difference between our own presumption and God’s will and purpose.

Podcast Links:
Kevin’s website ChristianSimplicity.com: Conversations about God, Money, and Trust
Previous podcast with Kevin: Myths of Mammon
Previous podcast with Kevin: Passive Follower or Active Participant
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Engaging The New Creation (#473)

puzzleThe life of Jesus is not found in a guiding set of principles to base your life on. It is found only in a growing relationship with him where the invisible world becomes increasingly more real than the physical world we navigate every day. Wayne again dips into the mail bag, this time with those who are feeling lost or discouraged in trying to piece together a meaningful engagement with God in the difficulties of this life. As we become aware of the new creation, we can respond to become alive in it. Then through our own experience we learn how to recognize the new creation however it might appear around us, learning to live in God’s giving rather than our own attempts to get what we want from him. Only then can we become fruitful and fulfilled in this life. Learning to live in the realities of a new creation comes through practice leaning into those places where God makes himself and his ways known, and leaning away from those places where the physical world draws me into my selfish ambitions.

Podcast Links:
Wayne’s Travel Schedule
Our 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 Church Rising (#472)

bridedancethmb1She is rising from all the places where she has long been hidden, revealing the Father’s glory through a growing community of those who know they are deeply loved by God. The journey to discover her may not be short or easy, but it is worth very lesson life has dealt us. The podcast begins with a couple of more comments to wrap up the last two weeks discussing homosexuality and includes an amazing clip from a young woman who shares her example of dealing with her sexual attraction inside her relationship with Jesus. Then Wayne turns to a variety of listener input about the frustration of seeking an enduring reflection of Christ’s church in the world. While we are may all be in different stages of seeing into that reality, he reads an inspiring poem that prophetically speaks to the Father’s work in calling out his church to take her place in the world.

Podcast Links:
Freedom Through Constraint by Julie Rodgers
An Open Letter to All the People Writing…About What’s Wrong with the Church by Whitney Capps
A copy of the poem about The Church Rising
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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Can a Christian Be Gay? Part II (#471)

prayerLast week’s podcast generated so many questions and comments than Wayne revisits the discussion about sexuality and the religious rhetoric that does more to condemn people instead of inviting them into God’s life and freedom. How do we engage with people whose views of morality may differ from our own? How do we open doors to the work God does to transform people, and not just enforce rules as if by following them people gain God’s acceptance? That led to thoughts about what it means to be “Christian” and how our use of that term has cheapened it into a mere ritual or religious experience and removed from the fruit of a transformed life by a growing, intimate relationship with they Father by the work of Jesus.

Podcast Links:
Our latest update from Kenya
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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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
Add your voice to our question/comment line: (805) 539-6980 or Skype us at “TheGodJourney”

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