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Category Archives for "faith"

Finding God in Stillness
Jun 11

Finding God in Stillness

By Steve Austin | faith , guest post , mindfulness , self-care , Spirituality

​We are starved for quiet, to hear the sound of sheer silence that is the presence of God himself.” – Ruth Haley BartonWhiskey & GodI transitioned out of deconstruction and started rebuilding my spirituality at the beginning of 2018. That New Year’s weekend, I sat on the back porch of the beach house we rented, […]

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How a Simple Hug Changed My Life
Jun 10

How a Simple Hug Changed My Life

By Guest Blogger | Best of Messy Grace , faith , guest post , lgbtq , Religious Recovery , The Struggle With Church

“The best advice I’ve been given when I’d failed – was a hug.”-Bob Goff​I’ve loved giving hugs for as long as I can remember. My pre-school teacher, Mrs. Upton, first emphasized the power of a good hug. One day during circle time, she taught us how to give “bear hugs.” One at a time, we walked […]

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Why I'm Trying Out Church Again for the First Time
May 26

Why I’m Trying Out Church Again for the First Time

By Steve Austin | #ConfessYourChurchMess , Best of Messy Grace , faith , Messy Grace , Millennials , Religious Recovery , Spirituality , The Struggle With Church

“I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships, so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.”-Wm. Paul YoungDead InsideFor a while now, my Christian friends have laughed (or cringed) at my response to theological talk. I usually say something like, “I […]

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Life is hard, and then you die.
Apr 30

Life is hard, and then you die.

By Steve Austin | Best of Messy Grace , catching your breath , faith , Religious Recovery , self-care , The Struggle With Church

My 5th-grade teacher, Terri Nobles, had a 2×4 in our classroom with the words “BOARD OF EDUCATION” written in black permanent marker. And if you failed to heed her warnings…no, she wouldn’t whack you with it. (I know I grew up in the Alabama countryside, but we weren’t that backwards!) Anyway, if you got in […]

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Peace, Be Still: Finding Hope in the Midst of Anxiety
Apr 22

Peace, Be Still: Finding Hope in the Midst of Anxiety

By Steve Austin | Anxiety , Best of Messy Grace , Depression , faith , Mental Health

“The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass.” -Mark 4:39 This morning, anxiety slapped me in the face before I even opened my eyes. Like a glass of freezing water, it jolted me from restful sleep. What a bully. There are times when I feel such shame because the anxiety persists. Sometimes, I […]

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Jesus was a Zombie? The Death and Resurrection of my Faith
Apr 17

Jesus was a Zombie? The Death and Resurrection of My Faith

By Steve Austin | Best of Messy Grace , faith , Messy Grace , Parenting , Religious Recovery , Spirituality , The Struggle With Church

“Until and unless Christ is experienced as a living relationship between people, the Gospel remains largely an abstraction. Until Christ is passed on personally through faithfulness and forgiveness, through concrete bonds of union, I doubt whether he is passed on by words, sermons, institutions, or ideas.”-Richard RohrBRAAAAAAAINSI don’t talk to my kids about the Bible […]

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Love Wins
Mar 07

Love will Never Vote You Out

By Steve Austin | Best of Messy Grace , faith , lgbtq , Messy Grace , Religious Recovery , Spirituality , The Struggle With Church

“It’s funny, isn’t it? That you can preach a judgmental and vengeful and angry God and nobody will mind. But you start preaching a God that is too accepting, too loving, too forgiving, too merciful, too kind…and you are in trouble.” -Bishop Gene Robinson (Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire)When You Believe You are BadRyan wasn’t out when […]

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What do I Need to Know about Pastors and Suicide?
Mar 04

Pastors and Suicide: What Should I Know?

By Steve Austin | Anxiety , Depression , faith , Mental Health , Recovery from a Suicid...

California has mourned the deaths by suicide of two beloved pastors in under six months. Although tragic and sad, the deaths of Pastors Jim Howard and Andrew Stoecklein leave many people—especially within the church—wondering what happened. The recent deaths also point to the need for mental health care within the church. What can the church […]

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How to Be a Better Christian: Notes from an Ex-Pastor
Feb 17

Why No One Really Cares What You Believe

By Steve Austin | Best of Messy Grace , catching your breath , faith , Messy Grace , Religious Recovery , Spirituality , The Struggle With Church

“One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying. A persistent schizophrenia leaves so many of us tragically divided against ourselves. On the one hand, we proudly profess certain sublime and noble principles, but on the other hand, we sadly practise the […]

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Jesus was a master at practicing empathy. Here's why.
Feb 13

Jesus was a master at practicing empathy. Here’s why.

By Steve Austin | empathy , faith , Religious Recovery , self-esteem , Spirituality

I was a pastor when my world fell apart. Lying in an ICU hospital bed, looking up at the ceiling, numb from the waist down, it seemed pretty clear to me that I only had a couple of choices: get out of the hospital and figure out how to heal, or leave the hospital, and […]

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