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Category Archives for "The Struggle With Church"

Worthy and Unashamed: Facing Mental Health Stigma in the Church Head-On
Jul 28

Guest Blog – Worthy and Unashamed: Facing Mental Health Stigma in the Church Head-On

By Guest Blogger | Anxiety , Depression , faith , guest post , Mental Health , Religious Recovery , self-esteem , The Struggle With Church

Unworthy.  It’s a word that I often use to describe myself….in my own head.  You see, I’m a Christian who has mental health issues. I have struggled with panic attacks, anxiety and depression for over 20 years. I’m also a licensed mental health counselor, college professor, worship leader, entrepreneur, wife, and mom.  If you were […]

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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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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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Why I Believe Love is Love
May 18

Why I Believe Love is Love

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

It’s who you are that counts. Your worship to God is the way you live. A few years ago, I would have ignored, shunned, and been disgusted by the scene that unfolded that night at the gas pump. The journey toward authentic faith became real for me in that moment.
The most effective way to destroy prejudice is by sharing tangible love, one opportunity or person at a time. If my Sunday morning song service doesn’t match my response to a gay guy at the gas pump, I’m in trouble.

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I stopped praying months ago. Here's what happened.
May 10

I stopped praying months ago. Here’s what happened.

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

“My own words echo back down, Like rain on my head, And I wonder if God is even listening, or if He cares.  If She is even there.” -from my journalPhoto by Amaury Gutierrez on UnsplashEverything is prayer.The truth is, I haven’t prayed in months. I wonder if it’s all glass up there. Cries for help, for deeper […]

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9 Ways to Know if You're in an Oppressive Church
Mar 15

9 Ways to Know if You’re in an Oppressive Church

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

For many people I know, Christianity has been boiled down to morality. It has become a way to ensure you skip eternal damnation. It’s a list of do’s and don’ts, but there is no real freedom. Many Christians have traded the yoke of slavery for the yoke of religion, and both are dead.

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Discrimination is Alive and Well in the American Church
Jun 07

How American Christians Use the Bible to Keep Discrimination Alive

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

If your God is love but your church won’t accept the disenfranchised, those on the fringe, the forgotten, something doesn’t line up.
And as we continue to speak from a place of ignorance, our neighbors are drowning in confusion and judgment.

Maybe it’s time to loose the death grip on our precious moral stances and open our hands to those around us who are hurting and longing for love and acceptance. Now, more than ever, we should love the person in front of us. Lives are changed through relationship rather than rule-keeping. This is the essence of the message of Jesus.

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