Jamel Myles died by suicide last week. Unless we speak up and invite future generations to see a world full of compassion and understanding, we are culpable in their hatred.Read More
Desmond Tutu said, “We are, each of us, a piece of God.” When I look in the mirror, I see just one piece of God. I need you to help me see God clearly.Read More
When you feel about as strong as an eggshell, the first courageous thing you can do is to ask for help. Whoever said it was wrong to be weak sometimes?Read More
I've been fortunate enough to have led worship music for nearly the past two decades. If you grew up in the Evangelical church like me, you'll likely feel right at home with this collection of worship favorites. This is an hour of Christian music (15 songs)...sung by me!
This exclusive bonus content is a gift for supporters of The #AskSteveAustin Podcast who contribute at the $5/month level or higher. "Worship Favorites" includes 5 originals & 11 covers, plus a brief reflection on the story of the prodigal son. These songs have been recorded over the past fifteen years at various homes and churches. There's even a few from the radio. Enjoy!
Here's the list of worship favorites:
- Alone (Clint Brown)
- Let Me Be Used (Steve Austin)
- Jehovah Jireh (Steve Austin)
- Everlasting God (Chris Tomlin)
- The Anthem (Planetshakers)
- Love Came Down (Brian Johnson)
- Prodigal (a reflection by Steve Austin)
- 10,000 Reasons (Matt Redman)
- Great Are You Lord (All Sons and Daughters)
- Oceans (Hillsong)
- Spirit Fall (Aaron Keyes)
- I Really Love You (Brian Johnson)
- Majesty (Michael W. Smith)
- You're My Light (Steve Austin)
- Stay (Steve Austin)
- Holy (unknown)
This bonus content is exclusively for supporters of The #AskSteveAustin Podcast. Want access to this hour-long stroll down Memory Lane? Support the show at $5/month or more today for immediate access! Just click here. Supporters of the show also get access to the Messy Grace Tribe on Facebook, plus loads of other bonus content, including guided meditations and interviews from the vault. Join the Messy Grace Tribe today! Click here for immediate access.
My little boy is a Lego-maniac. He's only six-years-old, but he's got a brilliant imagination and is meticulous with the details. At least once a month, his grandmother takes him to a "build night" at the local Lego store. Forthe first few months, on build nights, Ben would get a small kit and follow the instructor's directions precisely. Eventually, he started bringing extra packages home, one of us adults would supervise and guide him as he pieced the characters, airplanes, and superheroes together. Building Lego's with Ben reminds me a lot of my journey as a spiritual misfit.
For Christmas, I bought Ben a Lego "blockhead" (great name, right?) of the Beast from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." Sitting with my son through the construction was a great chance to have some quality time with the little boy I adore so much.
At first, things were going great. My son was following the booklet, section by section, piece by piece. The longer Ben worked, I started to notice an interesting tension between his excitement over what was coming to life, and his exhaustion over not being able to follow such detailed diagrams.
But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to you if you do. (Matthew 18:6-7)
We were about 80% complete with building the Beast when Ben realized he'd put one piece in the wrong place. It couldn't have been any bigger than 2cm x 2cm, but that one out-of-place Lego messed up the entire construction. If you've been following my blog for the past few years, you know my spiritual journey has mirrored that of little Ben and the Lego's.
Eventually, Ben lost his temper and smashed his brand-new construction to bits. It wasn't perfect, and to my son, if it's not perfect: it's worthless. I've been there, trying to jump through the hoops of manmade religion. I've exhausted myself, attempting to live up to every unrealistic expectation of religious leaders and armchair theologians. For a while, I became an angry Deconstructionist, too.
If you've had a similar experience, stubbornly seeking the approval of the institutional church, but only becoming more disenfranchised and disillusioned, I hear you. If you have more questions than answers, me too. I have been angry, frustrated, and worn out.
As a spiritual misfit, I find solace in the words of Jesus:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11:28-30)
After a while, my son calmed down and wiped his angry tears. In the process, Ben learned three lessons I hope he clings to the rest of his life:
- Manmade rules aren't for everyone.
- Whatever has been crushed can be restored.
- Everyone belongs, not everything fits.
Looking for more?
Jon Scott and I had a great conversation on The Holy Heretics Podcast today. The title of the episode is "Faith...I doubt it!" If you are looking for a faith that embraces the gray areas of spirituality, listen to this podcast episode today!
- Is Your Faith Water or Cement?
- I stopped praying months ago. Here's what happened...
- Wholeness in a Time of Polarization