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This creative Podcast uses an imaginary coffeehouse as the setting to talk about the issues facing our day. The Truth Barista is Pastor Jay Christianson, who is fluent in the Hebrew Traditions of the Bible and uses his knowledge to bring clear insights to bear upon the issues that define our day. The Podcast is humorous yet clearly instructive as The Truth Barista and Amazing Larry (Larry Kutzler) tackle the tough issues facing Christians today.
Think Before You Ink Part Three
Jay and Larry continue their talk about tattooing, body modification, and self-harm with their special guest, Kari.
Think Before You Ink Part Two
Jay and Larry dive deeper into the issues behind tattooing. Starting with the Bible, they explore how emotional pain may be a big part of tattooing.
Think Before You Ink Part One
Tattoos are everywhere. They’ve marked an entire generation. But what does the Bible say about them? Do they reveal something deeper about a person?
When Life Changes - Solomon’s Pendulum
What happens when life changes? For many, change is a terrifying prospect and yet, change is inevitable. Jay and Larry look at change through King Solomon’s wisdom.
Don’t You Just Love Perfect Christians?
Jay and Larry discuss Robert Schumacher’s article “Perfect Christians Wear Me Out.” What does it mean to be perfect? Does it mean an untroubled, problem-free life? Is that even possible?
Emmanuel, God With Us
What does it mean that Jesus’ “nickname” is Emmanuel, God With Us? Jay and Larry discuss this and how it pertains to Christians in these uncertain days with the changes COVID has brought to our culture.
On Prophets and Prophecy Part Two
Jay the Truth Barista and Larry continue their deep dive into the topic of modern-day prophets and prophecy. The essence of prophecy is hearing God. So how do we develop our spiritual hearing?
On Prophets and Prophecy Part One
Prophets and prophecy are well accepted in the Bible. But what about today? There’s much controversy surrounding this topic in light of the recent “President Trump prophecies” that seem to have been wrong. So how do we handle modern-day prophets and prophecy?
Don’t Despise Small Beginnings!
Many things in life start small but grow to impact the world in immense ways. Do you think what you’ve begun is small and lacking impact? Give it to God and see what happens!
Grieving the Holy Spirit
Jay and Larry discuss the puzzling command, “Don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit” found in Ephesians 4:30. What does grieving the Holy Spirit mean and how can Christians keep from doing so? The context of Ephesians 4:17-32 is the key!
Parable of the Righteous Nag or God Loves a Nudnik
Nagging is bad behavior. In fact, nagging can kill a relationship, especially a marriage. But did you know Jesus’ followers have a license to nag our Heavenly Father? Your prayer life may never be the same!
Reflections on a Tumultuous Week Part 2
Jay and Larry continue their discussion of the tumultuous events of January 6, 2021. How should Christians respond? What about the so-called Trump prophecies? What is the Lord’s best guidance for us?
Reflections on a Tumultuous Week Part 1
Jay the Truth Barista and Larry discuss the tumultuous events of January 6, 2021 and how Christians can respond in a Jesus-honoring way.
Homeless with Karl Gertz Part 2
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue their talk with Karl Gertz. Karl shares his personal struggles with Multiple Sclerosis and the remarkable things God is doing for him!
Homeless with Karl Gertz Part 1
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry talk with Karl Gertz about his ministry to the homeless. His testimony will inspire you!
Being a Daniel in a Nebuchadnezzar’s Court Part 2
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue their talk about how to be a Daniel in a Nebuchadnezzar’s Court. In other words, what should we Christians do if we find ourselves facing an anti-God, anti-Christian government? How should we live to maintain our faithful and loving witness for the Lord?
Being a Daniel in a Nebuchadnezzar’s Court Part 1
There is a rising tide of totalitarian rule around the world. It is already happening in the U.S. as well. So how should Christians in the U.S. respond should we find ourselves under a despotic government? Daniel is a great example for us to follow!
God Is Great!
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry dive into how great God is. We have a Great God with Great Plans for our Great Good!
Marxism and the Bible Part 2
Jay and Larry continue their discussion about Marxism and the Bible. How is Critical Theory just repackaged as Marxism? Who are the major groups today that are pushing Marxism? Should Christians support these groups?
Marxism and the Bible Part 1
The terms Marxist and Marxism are being thrown around a lot in our culture today. Sad to say, Marxism influences many Christians and ministries, even though Marxism rejects God and His Word. So, what is Marxism and what does the Bible have to say about it?
Everybody Wants to Rule the World Part 2
The Subdue and Rule Mandate God placed within humanity at creation (Genesis 1:28) drives individuals’ effort to control the world around them. This affects all human institutions. Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue their study and explore how we must first learn to control ourselves.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World Part 1
Every human being has an inborn desire to rule the world. Well, their personal worlds. This comes from the Subdue and Rule Mandate God placed within humanity at creation (Genesis 1:28). Find out why this is still in effect and how it affects human relations.
Is Christianity a Religion of Peace?
Is Christianity a peaceful faith? What about Jesus’ statement, “Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)? Is this a justification for violence? Or is Jesus saying something else? How do we deal with this confusing verse?
Christians and Politics
Politics. YUCK! You’d be surprised how many Christians not only dislike politics, but say we shouldn’t be involved with that ugly process. But Jay the Truth Barista begs to differ. Christians must be involved with politics in some measure. Find out why!
Obey God or Man? Part 4
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue their discussion on civil disobedience and the Bible. Is it Biblical to disobey government authorities? If so, then when and how?
Obey God or Man? Part 3
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue their study of obedience to God. In this podcast they discuss the place of civil disobedience in light of God’s Word.
Obey God or Man? Part 2
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue their study of obedience to God. What happens when God’s commands clash with human authorities? Peter and John (Acts 4) are the prime examples as they are confronted by the spiritual authorities of their day.
Obey God or Man? Part 1
God demands obedience. It’s not an option. But what happens when our obedience to God clashes with obedience to human authorities? How should Christians respond? The Bible has much to teach us!
Live Long and Prosper
Many church attenders and visitors have heard the pastor use a blessing at the end of the service that goes something like this, “The Lord bless you and keep you…” It comes from Numbers 6 as God’s blessing upon His people. But many others know this blessing in an abbreviated form via Star Trek’s Mr. Spock. Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry have fun unpacking what this blessing means for us!
What is “Binding and Loosing”?
Binding and Loosing is a very curious phrase Jesus used in Matthew 16:19 and 18:18. What this phrase meant in Jesus’ day and how He used it is this week’s focus. Is it about casting out demons or something else? Join Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry for this fascinating study!
Why Are Statues So Threatening?
What’s with all the statue destruction going on today? Is it simply an act of rage against history or is there a much deeper spiritual meaning? Jay the Truth Barista takes on a very controversial topic with very fascinating insights!
The Truth Barista ... Unplugged
Amazing Larry bombards the Truth Barista with questions about Christian culture and what it truly means to be “radical” for Jesus! Join in the fun at the Ersatz Coffee Shop as Jay the Truth Barista goes unplugged!
A Shining Example of Inner City Ministry – Good in the ‘Hood Ministry based in the Twin Cities, MN.
Our special guest at the Ersatz Coffee Shop is Shawn Morrision, Founder and Executive Director of Good in the ‘Hood (goodinthehood.org). Good in the ‘Hood is dedicated to changing lives together with simple acts of kindness. Although their service opportunities are not solely limited to the urban community, they do have a purposeful inner-city affinity and a commitment to serve those with the most need. Their strength and modus operendi? “Inspiring Intentional Kindness”! Take a listen and be inspired!
Beware of Being Unequally Yoked: Unholy Alliances
With the recent wave of civil unrest justified by claims of racism, people are being challenged to show their support for groups such as Black Lives Matter. The news has been filled with pictures of people kneeling in solidarity. But what if the group demanding solidarity stands opposed to Jesus and His Word? Now the Christian must decide their greater allegiance. But the Bible is clear. The Kingdom of God should have our highest allegiance, even if it means standing in opposition to the culture. Christians are called to avoid unholy alliances, meaning claiming allegiance to both God and any entity that opposes God. But to do so might cause conflict and uncomfortable repercussions. Are you prepared for that, O Christian?
How The Lord Helps Us Survive COVID’S Toxic Psychological Distress
Dr. Cheryl Hauer shares an amazing message about how we are in a spiritual battle during this COVID-19 pandemic and the “toxic psychological disaster” pressures that infect us as well. Her message brings great hope and encouragement for each one of us in this very tough time! Dr. Cheryl Hauer is the International Vice President, Bridges For Peace (Jerusalem, Israel) Visit Bridges For Peace
No Room for Racism Among God’s People Part 1
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry tackle the subjects of race and racism! Racism is being thrown around today, sometimes in very unkind and untrue ways. So, what is race? What is racism? Where did the races come from? What is God’s perspective about race and racial issues? Grab a cuppa joe and settle in for a deep discussion!
No Room for Racism Among God’s People Part 2
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue their discussion about race and racism. In this episode, the guys talk about DIVISION, where it came from and how it affects the race issue. What fuels the fire igniting division is inborn human insecurity and the fear of the unknown, that is, the “stranger.” But God created the foundation of division at the tower of Babel. Does that mean God and His Word promotes racism? Absolutely not! Rather, Peter reveals God’s heart for ALL people to be one in Him! Also, Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry torpedo false interpretations of God’s Word that people have used to justify racism in history. Struggling with the topics of Race and Racism? Here are some positive truths to help us learn and grow!
You Mind My Business and I’ll Mind Yours
Anxiety has been a major problem for humanity since the Garden of Eden rebellion. What is anxiety? Where does it come from? What is the solution for anxiety? Are Christians immune from anxiety? Only if Christians take to heart Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:25-34. When challenged with the needs of everyday life, we often jump to the conclusion that we’ll have to meet them ourselves. And yet, Jesus tells us our Heavenly Father has promised to meet those needs. All He wants is for us to keep our focus on Him, His Kingdom, and living godly lives. During this time of anxiety caused by the coronavirus restrictions, this is a very calming and reassuring podcast!
Jesus, Our Firstborn Elder Brother Part 1
Most of us know how important firstborn children are to their parents, especially firstborn sons to their dads. They are the pioneers, the "guinea pigs" for the new parents, the dominant child that often pushes their siblings around because "they know best," right? This is nothing new. From the very beginning (see Genesis 1-2) firstborn status is critical for understanding ancient Israelite culture, God's sovereign choices, and Jesus' role in God's family as our "firstborn, elder brother." After this series, you will never see the role of the firstborn son the same way!
Jesus, Our Firstborn Elder Brother Part 2
Jay the Truth Barista unpacks EVEN MORE about the biblical firstborn! In this podcast, Jay and Amazing Larry explore the "Birthright" and the "Blessing" and why it is so important for the firstborn elder son to have them. By understanding the elder brother's birthright and blessing, we get great insights into famous first and second-born brothers and their conflicts as the Bible texts fall open with fresh insights!
Jesus, Our Firstborn Elder Brother Part 3
WOW! THIS IS MIND-BLOWING! Okay, all this stuff about firstborns and their profound role in ancient societies is eye-opening, right? But this applies to Israel as a NATION as well! God called Israel his firstborn son, "And you will say to Pharaoh: This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son" (Genesis 4:22). Therefore, firstborn son status, rights, and responsibilities apply to the nation of Israel among their sibling nations. Imagine what that means! BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Jesus is also a firstborn son. Therefore, both Israel and Jesus share the unique status as a God-birthed firstborn son. WOW! Please pardon the Truth Barista for misspeaking in the podcast. Jacob did not emerge first at birth, Esau did. “When her time came to give birth, there were indeed twins in her womb. The first one came out red-looking, covered with hair like a fur coat, and they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out grasping Esau’s heel with his hand. So he was named Jacob (Gen. 25:24-26).
Jesus, Our Firstborn King and Priest Part 4
And now Jay the Truth Barista pulls this teaching all together! Now that you know about the importance of being a firstborn elder son, now you’ll see how this all comes together in Jesus as our King and Priest! What once belonged to the firstborn son of the family – becoming ruler and mediator between God and the family – now comes back together in Jesus as the King and High Priest over His Father’s family as our Firstborn Elder brother. Prepare to have your mind blown!
Are We in The End Times?
Famine, Pestilence, Earthquakes, World-Upheaval, Wars and Rumors of Wars! ARE WE AT THE END? IS JESUS ABOUT TO RETURN? Here's a taste of our 5 Part Series to help you see where we are on the prophetic timeline!
Are We in The End Times? Markers and Signs Part 1
What with worldwide pestilences, wars, saber-rattling between China and the United States, food shortages, and the very real risk of global famine … why you'd think it was TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It)! Many people think so and they may be right. BUT, signs are not what we should be looking for. We should be looking for SPECIFIC MARKERS. Daniel gave us specific markers to clearly indicate the time of the End and Jesus affirmed them. Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry go through the sure markers and the signs that surround them. This will blow you away!
Are We in The End Times? Markers and Signs Part 2
Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue their Friday Bible study on the question, "Are We in The End Times?" Jay and Larry begin their identification of God's End Time "markers" with the Book of Daniel. You CAN'T understand Jesus' End Times teachings (or major parts of Revelation) if you don't understand Daniel's prophecies. ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE?
Are We in The End Times? Markers and Signs Part 3
God IS going to establish His Kingdom on earth. How do we know that? The Lord clearly revealed it to Daniel in a couple of revelations over his lifetime. He revealed to Daniel a succession of human kingdoms on earth, three of which are easily identified and a 4th whose identity is in dispute. These kingdoms HAVE come to pass and one of them is going to reappear in the End Times to create havoc on earth. These four kingdoms are big "markers" along the path of God's prophetic revelation. But there are other significant markers, one of which is revealed in this episode - the Tamid or Daily sacrifice. Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry take a dive into Daniel's 7th and 8th Chapters to look at God's unfolding End Times revelation. Are you ready to dive deeper?
Are We in The End Times? Markers and Signs Part 4
Why don't many pastors preach about the Biblical End Times? In truth, the topic is NOT SAFE! It takes time and training to educate oneself about eschatology. And even if a pastor does so, preaching on the End Times is a minefield of discussion and dispute and that is a fearful thing to a pastor whose main goal is to maintain peace. The topic itself is a SCARY topic about an UNSAFE and INSECURE time for God's people. Yes, God wins, but turmoil and persecution are promised for His people! Jay the Truth Barista shares MARKERS and SIGNS to help us understand whether we're in the End Times or not without the fear factor!
Are We in The End Times? Markers and Signs Part 5
At last! The final episode which reveals and sums up the markers of God's prophetic End Times plan first revealed through Daniel and affirmed by Jesus. Jesus' End Times talk in Matthew 24 (also Mark 13 and Luke 21) touches on the simple and clear markers that signal the final countdown to His return. Two major markers have already occurred: (1) Israel becoming a nation in 1948 and (2) Jerusalem coming back under Jewish rule in 1967. A confirming sign is the repopulation of Israel's land as multitudes of Jews have returned home and are still returning. We are definitely in the prophetic "pipeline!" But there are still a few stunning markers yet to occur! Are you watching Jerusalem? Are you ready?
When God Draws His Sword on You
Joshua 5:13-6:5 You know about Joshua and Jericho, right? Well, here's a fascinating take on what leads up to the Jericho conquest. Joshua is on a reconnaissance mission in the middle of the night. And SUDDENLY a figure looms out of the darkness with a drawn sword! What does this mean? Why would this figure have a sword pointed at Joshua? Perhaps it was to make sure Joshua knew who was in charge? Knowing God as Commander-in-Chief is crucial for us to interact with Him, know what He wants us to do, and how to do it. It also has a profound application for person-to-person relationships among Yeshua's people, especially in times of conflict.
Sorry, Jesus Ain't a Gentile!
Jesus had long blond hair and blue eyes, right? You know, like in all the Euro-centric pictures and movies. Wrong! Jesus (Yeshua) was thoroughly Jewish. And without understanding Jesus' Jewish context there is SO MUCH we 21st Century Jesus followers miss. Regardless of our ethnicity or race, we're not allowed to make Jesus in our image. We MUST start with a 1st Century Jewish frame of reference to get a more accurate picture of His life, ministry, and message.
People Run Wild ... A Talk About a Misunderstood Verse
Proverbs 29:18 is one of the most misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misapplied scriptures even though many Christians know it by heart. They focus on "Without revelation, people run wild" but ignore the second half of the verse, "but one who follows divine instruction will be happy." This verse has been memorized by many as "Without a vision, the people perish" and they use it as a justification to spend a lot of time, energy, and talent wrestling with church "vision-casting" and mission statements. While these things are good things, they have a faint secondary application to this verse. The truth of the verse just might step on your toes. You are forewarned!
What is encouragement? I'll tell ya what it is! It's GREAT! Everyone needs it and no one gets enough. Believe it or not, encouragement is actually a powerful ministry of the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is known as the Encourager. There is the ministry gift of encouragement (Romans 12:8, "exhorting"). And, there's just regular encouragement. Take a listen and be encouraged! Yes!
Keeping Our Way Pure
What does it mean to be "pure" before God? It's more than you think and deeper than you think. It affects our relationship with the Lord in a profound and powerful way! Becoming pure and staying pure is essential for our daily walk with the Lord. C'mon into the Ersatz Coffee Shop, grab a cuppa joe, plant yourself in a booth and listen to Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry tackle this topic!
Repentance, Retracing Our Steps Back to God!
Here's a really fun topic! REPENTANCE! Yup, that's a barnburner … but critical to our spiritual lives. Repentance is MORE than feeling sorry for what you've done. True repentance impacts our lives and the lives around us. Take a listen to see how powerful repentance is in our lives!
What caused ancient Israel to fall? Since culture has a tremendous impact on a nation's success or failure, was there something(s) about ancient Israel's culture that brought decay and degradation and led to God allowing them to be conquered and exiled to Babylon? What makes us in the United States think we're immune from the same effects of cultural rot? Is cultural rot infecting the Body of Christ? This podcast is for all, especially for Christians who want to be "culturally relevant."
Into the Unknown!
Life has seemingly turned upside down. Just a few short weeks ago, life was going on as usual for most of us. Then … coronavirus. Now the questions start. "Do what?" "How long?" "Why?" "What am I going to do?" Yes, what we thought we had figured out was actually just an illusion. Life is a big UNKNOWN. We have no idea what is coming minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, year by year. How do we handle the stress of staring into the abyss of the unknown? The Bible has a clear answer and clear examples. Jay the Truth Barista has some real encouragement for you!
Messin' with God's Treasures!
Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon learned a very swift and harsh lesson about messin' with God's treasures. You see, he took the Temple treasures his ancestor, Nebuchadnezzar, captured from the Jews' Jerusalem Temple in 586 BC and used them for a drinking party in honor of Babylon's gods. As he did so he mocked Israel's God. BIG MISTAKE! God's hand appeared and wrote out his judgment … death, Babylon's judgment, overthrown … which was carried out that very night. Here's the point. We can REALLY anger God and invite his discipline (if not judgment) when we mess with His treasures. And here's something scary … God has treasures that go far beyond the Temple treasures. How about people, relationships, worship services, and so on? Take a listen to Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry but be prepared for a BIG challenge!
Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues … Oh My! Part 1
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is moving around the world. Some react by panicking! For others, it's just a highly contagious flu-type virus. Some are linking it to other events happening around the globe and declaring the End Times with God breaking the seals of the Book of Revelation, "When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following after him" (Revelation 6:7-8). So, is this happenstance, hype, or hysteria? Is this the BIG disease that is destined to wipe out humanity or pass by with little harm or somewhere in between? Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry tackle this topic with history and a big steamy cuppa God's truth.
Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues … Oh My! Part 2
Yup! The panic is kicking in as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is moving across the United States. But do believers need to fear? Do we need to give in to the panic? People are still linking it to other events happening around the globe and declaring the End Times. But is it? Is this the BIG disease that is destined to wipe out humanity or pass by with little harm or somewhere in between? Jay the Truth Barista and Amazing Larry continue to tackle this topic with history and a big steamy cuppa God's truth. DO NOT BE AFRAID. The God of all creation still sits on His throne!
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Hey, do you know that great hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"? Do you know where Martin Luther gained his inspiration? From Psalm 46! This Psalm is a magnificent song shouting out how powerful and protective is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Some of you may even know this verse, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." What with pestilences, plagues, and ginormous locust swarms hitting the earth along with political and economic turmoil, we absolutely NEED to memorize this Psalm for comfort and confidence. Take a listen to Jay the Truth Barista as he and Larry talk about Psalm 46 and what it means to them.
A Psalm of Giving Thanks!
Needing a lift today? How about a talk about Psalm 138, a Psalm of Giving Thanks! What a beautiful Psalm. A moving Psalm. A Psalm declaring the goodness of God and how one day ALL the earth will praise the Lord and give Him thanks. A Psalm we can pray back to Jesus about His loving care for us! Take a listen and be refreshed.
A Start for New Believers
Jay the Truth Barista was talking with some new believers and the first questions were, "What now?" and "Where do I begin?" Jay and Amazing Larry have a fascinating talk about this very topic in the back booth at the Ersatz Coffee Shop. Are you one of those new believers or are you working with new disciples? Take a listen for some basic guidance.
Insights from a Jewish Follower of Jesus Part 1
Ready for a fascinating perspective on the Christian faith? How about from a Jewish follower of Jesus! Trevor Rubenstein of Chosen People Ministries shares about what it is like for him as a Jew who has embraced Jesus as his Messiah. You will find this fascinating as Trevor shares his testimony, his insights into the Jewish community, and his struggles with being a Jewish believer in Jesus.
Insights from a Jewish Follower of Jesus Part 2
Jay the Truth Barista and Trevor Rubenstein of Chosen People Ministries continue their fascinating talk at the Ersatz Coffee Shop about what it is like for a Jew who has embraced Jesus as his Messiah.