Christ and Pop Culture (persuasion)

If women’s magazines are any clue, beauty is the primary concern among females. Magazines are stuffed with tips for fashion, makeup, diet, exercise, skin care, and more. And when those don’t work, there are the more extreme measures such as cosmetic surgery and extreme dieting, all to force our physical form into a certain predefined shape. Even without these extreme measures, most women are well aware of the ways their own body doesn’t meet the beauty standards of our culture. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the ways that women chase after beauty. Covering everything from negative self-talk to fitness challenges to the price of good health, Erin and Hannah explore the ways that unreasonable standards have us chasing a form of beauty that isn’t real. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day!

Direct download: Persuasion_111.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:32am EDT

Our notions of house and home are elemental in how our approach to life. The modern age has made us more transient and outward focused, thereby weakening our rooted—to people and to places. At the same time, media entertainment, such as HGTV’s Fixer Upper, stokes our desire for a designer-like place to serve as the backdrop for our family’s memories. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Jen Pollock Michel to the conversation. Michel is author of Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home, and she has put considerable attention into the ways that home influences us individually and collectively. Whether our experiences of home have been positive or negative, our hearts desire a place of belonging and rest. This desire is really homesickness—a longing to be in the home God is preparing for His people even now. If you’ve ever wondered how gnosticism affects our sense of home or how Augustinian’s concept of rightly ordered loves checks nationalism or what the price is for seeing Church as family rather than home, this episode is for you. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What memory or emotion do you most associate with home?

Direct download: Persuasion_110.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:12am EDT

Do you ever feel judged for your parenting? Do you ever feel like everyone is watching you and thinks you are doing it all wrong? In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson address the weight of parental guilt in its multi-faceted forms. Identifying the impossible standards is a first step, and Bunmi Laditan (of Honest Toddler fame) put a humorous spin on the weight today’s parents bear. She listed the wide array of responsibilities (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, academic, health, etc.) that must be considered for a parent to be deemed worthy. As humorous as it may be, the reality remains: most parents feel judged for the decisions they make regarding their children. The pressure to make life all it can be for our children is a stress unknown to previous generations. Today’s parents need to be grounded if they are to rise above society’s expectations for what parents should and should not be doing as they rear the next generation. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What’s your funniest parental misstep?

Direct download: Persuasion_109.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:06am EDT

Direct download: Persuasion_108.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:58am EDT

Advertising has done a masterful job informing us of the many germs are lurking among us—and how their magical products will eliminate the threat. These unseen microorganisms do have the potential to cause sickness and disease, so we are right to take precautions. In our homes we use antibacterial soap to wash our hands and disinfectants to clean our bathrooms. And then there are the habits we adopt for out in the world that readily echo Colossians 2:21: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch! Some of these precautions are wise for avoiding unnecessary illness. But some of our habits and safeguards can be rooted in something other than scientific proof. Our personal preferences for cleanliness or the habits instilled in us from our family of origin all play a part in how we attempt to keep germs away. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss typical germ standards that give us peace to live in a world full of unseen foes. Conversation touches on the Five Second Rule, hand washing habits, and sharing drinks. Listen in to this quick take on how we navigate the mysteries of the world and try to make ourselves feel safe even when we aren’t really sure if our efforts makes any difference whatsoever. Visit us on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC to share your germ-fighting rules and quirks!

Direct download: Persuasion_107.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

Does social class affect the Body of Christ? That’s the question Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson address in this episode of Persuasion. In a previous conversation, class divides were discussed in regard to society as a whole and how social constructs keep us in our place largely through fear of shame and general ignorance in navigating unfamiliar social situations. What’s true for society at large is also true for our Christian sub-culture. Even within the Church, where unity is the goal, class divides us. Leadership and discipleship is shaped and geared toward upper-class tastes—primarily because of the dollars that are funding these packaged expectations for pursuing spiritual formation. What do we lose when the Haves in the Church are functioning a part from the Have-Nots? Where do you see social barriers negatively impacting the Body of Christ and our Kingdom calling? In what ways do our learned social behaviors send the message that outsiders are not welcome in our church community? Listen in to all these questions and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: Where do you see class divides at work in the church?

Direct download: Persuasion_106.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 3:55pm EDT

Social divides are present in every culture. If you want to be an insider, you learn to rules of the class and abide by them. Breaking the rules results in embarrassment or even exclusion. As an insider, knowing the rules gives you a sense of belonging with those in the group and even power over those who are not. As an outsider, the rules may be confusing or impossible to abide by—making movement between classes difficult at best. New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks recently wrote about a common class barrier: fancy sandwich shops with obscure names that only upper-class types understand. Such naming structures cater to a certain crowd (the first step in savvy marketing and business strategy) but also serve to keep class divides in place by making those outside too uncomfortable to venture in. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson cover everything from faux pas to class snobbery to the structures that keep us in our place. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What’s your most embarrassing faux pas?

 

 

Direct download: Persuasion_105.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

If you’ve read the Bible, you’ve likely encountered some strange and confusing passages. The accounts tell us of terrible atrocities and injustices, often with little commentary condemning the behaviors our hearts and minds rail against. And many times, women are the ones suffering the fall out. All this raises concerns, especially among women, of the place the Bible should hold in matters of life and faith. Does the Bible endorse harmful treatment of women? Can modern, rational women embrace the Christian faith? To help us with this discussion, Wendy Alsup joins this episode of Persuasion with Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson. Alsup’s recent book addresses the common questions raised in her book Is the Bible Good for Women?: Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture. The conversation here begins with the narrative arc of Scripture and why the Bible is not simply a moralistic guidebook. Listen for discussion on all these questions and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What Bible passage about women is most baffling to you?

Direct download: Persuasion_104.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

If life is like a dance, then safety is the move of the decade. Bad things happen, and we start the safety dance, trying maneuver ourselves and our loved ones away from danger. We sidestep from life in an attempt to maintain a minimum safe distance from anything that could potential inflict harm. But in this world, there is no place that’s 100% safe. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson attempt to sort out our society’s near obsession with being safe. From safety drills to showering during storms to overseas travel, safety concerns dictate our lives and elevate safety as our top priority in life—even above and beyond our call to trust God with the number of our days. What happens when we worship at the alter of safety? How do we relax into living this life, despite the danger? How can we survive the guilt when bad things happen and we’re chastised for not taking greater precautions? Listen for discussion on all these questions and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve done in the name of safety?

Direct download: 103_Persuasion_Episode_103.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:40pm EDT

What if you could accomplish a full day’s work in only three hours? That’s the premise of a research study that affirmed what we already know about the law of diminishing returns: The more we work, the less effective we become with each additional hour of effort. It turns out the best practice for maximum productivity is to work in concentrated bursts followed by a short recovery period. This technique isn’t necessarily new. In the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo packaged it as the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method monitored by a timer to signal work and break intervals. (The name pomodoros is inspired by the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he first used.) Pomodoro doesn’t have a corner on the interval time management market. There are plenty of apps and books with recommendations to fit all sorts of work situations and worker personalities.

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the pros and cons of our busy lives and dream of the extra time (and energy) they would have by cramming eight hours of productivity into just three. Do you use a time blocking method to enhance your work productivity? Have you achieved a three-hour workday? Let us know on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the members-only community on Facebook. Thanks for joining the conversation!

Direct download: 102_Persuasion_Episode_102.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:30pm EDT