Christ and Pop Culture (persuasion)
 Graduation season is here! We all know the drill: the processional of robe–and-cap clad young people, the pomp and circumstance. And let’s not forget the commencement speech. The speaker is tasked with sending out a new batch of graduates with final words that encompass and sum-up their years of study. Most speeches are quickly forgotten, although a few standout due to the presenter or content. For example, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave an unforgettable address to Berkeley’s 2016 class, and it is praised as one of the best. David Foster Wallace’s profound 2005 speech at Kenyon College, titled This Is Water, was later published as a book. And powerhouse Bill Gates tweeted to all 2017 graduates his words of wisdom, proving that sometimes fewer words are just as effective as a 25-minute speech. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider the typical wisdom commencement speakers dispense to graduates, which usually includes something about following dreams and refusing to settle for less than the best in life. The words are heavy on sunshine, but light in terms of helping graduates adjust to life beyond their college experience. Into that void, Erin and Hannah offer a few practical tips for young people as they embark on the journey that is adulthood.   
Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_98.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:19am EDT

In the digital age, working from home is no longer the prevue of the lucky few. Whether you crunch numbers or sell jewelry, more and more of us are experiencing the benefits of flexible work hours and short commutes. And while corporations tally the benefits in increased productivity and decreased costs, what does it mean for employees and for the home itself? What happens when the marketplace comes into our private space? On this week’s episode, author Courtney Reissig joins Hannah Anderson to discuss the plusses and pitfalls of working from home.

Direct download: 97_Persuasion_Episode_97.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:09am EDT

Being childless on Mother’s Day can be tough. Between family celebrations and church services, the day can take a huge emotional toll on the woman who is struggling with barrenness.

On this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson welcome Karen Swallow Prior to discuss her recent ERLC article titled “Called to childlessness: The surprising ways of God.” Prior speaks of the infertility she and her husband have faced and how God has affirmed that being childless makes way for another calling—one that isn’t about a lack of children but about a different kind of abundance. Both Prior and Straza speak of how they handle grief, feeling out of place, and insensitive questions. Discussion also touches on ways the Church can minister to women who are not moms, whether they are single, barren, or simply not sure they are called to motherhood. While the Church has rightly placed great value on the gift of children and the weight of motherhood, this has resulted in pressure for couples to pursue children no matter the cost or risk. Be sure to pop out to Twitter @PersuasionCAPC to answer the question of day: What kind of local support have you had from your church family in regards to our topic today?

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_96.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:31am EDT

Sorry, girls—if you wanted to be smart, you needed to be a boy. At least, that’s what recent research on gender stereotyping showed. In an article published at The Guardian, a new “study highlights how children as young as six can be influenced by stereotypes such as the idea that brilliance or giftedness is more common in men.” Those subtle assumptions have detrimental ramifications for females of all ages. Because being smart is something reserved for boys, girls begin to downplay their intelligence and question their God-given ability to engage fully, first in education and then in the workforce.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss the ways that pop culture and society at large portray and relate to smart females. Covering various books and films that give young girls proper role models, Erin and Hannah highlight the need for girls to be encouraged to know their gifts and nurture them without shame. Pertinent to the conversation is recognizing different types of intelligence—not only mental, emotional, and spiritual, but also creative, analytical, operational, and so on. We have truly been fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator who wires each of us to display His brilliance in ways that no one else is able. Be sure to pop out to Twitter @PersuasionCAPC to answer the question of day: What sort of intelligence do you most admire?

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_95.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:24am EDT

Is it OK to say you are enjoying life? With all the brokenness and suffering, it can feel rather callous to feel joy, take time to play, choose to laugh. Happiness visits, but pain is never far off. It tugs at our joy, weighing us down and reminding us that even if our current moment is light, others have overwhelming burdens… and perhaps instead of enjoying the moment we should be grieving and lamenting. As we learned in the classic film The Princess Bride, “Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” Pain is real, and it isn’t going away until the age to come. So how do we balance enjoying the good times, despite the bad? Such questions can run us in circles.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Trillia Newbell to share her insight and unravel some of the confusion in regard to enjoying life. Trillia’s latest book is titled Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts (Waterbrook Multnomah), in which she explores ways we can experience joy despite the reality of pain. Find insight for savoring small joys without discounting the brokenness of the world, and then pop out to Twitter @PersuasionCAPC to answer the question of day.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_94.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

Adults reading kids stuff describes many of us when it comes to our literature preferences. Sometimes the heaviness of the world around us can make it difficult to pick up a book geared at adults be it fiction or non-fiction as Erin and Hannah discuss on this Ounce of Persuasion episode. Be it the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary, or The Giver by Lois Lowry there are a plethora of books for us to discover at our local libraries or Barnes & Noble. C.S. Erin and Hannah talk about their favorite books as they show us it is okay to be adults reading kids stuff.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_93.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:33am EDT

Do you know how to knoll? It’s possible you do and don’t even know it by name. Knolling is an organizational technique in which you arrange related items together by size, shape, color, or function and then display them in parallel or 90-degree angles. The term knolling came into use in the late 80s, describing the way a furniture designer arranged his tools at right angles as a way to prepare for his work. Knolling has grown in popularity over the past few years as photographers and creative types have adopted it as an art form. Instagram accounts and Tumblr feeds are full of knolling examples using food, tools, flowers, books, and more. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson look at the trend and why we are drawn to the symmetry and orderliness of knolling. Although the drive to knoll may be strongest in those who are natural organizers, it isn’t just for the neat freaks. Even the messiest among us see evidence of it, from a color-coordinated closet to a neatly aligned workspace or pantry. Listen in to hear how knolling can help and hinder us our work and being, and then pop out to Twitter @PersuasionCAPC to show us your knolling skills.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_92.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:13am EDT

Disney’s 2017 live-action remake of its animated classic Beauty and the Beast has been all the rage—literally. Some are raging with glee, others raging with, well… rage. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson hash out all the cheers and jeers of Beauty and the Beast. Two controversies shape the discussion. First is the charge the film wasn’t feminist enough. Arguments have been raised of Belle’s captivity and oppression. There have been charges of Stockholm Syndrome. Eyes have rolled over using Belle’s ingenuity in developing a hands-free washing machine. Are these points valid? Perhaps this tale as old as time is beyond rescue and needs to be put to rest? In addition, the second set of charges came from some Christian leaders who were concerned about the “nice, exclusively gay moment” (so-described by director Bill Condon). Was the film appropriate for children? Was it promoting same sex attraction? Should Christians refuse to see the film? Hannah and Erin tackle these controversies and discuss aspects of the film that were enhanced or marred by the updated plot points for the 2017 release. Listen in to hear their hot takes on the blockbuster film and the fairy tale itself.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_91.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:45am EDT

Can God’s Kingdom be built without missionaries? Well, it depends upon your definition of missionary and mission work and how these define our vision for making the Gospel known wherever we find ourselves. In her recently released book titled Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World, Amy Peterson asks questions like these, pressing readers to reconsider our notions of mission work and calling. Amy skill as a storyteller shines in this memoir of her “personal journey from wide-eyed adventurer to questioning believer to simply a beloved child of God.” Along the way, readers find Amy to be also be a stellar teacher who nudges her students to put aside worn-out ideologies in order to pick up powerful new definitions that will usher in God’s love. In this episode of Persuasion, Amy Peterson joins Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson to discuss Amy’s take on the American missionary myth and the outdated frameworks that limit Gospel work around the world. Relevant to this discussion is the way that mission work has been the outlet for women to freely use their gifts within the Body and how the changing landscape of missions work is connected to the Church’s uncertainty of a woman’s place in Kingdom work.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_90.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 7:40pm EDT

Dearest Target, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways! Target has everything we need for some serious shopping therapy. Known for its winning style and trendy decor, Target has become the go-to stop for chic home decor items and snazzy fashion accessories you didn’t even know you needed until you lost yourself its bright aisles. Despite the loyalty of Target shoppers, a recent article in The Atlantic raises a concern for its viability in  the online shopping age. Target has long been seen as a the quirky-cool brand that defies the typical disdain of big-box stores. That cool factor remains but only for those who cross the threshold to have a Target experience. Like many other retailers, Target is feeling the pinch in sales as many of us turn to the convenience of online giant Amazon for many of our regularly purchased personal items. With fewer reasons to stop by Target, we are missing out on the must-have seasonal items that make up Target’s bread and butter. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss their love for Target and how the way we shop is shaping the sort of experiences we can expect in years to come. Will wandering around Target become a thing of the past? May it never be.

Direct download: Persuasion_Episode_89.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 11:37am EDT