Christ and Pop Culture (persuasion)

The holidays are here! The many festivities and social obligations can be an added stress, but even more so if you have to go it alone. How do the unmarried people in our midst navigate this season that focuses so much on the nuclear family? Although family is a beautiful thing, it can sting the hearts of those who are single when holiday celebrations are seemingly geared only for those who are married with children.

To shed light upon this sensitive reality, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Gina Dalfonzo to Persuasion. Dalfonzo is an author and cultural commentator for many outlets, as well as a staff writer at Christ and Pop Culture. Her recent release is titled One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church, in which she details the ways that we all can be more mindful about how we think about and treat those who are not married. In addition, Dalfonzo points out the untapped wisdom of singles and how their experiences have much to teach us. 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: For what aspect of the holidays do you need someone by your side, either literally or figuratively?

Direct download: 118_Persuasion_118_Going_Solo_during_the_Holidays_with_Gina_Dalfonzo.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:30pm EST

Writing letters has fallen out of practice, and the loss of that art isn’t all we lose. Today’s digital communication is full of short-hand texting, gifs, and emojis—a far cry from the long-form letter scribed by hand. New modes of communication have their joys, but so too does the letter. It harkens back to an era when sharing ideas and feelings took effort and time; it was an investment in pen to paper, of heart and soul. And it echoes another time when life was, perhaps, more contained and less fragmented. It also echoes a certain sort of place—one that can be found today in smaller town or smaller circles where people are known in full and over many years. Is this sort of knowing of and investing in others possible in our digital age?

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Winn Collier to discuss all this and more. Collier is a pastor and author who sees value in slowing down and sharing things that matter in ways that won’t be soon forgotten. The discussion meanders in the best sort of way from penmanship to the arts to putting down roots. 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 the last handwritten letter you’ve sent or receive?

Direct download: 116_Persuasion_116_Beyond_Digital_Discipleship.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:26pm EST

Considering the multitude of electronic entertainment and educational resources at our 24/7 access, few of us can even remember the last time we were bored. Every dull moment can be filled with a scroll through a social media feed or by catching up on e-communications or learning something new on YouTube. Mundane, boring tasks are transformed with the latest episode of your favorite podcast. (Ahem.) With all this stimulus, it is a rarity to experience true boredom, where we get to be alone with our thoughts and let our minds drift. Perhaps one the worst things about this constant stimulation is that we feel guilty for wasting time and we forget the value of having fun. It’s telling that our fun and silly activities often need to be scheduled and planned out!

In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss our need for giving our minds a rest, whether that’s by being bored or engaging in play, and what we might be losing by engaging serious thought in every lull. Listen in to this quick take on how being bored may be a good thing, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_116_Playfulness.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 12:19pm EST

Have you ever wondered if God really is love? Because there are times when He doesn’t adhere to the expectations we have for loving behavior. Few of us have made it through life without a trial that tests our faith in God’s unfailing love. Life delivers a sucker punch, rattling all the things we thought we knew about God’s love toward us. It raises the age-old question: If God is love, why did X, Y, and Z happen? Why didn’t God spare us pain and shower us with happiness? It’s in the trials that our faulty definitions of love are brought to light and we have to reconcile what we thought with what is true. Love is no simple thing.

To help us sort out these varying definitions of love, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson invite Kelly Worral to share what she’s learned, which is detailed in her recent book, Pierced & Embraced. Kelly has done her own wrestling with God, trying to comprehend how the pain she’s encountered could possibly be part of God’s love toward her. This episode’s conversation covers the paradoxical nature of love, why we need trials, and how we can trust God’s love even in seasons of suffering. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

Direct download: Persuasion_115_Is_God_Really_Love.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:23pm EST

According to an NPR report, a pie craze has descended upon our country. Pie bars and diners are all the rage, dismantling the lengthy reign of the cupcake. Is this good news? Should we mourn the passing of the cupcake? In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson have their first fight over which dessert is best and share a few confessions about pie making as a measure of womanhood. Listen in to this quick take on how pie may be our last hope for national unity, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our questions of the day: Are you #teampie or #teamcupcake? What kind of pie best represents you?

Theme music by Maiden Name.

Direct download: Persuasion_114_Pie_Craze.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 9:48pm EST

Today's lesson: How to Avoid a Scuffle in a Foreign Land. Most people long to travel the world for a glorious adventure, but few would include getting in a scuffle with a local as part of the goal. Although seeing the world is high on many-a-bucket-list, the ability to do so isn’t quite so easy, however, due to the time and money required to get overseas. These barriers to travel are a loss in many ways, one being the lack of experience many of us have in navigating cultures, languages, and customs that aren’t like the ones we know. Many U.S. travelers find themselves at a loss in foreign countries, unable to speak the language and unskilled in deducing situations that are uncomfortable and confusing. Such inexperienced travelers are seen by locals as either silly or irritating, depending on the etiquette breach on display.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson recap a tourist debacle in Nepal. The event, while frightening, is a launchpad for discussing the need to travel with deep humility toward people and places you encounter for the first time. 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 travel blunder?

Direct download: Persuasion_113_How_to_Avoid_a_Scuffle_in_a_Foreign_Land.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 10:40pm EST

How is it that a fish can bring hope and a puppy can bring joy? There is something special about caring for and tending to animals that help us deal with the stresses of life. In this ounce of Persuasion fast chat, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson share some of their most memorable animal stories as they explore the ways that animals are a true gift to our families and lives. We’d love to hear your animal stories, the animal Instagram accounts you scroll through, or the latest hedgehog video you have on repeat. And visit us on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC to share a photo of your beloved pet!

Direct download: Persuasion_112_Pets.mp3
Category:persuasion -- posted at: 7:43pm EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST