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Love Is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker
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Love Is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker

Author: Amy Julia Becker

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How do we pursue hope and healing in the midst of social division? In Season 4 of Love Is Stronger Than Fear, we consider how to respond to the brokenness in our own lives and in our society with our whole selves—head, heart, and hands.
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Erin and David Leaverton sold their house, loaded their three, young children into an RV, and traveled the country for a year. Their family’s journey is part of the documentary The Reunited States. Erin Leaverton talks with Amy Julia about their search for what divides our nation, the false hierarchy of human value, and the durable power of God’s love to heal division.SHOW NOTES:Erin Leaverton is a wife, a mom to three children, an interior designer, and a blogger. Her family’s “life-altering adventure, traveling across America by RV for one year to learn about why the fabric of our nation is fraying” is part of The Reunited States documentary. Connect with Erin online:Website: erinleaverton.comFacebook: @erineleavertonInstagram: @erinleavertonPinterest: @erineleavertonWebsite: undividednation.usOn the Podcast: The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide by Mark GerzonDocumentary: The Reunited States, presented by Van Jones and Meghan McCainSusan Bro, Steven Olikara, and Greg OrmanUndivided Nation“[Our divisions are] rooted in our belief in a false hierarchy of human value...you can’t measure human life. It’s infinite.”“We bear the image of an eternal God. That’s incredible. Each one of us. It’s infinitely beautiful and infinitely valuable.” “The things that I will look for to define my own value is the exact same set of principles I’ll apply on every other person.”“We do have permission to mourn things that we discover. And we need to. I think that that’s healthy. But we can’t stay there. We have to move through it.”“Dr. King said, ‘Love is the most durable power in the world.’ And when I heard that quote, what I literally saw was like an actual structure to hold the weight of disagreement. And I think agreement is what we’re building on right now. And it’s so cheap and so flimsy. It cannot hold any dissonance, whereas love can.”“Respect is earned over time. Honor is something we can give freely, just like love. Everyone is deserving of honor because everyone bears God’s image. Even if they’re committing atrocities—and I know this is a hard thing to say, a hard thing to believe—but even in the act of committing horrible atrocities, no human being is outside the realm of redemption and honor.”Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
Can acknowledging the wounds of white evangelicalism actually bring healing? Kristin Du Mez, author of Jesus and John Wayne, talks with Amy Julia about the harm of militant masculinity and Christian nationalism found within white evangelicalism and the hope for healing by exposing and addressing those wounds.SHOW NOTES:Kristin Kobes Du Mez is professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin University and the author of Jesus and John Wayne. She holds a PhD from the University of Notre Dame, and her research focuses on the intersection of gender, religion, and politics. Connect with Kristin online:Website: kristindumez.comFacebook: @kkdumezTwitter: @kkdumezOn the Podcast:Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du MezLuke 6:6-10“The closer I looked, the more I saw John Wayne popping up in very unexpected places as the icon of American masculinity and Christian masculinity.”“We have seen this before. We have seen this so many times before—evangelicals finding reasons to support abusers of power, to support men who they thought would protect the faith, protect Christianity—and at great costs to women, to children, and to their communities.”“It doesn’t take a lot always to slip from metaphorical battles to actual battles.”“How did we get to where we are now? There were many choices, active choices, that individuals made at different junctures, often for the purpose of enhancing their own power, and we can start to see how all of this came together...Then we are freer to ask, “Is this where we want to be? Is this how evangelicals—how Christians—ought to engage our neighbors?”“What is the Good News? And what should that look like? And how much should it actually entail building walls and drawing stark divisions and excluding people from our communities?”Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
How do spiritual practices equip us to participate in God’s healing work in the world? Rich Villodas, pastor and author of The Deeply Formed Life, talks with Amy Julia about social divisions, the relationship between inner spiritual formation and outward actions, and God’s healing work within individuals and communities.SHOW NOTES:“Rich Villodas  is the Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-five countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens.” Connect with Rich online:Website: richvillodas.comFacebook: @rvillodasInstagram: @richvillodasTwitter: @richvillodasOn the Podcast:The Deeply Formed Life by Rich VillodasThe Message: Eugene Peterson’s Bible translationLuke 3-4Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, and Jean VanierFamily Systems TheorySexual Character by Marva DawnLiving Gently in a Violent World by Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier“It’s quite liberating—it’s very difficult at first—but it’s quite liberating when you realize, ‘I’m not a human doing, I’m a human being. I can take an extra nap. Or I can delight in or cultivate things that bring me joy.’”“Contemplative prayer for me has been the most important element for how I think about race, how I think about the interior life, how I think about justice...the goal is to be present with God so that I can be present with myself and then be present with my neighbor. For me, contemplative prayer serves as the foundation to be present with those who are difficult to love, to be present with those I disagree with.”“The agony of prayer is that I don’t see fruit in the moment. And I need to be okay with that.”“Who are you allowing to speak into your life? What are the stories you’re opening yourself to? Even in the books that we read, the music that we listen to,  the stories that we come across, I think that moving close to someone isn’t necessarily a physical proximity. Sometimes it’s an emotional proximity. Sometimes it’s narrative proximity—trying to understand someone’s story.”“How Christians can participate in the renewal of the world—we can see people as enemies to be conquered or see wounds that need to be healed. And that’s hard. That’s a cruciform way of living. It’s painful. It’s slow.”___Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
Can God truly heal, redeem, and transform brokenness? Katherine Wolf, coauthor of Suffer Strong and cofounder of Hope Heals, talks with Amy Julia about the reality of disability and pain, redefining brokenness and healing, and the game-changing nature of community. (Keep scrolling for book giveaway!)“Katherine Wolf miraculously survived a catastrophic stroke caused by a congenital brain defect she never knew she had. After a sixteen-hour brain surgery, forty days in the ICU, a year in neuro rehab, and eleven operations, she continues her recovery to this day.” Katherine and her husband, Jay, are the authors of Suffer Strong and Hope Heals and the founders of Hope Heals and Hope Heals Camp.Connect with Katherine online:Website: hopeheals.comInstagram: @hopehealsFacebook: @hopehealsTwitter: @hopehealsOn the Podcast:Wolfs’ books: Suffer Strong  and Hope HealsHope Heals CampJohn SwintonPenny’s diagnosis“The Lord has really used what was terrible, tragic brokenness and transformed that into something really beautiful. We love our story of redemption.”“It’s not a rejection of the body that we’re in. It’s a deeper understanding of the body we’re in and how it can enable us to see truths about God differently than if it were ‘normal.’”“Community is a game-changer for healing.”“True community isn’t trying to be outcome changers. They’re not trying to pray away your pain. They’re just with you in it… True community isn’t trying to stamp a Jesus sticker on your pain because it’s so much bigger than something a sticker could do…I need the truth of Jesus but not yet. In this moment, I need you to cry with me and feel the loss with me and let it be shocking to you.”“God has equipped me in these years of suffering.”“The communal, almost instant, embracing of each other [at camp] has everything to do with the fact that living the ‘American dream’ is no longer available to these families, so they’re not concerned with it anymore. They’re on the other end of the spectrum where they actually are wanting to disrupt the lie that joy only comes in a pain-free life. They are banding together to proclaim that we’re not going to worship the idol of a pain-free life. It’s not available. That’s not our story. But there’s still joy in this story."BOOK GIVEAWAYTo enter for your chance to win a copy of Suffer Strong, simply share this podcast episode on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, and be sure to tag me when you share it!___Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.__
Liuan Huska, author of Hurting Yet Whole, talks with Amy Julia about chronic illness and pain, experiencing wholeness while living in suffering, and the relationship between community and healing for both the individual and society. (scroll to the end for book giveaway details!)A freelance writer and speaker, Liuan focuses on topics of embodiment and spirituality. Her writing, on everything from chronic pain to evangelical fertility trends, appears in publications including Christianity Today and The Christian Century. She lives with her husband and their three little boys in the Chicago area.Connect with Liuan online: Website: liuanhuska.comFacebook: @LiuanHuskaAuthorTwitter: @LiuanHuskaOn the Podcast: Hurting Yet Whole by Liuan HuskaNY Times article: Americans, Stop Being Ashamed of WeaknessAdam: God’s Beloved by Henry Nouwen“For people with disabilities, so much of the suffering that happens has to do with how they do or don’t fit into society’s definitions and ideas of what’s a good life and a productive life and a meaningful life. That also plays into chronic illness.”“When I first started having pain and I couldn’t be in my body in ways that were joyful and life-giving...being in my body felt like a death sentence...To me being whole meant going out on bike rides and dancing and backpacking around the world, and suddenly I didn’t have those avenues for flourishing in the world. My body is part of me, so how do I reconnect with my body?” “We don’t have to be perfect to be whole. How is my body still good? Can I find purpose in the imperfection? What does it mean to be present in my body? And what does it mean to experience God’s purpose and goodness as I am, being able to accept that this is the reality that I’ve been given…I can choose to live as I am, as the body that I am, without needing to wish myself back to a previous state of what I thought was normal.”“We can promote the health of communities and groups of people as a whole by starting to pull back those layers of systemic issues.”BOOK GIVEAWAYTo enter to win a copy of Hurting Yet Whole, complete Steps 1 & 2:⁠⁠1. Go to your favorite podcast platform and rate or review the Love Is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker podcast ⁠2. Then let Amy Julia know you've completed Step 1 by contacting her via messages on her Instagram or Facebook or via her contact page on her website—amyjuliabecker.com/contact/  ⁠The book winner will be randomly selected on Monday, February 1, 2021.⁠___Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
How do we fight racism? Is there reason to hope when history reveals the continuity of racism’s tactics and its multifaceted exploitation? Historian and author Jemar Tisby talks with Amy Julia about racial identity, Black Lives Matter, laboring for racial justice, and reasons to hope for racial healing.Jemar Tisby is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Color of Compromise, and the newly released book How to Fight Racism. He is the president and co-founder of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective and co-host of the podcast Pass The Mic. Connect with Jemar online: Website: jemartisby.comFacebook: @JemarTisby1Twitter: @JemarTisbyInstagram: @jemartisbyOn the Podcast:Jemar’s books: The Color of Compromise and How to Fight RacismAmy Julia’s article in Christianity Today: Should Christians Support Reparations for African Americans?Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair by Duke Kwon and Gregory Thompson“All racial justice is in some sense relational. And I especially mean when we have to cross different boundaries—race, ethnicity, culture—so that people don’t simply become the other or the enemy, but human beings, image-bearers of God and how that affects the way we treat other people, the way we love our neighbors, the way we maneuver in the world. But I recognize that oftentimes we leave it at relationships…”“I want to highlight the continuity in tactics. And so the folks that are invested in the racist status quo, whether consciously or unconsciously, one of the main tactics they use is labeling people…and what labeling does, it means I can put you in a box, put you on a shelf, and ignore you, ignore what you’re saying…The labels change over time. You still have the 'Marxist,' 'Communist' labels being thrown around, but now it’s much more frequent that you’ll hear one of two things—either Critical Race Theorist or socialist.”“I just don’t think you’re having a serious conversation about racial justice unless at some point you’re talking about money.”“Through the Bible, it’s never the case that as you’re pursuing justice things get easier or you see results immediately. Sometimes you labor for a lifetime, and the fruit of your work is seen in the next generation, which on the one hand can be discouraging, but on the other, it means that none of our work is wasted.”“It’s not just about the world changing outside of us. It’s about changing us too—that as we pursue justice, as we endure persecution for righteousness’ sake, it’s changing who we are. It refines our character to be more like Jesus.”__Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
Love is stronger than fear. I first wrote those words on the heels of Donald Trump’s election back in 2016, and they became a truth I returned to again and again in the social tumult of the past four years. They also became the title of my podcast, and I’m excited to announce that Season 4 of Love Is Stronger Than Fear starts today! It’s a short episode today, an introduction to the season ahead, including guests like Jemar Tisby, Liuan Huska, and Katherine Wolf who will help me consider how to live in love instead of fear in the midst of personal pain and social division. This season, we’re looking at the themes of my e-book Head, Heart, Hands. We’ll be talking about the way we can learn, relate, and respond with action to the brokenness in our own lives and our culture when it comes to race, class, disability, and other dividing lines within our culture.So if you are already a subscriber, you should see this new episode in your podcast feed today. If you aren’t, I invite you to go to wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe right now. For all of you, please let other people know about Love Is Stronger Than Fear. We are on a mission to help people believe that we can make a difference. We can heal. We can proclaim that hope and love and joy and justice win. This podcast is just one small part of a larger healing work that we are all invited into. I hope you’ll join us in the conversation. And I hope you’ll put the conversation into action in this broken world because you too have come to believe that love is stronger than fear. Head, Heart, Hands, Season 4 of the Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast, is based on my e-book Head, Heart, Hands, which accompanies White Picket Fences. Check out free RESOURCES that are designed to help you respond to the harm of privilege and join in the work of healing. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
Do we want to get well? Within the reality of the harm of privilege and ongoing division, Amy Julia concludes this season of the podcast by examining how healing begins when love is our home. She provides solutions of hope and reconciliation that begin and end with, and flow from, the abundant love of God. (Plus a sneak peek into Season 4 of Love is Stronger Than Fear!)SHOW NOTES:“If we just tackle these problems [of division] with policies, if we just tackle them with to-do steps and practices, we’re going to scratch the surface. But if we get down to that spiritual level, if we call upon God—the God of love, the God of judgment, the God who names evil but also gives us a way to deal with evil, the God who gives us a way to love, to hope, to heal—we can find healing.”“Any spiritual solution, any work of reconciliation and healing, any repentance, any confession, any loving of our enemies, it begins and it ends, and it is in the middle, motivated by love.”“When we turn away from ourselves—away from the allure of tribalism, away from the temptation of self-justification—and turn toward Love, we begin to construct a vision of the future formed and shaped by hope, by the possibilities of unexpected connections, of mutual blessing, of a world made right. Do we want to get well?”  -White Picket FencesOn the Podcast:Request your copy of my Advent e-book: Prepare Him Room: Reflections on What Happens When God Shows UpWhite Picket FencesGeorge Floyd’s deathPrevious episodes of Season 3 of this podcastThe Atlantic article by Ta-Nehisi CoatesGuest podcast with Niro Feliciano: “How Do We Heal a Church Divided”Reconciling All Things by Emmanuel Katongole and Chris RiseWhite Picket Fences companion resourcesThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today I am talking about chapter 14. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
The presidential election does not change the church’s assignment. David Bailey, the executive director of Arrabon, talks with Amy Julia about the practices of reconciling communities, the divisions that result from misplaced hope in political power, and the foretaste of God’s kingdom that comes through loving our enemies.SHOW NOTES:David Bailey is the executive director of Arrabon, a ministry that helps churches become reconciling communities. Arrabon also includes Urban Doxology,  ministry that writes the soundtrack of reconciliation in a racially diverse and gentrifying neighborhood. Connect online:Websites: arrabon.com; urbandoxology.comInstagram: @davidmbailey; @wearearrabon; @urbandoxologyFacebook: @thedavidmbailey; @wearearrabon; @urbandoxologyTwitter: @davidmbailey; @wearearrabon; @UrbanDoxologyOn the Podcast:“[In Acts] the church was birthed within a multiethnic, socioeconomically diverse space. The miracle of that day and time was the fact that they were experiencing unity and diversity instead of unity through assimilation.”“We live in a day and time where we treat one another as enemies...We talk to each other violently. We listen to each other in ways to pounce on one another. And as Christians, we’re called to love God. We’re called to love our neighbor. We’re called to love our enemy. Not in a theoretical sense. Our invitation is to engage in sacrificial love for our enemy.”“A reconciling community is a group of people linked by a common purpose and a rhythm of life together that acknowledges the depths of brokenness in the world in our world and actively receives the invitation from God to heal the brokenness of our world holistically from the inside out."“The world gets the church, and we are to be a foretaste of the kingdom that is to come.”Sign up for Arrabon’s newsletterPodcast’s 1st episode with David BaileyUrban Doxology: Rest for the WearyScripture: Acts 2; Genesis 1:26; Micah 6:8; Ephesians 1:13-14Books by Robert P. Jones: The End of White Christian America and White Too LongBooks by Carl Ellis Jr: Free at Last?: The Gospel in the African-American Experience and Going GlobalFrederick DouglassThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 13. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
As Americans vote in national and local elections, is there hope for power, politics, and privilege to foster human flourishing? Andy Crouch, author of Strong and Weak, talks with Amy Julia about the paradox of authority and vulnerability, how political leaders can use power and risk for the good of humanity, the distinction between blessing and privilege, and pragmatic ways to contribute to human flourishing.Show Notes:Andy Crouch is partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship. His two most recent books—2017's The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place and 2016's Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing—build on the vision of faith, culture, and the image of God.Follow Andy online:Website: andy-crouch.comTwitter: @ahc“Authority is the capacity for meaningful action. Vulnerability is the exposure to meaningful risk.”“Most of the benefits we enjoy come from a tangled legacy of past exercises of power, some of which were highly creative and beneficial and beautiful, and others of which were forceful, coercive, and violent.”“Things that are called blessing in the Bible often happen at a moment of tremendous vulnerability. Blessing happens in the midst of vulnerability and unto vulnerability.”“The ultimate risk is love.”ON THE PODCAST:Andy’s books: The Tech-Wise Family, Strong and Weak, Playing God, and Culture MakingPraxis podcastStrong and Weak quadrantBible passages: Luke 12:13-21; Genesis 49; Genesis 27; Genesis 32:22-32; Matthew 4:18-20; Matthew 5:1-12Podcast interview with Sara HendrenMy Tech-Wise Life: Growing Up and Making Choices in a World of Devices by Amy Crouch and Andy CrouchBreaking Ground article (coming soon)Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 12. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
Do we, as a society, truly think that every child can succeed in school? Nicole Baker Fulgham, president and founder of The Expectations Project, talks with Amy Julia about the societal expectations for children in schools, the inequity within public education, and how to mobilize the church to work towards education reform.SHOW NOTES:Nicole Baker Fulgham (PhD, UCLA) is the president and founder of The Expectations Project and author of Educating All God’s Children and Schools in Crisis. Follow Nicole:Twitter: @nicolebfulghamConnect with The Expectations Project: Website: expectations.orgResources for advocacy and serviceFacebook: @TheExpectationsProjectInstagram: @hopeforstudentsTwitter: @expectproject“My faith pushes me on the issues of justice and equity and serving those who have the least.”“I believe as a Christian that God doesn’t differentiate academic potential between black and brown and white and Asian and rich and poor kids...Being in the classroom didn’t take away my firm belief in that. I just had to figure out: how do we collectively get there?”“How do we fix the system so that we can support teachers differently, support schools and families differently, so that we can unleash that God-given potential in every kid?”“Do we, as a society, truly think that every child can achieve? And when I say every I mean every. The child whose parents are incarcerated. The child who is homeless. The child who just immigrated here and is six years old and has to learn English first. The child whose family is struggling economically…I’m not sure that we deep down believe that about everybody….If we did, we would be investing in kids differently in our country.”“We always want to support individuals, but we also have to look at not just the educational system that’s impacting them—institutional racism, all those things—but also those other systems outside of school.”On the Podcast:The Expectations Project Teach for AmericaPenny’s diagnosis of Down syndromeThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 11. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
What is normal? Normie, a coming-of-age film about a young woman with Down syndrome, examines this question. Today, Annemarie Carrigan, the lead cast member of Normie, and Kurt Neale, the director and producer of the film, talk with Amy Julia about the illusions and reality of “normal,” the truth that all humans are broken and beloved, and how the creation of Normie changed how they viewed themselves and others.SHOW NOTES:Stream Normie from October 20-31, 2020: Go to amyjuliabecker.com and subscribe to receive monthly updates. You’ll receive an email with a link to watch Normie through Vimeo-on-Demand. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see the email in your inbox!)Follow on social media: Twitter: @normiefilm, @amcarrigan560Normie Film: normiefilm.com“Normie is about the illusion of normal and the beauty of love through the lens of Down syndrome.” - Annemarie“[I hope that] People would flip the lens, so to speak, and look at themselves and not simply observe Annemarie being honest but people would be drawn into evaluation of themselves.” - Kurt“Our world is such a mess. We’re screaming out that your identity is relative to your performance. That is a tragic lie...I find value in that I am created and loved by God, and I can also love others.” - Kurt“I am loved. I am not normal. And I am just who I am. And I’m proud of that.” - Annemarie“I am loved by God. That’s a fact. I don’t know how to explain how I feel loved by God because it’s unfathomable to think that God loves me and believes in me. It’s his word against mine.” - Annemarie“Could it possibly be true that I’m far more loved than I ever dreamed possible? And that I can really love others through my own limitedness and brokenness?” - KurtOn the Podcast:Stream Normie from October 20-31, 2020: Go to amyjuliabecker.com and subscribe to receive monthly updates. You’ll receive an email with a link to watch Normie through Vimeo-on-Demand. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see the email in your inbox!)Gilmore GirlsGod is love. (1 John 4:7-21)David ZahlJosh WhiteTotal solar eclipseKatie AndersonThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 10. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
How does “the built world”—the chairs, rooms, and streets that guide our bodies every day— implicitly ascribe worth to human beings? How does the built world welcome or exclude individuals in public space? Sara Hendren, author of “What Can A Body Do? How We Meet the Built World,” talks with Amy Julia about disability and the built world, how disability is fundamental to our common humanity, and reimagining the built world in a way that gives dignity and worth to all human beings.SHOW NOTES:Sara Hendren is an artist, design researcher, professor at Olin College of Engineering, and the author of “What Can a Body Do?” Connect with Sara:Twitter: @ablerismsarahendren.com/“The world built of stairs, the world built of sidewalks with no curb cuts—all of those things bear out a very tacit presumption about who’s going to be in public space.”“We enter our lives acutely dependent on other people. We often exit our lives also in a period of dependence. And in between we traffic in and out of experiences of needing one another. Within our own mythology about how we don’t need people very much or our sense of autonomy and independence, we know that what makes us flourish is connection.”“I have a body that has needs. We share that.”“How do I want to be treated if I’m even a little bit different than I am now? The way that I treat folks who are currently acutely vulnerable is the logic by which I will be treated. We owe it to each other to be a little more imaginative than we are, and it doesn’t take an overhaul of the world. An editing of a lot of what we have already makes all the difference.”On the Podcast:“What Can A Body Do? How We Meet the Built World” by Sara HendrenRosemary Garland-ThomsonGallaudet UniversitySigning StarbucksBrenda BrueggemannSharon SnyderErik Carter Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking (a little out of order) about chapter 11. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
Mortality is often connected to fear, so how does embracing mortality provide hope to individuals and communities? Professor Todd Billings, author of “The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live,” talks with Amy Julia about lamenting and embracing mortality, the potential for mortality to exacerbate divisions or create connections, and how the presence of God brings freedom from our slavery to the fear of death.SHOW NOTES:Dr. J. Todd Billings is a professor at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. An ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America, he received his M.Div. from Fuller Seminary and his Th.D. from Harvard. Connect further with Todd:Twitter: @jtoddbillingsFacebook: @jtoddbillingsauthorhttps://jtoddbillings.com/“Whether you are young or old…our mortality matters for all of us in how we relate and connect to one another.”“A tremendous gift of the church is that it’s one of the few places in our cultural moment where young children and middle-aged people and dying older people can come together and be part of a community.”“In Christian circles, I sometimes get the idea that we shouldn’t be afraid of death at all. I don’t think that’s either biblical teaching or likely to happen. It sets up this ideal that makes people shameful when they grieve deeply.”“Of course we should have a certain fear of death. But when fear of death is on the throne, then self-protection becomes the central priority...we pull in rather than reaching out in compassion.”“This same presence of God that we’ve been aching for from the pit and in our whole pilgrimage—this one centered in Jesus—that presence will be the wide and spacious land, so to speak, of our rejoicing and dwelling in rest.”ON THE PODCAST:The End of the Christian LifePenelope Ayers (Amy Julia’s memoir about caring for her mother-in-law)Scripture: Psalm 27, Jonah, Matthew 27:46, Hebrews 2:15, 2 Corinthians 4“Rejoicing in Lament” by BillingsCheck back at https://breakingground.us/ for a new article by Amy Julia coming out in OctoberTerror management theory “The Denial of Death” by Ernest BeckerGeorge Floyd’s deathZoom video callThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 9. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
What is privilege? What is it not? How does privilege cause harm? In this bonus episode, Amy Julia describes her working definition of privilege, the ways that privilege leads to unjust social divisions and disparities, and how we can participate in healing from the harm of privilegeSHOW NOTES:“Privilege is a set of unearned social advantages that lead to unjust social divisions and disparities.”“Privilege is not a guarantee of an easy life and it’s not an accusation of an easy life.”“As unearned social advantages lead to unjust social divisions, we find ourselves participating in injustice.”“Privilege harms everyone. The ways we are cut off from one another and from the full expression of human diversity is not only unjust but it is also harmful, and I, for one, want to be a part of healing.”“Healing comes from the overflow of the love of God at work in and through God’s people—not just the love of God, but the love of God that is expressed in acts of mercy, of kindness, and of justice.”ON THE PODCAST:Penny’s diagnosisPodcast guests to date: David Bailey, Micha Boyett, Patricia Raybon, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, Jemar Tisby, Cara Meredith, Subira Gordon, Marlena Graves, Niro Feliciano, Esau McCaulley, Dominique Gilliard, Paul MillerStudies: names on job applications; wage gaps; bias in sportsCollege admissions scandalBlog Post: The Spiritual Problem of Racism Calls for a Spiritual SolutionAudiobook: “Head, Heart, Hands”Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are taking a break from our typical podcast episodes and guests to talk about the topic of privilege. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
How does the pattern of Jesus’ life reshape privilege, wealth, and community? Paul Miller, author of “J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life,” talks with Amy Julia about the J-curve and how this daily dying and rising with Christ can create communities where the potential divisions of wealth and privilege are reshaped by love.SHOW NOTES:Paul Miller is Executive Director of seeJesus, a global discipleship mission, which he founded in 1999 to help Christians and non-Christians alike “see Jesus.” His books include “J-Curve” and the instant bestseller “A Praying Life.” Follow him on Twitter at @_paulemiller.“The normal Christian life looks like the path of Jesus’ life—from life down into death and then from death up into resurrection and glorification. That pattern of Jesus’ life is the template for whole sections of my life, pieces of my day, my relationships, and it’s a very liberating grid. It has hope in it and gives meaning.”“We don’t understand how critical our dying is to the creation of an inclusive community.”“If I begin to live this J-curve, I become a community-creation machine. Everywhere I go I’m creating community.”“The antidote to all of the problems of the power of money is love.”“One of the aspects of evil is that it bends you to seeing that evil is the final word. And that leads to cynicism. You begin to see evil everywhere, and that in itself is evil because it leads to a cynical spirit where you begin to doubt even the good. That’s a disease of our age—an age of cynicism...Paul clearly looks at life through a resurrection lens and tells us to do so as well. What’s right and true and lovely? Be looking for those things. You’re hunting for the good.”On the Podcast:Is God Anti-racist? articleScripture: Sharing in Christ’s suffering (Philippians 1:29, Philippians 3:10), 2 Corinthians 1, James 2:1-6, John 9, John 4:1-42, John 14, John 11:45-52, I Timothy 6, Colossians 3:1-17, Philippians 1, God of all comfort benediction, Fruit of the Spirit“The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Ray HintonFrancis of AssisiMartin Luther“Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. TolkienIgnatian Consolation and DesolationPenny’s diagnosisWay MakerPerson of Jesus studyThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapters 6 and 7. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
What would it mean for the criminal justice system to be unjust? And if it is, what should Christians do about it? Dominique Gilliard, author of “Rethinking Incarceration,” talks with Amy Julia about the history of injustice in this system, reimagining justice, punishment, and reconciliation in light of the gospel, and practical ways the church can love people who have been incarcerated.SHOW NOTES:Dominique DuBois Gilliard is the Director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation for the Love Mercy Do Justice (LMDJ) initiative of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). His book “Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice that Restores” won the 2018 Book of the Year Award for InterVarsity Press.Follow LMDJ on social mediaTwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube“Restorative justice says that for justice to be made manifest, there has to be a tangible pathway toward restoration for not only the person who has suffered from the offense but also the person who has caused the offense.”“Do we really believe the things that we proclaim in our congregational spaces, and, if so, how does that inform how we vote, how we live, how we engage in the world at large?”“Nobody is beyond redemption....the Spirit who has the ability to bring life out of death has the ability to bring restoration out of people who have caused offenses.”“When we understand that privilege is something for us to steward, then that liberates us from feeling immobilized by it. It liberates us from actually denying it. We can affirm privilege is real and that we have a responsibility to steward it in a way that furthers the kingdom and loves our neighbor.”On the Podcast:“The New Jim Crow” by Michelle AlexanderShooting of Kathryn JohnstonEqual Justice InitiativePrison FellowshipSeason 3 of SerialChicago’s Million Dollar BlocksOld Testament gleaning laws“Compassionate Justice” by Christopher MarshallBryan Stevenson and Equal Justice Initiative67% of white evangelicals support the death penaltyInterview with Bryan Stevenson about “Just Mercy”Psalm 139:23-24Resources from Dominique: What We Can Do powerpoint and Follow-Up Resources pdfThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about Privilege Walk. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
The Black church has a gift for American Christianity. Are we all willing to receive it? New Testament scholar Esau McCaulley, author of “Reading While Black,” talks with Amy Julia about Black biblical interpretation, distorted views of the gospel, the importance of identity within a Christian’s story, and the Black church’s commitment to both the theological tenets of Christianity and advocating for justice.SHOW NOTES:Esau McCaulley (PhD, St. Andrews), author of “Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope,” a priest in the Anglican Church in North America, and a contributing writer for The New York Times. He is also the host of The Disrupters podcast. His publications include Sharing in the Son's Inheritance and numerous articles in outlets such as Christianity Today, The Witness, and The Washington Post. Connect with him online:esaumccaulley.comTwitter: @esaumccaulley“There’s a whole story in the Bible of God liberating an entire people who are enslaved. This goes to the front of God’s resume. He says it over and over and over again, 'I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.'”“The very practice of going to the Bible and asking God to meet us there is an exercise of hope.""Look to the Black church in America. It has a long history of advocacy for justice along with remaining in the great tradition of things Christians will always believe."“If our ethnicity is eschatological, if we go into the new creation as black and brown and white people, if we all come into the kingdom as our ethnic selves, then God is glorified in the salvation of each of us and each part of who we are. My blackness is not immaterial to the story of my life. I can’t tell the story of my life and what God has done in my life without talking about what it means to be Black and Christian.”On the Podcast:Articles/Essays in The New York TimesScripture: Genesis 48, Exodus 12:37-38, I Timothy 6:1-2, Genesis 1:26-28, Luke 20:4, Sermon on the Mount, Revelation, John 9“Deacon King Kong” by James McBride“The Cross and the Lynching Tree” by James ConeThe New York Times: The Bloody Fourth Day of ChristmasPenny’s diagnosis of Down syndromeThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 7. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
In an achievement-oriented culture, how do we risk vulnerability in order to move toward personal and racial healing? Cognitive therapist Niro Feliciano talks with Amy Julia about the complexities of privilege, race and identity, affluence and anxiety, and the hurt and the hope found within communities of faith.SHOW NOTES:Niro Feliciano is a certified cognitive therapist and co-founder of a multi-specialty mental health group in Connecticut where she treats anxiety in adults and adolescents. Connect with Niro: nirofeliciano.com, her All Things Life podcast, @niro_feliciano on Instagram, and Niro Feliciano, The Incidental Therapist on Facebook.“Race is a part of my identity and it is so much a part of my relationships.”“Affluence contributes to...anxiety and depression.”“Identity and value is so linked to accomplishment.”“Starting in the home, we have to validate our families and our kids for who they are and not what they do. We can’t constantly be focused on the achievement.”“I am sure about Jesus. When we say Christianity and the Church has not always been inclusive, my feeling is—Jesus always has been.”“Be compassionate towards yourself. Forgive yourself.”On the Podcast:Podcast episodes with Niro: Super Bowl episode and White Picket Fences episodeNiro’s podcast: All Things Life“The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” by James Weldon Johnson“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race” by Beverly Tatum“Caste: The Origins of Discontents” by Isabel WilkersonNiro’s blog post on ridgefieldmom.comThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book “White Picket Fences,” and today we are talking about chapter 7. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
Fear often inhabits both wealth and poverty. How does viewing money and self-sacrifice through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus bring freedom and joy? Writer and speaker Marlena Graves, author of The Way Up Is Down: Becoming Yourself by Forgetting Yourself, talks with Amy Julia about wealth, poverty, faith, and the freedom that comes from being filled up with God’s love.SHOW NOTESMarlena Graves received her M.Div. from Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, New York and is pursuing her Ph.D. in American Culture Studies as she researches the influence American culture has on Evangelicals’ view of immigration, race, and poverty. Connect with Marlena: marlenagraves.com; @marlena.graves on Instagram, @marlena.propergraves on Facebook, and @MarlenaGraves on Twitter.“Money can’t buy happiness or joy or peace. We can use money that God has given us for God’s ways, but to think that [money by itself] is going to satisfy—it really doesn’t.”“The way of Jesus is to use whatever God has given us and whatever station of life we are in for God’s Kingdom.”“The only way I can love people, love my neighbor, is if I am in tune and paying attention to God.”“Prayer is putting your gaze upon God.”On the Podcast:Scripture: Amos 5:24; James 5:1-6; Matthew 13; Matthew 19:24; Luke 5:27–32; Luke 19:1-10; Luke 9:51-56; Mark 9:35; Matthew 25Rich MullinsPope FrancisPenny’s diagnosis of Down syndromeThank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapters 6 and 7. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
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