Life Changers 6/12/15

June 12, 2015


Aaaand…just like that, my love for podcasts has turned into straight-up addiction. I have become expert at living life with my bluetooth in my ear–as well as engaging in conversation with people in my earpiece who cannot, in fact, actually hear me. So, if you see a lady talking theology to herself while picking up fruit at the market? *points to self*

(For previous podcast recommendations, see here and here.)

I have complained before how white males dominate theological discussions, and as much as I enjoy their stimulating conversations, I’d love to see Christian Culture move towards listening to people of color. This is why I am so excited to introduce Asian America, the Ken Fong Podcast. It is not a theology podcast, but one that features Asian American culture influencers. So far, guests have included popular blogger, Phil Yu, the Angry Asian Man, Charter School founders, Randy and Meg Palisoc (an inspiring story), and Asian American stand up comedian Paul Kim (hilarious and honest and slightly rated R.) Although not specifically Christian, because Ken Fong is a pastor, the conversation naturally includes aspects of Christian faith. LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST – it will help retire old stereotypes of Asian Americans when you hear stories of dynamic culture changers from the Asian American community.

Next up: Seminary Dropout. This one has been around for years but new to me, so I am hungrily devouring the archives. My recent favorite is this one with Romal Tune & Tony Kriz, both wonderful folks to follow. Tony Kriz’s book, Neighbors and Wise Men – so good, and I look forward to reading his new release, Aloof.


I know many of you who follow my blog are pastors and preachers. This is a really great resource if you preach through the lectionary. The LectioCast featuring the Good Dr. Daniel Kirk, one of my favorite NT thinker/teachers. Jumpstart your sermon prep with interesting perspectives from DKirk along with guests on his show.


Okay, that should keep you busy for a while! Come back when you’re done hearing some audiological awesome sauce.

Back? I do have some non-podcast related Life Changers to share. This reflection on the Justice Conference in Chicago was really honest, and I feel like a good summary of the tensions many evangelical Christians are feeling right now. Three years ago, when I attended the first Justice Conference here in Asia, I felt similar things. For the most part the conference was encouraging and uplifting, and then there was a climactic session that left me scratching my head.

It was a bit like hearing a series of alternating lectures – one from the Popular White Christian Conference Speaker Dude™ religious equivalent of your third grade arithmetic teacher, then another from an outside-of-evangelicalism faith leader primed on graduate-level spiritual calculus – and then hearing only brief (but brilliant) quotations from women of color professional mathematicians consigned to “women’s panels.” (There was literally a “women’s lunch” and a “pastor’s lunch” on the second day of the conference. Guess how many women were on the panel that spoke at the pastor’s lunch.)

Racial tensions continue to disrupt as the #BlackLivesMatter movement grows, most recently triggered by the pool party incident at the McKinney community. Eugene Cho has some thoughts about restorative justice worth considering.

Can you imagine a story where Casebolt is indeed suspended but during this time, invited to undergo extensive counseling and additional training? If Dajerria and her family was willing – since she should not feel obligated to engage in this process, can you imagine if he willingly went to Dajerria and truly apologized to her and her family? Truly apologized. Person to person. Have you ever seen a police officer after a tumultuous situation…apologize to the said person? Can you imagine the impact this would have on Dajerria? Can you imagine the impact on Eric? Can you imagine if their two families got together to break bread? Can you imagine the impact on local communities? On our nation?

For women who struggle with guilt in pursuing their own calling, do not miss Esther Emery’s post up at Scot Mcknight (a consistent champion for equality in the church)’s blog, Women, Ministry and Guilt. 

Women of the church, don’t buy the lie of darkness that your win is going to be my loss. Where Christ is king, our accomplishments are added to one another; they lift us all up. We are big together. When you take a risk to use your voice and show your talents, you lead the way for me too.

Lastly, my own writing is up at SheLoves Magazine on the theme of Permission.

Like the spiritual discipline of prayer or generosity or hospitality, we need to embrace the discipline of giving permission. I think there are three general areas we need to exercise giving permission…

A housekeeping note: cindywords will be taking a short hiatus as Cindy is going on summer vacation. The Brandts are going back to the States (by the way, only expats say ‘the States’, we are pretentious like that. Normal people just say America, or the US) this summer. Even though it is only for a month, I’m not lying to you when I say I stress about the whiplash of culture shock. The human psyche is not meant to be transported to a totally different world in less than 24 hours. Especially for an over-analyzer like me, the struggle is real. Also, we have to leave our puppy. //weep//

But I’ll hopefully get SOME blogging/writing done, freshly inspired by the beautiful Colorado country, I hope. I’ll see you on the other side of the Pacific.