Love is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker

Love is Stronger Than Fear with Amy Julia Becker
Race, class, identity, privilege. These are topics and concepts that divide us, but what if we could start talking about them? Through conversation and stories that follow the themes of my book, White Picket Fences: Turning toward Love in a World Divid…

On Vacation
Aug 4 • 3 min
Amy Julia is on vacation. Tune back in next week for a new episode and interview. Be sure to check out these interviews from Season 3: White Picket Fences: S3 E1 | Waking Up to Privilege with David Bailey S3 E2 | Living into the Really Real with Micha…
S3 E6 | Now Is the Time for Justice with Jemar Tisby
Jul 28 • 52 min
How do we find hope, particularly in white American churches, when our history and identity is intertwined with racism? How does knowing who we were—and who we are—help us move toward justice and who we want to become? I talk with historian Jemar Tisby,…
S3 E5 | Why I Wrote White Picket Fences
Jul 21 • 46 min
When it comes to the enduring legacy of racism, what place is there for forgiveness, humility, and healing? On today’s episode, Amy Julia’s friend Niro Feliciano interviews her about how she came to write White Picket Fences and what she has learned in…
S3 E4 | Challenging Comfort, Acknowledging Power, and Using Privilege with Natasha Robinson
Jul 14 • 57 min
Natasha Sistrunk Robinson grew up as a Black woman in a patriotic family in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She went on to serve as a United States Marine and later worked in the Department of Homeland Security. She is now an author, speaker, and leader.…
S3 Bonus | Talking with Our Kids about Race, Justice, Love, and Privilege
Jul 7 • 25 min
In this follow up to last week’s interview with Patricia Raybon, Amy Julia interviews her three children. Penny, William, and Marilee all talk about what they’ve learned from books, museums, and the recent protests after the death of George Floyd. Show…
S3 E3 | Our Different Stories Divide Us with Patricia Raybon
Jun 30 • 48 min
How do white parents talk with their children about race and racism? Why do white evangelical and Black Christians seem so socially and politically divided? How can we move towards one another in love even when we disagree? Author Patricia Raybon and Amy…
S3 E2 | Living into the Really Real with Micha Boyett
Jun 23 • 48 min
How can we talk about race and disability without conflating the two? How can white, able-bodied, neurotypical people enter into this conversation? What is the difference between “white fragility” and being vulnerable? What is the connection between…
S3 E1 | Waking Up to Privilege with David Bailey
Jun 16 • 42 min
Race, class, and the kingdom of God all come up in this conversation between Amy Julia and David Bailey, Director of Arrabon, a ministry to help churches become reconciling communities. In this introductory episode for Season 3, David and Amy Julia talk…
Season 3 Trailer: White Picket Fences
Jun 12 • 5 min
Race, class, identity, privilege. These are topics and concepts that divide us, but what if we could start talking about them? Through conversation and stories that follow the themes of my book, White Picket Fences: Turning toward Love in a World Divided…
S2 Ep 112: Hope, Strength, and Contentment in the Midst of Civil Unrest
Jun 9 • 28 min
Finding contentment and strength in all circumstances has never been easy. That was true for Paul 2,000 years ago writing from a prison cell, and it is true now for those of us in the midst of very ordinary hard days and those of us in extraordinarily…
S2 Ep 111 Cultivating Peace in a Week of Protest
Jun 2 • 33 min
In the midst of a week of social unrest across the nation, how can we work towards peace? This episode looks at Paul’s words, “do not worry” and talks about how we can cultivate personal and social peace. Amy Julia examines the problems of reading the…
Bonus Episode: Hope and the Spiritual Imagination
May 26 • 21 min
In a time of uncertainty and lethargy, Amy Julia offers thoughts on the nature of hope, the vehicle for hope, and the source of our hope. This bonus episode comes from a talk she gave years ago that details how she moved from fear to hope after her…
S2 Ep 110 What to Do if You’re Feeling Hopeless
May 19 • 26 min
Have you felt a little hopeless lately? Have you had a hard time feeling like your days have any meaning or purpose? Have you compared your life to the movie Groundhog Day? In this episode, Amy Julia talks about the way our imagination is linked to our…
S2 Ep 109 How Love Brings Power in the Midst of Powerlessness
May 12 • 28 min
The power of love works differently than the power of status. In this episode, Amy Julia shares stories of powerlessness in the midst of this pandemic, and she talks about how we will only feel increasingly powerless if our identity comes from achievement…
S2 Ep 108 Carrying Love Letters from God
May 5 • 29 min
How does God communicate love? In this episode, Amy Julia talks about how God uses people to carry “love letters”—messages of care and kindness and hope. She shares stories of how this happens right now when we pay attention to the whispers and nudges…
Bonus Episode: Head Heart Hands Audiobook
Apr 28 • 40 min
Many people have read White Picket Fences and then asked me about practical steps they can take to respond to the harm they see in their own lives and communities. How do we move from considering the harm of privilege into participation in the healing…
S2 Ep 107 How My Daughter Convinced Me We Can Help Others in This Time of Need
Apr 28 • 33 min
In a time of social distancing, it’s hard to help other people. It’s hard because of the physical distance, but it’s also hard to feel motivated to engage in the needs of the world. Most of us feel needy ourselves right now, even if we are…
S2 Ep 106 Where is God When People Suffer?
Apr 21 • 28 min
Science, medicine, and politics can answer lots of our questions about where the coronavirus came from and what it is doing in and among humans. But another set of questions arises in times like this. Can we find any meaning or purpose in this suffering?…
S2 Ep 105: COVID-19, Privilege, and What Keeps Us from Living in Love
Apr 14 • 36 min
What does Covid-19 tell us about our humanity? In today’s episode, Amy Julia talks about the way this pandemic exposes three truths of human nature. She also explores three impediments to living in love: distraction, fear, and injustice. With a look at…
S2 Ep 104: COVID-19, Holy Week, and Preparing for Suffering with Love
Apr 7 • 26 min
“Why does God allow the coronavirus to exist?” is the question my kids (and many of us) are asking this week. More generally, why does God allow suffering to happen? Why doesn’t God stop the suffering? I can’t offer any easy answers, but we will tackle…
S2 Ep. 103 The Foundation is Shaking: Coronavirus and Living in Love
Mar 31 • 26 min
What do we do when the foundation is shaking? Thousands of Americans have already died from the coronavirus. Hundreds of thousands of people are sick from this virus around the globe. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, just last week. So what do we do…
Bonus Episode: A Three-Minute Invitation to Peace
Mar 24 • 7 min
For all of you who are stressed, and fearful, and worried—for yourself, for your family, for those you love, for our whole world—I want to share a practice that has helped me. I invite you to give yourself three minutes today.
S2 Ep. 102 Social Connection in a Time of Social Distance
Mar 24 • 25 min
How do we connect socially in a time of social distance? Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians in the midst of his own extended time of social isolation. This letter he wrote offers us words of honesty and hope in the midst of our current moment.
S02 Ep. 101: A Global Pandemic, a Market Meltdown, No School, and the Bible
Mar 17 • 26 min
It was after the election of President Trump in 2016 that I first wrote the words, “Love is stronger than fear.” Fears haven’t abated in the past few years, and they only increased in the past few weeks as we face an unprecedented medical and economic…
Race, Sex, Faith, and the Halftime Show
Feb 7 • 49 min
And now for something completely different: the Superbowl halftime show! After noticing really different reactions to the show from white Christian women and Christian women of color, my good friend Niro Feliciano and I decided to record a conversation.…
Head Heart Hands ebook
Jan 2 • 1 min
I’m excited to introduce to you my new action guide that accompanies White Picket Fences. Head Heart Hands offers ways to respond to the harm of social divisions and privilege in a thoughtful, loving, and courageous manner.
Jesus Came from A Dysfunctional Family
Dec 26, 2019 • 7 min
I’m sneaking in one more bonus episode of the podcast because I couldn’t resist and because it’s about family, and, well, as we approach the end of the holiday season, sometimes we need to be reminded of the title of this episode—Jesus Came from a…
Merry Christmas
Dec 25, 2019 • 4 min
Our children will open presents today, and their joy at receiving gifts that they cannot buy for themselves will remind me of the extravagant and free love of a God who comes when we don’t expect him and shines light and hope in the darkest corners of our…
Birthday Party for Jesus
Dec 24, 2019 • 5 min
Our tradition on Christmas Eve is to throw a birthday party for Jesus. As we approach the mayhem of Christmas morning, we remind ourselves that the gifts Jesus asks for are those of a humble heart, a contrite spirit, and a willingness to give ourselves in…
Light That Guides Us
Dec 23, 2019 • 4 min
Living with Jesus means we start to see the things that God hates in this world. Injustice to people who are vulnerable and needy might be at the top of the list of things God hates. So when we turn towards the light, we’ll start to see the things that…
Seeing The Darkness
Dec 22, 2019 • 4 min
In today’s episode I talk about our options when we see the darkness inside our own lives, like a ketchup stain on a shirt. We can turn off the lights and go back to ignorance. Or we can ask Jesus to help us clean it up. But what do we do when some stains…
Darkness and Light
Dec 21, 2019 • 5 min
The darkness of the human heart. We don’t like to talk about that darkness, not at Christmastime, and really not ever. In Jesus, God has shone light into the darkness. God has always been shining light in the darkness.
Joy All Year Round
Dec 20, 2019 • 5 min
When I sing Christmas hymns to my children at night, I am naming something that runs deeper than peppermint ice cream and mistletoe, and yet it is through baking and decorating and gifts that I communicate the spiritual reality contained in those…
Light in The Darkness
Dec 19, 2019 • 4 min
The light shines in the darkness. Today’s episode looks at how the glitz, parties, and gifts of the commercialized Christmas can serve as very physical reminders of what, of whom, we celebrate this season.
Not Prepared
Dec 18, 2019 • 5 min
I’m more or less ready for Christmas. But am I ready for Jesus? Not really. I’m not ready for Jesus to show up, and perhaps that’s exactly as it should be. Today on the podcast we’re talking about how Jesus is ready to enter my life—just as it is.
Ordinary Hard Stuff
Dec 17, 2019 • 7 min
Today’s reflection comes from a time when our kids were little, our cat was alive, and I was in a hard spot personally. A time when I needed to learn about expecting God to show up not only when our life is in crisis but also in the every day.
George Bailey and the Secret to Being Content Part Two
Dec 16, 2019 • 6 min
Today I look at a passage in the Bible that relates to George Bailey, and to Zechariah, and to me, and to all of us who think we need impressive resumes and accomplishments in order to prove our worth to the world.
George Bailey and the Secret to Being Content Part One
Dec 15, 2019 • 5 min
In today’s episode I give you a glimpse of when I was grumpy for a few years. Maybe not every day. But most days. And at the core of my being, deep inside my heart, lay a stone, a slowly growing bitter stone of resentment and self-pity.
Love Hates
Dec 14, 2019 • 7 min
In today’s episode, I look at Mary’s song and an uncomfortable truth about who God is. Yes, God is love. But what God’s love looks like as it enters a world filled with injustice and abuse and oppression isn’t always what we expect.
Being Elizabeth
Dec 13, 2019 • 5 min
What does it take for Mary to have hope? It takes God’s word, sure. But it also takes Elizabeth. It takes another person to affirm God’s work in Mary’s life. Today I look at how we access hope as we speak the truth of God’s promises into one another’s…
When Mary Says “Oh Crap” to God
Dec 12, 2019 • 6 min
In today’s episode I focus on Mary’s humanness. We know Mary was frightened. We know Mary was confused. If Mary could come to God with fear, with confusion, with her real self, well, so can we
Shame and Glory
Dec 11, 2019 • 5 min
“I am the Lord’s servant.” Mary said “yes” to both shame and glory, writes poet Luci Shaw. In today’s episode I talk about how in saying yes to God’s invitation to bear love in this world, we are willing to endure misunderstanding at best and abuse at…
Anxiety and the Prince of Peace
Dec 10, 2019 • 7 min
Mary had good reasons to be “greatly troubled.” She was young, unwed, and about to learn that she would be a teenage mother. I have never had such reason to worry, but worry has plagued me still. Anxiety comes up throughout the Bible, and over and over…
Holy Questions
Dec 9, 2019 • 7 min
A baby born of a virgin, a God who became a human being, a promise that the entire world will one day taste that resurrection–I have my own set of questions for each one of those claims. In today’s episode I talk about my questions and the God who keeps…
Hoping to Find Faith
Dec 8, 2019 • 4 min
Today we look at Luke’s story of Jesus. We’re invited to enter this story with our questions, but also with our love. This is a book filled with holy tension between faith and doubt, between love and investigation.
Dec 7, 2019 • 5 min
Advent involves the sorrowful expectation that God will indeed bring good news by showing up in our messy, broken lives. In today’s podcast I talk about a new tradition our family has integrated into our Advent practice that I hope has deepened our…
Somber Exile
Dec 6, 2019 • 6 min
Love. Hope. We see these words a lot in December. But there is nothing trite about this time of year. In today’s podcast we see that Advent is a time of sorrowful expectation, of daring to hope that Immanuel, God-with-us, is still working to make things…
The Importance of Gifts
Dec 5, 2019 • 6 min
At times I want to protest the commercialization of Christmas. In today’s episode we talk about tinsel and tacky decorations and the fact that my son thinks more highly of Santa than God. Part of me wants to do away with Christmas extravagance altogether.…
Other Religions at Christmastime
Dec 4, 2019 • 9 min
The only way Christianity is good news for the world is if Christians live the Christmas message all year round—this message of a baby born in a stable, this message of peace, and hope, and joy. Can we honor each religious tradition without pretending…
Prepare Him Room
Dec 3, 2019 • 5 min
Today we’re reading Matthew 1:22-25, and it describes Joseph and Mary’s preparations to welcome Jesus as their son. Preparing room means clearing out space. Cleaning up. Moving the detritus into the basement. How do I prepare room for Jesus on a spiritual…
Hopes and Fears
Dec 2, 2019 • 6 min
Today we’re reading Matthew 1:18-21, where the angel implies that Joseph is afraid to take Mary home as his wife. I’m grateful we aren’t asked to eliminate fears in order to claim hope. Rather we are invited to bring hope and fear in a mixed up jumble to…
Why Bodies Matter
Dec 1, 2019 • 8 min
Today’s podcast comes from Matthew 1:1-17, which might seem boring because it’s a genealogy, but Jesus’ story starts here, and this list of names is important. It reminds us that Jesus—the one who in just a few verses will be named God with us—came to us…
An Introduction
Nov 30, 2019 • 3 min
I’ve written often about Advent and Christmas. A few years ago I gathered many of those thoughts into an ebook so they could accompany the Biblical stories of Jesus’ coming and birth. This year, I am reading that ebook out loud. To you. One day at a time.
Tis the Season for Stress
Nov 29, 2019 • 6 min
Today’s episode gives a sense of our journey together this Advent season. We’re preparing for love to show up on Christmas morning in the form of a baby, but we’re also longing for love to show up in the midst of the everyday stress and joy of the holiday…
Season One Trailer: Prepare Him Room
Nov 15, 2019 • 1 min
Listen now to get a sense of season one of the Love is Stronger than Fear podcast. Amy Julia Becker introduces a series of reflections about God showing up in the midst of the everyday life of eating, drinking, and doing too much, and experiencing love…