Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spiritual Self-Esteem

I working on some material for a women's luncheon. The topic is "spiritual self-esteem" which is sort of an interesting topic. It seems to merge a couple the "Christian" side of me and the "western" side of me, but I wonder what role self-esteem plays in the Asian context.

As I've been wandering around in various gender/culture/faith circles discussing issues raised by the book, I've had a growing conviction that its important to have men engaging on this issue. Our book often gets quickly relegated to the area of "women's ministry". I'm glad that its there, but Kathy raised the question, "When will people look at the issue of gender as a church health issue?"

One of our recent discussions "Navigating gender sub-cultures in your congregation" moved the gender discussion into a safer zone for both. I've felt more freedom talking about the subject of gender in academic settings. However, I'm still not sure how do you talk about gender dynamics in a church setting that doesn't marginalize or make people defensive.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Asian Pacific American Book Festival

Nikki and I will be attending the Asian Pacific American Book Festival in May. If any of you are going to be in LA in May, please come! It looks to be a really interesting event with APA authors from all walks of life. I'll be on a panel with other APA authors who deal with spirituality.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Origins of our Dreams

The IVCF Pacific Region will host an Asian Pacific American Student Conference on April 13-15, 2007. The theme is "Origin of our Dreams." We will look at the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis and explore the themes of dreaming big for ourselves, the community, and the Kingdom. The conference speakers are Paul Tokunaga, Asian American Ministries Coordinator for IVCF/USA and Christie Heller de Leon, UC Davis Staff Team Leader. Check out the website: for more details. Registration deadline: April 2

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Check out this video from Dove:
It shows the transformation of a "normal" model into a billboard.

I love the line, "Not even supermodels look like supermodels." The part where they show the digital transformation of a photo was so interesting. I knew that photoshop was amazing, but it's interesting to see how the dramatic adjustments of the face create the ultimate beautiful face.

I've appreciated Kathy's definition of beauty in the chapter on sexuality in the book. She describes physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of beauty (ie. compassion) that is so helpful.

"How beautiful are the feet of them that brings good news."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Crying like a 7-year-old girl with a skinned knee

So, what does it mean when a man starts out by saying, "I cried like a 7-year-old girl with a skinned knee?" I'm really asking this. I've actually been asking this of many people ever since I saw a blog post start out with that line. I've been asking men and women, Asian American and not and my very unscientific poll shows women rolling their eyes and saying, "What?!" and men rolling their eyes and saying, "So what." Again, very unscientific. There were a number of men who did respond by saying, "What?!" and they all either work with me or, at least in one case, is married to me.

Having had to parent both a 7-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy I can attest to the fact that both cry like mad when they skin their knees. The only difference is when the child (girl or boy) is told by the parent/authority figure to "stop crying". Have you ever skinned your knee? I'll never forget watching an acquaintance tell his son to "stop crying like a little girl". I made a mental note that afternoon to pray for that young boy's future wife.

It's a little comment, which on my "good girl" days I can let it slide. But I'm growing weary of being a "good girl". I love crying, connecting my soul and body to actually act out what it is feeling, experiencing. I want less to be "good" and want more to be "true" to the woman God intends me to be.

Now pass me a bandaid and some tissue, please.