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Simply Stories Podcast

Oct 29, 2021

Today I am chatting with speaker and author Michelle Reyes. Michelle’s ministry lives at the intersection of faith, culture, and justice. She is the Vice President and co-founder of the Asian-American Christian Collaborative, and she and her husband, Aaron, planted a church in East Austin, TX where she serves as the scholar in residence. Michelle and Aaron lead their church body to serve the vulnerable in their community  as the hands and feet of Jesus and share the hope of Christ wherever they go. Her book Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures is an incredible deep dive into the role of diversity in the Bible and how it was celebrated in the early church. 

During our conversation today, Michelle unpacks for us what the 1st century Church looked like when Paul was addressing becoming all things to all people uniquely for who they are for the sake of the Gospel, but not to compromise the message of the Gospel, but to recognize and respect that no two people are the same no matter their ethnicity, cultural identity, and celebrate the unique design of each person made in the image of God.

Michelle’s voice is so valued in my life. She is always honest, always points to Jesus, and is always holding space for whoever has ears to hear to deep dive in scripture and to hear the stories in real life from other cultural perspectives. One thing she shares in this conversation that I think is so powerful is this: “Unity is not about conformity, unity is learning to make space for all of our differences and embrace them.” It's about removing divisions and hostilities between peoples, and that when we do that work, it's going to be uncomfortable because people are people, but “the pursuit of unity demands that we say ‘how much cultural discomfort am I willing to forbear for the sake of the Gospel?’”

This is such an incredible conversation, friends. Come dive in deep with us! The Lord isn’t finished with any of us, and He has so much more to show us when we celebrate the story He is telling in each unique representation of His creativity in creation. And that means you too. YOU matter, your neighbor matters, and your story matters. 

Connecting with Michelle:

Asian American Christian Collaborative (AACC)


Book on Audible (which is how I read it! So good.)



Quick links to some of the resources she offers that were mentioned



Episode Sponsor: Hopefuel



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-Forced laborers who built the railroad in Uganda

-Genocide in Uganda under President 

-German/Protestant reformation and Martin Luther 

-Hope Community Church 

-Vida House 

-Hidden Children of the Holocaust 

-The internment camp in New York for Jewish refugees during WWII 

-The Jewish peoples of the 1st century

-Who are the Pharisees?

-Gamaliel (Paul’s mentor)

-Who are the Sadducees?

-Who were the Jewish Zealots?

-Who are the Samaritans? (This stems from the division of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms and a very small portion of them still live in Israel today. See this recent article).

-The Jewish Diaspora 

-Eric Metaxas and white Jesus

-”that” picture of Jesus, which is actually a painting by Warner Sallman called “Head of Christ”

-An article about how Jesus began to be seen as white and European in art

-A really great article about white privilege in the Church by Jemar Tisby

-George Floyd’s murder 

-Murder of 6 Asian- American women in Atlanta

-Upholding the orthodoxy

Scripture References:

Psalm 107:2 -Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story 

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

1 Corinthians 9:20- To the Jews I became like a Jew 

Genesis 1:27- We are all made in the image of God

Galatians 3:26-29 - there is neither Jew nor Greek, etc. 

Genesis 11:1-9- The tower of Babel

Acts 2:1-31- Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 2- Paul would never distort the Gospel or appease people

Matthew 8, Matthew 9:10-17,Mark 2:15-22,Luke 5:29-39, Luke 19:1-10, Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50; John 12:1–8, John 13- Jesus adapted Himself in so many situations, but didn’t compromise the truth  

1 Corinthians 6:12- I may be free to do anything, but I must not become a slave to anything

Matthew 10:2-4-The general makeup of Jesus’ disciples was culturally diverse  

John 13:35 - they will know we are Christians by our love 

James 1:19- be slow to speak, quick to listen 

Connecting with Emily and Simply Stories Podcast:
Instagram (Em life // Podcast Life)

*Intro and Outro music is from