The Allender Center Podcast

Shame is a universal experience that can impact our ability to fully engage with the world. It arises when we feel exposed or seen, creating a vulnerable moment where judgment looms, leaving us feeling tainted and unworthy.

In this episode, Dan and Rachael explore some of the characters, themes, and settings that have shaped some of their personal stories of shame. 

This conversation invites us to explore the complex layers of our own stories of shame, as well as how our shame intersects with other people's narratives of shame. As you consider the significant impact shame has on your relationships and your sense of self, we hope today’s episode serves as an invitation for greater kindness, blessing, and hope.


Direct download: TAC483-Export.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

“The fundamental question that anxiety poses [to] us is: What is our relationship to suffering?” notes this week’s podcast guest, author, theologian, and fellow sufferer of chronic anxiety, Curtis Chang.

His new book, "The Anxiety Opportunity,” offers a fresh perspective on anxiety as a doorway to spiritual transformation. He challenges the idea that anxiety is an enemy to be defeated – instead presenting it as a path towards personal growth and a deeper connection with Jesus. 

Curtis points out, “There's an invitation to redemption and that our best self found in Jesus is only found to the extent that we can go through our pain, including our pain of anxiety.”

If you’re ready to think differently about the relationship between anxiety and spiritual growth, we invite you to listen to today’s conversation with Curtis Chang, then pick up your copy of “The Anxiety Opportunity: How Worry Is the Doorway to Your Best Self,” out this week anywhere books are sold.

Direct download: tac482-Export.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

In this episode, we delve into the ancient practice of pilgrimage, a ritual journey that takes a person on a quest for new and deeper understanding of themselves, others, or a higher purpose. Unlike a typical trip or vacation, a pilgrimage has a deliberate and intentional start, a journey of transformation, and a meaningful return to daily life.

Brad and Rita Berglund, pilgrimage travel guides with Illuminated Journeys, share their story of how a life-altering event in their family led them on a transformative journey through pilgrimage. After their four-year-old son's devastating diagnosis in 1989, they discovered that all of life is a pilgrimage. Listen as they vulnerably share how pilgrimage helped them find meaning and redemption in the midst of their grief. Their experience inspired them to become guides, helping others on their journey of self-discovery and healing.

Discover the transformative power of pilgrimage and how to incorporate it into your daily life. Join us in this episode as we explore the potential of pilgrimage and how it can help you find new meaning and purpose in your life.


Direct download: TAC481_Export.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm PDT

We are excited to have Sue Cunningham, who is acclaimed by Dan Allender as the officially-unofficial Poet Laureate of the Allender Center, back with us. In this discussion, we’re taking on the term "poiesis," which comes from the Greek word "to make" and is related to "poetry."

At the Allender Center, we believe that writing and telling your story is an essential part of the process of understanding and processing traumatic experiences. We explore how poetry relates to this process in our conversation with Sue Cunningham, Dan Allender, and Rachael Clinton Chen. They also discuss the effects of the creative process on the brain and the power of using descriptive language to make meaning.

We encourage you, our listeners, to be bold this week and try writing some poetry to see what insights you can gain from the experience.

Sue invites us: “Will you have the courage to just say one true thing? And whether it's like you speak it and I'll write it down for you and then give it to you, or you scribble it in a journal or you write it on the back of a napkin, anything to say, it's honoring, you matter. You exist.”

Direct download: tac480-export.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT