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Paul Matsushima

Paul Matsushima has written 25 posts for eesahmu – [isamu] : Japanese for courage

A Lesson for Christians from Lisa Simpson, the Activist


Many people with strong convictions can attest to a simple yet insightful fact: beliefs are double-edged. They have potential to guide to deep truth and compassion, but can also devolve into hypocrisy and self-righteousness, and thereby contradict the very values promoted in the first place. This is my story with the conservative evangelical church. Since … Continue reading

Choosing Friendship over Doctrine: Rethinking my Approach Towards Conservative Asian American Christians


(We all know how difficult it can be to discuss controversial topics, such as politics or theology, with friends who have different beliefs than you. The following is a brief reflection on my process of choosing friendship over being right.) Recently, I attended an evangelical event with some 300 other Asian Americans. The event had … Continue reading

Reflections on How We Discuss Politics at Church


(Note: Below is a reflection on the problems with how we discuss politics at church. For context, I’ve noticed this pattern in the churches I either attend or am familiar with, which are largely evangelical, conservative, Asian American, and multi-generational with leadership over the age of 50.) Shortly after the 2012 presidential elections, I engaged … Continue reading

2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: 600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get … Continue reading

The Challenge of Neighborhood-Church Relations for Gardena Valley Baptist Church


Written June 10, 2011 for my “Asian American Churches and their Missional Contexts” Class at Fuller Theological Seminary For the Shalom of the City: The Challenge of Neighborhood-Church Relations for Gardena Valley Baptist Church Introduction How can Gardena Valley Baptist Church (GVBC) strengthen its relationship with its neighborhood? This has been a recent topic of … Continue reading

Challenging Racism Through the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke10:29-37)


Written November 17, 2011 for my New Testament Studies class at Fuller Theological Seminary Introduction The following study explores Luke’s parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) through the interpretive lens of race relations in the United States. Although the race relations between 1st Century Palestine and 21st Century America are vastly different, Jesus’ address … Continue reading

Reflections on Yang’s “Paper Tigers: What happens to all the Asian American overachievers once the test taking ends?”


Written May 12, 2011   Certain Monday nights tend to be hectic. We have monthly meetings to discuss the church’s role in our small Gardena community. After much banter and deliberation, the meeting adjourned an hour early and I was left with my own somewhat pessimistic thoughts to digest our discussion. Alone in the vacant … Continue reading

Why I am No Longer on Church Staff or in Seminary


Written January 4, 2012 as my official resignation letter from GVBC staff. After being on church staff and attending seminary for a year and a half, I decided the position and accompanying vocation was not for me. I tried to be as honest and candid as possible, for I did not want to be fake … Continue reading

Seek Justice: A Chinese and Japanese American Christian Response to Social Justice


Written May 2009 as my final thesis for my Bachelors of Arts in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.   Abstract This article examines how Asian American Christians in Los Angeles County have applied their faith to social justice. Using literature-based research and interviews with 16 Chinese and Japanese American Christians, the author … Continue reading

The Rose that Grew from Concrete: A Church’s Call to its Neighborhood


Written July 15, 2011 during my time at GVBC as pastoral intern of neighborhood impact. This article was one of my quarterly support letters written to the congregation about my involvement on staff. My dear friend, TJ Tallie, told me after this was sent out to the church: “I love love LOVE any pastoral support … Continue reading

About this blog

Every night before saying goodnight, my father prayed for his children to "be strong and courageous." This blog is an attempt to live up to that hope.

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