This Dark World is Precious to Me: 14 Songs for 2014

4842505983_b76ddf0307_mGuest post by Joel Heng Hartse

This is my seventh yearly playlist for Good Letters. I’ve been racking my brains to come up with a theme for this one, but to be honest, I think the theme of these playlists is almost always the same: basically, the human condition—joy and sorrow, faith and doubt, triumph and tragedy, and all that.

These songs are roughly arranged in two parts, with the first half being more sad and angry, and the latter half more hopeful and upbeat. Really, though these are just fourteen songs I heard this year felt warm, human, and true. You can listen to them on a playlist here. I hope you like them. [Read more...]

Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury Awards: The Top Ten Films of 2014

Guest post by Kenneth R. Morefield

In my post announcing the formation of the Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury, I stated that I hoped we would “enlarge or expand the perception of what is meant by either labeling a film a ‘Christian’ film or suggesting that it should be of interest to Christian audiences.”

I’d say we did that. [Read more...]

Barry Moser: I Knew I was Home, Part 2

glenGuest post by Barry Moser

The following post, continued from yesterday, is adapted from a talk given at the 2014 Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A few years after my first Glen, the drawing class convened once again. One of the members of that class was a woman from Florida named Patricia Oetting, a registered nurse.

She had never drawn before, and obviously had never had the experience of drawing from live models. But she was game and was taking my instruction with seriousness and the mandatory good humor. And she was getting a real kick out of the fact that she had worked with naked patients most of her life, and knew the anatomy of the human body quite well—better than I, but had never actually looked at a naked person in such an honest, forthright, and casual way. [Read more...]

Barry Moser: I Knew I was Home, Part 1

barryGuest post by Barry Moser

The following post is adapted from a talk given at the 2014 Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ten years ago, Greg Wolfe asked me to teach drawing out here at Glen West. I was an admirer of Image journal but I nevertheless looked into the Glen West workshops before accepting the invitation. And while I found nothing remotely off-putting, I was, nevertheless, shall I say, hesitant.

I spent the better part of three years as a fundamentalist Methodist preacher—licensed, not ordained—while I was in college. I was a resolute Biblical inerrantist when it came to the Bible (King James, of course), and I was certain that I was right, by God, and anybody who did not believe the way I did was gonna suffer in the eternal fires of Hell.

That juggernaut was going along well enough when a girl in my youth group got pregnant.

And you know what happened? [Read more...]

The Ardent Whisper of God

12glenGuest post by A.N. Muia

The following post is adapted from a talk given at the 2014 Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I came to the Glen Workshop while on sabbatical. For fourteen years, I’ve served as a minister to Mexican migrant workers, jail inmates, and addicts at the ministry of Tierra Nueva in Washington State.

The sabbatical was my chance to finally focus on writing, a lifelong passion that had gone dormant during the busy years of ministry. My inner voices told me that it was difficult to justify writing fiction when people are struggling and dying from addiction. Ministry updates became my primary genre. And testimonies. And grants.

But a novel about Baja California—a world of colonial missions, priests, soldiers, indigenous, pearl divers and saint-makers, the roguish and the devoted—lay dying in my drawer. [Read more...]


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