Sabbath: Axis of Rest

At Art House America, Shelly Miller writes about how Sabbath is an axis of rest in times of uncertainty: Walking past a sink full of dishes, a cluttered coffee table, and my writing desk with deadlines awaiting attention, I escape to the back porch, curl up on my damp couch in my pajamas, and savor each sip of steeping tea in my cupped hands. Listening to a cacophony of bird chatter with my eyes closed overrides all other senses. Slowly, I begin identifying each chirp, squawk, and haunting coo … [Read More...]

boyhood-review

Fasincating Review of a Fascinating Movie – “Boyhood”

My colleague and contributor to this blog, Alissa Wilkinson, is the chief film critic for Christianity Today. Check our her review of Boyhood, which sounds like a fascinating, unique (truly), and compelling film. I had not planned to see this film until I read Alissa's review. Here's how it starts: I don't write these types of reviews too often, but this is one of them, so, heads up: come December Richard Linklater's Boyhood will still definitely be one of my favorite films of 2014, and maybe … [Read More...]

The Creative Pair

We often think of creative geniuses - but what about creative genius pairs? The latest issue of The Atlantic looks at some, including John Lennon and Paul McCartney: For centuries, the myth of the lone genius has towered over us, its shadow obscuring the way creative work really gets done. The attempts to pick apart the Lennon-McCartney partnership reveal just how misleading that myth can be, because John and Paul were so obviously more creative as a pair than as individuals, even if at times … [Read More...]

Adoption in Reality

Over at The Curator, Geoffrey Sheehy wrote about what his family learned about the theological metaphor of adoption .  . . through adoption itself. I teared up in part because the sentiment echoed the reasoning I’d been using to explain why my wife and I were looking to adopt, reasoning I’d also acquired with a reading of Russell Moore’s Adopted for Life. The sentiment is sincere, touching and simple: Christians are adopted into God’s family, so they should identify with (and … [Read More...]

The Vacation That Wasn’t

Over at The High Calling, Sam Van Eman remembers a family vacation - or, rather, not a vacation: In the meantime, I had been writing stories about my childhood, an era when my own dad spent more time at the bar than home. He had neither vacation time to take, nor interest in doing anything of the sort. With his old failures so prominent in my mind and physically written down inches away from our vacation folder on the desk, I resolved all the more to do for my family what he never did for his: … [Read More...]

Staying Busy – or Getting Things Done?

Over at Inc, Paul Brown writes about why staying busy isn't the same as getting things done: Just because you show up at work every day and put in long hours doesn't mean you are getting the right things done. In fact, thinking about the numbers of hours you work just confuses the issue. Time is not a factor. Quality, making progress, and accomplishing your goals is. The activity--going to work; returning countless emails; going to meetings--in and of itself doesn't lead to accomplishing … [Read More...]

Summer Reading

I love books - so much that I devote considerable time to making lists of books I want to read. Over at Her.meneutics, the writers have done the same thing, and their picks - from fiction and memoir to spirituality and more - are wonderful. Go take a look, and pick up some recommendations for yourself! … [Read More...]

Political Campaigns Worth Running?

Happy Fourth of July! Over at Capitol Commentary, Stephanie Summers reflects on what it might look like to run a political campaign that savors public justice: As many Christians have developed an aversion to uncivil political discourse, our taste has been rightly cultivated towards civility, but not necessarily towards substance. This is a crucial distinction. What is often missing in civil campaigns is any desire on the part of citizens to hear from candidates their political vision for … [Read More...]

Louis Zamperini: The Happiest Man I’ve Ever Known

I just heard the news that Louis Zamperini died. In honor of his life, I thought I might repost something I wrote a few years ago, shortly after his biography, Unbroken, came out. Louis Zamperini: The Happiest Man I’ve Ever Known No, I’m not exaggerating. If you were to ask me, “Who is the happiest man you’ve ever known?” I would quite quickly answer, “Louie Zamperini.” As a boy, I attended the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. Every now and then, Louie, who was part of … [Read More...]

What We Really Miss When We Miss College

A great reflection from Leadership Journal regarding what we're really missing when we feel nostalgic for college (the answer might surprise you): I miss my university years. It has been twenty-two years since I graduated from college. I went to a state school in a medium-sized Oregon farm town. For me, it was a fantastic experience and my four years there were among the most meaningful of my life. I cannot deny the fondness I feel. Is it just nostalgia? Maybe … in part. But when I sit now … [Read More...]

How Can We Get Along When We Disagree?

This week isn't just the week leading up to Independence Day here in the U.S. - it's also a week full of contentious Supreme Court decisions, including Monday's ruling regarding Hobby Lobby and the decisions that will likely result. So it seemed appropriate that Q Ideas' weekly question is "How can we get along when we disagree?" Check out the responses for reflections from many sides of the political spectrum. … [Read More...]

Large and Startling Pictures

I'll confess: I'm a film critic, and I'll watch most anything, but there's one genre I avoid, and that's horror. Especially supernatural horror. As I told my husband after I watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose, I don't need to be convinced that the supernatural exists. But then again, others do - and writer/director Scott Derrickson lives in that world. A Christian and a celebrated horror filmmaker, his film Deliver Us From Evil releases this week, and he was recently tapped to … [Read More...]

Summer Lake

At Art House America, Mary Van Denend writes about Summer Lake in Oregon - and, more importantly, on what a trip to the wilderness does for us:  The weekend before Summer Lake, I was up in Seattle visiting my oldest sister and enjoying a solo literary getaway, attending a wonderful reading and reception for poet Scott Cairns, sponsored by Image. I wore my favorite little black dress and new snappy green sandals. While there, I ate in two fashionable restaurants, and I rode the Amtrak Cascades … [Read More...]

Who is the Sabbath For?

All this week at her blog, Amy Julia Becker invited guest bloggers to answer the question, "Who is the Sabbath for?" So I began to wonder if this fourth commandment was a hinge command, a command that both linked to the first three commandments in our relationship to God and a command that linked to the following six commandments in our relationship with others. It made me wonder whether the Sabbath was somehow integral to loving God and loving neighbor, somehow integral to my life as a … [Read More...]

Rethinking Scarcity

I love this: Sarah Bessey writes at The High Calling about rethinking scarcity and living out of abundance: So from the time I was a small girl, both he and my mother have led me to believe in the core of my soul’s narrative that there is no fear in Love and we are the children of that Love. For more than thirty years now, my father has lived in the freedom from fear. He has modeled it, preached it, lived it, spoken it, and prayed it into my marrow. To him, God is like a good parent, longing … [Read More...]

What Can Artists Teach the Church?

I've worked for and with a lot of arts-and-faith nonprofits, as well as a bunch of organizations and people that are interested in how the church can better "engage" with art and artists. So, I have often heard people ask what churches can do to support their artists. I'm really glad they're asking that question, but I got interested in the inverse question: what do artists have that they can teach the church? So we're doing a week's worth of answers to that question over at Q Ideas this … [Read More...]


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