Helping Churches Helping Ferguson

It's definitely been difficult to watch what's happening in Ferguson over the past few weeks, and if you're like me, you don't know what to do. At OnFaith, they're writing about ways you can help the churches that are helping Ferguson. It's worth a look. … [Read More...]

Christians’ Unbiblical Approach to “Biblical” Movies

Over at Christ & Pop Culture, E. Stephen Burnett has some good reminders for Christians as we anticipate the release of Exodus: Gods and Kings: I can still recall when evangelicals feared that The Prince of Egypt would show the liberal mainline theologians’ perversion of the scene: a ragtag band of slaves slopping through a decidedly non-miraculously-parted “sea of reeds.” Now there is no chance of films forsaking the opportunity to show epic million-dollar-visual-effected miracles. For that … [Read More...]

A Life of Prayer Amidst News of Death

Every week there's a tragedy for someone, just as every week brings some joy, too. But the last few weeks have seemed especially difficult, with strife, chaos, and unspeakable horrors being visited on people all over the world.So this piece from Art House America is apt: For me, the news about Iraq is a particularly deep ache. Amidst the worldwide horrors that deserve to be grieved, this news hits me closer to home somehow. I am a priest. If these Iraqi children who are being murdered were … [Read More...]

‘The Giver’ Keeps Giving

Over at my blog at Christianity Today, I published a guest post from my colleague Elissa Cooper, who is an assistant editor at CT. She saw an advance screening of The Giver and wrote about how the film's story keeps giving, and the danger of not facing truth as children: Four and a half years ago, as an intern for CT, I visited a home that provided aftercare for trafficked teenage girls. Between interviews, I participated in their daily lives: We ate meals together, went shopping, and just sat a … [Read More...]

The Beauty-Happiness Connection

Over at The Atlantic, Cody C. Delistrady is examining the connection between happiness and beauty: But what about beauty links it to happiness? In The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton weighs the feeling of walking into an “ugly” McDonalds in the Westminster area of London compared to the feeling of entering the “beautiful” Westminster Cathedral across the street. He says that because of the harsh lighting, the plastic furniture, and the cacophonous color scheme (all those bright yello … [Read More...]

The Ladies on the Bench

You might have seen this famous photograph from 1964, by Gary Winogrand:In the New Yorker, Emma Allen talks to two of the ladies on that bench and hears their (fascinating) stories. Read it here. … [Read More...]

Thin Places

Last week, the lovely web magazine In Earnest published an essay of mine (accompanied by lovely watercolors!) that I originally wrote in graduate school, about a trip to Dublin and the interstitial spaces where salvation happens: A few summers ago, my husband Tom and I were in Dublin for a week, and one day, we took a tour bus to two ancient holy places—thin places, the Celts would have called them: spots where heaven and earth are very close to one another, where the ordinary distance between t … [Read More...]

“Calvary” and the High Risks of Pursuing a Vocation

The film Calvary, which features Brendan Gleeson as a good priest staring down the end of a gun barrel, has been in theaters for a few weeks. The High Calling writes about the film and vocation: There is a cost to vocational calling, not just to the called, but also, and perhaps more so, to their loved ones. This applies to vocational callings to serve in the structure of the institutional church as Christians have traditionally understood the notion, but it also applies to any vocation in … [Read More...]

On Adventure

In In Earnest, Denton Josey writes about how he learned to love adventure on a missions trip to Honduras, and how that's shaped his life: My life has become a lot less predictable. I see that as a direct result of choosing to seek out adventure. Part of adventure is not knowing how things will turn out or even what all will happen; you have ideas of what you might risk or gain, but a lot of times you end up risking more than you realized or being rewarded better than you could have hoped … [Read More...]

Loving the Faceless Portrait

Faceless portraits seem like they're all the rage these days - and at Art House America, Lindsay Crandall talks about why she loves them, and includes a number of hers: Last year, as more people began asking me to take their picture, I sort of stumbled into portrait photography. I started a small photography business and began accepting clients this spring. And for a while, I gave up the faceless portrait. I was sure no one wanted that. A photographer should capture smiles, I thought. It never … [Read More...]

Philosophy, PB & J’s, and Bogotá

Over at Fieldnotes, Jamaica Abare reflects on what changed when her vocation grew to include motherhood: Although she admits that in the past she dreaded the child-raising stage of life, one of her friends in graduate school used to talk to her toddlers as if they were philosophers, breaking down profound truths about life into bite sized nuggets in the car between bites of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Jamaica was fascinated every time she carpooled with them. She knows that her role as … [Read More...]

Your Work Matters, Even When It Feels Like It Doesn’t

A welcome reminder from The High Calling for this Monday: your work matters (even when it feels like it doesn't). Blogger and Chief Creative Officer at iDoneThis Janet Choi quotes authors Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer from their book The Progress Principle, “What matters is whether you perceive your work as contributing value to something or someone who matters (even your team, yourself, or your family).”“Meaning isn’t necessarily lofty,” Choi goes on to say. “As in some unattainable, fairy t … [Read More...]

Why Make a Beautiful Bible?

At Christ and Pop Culture, Jason Morehead writes about the Bibliotheca project and asks, what's the point of making the Bible more beautiful? Similar things could be said about Bibliotheca. All of that time, money, and effort could be put towards something more practical and necessary, like translating the Bible into a language that doesn’t have it yet or printing thousands of cheap copies to hand out for free. Such statements may contain wisdom, but they also gloss over the ministry that aes … [Read More...]

Adventuring Alone

Tiffany Owens writes at In Earnest about adventuring alone (something I rather enjoy, too): Let’s begin with definitions. By solo trip, I mean a deliberate choice to enjoy a journey and destination without traveling with anyone or scheduling any meetups with friends. Of course, you might make new friends in the process, which is part of the fun. Traveling alone doesn’t have to be for the broken-hearted, melancholy, or anti-social. And it doesn’t have to always be a statement about independent wo … [Read More...]

The Hidden Blessing of Infertility

Over at Christianity Today, Karen Swallow Prior wrote about an often-difficult topic: the hidden blessing of infertility. My husband and I decided that further procedures were off the table. Although we are Baptists, we believe in the principles set forth in the Catholic Church's Donum Vitae ("The Gift of Life"), which distinguishes between medical interventions that assist the marital union in achieving pregnancy and interventions that replace the procreative marital act. We agree with the dist … [Read More...]

Rituals of Embodied (Coffee)

Over at Front Porch Republic, David Walbert wrote about rituals of embodiedness - prompted by his new coffee mill: I admit I don’t much care who writes the protocols for the ways I interact with my home, nor whether I have a choice of two or five or ten such protocols. What I care about is that, if my home is “smart,” the guy writing those protocols isn’t me. What I object to is the very idea of protocols. More fundamentally, in fact, I object to this whole business of “talking with our stuff.” … [Read More...]


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