Don’t Overlook the Heart of Thanksgiving

In just a few days, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Yet for many of us, the actual holiday is so full of activity that we have little time for intentional, extended giving of thanks to God. So, as has been my tradition for many years, I am putting up several posts in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day in order to encourage my readers to let this be a season, not just a day of gratitude.When you think of Thanksgiving, what images come to mind? Roast turkey? Pumpkin pie? Watching … [Read More...]

The Lennon Wall, a couple of days after it was painted white.

Can You Vandalize Vandalism? Imagine Lennon’s Wall

One of the popular tourist sites in Prague is the so-called Lennon's Wall. I stopped by this shrine a year ago while in Prague while visiting my son, who was studying in the city. For over thirty years, graffiti has covered this wall, much of it in honor of or reference to John Lennon. In the 1980s, many of the contributions to the wall criticized the communist government of of what was then Czechoslovakia.But, according to the Prague Post, Lennon's Wall has been vandalized. Someone, … [Read More...]

Nespresso Rocks!

Well, there's a first time for everything.In my many years as a blogger, the last four on sites that advertise, I have never commented on one of the ads on my page. It was tempting in my former blog platform, because the ads were atrocious. I wanted to write something like: "I deplore this ad and denounce this product." But, I knew that wouldn't be prudent, so I held my tongue (or my fingers, to be more accurate).Today, I'm breaking my record of ad silence. Why? Because I noticed on my … [Read More...]

An Ode to Copies

In The Millions, Nick Ripatrazone writes an ode to photocopies: 1. I make too many copies. 2. When using even the best machines, including those newly serviced and primed, a double-sided job is a risk. I say prayers while the sheets are sucked through the feeder. Hail Mary, full of grace(the sheets disappear), the Lord is with thee (the originals reappear on the other side of the feeder, safe), blessed art thou among women (the copies begin to move through the machine’s hidden innards), and ble … [Read More...]

How Technology is Enriching My Season of Thanksgiving

If you think of technology and Thanksgiving, what comes immediately to mind?You might think of watching football on some giant screen of a million pixels. Or you might think of the technology that enables you to fly a long distance to be back with your family. Maybe the tech that enriches your Thanksgiving is the ability to talk long distance with loved ones, or Skype with them, or share videos of your children with their grandparents. If the kitchen is your domain on Thanksgiving Day, you … [Read More...]

Absolutely, “Interstellar” Is a (r)eligious Movie

Have you seen the mind-bending Interstellar yet? I did, last week, and in Christianity Today I wrote about its religious dimensions: To me it seems that Interstellar, perhaps more than any of Nolan's films to date, positively resounds with religious—even Christian—stuff that might not ring as loudly if you weren't steeped in it to begin with. To wit: Cooper promises Murph he'll return to earth, and she despairs of his return, then realizes he's been talking to her and guiding her all along, whi … [Read More...]

Sharing Faith Online?

Something to chew on: only one in five Americans share their faith online, says the Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project: In an average week, one-in-five Americans share their religious faith online, about the same percentage that tune in to religious talk radio, watch religious TV programs or listen to Christian rock music. And nearly half of U.S. adults see someone else share their religious faith online in a typical week. These are among the key findings from a survey conducted … [Read More...]

How recaps changed the way we think about TV – and our lives

Buried deep within this fascinating post about how TV episode recaps changed the way we think about both TV and our lives is a bold assertion: Our real-life ethical debates tend to bottom out at this point – the point at which, despite living in the information age, we can claim in Facebook threads that the truth is fundamentally unknowable. We no longer believe that we as a society share a common text. There was a time when we all read more or less the same news. That’s no longer the case; new … [Read More...]

A Subtle Grace

My friend Callie wrote a marvelous essay on writing (or not writing), reading, and life getting in the way. It made me want to write! My study is a nook on our second floor. My desk faces a window that boasts a view of baby oak trees that were planted about ten years ago. Brick townhomes just like ours line the street. I love to look out the window when I’m sitting here. I love our street. It’s the only one like it in our neighborhood, and when I’m up here, I pretend we are in the city, maybe Ch … [Read More...]

Re-Reading the Same Story

Over at Relief, my friend Ross Gale writes about re-reading the past, and writing a different future: A recently divorced friend told me how he and his ex-wife have different stories about how they met. His version is that he approached her at a party. Her version is that she introduced herself in a class. They fought about what actually happened not because they wanted to be right, but because of what the versions meant. Their unique stories portrayed each other in different lights and … [Read More...]

Your Labor is a Work of Art

Over at The High Calling, Randy Kilgore points that our work for God is, in some very real way, an art - one that anyone can share in. So what about our work transcends time and becomes something eternal? We sometimes believe that Christians are the only workers capable of doing the right thing or even the noble or romantic thing. In fact, we can sometimes do great harm to our culture’s view of God when we pretend Christians are better people than non-Christians. Suddenly, we run the risk of co … [Read More...]

Hack Your Cooking

Just for fun: here are nine pretty awesome "hacks" for cooks:Read the rest here. … [Read More...]

Saying Goodbye for Good

Wesley Hill wrote a great column for Christianity Today about a topic I think about often: how we say goodbye, and why our bodies matter in that. Christians believe not only in a future bodily resurrection. We also believe in the importance of our bodily lives now, with all the benefits that physical companionship entails. Food prepared and eaten together, eye contact initiated and sustained, hands clasped in prayer, shoulders and backs offered when a neighbor’s furniture needs to be moved—all t … [Read More...]

Beauty is Embarassing

In The Curator, Janice Blakely looks at a documentary she watched almost accidentally, then couldn't stop watching, and what she learned: I used to watch Netflix documentaries on my laptop while getting ready for work. One particular morning, without pretense or expectation, I clicked on the documentary Beauty is Embarrassing, and then, about twenty minutes into the film, I had one of those moments. A moment when a truth connects with you so deeply that time seems to stop. A slow-motion e … [Read More...]

Labor in the Dark

I really enjoyed this reflection from Howard Butt Jr., posted at The High Calling, about Toscanini and why we can't dare give up:Howard Butt Jr. shares another encouraging video about faith and work. Sometimes success means long hours of work and preparation, just so we're ready when the moment comes.It's easy to get discouraged when all of our work goes unnoticed, or when it feels like nothing we're doing really makes a difference. Imagine Toscanini, squinting down day after day at … [Read More...]

Toward a Definition of “Religious Movies”

Last week, I got the itch to write about how we talk about what a "religious" movie is. So I did, and if you're interested in the topic, you might find the post useful: . . . there's a wide gulf between the various definitions of religious moviesthat we've been using. But because we're using the same word, I think we too easily get confused and talk past one another. Here’s one sense of “religious movie”: a film that self-consciously seeks to boost a particular religion, usually with the intent … [Read More...]


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