Is Your Ambition Holding You Back?

At 99U, they’re asking if your ambition – contrary to intuition – could be holding you back: Most of us aren’t short on ambition. We all want more wealth, more success, more accolades, more everything. The ones that succeed in life and in business are the ones that have figured out how to deal with their [Read More...]

Saint Fred

Who doesn’t love, and miss, Mr. Rogers? At The Curator, Vesper Stamper writes about the beloved show and its creator: Booking flights to Europe—does anyone have any SAS Airlines horror stories? The Waldorf educational philosophy pinpoints the end of a “fantasy worldview” right at about age six or seven, which is why, in that model, formal education [Read More...]

The Habit of Dinner

At The High Calling, Kimberlee Conway Ireton wrote about the habit of dinner-making – and the gift of that habit: I have been making dinner for my family since I was ten years old, only back then I made it for my sister and my parents, and now I make it for my husband and our [Read More...]

The Tiresome Gift

Over at Relief, I wrote about Augustine’s Confessions and Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss, and small gifts: It’s beautiful, then, that two books by two men from opposite ends of history can speak to one another, and to us, so well, in so many ways. Wiman’s book, despite its subtitle, seems sometimes ancient; Augustine’s feels intriguingly modern. One way [Read More...]

Elevating Dinner for One

I read Tamar Adler’s lovely book An Everlasting Meal in graduate school, and I still return to it, so I was delighted to discover that she’s now writing a column for the New York Times. In her first essay, she writes about elevating dinner for one: For a happy life, Montaigne wrote, we “should set aside a [Read More...]

Just Slap Something On It

The Paris Review blog has a wonderful, tiny little excerpt from Vincent Van Gogh’s letters about what to do when the blank canvas (or page or whatever) is staring back at you menacingly: Just slap something on it when you see a blank canvas staring at you with a sort of imbecility. You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from [Read More...]

Vocational Liturgies

Over at The High Calling, James K.A. Smith explores what it might mean to develop rituals that help us better pursue God in our vocations: If we want to pursue God in our vocations, we need to immerse ourselves in rituals and rhythms and practices whereby the love of God seeps into our very character—is woven [Read More...]

Living My Family’s Legacy

At Good Letters, Caroline Langston writes about what we inherit from our fathers and their fathers: The sins of the fathers may indeed be visited upon the children, and upon the children’s children, until the third and the fourth generation, but there is more to inherit than that. My grandmother, Irene, whom I grew up calling [Read More...]

Repairing the World

A lovely, deep essay from Steve Garber over at Art House America on repairing the world: But I also remembered one very snowy night in December some years ago with a houseful of friends there for his annual Sanacostia party when a group of guys with masks came in with guns in their hands and violence [Read More...]

Christian Book about the Holocaust Banned from Charter School? Probably Not.

Last week, a news story made the rounds about a charter school system banning Corrie ten Boom’s classic memoir The Hiding Place from their libraries. It sounded like a prime example of persecution, even in a small way. But not so fast, says Alan Noble at Christ and Pop Culture - let’s get the story straight: The sad thing [Read More...]

A Tale of Two Political Dramas

Last week at Christianity Today, I wrote about political dramas (with special attention to Scandal and Madam Secretary), and what they teach us, and why it matters: It’s important to note the bent of our political shows, because not only do they say interesting things about our national psyche, but they shape that psyche. They shape how we approach our [Read More...]

Learning to Love Your Job

Over at The High Calling today, Bob Smietana writes about learning to love your job, in a post apt for a Monday, and a couple who’s managed to wed their love of music-making with their passion for social justice and bringing women out of prostitiution: Then there’s the sheer joy of making music, whether it is [Read More...]

Anthology: the Power of Words

Over at The High Calling, Alia Joy has a lovely meditation on the power of words and stories: I can’t imagine living in a world where words couldn’t speak to me and rewrite my truth, and I suppose my dad couldn’t either. I don’t know what causes some souls to hunger and ache to know, but [Read More...]

And Speaking of Friendship . . .

Particularly situations in which friends can be made, as David Brooks wrote about in yesterday’s post: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, does something very interesting along these lines – though a recent battle between the retailer and a major publisher is souring the relationship: Every fall, Mr. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, hosts Campfire, a [Read More...]

David Brooks on Friendship (and Its Benefits)

David Brooks had a great piece at the New York Times last weekend on the social and political benefits of friendship, and how to revive the lost art: Somebody recently asked me what I would do if I had $500 million to give away. My first thought was that I’d become a moderate version of the Koch [Read More...]