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Mockingbird is devoted to connecting the Christian message with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.


Author Archive

    Jackwagon Junction: The Losing Battle of Being in Charge – Sarah Condon

    Here’s another video from our 10th Annual conference in New York City! This one features our favorite Kardashians enthusiast, Sarah Condon, talking about control (and our amusing lack of it).  Welcome to Jackwagon Junction — it’s gonna be wild ride. Enjoy!

    Jackwagon Junction: The Losing Battle of Being in Charge – Sarah Condon from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    Ryan Adams and the Benefits of Being a Mockingbird

    Ryan Adams and the Benefits of Being a Mockingbird

    This one comes to us from John Alexander.

    Ryan Adams has a layered reputation.

    First of all, he’s prolific. Since his 2000 debut Heartbreaker he has released 15 full-length albums in addition to a pile of EPs and a mountain of orphaned singles.

    Secondly, his work is notably diverse. Adams’ first few releases pinned him as an alt-country artist, but he soon crossed into straightforward rock with 2003’s Rock N Roll, then spent a double album channeling The Grateful Dead with 2005’s Cold Roses before turning to pure country (no alt-) with Jacksonville City Nights. He has criss-crossed that circuit ever since, with…

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    Magdalene: At the Grave, by Marie Howe

    Magdalene: At the Grave, by Marie Howe

    … Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom…

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    Faeries, Lies, and Leporicide: A Meditation on Genesis 15

    Faeries, Lies, and Leporicide: A Meditation on Genesis 15

    A wonderful contribution from Thomas Hayes.

    I’m going to tell a few stories and then tell you what the stories mean. But first a cautionary tale: When my middle son was very young, his grandmother took him to see The Wizard of Oz. Afterwards, I asked him what it was about, and he replied, “It was about a girl, a scarecrow, a robot, and a bear.” The moral is: in relation to stories and their meanings we are all young.

    When I was a boy, I used to attend a summer camp with my best friend, Steve. Steve’s uncle, Uncle Jim, ran…

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    Rock n Roll All Night, Party Every Day: The Secret of Mockingbird’s Success – Aaron Zimmerman

    Here’s the first full-length talk from this year’s Mockingbird NYC conference! In this one, Mocking-board president, Aaron Zimmerman, talks about the pitfalls of “spiritual duct tape” and the importance of the gospel message.

    Rock n Roll All Night, Party Every Day ~ Aaron Zimmerman from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    “Transubstantiation” by Mischa Willett

    From Willett’s new collection of poetry, Phases:


    Bread should be of the sort
    commonly eaten, declares the sotto
    voce of the Book of Common Prayer,
    attendants at the would-be grisly feast, we seated
    goers of the fete prepare

    our hearts to receive. What that means
    for me is ignoring largely the lost and meager
    symbol held aloft by this dumb garage
    to the vehicle of grace; my own mea
    culpa: the inability to transcend the image

    of the body before me. That it breaks
    cleanly in half, snapped along a prefab crease
    is nearly as bad as the milky tinge
    the wafers have, as though hadn’t
    known wheat, earth, heat,
    knead or rise.

    We start: cleanse hearts, cleanse thoughts.

    Deacons pass stacks of plastic thimbles:
    single-serving sanitary shots of purple juice,
    and write on our tongues the
    difference in cleanliness and the god-
    lines it’s next to.

    Healing Wings on Highway Winds: An Interview with Wesley Randolph Eader

    Healing Wings on Highway Winds: An Interview with Wesley Randolph Eader

    This review comes to us from Daniel Melvill Jones.

    Several dozen children were gathered around an upright piano in our church’s basement. They were loudly singing a song that succinctly describes the life of Christ with melody and words so well fitted that they could pierce the listener’s heart. The children performed the song at our annual Christmas concert and since then, I’ve lost track of the number of parents who’ve told me how it’s impacted their family and have asked for more details.

    The song came from a collection of old-time hymns written by Portland, Oregon’s Wesley Randolph Eader and featured on his…

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    Opening Welcome from Paul Zahl at the 10th Annual Mockingbird Conference 2017

    All right, ladies and gents, here we go! The first video from this year’s NYC conference has arrived. Leading off with Paul Zahl’s incredible opening welcome: “It’s not Mockingbird — it’s the ancient, unalloyed message of the Christian gospel.”

    Opening Welcome ~ Paul Zahl The 10th Annual Mockingbird Conference 2017 – from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    The Man Who Met God in a Bar, by Robert Farrar Capon - Preface to the Mockingbird Edition

    The Man Who Met God in a Bar, by Robert Farrar Capon – Preface to the Mockingbird Edition

    If you haven’t yet gotten your hands on Mockingbird’s latest publication, a completely outrageous novel by the late Robert Farrar Capon, you can now find it on Amazon and in our online store! The Man Who Met God in a Bar: The Gospel According to Marvin reimagines the gospel story as though it had happened in 1990s Cleveland, where Peter is a traveling salesman…and Mary is a yogi…and Jesus is a short-order cook…. You don’t want to miss this.

    The following preface was written by the one and only Ethan Richardson:

    If there were an award given for “Most Terrible Parable,” my vote would…

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    The Lord’s (Subversive) Supper

    The Lord’s (Subversive) Supper

    This post was written by Chad Bird.

    I learned the basics of table fellowship where many others did: in the elementary school cafeteria. Gripping my cadaver-colored tray swimming in gravy, meatloaf, and green beans, I’d scan the tables. Where to sit?

    I dropped more footballs than I caught, so I couldn’t jazz with the fourth-grade jocks. No boy in his right mind ate with the girls, so that was out of the question. No to the nerds, no to the really poor kids, and a big-fat-no to anyone who didn’t share my skin color (this was the 1970s).

    So I set my food…

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    Thank you again to everyone who helped put on this year’s conference in NYC, especially our invaluable friends at Calvary St. George’s! What a truly special celebration it was.

    We are rolling out the recordings a little differently this year, making them available first as fresh episodes of The Mockingcast. All of the plenaries are now up over on Fireside and iTunes for you to listen to, download and share–minus William Deresiewicz’s (which was an in-person-only deal).

    Please note: The Mockingcast ‘feed’ is a fresh one as of a couple weeks ago, so even if you think you’re subscribed, you may not be. Just click here to sign back up, and you’ll be notified as soon as the breakouts are ready (not to mention when The Mockingcast itself returns, post-summer/DZ sabbatical. Hopefully these’ll tie you over til then!). We’ll also add everything to the Resources page in the coming days.

    Major thanks go to Mark Babikow, Lino Martinez, and Collin Anderson for making our AV dreams come true. Major thanks also goes to Casey and Travis Squyres at Stellate Photography for capturing it all on camera! A few highlights below:

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    As per usual, we are making the recordings available for free; we only ask that those who were not able to be there consider making a donation to help cover the cost of the event. Pretty much everything was videotaped, and we’ll be posting those clips over the next few weeks (a couple of the presentations won’t make much sense without the accompanying footage).

    SAVE THE DATE: Next year’s NYC Conference will take place April 26-28th, 2018.

    "Children Today Are Tyrants" (Or, God's Grace to Me)

    “Children Today Are Tyrants” (Or, God’s Grace to Me)

    This post comes to us from Eric Youngblood. 

    Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.

    Do you live with anyone like that? Are the neighbor kids worthy of some iteration of Socrates’ description above? The ones in your den who bear so much resemblance to a younger you?

    How about the crumb-snatchers you had in nursery the last time you were forced into that purgatorial role? Maybe a continuously sassy teenager in her pre-human hominid state?

    Many of us (whether we have children or not!) have been tasked with the care of “tyrants” — but, of course,…

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