Mockingbird is devoted to connecting the Christian message with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.
This morning’s (Advent appropriate) devotion comes from Peter Moore.
“…A sword shall pierce through your own soul also, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” (RSV)
As a baby, Jesus is brought into the Temple by his mother and father—“as was the custom”—and there the relatively insignificant family is spotted by the aged and holy Simeon. Somewhat surprisingly, I imagine, the old man takes the baby into his arms and prophesies. Perhaps it was originally as we find it, in the form of poetry, or song. Or perhaps the message was later worked into a song as early Christians found…
Talk about a double whammy! As promised, here’s the second part of our PZ-centric month at Mbird. This project has been in the works for quite some time–ever since the father figure in question hit the big 6-0 in fact–and we are absolutely thrilled it is finally available! Edited with care and precision by John Koch (aka JDK) and Todd Brewer (aka Todd Brewer), published by Wipf and Stock, and containing entries from a slew of Mbird contributors (and many other esteemed colleagues!), not to mention a preface from Tullian Tchividjian, this is something special indeed. After all, it’s not…
Alright, kemosabes, we decided to put together a gift guide this year. Apologies in advance for not straying terribly far from our books/movies/music wheelhouse:
For the cousin who’s been asking you where to start with all this grace stuff: One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian
For the un-/underemployed recent college graduate or Teach For America burnout: Breaking Bad: The Complete Series
For the millennial son/daughter with a good sense of humor who keeps trying to shock you with his/her cynicism (but deep down just wants some love): We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider or Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
For the Star…
This reflection on redemption ‘in practice’ in Disney’s movie Frozen comes from our friend Michael Belote, first posted on his blog Reboot Christianity. (And while we’re on the subject of illustrations/examples for Christianity, we couldn’t recommend more highly his Geek’s Guide to Christianity.)
Every year on Black Friday, my wife goes shopping and the boys and I go to my parents’ house. We watch some football, eat some leftovers, play some video games, and (usually) go to a movie. This year we went and saw the best theology-rich movie in years.
Seriously, this movie was amazing. It was poignant, subtle, brilliantly directed…
This one comes to us from local mod Lex Booth:
Last fall, my older brother (25) kept bugging me to listen to The Who’s 1973 ‘rock opera’ Quadrophenia, a concept album which tells a story about a kid named Jimmy who took amphetamines and rode a Vespa in 1960’s Britain… What are you trying to say, bro? Although I have no special love for classic rock, I must admit that ‘I liked it’ even after a single listen and have revisited the album many times since. When the AV Club recently made the bold claim that Quadrophenia is “cohesive and…
This short Thanksgiving Day devotion comes to us from Paul Walker:
Virginians, being Virginians, like to claim that the first Thanksgiving took place not at Plymouth Rock, but at Berkley Plantation in Virginia in 1619. The ships that arrived from England had a charter that required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a “day of thanksgiving” to God.
“We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” So, on that first day…
We are so proud and excited to announce the release of a brand-new Mockingbird publication, Paul Zahl’s first book in seven years, PZ’s Panopticon: An Off-the-Wall Guide to World Religion! Entertaining, page-turning, and quirky almost beyond words, the Panopticon mines fresh territory without ever losing sight of the “heart of the matter”, providing a remarkably fresh survey of the world’s most captivating answers to the question of being human. It is unlike anything you’ve ever read (in the best possible way), a true cult classic in the making, both Dr. Zahl’s funniest and most personal piece of work to date. We’ll run some previews in the coming weeks but for now, enjoy the blurb on the back cover, which reads as follows:
Imagine you have ten minutes to live. You’re in a near-death situation, like the patient who’s being operated on and suddenly finds himself looking down on the action as the doctors try to save his life.
What do you need to know when your life’s end is near? What is there to know? What can this religion or that religion say to you when you really need some light? Maybe nothing, for sure. But maybe something, possibly.
PZ’s Panopticon weighs the world’s organized religions, such as Christianity and Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism; but it also weighs “dead” religions like those of the Aztecs, the ancient Egyptians, and the Greeks and Romans. There are also religions that are not called religions, like money and fame and sex; family and children; ideology and power.
PZ’s Panopticon is a wild ride. But it’s part of a trip we’re all going to take.
Now available on Amazon, but if you want more of the revenue to go to Mbird, PLACE YOUR ORDER HERE TODAY!
P.S. The Panopticon is only the first of two PZ-related projects that are hitting shelves this month. Stay tuned for an announcement next week about the long-awaited Comfortable Words: Essays in Honor of Paul F.M. Zahl.
This reflection comes from Chelsea Batten.
I probably shouldn’t have gone back to his place. But I was leaving the next morning, and I didn’t want to leave him a moment before. A proper Christian lady would say that she regretted staying the night at his place.
But I don’t regret that. What I do regret is that we turned on a movie. That we spent the evening watching it, before making out for a few brief minutes and then falling asleep on his couch.
He’d made me feel more special than anybody ever has, before or since. Every five minutes his manners,…
This fantastic reflection on Nashville comes from our friend Stephanie Phillips:
I have a confession to make: I still watch Nashville.
I realize this hardly makes me a singular phenomenon; last week’s ratings indicate I was joined by five and a half million. The reluctance of my admission finds its basis in the direction the show has taken since around the second half of the first season, when the narrative’s musical focus was usurped by suds: Rayna’s failed marriage (that was quick!); Teddy’s transgressions turning from financial to sexual; Juliette taking showers with a dude named Dante, for Music City’s sake. I considered…
This morning’s entry from The Mockingbird Devotional comes from Gil Kracke.
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life…
We are beyond thrilled to announce the line-up of speakers at our 2014 Spring Conference, which takes place in New York City on April 3-5th. For a sense of why we’re so excited, click on the names below and peruse our coverage of their work. We’ve also provided a couple of individual highlights for your reading pleasure. Needless to say, this should be interesting:
Plus, David Zahl and various members of the Mockingbird Team. We hope to announce more details, including breakouts and themes, in early December.
Also, for the first time ever this year, we are offering discounted “early-bird” rates. Anyone who pre-registers from now until the end of December will receive 15% off the all-inclusive sticker price of $150/person. Meaning, pre-register today for $125/person! The rate is only available at the all-inclusive level (i.e. food and full program). All other pre-registration options–partial attendance, program only, individual meals, etc–will open in January.
P.S. While we’re at it, we can officially confirm that our 2014 Fall Conference will take place at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Houston, TX on October 17-18. Save the date!
This terrific reflection comes to us from Ginger M:
I’ve never had a problem producing evidence that I am a Southerner. I was born and raised in southeast Tennessee around the corner from the site of a Civil War battle. As a little girl, my elderly babysitter told me “not to sass” her and Moonpies were served during snack time at Vacation Bible School. In second grade, I dressed up as Scarlett O’Hara for Halloween, hat and parasol included. In high school, if it wasn’t football season, you could usually find me on Friday nights at a place called the…
EPISODE 158: Changing Social Conditions in Indianapolis
Credible hope — hope that works — something to dispel the advancing clouds of agnosticism. Those clouds really do exist for people, especially as life begins to flummox them. Combined with alcohol, they’ll do you in.
Booth Tarkington found a gem of hope at the end of his novel The Magnificent Ambersons. Later that novel became a famous movie. Though they left out the game-changer scene! Did you know that at the heart of that story, there is a supernatural intervention? It’s not only credible but it succeeds.
Just like John Galsworthy’s astral moment in his…
This morning’s devotion comes from Todd Brewer.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. (Colossians 1:21-22, NIV)
Everyone, at some point, has been dumped. The subsequent feelings are some of the worst you can have. Sadness, hopelessness, and shame gnaw at you until what you never thought would happen happens, and you “get over” the person that dumped you. At its core, being dumped is accusation. You…