About Mockingbird

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

Contact

Author Archive

    Losing Is Winning When You Are a Cubs Fan

    This comes to us from Thomas Deatsch. 

    “Continual loss” defines my feeling every baseball season. It’s my fault. I choose to follow the Chicago Cubs. No one forces me at gunpoint to root for these loveable losers. Every fall, when the season is waning, the Cubbies not only fail to reach the World Series, but more often than not, they do not even make the playoffs. I now believe it is a “merciful impasse.” The phrases “continual loss” and “merciful impasse” not only help me understand baseball, but how life, with its many cul-de-sacs and dead-ends, can have hope and meaning.

    Being…

    Read More »

    These Are a Few of My Favorite Atheists: Albert Camus

    Michael W. Nicholson, author of the Tides of God blog and theology Ph.D., contributes this worthy series on his favorite atheists. We start off with Albert Camus:

    “Negative space” is a concept in the visual arts, particularly in drawing, painting, and photography. A common example is the well-known Rubin vase, which can alternately be seen as a vase or two profiles of a man in silhouette. This is useful, but a bit misleading, because in fine art negative space is not about ambiguity or optical illusion. Negative space in a picture is where other things are not present; it is the…

    Read More »

    Hopelessly Devoted: Romans Chapter Six Verses One through Four

    Good morning! This Monday our devotion comes from Josh Bascom.

    What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died in sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:1-4, NIV)

    If you’ve felt stuck lately, if…

    Read More »

    Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity – Bryan Jarrell

    In honor of passing 4000 followers on Twitter(!), here’s the final talk from our 2014 NYC Conference, by our social media guru himself, Bryan Jarrell. Now if we could just up our FB game

    Online Honesty and Instagram Authenticity ~ Bryan Jarrell from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    P.S. Many, many thanks to Mark Babikow for filming and editing all the videos!

    U2’s Songs of Innocence: Familiar But Surprising, Free But Costly

    U2’s Songs of Innocence: Familiar But Surprising, Free But Costly

    That didn’t take long! This review comes to us from Nathan Hart:

    The biggest surprise of the launch of U2’s new album isn’t the way it was released—it’s how good the songs are.

    It has been five long years since No Line On The Horizon, an album with some great moments but one which also revealed a band in artistic decline. In those five years, they knew they were one more misstep away from irrelevance. The reports weren’t hopeful: a new producer here, a scrapped album concept there. They seemed “stuck in a moment that they can’t get out of”, finally crushed…

    Read More »

    When Everyone Loved U2

    When Everyone Loved U2

    In honor of the surprise release of the new (free!) U2 record, Songs of Innocence, we bring you a reflection on the band from Andrew Barber:

    Weird Al Yankovic made me a U2 fan. I’m not proud of it. But it is true.

    Every now and then our local library would sell some of their less popular stuff for cheap. On a whim, my dad picked up a cassette for one dollar. You know, one of those small square things you sometimes had to wind with your finger. A single track of the orchestral score from the 1995 movie Batman Forever was…

    Read More »

    PZ’s Podcast: Does The Name Grimsby Mean Anything To You? and Everything Is Tuesday

    PZ’s Podcast: Does The Name Grimsby Mean Anything To You? and Everything Is Tuesday

    Episode 175: Does the Name Grimsby Do Anything to You?

    Ever since 2007 I related to Eliot’s succinct line, “Old men ought to be explorers”. Not that I was exactly an old man, but the line gave me hope. Notwithstanding the end of something, there was something hopeful I could still do. I could try to understand.

    Could I become the first man on the moon, like ‘Major Franklin Grimsby’ in Rod Serling’s short story? If I were, would anyone care? (“Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?” – Chicago) Well, at least I’ve tried to try. Lo, a polyptoton.

    In this cast,…

    Read More »

    Fall Conference in Houston – Full Schedule!

    TXconfPcard1
    Super excited to announce the full schedule for our Fall Conference! Be sure to check out the conference site too, as we’ve added a lot of new information.

    Friday October 17th
    9:00am Opening Prayer Service and Devotion – David Browder
    9:30am The Good News of a High Risk God – Aaron Zimmerman
    10:30am Morning Breakouts

    • Grace in Parenting: Serenity Now! – Sarah Condon
    • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Judas: A Biblical Take on FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – Ethan Richardson
    • TBA
    12:00pm Lunch – Tex Mex Extravaganza
    1:30pm Risky Business: Jesus Meets a Control Freak – RJ Heijmen
    2:15pm Afternoon Breakouts

    • Living by Grace (and According to Frankenstein) – Matthew Fenlon
    • Cause This Is Thriller: How I Learned to Love Grave Digging (in Marriage) – Matt and Megan Magill
    • The Lame Shall Enter First: Grace and Weakness in Flannery O’Connor – Will McDavid
    6:30pm Talk 1 – Tullian Tchividjian
    7:15pm Dinner – BBQ Feast
    8:00pm Slaid Cleaves in concert (with The Magills opening!)
    Saturday October 18th
    9:00am Opening Worship and Devotion
    9:30am Talk 2 – Tullian Tchividjian
    10:15am Q&A with Tullian
    10:45am I Feel Like I Win When I Lose – David Zahl
    12:30pm Book Table closes

    CLICK HERE TO PRE-REGISTER TODAY!

    Searching Our ‘Spirits’ In The Boss

    Searching Our ‘Spirits’ In The Boss

    This wonderful reflection on desire and Bruce Springsteen comes to us from Ben Self:

    “It’s… that rush moment that you live for. It never lasts, but that’s what you live for.”

    – Bruce Springsteen, Time Magazine, 1975

    I’ve always loved the use of the term “spirits” as a synonym for hard liquors. It speaks to what is most alluring in booze and any number of other mind-altering substances and pleasures—that feeling of being transported to another higher, perhaps lighter, warmer, state of consciousness by forces within us that are beyond our control. It’s a kind of ravishing and unhinging of the mind and…

    Read More »

    Hopelessly Devoted: John Chapter Sixteen Verses Seven through Fifteen

    Hopelessly Devoted: John Chapter Sixteen Verses Seven through Fifteen

    We hope it was a fantastic Labor Day off yesterday. Here’s this morning’s devotion, from Simeon Zahl. 

    “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment…” (John 16:7-15, NRSV)

    In this chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus is explaining to the disciples why it is better for him to go away than to stay. We can all relate to…

    Read More »

    Ubuntu and the Sharpened Pencils: Welcome Back to School

    Ubuntu and the Sharpened Pencils: Welcome Back to School

    Another back-to-school ode, this time from Ms. Newton.

    Over the next several weeks, children will enter new classrooms across the country, sporting shiny sneakers sans skid-marks and carrying freshly sharpened pencils and blank notebook paper. And they are perhaps a bit nervous (or a lot nervous) about unearthing the answer to a question they’ve been wondering for weeks: Who did I get this year? Who will stand in front of us every day, and with whom will I spend the next nine months? Is she a Miss Honey or a Miss Trunchbull? Will she encourage me or lock me in the…

    Read More »

    PZ’s Podcast: Phony Wars, And the Winner Is, and The Federal Theology of Samuel Rutherford

    PZ’s Podcast: Phony Wars, And the Winner Is, and The Federal Theology of Samuel Rutherford

    Episode 172: Phony Wars

    This purports to be an attack of reality in the midst of “phony wars”.

    I am always struck by the truth of pop songs. Not all of them, but some of them. Such as “Waterloo” by ABBA. (Mary and I were there, as it were, when ABBA hit, stuck at a “Saturday Dance” (Geoff Goddard) during the spring of 1974 in the parish hall of Holy Trinity, Hounslow. As soon as we heard the song, and watched the girls line-dancing to ABBA, we knew we weren’t stuck any more. We got up ourselves, tho’ I’m no Diamond.)

    There was…

    Read More »