About Sean Norris

Sean has earned his Master of Divinity from Trinity School for Ministry and is currently in the ordination process in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. As one of the original staff members, he helped David and the founding board members get Mockingbird out of the nest for the first couple of years. He is married to Kate Norris, with whom he plans to do pastoral ministry full-time.

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Author Archive
    
    Grace for Everyone

    Grace for Everyone

    In honor of Paul’s 60th birthday, I would like to share one of his statements that simply changed my life.  The story goes something like this:

    A long time ago, in a seminary far, far away Paul Zahl taught a class called Christian Social Ethics.  I was lucky enough to be one of the unsuspecting students in his class.  One day Paul made a simple statement: “We are all sufferers under our sin.” It cut straight through me.  I almost didn’t believe him.  It was the first time that someone had validated the pain that I had experienced as a sinner….

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    Brennan Manning on the Central Affirmation of the Reformation

    Brennan Manning on the Central Affirmation of the Reformation

    For some reason (i.e. the Holy Spirit) I felt like re-reading Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel this weekend. I guess I’ve been a little desperate and needy, and as is always said on this blog, “We need to hear the gospel again every day.” Few people have been able to write about the gospel like Manning, and I figured I’d share a paragraph that stood out. Enjoy!

    “Justification by grace through faith” is the theologian’s learned phrase for what Chesterton once called “the furious longing of God.” He is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has…

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    What is Freedom?

    What is Freedom?

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the concept of Christian freedom. What exactly is it? How come most of the time I don’t feel free even though I’ve been a Christian for a while now? Is there a way to connect more with the freedom that was promised us?

    If you are like me, then there is a specific area (or maybe more than one;)) in which you are aware of your lack of freedom more acutely than other areas in your life. For me it is in the area of anxiety. I have “struggled,” which means I have been…

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    "Harvard’s Crisis of Faith"

    "Harvard’s Crisis of Faith"

    I read this article on Newsweek.com this morning and thought it was worth sharing. There is a debate on Harvard’s campus over whether or not the school should require undergrad students to take at least one class on religion during their time there. Read it here.

    It is a helpful reminder of how the secular world views religion in general, and it brings up that wonderful old friend, the false dichotomy between religion and reason. Granted, I had a very hard time understanding the main points because I am closed-minded religious nut, and I don’t use…

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    Don’t Call It A Comeback: The American Music Awards, Mickey Rourke, and the Thirst for Glory

    Don’t Call It A Comeback: The American Music Awards, Mickey Rourke, and the Thirst for Glory

    A couple of nights ago I watched the American Music Awards with my wife, and we were struck by all of the “comeback” stories in the entertainment world. Michael Jackson was up for 5 awards including Artist of the Year. He didn’t win that one, but he did win a bunch of others. His sister Janet opened up the show with a performance honoring him, which is kind of a “comeback” in and of itself. Eminem, who recently returned to recording after years of debilitating drug addiction, was up for Rap Album of the Year, which he did not win,…

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    Death and Wal-Mart

    Death and Wal-Mart

    Well, I have been MIA for the past few weeks due to moving, traveling, etc., but I stumbled across this article on MSNBC.com a week or so ago, and thought it worth mentioning. It turns out that Wal-Mart has begun to sell coffins online, that’s right, coffins. Now it is truly your one-stop shopping destination. The best part is that you can find the caskets under the “health and beauty” section:)

    A lot could be said about the new additions to the Wal-Mart inventory, but I found myself

    feeling very grateful for this development because it reminds us…

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    The Last of the Munchkins

    Here at Mockingbird we are known to offer you some wonderfully divergent material from time to time, and this is right up that alley;) I just found out that the 70th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz was on Monday! 70 years! Since it is such an iconic part of our culture, I figured it important to recognize it in some way. I stumbled across this video on Newsweek.com of the 5 surviving members of the very large original cast of Munchkins. They are The Last of the Munchkins (not to be confused with Mohicans). Enjoy!

    I’d love…

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    T.O. and Romans 7

    T.O. and Romans 7

    Terrell Owens is no stranger to controversy, and with his new team, the Buffalo Bills, struggling everyone is waiting for him to start some…well, controversy. In response to this pressure the famous wideout seems to be having a bit of a Romans 7 moment.

    In an interview after practice this past Wednesday (read the article here) Owens said:

    I think over the years that’s always gotten me in trouble and created some sort of division in the locker room with guys on the team. I try to do the right thing now. And even when I…

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    More Choices = Unhappiness?

    More Choices = Unhappiness?

    This past weekend one of the Op-Ed pieces in The NY Times caught my eye. Maureen Dowd’s column, entitled “Blue Is the New Black”, focused on the trend that women have grown unhappier since the 1970s. She cites “the General Social Survey, which has tracked Americans’ mood since 1972, and five other major studies around the world, [which show] women are getting gloomier and men are getting happier.”

    What I found most interesting was the general conclusion about why this is happening. Women have more choice than ever before and, as a result, are now subject to more…

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    A Tribute to Patrick Swayze

    A Tribute to Patrick Swayze

    Monday was a very sad day. As I am sure you have heard by now, Patrick Swayze finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer and passed on at the age of 57. Having grown up with so many of his movies, I thought it appropriate to give a tribute to him here at Mbird, as we so often do for the fallen heroes of our youth.

    I have to say that, while I recognize his movies were not masterpieces, I always found them thoroughly entertaining. From his earliest stuff like The Outsiders and Red Dawn to his biggest hits…

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    "Liar, Liar Pants on Fire!"

    "Liar, Liar Pants on Fire!"

    I just stumbled across this article on Newsweek.com entitled “The Truth About Lying”, which takes a look at our current culture of lying. It offers a tough diagnosis (DZ actually posted about the same book that this article references last week. Check it out here). It exposes how we don’t even recognize when we’re lying any more, and how we think that lying is easier, “and in some ways it’s almost more acceptable.” Here’s an excerpt:

    We are a culture of liars, to put it bluntly, with deceit so deeply ingrained in our psyches that we hardly even notice we’re engaging…

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    Grace: More Than Tolerance

    Grace: More Than Tolerance

    Fresh off a visit to San Francisco last week and being that it is the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, I have been thinking about grace a lot. I know you’re probably thinking, “What do Woodstock and San Fran have to do with grace?” Well, before I left for my very first visit to California last week, I read an article in the NY Times entitled Woodstock: A Moment of Muddy Grace. The author of the article reminisces about his time at Bethel, NY (that’s right! For those of you who didn’t know it did not…

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