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Thank God for Mr. Bubz

I now present to you the current top-tier internet dog, a title which has only recently come into contention with the untimely passing of Gabe, the miniature eskimo pup who held our hearts in his tiny paws for many a moon. The newest meme champion is Mr. Bubz; look on his Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

A tiny, ugly, self-important little snot, Mr. Bubz thinks he is significantly more threatening than he actually is, and he constantly grandstands for attention. Alas, even when he tries to be good, he has to let out a little growl to make sure his owners know that he is the boss. He can’t help himself.

The greatest part about Mr. Bubz is how much his family loves him and how his owners refuse to take him seriously. Regardless of Mr. Bubz’ outer demeanor, his parents talk to him in a sweet, high-pitched voice, and they continue to dote upon him even as he lets out some small, pitiful, self-righteous growls. In video after video on his official Instagram page, Mr. Bubz’ family cherishes him in spite of himself.

We’re all just a little bit like Mr. Bubz. Self-aggrandizing, pitiful, and much too self-important for our own good, yet entirely reliant upon the unconditional love of our Father, who dotes upon us even as we pretend like we’re the ones in control. Thank God for Mr. Bubz!

Aaron Rodgers Failing at Family

Aaron Rodgers Failing at Family

I am not thrilled with the NFL. I also am not wild about Pop Warner/Youth Football, where little kids are yelled at by former failed players who coach them into running into each other before puberty sets in. Big time college ball is also pretty brutally dehumanizing. But I do deeply love football.  I was […]

Putting the Santa Back in Christmas (Movies)

Putting the Santa Back in Christmas (Movies)

We walk in the door on a random Friday in December. Its 5pm. I’m wondering what promising yet disappointing frozen Trader Joe’s entrée I can provide for my children. In T-45 minutes there will be a Christmas Happy (?) Hour at my house for a church board. St. Mountain of Laundry sits on my dining […]

The Many Faces of My Father

The Many Faces of My Father

This sweet reflection comes to us from Stacie Tchividjian. While on a recent work trip with my husband, I showed a few ladies, who had never met me and didn’t know my life story, a current picture of my parents. One lady commented “They look SO young!” I replied, “They are. My mom had me when she […]

What, Me Worry? - A Sermon For Thanksgiving

What, Me Worry? – A Sermon For Thanksgiving

Very grateful to share this sermon from Paul Walker, Rector at Christ Church in Charlottesville:  If there is one thing most human beings are good at, it’s worrying. Even a day set aside to give thanks can become a day set aside for extra worry. Every year, our family has a Wednesday Thanksgiving dinner with another […]

You Don't Have To Be Grateful

You Don’t Have To Be Grateful

We have reached halftime in the holiday season sprint from Halloween to Christmas: Thanksgiving. The least commercialized of all American holidays, Thanksgiving stands apart as a holiday focused not on gift-giving or material consumption, but on gratitude. Problematic history aside, Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to gather with family and friends and reflect on all the […]

Mother of All Mothers

Mother of All Mothers

This post comes to us from Stacie Tchividjian. I was recently reflecting on my deepest regrets as a mom. My mind started stumbling down a path it doesn’t like to go. I sobbed from a deeply painful place as I agonized over the choices I’ve made that have affected my two sons. When I see them hurting […]

Divine Amnesia, Cookies, and Ice Cream

Divine Amnesia, Cookies, and Ice Cream

Last Saturday, my son accompanied me on my typical weekend errands, and after he patiently endured the tedium of Costco’s packed aisles and long lines, we were finally en route in the Dodge Millennium Falcon to an impromptu father-son lunch date. As we approached our destination, he randomly blurted out, “Dad, remember that time last […]

On Houses, Both Haunted and Absent

On Houses, Both Haunted and Absent

When Jason and I dated, we bonded over a variety of shared interests, but our favorites were the holy trinity of tapas, Jesus, and camp horror. The two of us were among the dozen viewers who kept Harper’s Island on the air for an entire season. (He figured out who the killer was by the […]

My Dad, His Dad, Jesus, and His Bride

My Dad, His Dad, Jesus, and His Bride

Last month, my parents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary…and the occasion caused me to realize that although my dad has never been a religious man in the traditional sense of the word, he was a picture of Jesus and the church, for me. The most succinct way I can say this graciously is that he […]

Now Available! Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle, by Robert Farrar Capon

A priest’s suicide. A lover’s confession. A web of mysteries. The latest installment in Mockingbird’s Robert Farrar Capon series is available today! Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle explores the secret life of a clergyman and the ultimate mystery of redemption.

In our discussions about Exit 36, Valerie Capon used one word repeatedly: “mystical.” She was adamant the book should have a colorful cover that could reflect the unique otherworldliness of this particular work. To me, her insight did not at first square with what appeared to be a coarse, noir-tinged novel about a suicide. “The suicide is the hook,” Valerie said. “Robert wasn’t really writing about that.”

So what was he writing about?

The Rev. Mark Strobel, our friend in Fargo, ND, says this book reads like one of Jesus’ parables. Brooding, humorous, a little outrageous, Exit 36 tells the story of Father William Jansson, an Episcopal priest with an unruly libido who receives an urgent phone call from a woman who knew the suicide victim (intimately). In her grief she turns to Jansson, who falls backwards into the four themes of eschatology: Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven. It’s undoubtedly one of Robert’s earthier works—grungy, sultry—but, as Valerie suggested, the persistent promise of the resurrection glows under its surface. The climactic sequence left me stunned.

This new edition of Exit 36 is the fourth entry in Mockingbird’s Capon collection and features a brand-new, deeply moving foreword by our friend Chad Bird. You can now find Exit 36 in our online bookstore and on Amazon, along with Mockingbird editions of Robert’s other works. As always, we welcome your help in spreading the word!

Happy reading,

CJG, editor

“Capon looks directly at the agony of a fallen world through the mystery of the reconciliation of everything and everybody in Christ. Whatever scandals one might find in this book, however, the scandal of grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus triumphs over it all. Capon’s voice is needed now as much as it ever has been.”

—The Very Revd Mark Strobel, Fargo, ND

“Running parallel to the good old-fashioned mystery is a long look at our deepest anxieties about death, sin, forgiveness when forgiveness is outrageous and impossible, and love. The romance of love is dealt with unabashedly. But the humanity of love – the Jesus who lives in us all and frees us from sin — is revealed by our narrator’s own searching thoughts, bold self-examination, frank dialogue with parishioners and quietly stunning acts of compassion.”

—Laura E. Bondarchuk, East Marion, NY

You can find Exit 36 in our online store and on Amazon!

You can also find Mockingbird editions of Robert’s other books: More Theology & Less Heavy Cream, The Man Who Met God in a Bar, and Bed & Board.

A New Recipe: Grace in Family Life

A New Recipe: Grace in Family Life

This is an edited version of a talk given by the famed child psychologist, Dorothy Martyn, at the second annual Mockingbird Conference in 2009 and republished in our most recent issue of the magazine, the Deja Vu Issue. She died in January 2018. I suppose that you are, in some way or another, engaged in […]