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Barefoot and Scrubbing for Love

Barefoot and Scrubbing for Love

This one comes to us from our friend, Rebecca Graber. 

Recently I watched the movie Barefoot on Netflix. It’s a classic odd couple movie; the leading male, Jay, is a womanizing, gambling, down-on-his-luck scoundrel who’s on probation, scrubbing floors at a mental hospital. His counterpart, Daisy, is a new resident who does not know why she is there, and as we find out, has not really had contact with the outside world. Her social skills and experiences are equivalent to a five-year-old girl. In need of money from his wealthy family and through a series of events, Jay ends up taking…

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Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: Bucks are Brains

Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: Bucks are Brains

Welcome to the second installment of act two of author Ted Scofield’s on everybody else’s biggest problem but your own. If you missed one or more of the previous installments, you can find them here.

In Act One of this greed epic, we determined that as a society we cannot define the term. Each of us has an individual definition of greed that does not include us and, as our socio-economic situation evolves, so does our perception of greed, leaving us forever outside its grasp. It’s our life-long refrain, with rotating boogeymen: The other guy is greedy. I am not.

In Act Two we’re…

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The Best Natural Disaster There Is? In Praise of Blizzards

The Best Natural Disaster There Is? In Praise of Blizzards

The psychology around snow days is fascinating. Blizzards especially, like the one we experienced in Virginia over the weekend. For all they cover up, a massive snowstorm also exposes some less-than-fluffy sides of our species and culture.

If you’re like me, the snow days of childhood are cloaked in soft-focused wonder and excitement. A break from routine, a time to sled and build forts and drink hot chocolate. Like one of Riley’s Minnesota memories in Inside Out.

The snow days of adulthood are different. There is still beauty to be seen and fun to be had, walks to be taken, new recipes to…

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Long Days and the In-Between Times

Long Days and the In-Between Times

My husband and I decided to take advantage of the recent three-day weekend by potty training our not yet two-and-a-half-year-old son. It’s times like these when my palms begin to shake, missing late nights or showering regularly or skipping out of the house for a spontaneous dinner gathering.

Instead, I spent the weekend in my pajama pants with the Wiggles singing in the background, carefully eyeing my son to make sure he didn’t unload on our carpet.

Wild times.

Today is shaping up to be crisis-free–a real rarity in (our) married life. From the moment we said our vows, life has felt like…

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The God of Tidying Up Hates Me

The God of Tidying Up Hates Me

Buried in last week’s installment of Another Week Ends, CJ mentioned the new book by sociologist Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Faith: Why the World Is More Religious than Ever. The subtitle pretty much says it all. The Wall Street Journal, in its review, summarized Stark’s principal finding this way:

Huldufolk

For the champions of the secularization thesis [i.e. that the planet is growing steadily less religious]…, Empty churches [in Europe] are a sign of reason’s progress. Mr. Stark offers some amusing evidence to the contrary. Drawing on the Gallup poll, he notes that Europeans hold all sorts of supernatural beliefs. In Austria, 28%…

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Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: Don’t Worry, Buy Happy

Everybody Else’s Biggest Problem: Don’t Worry, Buy Happy

Welcome to the first installment of act two of author Ted Scofield’s series on everybody else’s biggest problem but your own. If you missed one or more of the previous installments, you can find them here.

In Act One of the greed drama, we first examined fascinating data that consistently show that, collectively, we channel Bernie Sanders, emphatically believing that greed is a major problem in our nation. But, at the same time, individually it is not our problem. Multiple data sets confirm that a healthy percentage of us admit to anger, lust, laziness and a host of other frailties and vices. But greed?…

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PZ’s Podcast: Five O’Clock World

PZ’s Podcast: Five O’Clock World

EPISODE 208

Now we think that reality, the “real world”, is what happens “between nine and five”, that is, what happens at work, in the office, at school, in career, and so forth. And a lot of people want to tell us this is true.

But not The Vogues. They were from Pittsburgh and they understood about shifts and hourly pay. Yet they understand more than that!

For the fact is, ‘as you lay dying’ (Faulkner), you won’t give your “nine-to-five” life a single second thought. Not one single second thought! You’ll forget it all, in the absolute blink of an eye. That’s just…

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Heading Back to Church: The Prodigal Son and His New Year’s Resolution

Heading Back to Church: The Prodigal Son and His New Year’s Resolution

Like you, I adore and admire the New Years’ resolutions that fill my social media newsfeed every January. Please, tell me more about the Whole30 diet you are doing. Yes, I want to see your feet photos from the treadmill. Smart friends, what books you will be reading while I watch the latest incarnation of the Housewives franchise?

I kid, of course. Resolutions do have their place. There’s something hopeful about them, even when done with tongue in cheek. Something unavoidable. And Lord knows we can use all the cheerleaders we can get, virtual or no.

Just please, keep our churches out…

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“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Six Favorite Moments of 2015

“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Six Favorite Moments of 2015

I’m one of those people who stumbles across shows and albums and movies waaaaaay after they’ve gone public; all the books I read are written by people who have entered into the great slumber decades, if not centuries, ago. I’ve nothing to offer you about books, movies, shows, albums from 2015 that you don’t already know. But, what I can give you as a year-in-review is, well, me. These few moments are merely moments when I was reminded that my faith in Christ and the theology I study are living breathing things: working both in me and through me toward…

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Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

Five Golden…Themes! What We Loved Writing about in 2015

As we blanket our house with nic-nacs and expensive toys, it’s the perfect time to look back at the things that matter—or the things that mattered—or the things that at least we thought mattered at the time—to us this year. Here are Five Golden Themes for 2015—repeated stories and obsessions that didn’t just creep into the collective cultural psyche, but seemed to define it, for better or worse.

Performancism and Suicide. I had to check and make sure this hadn’t been on one of our previous year-end roundups. I thought surely, with all the times we’ve written about “the epidemic,” this…

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Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Another Week Ends: Little Richard, Brand Luther, Star Wars, Marilynne Robinson’s Soul, and Identifying As…?

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.

1) On the heels of “identity” being Dictionary.com’s word of 2015, Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill discusses a theme that we have spoken about quite a bit ourselves this year, namely, the increasingly fluid cultural understanding of identity politics. O’Neill takes on the phrase “I identify as…” as a telling move from what we used to say about ourselves: “I am…” And with this new movement of self-identification comes the emphasis on subjectivity, the need for one’s identity to be transient, temporal—rather than objective, fixed, given.

O’Neill describes that this rampant interest…

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Surviving the Albatross of a Disgustingly Perfect Christmas

Surviving the Albatross of a Disgustingly Perfect Christmas

Billboard’s Top 100 Holiday Songs for the week of December 26, 2015 is an interesting piece to ponder. On the surface, it’s a mere summary of what’s happening around the holidays at a radio station nearest you, a glimpse into the pop culture of a standard American holiday. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” takes number one: a song about romance in the winter and all the cheeriness that comes along with it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the other 99 are not overtly religious either; they are about relationships, family, food, warm fires, happiness, joy,…

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