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Year In Review

“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Four Favorite Moments of 2014

“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Four Favorite Moments of 2014

With three young kids, one who’s a toddler, I don’t get out to the theater much. Being absolutely exhausted at the end of the day, I can barely finish a glass of wine let alone a good novel. I solely rely on Pandora for my music selection and Netflix for TV programming ideas, so I’m not quite “up-to-date” on what’s hot and what’s not in the entertainment industry. But, what I can give you as a year-in-review is, well, me. Before we get any further into January, what follows are some of the moments from this past year when I…

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2014 Sports Superlatives

2014 Sports Superlatives

Here are the (in reverse order) five “sports superlatives” for 2014.  My pledge to you – to try not to be obligatory (think the “anti-ESPY Award” version of sports superlatives, with one self-indulgent exception).  For the most part, this sports year wasn’t marked by numerous, amazing things we’ve never seen before. So, we’ll have to expand our boundaries and categories a tad in order to include the moments, performances, and trends that best put the year in perspective.

5. Most Influential Trend in Sports – The Advent of the MLB “Power Pitcher” –  From MLB.com’s John Schlegel:

It’s no secret pitching has…

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The Top (Mockingbird) Theology Books of 2014

The Top (Mockingbird) Theology Books of 2014

Some years of theology publications are better than others, and to be honest the crop has not been so plentiful this year. But the books that have come out are pretty fantastic, and well worth a read.

The Second Letter to the Corinthians by Mark Seifrid. This is not your normal commentary! Rather than retreading ad nauseum all of usual topics commentaries cover like authorship, dating, provenance, Greek parsings etc., Seifrid’s main purpose is to explicate Paul’s theological logic throughout the book. The Paul that emerges is one of real theological breadth and profound commitment to the grace of God in…

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2014: A Year in Review

2014: A Year in Review

I once was a fan of New Year’s resolutions–made a list (also a huge fan of lists!) every year. Every year, that is, until grace invaded my life and wiped the sheen off all my self-improvement projects. Now I’m more accepting of my constant work-in-progress state of being and the hand-in-hand partnership between my submission and God’s plan.

But if I had considered such a list twelve months ago, it would have been brief and it would have gone like this: Make 2014 less sucky than 2013. This time last year, I was finishing up a 2013 that included a suspicious…

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Music for a Turbulent World: Top Ten Albums of the Year

Music for a Turbulent World: Top Ten Albums of the Year

2014, like many of the past few years, found me going through a number of transitions: moving to a new state, making new friends, starting at a new school, etc. As usual, music kept me company on long car rides and helped me persist through the emotional up and downs of starting over again. Alongside these transitions, a number of people in my life had loved ones, young and old, pass away this year, a strong reminder that death, sin, and sadness are yet to be vanquished. Finally, on a national level, the inner turmoil of America bubbled up again…

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…and Auld Lang Syne! What We Missed in 2014

…and Auld Lang Syne! What We Missed in 2014

So much content, so little time! Even with all the contributors and weekenders, stories slip through the cracks all year long. Here’s a bunch of stories that would have been great to explore if there were more than 365 days to write. A special thanks to our Twitter followers for your help putting this list together–always feel free to share your finds with us at @mockingbirdnyc! Without further adieu, here’s a sample of what we missed:

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall I refill my brother’s appetizer plate at TGI Fridays? Up to seven times?” Jesus…

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Consuming 2014: Favorite Music, Media, Movies, Books, and Humor

Consuming 2014: Favorite Music, Media, Movies, Books, and Humor

Say what you will about 2014, it was not boring. So I’m especially thankful for those things that entertained, edified, and made me laugh during what was a pretty trying season, both globally and locally. These are personal favorites, albeit ones with an eye, as always, toward Mocking-resonance:

Music

Favorite Discoveries

1. The first two records by 20/20, 1979’s self-titled and 1981’s Look Out! Absolutely perfect power pop, with just enough attitude and left-turns to keep pressing repeat. Not a bad song on either record, how these guys aren’t more well-known is beyond me–as is the fact that it took me this long…

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The Dirty Deacon’s Top Horror Films of 2014 …And Other Related Matters

The Dirty Deacon’s Top Horror Films of 2014 …And Other Related Matters

* The Dirty Deacon is my nickname…and, coincidentally, one that has just recently been made official.

If I had to pick a film genre that I invest the most time in watching, reviewing and writing about, it would definitely be horror. If you have been reading Mockingbird the last couple of years then you may already know this, but this is my first time sitting down and making a horror-related list for the end of the year. I figured I would inject a little Halloween into the Christmas season for all of those who, like me, tend to be a little…

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Pot Kettle Black: Keeping the Mocking-Score in 2014

Because let’s face it, at the end of the year, it’s all about the numbers 😉 Enjoy:

via thisisindexed.com

via thisisindexed.com

Most Read Posts of 2014

1. Sin and Redemption in Frozen
2. Sharing Our Lives with the People We Have Failed To Be
3. Underachieving Boys and the Masks Men Wear
4. Disgruntled Millennials and the Theology of the Cross
5. Hector Black Forgives the Man Who Killed His Daughter
6. On Blessed Messes and the Law of Mothering Ineptitude
7. The Dangers of Transformation and the Hope of Mercy in a Suicidal Church (and World)
8. Overconfident Men and Underestimating Women
9. House of Yoga, Church of CrossFit
10. A Few Thoughts on Righteous Minds and Religious Liberty

Honorable Mentions: Where Have All the Grown-Ups Gone?, Christian Battle Lines and the Narcissism of Small Differences, The Curated Life of Gwyneth Paltrow, Glimmers of Grace in The Grand Hotel Budapest, The Drunken Downfall of Thomas Kinkade, The Day I Confessed My Sins to Louis CK

Least Read Posts of 2014 AKA Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (And Still Does!)

1. George R.R. Martin on Space Inquisitions and Relativism
2. What Can Woody Allen Trapped Inside John Calvin Teach Us About Anxiety?
3. Sending Your Child to Summer Grief Camp
4. Finding Myself at the Ontario Symposium, or Self-Forgetfulness
5. The First Three Lessons For the Virtuous Raleigh W. Hayes
6. A (Quick) Journey to the End of Taste

Most Popular Tweet: This One

Most Popular Facebook Post: Blessed Are Those Who Aren’t Clobbered By Advice

Most Downloaded Sermon(s): “Hide and Seek”, “The Black Billowing Sail”, “The God Who Demands (and Gives) All”

Most Watched Conference Talk: “On Not Being C.S. Lewis” by Francis Spufford

Top Ten Films of 2014, Pt. 2: Nos. 5-1

Top Ten Films of 2014, Pt. 2: Nos. 5-1

Yesterday, we revealed the bottom half of the best ten films of 2014, according to me. I’ll skip the pleasantries and jump right in. Here are my top five films of 2014.

5. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Lots of dollying, panning, and surface fade to reveal shots create the illusion that Alejandro Iñárritu’s Birdman was filmed in one, long continuous take. Which is not true. Howbeit, the film is made up of many continuous one shot scenes, sometimes lasting up to ten minutes long, and it’s all done, essentially, at one location. That’s tough to do. Not a lot of directors can do it, or do…

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Top Ten Films of 2014, Pt.1: Nos. 10-6

Top Ten Films of 2014, Pt.1: Nos. 10-6

Simply put, which is the best way to put it, 2014 was a pleasing year for the avid movie-goer. Now that it’s nearing its end, I thought it fitting to give the Mockingbird reader a list of personal favorites in a two-part top ten list. Disclaimer: Alas, I am not yet a member of the Academy. I do not get the year’s best films delivered to my doorstep free of charge. I will admit, there are many (presumably) good films that I have just have not seen yet, because, well, movies cost money. But here are the bottom five of Joe Nooft’s personal, paid for, top…

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The Best of the Year in Television 2014

The Best of the Year in Television 2014

Another phenomenal year on the small screen, and thankfully not one where we can come even close to being comprehensive. Series that’ve gotten raves that we’re waiting to binge on would be The Good Wife, The Americans, and You’re the Worst. Here’s our best shot at rounding up what we’ve watched this year. I had some serious help with this (ht McD, EKR, HE).

Top Twelve Television Series of 2014

12. Parenthood. The Bravermans didn’t make it terribly easy to keep watching this year–what with the Joel and Julia debacle–but even after four-plus years, the show can still bring the waterworks like…

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