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The Jeffersonian Ideal and the Unexpected Solution to Racism

The Jeffersonian Ideal and the Unexpected Solution to Racism

As you may know, Mockingbird HQ is situated here in happy, wealthy, intellectual, pastoral Charlottesville, Virginia. When I moved to Charlottesville for college almost 15 years ago, it was considered “America’s Happiest City” and one of the best places in America to raise a family. It still is. For this reason,...
The Déjà Vu Issue is Here!

The Déjà Vu Issue is Here!

Dear readers, Issue 12 is officially out to print and will be in your hands in a matter of days! Maybe you’ve wondered to yourself, “What is Mockingbird all about? And what should I read to get some insight?” If you have, or know your nosy roommate has, this is the...
My Church Is Not CrossFit

My Church Is Not CrossFit

I cannot do CrossFit. I’m not being sarcastic. I really wish I could, but a medical condition prevents me from taking part in the Workout of the Day (WoD). I have many friends that swear by CrossFit. They find it meets a multitude of needs, both physical and social. When I was newly...
A Long Obedience in the Wrong Direction

A Long Obedience in the Wrong Direction

Author’s note: Over the past several months I’ve been asked the same question by multiple people, all in a very particular way. In the middle of a conversation, they will suddenly ask, “Who are you?” It’s not phrased in a demeaning way, but definitely with a politely confused inflection. My life doesn’t quite add...
Wait for It: The Surprising Perks of Suspense

Wait for It: The Surprising Perks of Suspense

Waiting, of any kind, is generally just stupid. We can all agree on this. We are on the same page here: I don’t like waiting, you don’t like waiting, nobody likes to wait. We want what we want, and we want it yesterday. Veruca Salt got this (“give it to...
2018 Fall Conference in OKC (10/11-13): Register Today!

2018 Fall Conference in OKC (10/11-13): Register Today!

Super excited to announce that pre-registration for our Fall Conference in Oklahoma City in now open! Join us October 11-13th at All Souls Episcopal Church in OKC as we explore what “Grace in an Age of Distraction” might look like. Speakers include Steven Paulson, Jady Koch, Carrie Willard, David Zahl,...
<i>Eighth Grade</i>: AKA Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Eighth Grade: AKA Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

This reflection comes to us from Andy Clack. Middle school. Boys. Girls. Assemblies. Lockers. Meatloaf. Gym class. Talent shows. Choir practice. Braces. Acne. Whispering. Giggling. Blushing. Looking away. FREAKING OUT. Your mind grows. Your body changes. Your spirit breaks. Your parents suck. No, seriously, they’re the worst. Middle school. I...
What is Faith?

What is Faith?

Leave it to the Mockingcast to awaken me out of my summer-long blogging slumber. On it, they discussed a hilarious McSweeney’s article called “I am the Universe, and Humans are Interpreting my Signs.” The idea of the post is simple: God (or “the Universe”) is a living God who is...
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<i>Eighth Grade</i>: AKA Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Eighth Grade: AKA Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

This reflection comes to us from Andy Clack. Middle school. Boys. Girls. Assemblies. Lockers. Meatloaf. Gym class. Talent shows. Choir practice. Braces. Acne. Whispering. Giggling. Blushing. Looking away. FREAKING OUT. Your mind grows. Your body changes. Your spirit breaks. Your parents suck. No, seriously, they’re the worst. Middle school. I think about it a lot, […]

Wait for It: The Surprising Perks of Suspense

Wait for It: The Surprising Perks of Suspense

Waiting, of any kind, is generally just stupid. We can all agree on this. We are on the same page here: I don’t like waiting, you don’t like waiting, nobody likes to wait. We want what we want, and we want it yesterday. Veruca Salt got this (“give it to me noooow”), and so did […]

You Must Be This Tall (To Receive Grace)

You Must Be This Tall (To Receive Grace)

(Note: This was written with help, insight, and revision from my wife… Thank you, Angela.) “Wait a minute, Ma’am… does she have a disability?” The question cut through both of us like a word of law, judgment, and accusation. What was she getting at? What was she implying? Where are we going with this? Sigh. […]

A Quick Word on Christian Freedom and Ill-Taught Piano Students

A gem from Robert Capon’s Between Noon and Three, pg 149:

If we are ever to enter fully into the glorious liberty of the children of God, we are going to have to spend more time thinking about freedom than we do. The church, by and large, has had a poor record of encouraging freedom. It has spent so much time inculcating in us the fear of making mistakes that it has made us like ill-taught piano students: we play our pieces, but we never really hear them because our main concern is not to make music but to avoid some flub that will get us in trouble. The church, having put itself in loco parentis (in the place of a parent), has been so afraid we will lose sight of the need to do it right that it has made us care more about how we look than about who Jesus is.

The Great Things We’ll Accomplish in the Grave

The Great Things We’ll Accomplish in the Grave

We’ve all had influential people in our lives who remain unaware of the impact they had on us. An elementary school teacher who inspired us to dedicate our lives to educating others. An older friend of our family whose kindness and generosity we’ve tried to emulate. Maybe it’s a random stranger who, like a guardian […]

At the Edge of Civilization, Part 2

At the Edge of Civilization, Part 2

Here is Part 2 of a three-part series about my recent retreat at Gethsemani Abbey in rural Kentucky. The moon was beautiful, dimly red, like a globe of almost transparent amber, with a shapeless fetus of darkness curled in the midst of it. — Thomas Merton, The Other Side of the Mountain: The End of […]

Mbird Fall Conference in Oklahoma City – Less Than Six Weeks Away!

Check out the trailer that the ever-talented Mark Babikow put together for our event next month in Oklahoma City (10/11-13)! You don’t want to miss this one:

For more details or to pre-register, click here!

The Bad News of Just Being Yourself

The Bad News of Just Being Yourself

Every Friday night, my family has movie night. Something has recently marred the whole experience though, mostly for me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think I can watch contemporary family films with my kids anymore. The main problem? A major theme in most of these stories is something of a false gospel […]

September Playlist

You can listen to (most of) it on Spotify here.

Another Week Ends: Taking Life for Granted, Eating Sin, Middle School Materialism, Death by Jaywalking, Moth Jokes, and the Joy of Things You'll Never Master

Another Week Ends: Taking Life for Granted, Eating Sin, Middle School Materialism, Death by Jaywalking, Moth Jokes, and the Joy of Things You’ll Never Master

1. Let’s start off at Digg, another web venture focused on curating the best of the web for a specialized audience. For the unfamiliar, Digg is to Reddit as Myspace is to Facebook, it was one of the web’s earliest “vote on the stories you like” style websites. Steve Rousseau, the senior editor at this rebooted […]

The Pagan Priests of Mockingbird

The Pagan Priests of Mockingbird

Here’s one of the lists from this most recent issue of our magazine, The Deja Vu Issue, which should have arrived at your house by now. If not, well, you can remedy that now… One well-worn slogan that we’ve consistently enjoyed putting to the test is that “all truth is God’s truth.” Come to find […]

I Am Not Better Than John McCain: I Am Worse (and You Might Be Too)

I Am Not Better Than John McCain: I Am Worse (and You Might Be Too)

Inevitably, when a figure who is much beloved by some–but not by all–dies, we are reminded of our opinion of that person. In our current cultural moment, this also means that by God we are going to share that opinion. In its most recent iteration, the death of Senator John McCain sparked an Opinion Fest […]