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The Time Has Come

The Time Has Come

From heightened expectations to regrets about past failures, the turn of the year offers plenty of unique difficulties. So for those of us who remain not-very-skilled at New Year’s resolutions (and other time-sensitive things), here’s a *timely* devotion from An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley. Take heart, and happy […]

Why You Should Spend Whatever You Like Buying Friends and Loved Ones Gifts They Don’t Expect (and Don’t Deserve)

Why You Should Spend Whatever You Like Buying Friends and Loved Ones Gifts They Don’t Expect (and Don’t Deserve)

This one comes to us from our friend Jason Micheli. I’ve grown wary of the Christmas “tradition” of bemoaning the commercialization of Christmas in our culture.  Too often, we begin Advent not with Isaiah’s laments or John the Baptist’s words of judgment but our own words of lament and judgment, criticizing others for being so […]

When a Dragon Tried to Eat Jesus: The Nativity Story We Don't Talk About

When a Dragon Tried to Eat Jesus: The Nativity Story We Don’t Talk About

I’m still searching for a Christmas card with a red dragon in the nativity, lurking amidst the cows and lambs, waiting to devour the baby in the manger. None of the Gospels mention this unwelcome visitor to Bethlehem, but the Apocalypse does. John paints a seven-headed, ten-horned red dragon onto the peaceful Christmas canvas. You […]

For Unto [Every Type] Is Born a Savior

For Unto [Every Type] Is Born a Savior

This one comes to us from Clayton Hornback. These days it seems you can throw a rock and hit a self-professed Enneagram guru. For those of you living under a rock, the Enneagram is a personality profile made up of nine different “Types.” Each person’s primary personality falls somewhere from 1 to 9. For the […]

Now Available! An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley

We could not be more pleased to announce the latest Mockingbird publication, An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark, by Larry Parsley.

This accessible, down-to-earth devotional walks verse-by-verse through the shortest official take on the biggest life ever lived — the story of Jesus played out in the Gospel of Mark. You’ll follow in the footsteps of Jesus as he performs healings and preaches to crowds. Mockingbird writer Larry Parsley brings the story to life, offering approachable, personal, and insightful commentary along the way.

You can purchase An Easy Stroll through our newly redesigned bookstore ( where you can also find all of Mockingbird’s other publications, along with seminars for purchase and a selection of merchandise…! Major thank-you to Brian M for the redesign.

As with all of our books, An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel is also available through Amazon—and all positive reviews help promote the cause!

“This is a short, meditative work that you will want to read slowly and repeatedly as you walk through the shortest and oldest canonical Gospel. As you do, significant—sometimes startling—insights await, as Larry Parsley gently, thoughtfully, and ably guides you through Mark. As it happens, Dr. Parsley has written his first book on the first Gospel. My hope is that this work is but the first fruits of future harvests from this gifted interpreter, storyteller, and teacher.” — Todd D. Still, Ph.D., Professor of Christian Scriptures in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University

A gentle journey… Larry’s wisdom and eye for beauty might readily serve as inspiration for daily spiritual exercises.” ― Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, Professor of Homiletics at Emmanuel College, Toronto, and author of The Four Pages of the Sermon

Wonderfully refreshing…compelling [and] down-to-earth…  It truly is ‘an easy stroll’ and a disarmingly profound one simultaneously. All I know is that I will never teach from Mark’s Gospel again without first consulting this book.” — Andy McQuitty, author of Notes from the Valley: A Spiritual Travelogue Through Cancer and The Way to Brave: Shaping a David Faith for a Goliath World

Find An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel in Mockingbird’s new online bookstore and on Amazon.

Same Old Song Sings Again!

Thrilled to announce that our lectionary podcast, Same Old Song, is back! Join Jacob Smith and new co-host Aaron Zimmerman each week as they break down the lectionary texts for the coming Sunday. Abounding with Gospel insight, (in)appropriate cultural references, and a heart for the sufferer in the pew, Same Old Song works as an audio devotional just as much as a resource for the sermon-prepping pastor. All in 25 minutes or less.

New episodes will drop every Tuesday. You can listen/subscribe on iTunes or Spotify. Google Play and Stitcher coming soon, God-willing. Oh, and if you’re still subscribed to the old feed, you’ll probably have to re-up via one of the links above, as we switched hosts during the hiatus.

Lectionary readings can be found here. And thank you for your patience. We’re so excited to resume!

P.S. Same Old Song will be on The Mockingapp soon! Look for an update next week.

Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Seven Verses Thirty-One to Thirty-Six

Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Seven Verses Thirty-One to Thirty-Six

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put […]

When God Turns Down a Title

When God Turns Down a Title

Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. […]

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 […]

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 […]

"Present Risenness" - A Few Quotes from Brennan Manning

“Present Risenness” – A Few Quotes from Brennan Manning

Insights on the Resurrection from Brennan Manning’s Abba’s Child. Standing on a London street corner, G. K. Chesterton was approached by a newspaper reporter. “Sir, I understand that you recently became a Christian. May I ask you one question?” “Certainly,” replied Chesterton. “If the risen Christ suddenly appeared at this very moment and stood behind […]

A Rock that Cracked

From Lloyd Ogilvie’s Ask Him Anything:

“What can you do when you’ve failed and denied what you believe?” This question and others like it came out of the heart of a person who had stumbled badly. He felt he had no right to pray, and when he tried, he felt self-incrimination and condemnation. We all deny our Lord in so many little ways, but what do you do when the denial contradicts everything you’ve stood for and believed? Is there a way back? How does the Lord deal with failures?

The answer is vividly portrayed in the way Jesus Christ dealt with Simon Peter’s denial. Peter could not handle the anguish of his cowardly denial. He had to block it out, try to forget; but his efforts were futile. Was that why he now could not bear to look Jesus in the eye?

What adventure Peter had known following the Master! He remembered with self-affirmation how on the road to Caeserea Philippi he felt the spirit rush within him. He had blurted out the conviction, “Thou art the Christ!” He would never forget the tone of the Lord’s voice when he told him that the church would be built on the rock of his faith. A rock? The recollection reverberated with shock waves within him. “A rock that cracked!” he said to himself.

But the basic message of the story is this: the Lord’s love does not fail however much we fail him. Peter had built his whole relationship with Jesus Christ on his assumed capacity to be adequate. That’s why he took his denial of the Lord so hard. His strength, loyalty, and faithfulness were his self-generated assets of discipleship. The fallacy in Peter’s mind was this: he believed his relationship was dependent on his consistency in producing the qualities he thought had earned him the Lord’s approval. 

Many of us face the same problem. We project onto the Lord our own measured standard of acceptance. Our whole understanding of him is based in a quid pro quo of bartered love. He will love us as if we are good, moral, and diligent. But we have turned the tables; we try to live so that he will love us, rather than living because he has already loved us.