New Here?
     
Everyday

“All Is Lost…and All Is Not Lost”: An Introduction to Our Latest Book, <i>Life Is Impossible</i> by Nick Lannon

“All Is Lost…and All Is Not Lost”: An Introduction to Our Latest Book, Life Is Impossible by Nick Lannon

No one ever said life would be easy. But does your life ever seem…too hard? Does self-help, strangely, not work? If so, consider Life Is Impossible: And That’s Good News, the new book by longtime Mockingbird writer Nick Lannon. It’s a slim work, biblically sound and buoyed by vivid illustrations from culture and everyday life. Read […]

The Life-Changing Magic of Tearing my Students’ Papers Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tearing my Students’ Papers Up

Grateful to share this piece by Mischa Willet: The exercise goes something like this: at the start of class, I ask students to take out a piece of paper, which more often than not these days means they cast about looking helpless till a more-responsible classmate offers aid. I give them some prompt, whose subject […]

Bauer Out(r)age

Bauer Out(r)age

This post was written by Kyle Dupic.  In the last issue of Sports Illustrated, MLB pitcher Trevor Bauer was featured due to his lightning rod of a personality. Bauer is a perfect example of the way social media has expanded and highlighted our love/hate relationship with nearly everything. He is on the cutting edge of […]

The Dangers of Parenting Under the Influence

The Dangers of Parenting Under the Influence

This one comes to us courtesy of an actual college student, Charlie Meyer: Waiting in the airport today, my family chipped away at a crossword. We were stuck with only a few clues left to solve, so needless to say, stakes were high. In a family where crossword answers are like currency, one can feel […]

The Illusion of Prestige and the College Admissions Scandal

The Illusion of Prestige and the College Admissions Scandal

I spent every day after school when I was in fourth through sixth grade doing my homework in a conference room that was covered floor to ceiling in college brochures and posters. When I finished my homework, I would look over the various shiny brochures and marvel at all the options available. If you had […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Nehemiah Chapter Six Verses Eight and Nine

This devotion was written by Simeon Zahl, from The Mockingbird Devotional.

Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands. (Nehemiah 6:8-9, ESV)

The mind is a master illusionist. It is possible to spend our whole lives shadowboxing with unrealities we have “invented out of our own minds.” Nothing seems more real than the rejection we perceive in an oddly raised eyebrow, an inopportune yawn, the scowl of a stranger. The mind can spin an epic tale of misunderstanding and betrayal out of the smallest and most meaningless experience. In that sense it is immensely creative. But it is a dull sort of creativity, because it so often manufactures the same boring story of our fears, our aspirations, and our anxieties. There is no reality here. “No such things as you say have been done.” Our heart races—“Did she look at me? Or is she avoiding me?”—but only because our minds have fooled our bodies into thinking something real is happening.

True work of our hands is an antidote to such projection. There is freedom in performing the task that has been given each day. The picture of Nehemiah building a very un-illusory wall is a picture of freedom. It is a freedom that can only be granted from without, but it is a true freedom.

Lord, strengthen our hands, and save us from our unrealities.

Another Week Ends: Hipster Conformity, Mononucleosis, Greek Basketball Coaching, Curated Imperfection, and The Secular Work Ethic

Another Week Ends: Hipster Conformity, Mononucleosis, Greek Basketball Coaching, Curated Imperfection, and The Secular Work Ethic

1. Tis the season for sickness. B.D. McClay over at The Hedgehog Review got mono, and while the short term result was a bout of feverish nightmares, excruciatingly painful swallowing, thundering headaches, and seemingly unending fatigue, the long term result was this marvelous essay: “The Ills That Flesh Is Heir to.” Her essay is a […]

Announcing: Life Is Impossible (And That’s Good News), by Nick Lannon!

Well, no one ever said life would be easy…

Pleased to announce our latest book publication, by longtime Mockingbird contributor Nick Lannon. Available next FRIDAY MARCH 15, 2019. You can pre-order TODAY through our online bookstore and Amazon.

Many of us will admit that, at times, life is hard. We buckle down, put our noses to the grindstone…and all too often wind up exhausted or burned out. But the problem isn’t that life is hard. The problem is that life is impossible! Fortunately, what sounds like bad news is merely the beginning of the Good News in this concise, gospel-centered book about God’s abundant mercy and love. With wisdom, humor, and compassion, Nick Lannon casts life’s painful realities in the light of Jesus, the One who achieves the unachievable.

“A short, accessible classic.” – Paul F. M. Zahl, author of Grace in Practice

“Masterfully clear and imminently practical, this book puts flesh on theology, roots it in daily life, and demonstrates over and over that when we run into the brick wall of the impossible, we are actually at the very door that opens to Christ’s saving work.” – Chad Bird, author of Night Driving and Your God Is Too Glorious

…a real, earthy, honest book that will set you free to admit that you can’t do it. But he doesn’t leave you there. Nick points beautifully and creatively to the One who did it for you.” – Tullian Tchividjian, author of One Way Love

“Good news, told and illustrated well.” – Zac Hicks, author of The Worship Pastor

“…like the finger of John the Baptist, [Life Is Impossible] points away from our life as it points to the lamb, the saviour who takes away the sins of the world.” – Dr. Jonathan A. Linebaugh, editor of God’s Two Words

PRE-ORDER LIFE IS IMPOSSIBLE TODAY!

The Death of Control

The Death of Control

My wife has one unrelenting addiction: “Jeopardy!” If there is time, she will watch, and if I am there, I will sit through it. In his 35 years on the syndicated nightly show, Alex Trebek has become an icon. His hushed superiority, muffled humor, and obvious judgments of the players and the game are, now, […]

The Good-Enough to Shame the Great

The Good-Enough to Shame the Great

This one comes to us from our friend Robbie Sapunarich. In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, Avram Alpert writes, Ideals of greatness cut across the American political spectrum. Supporters of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and believers in Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” for instance, may find themselves at […]

Here's To You, Fellow Introverts

Here’s To You, Fellow Introverts

Every now and then, I let myself think that I’ve left behind my introverted tendencies and moved into the (seemingly) glorious land of extroverted, outgoing people—they have it so much easier, right, being able to strike up a conversation with anyone about anything? But then I find myself in a situation where that introvert makes […]

Workaholics in the Hands of a Firing God

Workaholics in the Hands of a Firing God

“When work becomes the primary arbiter of identity, purpose, worth, and community in our lives, it has ceased to function as employment and begun to function as a religion. Or at least we have made it responsible for providing the very things to which we used to look to God.” Those two lines are taken […]