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Music, Children, and Chaos

By Drew Miller

There I stood, in front of the fireplace with my guitar strapped on and dozens of lyric sheets in my hands with songs like “This Is My Father’s World” and “Be Thou My Vision.” I turned to my left and gave the nearest student that familiar instruction to “take one and pass them back,” watching the sheets of paper make their way around the circle we had formed along the perimeter of the room. On this Wednesday morning, chapel was held not at school, but at our neighboring nursing home. In the middle of the room, couches were filled with residents, some smiling pleasantly, others vacantly, and still others giving the appearance of being annoyed at the general state of things. The smell of artificial maple syrup wafted through the air.

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The Local Show Artist Spotlight (Episode 1) – Part One: Origins

By The Rabbit Room

The Local Show will be four years old this fall, and we’re having more fun than ever. This spring, filmmaker Karl Sutton caught up with three artists featured at the show to talk about where they’ve come from, how they approach the creative process, and what role community plays in their work. This “Part One: Origins.” Come back next week for part two. Read More ›

You Are Not Your Work: On Receiving (and Ignoring) Feedback

By Jonathan Rogers

Every time I start a new online class, I send my students an introductory email that includes the following “Word About Feedback”:

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A Home & A Hunger

By Caroline Cobb

At the beginning of my twenty-ninth year, I got this crazy idea: to write a song from every book of the Bible before I turned thirty. But what began as a fun goal, perhaps just a way to end my twenties with a bang, changed the trajectory of my life.

As it turned out, I absolutely loved writing songs from the Bible: delving into a passage, putting myself in each character’s shoes, trying to understand how this one small story connects with the whole, then coming up with a way to communicate that story with melody and rhythm and lyric. The songs from that year of writing eventually turned into the Blood + the Breath, an album that traces the theme of redemption from creation to the second coming of Christ (a la Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb but with an emphasis on Easter rather than Christmas).

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The Pivot with Andrew Osenga: Season Three Has Begun!

By The Rabbit Room

In case you missed it, Andrew Osenga is back with Season Three of his podcast, The Pivot. He kicked off the season with a fascinating conversation with rapper/speaker/activist Sho Baraka. They talked about Sho’s winding career path, from hip hop to insurance to musical theatre to Faith & Work conversations in Atlanta, and the years where speaking his mind became a liability.

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Will The Circle Be Unbroken: An Interview with Buddy Greene

By Drew Miller

Last week, I got to sit down with Buddy Greene and ask him all about his new retrospective record, Looking Back, as well as the narrative of his musical and spiritual life and how they have informed one another. Our conversation was a delight and I am pleased to share it with you here.

To learn more about Buddy Greene and his new album, head over to his website.

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Rabbit Trails #3

By Jonny Jimison

Click through for this week’s edition of Jonny Jimison’s Rabbit Trails.

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Psalms of Praise: An Interview with The Corner Room

By Jen Rose Yokel

Sometimes, especially if you’ve grown up in the church, Scripture becomes so familiar that it’s easy to miss the beauty and poetry of those old words of life. So we look for ways to shift our focus—trying out a new translation, diving into an intense study, or learning ancient prayer practices that engage the text. And for the Psalms, there is nothing quite like hearing them sung.

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On Not Being the Smartest Person in the Room

By Jonathan Rogers

In a recent interview with Terri Gross, the writer David Sedaris remarked, “I’m rarely the smartest person in the room. I have other qualities, but searing intelligence is not one of them.”

David Sedaris is a hilarious writer and an excellent prose stylist, so it is tempting to chalk this up to false humility. But I’ve been pondering his remarks in my heart, and I think there’s a lot of wisdom in separating excellent writing from “searing intelligence.”

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Shouting Lice! In A Crowded Room

By Adam Whipple

My two youngest children sit together on the floor in a bedroom. They spend their days playing beside each other with a myriad of toys, co-imagining worlds filled with talking construction equipment, neon-hued horses, and plot lines that range from pedestrian to strange and violent, often within seconds. It’s fun to stand around the corner and listen to them, but invariably, I have to intervene and referee a dispute.

Kind words, and kind hands, I say. We share our things.

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What Do You See

By Ginny Owens

I’ve spent my whole life trying to find words to describe what nothing looks like.

People always ask, “So what do you see? Is it black? Blurry?”

No, it’s just nothing. Sort of like when your arm goes numb, and for a minute, you can’t feel anything. My brain just doesn’t communicate with my eyes about colors or light.

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Until You Can’t See Land

By Janna Barber

The first time I heard the band Frightened Rabbit was eight years ago, on a cruise ship in the gulf of Mexico. My husband and I had joined another couple on a five day Carnival cruise. We spent one day on the beach in Cozumel, and another visiting ancient Mayan ruins in Progresso, but the rest of the time we were on the ship. The main attraction for most cruisers is the ocean view, but for those who aren’t interested in wild seascapes, there’s plenty of entertainment to be had inside. And from the casino, to the dining hall, to the nightly shows, there are always drinks to be had. But on this particular trip I was the only one who hadn’t committed to abstain from alcohol, so we never ordered any. Until the last night after dinner when we were walking around looking at the ocean (again) and I decided to treat myself. I got a pina colada and walked to the bow of the ship to drink it by myself. My husband gave me his iPod and earbuds, with the perfect song cued up for me, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land.”

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