In this conversation from Hutchmoot 2019, acclaimed jazz musician Ruth Naomi Floyd and author Mark Meynell use African American spirituals and the works of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich to examine the power of music and its ability to carry us through the darkest of human experiences.Read More ›
Christ Our King,
Our world is overtaken by unexpected
calamity, and by a host of attending fears,
worries, and insecurities.
We witness suffering, confusion, and
hardship multiplied around us, and we find
ourselves swept up in these same anxieties and
troubles, dismayed by so many uncertainties.
Now we turn to you, O God,
in this season of our common distress.
Several weeks ago when we began this series on the “lost art of listening,” I don’t know that any of us knew exactly where it would end up. But it’s been a delight to watch the topic develop and gather steam.
Andrew, Chris, Drew, Jennifer, Shigé, and Leslie have all articulated valuable facets of why and how we listen to music and carry it with us. It’s my turn now, and I came into this weekend, challenged to write something but honestly having no idea what I might be able to add to such a rich conversation.Read More ›
“Inside Bag End, Bilbo and Gandalf were sitting at the open window of a small room looking out west onto the garden. The late afternoon was bright and peaceful. The flowers glowed red and golden: snap-dragons and sunflowers, and nasturtiums trailing all over the turf walls and peeping in at the round windows.”
—The Fellowship of the Ring
The montage that runs under the opening credits of Jojo Rabbit is one of the most insightful moments in a movie full of insights. Newsreel footage of Nazi youth rallies is accompanied by The Beatles’ “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” (a German language version of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” that The Beatles recorded in 1964). Frenzied, dewy-eyed teenage girls scream “Heil Hitler!” But if you weren’t watching their lips closely, you might think they were screaming “Paul!” or “Ringo!” Arms wave frantically in the air, like those of excited fans at Shea Stadium. It is only after the second or third shot that you realize that the hands are extended in a Nazi salute. Likewise the hysterical cheering running along in the background might have been recorded at the Nuremburg rallies, or it might have been the crowd at the Ed Sullivan Theater (“Ladies and gentlemen . . . The Beatles!!”).Read More ›
“And the wrens have returned and they’re nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again”
— Rich Mullins, “The Color Green”
“We feel ourselves wounded by what is wretched, foul, and fell,
but we are sometimes wounded by the beauty as well, for when it whispers,
it whispers of the world
that might have been our birthright,
—Douglas McKelvey, Every Moment Holy
On April 19th, 2016 I was able to sit down for a moment with Jan Peterson, wife of author and pastor Eugene Peterson, in their home in Lakeside, Montana. We were visiting for the filming of my husband David’s project with Eugene and Bono on the Psalms. While there was a lot of buzz and excitement about having Bono out to Lakeside, and while we hoped getting Eugene and Bono together would be inspiring and encouraging for many, the person I was most excited to share time with was Jan. I hoped that sitting down to ask Jan a few questions would yield an equally inspiring and encouraging conversation. I was not disappointed.Read More ›
I wasn’t expecting to see so clear a picture of Jesus in Pixar’s latest movie, Onward, though I ought to know by now that unexpected places are his favorites. He’s always turning up with a wink and a grin when my mind is elsewhere and my defenses are down.Read More ›
“Now, there is a law written in the darkest of the Books of Life, and it is this: if you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.”
—G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill
Even if podcasts existed twenty years ago, I never would have imagined that Square Halo Books would ever have had enough contributors in its catalog to support a full season of episodes, and with many people left untapped. And the idea that I would be sitting down with a chunky black microphone between me and such amazing thinkers and makers, digging deeper into their ideas through such delightful conversations as I have had this past year, would have been something I couldn’t have even hoped for.Read More ›