I’m sitting here at my kitchen table, listening through Andy’s new songs and charting them out for when Gabe and I back him up tomorrow night at his release show. Each time I get to the end of a song I pick up the sheet of fresh graphite numbers to set it on the pile and instinctively shake my head and say to myself, “Dang, that’s a good song.”
As I am writing about Joy Ike’s newest album, Bigger Than Your Box, my daughter is literally making a home out of a cardboard box on the carpet beside my chair. It is a house for our cat, Berdie. Before Sally Ann finishes spelling out “Welcome” in marker on the front, Berdie is already inside, purring.
If you’re like me, you have some childhood and early adolescent memories of listening to certain songs that gave you a magical impression of seamlessness, as if they had always existed in all their wholeness, just the way they met your ears. You may remember exactly where you were and what day it was when you first had an experience like this with music—it may very well be that these memories act as threshold moments marking your awakening to the sheer scope of music.
I can’t remember the first time I met Arthur Alligood, but early on in our relationship, I nailed a catfish to his dad’s back fence.
I’m a slow reader, and it’s rare that a writer comes along with a voice so captivating that I can’t stop reading. I finished this one in less than 24 hours (a real feat for me), and I’m just about to slip it onto my shelf of favorites right in between what I consider its spiritual forebears: Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and Robert Farrar Capon’s The Supper of the Lamb. Read More ›
“…And that’s why I never read parenting books anymore.” – Recently spoken by a dear friend and mother of four.
We had been discussing the particular challenges we were facing raising teenagers. My friend is a diligent mom who takes seriously the calling of raising children. Why had she sworn off reading books that promise healthier, well-adjusted and happy children? I knew the answer without further probing. I felt similarly. After two decades of parenting, I know I should be more ______ (you fill in the blank with your “should be;” patient or demanding, laid-back or scheduled, creative and fun or thoughtful and serious), but at the end of the day, regardless of the books I’ve read and the podcasts I’ve listened to, I’m still stuck with me. Which often feels defeating. Which is why my friend doesn’t read parenting books anymore. She’s tired of feeling defeated.
I think we wind up saying to others what we need to hear the most. We know what’s right and true, but it doesn’t always sink into our own skin. Perhaps that’s why we keep telling other people about it over and over again—we need the repetition.
I’ve consoled friends over coffee, speaking Holy Spirit-inspired words of wisdom, while internally chuckling at the irony that whatever I’m saying is what I should be doing. I’ve written talks preaching the importance of reflection and discipline that I so desperately need, yet often fail to maintain. When I manage to write a lyric that hits home, it’s usually not because I’ve mastered the sentiment behind it, but because it’s what I need to be reminded of. In this place of knowing the truth but doubting that I’ve fully grasped it, I’ve seen a film that makes me feel less alone.
This summer, the recommended reading list for my church community includes titles like The Rule of Benedict (Chittister), St. Francis of Assisi (Chesterton), and Establishing a Rule of Life (The Trinity Mission). We’re considering what it means to create a personal culture of faith by establishing a “rule” for living. For some, this looks like a detailed list of activities to be done every day, week, month, or year (like those who choose to live under Benedictine or Franciscan rule). For others, though, it’s simply a matter of deciding how we’d like to invest our time and resources and translating that into everyday life.
What do you do when life gets hard and you just don’t want to feel anything? There are so many ways to hide from suffering, but real change comes in facing the pain, with the hope that Jesus will meet us there. This week’s Rabbit Reads selection is an excellent memoir about sobriety and so much more. Let us introduce you to Seth Haines…
[Editor’s note: Today is the day—as we walk into Easter weekend, through Good Friday and towards Sunday, we now have Resurrection Letters: Volume I to keep us company. Below is Mark Geil’s review of Andrew Peterson’s latest offering.
Looking for something a little different for your graphic novel collection? Or perhaps a series for the budding artist or comic enthusiast in your family? We’re excited to introduce you to the delightful Hilda and her adventures in the Norwegian countryside.
Every now and then, we like to recommend a great audiobook for your listening pleasure. Our latest pick comes from one of our favorite authors, N. D. Wilson, author of the 100 Cupboards and Ashtown Burials series! (Please note that this is book 2 in his newest series Outlaws of Time… so if you haven’t read the first book yet, beware of spoilers!)