Story



Bilbo’s Garden

By Rebecca D. Martin

“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

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He Will Redeem It All

By Melanie Penn

“He Will Redeem It All” started as a dedication to two friends—one had just lost her sister to cancer, and another unfairly lost his job. Both of these friends held their heads high during their trials, trusting that God would operate even while sorrow and uncertainty seemed to carry the day.

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The Lost Art of Listening, Part 5: The Case for Nostalgia

By Leslie E. Thompson

Here’s my great confession: If you were to look in my musical library and scroll through the albums, artists, and playlists I’ve curated over the years, it’s likely you would think I’ve listened to really terrible music.

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Set Loose with an Onion

By Adam Whipple

I’ve tried for years to write a poem about an onion. I’ve had little success, but the effort is quite apropos, as I owe a lot to this little bulb. I know some people don’t like the onion. It is the weep-maker, the Jeremiah of vegetables. Readers of Robert Farrar Capon will perhaps have a little more sympathy (see The Supper of the Lamb), but for me, it is the gateway through which I must often go.

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Henry the Oak Tree

By Alexandra Claus

“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

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The Lost Art of Listening, Part 3: Precious Impermanence

By Jennifer Trafton

I was one of those present at the spirited lunch debate between Andrew Peterson and Chris Thiessen (and others) that initially sparked this “Lost Art of Listening” blog conversation, and what I remember most of that particular meal was, not only the copious amounts of cheese dip consumed and the fact that I owed it to a younger generation to pay more attention to Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish, but also how in awe I was of my community—the diversity of our views, the intelligence and civility and forceful (ahem) exuberance with which they are expressed, and the deep core of values we share.

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Friendship: A New Sacrament

By Kelsey Miller

The story goes that in March of 2015, my roommates and I headed out on spring break to Texas. We left the icy remnants of an early-spring storm in Nashville and headed south. Our first full day there was a Sunday and we attended Ecclesia Church in Houston. That morning, Thad Cockrell was there as a guest leading worship and he introduced a song to the congregation that I’d never heard before called, “We Will Feast in the House of Zion.” I sang along with tears in my eyes.

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Tornados, Iditarod, and Finding Rest in a Borrowed Community

By Leslie E. Thompson

The morning of March 3, 2020, will be forever remembered by Middle Tennesseans as the day a tornado traversed nearly 60 miles and left utter devastation in its path. The day bears an added significance for me, as it was the first day of a bucket list trip to see the 48th Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska.

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An Altared Heart: Sunday

By Sarah Chestnut

Nickaela also says, “Sundays are hard because we are homesick for heaven.”

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An Altared Heart: Saturday

By Sarah Chestnut

This morning I am making cinnamon rolls. How many “covid confessions” have already circulated over text from friends, announcing that in spite of Lent chocolate and wine are free-flowing in our homes again? “It’s just too much,” we all agree. Because suddenly we are submitting to a fast we did not chose: our mobility—perhaps the defining feature of our time—is utterly restricted.

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An Altared Heart: Friday

By Sarah Chestnut

Lily, our five-year-old, is standing in the narrow hallway outside her room in only her underwear. It’s bedtime. It’s past bedtime. She should be brushing her teeth. She leans back against the century-old, textured wallpaper. “Mama,” she says seriously as I approach. “I am thinking of Mowgli.” She grins because I grin, and begins to bop up and down, giving herself a back-scratch.

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Discovering God’s Joy: An Interview with Helena Sorensen (Part 2)

By Drew Miller

I’ve been wanting to have this conversation with Helena Sorensen ever since I had the pleasure of reading her last draft of The Door on Half-Bald Hill over the holidays. In this interview, we discuss the choice of partnering with life or with death, the apocalypse, thematic overlap between her story and the drama of Holy Week, the wonders of Celtic mythology, and much more. It was a long conversation, so I’ve broken it down into two parts. To take us into Maundy Thursday, here’s Part 2.

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