• I grew up in a home with scientists, so when a parent would ask me to run and get a container of Cool Whip out of the chest freezer, finding the right tub would usually take three or four tries. I might find owl […]

    • I snort-laughed my way through this. From one nerdy-girl 40-something mom in Land’s End sweatpants to another, I salute you.

       

    • I wish I didn’t have any “Let’s eat that turtle” stories.

  • I was fourteen, walking into the gym for my first day of high school summer basketball camp. Switching from a small, Catholic middle school to a huge county high school was terrifying, so the night before I had […]

    • “Mass felt like wandering into Lothlorien…”

      Having grown up with the Roman Catholic liturgy, that’s the very thing I miss after two decades of “contemporary” worship in Protestant churches.

    • Beautiful.

    • I read this last night and before I even had a chance to process it, I fell back on my bed and thought, “God, thank you for Rebecca Reynolds.” All three parts of “You Holy Fools” have held so much meaning for me and everyone I’ve shared them with.

    • When I finished reading this last night, the first thing I did was fall back on my bed and think, “God, thank you for Rebecca Reynolds.” The “You Holy Fools” essays have held so much meaning for me and everyone I’ve shared them with.

    • I’m so encouraged! You put words to thoughts that have been in my head for years. Thank you.

  • Lately, I have been thinking about the theology of art. Almost certainly this is a bad use of my mind, as I am neither a theologian nor an artist. But I cannot help myself. And I feel compelled to think out loud, […]

    • Those who have ears to hear…

    • I’m intrigued. So much so that I am willing to overcome my pride, admit my ignorance and beg for a few more clues as to the meaning. Art and theology. Perfect art and perfect theology can’t be combined? We have to preserve the purity of our art and theology against anything from outside?

    • A few scattered responses…

      “[She who] breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”

      The crooked eye that lacks a perception of depth, but can make beautiful colored abstractions… That was a great element, and describes modern art in a very clear way.

      Pottery seems chosen exactly because it is a 3d medium, thus having depth, but also because it requires a Form. Additionally, one could say that it may be appropriate because it has both beauty and function, as art from the Christian standpoint can be said to both please and instruct.

    • @racheldonahue

      Thank you for that last thought! The two types of sets are fantastic. I’m going to use this in my RCIA class. Thanks for that image!

    • @racheldonahue

      Thank you for that last thought! The two types of sets are fantastic. I’m going to use this in my RCIA class. Thanks for that image!

  • One of my favorite anticipations of the new year is the first book I will read. Some time ago, for a few years in a row, I started each new January rereading Frederick Buechner’s Godric. And I’ve returned more t […]

    • Awareness of this seems like a great thing to have.  I’ve been going to job interviews lately, and the other people there often tell stories about a common, “standard” type interview question: ‘what books have you read lately,’ which is inevitably followed up with ‘why did you like this or that one.’  I was never asked this, but the thought of being in that situation terrified me a little, and I think your question is exactly why.  In the words of the inimitable Peter Furler, “How do you define what you can’t compare?”  Not that being aware of this helps answer the hypothetical interviewer’s question at all, but it can hopefully help keep one from appearing foolish as we try to speak our way around this mystery.

    • Love the quotes, Trice and @danrechlin – thanks for sharing. It is so interesting how, by making up worlds, fantasy illuminates our world and sounds universally familiar to everyone.

    • I remember reading The Left Hand of Darkness in college (for a sci-fi as literature class, which was as awesome as that sounds). Such an interesting book that I’d love to revisit! Her statement that science fiction is descriptive, not predictive rings true. So many sci-fi stories are grappling with something that is already true, but in fantastic locales or (not-so?)distant futures. Sometimes we need a different setting to see the underlying reality more clearly.

      Annnnnnnnd now I wanna read something by Le Guin this year.

    • I read The Left Hand of Darkness about two years ago, and I was struck by how it felt both disconnected from anything I had ever experienced and unnervingly familiar. I began this year with The Lathe of Heaven. You walk away saying, “That was weird,” but you can’t quite shake the feeling that she got to you. I much prefer LeGuin’s fantasy (The Earthsea Series!), because it feels more grounded, more mythological, and that suits my tastes. But there is a reason her work has been heavily awarded and that it is still discussed decades after she wrote it. She is Taoist, and yet her stories tap into so many profound truths.

  • Miss Mary replied to the topic in the forum Dawn Waters Baker 4 years, 4 months ago

    I had no idea there were two versions. I must find mine and see what mine says.  I hope it is not at my parent’s house or this will take a while.

  • At Hutchmoot this year, Russ Ramsey and I spoke about being a hospitable critic. How do we bring a critic’s voice to the public square in a hospitable way? I am particularly interested to explore how we can do t […]

    • The connection to Rivendell is insightful indeed! Rivendell had a comfortable atmosphere, but it also had a gentle, noninvasive wisdom that could be felt everywhere. This is what soothed the fear, tension, and distrust for the moment (though it would resurface later). The peace created a reverent awe.
      I have found much success in the wisdom that “a gentle response turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). Often times, gentleness creates a Rivendell-like atmosphere online. Lighthearted (non-flippant and non-mocking) humor has this effect as well. The self-deprecating kind is usually the best, too. Chesterton is a great model for us here.
       
      Both of these (plus a dogged determination to listen) have the effect of humanizing the “bits and bytes” of our online communication.
      This is a heartening piece.  Thank you!

    • The connection to Rivendell is insightful indeed! Rivendell had a comfortable atmosphere, but it also had a gentle, noninvasive wisdom that could be felt everywhere. This is what soothed the fear, tension, and distrust for the moment (though it would resurface later). The peace created a reverent awe.
      I have found much success in the wisdom that “a gentle response turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). Often times, gentleness creates a Rivendell-like atmosphere online. Lighthearted (non-flippant and non-mocking) humor has this effect as well. The self-deprecating kind is usually the best, too. Chesterton is a great model for us here.
       
      Both of these (plus a dogged determination to listen) have the effect of humanizing the “bits and bytes” of our online communication.
      This is a heartening piece.  Thank you!

    • Excellent, Dave. The image of the Council of Elrond is spot-on. Even the manner in which Elrond charged the Fellowship’s members before sending them out — not requiring oaths, not even requiring all nine members to go all the way to Mordor — evidenced a remarkable degree of trust.

  • Miss Mary started the topic in the forum 4 years, 5 months ago

    Does anyone else edit photos with GIMP? I have just started playing with it, mostly because it is out there free and I want to be able to do fun stuff like make collages, and not just color correct. It has a bit of a learning curve (at least for me) but I think I am starting to get it. If anyone else uses it and has tips or work they can show I…[Read more]

  • A while back I introduced the Civil Language Project to the Rabbit Room. Then a couple of weeks ago when I walked through the doors of Church of the Redeemer to participate in the seventh year of Hutchmoot, Pete P […]

  • [From “Gifts of and for the Church” @ Hutchmoot 2016.]

    As Heidi and I began to talk about how we might split up this session on exploring God’s resources for the body, I found myself drawn to a topic that […]

    • Oh, Rebecca. Every word of this resounds in me. I’m so glad that you wrote this, and that you were given a platform from which to share it with others. Bless you, friend.

    • Crying over the passage about suffering feeling like foolishness, about how it opens the door to all the messages of hell. And I’m so grateful for the “full circle,” as you describe it. It’s what makes the folks in this community so appealing, I think. Their talent is dazzling, but it’s their suffering that draws us in, that welcomes us.

       

    • This talk and Heidi’s at Hutchmoot were wonderful.

      I’m glad you make the point that God doesn’t inflict suffering. He has allowed a certain amount of choice to his creation, and the choices of spirits and other people, and our own, make up a good deal of the suffering life brings us.

      I believe at root God is teaching us first of all his complete, utter love for us, no matter what our choices have been. And secondly, our need to depend on that love, and to see his powerful love in us as the means to love others, even enemies; this power begins to be completed in us when we begin to know our total weakness and inability to love God and love our neighbor. To learn dependence when we feel so independent, and think so independently, means we must be broken of the ideas of independent self-effort. An independent person living “the Christian life” may succeed in working in a soup kitchen, helping others, raising a good family, and doing lots of other good works, but all of this is ultimately in service and to the worship of his own independent self, and the result of success is self-congratulating pride – which is sin.

      A person who has been broken of the idea of their own independent ability to “be like Christ,” who instead trusts in the power of the actual, real Christ flowing through her to others, will not be proud having done something good; the result of success through dependence is gratefulness.

      To get from independence to dependence requires suffering, because suffering means things we don’t want to happen to us, and dislike, do happen.

      My journey toward dependence on God began with a simple Tozer prayer: “Lord, work your will in my life, no matter what the cost.” I’m not always sure, when I get to Heaven, if I am going to punch Tozer in the nose or hug him in a bear hug. I may hug him and then booby-trap his heavenly house with buckets of ice water on top of every door. My life was going quite according to my own perfect plan before I prayed his prayer. But the fruit of my plan would have been a life lived according to my designs – not eternal ones, but temporal – and much eternal good may have been lost as a result.

      Suffering – the occurrence of circumstances I dislike and which hinder my own designs for my life, breaking my sense of being independent – has been the road to eternal recovery. We are dependent selves, dependent on God for every breath, every bite of food, every drink of water, every good thought, every joy, every pleasure, every virtue, every strength – and every bit of suffering he allows our way to get us to dependence.

    • This was such a terrific message, given at such a needful time.  Thank you for your faithfulness in creating it.

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