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Mockingbird is devoted to connecting the Christian message with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways.

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    PZ's Podcast: T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)

    PZ’s Podcast: T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)

    EPISODE 257 Mrs. Zahl recently used the word “periphery” to describe our attitude, mine and hers, to increasing numbers of institutions, groups, and schools of thought to which we have been attached and for which we have been engaged for a long time. It’s not that one has changed one’s mind, or believes differently. Rather, […]

    On Our Bookshelf: From the Déjà Vu Issue

    On Our Bookshelf: From the Déjà Vu Issue

    If you get déjà vu scanning this list, it would be no surprise…you may have encountered some (but perhaps not all!) of these titles on this site. As compiled for the latest issue of The Mockingbird, these are the books we’ve been reading and re-reading this summer: The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison: […]

    How to Deploy Survival Mode: Some Notes on Mental Health from the Ladies of Unmapped — Charlotte Getz and Stephanie Phillips

    This excerpt comes from Mockingbird’s latest publication, Unmapped: The (Mostly) True Story of How Two Women Lost at Sea Found Their Way Home, by Charlotte Getz and Stephanie Phillips. One of the many zingers from this spiritual memoir duet, the following passage finds the authors wrestling with anxiety and mental health issues…as related to the gospel:

    The gospel gets a bad rap sometimes because it says you have to die before you can live. Which is a hard pill to swallow when you didn’t even want to take a pill in the first place.

    Here’s how it goes: girl has anxiety. Girl gets tools to deal with it. Tools help. (Occasionally.) But girl ends up in a situation (usually involving failure, humiliation, menstruation, her children, all of these things, or NONE OF THEM) in which she ends up feeling totally defeated by her anxiety; we mean, crushed. All hope appears lost. She thinks she will never get better. She can’t bear to think about the looks she will get when everyone sees she’s STILL a mess. She thinks she will actually die. None of the techniques help. She is drowning, and she cannot breathe. She is sinking, sinking, sinking…and everything goes dark.

    Awful, right? Like, Shakespearean tragedy-awful. Except there’s this other thing—death—and it relies not at all on the sinking girl, but on her being miraculously and improbably revived by something [Someone] entirely separate from herself. No strategy, no implementation, just plain being lifted up out of the depth of despair and placed atop some blessed rock. Death, but then…resurrection. See what we’re getting at here?

    We know it’s not as simple as a granted wish. We know there’s a whole lot of fist shaking, swearing into the sky, and despair. But it took Jesus himself three days, people. Settle in: this may take a while. Chances are, we’re probably going to be staring that bastard (mental dysfunction) in the face off-and-on our whole lives until we arrive at that beautiful buffet in the sky, where there’s endless white bread and the bill is already paid. But God is right with us. The ultimate hope—for us, for our kids when we fail them, for our friends when we hurt them, for our marriages when we flounder, for our jobs when we blow it—is in the throes of death that transform into the pangs of new life.

    Drown, resuscitate, repeat. Fail, get forgiven, go again. Despair, hope, defeat, redemption, over and over, until one day you wake up and you realize you’re still anxious, but you see it more clearly, for the cloudy lens it is, and you know—even though you’re not there yet, because TODAY IS A DOOZY—you know that you’re going to be okay. Ultimately, you will be whole. And you’re headed there. So you breathe, and you put one foot in front of the other while recognizing that you’re actually being carried. And your anxiety hasn’t disappeared; nope, it’s still following you around like a hot, wet rag someone keeps chucking at your face, but you’re no longer a table for two. You’ve got company, and it looks strangely like a lifeboat with all the provisions onboard (see what we did there?). You settle in, and soon other passengers come aboard your lifeboat, so you open a bottle of wine and hold hands and breathe together, everyone facing the same direction.

    Love and Wrath: A Personal Odyssey – Dorsey McConnell

    From our recent conference in NYC, the following testimony was given by the Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell. Here he discusses family, rage, and the time he almost killed his father…really! Incredibly moving. We’re very pleased to share this one.

    Love and Wrath: A Personal Odyssey – Dorsey McConnell from Mockingbird on Vimeo

    Previewing The Mockingapp!

    SUPER excited to announce that the long-awaited Mockingapp (for iOS) is being rolled out as we speak to our monthly donors. It’s got everything in one place: all our blogposts, podcasts, and even the entire Mockingbird Devotional! Suffice to say, it turned out way cooler than we had any right to expect. Many, many thanks to A. Ramey, J. Witten and Tom Martin for making this particular dream a reality.

    The Mockingapp be available to the wider public in mid-to-late October, but if you just can’t wait, sign up to become a monthly supporter here (which also gets you a subscription to our print magazine).

    Mbird Fall Conference in Oklahoma City – Less Than Six Weeks Away!

    Check out the trailer that the ever-talented Mark Babikow put together for our event next month in Oklahoma City (10/11-13)! You don’t want to miss this one:

    For more details or to pre-register, click here!

    The Pagan Priests of Mockingbird

    The Pagan Priests of Mockingbird

    Here’s one of the lists from this most recent issue of our magazine, The Deja Vu Issue, which should have arrived at your house by now. If not, well, you can remedy that now… One well-worn slogan that we’ve consistently enjoyed putting to the test is that “all truth is God’s truth.” Come to find […]

    Grace for Those With Father Issues (AKA Those With a Pulse) – Dave Johnson

    Our next breakout video is one that really seemed to hit those in attendance right between the eyes. We’ve got our fingers crossed that Dave will turn it into a book:

    Grace for Those with Father Issues (AKA, Grace for Those with a Pulse) – Dave Johnson from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    The Altar – George Herbert

    A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,
    Made of a heart and cemented with tears;
    Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
    No workman’s tool hath touch’d the same.
    A HEART alone
    Is such a stone,
    As nothing but
    Thy pow’r doth cut.
    Wherefore each part
    Of my hard heart
    Meets in this frame
    To praise thy name.
    That if I chance to hold my peace,
    These stones to praise thee may not cease.
    Oh, let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
    And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.

    Do I Feel a Draft? Leaving the Door Open for Reconciliation – Carrie Willard

    The next breakout vid from our NYC Conference is here–and it’s explosive! After you’ve recovered and are ready for your next dose of Willard magic, be advised: Carrie is giving one the keynotes at the upcoming event in Oklahoma City (10/11-13).

    Do I Feel a Draft?: Keeping the Door Open for Reconciliation – Carrie Willard from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

    PZ's Podcast: The Letter and My Antediluvian Baby

    PZ’s Podcast: The Letter and My Antediluvian Baby

    EPISODE 255: The Letter Pastorally — and generally — it is easy to miss the core of what’s going on with a person in pain. You may see some symptoms — tho’ sometimes even the symptoms are hidden — and may sub-rationally understand that something bad is taking place under the surface. But when it […]

    Across the Great Divide – David Zahl

    The final plenary from NYC in which we broach that topic and lose our sense of smell. Also, ABBA meets the King.

    Across the Great Divide – David Zahl from Mockingbird on Vimeo.