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On Being the Center of the Universe: A Reminder for the Narcissist in Me

On Being the Center of the Universe: A Reminder for the Narcissist in Me

Without giving anything away, NBC’s The Good Place (returning September 27) features six major characters, one of which is Tahani al-Jamil: a tall, gorgeous philanthropist with a sophisticated English accent. In the afterlife, Tahani wears only the finest clothes and throws extravagant parties for her recently deceased community of do-gooders. She also finds a way […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Matthew Chapter Seven Verses One Through Three

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-3, NIV)

I find obedience to this command to be very elusive in my life. It’s tricky, and I can never quite get the hang of it. Sin truly lies waiting to ambush us…and the worst assault is our blindness to what we’re indulging. So often, I find myself judging people before I even realize what I’m doing. In the moment, it just seems like normal assessment and observation. I think I’m seeing the real, flesh-and-blood, image-bearing person…but I’m really viewing a perverted caricature I have created in my mind. For me, that individual’s faults have literally become who they finally are. It’s so unconscious most of the time… Yet sometimes I know what I’m doing but can’t stop…

I’ve heard it said that unbelief is the sin beneath all sins/sinning. I want to argue then that self-justification is the pleasure beneath all pleasures. There is something intoxicating and pacifying about that moment when I look at my neighbor and feel in my heart, ‘I’m glad I’m not like that…’ It’s pacifying, but not satisfying. The only satisfaction we can find is the satisfaction of the law which Jesus accomplished for us.

How do I resolve this tension? I don’t want to judge, but I do. I want to see the real person in front of me, but I can’t. Thanks be to God: Christ incarnate literally embodied and fulfilled ‘judge not’ (see John 8:11). Christ crucified was judged with a harsher measure than we judge one another. You were crucified with Him. You are hidden in Him. You were judged and found innocent…therefore the record of not judging your brother is perpetually and eternally yours. Even while you secretly thank God you are not like others…the Spirit graciously reminds you, you are like His Son.

Justice, Serena Style

Justice, Serena Style

She is not playin’, sports fans, even when she’s playin’. That’s what I have come to love about Serena Williams. She’s been one of the top five athletes in the world for years now, but she has never stopped being Serena. If you haven’t heard about the U.S. Open Women’s Final from Saturday in Flushing […]

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

The Great Things We’ll Accomplish in the Grave

The Great Things We’ll Accomplish in the Grave

We’ve all had influential people in our lives who remain unaware of the impact they had on us. An elementary school teacher who inspired us to dedicate our lives to educating others. An older friend of our family whose kindness and generosity we’ve tried to emulate. Maybe it’s a random stranger who, like a guardian […]

The Bad News of Just Being Yourself

The Bad News of Just Being Yourself

Every Friday night, my family has movie night. Something has recently marred the whole experience though, mostly for me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think I can watch contemporary family films with my kids anymore. The main problem? A major theme in most of these stories is something of a false gospel […]

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 Jeffersonian Ideal and the Unexpected Solution to Racism

The Jeffersonian Ideal and the Unexpected Solution to Racism

As you may know, Mockingbird HQ is situated here in happy, wealthy, intellectual, pastoral Charlottesville, Virginia. When I moved to Charlottesville for college almost 15 years ago, it was considered “America’s Happiest City” and one of the best places in America to raise a family. It still is. For this reason, and others, there is a […]

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.

A Message of Hope for the Geeks: From Coheed and Cambria

A Message of Hope for the Geeks: From Coheed and Cambria

Music is a weird time machine. Whether it’s an entire record, a song, or even a particular melody or rhythm, music has a way of viscerally tethering me to snapshots from my past. It not only surfaces visual memories of particular places and things, but it dredges up the feeling of particular seasons of life. […]

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 […]