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The Brake Fast Club: Low Anthropology in Defensive Driving School

The Brake Fast Club: Low Anthropology in Defensive Driving School

This one comes to us from Kate Campbell. I wake up early one Saturday morning and drive over to the tiny strip center where my day’s worth of self-imposed detention awaits me. When I walk into the office, a home-makeover show is playing on the tiny TV screen. A stocky man at the front desk […]

Looking East

Looking East

Through accidents of First Worldness, I have come to spend much of my life in airports and on airplanes. I live in a city so small that its airport has flights to only one city—Philadelphia—and where there is active opposition to the idea of lengthening the runway so that we might be able to travel […]

The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

Saint Stephen’s Day 2018 was marked by the passing of the art historian, TV presenter, and author, Sister Wendy Beckett. I surprised myself when a few unexpected tears leaked out on hearing the news. It wasn’t from her untimely death; she was 88 after all. No, the tears, the more I thought about it, were […]

Why You Should Spend Whatever You Like Buying Friends and Loved Ones Gifts They Don’t Expect (and Don’t Deserve)

Why You Should Spend Whatever You Like Buying Friends and Loved Ones Gifts They Don’t Expect (and Don’t Deserve)

This one comes to us from our friend Jason Micheli. I’ve grown wary of the Christmas “tradition” of bemoaning the commercialization of Christmas in our culture.  Too often, we begin Advent not with Isaiah’s laments or John the Baptist’s words of judgment but our own words of lament and judgment, criticizing others for being so […]

An Advent Lament for Burnt-Out Teachers (and Our Needy Students)

An Advent Lament for Burnt-Out Teachers (and Our Needy Students)

He laughs. He kicks his bright spade in the earth and turns it over. – Andrew Hudgins, “Christ as a Gardener” Being a teacher is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Midway through my fourth year now at a high-poverty public middle school, I can say with gratitude that it has certainly gotten better—and […]

Horsin’ Around in Weakness

Horsin’ Around in Weakness

This one was written by Blake Nail. The shower drain continued to back up even after numerous attempts to pull the mushy clumps of hair out of the black hole. Outside help would have been a wise decision, but I figured I could fix it myself. So I poured Drano down the drain’s hatch over […]

New Parties for the Age of Social Media

New Parties for the Age of Social Media

Who actually flies to Vegas for a bachelor party? I’m not being mean or judgmental here. I really want to know. Who has that kind of money to spend on a friend? I mean, if you’re living in LA and Vegas is only 4 car hours away, make like The Hangover and have a good (and […]

Putting the Santa Back in Christmas (Movies)

Putting the Santa Back in Christmas (Movies)

We walk in the door on a random Friday in December. Its 5pm. I’m wondering what promising yet disappointing frozen Trader Joe’s entrée I can provide for my children. In T-45 minutes there will be a Christmas Happy (?) Hour at my house for a church board. St. Mountain of Laundry sits on my dining […]

Not Yet: Serena Williams and Delayed Forgiveness

Not Yet: Serena Williams and Delayed Forgiveness

“I’m sorry.” “I forgive you.” These are two sentences that I find myself constantly demanding of my children…and I find that whether or not they mean them is immaterial. It’s like that great line in Liar Liar when Jim Carrey’s asking his son to recant his wish that his father would be unable to lie. […]

Gig Economies and the Evangelism of Pleeeeeeeeaassssee

Gig Economies and the Evangelism of Pleeeeeeeeaassssee

I really wish she hadn’t written this one. It would’ve stung no matter when it came out, but right now just seems cruel. Maybe you saw it and feel similarly exposed. Hopefully not. I’m talking about Ruth Whippman’s searing editorial in The NY Times “Everything Is For Sale Now, Even Us.” Believe me when I […]

The Many Faces of My Father

The Many Faces of My Father

This sweet reflection comes to us from Stacie Tchividjian. While on a recent work trip with my husband, I showed a few ladies, who had never met me and didn’t know my life story, a current picture of my parents. One lady commented “They look SO young!” I replied, “They are. My mom had me when she […]

Living and Dying With Rich Mullins: Let Go and Let Rich Be Rich

Living and Dying With Rich Mullins: Let Go and Let Rich Be Rich

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Rich Mullins’ death in a car accident at age 41. To commemorate this occasion, I am writing my memories of his music — not so much music criticism as memoir-via-music. See part 1 here and part 2 here. I love Rich Mullins because he was willing to criticize or even reject […]