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This week our site is undergoing some maintenance/revival, so if you have been experiencing disruptions, this is why. We’ll return tomorrow with fresh content. In the meantime, if you missed yesterday’s posts, you can visit them below! <3

Maine: The Way Life Should Have Been

Maine: The Way Life Should Have Been

As you cross over the Maine state line, a sign reads “Welcome to Maine: The Way Life Should Be.” It’s one of the better state mottos (not as good as “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for everyone,” but far better than the sad and desperate “West Virginia: Open for Business!”). Whenever I cross into Maine, a […]

New Mockingcast Is Out: "Glorious Inefficiency"!

EPISODE 157: In which Sarah, RJ, and Dave talk sleep technology, reckless generosity, and back row churches. Also, Sarah would like an epidural, all the time. Click here to listen.

To take RJ up on his offer, visit our Support page.

The Only Places on the Streets That Understand

The Only Places on the Streets That Understand

Way back on Christmas Eve of 2013, The Guardian ran a piece by photographer Chris Arnade under the provocative title, “The People Who Challenged My Atheism Most Were Drug Addicts and Prostitutes.” It remains one of the best and most heartening things I’ve read on that intersection. Arnade recounts how thoroughly his unbelief was challenged […]

By the Grace of Dog

You know the old truism: Wanna know unconditional love? Put your spouse and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour. When you open the trunk, only one of them’s still going to be happy to see you…

As we’ve compiled the many essays and interviews soon to make up Mockingbird’s fourteenth magazine issue, The Family Issue, we noticed a glaring and certainly inadvertent omission. How in the world does one put out over a hundred pages of tender, nuanced reportage relating to the family unit—not to mention grace in the family unit—without paying homage to its most gracious member?

Yes, we’re talking about the family dog. While families are full of conflict, perennial victims and perpetrators of so many circumstantial slings and arrows, there is no greater emblem of unconditional love and, um, dogged loyalty. Some may call dogs “inferior” or just plain “stupid.” To those people, we offer our prayers, because they must have never heard the foolish wisdom of God. Dogs are heaven-sent. And so, in lieu of an entire essay, we’re asking you, dear reader, to send us your “By the GRACE of DOG” stories. Where has the furry, four-legged love of God found its way through the doggie door and into your heart? What blessed paw-marks has it left on your interior furniture?

Just one small paragraph will suffice. We’ll keep you confidential. Send your submissions to bythegraceofdogz@gmail.com. They can be funny, heart-wrenching, really weird, or really sweet. And then keep an eye out for your submission in the next issue. If you have a cat story, well, good for you…

"Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher": An Mbird Conference in Lancaster, PA (6/11-13)

"Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher": An Mbird Conference in Lancaster, PA (6/11-13)

Excited to announce our (fast!) approaching Mockingbird conference in Lancaster, PA, hosted at the historic Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. With its theme—“Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher”—this intimate, impromptu conference aims to minister to those who minister. But of course all are welcome, not only preachers. Topics may include: family life, isolation/conflict, church […]

NOW AVAILABLE: StoryMakers - Adventure One: Creation

Pleased to announce that StoryMakers’ first kidzine has landed and is available through our online shop and StoryMakersNYC.com!

When we give kids stories that spark the imagination, we aren’t giving them distractions to tide them over until they can handle “the big stuff.” Stories ARE the big stuff. And the story of our rescue by God is the biggest story of all and for all. StoryMakers offers a new approach to drawing kids into this ultimate story—and helping them find their own stories within it.

Many of us remember getting a heaping dose of LAW as the first part of our early spiritual formation as children. In fact, the church has confused generations of children by leading them to believe that Christianity is all about following the golden rules of life in order to earn God’s favor. When young people come out of their church experience associating the Christian faith solely with moralism, two types of adults emerge—pharisees or burnouts.

At StoryMakers, we recognize that kids (and their grown-ups) need GRACE first and foundationally. So how do we help young people connect to this grace? We tell them the stories of the Bible, all of which are ultimately the love story of Jesus, the one who created us, loves us, and is actively redeeming us! We introduce them to a person, not a list of rules.

And by giving our kids the chance to engage the stories of the Bible through imaginative creation and play, we tap into their developmental forte. Kids don’t need to take a giant leap of faith to envision the stories of the Bible, so we use their natural curiosity, creativity, and imagination as the pathway into a lifetime of being known and loved by God.

Our first Adventure is an immersive experience all about Creation. Children will discover that God is the Creator of all, the ultimate StoryMaker, and faithfully shows mercy to us from the very beginning. Through our visuals and activities, StoryMakers will experience the progression of Genesis and will be given a glimpse into God’s promises to Creation.

  • The zine explores a story of the Bible over 12 weeks and includes art, fun facts, interactive play, and thoughts to ponder. Every chapter includes a 6-page spread, so there is plenty of detail to dig deep. ($20, or save 25% on 5 or more)
  • The teacher’s guide helps grown-ups use the kidzine with their children and students. Sometimes it is hard for adults even to know where to begin teaching the old stories with our little ones. Our Creation guide is available to support our StoryMakers along the way. It includes: Fun Facts, Deeper Thoughts, and Activity Instruction. The guide is perfect for any grown-up hoping to connect and discover God’s love and mercy alongside children. ($15)
  • The memory cards use visual prompts to turn memorization into a fun game. Order this set of memory cards and get to know Creation and God’s words of hope in the midst of the Fall. Each card is visually compelling with cues to help your StoryMaker internalize God’s story. ($12)
  • The playbook is tailored to help children enjoy Creation by playing all the characters in the story. You can use your puppets, or jump into costumes and play all the parts, to get to know Genesis in a new way. ($10)
  • You can purchase the entire creation zine set together. Each kit includes a zine, a teacher’s guide, our memory cards, and the playbook. Every piece enhances the StoryMaker experience and will bring Creation to life. ($50)
  • Last but not least, you can also download 12 printable posters, drawn from the beautiful zine illustrations. ($5 each)

ORDER YOUR FIRST ADVENTURE TODAY!

<i>Seculosity</i> Has Landed!!

Seculosity Has Landed!!

Beyond excited to announce that my new book Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What To Do About It is officially out today! So excited, in fact, that we made another video to celebrate #markbabikowisagenius: A few ways to support the cause (after you’ve purchased the book): […]

Psychic Disintegration in Jordan Peele's "Us"

Psychic Disintegration in Jordan Peele's "Us"

Unfortunately, there is no doubt about the fact that man is, as a whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. – Jung Nighttime: inside a secluded beach house, a family […]

Special Faith and Doubt Episode of The Mockingcast!

As you may know, each time a new issue of The Mockingbird hits the post office, we do a special episode of The Mockingcast to hit the highlights of the theme in discussion. The new one, ladies and gentlemen, is up! Join Ethan as he chats with Sally Lloyd-Jones, Gordon Marino, and Connor Gwin to talk about faith and doubt, and their contributions to the new magazine. Click here to listen. And click here to get a copy of your own.

Now Available! Life Is Impossible: And That's Good News, by Nick Lannon

Have you heard the Good News? Life Is Impossible…is now available through the Mockingbird bookstore and Amazon!
This slim, gospel-centered book points to God’s abundant mercy and love amidst life’s painful realities. With wisdom, humor, and compassion, Nick Lannon illumines the light of Jesus, the One who achieves the unachievable.

“A short, accessible classic.” – Paul F. M. Zahl, author of Grace in Practice

“Masterfully clear and imminently practical, this book puts flesh on theology, roots it in daily life, and demonstrates over and over that when we run into the brick wall of the impossible, we are actually at the very door that opens to Christ’s saving work.” – Chad Bird, author of Night Driving and Your God Is Too Glorious

This is one you won’t want to miss!

(Oh yes, and while you’re perusing our store, don’t forget to visit the merch page where you’ll find t-shirts and notebooks for wicked-cheap. Cheers to that.)
The Dangers of Parenting Under the Influence

The Dangers of Parenting Under the Influence

Waiting in the airport today, my family chipped away at a crossword. We were stuck with only a few clues left to solve, so needless to say, stakes were high. In a family where crossword answers are like currency, one can feel pressured to do the unthinkable under certain circumstances. Google. No, no, I wouldn’t […]