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My Honest Recommendation

My Honest Recommendation

Part of being a school chaplain is writing college recommendations for students. Most colleges want similar information. Is the student responsible, driven, civic-minded, a good student? Some colleges ask more specific questions. What has the student done to serve their community? How is the student committed to making the world a better place? The recommendation […]

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

I Am Giving Up Boundaries in 2019

Typically, I abstain from any New Year’s resolutions. I hate diets and everything they stand for. I loathe the notion that December 31st is distinctly different from January 1st.  And “self betterment” always seems to end in a profound feeling of “self worse-er-ment” for me. But not this year. This year I have decided to […]

Even Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Even Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Grateful for this reflection by Erin Jean Warde. I try to set aside Friday evenings to cook a lovely meal that I enjoy cooking—for one. On most evenings of the week, I cook food I don’t really want to eat, because it doesn’t seem worth it to spend so much time on recipes, mise en […]

Mary Definitely Knew

Mary Definitely Knew

They brought the baby to our doorstep. Five days old. Directly from the hospital. One outfit. Four pre-made bottles. A handful of diapers. A package of wipes. And a packet of papers that offered no definitive judgment on the proper pronunciation of her name. “I think it’s…” the social worker said. “I’m pretty sure.” A […]

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 […]

My Wife Doesn’t Trust Me: How Impossible Law Keeps Two Sinners Together

My Wife Doesn’t Trust Me: How Impossible Law Keeps Two Sinners Together

This reflection was written by S.M. White. My wife doesn’t trust me. At least that’s what she’s told me about half a dozen times over our 27-year marriage. What’s the lack of trust about? She can’t trust that I won’t hurt her again by whatever sin it happens to be next. Over time, as we’ve […]

Häve a Blessed Ådvent

Häve a Blessed Ådvent

Cozy up and enjoy this seasonal reflection from Ryan Currie: The New Yorker declared 2016 “The Year of Hygge”. I know, it’s 2018—leave it to church folks to get on trend two years late. ‘Hygge,’ for those who either missed it or already forgot, is a Danish word that doesn’t quite translate into English. When it […]

The De-Sexing of the American Teenager

The De-Sexing of the American Teenager

It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose, marking an episode of The Mockingcast “E” for “Explicit.” I just figured that when it happened, it’d be because of language (*ahem, Rev Jackwagon*) rather than content. But iTunes is notoriously touchy about these things and the “sex recession” is just too relevant of a subject not […]

O Come Thou Dayspring (and Grandparents, too)

O Come Thou Dayspring (and Grandparents, too)

“Would you like to see what you got me for Christmas?” Starting this time of year, this is the refrain in my home. I am a gift person. My husband is … not. I love selecting, buying, and wrapping gifts. He … doesn’t. I could blame the hectic Advent schedule at church (he’s clergy), but […]

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 Philosopher from the 1800s Who Talked About Social Media

The Philosopher from the 1800s Who Talked About Social Media

Long before Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, there lived a man in 19th-century Denmark who foreshadowed them all. His name was Søren Kierkegaard. We recognize him as a philosopher and a pugilistic theologian. Plus, the guy could tell a story like nobody’s business. And in one of his stories, he all but prophesies the future soul […]