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ANNOUNCING! <i>Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers</i> by Paul Zahl

ANNOUNCING! Peace in the Last Third of Life: A Handbook of Hope for Boomers by Paul Zahl

SURPRISE!! We’ve dropped hints here and there that Paul Zahl has been working on a new book. The hardcover will be out this summer, but given our present circumstances (and the urgency of the book’s message), we wanted to get it into your hands as soon as possible. So we’ve...
When Grace Comes as a Trophy

When Grace Comes as a Trophy

My mother has been going through things lately. Like many people right now, she has time on her hands to unload the boxes that were lovingly packed away decades ago with the best intentions about the then-present “meaning” but with little regard for how callous time might make us. She...
Why I Invited Daryl Davis to Speak in DC

Why I Invited Daryl Davis to Speak in DC

Grace, Race and the KKK ~ Daryl Davis from Mockingbird on Vimeo. There’s a scene about fifteen minutes into Accidental Courtesy, the 2016 documentary about musician Daryl Davis, that so blew my hair back that I immediately looked up his contact info for the purposes of begging him to join...
When Is a Baseball Card More Than Just a Baseball Card?

When Is a Baseball Card More Than Just a Baseball Card?

Blame Michael Jordan, or blame COVID-induced storage diving, or blame birthday number four-zero-one last month, but I’ve been doing some serious time traveling of late. The calendar may read 2020, but inside my head I’ve been traversing 1986-1994, one pop culture artifact at a time. Listeners to The Mockingcast have...
The New Mockingbird Digest!

The New Mockingbird Digest!

Dear everyone, We invite you to subscribe to our new e-newsletter, delivered conveniently to your inbox fortnightly (once every two weeks-ish). It will be a compendium of fresh posts, pertinent archived material, and other grace-filled goodies. Think of it, maybe, as your good-news news. Note: If you are already subscribed...
Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

Ideas are sort of like clothes. Like when you find a new jean jacket and it instantly becomes your favorite. The fit is impeccable, as if it were designed for only you. You wear it everywhere with pride and are the envy of everyone. The jacket becomes your signature accessory...
The Ministry of Weirdness, Courtesy of The Rev. Alfred Yankovic

The Ministry of Weirdness, Courtesy of The Rev. Alfred Yankovic

“Even as a child, I understood on some intuitive level that Weird Al was not merely the Shakespeare of terrible food puns (“Might as well face it you’re addicted to spuds”) or an icon of anti-style (poodle fro, enormous glasses, questionable mustache, Hawaiian shirts) but a spiritual technician doing important...
The Relief of Comedy

The Relief of Comedy

This delightful post comes from Ben Fort: Back in September, a sermon went viral. A British pastor was praised for a grace-filled rebuttal to the burdensome false teachings found in the video of a fellow clergyman. This kind of interaction isn’t surprising to anyone on Christian Twitter, except the debate...
Latest entries


When a Fish Dies at the Children’s Hospital and Other Thoughts on Prayer

Right now, there are few places with as much contrast as a children’s hospital. Our son, who has broken his arm twice this year, had an appointment last week to get his cast taken off. This second time around has been harder. The bone was not healing as quickly as it had last fall. There […]

When You Live in Hawaii, You’re Not Allowed to Complain

When you live in Hawaii, you are not allowed to complain. We lived there for over 5 years, and whenever I complained about anything, people would respond sarcastically, “Must be tough living in Hawaii.” If I said anything negative about living there such as the cost of living or the size of parking lots or […]

Searching for Beauty and Slowing Down

A few years ago, I became fascinated by a group of loosely connected Instagram influencers who live in Birmingham. I started following several women who spend a whole lot of time sharing their lives online to thousands of followers. These women are probably in their mid-to-late twenties. Some are married, some aren’t. Some have children, […]

Great Marriages Don’t Just Happen (And Other Threats Disguised as Sermons)

This one comes from Jonny Wills: Dallas Baptist University looks idyllic in fading sunlight. It perfectly fits the image of a city on a hill. Students stroll between replicas of historical buildings designed to resemble famous U.S. landmarks like the U.S. Supreme Court Building, Monticello and Harvard Hall. These monuments comprise a campus defined by […]

Another Week Ends: Downward Ascents, Prayerology, Endless Dishes, Middle Earth SSRIs, and the Church of QAnon

Slightly truncated weekender today, as we’ve been up to our ears prepping our big Spring newsletter/appeal, which just went to the post office. Needless to say, we need your help more than ever (and hope you’ve appreciated our stepped-up efforts during these past few months!). If you’d like to receive a copy of the letter, […]

My Night of Innocent Sexuality at Maud’s

Spoilers below (for a film a half-century old) Desire, satisfaction, and justice are uneasy acquaintances. They are asymptotes, or Italian dressing. With space, time, and energy enough, they may emulsify, fraternize, or verge, but they will never fuse. Why? And what to do about it? My Night at Maud’s dramatizes this problem. The film’s fulcrum […]

When Is a Baseball Card More Than Just a Baseball Card?

Blame Michael Jordan, or blame COVID-induced storage diving, or blame birthday number four-zero-one last month, but I’ve been doing some serious time traveling of late. The calendar may read 2020, but inside my head I’ve been traversing 1986-1994, one pop culture artifact at a time. Listeners to The Mockingcast have now had to listen to […]

The Man Who Challenged My Theology of Achievement

I went to college about a month after I turned seventeen, from a small town in Wisconsin to the “wretched hive of scum and villainy” known to rural folks as the University of Wisconsin in Madison. There were about 7,000 people in my hometown, contrasted with the student population of 40,000 of the University. To […]

Good News That Never Goes Out of Style

Ideas are sort of like clothes. Like when you find a new jean jacket and it instantly becomes your favorite. The fit is impeccable, as if it were designed for only you. You wear it everywhere with pride and are the envy of everyone. The jacket becomes your signature accessory and it assumes an almost […]

Good Luck With That Self-Sufficiency You Speak Of

Jesus invited us to a dance, but we have turned it into a march of soldiers. – Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom One of my favorite parts of the daily liturgy I read comes at the beginning of the evening liturgy, which I always read at some point in the afternoon–a time when I’ve exhausted […]

In These Certain Times

Certainly you’ll get a kick out of this:

Our Stories of Suffering and the Presence of God

The stories we engage in novels, memoirs, films, and the stories of our lives all share common elements. Some of those elements are: a hero, a villain, a guide, a problem that needs to be solved, a solution, and a transformed hero. By the end of the story, the hero is not who he was […]