09 Jul 2014

Conflict Management

Seven years ago, some of my friends got into a bit of a dispute with the powers-that-be at my college. (I have been told I have a gift for understatement). The nature of the dispute was incredibly personal, of the sort that is impossible to bring to anyone’s attention without making oneself intensely vulnerable. Talking to the dean of student life meant opening up to her judgment and allowing her to see things that were

Pepper Darlington 3
04 Jul 2014

Treading the Sea of Darkness

Noisy chatter clutters the lobby. The porch overflows with sound, seeping from every crevice of the hotel, like grapes, crushed. And I? I feel alone. Wearing the mask of a smile, while my soul wrestles with the Fall. I slip out into the rain-cooled air, the cloak of night hiding me from peering eyes and piercing laughter.   How many times have I sat in a crowd of persons, even those I know, and felt

Johanna Byrkett 6
02 Jul 2014

Inquisitive Gardeners

I never imagined myself writing the following sentence: I am a bit like Gollum. No, I don’t mean that I have a funny cough, proclivity to use the word “precious”, or frequently talk to myself (though, some might disagree on that last point). Nor am I trying to draw an abstract analogy about wrestling with sin nature. No, Gollum and I have similar passions, which Tolkien superbly describes: The most inquisitive and curious-minded of that

Jeff Reid 5
01 Jul 2014

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

I do not watch much television, only occasionally go the theater, and, for the most part, do not watch YouTube videos. Among the various genres of television, films, and video streaming I especially avoid comedy, such as Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and the various sitcoms that occupy television network lineups. Why do I do this? I am somewhat picky, feeling uncomfortable with sensuality and adult humor. What causes me discomfort is how comedy presentations

Stuart Kerr 4
25 Jun 2014

Foundational Goodbye

Recently my pastor talked about our lack of control and how God is still good. His talk pushed me to think more about a topic that has touched my life deeply for a few years now. And yes, this is me admitting sometimes I can’t focus on the sermon because my own thoughts drown out the microphone. But, lately especially, I’ve been thinking a lot about gospel goodbyes. How often they happen and how I

Guest Author 2
20 Jun 2014

Real Work Has Its Reasons

Vivid memories are stored for numerous reasons – from shock or surprise, to excitement or pain. One such memory of mine is of a friend picking me up for a weekend adventure. Five minutes into our drive, she asked the question that made my hackles rise, “How long do you see yourself working in your current position?” Even now my heart rate increases and my blood pressure rises. I hear her underlying question, “When are

Johanna Byrkett 8
18 Jun 2014

Fidelity in the Dark

I am constantly amazed by the poets’ ability to capture facets of human experience. Recently, Emily Dickinson caught my attention with her poem “The Duel”: I took my power in my hand And went against the world; ‘T was not so much as David had, But I was twice as bold. I aimed my pebble, but myself Was all the one that fell. Was it Goliath was too large, Or only I too small?1 Two

Jeff Reid 3
16 Jun 2014

What the Church Can Learn From Heavy Metal

With America still reeling from the recent Isla Vista killings, the blogosphere has since exploded with a smorgasbord of theories about what led to the carnage. I certainly do not wish to opine any further on this matter, however, one of the responses to that event – “We Created Elliot Rogers” posted at Ethika Politika – does offer a pertinent example for what I do want to discuss here.[1] The article’s author, Elisabeth Cervantes, moves

Chris Smith 18
16 Jun 2014

The Gray Hair Stays

It was early 2013, after a particularly stressful year, that I was at a friend’s house passing the time of day. As I got ready to leave, my friend looked strangely at the side of my head and then swooped in closer. “Amanda! You have a gray hair!” To my chagrin, I realized she was right. At the time, I was a mere twenty-seven years old—in my opinion, far too young for gray hairs. Since

Amanda Hill 5
16 Jun 2014

Motherhood And The Christian Walk

I heard the screaming that was only getting louder as I let the dog back in the door. I instructed her to sit, and instead she squatted and immediately proceeded to pee on the rug. Sending her back outside, I growled and stomped off to get a rag. I called up the stairs, “I’ll be there in a minute. Hold your horses, just calm down.” The child already had a bowl of cereal, milk, water,

Guest Author 2