05 Jun 2015

Life is Deeper than Fiction

What shapes our ideals about what life ought to be like? Frighteningly, I think many individuals are shaped by various forms of banal media more than by their families and mentors, or by historical figures and enriching arts. The up-and-coming generation’s expectations and ideals of high school and college are too often formed by teen fiction a la Twilight and a host of other semi-pornographic novels marketed towards pre-teens and high schoolers. Ideas of what

Johanna Byrkett 3
03 Jun 2015

Evading Life

O weariness of men who turn from GOD To the grandeur of your mind and the glory of your action, To arts and inventions and daring enterprises, To schemes of human greatness thoroughly discredited, Binding the earth and the water to your service, Exploiting the seas and developing the mountains, Dividing the stars into common and preferred, Engaged in devising the perfect refrigerator, Engaged in working out a rational morality, Engaged in printing as many

Jeff Reid 4
02 Jun 2015

Slip Away

The only flight path to Heaven is under the radar Leaving all behind but your entourage of angels Unseen and silent slip away, slip away All you can carry with you is a wing full of wind And to everything else you must be a stranger Slip away, slip away Unseen and silent, slip away Be oppressed and afflicted and for goodness’ sake silent Spend your words like treasure and your treasure like words Unseen

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 2
01 Jun 2015

The Spiritual Value of Christian Poetry and Christian Poets You Should Read

Summer is a season that invites you to pick up a book. The longer daylight provides more hours for reading, the break from school opens up schedules and frees from the demands of syllabi, and vacations to the mountains or the beach beckon us to leisure away our time while nestled in a good book. While many people reach for the latest bestsellers, classic works of literature, or (as is likely for many of our

Laura Norris 2
20 May 2015

Growing Young (Or, Becoming Like Children)

“ ‘I’ll be darned!’ said Douglas. ‘I never thought of that. That’s brilliant! It’s true. Old people never were children!’ ‘And it’s kind of sad,’ said Tom sitting still. ‘There’s nothing we can do to help them.’ ”1 If you’ve read Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine before, then you probably recognize this poignant surmise on aging. Ten year-old Tom’s insight is based on his interactions with the seventy-two year old Mrs. Bentley, a widow who moved

Jeff Reid 3
06 May 2015

Thou Hast Not Left Me Here Without Grace

O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness! O my life-long damage and daily shame! O my indwelling and besetting sins! O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart! Destroy, O God, the dark guest within who hidden presence makes my life a hell.1 This the final post in a series focused on God’s forgiveness. Not that three articles are enough to cover the topic—far from it. However, they should help lay the groundwork for

Jeff Reid 0
05 May 2015

Our God Our Help in Ages Past

Revelation 6:9-11 9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them;

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
01 May 2015

Life, Dreams, and Everything

When I was eighteen years old I purchased the film Waking Life, by director Richard Linklater. Its premise, plot, and production epitomize our postmodern moment. Linklater develops a story about dreams within dreams, in which a character travels seamlessly through surreal worlds while witnessing a plethora of philosophical conversations about life and death. The tagline reads, “Are we sleepwalking through our waking state, or wake-walking through our dreams?” Utilizing stunning visual effects,1 a haunting score,

Benjamin Winter 1
22 Apr 2015

Mercy: It’s Seriously Wonderful

I have seen the purity and beauty of thy perfect law, the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns, the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls, yet I daily violate and contemn its precepts. Thy loving Spirit strives within me, brings me Scripture warnings, speaks in startling providences, allures by secret whispers, yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt, impiously resent, grieve, and provoke him to abandon me.1

Jeff Reid 2
21 Apr 2015

Christ is Risen!

            ! risen is Christ and we are left looking up and lifting up the exclamation to a point It can be easier to affirm in languages not our own because he has gone to a foreign land Throughout Bright Week we are blinded from standing and staring too closely at the Son We return to eating vicarious deaths after our own death has been vanquished by the blood Old habits

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
17 Apr 2015

The Love that Moves the Sun and Other Stars

As the geometer who sets himself To square the circle and who cannot find, For all his thought, the principle he needs; Just so was I on seeing this new vision. I wanted to see how our image fuses Into the circle and finds its place in it; Yet my wings were not meant for such a flight — Except that then my mind was struck by lightning, Through which my longing was at last

Benjamin Winter 3
10 Apr 2015

Speaking Scary

 Don’t let the sun set till you’ve done one thing that sort of scares you.1 —Ann Voskamp Clear Colorado skies are a rich cyan blue, beckoning me to jump into an adventure. Sometimes I receive the call of all that glorious wild and go for a long drive in the mountains, looking for a pull-off where I can tromp. I like adventures, after all. Some days, though, I stay home and watch the cotton-clouds sail

Johanna Byrkett 0
08 Apr 2015

Wilt Thou Forgive That Sin?

Glorious and Holy God, Provocations against thy divine majesty have filled my whole life. My offenses have been countless and aggravated. Conscience has rebuked me, friends have admonished me, the examples of others have reproached me, thy rod has chastised me, thy kindnesses allure me.1 The Resurrection was celebrated on Sunday, but now, it’s Wednesday. The festivities are over and a fresh week begun. And while this week provides new opportunities for faithful service, it

Jeff Reid 2
07 Apr 2015

Truly, You are a God Who Hides Yourself

Truly, you are a God who hides yourself                           1 You create the heavens and earth as wholly other Raised above all with arms outstretched You only come down to the face of the waters When all is black and chaotic and empty                          5 And when you do show yourself, we

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 3
24 Mar 2015

Do We Have a Prayer

Do we have a prayer to get us out of Purgatory                                     1 That space we wander between loss and Resurrection Where Hades and Heaven mingle and we are engulfed Is there a cock to crow us awake for the blessed journey A fine feathered friend to give us direction                

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 0
11 Mar 2015

Pursuing The Rainbow’s End

If I ever need a reminder to be careful about my pretensions to sophistication, I can always fall back on my love of country music. Every so often though, even this guilty pleasure comes to good account. Case in point, Keith Urban’s Days Go By. Urban’s song wrestles with the same aspect of time considered in my last article, namely the way time seems to fly. In turn, he suggests a specific view for approaching

Jeff Reid 0
10 Mar 2015

Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Saint Ephrem the Syrian

The time has come to lose that weight The weight that holds me back Strip down to the essentials To run that Heavenly track The stands are full of cheerers-on Who’ve come to see me run There’s a wild olive crown Just waiting to be won   And now we’re sweatin’ to the oldies Until the race is run Sweatin’ to the oldies With Saint Ephrem the Syrian 1   Lord and Master of my

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 4
03 Mar 2015

Freedom

Freedom, I’m told, is the absence of tyranny. I realized one day that everybody’s got an idea of the kind of freedom they ought to have, mostly inaccurate. History and human nature proves that humans have a strange habit of running straight to tyranny at the least provocation. It’s because we’re mixed up about freedom.  Without comprehending tyranny in its worst form, no one will cling to real freedom. Real freedom isn’t doing whatever we

Amanda Hill 1
25 Feb 2015

Time’s End

Time is fascinating. Paradoxically, it both moves quickly and slowly, there is plenty of it and yet never enough. Embracing both of these realities is needed to live well. On the one hand, we need keep our focus on the end toward which time is headed if we’re to live well. At the same time, this focus should drive us back the present moment and the direction that has been given for the moment to

Jeff Reid 2
24 Feb 2015

The Seven Words of Creation

The scene of Creation opens with a senseless darkness. Was it the ultimate betrayal that caused the chaos, The Morning Star falling from Heaven to Earth with a burst? The first Word of Creation tells us it is true: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” And the light that enlightens the whole world Is the only light shining in the whole world And without even looking God says “It is good.”

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy 1