2014

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Favorite Books of 2014 Five novels, five memoirs, one giddy adult who loves to read.
Favorite Books of 2014
CCAC North Library

Some people talk about kids in a candy store as an image of pure excitement and unadulterated joy. I have never been that kid. But bookstores? Libraries? Lists of books at the end of the year to help me figure out what reading pleasure I might have in the weeks and months ...

The Problem with Christmas CardsI love those happy faces. But I love the Christmas story even more.
The Problem with Christmas Cards
Jeff Weese/flickr

Last spring, after months of looking at the smiling faces of dozens of family members and friends who lined the doorposts of our dining room, I insisted they had to go. My husband and son conspired and relocated the strands of Christmas cards stapled to long pieces of ribbon ...

The Myth of the Exceptional WomanThe false premise that divides women who lead from women who might.
The Myth of the Exceptional Woman
bbaltimore/flickr

I had been at Azusa Pacific University for less than a semester when I found myself riding along with my mentor, Sarah Sumner, to a speaking engagement in downtown L.A. Once we arrived, I was floored by the depth of her knowledge and by her captivating teaching style. She ...

Have a Wonder-full Christmas SeasonWhat my children have taught me about wonder and waiting.
Have a Wonder-full Christmas Season
Cathy Stanley-Ericson/flickr

...

Signs and wonders. A phrase so common in the Bible that the word “wonder” appears 109 times. According to the dictionary, wonder:

The feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

Children ...

Disability Is Different in AfricaWhat one family has learned from serving families in Zambia through the Special Hope Network.
Disability Is Different in Africa

About six years ago, the Nelson family came over to our house for dinner. Holly and Eric Nelson have three children—Maggie, Mollie, and Sam. All three were adopted as infants, and all three have Down syndrome. I met them for the first time when they were teenagers, and ...

Grace Amid an Ordinary ChristmasCan grace show up in the midst of sickness, snow days, Monopoly, and a manger?
Grace Amid an Ordinary Christmas
Kurt Edblom/flickr

I’m probably not alone in entering the Christmas season with some combination of eager anticipation and dread. I won’t go on and on about the shopping and the baking and the parties, but I will note that this celebration also falls at the beginning of the sick-and-snow ...

Dear White Brothers and Sisters: Why #BlackLivesMatter Matters to YouEric Garner and Tamir Rice did not deserve to die. A guest post by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson.
Dear White Brothers and Sisters: Why #BlackLivesMatter Matters to You
velocity/flickr

In light of the ongoing civil unrest following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the recent grand jury decision on Eric Garner's death at the hands of police in Staten Island, New York, I asked the various writers who contributed to an August blog series ...

"What Annoys You About Me?"What we can learn when our kids point out our faults. A Small Talk guest post by Patton Dodd.
"What Annoys You About Me?"
Billie Harra/flickr

With three weeks left in our Small Talk series, I am delighted to welcome Patton Dodd, editor of OnFaith, to share his thoughts on what he has learned through his children:

One morning early this fall, my 11-year old daughter and I started listing the things we like least ...

The Great Congruence of Science and FaithAn interview with Rob Moll about kids and spirituality, neuroscience, and the practice of prayer
The Great Congruence of Science and Faith
William Creswell/flickr

I read Rob Moll’s newest book, What Your Body Knows About God with interest and wonder. It’s filled with fascinating tidbits of information about our bodies and spirituality, and Rob writes in a way that easily connects data points to stories. The book as a whole ...

A White Cop and a Black LadyTalking After Ferguson, Hands Down, a guest post by Patricia Raybon
A White Cop and a Black Lady
The All-Nite Images/Flickr

First I noticed his kilt. A man in a skirt.

Then I learned he was a police officer. A California motorcycle cop. So this white man stood out for certain at a platform-building conference we both were attending in mid-November in Colorado Springs.

Then Jason Hoschouer, ...

Grateful for GraveyardsWhy we took our children to a funeral.
Grateful for Graveyards
smila4/flickr

I receive an email from my mother in the evening. Nana is having trouble breathing. The Hospice nurse says she will die soon.

I have been expecting this news for weeks. My grandmother, Nana, just celebrated her 93rd birthday. In recent years, she has lost thirty pounds, ...

This Odd American HolidayWhat the strange beauty of Thanksgiving has taught us about dependence
This Odd American Holiday
JD Hancock

It strikes me as both odd and beautiful that America—this nation of fiercely independent citizens—slows down to give corporate thanks each year. Our other national holidays either come laden with controversy (consider the secular/sacred divide of Christmas and ...

Limping through ScriptureAn interview with Jennifer Grant and Cathleen Falsani about Disquiet Time
Limping through Scripture
Patrick Feller/flickr

Released in late October, Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels is the brainchild of Jennifer Grant (a fellow contributor to her.meneutics) and Cathleen Falsani (an award-winning religion writer and journalist) ...

Talking with Kids about the Problem of EvilA Small Talk guest post by Jennifer Grant
Talking with Kids about the Problem of Evil
memories_by_mike/flickr

As I told my friend Jennifer Grant when I read the introduction to her newest book, Wholehearted Living: Five Minute Reflections for Modern Moms, "I'm ordering this book for all my mom friends this Christmas." Jen is the author of a number of books I've ...

Surprised by Religion at the National Book Awards Why literary culture in America should cause hope and concern
Surprised by Religion at the National Book Awards
Florin Gorgan/flickr

It felt kind of like the Oscars, well, like the Oscars for book nerds. An evening with awards in different categories, a host who made witty remarks, and palpable excitement in the air. Two nights ago, I sat in an auditorium at the New School in Manhattan, for the privilege ...

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