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What’s the Truth Behind Serial? God Only Knows
Serial

What’s the Truth Behind Serial? God Only Knows


Dec 18 2014
Inconclusive storytelling stirs our longing for justice.

Like more than 1.5 million others, I’ve spent the last several weeks listening to Serial, a podcast that debuted in October from the producers of the popular public radio program This American Life. The first season of Serial investigates the 1999 murder of a Baltimore ...

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Bringing True Joy to the World


Dec 17 2014
How we can avoid over-sentimentalizing the holidays.
Bringing True Joy to the World
Pavlina Jane / Flickr

Christmas as a consumer event is designed for people like me. Saps, that is. People who inhale the smell of gingerbread and want to buy the whole tin because it reminds us of a happy memory, or a loving grandma, or the Best Christmas Ever.

This is sentimentalism, the emotional ...

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Christian Colleges vs. Hookup Culture


Dec 16 2014
The good intentions behind conservative campus rules.
Christian Colleges vs. Hookup Culture
Jason Parrish / Flickr

American college campuses are dangerous places. On our campuses, women are sexually assaulted in alarming numbers. Men are being hauled before campus sex tribunals, many of which lack any semblance of due process. United Educators, an insurance company owned by 1,160 member ...

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Our Own Kind of Time


Dec 15 2014
Entering Advent and getting caught up in the church calendar.
Our Own Kind of Time
Jamie McCaffrey / Flickr

I surprised myself this year when, without thinking, I referred to December—and the start of Advent—as the new year. The words just came tumbling out of my mouth—telling a friend I couldn’t meet for lunch until the “new year.”

When I ...

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Holiday Traditions, Under Construction


Dec 12 2014
Why our shifting families and evolving rituals can still be cause for celebration.
Holiday Traditions, Under Construction
Gui Seiz / Flickr

When my adult son offered to host Thanksgiving last month, it felt as though a baton was being passed instead of platters of turkey and cranberry relish. For three decades, I’ve been the one to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Now, it was time to hand off the honor to the ...

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Playing God on Paper


Dec 11 2014
How composing 50,000 words of fiction deepened my appreciation for the Great Author.
Playing God on Paper
melenita / Flickr

Fiction is about everything human and we are made out of dust, and if you scorn getting yourself dusty, then you shouldn't try to write fiction. It's not a grand enough job for you. - Flannery O'Connor

As 2014 ends, it's time for the "Best Of" ...

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The One Thing to Tell Pregnant Moms: ‘Congratulations’


Dec 10 2014
No family too big, no mom too young to hear our affirmation of life.
The One Thing to Tell Pregnant Moms: ‘Congratulations’
Andrew Seaman / Flickr

I’m pregnant with my fourth baby right now. Any mom who’s bore that many children—and even some with just two or three—knows what it's like to share the news of another pregnancy. People are quick to make comments like:

"Are you pregnant ...

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