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2014

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Bright Lights, Big Cities


Oct 30 2014
Shifting demographics broaden opportunities for urban and suburban Christians.
Bright Lights, Big Cities
Craig ONeal / Flickr

Earlier this year, Nielsen reported on the millennial generation’s draw to cities, with Austin topping its list of places with high concentrations of people in their 20s and early 30s.

"Breaking from 'previous generations’ ideals, this ...

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All My Children Are ‘My Own’


Oct 29 2014
The theological significance of adoption language.
All My Children Are ‘My Own’

Editor’s note: In honor of the upcoming Orphan Sunday, author and mother Sara Hagerty shares with us the following essay about how the language we use around adoption reflects our understanding of our adoption into the family of God.

“We prefer ...

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My First American Halloween


Oct 28 2014
Finding cultural nuance in the Christian trick-or-treating debate.
My First American Halloween
Andrew Morrell / Flickr

I was 30 years old the first time I dressed up for Halloween.

Halloween was not a part of my childhood in South Africa—only something we knew from seasonal episodes of sitcoms exported from the West. I remember my sisters and I pretending to trick-or-treat, ...

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Beautiful Beyond Our Control


Oct 27 2014
With so much pressure put on our looks, we forget what our bodies are for.
Beautiful Beyond Our Control
M Car / Flickr

I was born cute—came squalling out of the womb with a head of dark hair and blue eyes. The hair turned blond before my first birthday and the eyes turned bluer. We were all small babies, petite and small-boned. I was born cute and stayed that way until ...

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When Rural Traditions Get Hipster Cred


Oct 24 2014
Food trends overlook the economic pressures of their origins.
When Rural Traditions Get Hipster Cred
Robert Judge / Flickr

When I was a teenager, my aunt gave me a sage piece of advice. It came in the middle of canning season, when we were eyeballs-high in corn, tomatoes, and green beans.

In our rural community, the months of August, September, and October were spent “putting ...

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What the Ebola Panic Reminds Us About Worry


Oct 23 2014
Even faced with deadly disease, we can choose to live like God’s in control.
What the Ebola Panic Reminds Us About Worry
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

After 21 days in isolation, Louise Troh, her son, and two nephews emerged giving thanks to God. “We are so happy this is coming to an end,” Troh said. “We have lost so much, but we have our lives and we have our faith in God, which always ...

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Why Do We Still Need Women’s Conferences?


Oct 22 2014
Q cofounder explains the purpose behind gathering as women.
Why Do We Still Need Women’s Conferences?
Courtesy of Rebekah Lyons

Q began seven years ago as a way to gather Christian leaders and influencers to mobilize around the common good in our cities. My husband Gabe and I cofounded the organization, and over the years, we have had significant numbers of women participate as speakers ...

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School Prayer Doesn’t Need a Comeback


Oct 20 2014
Why this prayer-loving, evangelical mom won’t be joining the movement.
School Prayer Doesn’t Need a Comeback
U.S. Dept. of Education

It was a mistake to read about Janine Turner’s push to bring prayer “back” to school so early in the morning.

During those first few quiet moments—just before I rouse my middle-schooler for early morning band, then my daughter for ...

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The Pastor’s Wife Effect


Oct 20 2014
Pastors' wives don’t need reverence. They need friendship.
The Pastor’s Wife Effect
theologhia /Flickr

In a recent interview in Rolling Stone, Taylor Swift recounts a conversation with her brother about a man he’d seen walking around with a cat on his head. She was torn between wanting to respect the man’s privacy and wishing she had a photo. After ...

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How Love Leads Us to Worry


Oct 17 2014
When we love someone or something, we assume they’re ours to worry about.
How Love Leads Us to Worry
lorenkerns / Flickr

Author Amy Simpson, a regular Her.meneutics writer, has previously shared with us about various aspects of mental health, including the church’s response to mental illness, the language we use to talk about mental disorders, and the rise in depression ...

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What Does It Mean to Be Black-ish?


Oct 15 2014
How “exceptional” African Americans still bolster our stereotypes.
What Does It Mean to Be Black-ish?
Adam Taylor / ABC

In high school, I took a class called “The Black Experience in White America,” studying stacks of books on critical race theory, reels of historical documentaries, and pages of prose written by African Americans. The course asked: What does it mean ...

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Have We Told You How Pretty You Look Today?


Oct 14 2014
How our instinct to praise each others’ looks might fuel an image-obsessed culture.
Have We Told You How Pretty You Look Today?
queenieandthedew / Flickr

A few weeks ago I saw on Instagram a picture of my friend with a celebrity. It wasn’t a backstage concert photo, or a selfie from a chance run-in at Starbucks. Instead, she was working with this nationally recognized figure as a part of her job. I was ...

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The History We’d Prefer to Forget


Oct 13 2014
Why we pass on pain to the next generation.
The History We’d Prefer to Forget
J.D. Thomas / Flickr

The recent round of protests in Colorado over a proposed change to the Advanced Placement American History curriculum has illustrated for me the challenge in our culture about what it means to remember well.

The College Board, the organization that administers ...

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The Deeper Draw of YA


Oct 10 2014
Grown-up readers find a necessary reminder of our brokenness and vulnerability.
The Deeper Draw of YA
martinaphotography / Flickr

For decades, adults have enjoyed books intended for teenagers and adolescents. But during this year’s leisurely summer reading season, the adult inclination toward young adult (YA) lit became a hotly debated topic.

Ruth Graham sparked a fury with her ...

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Missional Living Doesn’t Wait for Marriage


Oct 9 2014
As for me and my house, we'll serve in our single years.
Missional Living Doesn’t Wait for Marriage
wickenden / Flickr

Where I live in Texas, there are two dominant decorating motifs: every house either has a wall covered with ornamental crosses or a wall with large words spelling out some sort of creed for their home. Perhaps you’ve seen some of these, ranging from heartwarming ...

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