December 2014

What Kids Have Taught Us About What Matters MostMoms, dads, and a godmother reflecting on the big things small voices help them understand.
What Kids Have Taught Us About What Matters Most
Image: United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley

Over the course of eight weeks this fall, eight diverse and talented writers contributed their perspective on what the children in their lives (moms, dads, and a godmother) have taught them about "what matters most." To conclude the series, here they are:

"What ...

Top Posts of 2014 Looking back on a year in news and culture from Let it Go to Ferguson to Prenatal Testing
Top Posts of 2014
Image: Christopher Chan

The cool thing about blogging is that you get to cover a whole host of topics over the course of a year. Pop culture, sex, and race tend to fly to the top of the charts, so I've picked ten posts from the past year that represent the most popular as well as the breadth ...

Best Guest Posts of 2014 Disability, race, and family top this blog's charts this year.
Best Guest Posts of 2014
Image: djking

Although I began blogging in 2008, this blog moved to Christianity Today last February. It is called "Thin Places" because I hope it is a space dedicated to creating unexpected connections--"places" where heaven and earth touch, where we might glimpse ...

Wishing You Neither a 'Traditional' nor 'Contemporary' ChristmasHow hymns (and a little bit of hip hop) can aid our worship. Plus a new Christmas hymn from High Street Hymns.
Wishing You Neither a 'Traditional' nor 'Contemporary' Christmas
Image: garshna/flickr

A few years ago, I sat in a church service in Richmond, Virginia, and I listened to a rendition of "There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy," a hymn I had never heard before. The rich theology within the words, and the beauty and simplicity of the music that ...

When God Doesn't Answer My Son's Prayers
When God Doesn't Answer My Son's Prayers
Image: babsteve/flickr

For the past 8 weeks or so, I've been running a guest series by adults reflecting on the way the children in their lives have prompted their own reflection and growth. Next week I will run a post that includes links and summaries of all these "Small Talk" posts. ...

A Season of Small TalkA series of reflections, guest posts, and interviews—all, I hope, helping us 'prepare him room.'
A Season of Small Talk

Christmas is a season where adult attention rightly turns toward children. Not only do we celebrate the birth of a child, but we do so in large part with the help of the children in our families and congregations. They remind us of wonder and delight and eager expectation. ...

Favorite Books of 2014 Five novels, five memoirs, one giddy adult who loves to read.
Favorite Books of 2014
Image: 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
Image: 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
Image: 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
Image: Cathy Stanley-Ericson/flickr

What better time than Advent and Christmas to consider what children have to teach us about the world around us. Today Margaret Philbrick offers some reflections for our "Small Talk" series as she reflects upon what her children have taught her about wonder and waiting: ...

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
Image: 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
Image: 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?"
Image: 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
Image: 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 ...

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