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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Festive Day of Rest

So how do we turn the Sabbath, this “day of rest,” into something we not only do out of habit, but something we long to do out of love for our Savior?

Elemental Fear

I’m afraid of a lot of things: Bears, snakes, transition, commitment, pain. I also love a lot of things: exploring the outdoors, visiting new places, and building relationships with intricate people.

On How I Was Rejected From a Christian Counseling Program for Being Too Honest

The honest, I’m no longer a fifteen-year-old church-attending, praying, mission trip going, small-group frequenting, loving kid. The real, I work on Sundays, pray with a quick “please,” “thanks,” “no thanks.”

Quarter Of A Century

In a time and culture when being twenty-five, unmarried, and professional is a deeply respected symbol of detachedness, I cling to the strands of blood and body that tether me to this hallowed ground.

Presence

Moses stares at the bush. It’s burning—blazing, even—but it’s somehow not consumed. He takes his sandals off at that place, not ready to walk onto holy ground, not quite certain that he will not be consumed.

Wait, You’re A Democrat?

It was refreshing to be on this side of the political spectrum, supportive of marginalized groups and new ideas. Republicans just didn’t seem to make time for that.

Good Poll or Bad Poll? How To Tell The Difference

Good Poll or Bad Poll? How To Tell The Difference

by | Oct 25, 2015

How can you tell whether you’re looking at a good poll or a bad poll? Here is a layperson’s guide to a few of the building blocks of a good public opinion poll – and how to quickly and easily tell what kind you have on your hands.

Elements of Plot and Style

Elements of Plot and Style

What’s the climax of my life? It seems to me that many people around me are pretty focused on figuring out whether or not they’re currently living the climax.

Indoorsy

Indoorsy

There were whole virtual universes right in my very own living room. How could I think of leaving it? I guess I would go outside occasionally—when my thumbs cramped up from joysticks or my eyes dried up like craisins.

Elements of a Good Meal

Elements of a Good Meal

Food, I think, is more than a culinary experience. Memories of good meals carry the same aromatic nostalgia of campfire smoke and fondly remembered perfume.

The Element of Joy: On Displays of Emotion in Baseball

The Element of Joy: On Displays of Emotion in Baseball

What too often gets lost in the shuffle is that baseball is also a game, and amidst all the dollars and all the media and all the debates, we should never forget that games are supposed to be exciting and fun.

Naked and Deflated

Naked and Deflated

What I do think I’m saying is that we all need time to wade into the scum of life, the crude wonder of being a breathing, embodied person. We need to strip down to just ourselves and swim out from there.

No Thing

No Thing

For that split second, I was out there, in nothingness. Nothing above me but air, nothing in front of me but endless expanse, nothing below me but mystery.

Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked

Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked

Our theme for the month of October is “the elements.” When I say that my brother and I watched Avatar before Avatar was cool, I find the need to clarify two points: Yes, I am asserting my #hipstercred. No, I’m not referring to the 2009 Avatar—the one that...
Guerilla Composting

Guerilla Composting

By mindlessly pitching organic material into the garbage can, I’ve ever-so-slightly interrupted the cycle that sustains life on this planet: when one organism dies, its molecules get broken down and rebuilt into the next generation of organisms.

The Things That Make Us

The Things That Make Us

Here, especially in the corporate world, my liberal arts background has more than once required an explanation (inevitably a defense) of the liberal arts. What can the liberal arts teach us today?

On Washing Dishes

On Washing Dishes

So often my mind races about circumstances I seem to have little control over that it’s nice to be able to fix something so easily. At the end of the day, it’s nice to be able to bow my head and dip my hands in soapy water and rinse away the dirt.

To Know and Be Known

To Know and Be Known

I first had sex when I was eighteen years old. It was very unromantic. We had to be quiet and careful because her parents were rustling around in the downstairs kitchen.

Tossed Salad and Scrambled Yawns

Tossed Salad and Scrambled Yawns

I’ve been married for two months, so I know pretty much everything there is to know about my husband. Everything except for, you know, what he’s like in the morning.

Bread and Wine

Bread and Wine

The religious pretense and mumbo jumbo is kept to a minimum. But that’s hard to keep up when we get to communion. Because it is weird.

Mission to Civilize

Mission to Civilize

The men and women writing and producing these shows are the missing element. They are giving us what we are hungry for: an intelligent and civil discussion.

Thinking Frankenstein

Thinking Frankenstein

And I’m thinking about how much I feel like Frankenstein’s monster, some days—pieced together, a compilation of chemicals without the animation that makes a life.

SUPER LIKE

SUPER LIKE

This girl really isn’t my type, but I’ve heard of people just being friends from Tinder stuff, so I think, Maybe we can have a let’s-be-friends conversation at some point.

Reflections on Water (Five Memories)

Reflections on Water (Five Memories)

I couldn’t see where the lake ended and land began. The white/grey of the snow and ice blended perfectly with the grey of the sky making it impossible to tell where the sky began.

The Elements of a Relationship / Love is Periodic

The Elements of a Relationship / Love is Periodic

Tin: Do you remember when we ate Chef Boyardee ravioli cold, out of the can, at 1:00 a.m. on January first? You got out of bed and brought it from the kitchen triumphantly, with two forks.

The Internet is Cowboy Country

The Internet is Cowboy Country

It’s not a pretty place. The hazy opium dens and the tobacco-smoke saloons disappeared from dusty California mining towns long ago, and they’ve since set up shop here. You want opium? You got it. How about Craigslist prostitutes? pirated textbooks? fake I.D.s or stolen credit cards?

Death Comes to the Umbrella

Death Comes to the Umbrella

Before New York, having an umbrella blow inside out was a fluke, something astonishing that might happen in really bad weather. Mainly something that happened in cartoons or Mary Poppins.

Me and My Pet Grizzly

Me and My Pet Grizzly

We admire the people who adventure, who scale mountains, who travel to faraway places with nothing but optimism, peanut butter, and probably not enough experience.

Big Ten 101: Elementary Football

Big Ten 101: Elementary Football

So, a few weeks ago, while I was reading Shakespeare, my friend prepared a twenty-slide Powerpoint presentation on the basics of this facet of American culture about which I am completely illiterate.

Elements of a Banned Book

Elements of a Banned Book

So let’s celebrate the fiery element of those banned books which smoke out the assumptions and biases we hold. The catalyst they provide is a Pentecost of perceptions, the beauty of flaming tongues affixed to the mind.