I’ve heard from more than one person this week that has been reminded of the value of written notes–emails yes, but also handwritten, mailed notes. I’m terrible at writing notes, but if you aren’t, do. There’s a lovely story about pen pals below that is an encouragement to all of us.
Around the Web
Leon Alligood’s essay on his mother’s pen pal is a beautiful story of love and family.
- Her final letter came the same way her first did: by mailman. In an age of instant communication littered with emojis and splashing graphics, the letters from Mrs. Barbara James of 104 18th Place, Opelika, Alabama, startled me every time I opened my mailbox in Tennessee. Accustomed to sorting the mail into three piles — magazines, bills, and people selling something (trashed) — it was always refreshing to find a new letter from Barbara in the mix.
18 Paintings Christians Should See
Brett McCracken gives us an introduction to 18 important works of art.
- The history of painting is in many ways a theological history. For centuries, artists have depicted, wrestled with, riffed on, and deconstructed religious imagery and themes. The history of painting is thus a treasure trove for theological engagement, overflowing with visual lessons and insights that can complement or complicate one’s faith (or lack thereof).
Hutchmoot Podcast: The Importance of Being Silly
One of the podcasts in the Rabbit Room Podcast Network is an archive of past Hutchmoot sessions (The Rabbit Room’s annual conference). It is a deep well and would be a great follow if you do that sort of thing. Whether you do or not, I recommend listening to this one–it’s a great session with Phil Vischer about the serious work of silliness.
- Even if you don’t know Phil Vischer, you almost certainly know his work, and his voice. Back in 1993 he introduced audiences to a cast of vegetables that would take the world by storm. VeggieTales was born and twenty-five year later, it’s still going strong.
Book of the Week: The Secret Garden
Sarah Mackenzie recommends a classic.
- In this book… Young Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncles’ great house on the Yorkshire moors. At night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors, and outside she meets Dickon, a boy who can talk to animals. Then one day, she discovers the most mysterious wonder of all, a secret garden, walled and locked, forgotten for years and years…
Around the Warren
Carolyn Clare Givens (hey, that’s me!) writes about the benefits and risks of scaffolding in our own lives.
- There was scaffolding on it, rising high above the flying buttresses, surrounding the spire that would eventually fall. It’s an inside joke with family friends that I can’t manage to see a cathedral without it having scaffolding on it. I’ve seen Saint Patrick’s in NYC covered by scaffolding and a screen printed with a photograph of the front in better days. I’ve seen the Cathedral at Rouen surrounded. I’ve seen the tower of Durham, rising out of the matchsticks of renovation work. And it’s not just cathedrals either: I got to the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. the spring after an earthquake sent a crack up through the Washington Monument. It rose, white and straight, and covered in a grid of scaffolding, from among the flowering trees.
The Mistmantle Chronicles, by M.I. McAllister
Théa Rosenburg has a conundrum. The Mistmantle Chronicles are a delight to read. But tracking down a copy is not for the faint of heart. A noble quest begins!
- Some might consider what I’m about to do cruel.
First, I’m going to rave about The Mistmantle Chronicles. I’m going to tell you that they are everything I look for in a book.
Something to Do with Your Kids
Sometimes “with” your kids means “next to”–like when we recommendsolitaire games.
Something to Watch
One of the most interesting things I ever learned in history was about the lead up to World War I and how the descendants of Queen Victoria sat on nearly every major throne in Europe. This video gives an overview of the family history.
>Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.