7 quick takes

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) poem for your weekend

Our church's reading group, aka Apostles Reads, is meeting on Sunday to discuss Wendell Berry's poetry collection, A Timbered Choir. It's one of my favorite collections, but doesn't include this beautiful poem, The Peace of Wild Things. 

Listen and love. (Also, you can see digital versions of some of my favorite poems on my Poems board on Pinterest.)


(2) podcasts I enjoyed this week

We Need a Blue-Collar Theology of Work - How the church can best spiritually support the majority of American workers. | Quick to Listen from CT

Alice Parker: Singing Is the Most Companionable of Arts - "She began as a young woman, studying conducting with Robert Shaw at Juilliard, and collaborated with him on arrangements of folksongs, spirituals, and hymns that are still performed around the world today. Alice Parker is also a gorgeous thinker and writer, a wise and joyful woman, about why singing is able to touch and join human beings in ways few other arts can." | via On Being with Krista Tippett


(3) photo-based links I couldn't resist

81 of Kate Middleton's Best Fashion Moments - | via Marie Claire

31 Rare Historical Photos - | via All That is Interesting

5 Weird Old Home Trends I'd Love to See Make a Comeback -  | via Apartment Therapy


(4) links I love on the subject of caring for the refugee and immigrant

Deporting my Iraqi-Christian dad would be a death sentence. That's why I'm praying for justice.      - "ICE agents pounded on our door at 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning as we were getting ready to go to Mass. The agents said that they were doing a house check...My people are facing genocide by ISIS in Iraq because of our Christian faith." | via America Magazine

An Impossible Hope. - "Three men in Syria showed me what Jesus looks like." by Stephanie Saldaña | via Plough quarterly magazine

My Father Is Not a Powerful Man: Lessons from My Refugee People - "It does not take powerful men to live powerful lives." | via On Being blog

I Wake Close to the Morning - "Why do people keep asking to see / God’s identity papers / when the darkness opening into morning / is more than enough?" A poem by Mary Oliver. | via Tina Osterhouse blog

The Last Christians: Stories of Persecution, Flight, and Resilience in the Middle East - I've put this book written by Andreas Knapp and published by Plough onto my TBR list. You too? | via Plough


(5) blog posts from this week in the archives

2015 - Anyone want to read stories about staying married? (I'm asking for a friend...) (A few months before our 25th wedding anniversary, I wrote this as a response to a book about marriage that was good, but not great because of some key words the author avoided. Want to guess which words?)

2012 - Parenting Unrehearsed: It does take a village (Parenting advice that includes a story about one of the absolute scariest moments I've ever experienced as a mother.)

2011 - Mourning Friends (A poem-ish reflection on the ways friends have mourned with me, and I with them.)

2010 - Quick reflection re: "Christian" art (Long, long ago, in a land far, far away, I led a group of artists in our church. This post recalls one of the many times we discussed this topic of "Christian" art. It's a happy memory.)

2006 - The death of alone and unprotected (Perhaps the most vulnerable blog post I've ever written on one of the most healing realities of my life. Frankly, it's a little bit embarrassing to me that I ever wrote it, but my greater desire is to remember God's extravagant goodness to me. So the post stays, and every once in awhile, I share it again. )

2 Years Ago

At our house in Austin, a few months before our 25th wedding anniversary.


(6) photos from our time in and around Connecticut the past week

Bishop's Apple Orchard in Guilford, CT

Food trucks on Long Wharf, New Haven

A wedding on a boat in Lake George (NY)


(7) songs my sons & their friends wrote, produced, and performed

It's been a while since I've mentioned Where's Ulysses, and I've found myself telling our new friends in Connecticut about the band lately, so here's a refresher. (Also, click here to listen to their second EP, Surplus.)


May your weekend include sunshine, beauty and a good laugh, friends. Peace...

p.s. This post may contain affiliate links because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!