For as long as I can remember I have remembered the Sabbath to keep it holy. Six days I have had to work and play and the seventh has been for Jesus. Growing up a multi-generational Adventist, my understanding of what should not be done on the Sabbath was generally more robust than my concept of what should be done. Even though my wonderful parents did many creative things to make Sabbath a joy, I was painfully aware that the things I thought brought me the most pleasure (from playing sports to watching television) were hardly Sabbath activities.
While this space is normally devoted to film reviews, the following review of young singer Diane Birch's first record is a welcome exception to the rule. -Ed
When I first heard the music of Diane Birch, whose debut album Bible Belt hit stores June 2nd, my first thought was, “I’ve heard this music before.” After listening to several more songs, I thought, “I’ve never heard anything quite like it.” Perhaps her MySpace page puts it best: “Sounds like everything/everyone/nothing/no one.”
A review of Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life by Kathleen Norris.
Acedia, in case you didn’t know, is a word that fourth-century Christian monks used to describe a temptation that’s difficult to translate into modern English. The word has been used in lots of ways and contexts since, although it’s fallen out of common use: it’s closely allied to, though not identical with, the Deadly Sin of Sloth, and attempts to explain the concept in a modern context relate acedia to: boredom, laziness, ennui, even depression.
A Review of Claiming the Beatitudes: Nine Stories from a New Generation, by Anne Sutherland Howard
"We learn and live our theology through our individual and collective narrative," the Rev. Anne Sutherland Howard writes in the introduction to her book on the Beatitudes. She finds new meaning for the familiar verses of Matthew 5 by reading through the eyes of today's seminary students.
The opening sequences of Disney's Earth (see trailer) come at you like the opening lines of a book on Intelligent Design. The iconic shot from outer space of the sun cresting the rim of the blue planet fills the screen as James Earl Jones, in his rolling bass voice, describes how perfectly positioned to support life is our earth.
Earth is the first title from Disney's new division, Disneynature. Released on Earth Day 2009, Earth attempts to provide something for everyone.
Inevitably, when people learn that I am from Zambia, I encounter the question, "What was it like to grow up in Africa?" I often want to simply hand them Barbara Kingsolver’s book, The Poisonwood Bible, to show that sharing what life is like in any country in Africa takes more than a simple sentence or two. Instead of sharing a book, however, I usually respond with: "It was different.