MEET THE ‘TALL GUY’
- INTERVIEW WITH BEN PRATT—“You hold in your hands a human heart.” That’s how Day1 radio host Peter Wallace describes Benjamin Pratt’s wonderful new collection of stories, Short Stuff from a Tall Guy. For years, Ben has been one of the most popular columnists here at ReadTheSpirit magazine (and on the website of the Day1 radio network)—so you probably can guess the treat that lies ahead. Read our interview with Ben—and you’ll want to share it with friends. Go ahead—you’re free to print out this interview or even to repost it in your own newsletter. It’s sure to spark spirited conversation with friends—old … and new.
ALL THE HOLIDAYS—It’s easy to find all of the holiday columns, packed with fascinating customs, foods, crafts and stories from around the world. Just remember www.InterfaithHolidays.com
- SEASON of LENT FOR 2 BILLION—With today’s Clean Monday holiday, Eastern Orthodox Christians join Western Christians in the season of reflection and self-denial known as Lent. Western Christians began with Ash Wednesday on February 18. That brings the global total to more than 2 billion Christians in this annual “40-day” period that leads to Easter. Eastern Christians generally maintain a far more extensive discipline of fasting than their Western counterparts. They began the process of limiting their diets on February 15 with Meatfare Sunday. By today’s Clean Monday, the Orthodox diet is very limited until Pascha, or Easter.
- READ ALONG—If you care to “read along” with this season that recalls the final days of Jesus’s life, you’ll enjoy David Crumm’s Our Lent: Things We Carry.
- BAHA’IS PREPARE TO FAST—This week, Baha’is around the world prepare for an unusual three-day correction in their calendar that leads to the Saturday evening start of a Nineteen-Day Fast.
KIDS & SUCCESS—As adults, we all want to see kids succeed—our own children, of course, as well as young people everywhere. But what are the underlying values that shape our approach to this goal? This week, sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker reports a thought-provoking series on the way we pave the road to success.
- PART 1—Is STEM the answer?
- PART 2—Who needs science, anyway? (And, a word from Morgan Freeman.)
- PART 3—Is music the key skill?
- PART 4—Are standardized tests the key?
- PART 5—Are the Three Rs still important today?
FAITH, FILM AND FOOD
EAGER TO SEE SOME MOVIES? The Oscar awards touched off lots of conversations that start with: “What movies have you seen?” We boast some of the best movie coverage in the country—with a special perspective on faith and values.
- VISUAL PARABLES—Faith and film writer Edward McNulty provides more than 1,000 free movie reviews at Visual Parables. That list includes Ed’s latest Feature of the Week: McFarland USA.
- INTO THE PAST—The treasure in Visual Parables lies in Ed’s deep shelf of classic film reviews. He often is asked to recommend classics for small-group discussion. This week, he reaches back to Crimes and Misdemeanors and the silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc. Regular readers also like to subscribe to Visual Parables Journal for complete study guides in each new monthly issue.
- RODNEY CURTIS’S ANNUAL ‘BEST’ LIST—Many long-time readers look forward to Rodney Curtis’s annual list of best movies. The best film coverage comes from publications with more than one perspective on film, so you’ll enjoy checking out Rodney’s list, which includes the movie Pride.
FEED THE SPIRIT—Food writer Bobbie Lewis introduces a guest writer this week for an inspiring story about Jane Imerman, whose family transformed a struggle with cancer into the inspiration to launch a new kind of cake company.
FAITH GOES POP—Thanks to all the readers who sent us encouraging notes about our interview with Greg Garrett on Entertaining Judgment, a spirited look at the connections between pop culture—and Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. And, we’re still encouraging you to visit Ken Chitwood’s Faith Goes Pop website to chime in on your own “angel” or “demon” sightings.
IN THE WORLD
GOOD MEDIA builds good community. That’s a value we share at ReadTheSpirit. This week …
INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—Global peacemaker Daniel Buttry continues his series of heroes from Africa to mark Black History Month. All three are dynamic young men whose work will inspire you: Lance Muteyo from Zimbabwe, Anthony Fabrice Kettemallet from Central African Republic, and Boaz Kiebarak from Kenya.
BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER—More and more comic artists are joining the anti-bullying chorus. Our weekly comic section features Cody the Cavalier this week. But you’ll want to start at the front page of this colorful comics section to discover all of the free resources, including activity guides and help for parents and educators.
DAVID GUSHEE CROSSES THE U.S.—Leading evangelical and pro-LGBT Christian ethicist, Dr. David P. Gushee, will be a featured speaker at Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus on Thursday, February 26th and at Union Theological Seminary on Friday, February 27th.