Innovative Ideas for a Mother’s Day without Hugs
REMEMBERING OUR MOTHERS & GRANDMOTHERS—”Her home was a palace!” writes Martin Davis in the first part of our Cover Story this week. Martin is describing, from a little boy’s perspective, the wonders of his grandmother Martha’s house that still stands, but now seems surprisingly small. Have you had that experience revisiting long-ago homes from your childhood? Martin opens our Cover Story cluster of columns, this week, by inviting us to travel with him as he revisits memories of a grandmother with a granite foundation in faith that God’s world remains a beautiful place. Please, enjoy this column and share it with friends via email, your own newsletters and social media.
This story is sure to inspire many of us to revisit such indelible family memories. As you share Martin’s story with others on social media, consider adding a vintage photo of your own grandmother or mother—and encourage others to share their own inspiring memories.
SPEAKING OF SHARING STORIES THIS WEEK …
BOOKS MOM WILL LOVE—Susan Stitt writes our Front Edge Publishing column this week, recommending a wide array of books that Mom or Grandma will enjoy. One of these books introduces diverse bread-making traditions. Maybe one of those cultures connects with your family.
Yes, books still are shipping. Americans are reading more books than ever. Got a little loving sibling rivalry in your family? Susan playfully headlines her column: Books to Buy for Mother’s Day that Will Make YOU Her Favorite Child!
for the Holiday
THE HOLIDAY STORY—Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton tells us the history of Mother’s Day and points out that hand-made cards this year would have made the pioneers of this idea—Ann Reeves Jarvis and her daughter—quite happy. Stephanie also has links to other helpful resources for a virtual Mother’s Day.
SUZY FARBMAN’S GOD SIGNS also has a terrific idea, this week. All of us could use some tips (and taps) from great sages (and a song-and-dance duo) to help us “Pick ourselves up—Dust ourselves off …” Suzy even gives us a 2-minute video clip of the hit song. Come on! This column will make you smile.
HELP US TO CONGRATULATE VICTOR BEGG. Want to do a good deed, right now? Celebrate the honor received by interfaith peace activist Victor Begg for his memoir Our Muslim Neighbors. His book has now circled the globe welcoming readers to experience the life of a family with deep roots in the history of Islam—sometimes funny, sometimes somber, sometimes suspenseful.
This week, Victor was honored as a finalist for the annual Eric Hoffer Awards Montaigne Medal—which means he can display the awards star-shield with his book. Eric Hoffer (1898-1993) is the famous American laborer and migrant who emerged as one of our greatest writers and philosophers, especially focusing on American social movements. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. The prestigious Hoffer book awards were launched in 2001. The Montaigne medal honors the Renaissance writer and statesman Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592).
Celebrate this honor with us by ordering a copy of Victor’s book for yourself and a friend. Simply reading this book carries us a step further to reaching out in a compassionate way to our Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers. The book is available from Amazon—as well as Barnes & Noble and other online retailers.
Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com
Yes, We Need a Little …
What would Lincoln do?
Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, we all respect Lincoln’s wisdom—and his articulation of American values. That’s why Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer writes: “Abraham Lincoln is the soul of America, calling us to our best as Americans.”
- THIS WEEK’s episode: Duncan Newcomer’s Abraham Lincoln Quiet Fire 5: When will we be good? God knows!
- And, if you missed it, last week’s episode 4: ’In spite of all this, I will be!’
- ENJOY MORE LINCOLN RIGHT NOW—Get a copy of Duncan’s 30 Days with Abraham Lincoln—Quiet Fire. Each of the 30 stories in this book includes a link to listen to the original radio broadcasts. The book is available from Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle. ALSO, you can order hardcover and paperback from Barnes & Noble.
FAITH & FILM
INSPIRING AND SIMPLY GOOD FUN—What did Jesus look like? Sacred images of Jesus grace churches worldwide, but millions of moviegoers picture Jesus from classic films. Ed McNulty invites readers on an inspiring journey, meeting Jesus again through a dozen big-screen stories of Christianity’s founder. His book is available from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble—and also from our own bookstore.
LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH STREAMING
ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.
Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are these 10 recommending movies that are available for streaming right now via Amazon and/or Netflix.
- TIGERTAIL—Ed writes, “The past is not something we leave behind, but, as long as we have memory, is always with us, inside our heads and hearts. Or so writer-director Alan Yang seems to be saying in the title of his remarkably acted story centering on a failed father-daughter relationship.” (4.5 out of 5 stars)
ATLANTICS—”This is a film well worth sitting and puzzling through. The only one I can think of that it resembles is Jordan Peel’s ghost story Us. If you appreciated that somber tale, you will enjoy this one as well.” (4 stars)
- REEL REDEMPTION—”Writer/director Tyler Smith’s well balanced survey of the sometimes troubled relationship between Christians and Hollywood should be of interest to every VP reader.” (5 stars)
- DADS—”This is a light-hearted yet thought-provoking film montage of fathers speaking about fatherhood.” The Dads interviewed in the film include: include Judd Apatow, Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris, Ken Jeong, Conan O’Brien and Kenan Thompson.
- SELAH AND THE SPADES—”Selah is more like a teenage crime don than a college student—more than one reviewer has compared her story to The Godfather.” (3.5 stars)
- FINDING GRACE—”Writer/director Warren Fast’s first feature film provides inspiring entertainment for a family looking for non-violent fare.” (3 stars)
- J.E.S.U.S.A.—Ed writes, “Writer/director Kevin Miller’s film is a polemical documentary that provides an excellent history of what some regard as the fall of Christianity, and others its perversion. The filmmakers are disturbed by the antics of conservative Evangelicals who would wrap Jesus in the American flag and pretend that this is a ‘Christian nation.’ ” (5 stars)
- JUMP SHOT—This 2020 documentary can be rented directly from the filmmakers—so you can stream it right now. The story of Kenny Sailors, the inventor of the jump shot, is lots of fun, especially for sports fans dying for some fresh fun. (5 stars)
- AMERICAN FACTORY—”In their Oscar-winning documentary directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert return to the same Moraine, Ohio plant where they filmed their acclaimed short film The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant back in 2008.” (5 stars)
- ALONE IN BERLIN—”Most WW 2 era films about resistance to Nazi tyranny are set in France, Poland, or some other occupied country, so Vincent Perez’s story of a middle-aged German couple becoming disillusioned with Hitler is most welcome. Based on Hans Fallada’s novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), it is a fictionalized version of what happened to the real-life Otto and Elise Hampel.” (4.5 stars)