Don't know what #ATLT is? It's a simple idea:
I’ve been reflecting for the past few months on a lot of the polemics thrown around in modern Church. We don’t like the word “religion” and ritual seems frightening. We run from “institution” and jump on an idea of faith alone that, at times, loses our actual Lord and Savior in the process.
In praying about how to respond, I realized that a series of vindictive blog posts on my part, while satisfying to my wit, would not further advance the Gospel. However, the other morning in the quiet of praying Lauds, I had a bit of an idea: a series of guest posts written by a whole handful of diverse people, each uniquely expressing their love for the Church as a whole.
And the idea took root. Then the idea blossomed.
From January 25th, which is the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, to Ash Wednesday on February 22nd, my blog shall be taken over in order to host a truly remarkable guest post series.
Over 50 authors are writing over 25 days.
Below you shall find the lineup of nearly everyone participating in the series. A few, like my Father, were unable to send over a bio in time but they shall be posting with us, sure enough. I ask your pardon, also, in that I can be a very poor HTML editor and there were a few funky bits in some of the alignments. Apologies to all.
And now, I give you, the lineup for what shall truly be a unique, diverse, insane blogging experience.
Preston Yancey is a senior at Baylor University earning his degree in Great Texts of the Western Tradition with a focus in medieval theology and literature. He also has a minor in Political Science, specialized in East Asian foreign and domestic policy, which he contends happened by accident. He hopes to spend the rest of his life somewhere sacred and writing. In the meantime, he makes his home where he can, being found often enough in an airport, coffee shop, or car, on the way to the next destination: from Waco to Austin to Chicago to London to Beijing and beyond. He runs on a diet of caffeine and God’s grace. His book on reading Scripture as a means of seeing the creation as an icon of God is to be published with Rhizome, tentatively forthcoming in January 2012. You can find him on Twitter or at his blog.
Wylie Wyman is a junior at Baylor University studying Literature and Religion. She is a native Texan and calls Tyler her hometown, although she spent most of her childhood in Houston. She enjoys reading, crocheting, spending time with her family, drinking altogether too much coffee, and will take any excuse to make a pie. Her favorite place is Laity Lodge Youth Camp, where she has worked for the past three summers. Wylie hopes to being researching and writing a thesis dealing with the notion of hospitality in the Christian tradition, and though she doesn't know where she'll be headed after she graduates, she anticipates never living more than twenty minutes from a Tex-Mex restaurant.
I live in Waco, which I lovingly call the ugly girl with a good personality. I'm amazing at Ms. Pac-man. I'm in my last semester of seminary and I work in the area of pastoral care at Baylor University. I have a voice crush on Norbert Leo Butz and a mild obsession with whales. I love laughing with my husband and chasing my 2 and 4 year olds. Christina blogs here.
Tyler Braun is a 27-year-old INTJ living in Portland, Oregon with his wife Rose. He works full time as a worship leader, while also finding time to study at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in pursuit of a masters degree. Currently Tyler is living the Portlandia dream of commuting to work on a bike while paying off school loans. He has plans to release his first book in August of this year through Moody Publishers. You can find Tyler on Twitter, Facebook, or his blog.
I am a writer, thinker, asker of questions, mother, wife, special needs mom, and bereaved parent. I love Jesus, and I’m very much still in process. I’ve been blogging since 2005, writing on faith and doubt, family life (which is often humorous even with the medical spin), grief, and the depression that I only recognized a year after our daughter died at the age of 8. Views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of me yesterday (or my church). Joy blogs here and tweets here.
Margaret is a self-described “religion teacher by day and opera singer by night”. She blogs from Boston on spirituality, scripture, family, performing, politics and whatever else crosses her mind. She loves humor, food, and liturgical music. Margaret blogs here and tweets here.
My name is Brittany. I graduated from Baylor University in May 2011. I am now in my second semester at Dallas Theological Seminary, getting a master’s degree in Biblical Counseling. I love reading, writing, and spending time with people.
Danny Webster loves to read, write and think about how the church can change the world, and how in the mean time we can get to grips with it not always working out that way. Danny blogs at Broken Cameras & Gustav Klimt on the lessons he is learning about faith and failure as he goes through life. During the day time he works for the UK Evangelical Alliance on a range of political and social issues. And when he's bored or stressed indulges in a little creative baking. Read the blog or follow Danny on twitter @danny_webster
Nish, the author of The Outdoor Wife and founder of Nish Happens, is a wifey, mommy, adventurer, writer, daydreamer, thinker, connector, and believer. She’s a Salt Lake City-dweller and a music snob, a lover of wine and rap music, and putting pen to paper. Most of her time is filled with diapers, laundry, small handprints and chasing her tiny boy, but she finds ways to steal moments, capturing life in word and film. Nish tweets here.
Hilary is a student of politics, theology and ethics, writer, runner, cupcake-eater and lover of poetry and plays. She chases after what is beautiful and believes that writing it down is the best way to see it. She lingers in coffee shops, trips over almost everything, and loves to make space in her heart for stories. She blogs here and tweets here.
Matt Moser is currently completing his PhD in theology at Baylor University where he also teaches courses in Scripture and Church History. He is especially interested in the way theology and spirituality come together in the practice of Christian worship. When not thinking about such heavenly things, he enjoys going on hikes through the woods, snapping photographs, and dozing in sunbeams next to his border collie pup, Sammie.
Alise is married to her best friend and is the mom to four incredible kids. She loves knitting, writing, playing keyboards in a cover band, and eating soup.
Renee Ronika Klug has spent the past ten years teaching college composition and creative writing. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Biola University and an MFA in creative writing from Southampton College. She is the founding editor of The Anthem Exposition, an online writing community for women to share their stories of having overcome any of life’s adversities; she blogs about her personal journey of overcoming at Quiet Anthem. Renee lives in the Wild West with her husband, a composer and pianist, and their two young daughters. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Grant Shellhouse is a Senior at Baylor University studying Theology and Literature. He enjoys, among other things, the music of Bruce Springsteen, breakfast, second breakfasts, dancing (usually poorly, flinging his lanky and lengthy limbs around), poetry, and concerts. Grant was born in Texas and has lived there his whole life, though he thoroughly enjoys traveling when he can. He is currently working on a thesis about contemplative prayer and the Virgin Mary; and although he is unsure of what's next in the long run, he hopes to teach after he graduates in May. Grant blogs here.
A once (and future?) city-dweller, Suzannah Paul lives the life bucolic at a summer camp with her young family and assorted chickens. She writes love letters to the broken, beautiful Church and wonders how she gets away with some of it. Shalom is her passion, her site is so much shouting so much laughter, and she tweets the intersection of faith, justice, and pop culture @ShoutLaughLove.
Mandy Steward is married to Tony and has four kids. She likes to paint word pictures that reveal the spiritual that lurks even in the mundanest of moments. She is extremely passionate about a lot of things: She believes that life is good and we are to live it to the fullest. She believes in restoring beauty. She believes in touching lives and fighting for free hearts. She believes we are created for a purpose. She believes we are constantly learning. She believes life is messy. She believes we’re doing the best we can. Her soul is fed by words, splashes of color, story, music, nature, the beach, creating, ever unfolding mystery, imperfection bathed in hope and asking others what feeds their soul.
Stephanie S. Smith is a twenty-something literary publicist, writer, and editor addicted to print and pixels. In addition to her business (In)dialogue Communications, she blogs at www.stephindialogue.com, and tweets @stephindialogue Besides working with words, she enjoys cooking from scratch and muddling her way through the liturgical year.
Self-proclaimed Anglophile, avid museum-goer, and coffee-addict, Jennifer is currently a postgrad at Mansfield College, Oxford. Pursuing a degree in Medieval Studies, she mainly studies text-and-image relations in a 12th century manuscript of prayers and meditations called The Littlemore Anselm. Jennifer is passionate about the preservation and dissemination of knowledge, whether that be through the medium of the medieval manuscript or the modern museum exhibit, and she just recently graduated from Baylor University with her Bachelor's degree in Museum Studies and Great Texts of the Western Intellectual Tradition. Born and raised in the Anglican tradition, she has (if it's possible!) become even more high-church since graduating high school and takes particular delight in sharing the joy of liturgy with others.
A graduate of Austin Graduate School of Theology, Andie enjoys cooking, armchair theologizing, and entertaining good friends around her table. She has a secret desire to own a big green tractor.
While she considers herself a follower of the teachings of Jesus, she also enjoys port wine, dancing, card-playing, filmmaking, and two cigars a year. She's pretty sure Jesus still likes her. She likes him quite a bit.
She recently wrote and produced her first narrative feature film, Paradise Recovered (www.paradiserecovered.com), and she pitifully contributes to her blog Dear God, What Now? (www.deargodwhatnow.blogspot.com)
She lives with husband and four children and three dogs in the middle of a hayfield in Southern Indiana.
Dr. Holly Ordway is an academic, a poet, and a Christian apologist. She earned her doctorate in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an MA in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. She is the author of Not God's Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith, and writes for her blog Hieropraxis at www.hieropraxis.com.
Caroline Gear is a seminary student and has a passion for church planting in urban Bellmead, TX. She blogs at Jane Caroline about church life, the journey of joy, relationships, and overcoming perfectionism. Even though she is a voracious blogger, she made her fiancé write this blurb.
Here's the link to the Jane Caroline blog- http://www.carolinegear.com/blog/
Dianna Anderson has a day job as a radio producer in Chicago, IL, where she is one of several producers on a program for English Language Learners. She moonlights as a feminist blogger, taking a critical eye to church, media, and country. Her blog can be found at http://www.diannaeanderson.net.
Scott Bennett is a full-time writer for a global Fortune 500 company, specializing in corporate social media. His daily bus commute became the canvas for his new blog—Moving Bus Meditations—where he opens up about real life as a Christian husband and father of 4 children (3 of whom are still living). Scott is married to his best friend, Joy Bennett—author of the long-running blog Joy in This Journey and contributing writer to A Deeper Story. As a relatively new blogger, Scott is more commonly known in the blogosphere as “Joy’s husband.” And he’s OK with that.
Jake writes once a week on his blog at: http://jakedudley.tumblr.com/ and he tweets over here: https://twitter.com/jakedudley. If you'd like him to guest post on your blog or speak at your next event, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristin Tennant has been a freelance writer for ten years. In 2007 she began blogging about family, faith, struggle and redemption at Halfway to Normal (www.halfwaytonormal.com), and she now also blogs for The Huffington Post. Her essays have been included in two anthologies: Not Alone: Stories of Living With Depression, and Ask Me About My Divorce: Women Open Up About Moving On.Kristin, her husband Jason, and their three daughters live in Urbana, Illinois, where they love cooking and sharing meals and conversation with friends.
Samuel Pomeroy is a senior at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Over the years at Baylor, his studies have varied in theology, philosophy, and literature. He has a love for understanding the ways that the Biblical text is interpreted and responded to, whether through study of the Greek language or the piercing voice of Flannery O'Connor. Samuel hopes to serve the Church through contributing to faithful teaching and ministry. The road has led to taking up study at the University of St. Andrews, where Samuel plans to attend in Fall 2012. He comes from a lively family of 7 in Seattle, WA, and has found great joy in playing the guitar, competing on the soccer field, and sharing in the fellowship of the dear friends he has made along the way.
I am a Life Artist – joyously, intentionally discovering the fine art of living. I am a daughter of a Divine Meeting with Jesus Christ. I am a wife to 6 foot 3 inches of deliciousness. I am a mother to three young dudes – ages 9,7 and 6. I am a friend to a village of exquisite people. I love paradoxes, paradigm shifts and fairytales, rainy days, shades of grey and sitting in the quiet-dark. Put a cup of steaming black tea between my palms, give me your face to settle across from, tell me your story and I am the happiest girl in the world.Someone once asked me what I thought education was and I said “A lifestyle of shared stories…” Shall we?
Maggie Holland is a Sophomore Art History major at Baylor University. She enjoys drawing and bookbinding and eventually wants to merge the two together.
Evan Bassler is a budding literature and theology scholar who recently graduated from Baylor University. Being from Iowa, he holds a great affinity for corn, farmers, and potlucks, or any combination of the three. The average conversation with him will usually center on Tolkien, stories, theological ponderings, or videogames (if the occasion suits), however it is no surprise to be utterly blindsided by some tangential comment on a recent article he read or movie he watched. If you are interested in his daily musings or future writing, please follow him on Twitter @etbassler.
I'm an early twenty-something year old, raising Aidan Patrick, my precious little boy who is the joy of my life. My husband and I live on a farm complete with horses, cows, chickens, and peacocks, just two hours south of Baylor University, our alma mater. I'm an aspiring Classicist and artist, and I'd like to figure out how to wed the two one day in order to glorify our Lord. Coffee, Ovid, yoga, and slobbery baby kisses are some of my favorite daily gifts. You can keep up with us at piedbeauty.squarespace.com.
Anna Blanch is a writer and photographer based at the University of St Andrews, Scotland where she’s finishing up a PhD in Divinity. Anna writes at Goannatree and the collaborative, theology, imagination, and the arts project, Transpositions. You can connect with her on facebook, and twitter.
Claire Murphy is a first year law student in New York City. Although she is an avid writer, this is her first foray into writing for an audience. She is very excited to be sharing her stories.
Elora Ramirez is a storyteller who lives in Austin, Texas with her chef-husband Russell. A self-proclaimed story-theorist and champion of beauty, she works as a high school Instructional Coach during the day and writes by night. A couple years ago, in the middle of a creative dry spell , she found her purpose. In a room full of revolutionaries and ordinary radicals, she felt on fire. Tell my stories, she heard Someone say. And pictures flashed in her mind of those forgotten.
Since then, sheʼs made it her mission to carry the stage wherever she goes – listening for the whispers of stories time has erased. It was through this new direction she wrote her first novel, Come Alive, set to release before Christmas 2011. She writes candidly about her journey of healing and recovery – encouraging others, specifically women, to find beauty in brokenness and the strength of leaning into grace.
Zach Watters was born and raised by missionary parents in the country of Nepal until his junior year in high school. He is now a freshman at Baylor University studying a confusing combination of linguistics, sociology and Great Texts as a University Scholars major. Zach’s long-term plans are slowly evolving, but presently he plans to go to graduate school, and then hopefully return overseas.
Haley is a Pacific Northwesterner at heart who loves Jesus, calls people dude, and dreads a morning without coffee. When she’s not at her day job, she works with high school students, knits, writes (or at least thinks about writing), reads one of the eight books she’s currently in the middle of, and loves people through baked goods. Haley has also been known, on occasion, to run distances that some people consider too long.
PS. Haley almost always has something more to say.
PPS. By almost always, she means always.
Roger Yancey relates to more than 120+ Southern Baptist Churches north of Houston as the Executive Director of the Tryon Evergreen Baptist Association. His passion is leadership development, church planting, and assisting churches in getting outside of the walls of the church building. He has been in Christian ministry for over 30 years serving in multiple capacities including church planting and pastoring local churches before coming to the TEBA in 2004. The most important thing about Roger is that he is God's child, Pauline's husband, and Preston's dad.
Reformed guy who loves Jesus. Member of The Village Church. Single for His glory and his good. Writes about Theology, the Bible, and life application at TransformingWords.org. Trying to be missionally driven.
Kelsey Jones is a senior at Baylor University in Waco, TX, where she attends Dayspring Baptist Church. After her graduation in May 2012 from Baylor's University Scholars program, she plans to move to Houston, TX where she will join the movement for educational equity as a high school English teacher in the 2012 Teach for America Corps. She is passionate about all things old, shows her love and affection through cooking, and loves discussing the theology of virtually anything over a warm cup of coffee.
I'm a wife, mom, writer, photographer, daughter, sister, and friend, but most of all I'm a child of God learning to find the joy and see the extraordinary graces in the seemingly ordinary. I write at Ordinarily Extraordinary to share what God is teaching me and hopefully encourage others along the way. You can find me on twitter as @amykiane.
Coffee shops by morning and pubs by night, this is my life. I’m seldom without a novel and am constantly inventing the life stories of those around me based solely upon their physical appearance and demeanor. I’m a graduate of Baylor University and a native Texan. I count myself as a Presbyterian, minus iconoclasm. I love life though I sometimes get up in the morning and wish to be done with it all.
Antonia is a soon-to-be-graduating senior at Baylor University, studying Great Texts of the Western Tradition, with an emphasis in constantly explaining what that means and that she doesn’t know exactly what she’ll “do” with that yet. She quotes 30 Rock excessively, gets herself into amazingly awkward situations, has a love/hate relationship with change, can often be found to setting up camp in a coffee shop, thinks ‘sarcasm’ could be the sixth Love Language, usually feels like she doesn’t know anything, and has a faith journey that seems as scattered as her thoughts, but is held together by a thread of grace. She tweets here.
Joy serves as the Director of Love and Respect NOW. She began her journey in ministry as the Love and Respect Conference Coordinator for her parents, Dr. Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs. During these live events, she would hear couples say over and over again, "I wish I knew then what I know NOW." This inspired her to help her generation, of 18-35 year olds, avoid that very feeling. You can follow Joy on her site www.loveandrespectNOW.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/loveandrespectNOW Twitter: @joyeggerichs and @loverespectNOW
Edward Green is a rural priest working in diverse communities in the UK. Spiritually at home in the Anglican-catholic tradition with a background in alternative worship and emerging forms of church. Married to a Christian children, youth and families worker. Enjoys blogging at http://www.future-shape-of-church.org and listening to 80's post-punk onwards.
Eileen Bentsen is an Associate Librarian at Baylor University. As a digital immigrant, Eileen doesn’t blog but prefers to have long, rambling conversations concerning just about anything except politics. Preferably with a group of friends over a pot of tea, or, better yet, the dinner table.
Tamara is a collector of fine tattoos, an imbiber of cheap wine, and a singer of eclectic music. She works out her thoughts on life and faith at TamaraOutLoud.com, occasionally with adult language, frequently with attempted humor, and hopefully with God’s blessing. Editor of “What a Woman is Worth” through Civitas Press, she holds a BA in English and her five children, when they let her; she almost never holds her tongue.