Tag: church

the loosened tongue: the contagion of prophecy

22nd May

“Is catching prophecy like catching measles?” William Taber asks this question in his pamphlet “The Prophetic Stream.” The language may be playful, but it raises legitimate questions: What role, if any, does the religious community play in the realization of prophetic gifts? Are prophetic gifts enhanced by being around people who are similarly blessed? Do prophetic gifts appear out of the blue, or are they more prone to surface in certain contexts over others?

While it is clear in scripture that the Spirit can manifest when and where She wills (see John 4 and the story of Cornelius in Acts 10), it is equally clear that the Spirit can transfer from one person to the next. Move to chapter 19 of Acts, and we discover that those meeting in Ephesus are found to be in belief about all the facts about Christ, … Read More »

making a joyful noise: the poetry of hymns

2nd May

This May I had the opportunity to teach a class of my own design at church, one that had never been taught there before. All I had to go on were a few observations I made during our Easter Vigil service. I had noticed that one of the hymns sung during the Easter Vigil was written in perfect iambic pentameter. No sonnet, this hymn’s text was written over 1,200 years before William Shakespeare was even born. I was also struck by the sometimes vast differences in the year a hymn’s text was written and the year it was paired with the music to which it was set in our Lutheran hymnal.

Having recently graduated with my MFA in creative writing from Spalding University, I had learned that it takes something poetic in nature for a text to stay relevant for several … Read More »

when we were on fire: a review

16th October

{ addie zierman, friend of ANTLER and memoirist, releases her book “when we were on fire” this week! here’s a brief review by micha boyett. if you like what you see here, go ahead and let the world know. then head over to addie’s synchroblog and tell your own story! order the book here… }


Addie Zierman’s memoir begins in front of her high school, in tenth grade. Her mom drops her off at the flagpole for “See You At the Pole,” a phenomenon experienced by many of us who grew up evangelical in the nineties. Once a year, Christian teenagers were challenged to meet at the flagpole before school, pray for their fellow classmates, and risk their high school status for the sake of Christ.

Addie approaches the empty flagpole, her violin case dangling in her hand, and stands before it … Read More »

the gospel according to #yolo

30th August

If you have been exposed to adolescents at all in the past year and half, then you are sure to be familiar with the popular twitter hashtag: #YOLO. For those who are unfamiliar with the acronym, it means “You Only Live Once” and has become the “Carpe Diem” anthem for the current generation.

#YOLO soared to popularity in late 2011 with the release of the rapper Drake’s song “The Motto” which boasts the lyrics, “You only live once / that’s the motto…YOLO.” Teens started using the hashtag on twitter and other social media sites not to encourage one another to “live life to the fullest” in an old-school Carpe Diem sense, but rather to justify impulsive decisions. For example, you might see this on your twitter feed: “Haha I got soooo wasted last night. Oh well #YOLO.” Or this: “Man I … Read More »

making manifest interviews

12th August

in these interviews, dave harrity fleshes out his vision for his book “making manifest: on faith, creativity, and the kingdom at hand”

making manifest interviews (parts 1 + 2 + 3)

creativity and peacemaking: poetry drone

25th June

i believe this world is a complicated place, that i’m nearly void of answers, and that—as thomas merton says in his famous prayer— “i have no idea where i am going.” (that prayer embodies most every day of my life…). as such, i tend not to speak publicly about issues of which i’m passionate—i’m never quite sure of my motivation, correctness, or even how i might feel about it later. rather than risk embarrassment, i say nothing. or—almost always—say it discretely in my daily writing. writing which no one sees but me. but here, i’d like to take a little stand for something i think has provocative implications for christian creatives. and—as i love such things—it demonstrates the world’s complexity. this project speaks to my deeply held beliefs about creating: the opposite of making art is doing violence.* or, to say it … Read More »

The Law of Entropy

28th March

{in this post, blogger jeremy statton reflects on how writing has changed his life.}


The last time I was given a writing assignment was my freshman year in college for a history class. And that moment almost became the last time I expressed myself through the written word.

I was headed to medical school, a life dedicated to science. My goal was to solve the world’s problems through surgeries and medicines. To me writing was a nuisance. An undesired chore.

Fourteen years later, however, I finally put pen to paper again, and it changed my life.


The Plan

As a senior in high school I decided to become an orthopedic surgeon. The course of my life was set. College. Medical school. Marriage crammed into the empty space somewhere. Maybe kids. Then Residency.

My plan was like the life of science I pursued. Precise. Without error.

For the … Read More »

Interview with Karen Swallow Prior, Author of “Booked”

7th March

{ANTLER author tania runyan interview karen swallow prior, author of booked: literature in the soul of me, t.s. poetry press, 2012}

It’s embarrassing for me to recount, but when I was still young in my faith, I questioned whether I could major in English or writing. My thinking went like this: If I’m either for God or against him, and if most texts studied in literature courses are written by nonbelievers, then I’d be spending my days studying words against God. With the help of some spiritual mentors, I was able to free myself from that burden (although I still taped over all my secular albums with Keith Green). But many people go through their entire lives paralyzed by their perceived need to choose between right and wrong in every situation: what to read, what to watch and listen to, even … Read More »

What Time It Is

28th February

{Michael Winters reflects on faith, motivation and art.}

The other day as I pulled into the parking lot at the church office, Matthew was obviously up to some mischief. As I came into his view, he fumbled with something and turned the other way.  He looked caught.

I got out of the car, curious to see where this conversation was going to lead. After all, this was the same guy that got caught vandalizing our sign not too long ago.
I figured he was up to something similar, but he was by the electrical box when I first saw him. I hoped he wasn’t trying to cut power to the building. Thank God he didn’t electrocute himself yet.

Matthew has had a hot and cold relationship with our church, and I had just seen a recent facebook post from him … Read More »

How You Use Poetry to Sustain Your Ministry

14th December

{Ryan Strebeck reflects on how the power of words matter in both poetry and ministry}

I never expected or wanted to be a pastor, and I never cared much for poetry. So, it’s hard for me to escape the irony of this post and the question about poetry’s use in the life of ministry. I was deliberately ignorant of poetry (all literature, really) until I graduated from college, with one exception. Growing up in a ranching context, I spent time with old men and women who carefully used their words. They carefully spoke like they carefully shod their horses and cooked their meals and braided their hobbles.
I remember one man, in particular, who practiced reading and songwriting in a way that made me want to join him. He didn’t own a television, so in the evenings we sat around … Read More »

resources for faithful practitioners of creativity and creative practitioners of faith...

Pieces of Freedom & Becoming: Collage of Seoul in Review

{ in this brief review, Maggie Boyd reflects on reading Jae Newman’s debut book of poetry, Collage of Seoul }

“I am free,” is the opening...

interview: jae newman

{ in this interview, jae newman discusses naming the muses and slot machines… }\


when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see...

interview : melissa studdard

{ in this interview, poet melissa studdard give some practical advice on the writing life }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do...

interview: a. k. lamotte

{ a.k. lame speaks on emerging and beginning, of the poet, the poem, and

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see...

breaking through, w/ mark liebenow

The Spirituality of the Wilderness: Do We Need to Pray in Nature, or Are We Already Praying?

The first snow of the season...

interview: amber nelson

{ in this interview, poet amber nelson brings the heat discussing vision, revision, and attentiveness }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do...

interview: michael martin

{ in this interview, poet michael martin discusses approaches to creating poems. }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them?...

interview: sheldon lee compton

{ in this interview, sheldon lee compton ruminates on fiction, revision, and writing as a life discipline }

when you picture someone reading your fiction,...

interview: karen swallow prior

{ in this interview, karen swallow prior discuss her process and the challenges of writing toward truth }

you’re primarily known as—I think—a lover and...

interview: david wright

{ in this interview, poet david wright discusses craft, inspiration, and revision }

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them?...

“walking with kindness” by mark liebenow

What is required of us is to do justice, love kindness,

 and walk humbly with our God. Micah 6:8


I imagine Micah...

“a made thing” by heather caliri

For a long time, I simply felt helpless.

My youth pastor in high school was spiritually abusive to many of us, and he sexually abused...

“the devil you know: rough drafts” by elizabeth jarrett andrew

Poor revision, unfairly maligned due to a quirk of human nature! We beasts prefer prowling on familiar territory, rooting up the same soil with...

interview: aaron belz

{an interview with poet and essayist aaron belz, who recently released his third collection of poetry, GLITTER BOMB}

when you picture someone reading your poetry,...

a worker’s prayer: van gogh on sight

When it’s warm outside and the food processing plant doesn’t smell, I sit on the call center steps and drink tea in the sun....