CJ Hauser beautifully interweaves her own heartbreak with the legend of the crane wife: “In the story, there is a crane who tricks a man into thinking she is a woman so she can marry him. She loves him, but knows that he will not love her if she is a crane so she spends every night plucking out all of her feathers with her beak. She hopes that he will not see what she really is: a bird who must be cared for, a bird capable of flight, a creature, with creature needs. Every morning, the crane-wife is exhausted, but she is a woman again. To keep becoming a woman is so much self-erasing work. She never sleeps. She plucks out all her feathers, one by one.”

Quina Aragon shares her creative process in working with TGC to develop the short film “Listen and Live”: I love how Hamilton masterfully develops lyrical motifs. I sought to do the same thing by repeating and developing words and phrases like ‘But God,’ ‘seed,’ ‘promise,’ ‘generations,’ and ‘40 years.’ I also drew inspiration from Shai Linne’s album Storiez, particularly his songs ‘Passover’ and ‘Greatest Story Ever Told.’”

Wendy Alsup gives practical advice for congregations desiring to care for single parents: “If all were right with the world, each child would have two parents discipling them in the knowledge of the Holy One. More than any other loss in my life, the loss of a partner in discipling my children in the faith has been by far the hardest. I have been blessed again and again and again by men who have stepped in to take personal time with my boys – men who love God, love the Bible, and love me as their sister in Christ.”

Michelle Van Loon wonders about the spiritual journeys of those who seem to have lost their faith: “If the faith communities around them can learn to recognize that some are leaving behind non-essentials that have once served as spiritual training wheels, then those who are telling us they’re deconstructing their faith may find that the tether that holds them to the God who loves them is longer and stronger than they might have imagined.”

Julie Roys posts the response of John Cooper, lead singer of Skillet, to Marty Sampson: “We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom . . . we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth.

Tim Challies confesses his anxiety about Christian books and their availability on Amazon: “But as Amazon surged and other stores shuttered, we inadvertently handed Amazon a near-monopoly over the sale of Christian books. We did this with the good-faith assumption that they would continue to sell whatever we published. But times have changed and are changing and it seems increasingly unlikely that Amazon will continue to sell it all.”

Leah MarieAnn Klett reports on the amazing rescue of Christians by their Muslim friends in Northern Kenya: “When some of the local Muslim population heard of the impending attack, they rushed to the area to tell all Christians to evacuate. They then waited for the gunmen to arrive and confronted them. While the Muslims were unable to prevent the gunmen from opening fire on the construction site, more than 20 Christians were nevertheless able to flee the site and escape without injuries.”

Moira Donegan points out the obvious: “But we are kidding ourselves if we do not concede that images like those put forward by Victoria’s Secret enable sexual violence like that which Epstein is accused of. Images of women and girls as thoughtless and hypersexual have contributed to a culture of sexual abuse and impunity, a culture in which men feel entitled to treat the women they desire the way those women have always been depicted: as objects.”

Podcast of the Week: Melanie Cogdill and Anne Kennedy discuss the theological worldview of Rachel Hollis.