Third Way Archive

2013 Matthew’s Media Matters Mix Tape

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December 26, 2013 Third Way

Last year for my last my final review of 2012, I made a playlist of some of the top 12 songs that I would remember down the road as significant songs during a transitional time in my life. I don’t know if I was trying to wax poetic or what. I can try to be as poignant as I want, but at the end of the day, I know the truth: I like lists. I like making mix tapes. I also like traditions.So, in the spirit of those three things, I present the 2013 Media Matters mix tape, featuring a […]

Top Songs of 2012

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January 25, 2013 Third Way

The year 2012 will go down in history for me as a transition year. I turned 40 and gave up my good gig as a part-time stay-at-home dad in exchange for a more-than-full-time job in middle management.I’m noticing right now that I have a mix of pick-me-up songs and downers, which can describe any year!

Top 10 films of 2012

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January 16, 2013 Third Way

Here are the films making it to the top of Third Way Cafe’s annual “Top 10 Films of the Year” list. We don’t give away Oscars or have red carpets, (and these are not films our reviewers are nominating for Oscars or Globes) but films worthy of mention which either uphold Mennonite/Anabaptist approaches to looking at the world, or, at least tell a whopping good story or make an inspiring and excellent film. For our website fans, our reviewers also have created a great list (28 in all) with succinct descriptions around which you can make your Netflix or other queues, or plan a quarter of great […]

Call for a Jubilee at Walmart

October 26, 2012 Third Way

Walmart marks the 50th anniversary of its first store opening in Arkansas this month. In the midst of its celebrations, advocates for the retail giant’s employees are calling for a Jubilee. In the world of ancient Israel, five-decade cycles of Sabbaths culminated with the Jubilee year. Just as the seventh day was Sabbath, in the seventh year people rested from cultivating crops, granted remission of debts and set slaves free, as detailed in Leviticus 25 and Deuteronomy 15. After seven Sabbath years, horns accompanied proclamations of a time of restoring right relationships and recognizing God as the source of all […]

Indebted to Education

August 24, 2012 Third Way

Like many of us, I try to think carefully about how I spend my money, especially on larger items. I wouldn’t pay $30,000 for any amount of jewelry. I wouldn’t spend that to replace all the furniture in my house or all the clothes, shoes and accessories in my wardrobe. And yet I have spent much more than that on my education. After the recent transfer of my student loans from the original lender to another company, I spent the better part of an afternoon leafing through my past bills and trying to understand my current ones. When my frustration […]

Neighborhood’s Victory

July 27, 2012 Third Way

A coal-fired power plant stands a couple of blocks away from inhabited homes in the neighborhood where I live. Public health researchers have connected the operations of this plant, which does not meet current emission standards, to health conditions in our community, including asthma, which affects many of the children in this area. While this plant is not the only contributor to pollution in our neighborhood, it is a key factor. Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist, would likely understand our situation. She was raised in a town in Illinois where there was an aluminum smelter. In her early 20s, she survived […]

Companions of the grieving

June 8, 2012 Third Way

Grief causes myriad responses, and yet there are common threads. Many still talk about the stages of grief, including denial, bargaining and depression. Others refer to grief as having a set of tasks, such as accepting the reality of the loss. One thing that’s clear is that death causes a cascade of emotion. Shock. Anger. Heartache — real pain we feel in our chests. We mourn when we lose people we love. When encountering someone in mourning, many of us instinctively want to help. Yet lately I’ve been wondering if some of our well-worn traditions for responding to those going […]

Sacrificial year-end giving

April 27, 2012 Third Way

Each year signs of the holidays appear: lights on trees, candles in windows, calendars on sale in local businesses. For some of us, another item on that list is a growing pile of end-of-the-year appeals from nonprofit organizations. The pile, along with each letter, poses a challenge: Where and how should we give whatever we have to give at this time of year? One approach would be to decide on an amount one’s household could spare, and then give a portion of that to each of the organizations with which one has a connection. For some, a few of those […]

A Full Life, Joyfully Shared

February 24, 2012 Third Way

Cookie Wiebe lived simply, but she also lived fully. My thoughts turned to her often on November 1, All Saints Day, a time to remember those who have lived in the ways of God’s reign. Cookie had died of cancer at 57 the day before. When I joined the Mennonite Weekly Review staff in 2008, editor Paul Schrag introduced me to Cookie and her husband, Dave, as hosts during my trips to Newton, Kansas. I was impressed by their Christian commitment to whole-life stewardship. It went far beyond simple-living practices I had learned, such as line-drying clothes or washing plastic […]

Top 10 Films of 2011

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January 19, 2012 Third Way

Compare to your own favorites or save this for when you want quick descriptions in picking a film to view or discuss in a group.