We’ve got a great line-up for tonight’s edition of the Local Show. Andrew Peterson is hosting and he’s invited this great group of songwriters to share the stage.
Leading the pack is a name you’re all familiar with: Rabbit Room alumnus Jason Gray. We’re thrilled to have him at the Local Show for the first time this week.
Next up, the too-young-to-be-so-talented Caleb Chapman (of Colony House) returns.
And finally, an acclaimed songwriter with no less than 12 Dove Awards and 21 #1 hits to her credit, the great Cindy Morgan.
Tickets are available for $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Rabbit Room members can purchase a $5 admission at the door with their membership card. Show time is 7:30pm at The Well coffeehouse on Old Hickory Blvd. Doors open at 7:10pm.
I’ve got a crazy idea, and I need your help. We want a new Rabbit Room t-shirt, but we want to give all of you a chance to design it. So here’s what I’m thinking. Design submissions are open from now until April 27th. Submit anything you like, but let’s set a basic theme of “Music” for this shirt. Take that and run with it in any direction you want. Your design can be text-based, or illustrated, or anything at all. Be creative. Don’t overthink it. Just have fun.
On May 1st, we’ll reveal our favorite and take orders for a limited time (2 weeks only). The winner gets a free shirt and some credit in the RR store. If all goes well, we’ll do this every month and you can stockpile a whole wardrobe of community-designed clothing. Fun, right?
Click through for details.
The newest issue of The Molehill contains a couple of truly unique pieces of history. The first is an original, previously-unpublished essay by the great G. K. Chesterton, and you’ll have to pick up a copy of the book to read that one. But the other is this bit of literary treasure discovered by Jonathan Rogers while doing research via microfilm in the Vanderbilt library. It’s a hand-written poem he found in the margin of a sixteenth-century manuscript by a Sir Richard Roland, Second Earl of Astley. Apparently it has never been published (at least not until we published it in The Molehill Vol. 3), so this is a poem that few living eyes but yours, dear reader, have ever seen.
“Never, Sweeting, Could I Play Thee False”
Never, sweeting, could I play thee false,
E’en until the day we both should die—
Verily, till we go to our vaults.
Ever was there lover true as I?
Rocks may split, the mountains all remove,
Gone away the rivers, all run dry.
Only I will love still, still unmoved.
Never was there lover true as I.
Never, sweeting, could I make thee weep.
Away, away with each old love thou ruest.
Give me thy heart, and my heart thou canst keep.
I of every lover am the truest.
Verses sometimes lie; I never do.
Eye me, and the soul of truth thou viewest.
Yew bow never shot a shaft so true.
Of every lover, dear, I am the truest.
Until the end I plight my troth, forsooth.
Upon my hoary age, upon thy youth…
Prithee, hast thou ever known such truth?
We’re headed into the Texas wilderness this week to convene the Rabbit Room Retreat @ Laity Lodge and we wish all of you could come with us. This year our guest speaker is Dr. Ralph Wood, author of The Gospel According to Tolkien, Flannery O’Connor and the Christ-haunted South, and Chesterton: The Nightmare Goodness of God.
As you can tell from that remarkable list, Dr. Wood will be right at home in the Rabbit Room crowd. Dr. Wood has served as the Baylor University’s Professor of Theology and Literature since 1998 and comes to us bearing a lifetime of scholarship and wisdom. He’s an engaging speaker, a sage theologian, and a kind man. We look forward to introducing him to many of you this week at Laity Lodge.
For more information about the Rabbit Room Retreat at Laity Lodge, visit the website at Hutchmoot.com. Those not able to attend may want to join us in absentia by enjoying some of Dr. Wood’s work, which is now available in the Rabbit Room store.
Charles Williams is one of those guys who seems to be perpetually on my “Read This Next!” shelf. Almost every time I talk with Lanier Ivester there comes a point in the conversation when her chin drops and her mouth hangs wide open for three or four minutes while she processes the information that I have not yet read The Place of the Lion. Sorry, Lanier, it’s still true. He’s still the Inkling about which I haven’t one.
I know there are a lot of others out there in my position and today I’m here to help. Part of the problem is that his books are hard to find, but I just heard that Open Road Media has now published ebooks of seven of Williams’ titles, including War in Heaven, and Descent into Hell. If you’re the e-reading type, check them out. If Lanier buys me a Kindle, I promise to read The Place of the Lion immediately.
Last year, right at the last minute, I heard the strange tale of Matthew Perryman Jones teaming up with the Nashville Ballet for a live-music and dance performance called “. . . but the flowers have yet to come.” I have to confess that ballet is something I tend to view with a narrowed eye, but I didn’t want to pass up the chance to see Matthew performing live, so I snatched up a couple of tickets. It didn’t hurt that taking my wife to the ballet made for a great Valentine’s Day date. As it turned out, I got way more than I bargained for. The show began with two other dance performances, one of which was an interpretation of Anton Checkov’s relationship with his wife through letters and was incredible—alone worth the price of admission.
The main attraction, though, was the Perryman Jones performance. Matthew and a full band played some of my favorite songs off both the new album and the previous, while the Nashville Ballet took the main stage. I’m no good at knowing what I’m looking at when I watch dance, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. If you know Matthew’s music, you know it’s bittersweet and full of longing, frustration, and passion. The dance captures those feelings perfectly. I was mesmerized. I was also shocked at how much work and creativity had gone into a production that only saw three or four lightly attended performances. It just seemed wrong for that many people to work so hard at something only to have it enjoyed so briefly.
So it was with considerable excitement that I heard the show was coming back this Valentine’s Day weekend. There are only three performances: February 13th, 14th, and 15th. If you are in Nashville and need something awesome to do for Valentine’s Day. This is it. Check out the “Making of” and teaser videos below. Don’t miss it.
Rabbit Room Press is now making available two original plays by National Book Award-winner Walter Wangerin Jr.
These are “mystery plays,” but don’t confuse that term with “plays about Sherlock Holmes.” Click the link for more information, but mystery plays are a venerable tradition of presenting Bible stories in the form of stage drama. Rachel Weeping for Her Children is written for Epiphany and tells the story of Herod and the Magi. The second is written for Palm Sunday: The Way of the Cross (The Cry of the Whole Congregation), and it draws the entire audience into the story. If either of these sound familiar it might be because you’ve seen them before. They’ve been performed all over the country.
Both of these plays are now available in the Rabbit Room store.
Edit: The free tickets have been claimed.
Behold! We’ve got two free tickets for tomorrow night’s house show at North Wind Manor. Jeremy Casella will be here playing a full show, with Andrew Osenga as a special guest. The tickets are available to the first two people (or the first couple) who has never before been to a show at the Manor. Just email me at [email protected] to claim them. If you’ve been before, you’re welcome to claim one to bring along a friend who hasn’t.
There are still a handful of tickets left for the rest of you. Just $12 each (or $8 if you’re a Rabbit Room member—check your emails members) Click here for details.
I’m stealing this from Dave Bruno’s blog because it’s awesome and he forgot to post it here. Carve out a few minutes this evening, click the link below, and read Dr. King’s sermon, “Paul’s Letter to American Christians.” Happy MLK Day.
Tonight’s Bible study with Michael Card is filled up, but we’ve got another treat for you coming up next weekend. We’re pleased to announce our latest house show. On January 24th @ 7pm Jeremy Casella (and maybe a special guest or two) will be here at the manor to play songs from last year’s brilliant Death in Reverse album (and other stuff too). If you aren’t familiar with Jeremy’s music, you need to be. He’s got one of the best voices in town and a songwriting knack for U2-style anthemic melodies that get stuck in your head in the best way. Death in Reverse is one of my top 3 favorite albums of 2014. Don’t miss this show.
Tickets are $12 and limited to 30 seats. We ask that everyone bring a snack to share with the group. Drinks are on us. Click here to secure your spot. We’ll see you at the door!
FULL! Both January dates are now full. We’ll start taking RSVPs for February later this month.
We’re kicking 2015 off in style. Mike will be at North Wind Manor at 7:00pm on January 13th and 27th for the first two sessions of a series he’ll be leading on the life of Jesus.
We’ll be making his Gospel commentaries available soon in the Rabbit Room store, and they’ll serve as fine companions to the discussions he’ll be leading.
These events are open to everyone, free of charge, but we’re limited by space, so if you’d like to attend please RSVP to [email protected] (we’ll respond with directions). We also encourage everyone to bring a snack to share. Drinks are on us.
We’ve been waiting a long time to make this announcement. When Walt Wangerin spoke at our first-ever Hutchmoot we had no idea that it marked the beginning of an ongoing friendship. In the years since, it’s been a joy to get to know him and work with him. He’s contributed short stories to each volume of the Molehill (including volume 3, out any day now), and we’re incredibly humbled and overjoyed to be able to announce the forthcoming publication by Rabbit Room Press of his new memoir: Everlasting Is the Past.
In this new memoir, he invites the reader into the past to experience his loss of faith as a young seminarian, his struggle to find a place for his chosen vocation amid a storm of doubts, and his eventual renewal in the arms of an inner-city church called Grace. With his inimitable style and keen eye for detail, Walt remembers his own story and gives it to us as an everlasting testament to the faithfulness of God.
The book will be available everywhere this spring, but it’s available for pre-order now through the Rabbit Room store.
Here’s a first look at the cover. Design by Chris Tobias. Illustration by Jamin Still.
This week I’m putting the finishing touches on the new edition of The Molehill. Once again, we’ve got a great mix of shorts for you to feast your eyes on–stuff like a ghost story from Lanier Ivester, a folk tale by Walt Wangerin, Jr., new poetry by Luci Shaw, a new story and illustrations by Jamin Still, a new collaborative work from cartoonist Jonny Jimison and poet Jen Rose Yokel, an art heist by Russ Ramsey, recipes by Lewis Graham, and a lot more.
Special thanks to Jason McFarland for the cover design!
Preorders are now open. We plan to have these shipped in time for reading by the fire on Christmas Day. Remember that if you have a 2014 or 2015 membership, this edition of The Molehill will be mailed to you free of charge as soon as they arrive from the printer. Not a member? Click here for more information.
For the past two years, we’ve offered Rabbit Room memberships to our readers, and a whole lot of you have put your membership benefits to good use. For some strange reason, though, we began by offering memberships in May, which meant that the 2014 benefits were good from May of 2014 until May of 2015 which, if you think about it, really makes it a half of a 2014 membership and half of a 2015 membership—or something. Weird.
So this year we’re setting things right. Memberships for 2015 are on sale now and they will be good for the entire duration of 2015. It just makes sense.
So what are the benefits of Rabbit Room membership? I’m glad you asked. Read on:
—A free copy of the Molehill, vol. 3, which should be shipping before Christmas
—A free download of the Hutchmoot 2014 audio archive (that’s over 18 hours of audio!)
—A free 2015 Certified Member mug only available via membership (ships as soon as they come off the potter’s wheel—which may or may not be before Christmas.)
—deep and abiding satisfaction
—15% off of all purchases in the Rabbit Room store (we’ll email your membership ID right away so that you can use it in the Rabbit Room store during the holiday season.)
—A nifty membership card that you can flash at certain Rabbit Room events (like the Local Show) to get free or discounted admission rates
—powers of tremendous insight
That’s a good bunch of stuff, but some of you are asking yourselves, “Wait a minute, I just bought my 2014 membership a few months ago, does that mean I’m getting short-changed?”
Happily, the answer is no. In order to get the membership schedule on track, we’re extending all 2014 memberships until the end of 2015. So technically, you’re getting long-changed. You can still purchase the Hutchmoot 2014 audio archive separately by clicking here. And your copy of the Molehill will be on its way soon.
So that’s the deal. From here on out, each November you’ll be able to renew your membership for the following year, and that means you’ll always have access to the Hutchmoot archive for current year.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales coming up? Yep, we’ve got some of that too. Stay tuned.
Assignments have been sent!
It’s time once again for the Rabbit Room Christmas Exchange. Click through for full details. Assignments have been sent. Check your email and have fun. If you expected an assignment and did not receive one, please email me at [email protected]