Books, Spirituality, Optimism and More: What You’ll Find at Sparrowfare

I’m grateful for each person who is following Sparrowfare. It’s exciting to share that the site now has enough content to include a drop-down category menu.  Sparrowfare’s consistent themes have emerged, and if you know others who share these interests, I hope you’ll share Sparrowfare with them.  If you missed its first two posts, Welcome to Sparrowfare and What Is Sparrowfare?, they provide the purposes and inspiration behind the blog as well as explaining the selection of the site title.

Sparrowfare’s sidebar includes its top posts by blogger likes, but many reader favorites by page views and shares do not appear there. I’ve included their links in this post and on the category page.  I hope it will help you discover a post you hadn’t seen or recall a favorite worth sharing with a friend.

What you’ll find when you search Sparrowfare by category:

Books–My first college degree was in English, and I spent a happy decade teaching communication arts to college freshmen as an adjunct English instructor.  Sparrowfare’s books category is a growing selection book-related pieces including Maryilnne Robinson’s Gilead:  A Merciful Mind for Our Contentious Time, and The Book Thief Stole My Heart (and Reminded me Why I Read).

Culture–commentary on current issues such as Dialog in a Divisive Time: Bishop Barron, Dave Rubin and the Space Between and pieces on art, music, film and how they relate to a meaningful life, like Links for Exploring the Soul-Washing Art of Marc ChagallSparrowfare’s most recent post is the first in a series of occasional podcast reviews called Intentional Earbuds: Links to Great Listens.

Spirituality–I’m a lifelong Christian and a convert to Catholicism since 2006.  Experience and study have taught me that the deepest longings of the human heart are met in heart-to-heart contemplative encounter with the risen Christ.  He is the source of my joy even in sorrow, and I cannot help but share. The Fishermen and the Risen Christ: 153 Reasons Why I Love and Believe the Story and Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation are examples.  More serious and soul-searching is Scorsese’s Silence:  A Four Question Examination of Conscience.

Optimism–One of Sparrowfare’s most viewed and shared posts is Pollyanna vs. Curmudgeon: the Case for Realistic Optimism.  It’s something of a defense against the accusation that optimists are unrealistic saps. The post led a couple of friends to comment on their struggle to maintain a realistic, resilient and faith-based optimism. Having developed my own philosophy of realistic optimism as a Christian counselor applying positive psychology’s research base in a school, optimism as a Sparrowfare category will continue to grow.

Civility–The vitriol in the current culture seems to be creating a moment for those of us troubled by this trend to “put down our swords” and risk civil conversation with people who disagree with us.  We who believe in loving our enemies know it’s imperative to set a higher bar than we typically see in politics, popular entertainment and on social media.  In addition to Dialog in a Divisive Time and For a Time of Transition: 3 Versions of the Litany of Humility in Song, many posts in Sparrowfare’s Lenten series on speech and silence are included here, concluding with How to Speak of Easter Hope without Harming the Humble Christ.

Children–I’ve been working with children as a counselor for over a decade and a half, and I’m painfully aware of the effect our cultural trends are having on little ones.  I developed a curriculum for young children focusing on building resilience through virtue-based character building books.  The children’s book reviews posted at SparrowFare not only apply to children but connect the story’s theme to cultural issues we’re all facing in pursuing virtue, becoming humble and learning to control our tongues. Peter Rabbit, Bluebeard, and Adam and Eve: A Theological Meandering definitely became a reflection for adults and Big Pink Baby Name-calling and the Invisible Mistakecase addresses an alarming trend in a child-friendly way. For more, see the Fledglingfare page, which links all of Sparrowfare’s posts related to children.

Thanks once more for every follow, like and share you’ve given Sparrowfare. If you know someone who enjoys this type of fare, do continue to share!

P.S. Have you liked and followed Sparrowfare’s new Facebook page?  Please click the Facebook icon on the sidebar!  I’d love to hear from you.