life beyond the well…

A Few Articles Worth Reading…


As I said in my last post- even though I haven’t been writing, I have been keeping up with other people’s blogs. And I’m always checking out the news. Here are some articles you should check out:

1. Daughter on her own, but still needs dad

This article is written by Nat Irvin, the fabulous father of Jovian Irvin, who many of you all know and love. I read his articles every week, because they always provide some sort of fatherly insight; and I feel more educated when I finish. I thought about including an excerpt from this article…but it’s so touching, that no excerpt would do it justice. You’ll have to read the whole thing yourself. Kudos to Papa Irvin and other men out there for being excellent fathers and for standing in the gap and being mentors and father figures for others. We appreciate you.

2. Students and Faith

I read this article last week on, which is a great site that keeps me aware of some of the happenings in higher education. I’ve often wondered how college affects the faith of students. There are tons of books out now about maintaining your faith in a collegiate environment such as “How to Stay Christian in College“, “University of Destruction: Your Game Plan for Spiritual Victory on Campus“, and”Survival Guide for Christians: How to be students and disciples at the same time“. And we all know there can be challenges to your faith in the collegiate environment. Shoot, there are challenges to your faith in every environment. But that’s another story for another time. Here’s a snippet of the article:

The more you pursue a higher education, the more likely you are to abandon your faith — at least that’s what conventional wisdom holds.

“Actually we’ve just been wrong about this for quite a while,” said Mark D. Regnerus, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the authors of a new study that suggests students who attend and graduate from college are more likely than others to hold on to their faith.

It’s not that colleges necessarily encourage faith, he said, but for all the talk about how intellectuals are out to destroy students’ relationships to their religions and God, the main obstacles to such relationships have to do with maturing and how young people spend their time. “Some kids were bound to lose [their faith] anyway and they do,” Regnerus said. But the evidence suggests that college isn’t responsible.

I better stop with school now…or else I won’t have any faith! But seriously, as someone who came to Christ ON MY OWN for the first time when I was in college, I don’t know how I would have made it through the remainder of college or graduate school without my faith. Just my two cents…

3. ‘Beautillions’ a rite of passage for black males

I think I was slightly surprised to find this article on, I guess because I was thinking beautillions were such a southern thing. I know in Durham, it was really big, along with cotillions and other debutante stuff. I wish I had the pics from my own little pageantry/cotillion experience to post up here. They are quite embarrassing and I’m sure they would bring you all lots of laughter.

Anyhow, what I love about this is that it really shows the other side of the black community where older black men are relating to the younger generation, and helping to provide them with tools to be successful. There are black men who are raising their kids, involved with their communities, and not being the stereotype.

However, I never knew that Phi Beta Sigma did a beautillion. For real. In all seriousness.


Author: erin.almond

God-chaser. NC native, now planted in Jacksonville, FL. Happily married to a handsome church-planting pastor. I am easily excited by Jesus, education, cupcakes, Moleskine notebooks, and Pepsi. Overwhelmed by God's amazing grace, undeserving of His love and mercy.

3 thoughts on “A Few Articles Worth Reading…

  1. Erin, you gon have to cut this three stories per entry stuff out. There’s too much to comment on. And having to read all the articles keeps me from doing work and we all know how much I hate having to ignore my work responsibilities to read blogs!!!

    That Jovian story was hilarious and made me think of some things. I get excited whenever I find drops of kindness in unexpected places – like NYC. Anything that dispels a stereotype is good stuff to me.

    The tale of Nat and Jovian – or Natvian, for the paparazzi – was tight, but the greater story to me was of the cop. All of us – even those with great dads – need a village. It’s always a wonderful thing when folks step up. I honor the men who weren’t my dad and stepped up, because common thought says they didn’t have to. But I needed them there.

    The faith and college joint was refreshing. Evangelicals need to fall back. More people probably leave Christianity because of “the church” than because of college. Faith is so relative. My wife got saved in college and I rededicated my life to Christ while in college abroad, while others gave up on faith. There are so many factors that contribute to one’s personal faith. Solely blaming academics is irresponsible.

    Beautillions are becoming more common. The DC Alpha grad chapter had one and the Phoenix one is planning one now. I think they – beautillions, not cotillions – are becoming less elitist, and more necessary as positive black male images in the media are becoming more scarce.

  2. You and your work responsibilities. I like to think I keep you up on the news. You know, just like your job wants you to be!

    The funny part of the Natvian story was that I could hear the dialogue in my head. Anyone who has seen the two of them interact knows what I mean.

    “Evangelicals need to fall back”. Classic line- I’m sure I would be deepfried in gasoline in hell for wearing peep toe pumps or something. You know, cause christians don’t do that. But really, college is worldly…like the rest of the world is. I feel that one is just as likely to lose their faith prior to college or after college as they are during college.

    I think I was more shocked that there was a Sigma chapter doing a beautillion. I’ve never known that to happen. Kudos to them.

  3. Yeah, but it still had a Sigma element to it. I like that the guys were in African attire. That is very Sigma. And I’m assuming it is less classist than others and more about black male youth really needing things like this.

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