A Haiku for the End of the Workday

I walk to my car.The grounds shimmer with silence.A lone monk strolls by. … [Read more...]

On the Air Today — AM 1690

If you are in the Atlanta area, tune in to AM 1690, WMLB — The Voice of the Arts Radio, today at 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM. The station interviewed several Evening at Emory instructors, and I'm among them. I'm discussing the topic of "world mysticism" in light of the upcoming course I'm teaching on this topic.If you're not in Atlanta or can't tune in today, eventually the talk with be archived online, and I'll provide a link when that happens. … [Read more...]

The Books I Would Take

Twice this week, an interesting question came up.A few nights ago my wife had a nightmare. In it there was an unspecified terrorist attack on Atlanta, and we were forced to evacuate. We only had a few minutes to decide what to take with us. She shared the dream with me the following morning, and we talked about what would be important enough to grab: Rhiannon's meds? My laptop? Family photos? My eyes gazed over the literally thousands of books that fill our house. I wondered, which books would … [Read more...]

In Constant Prayer

In Constant Prayer (The Ancient Practices Series) By Robert Benson Foreword by Phyllis Tickle Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanThomas Nelson's "Ancient Practices Series" brings together some of the most vibrant and interesting of contemporary Christian authors (like Brian McLaren and Scot McKnight) to explore some of the venerable ways in which early Christians expressed their faith — not as some sort of museum piece, but to commend these ancient practices to the lovers of … [Read more...]


In 1979 I graduated from Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Virginia. Even though I was a nerd and a rather obnoxious Jesus freak for most of my high school years, I still have very fond memories of my time at KHS. But as I've written before in this blog, I tend to do a pretty poor job at maintaining old friendships. Some of my high school friendships lasted through my college years, but by the time I was in grad school my life had pretty much moved beyond Hampton, which had become to my mind … [Read more...]


I had an interesting insight the other day.As I'm wending my way through my midlife years, I have been playing with the "What if..." questions that I suppose haunt many people in their forties. But I guess where some people wonder "What if I really had become an artist/musician/actor/writer instead of just settling down in my career?" my questions run more along the lines of "What if I really had pursued a professional career instead of the writer's life?"Don't get me wrong: I'm deeply … [Read more...]

The Beautiful Monastery

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, is a beautiful place. It's a peaceful environment, perfect for an hour, a day, or a weekend (or, if you're a single Catholic man sensing a vocation to religious life, for a lifetime) devoted to prayer and contemplation.Here are a few photographs I took at the monastery this past Friday. … [Read more...]