In Defense of Social Media

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To dismiss the online world as a repository for irrelevant banter by narcissistic blowhards who are ignoring their families is both inaccurate and unfair to those for whom social media enables valuable, life-giving work. [Read more...]

When a Viral Blog Post Doesn’t Change Much of Anything

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Being a writer is primarily about writing—not about following some social media guru’s five-step system for getting the most attention for each blog post, or about keywords and SEO. [Read more...]

Troll-Proofing Our Online Writing

If only Internet trolls were as appealing and harmless as this guy.

At the Festival of Faith and Writing two weeks ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan, my friend Jennifer Grant and I co-led a discussion group titled “Troll-Proofing Your Online Writing.” Based on our conversations and my own reading and musing, here are a few thoughts about what we can and can’t do about trolls, and why [Read More...]

How the Internet is Killing the Book Review

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Now that I own a Kindle, my ever-raging thirst for new reading material can be assuaged with a few finger swipes. Because I have wide-ranging taste and am relatively choosy about which books earn the swipe, I rarely regret a purchase. But last week I regretted not only buying a particular book, but also the [Read More...]

God Does Not Make Me Happy (or Three Things I Learned About My Relationship with God)

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Last weekend, I went on a one-night retreat with my church’s vestry. (In an Episcopal church, the vestry is akin to a board of directors. We advise and collaborate with the clergy on big-picture questions around the church’s mission, and approve the annual budget. I am in my third year of a three-year vestry term.) [Read More...]

Painfully Aware of the Abyss: A Review of Holly Burkhalter’s “Good God, Lousy World, & Me”

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I once read a novel in which the protagonist divided humankind into two categories: those who are always aware of the “abyss,” and those who are not. “The abyss” referred to the darkness and suffering that pervade human life, the agony that screams from newspaper headlines and whimpers in lonely corners. I immediately recognized myself [Read More...]

My (Unmeasurable) New Year’s Resolutions

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The time seems right for me to make some resolutions for 2014. Because I broke a few bones on December 1, the last month of 2013 was more about getting necessary things (wrapping Christmas presents, etc.) done at the last minute than about proactively ordering my household and life. Now that I’m feeling better and [Read More...]

My Most Popular Posts of 2013

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Here’s a round-up of my most popular blog posts of 2013. Perhaps there’s something here that you missed the first time around. [Read more...]


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