The Big Short: A Little Reminder

This review was originally published at Patheos February 1, 2016. A year and a half later maybe we should think about its message again. — By 2004 I owned real estate in 3 states, had 18 tenants, and two people worked for me part-time. In 2006 I sold it all, paid enough capital gains tax to support a family of 4 for a year, and sat down to watch the world come to an end. I did pretty well. Really… Read more

Man of the House Reviewed in Chronicles

Things are a bit busy for me these days.  I’m finishing up some edits on a young adult novel for Canon Press; I’m working on illustrations for my children’s picture book so my agent can begin the farming it around to trade-publishers; I’m wrapping up the renovation of one of my apartments. And on top of those things I have the normal work of pastoral ministry to attend to. All this to say, I’m sorry I’ve been a little out… Read more

The Blessing of Stuckness: Pastoral Ministry and Localism

I’m speaking at The Front Porch Republic Conference at Hope College in a few days. The name of the conference is, Localism and the Professions. My contribution is pretty small. But here it is for what it is. What follows is a draft of the paper I will be reading. Professionals profess things. That’s what professionals do. I’m a minister, I’m entrusted with professing the gospel. Professionals should be surrounded by people who pay attention to what they have to… Read more

You Say You Want Community? Yeah, Right.

When everyone says he wants something but no one seems to have it, maybe he doesn’t really want it. Maybe he just wants to be believed to want it. Read more

How to Be a Gracious Pariah

Most of the time it is impossible to know why someone stops talking to you. Is it something you said? Is it something you did? Sometimes it’s one. Sometimes it’s both. Sometimes it is something else. And sometimes you shouldn’t apologize, even when it is something you said or did. But sometimes you should. It depends on a number of things. But even when you should it is impossible to make things right if you don’t know what you did… Read more

A Working House Should Work the Soil

What do you depend upon? We all depend on things, and most (if not all of them, really) are outside of our full control. With that in mind, it is wise to diversify and even multiply your dependencies. When I say multiply, I mean make them redundant so that when one lets you down, you can lean more heavily upon another. A place to start is by strengthening the things that are closer to home–things like skilled labor, and if… Read more

Building a House that Works

Work is coming home. More people work from home than has been the case in a long, long time. But the homes they work in, generally speaking, weren’t built to house much work besides cooking up prepackaged meals from the supermarket. Now, if we built our homes to work, how would they be different? I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and not just recreationally. I’m planning to build a house for my family in the not too distant… Read more

Where Do Atheists Live?

I was informed this morning that since the universe is very old and our lives are very short in comparison, our lives are meaningless. Read more

Lovecraft’s Cosmicism: What it Is, How It Works, and Why It Fails

Today I reflect a little on the thing that draws me to H. P. Lovecraft, his aesthetic: Cosmicism. This is a little excerpt of something that will be published by Scenes Media in the near future. (When it is, you’ll be among the first to know!) What is cosmicism? Summed up briefly, Cosmicism is based on the idea that humanism is an illusion. Human consciousness, human civilization, humane values, and all the rest, add up to a bubble that surrounds us… Read more

Why You Need Bacon from Acorns

When it comes to recovering the household economy I feel like a voice in the wilderness at times. The wilderness is a lonely place. That’s why it is great to find someone else out there with you. It is especially so when you find that your companion is saying some of the same things you are. I don’t know why it took me so long to discover John Cuddeback’s blog, Bacon from Acorns, but I’m glad I have. John is… Read more

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