Fred Phelps: Life of Fear

Phelps

I’m not proud of it but there have been people I have hated in my life. Not many, mind you, and not in a long while. I can only remember one or two of them, but I am sure there were more. None of the people I came to hate were old lovers. Thankfully, I [Read More...]

Making Jesus Famous

Jesus Famous

There is a new phraseology making the rounds in Evangelical circles. I’ve heard it said several times as of late. It is meant to be a form of encouragement, I suppose, although, to be honest I’m never sure why these oddities pop up the way they do. If I had to guess, I’d say that [Read More...]

Libraries and Bookstores

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  Truck drivers have their greasy diners. Artists have their pristine galleries. Meth addicts have their flop houses. Cops have their coffee shops. Journalists have their cubicles. Priests have their abbeys. Rock Stars have their tour buses. Authors have libraries & bookstores.   I’ll be visiting a couple of my favorites this week. Wednesday at 6:30 [Read More...]

The Devil Walks in Mattingly

Devil Walks

    Publication day can be one of the loneliest of all days, says Dani Shapiro. Writers lock themselves for days, years on end, piece-stitching a story together letter by letter, word by word, punctuation mark by punctuation mark. And that’s just the first draft of a story. Most stories undergo umpteen reincarnations before they [Read More...]

Doing Nothing for the Least of Us

SEPTA

Not a one of them called Children Services. People walked over top the young woman, pushed by her obviously impaired self, ignored the child sitting on the seat across from her mama, and did nothing. Nothing. They did not offer help, to the mother or the child. They did not suggest that police be called. [Read More...]

Not God’s Tools

Tony Kriz storytelling at Faith & Culture 2014, Newberg, Oregon

  I had stayed too long, visiting. Not an uncommon occurrence for me. He  - Jelani Greenidge – had pulled his chair up next to mine and introduced himself. Said his wife wouldn’t forgive him if he didn’t. We were friends of sort already, before gathering over Chipotle chicken in the basement of Newberg Friends [Read More...]

Woken by the SWAT alarm

Swat

  Typically, this time of year, I wake to the sound of mourning doves cooing outside my bedroom window. They are sweet and always remind me of Hunter Mendenhall, a Pearl Harbor survivor, who was the father of one of my dearest friends. Hunter grew up in the backwoods of Alabama. So far back, he [Read More...]

Praying for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

    The first rule of thumb is to get your facts straight first. You can distort them later as you please, said the beloved Mark Twain. Mardi Gras didn’t start in New Orleans. In 1703 the small French colony of Mobile observed the first Mardi Gras. The first of the mystic societies were formed in the 1830s. [Read More...]

Sherlock’s Theology

Bookforallseasons

  I was in Leavenworth, Washington over the weekend. I went at the invitation of A Book for All Seasons, the Indie bookstore in the resort town was celebrating it’s 22nd anniversary. It wasn’t my first trip to Leavenworth but it was my first event at A Book for All Seasons. I knew about this [Read More...]

This Dark Road to Tent Revivals & New Orleans

HGG

  I met a fella named Memphis Storm this week. That’s his first and middle name. When you give a name like that to a baby you can be sure there is a story behind it. I so badly wanted to ask but feared embarrassing the teenager that I actually refrained. I know that will [Read More...]

I Married a Feminist

Feminism

  When I think of the most patriarchal of all organizations, it is not the Church that comes to my mind first. Oh, the Church makes the Top Ten list for sure, but there are so many other secular organizations that overshadow it. At the top of my list is the military. I have heard [Read More...]

Prayers for the Missionary

Gene. Polio

  Perhaps you read Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide? and remember the story of  The Missionary:   He grew up in Chief Joseph country, where God tucked away a stash of rough-cut mountains, several crystal glacier lakes, and acres of emerald meadows. These were the treasures the Missionary knew back when he was nothing more [Read More...]

Serendipity: God’s calling card

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    Decades ago, back when I was a newbie wanna-be, not yet calling myself a writer, I attended the Conference on the Book at Ole Miss. The only way I knew I was a writer is because a professor at Eastern Oregon University told me that’s who I would become when I grew up. I [Read More...]

Purple Heart Recipient Jed Zillmer: American Tragedy

Zillmer

  His life ended in a one-sided shoot-out. Police said he wanted it that way. They said Afghanistan war veteran Jed Zillmer was on a suicidal mission: Kill or be killed. He was allegedly heavily armed and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, although that had never been diagnosed. Before a claim of PTSD can [Read More...]

Everlasting Romance

valentine

  I am a Valentine baby. More than likely an anniversary Valentine baby.  My parents married on Feb. 13th.  Up until the time she was on her dying bed, my mother maintained that the reason she and Daddy married the day before Valentine’s Day was because he had to report back to duty at Fort [Read More...]


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