The Beauty of Complexity

In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard’s Pulitzer Prize winning book (1975), she writes the following: The point of the dragonfly’s terrible lip, the giant water bug, birdsong, or the beautiful dazzle and flash of sunlighted minnows, is not that it all fits together like clockwork–for it doesn’t ….–but that it all flows so freely wild,Continue reading “The Beauty of Complexity”

Stay Curious

“How do you fight cynicism? Stay curious.” This is my third year teaching at a school in the Kansas City area. Each of the past two years we have begun back-to-school teacher training with a sermon from a local pastor, a message reminding us of our duty to mold the children and young men andContinue reading “Stay Curious”

He Knew How to Keep Christmas Well

  …and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see theContinue reading “He Knew How to Keep Christmas Well”

From JNCO Jeans to Jesus: Musing on True Popularity

Sixth grade was a transitional year for me. I never really thought about style and appearances before that, but all the sudden looks mattered. That year in particular stood out to me because, wanting to appease one crowd, I began the year dressed in JNCO jeans (if you don’t remember those, they were like denimContinue reading “From JNCO Jeans to Jesus: Musing on True Popularity”

“Advent”: A Poem

Advent We hold on to our demise– what things we hold on to! Lamp-posts line cold streets: lightless, lifeless, leafless poking about in irrelevance. Rosy cheeks cross rosy streets, a subtle blush sponged upon the winter droll; everything is fine. “Say it enough, and it’s yours if you just believe,” thumped from a television set,Continue reading ““Advent”: A Poem”

“Waiting Is an Art”

“…And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyesContinue reading ““Waiting Is an Art””

“Back to School” Is Not Just for Kids

  “The time has come to revive an idea that once seemed natural: the student’s life as a Christian calling.” Dr. Leland Ryken, author and professor, writes this in a chapter that he contributed to Liberal Arts for the Christian Life. For Ryken and many Christian educators (like myself), education is not a season of life meantContinue reading ““Back to School” Is Not Just for Kids”

Yes, You Can!

I really don’t like prosperity preachers (do we remember the private jet fundraising debacle?); the worldview they offer is so hollow and contradictory both to Scripture and basic human experience. The biblical narrative is pretty clear: God made all things perfect, the first humans fell from grace in an attempt to become divine themselves, God beganContinue reading “Yes, You Can!”

Rooted, Unrooted: Can I Settle in without Settling for the American Dream?

Ever since college, really, I have struggled with the tension of being rooted versus being unrooted (not uprooted per se). In college I was in a serious relationship, and when that relationship ended, I realized, looking back, that I was in it for all the wrong reasons. I wanted the perfect, idyllic life (as I saw it).Continue reading “Rooted, Unrooted: Can I Settle in without Settling for the American Dream?”

What I’m Missing Even When I Have It All

…contentment. I find contentment to be so elusive. It’s been that way nearly all my life. You know what? Since I flew to South America in 2014 for ten weeks in Ecuador and Peru, I have not lived in the same place for more than a year (until now). my story In 2014, despite myContinue reading “What I’m Missing Even When I Have It All”