Sand in the Gears

The poor fisherman

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 Posted in Faith and Life | Comments Off on The poor fisherman

From my latest essay at the Image Good Letters site: I am a tense and irritable man with occasional bouts of cheerfulness tempered by fatalism. I am a hard man with whom to live. I spent yesterday griping at my kids ...

The ministering parent

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 16 Comments »

Do you ever look on your children, and wish they had better than you? Back when we were shopping my embarrassingly confessional first book, my agent at the time told me I needed a ministry to accompany it. She said this ...

Friendship

Friday, May 6th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life | 4 Comments »

I am rarely humble yet often humbled, which is maybe the surest sign that God has not given up on me yet. I remember, years ago, standing in judgment over a friend who came to me seeking grace. I offered ...

Intentional heart

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 16 Comments »

I started a garden last summer. It went to weeds, and then the weeds grew parched under the relentless Kansas sun, and then they withered and died. I traveled more than I'd anticipated, and when I was home other things ...

The Loughner boy’s eyes

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 20 Comments »

When young men take up guns and set about killing to satisfy whatever dark insanity has possessed them, I think of my sons. I think about the world in which they walk, a world that is physically safer than most ...

A father’s waning day

Monday, June 21st, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 3 Comments »

As I write, there are nine minutes left in Father's Day, which is just right, given that every father I know feels like he has so much left to do, and just a scrap of time in which to do ...

Every day a memorial day

Monday, May 31st, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life | 4 Comments »

Yesterday the Eastern Orthodox celebrated the saints, and today many Americans celebrate fallen soldiers, and in the midst of remembrances of saints and soldiers I find myself thinking on a little girl who fought a great battle, and endured worse ...

Blood and mystery

Monday, April 26th, 2010 Posted in Faith and Life, Theology | 7 Comments »

One of G.K. Chesterton's arguments in Everlasting Man is that the ancient pagans never really revered their petty gods and spirits and magical tree stumps nearly as much as the modern humanist, overflowing with tolerance and reverence for any belief ...

The myth of the myth

Saturday, January 9th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting, Theology | 5 Comments »

Leslie Fields muddles about in Calvinism and Darwinism before arriving at good advice for every Christian parent, which is to pray your child toward Heaven. I think "the perfect parent myth," however, is itself a myth. None of us envisions ...

On miracles

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 Posted in Theology | Comments Off on On miracles

"A miracle is not the breaking of the laws of the fallen world, it is the re-establishment of the laws of the kingdom of God..."  (Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Living Prayer, p. 71-2)

Past the words

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 Posted in Faith and Life | 17 Comments »

This weekend I lived at beautiful St. Fidelis Church, situated unexpectedly on the Kansas plains. Oddly enough, I never went inside the church proper, but I'm told there's a large mural behind the altar, of Fidelis being butchered by Calvinists. It ...

The Nightmares

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 Posted in Faith and Life | 13 Comments »

Sunday night brought a nightmare, one I used to have as a child. In this nightmare you are awake, it seems, and you can see the bedroom as it will be when you finally do scream or gasp yourself from ...

The Storm

Thursday, March 29th, 2007 Posted in Faith and Life, Greatest Hits | Comments Off on The Storm

The two younger boys crept into our bed in the black morning, driven by a snarling storm. They curled into me, shivering, as if I am a safe harbor. There is no keeping out the storm; this is what I ...

Three Reasons

Thursday, March 1st, 2007 Posted in Snapshots of Life | Comments Off on Three Reasons

Caleb has borrowed my Essential Charlie Parker, and I don't think he's ever giving it back. He likes to listen to it as he falls asleep, and so I hear it drifting down to me from his bedroom, the cool ...

The P-Word

Wednesday, August 7th, 2002 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 5 Comments »

I remember watching Game Two of the 1995 World Series and deciding that Bob Costas is gutless. I came to this conclusion because Costas went out of his way, as Cleveland pitcher Dennis Martinez warmed up on the mound, to ...