Tony Woodlief | Author

Things about me

I began this blog over a dozen years ago, and I began in anger. The world seemed to be just stupidly turning gears, and I ordained myself a thrower of sand. So I called my new blog “Sand in the Gears.” Clever of me, no?

But my arms grew tired, and the world was no better, and I was making it worse, for myself and for people I care about the most. Lately it occurs to me that the world veers deeper into darkness not because it is a great machine steered by nefarious overlords, but because it has been sundered. All around us are ruins, no matter how many gleaming buildings we erect in this “Christ-forgetting Christ-haunted death-dealing Western world.” The world has been sundered and it does not need me to hurl sand at its crumbling edifice. I have been sundered, and I have no heart left for throwing things.

So instead I’ll try just to write a few small truths. Like how we live in ruins and that there is hope in those ruins and this hope is born of love. A writer could do worse than write the truth, I suppose.

Now, for the mundane things you were probably expecting before you stubbed your toe on my manifestella. (But seriously, if you think this is bad, you should check out that ebook my website keeps trying to shove down your throat.)

I live in North Carolina, and I am, as you may have surmised, a writer. My essays are often here, and if not, I do my best to link to them elsewhere. I also write fiction, which has appeared in various literary journals. I have a novel and a children’s story seeking homes. On occasion I do speaking engagements, depending on location and timing and how much investment you want to make in my kids’ college funds.

Yes, somebody decided I should be allowed to have children. I have six sons who are living, a daughter who is dead, and a wife who inexplicably thinks I am something special. All around are ruins, but also there is grace, yes?

Over the years I’ve gotten offers of cash and requests to burn in hell for the filthy heretic I am, so feel free to drop me a line; I doubt anything you say will be all that offensive, and it’s nice to know somebody is listening.


5 thoughts on “Things about me”

  1. Being both a surviving widow and later surviving mother gives me instant kinship with other widowed ppl and childless parents (you get what Im saying, unfortunately, so I wont explain the childless part).
    The wisdom I know you’ve gained interests me more than my friend’s claim, You’ll like reading him. The basic intelligence I could note immediately, is a bonus. The road of griefs is a goldmine. One I would gladly give my arm in exchange not ever to find, yes. But let us mine all out of our experiences that we can, we may as well…
    Peace, brother–sweet peace.

  2. Hi Tony,

    What prompted me to look up your website is an article which you wrote almost 10 years ago, “The Piece of Christ.” I had liked it so much during the first read in July 2007 that I cut out the page from World magazine. Unfortunately, I procrastinated in filing it, so it got lost in clutter for several years. The other day, I uncovered it. How good to re-read it this morning!

    Tony, I’m so sorry to learn of your daughter’s death. How devastating! From perusing through your writings online, it sounds like it upended you and your family. My heart goes out to you all. When grief drives you to despondency, the Lord knows your frame. He is mindful that you are but dust, and has compassion on you in your suffering (Psalm 103:14). May His comfort hold you tight.

    You had written in “Piece of Christ” that you lived in Wichita. Were you there when the late singer Rich Mullins lived there? So many of his songs still minister to me. His song “Hold me, Jesus, I’m shaking like a leaf” is so raw, yet blesses me when I go through raw times. I pray that that message will bless you as well.


  3. Jeffrey LeVant

    Nuanced is a word that I continually come back to…your Charity for All? piece couldn’t drive home that point more effectively.

  4. Nice piece in the WSJ. But I fear you’re yelling fire in the midst of a confligration. The only genuine and lasting solution for education would come if every level of American government is prevented from owning, operating, or funding schools. No subsidizing of students either. Thomas Jefferson was wrong. Government should have nothing to do with education. Ideas flow from whence the money comes.

    My book, “America’s Governments, Enemies of the Poor,” will be out in December. You’ll find how private schools would be paid for.

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