Category: Personal

At about 5:40pm pacific time on Monday, July 29, a young white man opened fire at the annual garlic festival in Gilroy, California. At about 10:40am mountain time on Saturday, August 3, a young white man opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. At about 1:20am eastern time on Sunday, August 4, another young white man opened fire in a popular nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio. On Saturday afternoon—or, maybe, on Sunday morning—a lot of pastors rewrote their sermons so that they could address the issues of gun violence, white supremacy, and toxic masculinity that these shootings…
Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) isn’t just for solo reading. It also makes a great book for discussion for your church, organization, or book group. And now there’s a discussion guide available! You can download it here! FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
I am pleased to announce that Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) is now available directly from the publisher! It should be available from Amazon within the next few weeks. It took me about two years to write Radical Charity. It took almost a year to move from submitting it to holding a copy of the final product in my hand. Creating a book is a lot of work and takes a lot of people. I am deeply thankful to and for all of the people who made this possible. Thank you! But the…
I haven’t given an update on Radical Charity in a couple of months, but a lot has been happening very quickly! On the marketing side, I received blurbs and sent them into Wipf & Stock to be incorporated into the cover and the book. I also received cover art from the publisher. You can see both on the Radical Charity page of this website. On the more textual side, my index was completed and typeset. I had a few minor changes to the index and sent those in to the typesetter. This means that Radical Charity should be going…
For Lent this year, I led a book study of Rachel Held Evans’ Searching for Sunday at my church. I picked the book for a couple of reasons. First, Held Evans can write. As a memoirist, she invites her readers into her life in a way that is both informative an intimate. As a storyteller, she brings her readers into her experiences. So, for example, when she writes about serving communion at a Methodist youth event, you can see the faces in front of her in all their variety and strength and weakness. Reading her work is like reading…
Every year for the last few years, I’ve had the privilege of trekking back to my alma mater for the annual Knox Rootabaga Jazz Festival. I go partly for the fun of seeing old friends and making some noise in the Alumni Big Band. But I also go because this jazz festival at a small liberal arts college in Illinois is a place to hear truly innovative jazz. This year featured Xavier Breaker Coalition and Mark Guiliana Space Heroes, two groups doing amazing things and that you should definitely check out. Of course, the festival also featured the Knox Jazz…
I was very excited to receive the first pages of Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) in mid/late-February. Mariah and I spent some serious time reading and re-reading every word of the book to find typos, update some information, fix some odd writing, and generally make the book a little better. I can now definitively say that signing off on those pages—saying, “Yes, this is how it should be, send it on to the next step”—is absolutely nerve-racking. My biggest perfectionist fear is finding a typo after the book is available for purchase (so…
Some of you may know that I have a book coming out from the Cascade Books imprint of Wipf and Stock, Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church). The publishing process is a long process, and Radical Charity had to sit in the queue for a little while. But I’m happy to report that copyediting started last week, and I have received and returned author queries. With any luck, the book will move on to the typesetting stage soon. This is starting to get much more real! FacebookTwitterLinkedInredditBuffer…
Merry Christmas, everybody! I know that things have been a little slow around the blog lately. Part of that is just the busy-ness of my first Advent season as a pastor. Part of that is that I’ve been focused on other extracurricular projects lately. And, while my New Year’s resolutions are almost always doomed to failure, I hope to get back to regular posting soon. In the meantime, let me leave you with a quote from a few Christmases ago. It’s one of my favorite Chesterton quotes, and a sentiment that I think gets to the core of the…
I’ve played a musical instrument for most of my life. There were the basics of course. I played flutophone and recorder along with the rest of my music class in elementary school. Sometime in late elementary school, I started piano lessons. And kept at those until sometime in early high school, I think. In fifth grade, I joined the strings program and played the cello until the end of high school. And in sixth grade, I joined the band program and started playing the clarinet. And, if I do say so myself, I was a good clarinetist. I took…

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