Month: October 2017

  • This Verbal Tic is Driving Us Crazy, Right?

    This Verbal Tic is Driving Us Crazy, Right?

    There are a couple of verbal tics that are reaching peak annoyance right now.  At the low end of the scale, (which runs from “What did he say?” to “Nails-on-a-chalkboard”), is the dulling of the simple preposition ‘to.’  In spoken English the word is gradually losing its “ooo” vowel sound and being replaced with the […]

  • The Myth of the Cosmic Skybox

    The Myth of the Cosmic Skybox

    It has finally happened.  I seriously had the thought that I would not attend an event just because I knew that, two days later, I would receive the dreaded email evaluation.  “It will only take 5-10 minutes of your time,” the email will say. Great.  I’ll get to it right after the questionnaires related to […]

  • A God’s-Eye View: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 3 of 3

    A God’s-Eye View: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 3 of 3

    A town named Trinity is bound to have some things to say about God.  In this final segment of my interview with debut novelist Katherine James, (whose book, Can You See Anything Now?, was published in October), we dig into the the book and find a Christian vision.  For previous segments, click here. One of the […]

  • Free to Use Dangling Participles: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 2 of 3

    Free to Use Dangling Participles: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 2 of 3

    Let’s not put Katherine James’s debut novel, Can You See Anything Now?, (recently reviewed here on Heartlands), into a box called Christian fiction.  She is a Christian and there are strong Christian themes in the book, but this is not an Amish romance.  James tackles difficult themes like suicide, cutting, and substance abuse with vivid, […]

  • Writing and Painting Through Pain: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 1 of 3

    Writing and Painting Through Pain: The Heartlands Interview with Katherine James, 1 of 3

    How can we see the world in new ways?  In her debut novel, Can You See Anything Now?, (recently reviewed here on Heartlands), Katherine James uses her background in painting and the difficult passages in her life to weave a story of a healing town named Trinity and the people who live in it.  It’s […]

  • Shhh!  Do You Taste This in Prayer?

    Shhh!  Do You Taste This in Prayer?

    I understand the desire to lift up our neighbors in their difficulties in prayer.  In fact, it’s what we’re told to do.  Paul tells the Philippian church to do just this at the close of his letter: ”Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be […]

  • Stateless People

    Up on Ministry Matters…my essay on the Rohingya and Christian thinking about statelessness: http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/8471/stateless-people?spMailingID=814690&spUserID=Mzk4Njg5MDI2S0&spJobID=400348494&spReportId=NDAwMzQ4NDk0S0  

  • The Texture of a Passing World

    The Texture of a Passing World

    Up on the Street Light blog today is my latest travelogue – a thumbnail sketch of Quanah Parker’s Star House and an old Oklahoma amusement park: https://streetlightmag.com/2017/10/16/texture-of-a-passing-world/ For more on Street Light and its editor, Trudy Hale, check out my earlier interview with her here.  

  • Finding God in a Small Town: A Review of Can You See Anything Now?

    Finding God in a Small Town: A Review of Can You See Anything Now?

    You could hardly imagine two more different artists than the ones you meet in the opening pages of Katherine James’s debut novel, Can You See Anything Now? [Paraclete, 2017]. There’s Margie, who paints vivid canvases, attributing personal characteristics to still lifes, sketching nudes, and doing a grand scale work featuring ovens that make her daughter […]

  • Taking Hospitality Out of the House (& Keeping Worship Weird)

    Taking Hospitality Out of the House (& Keeping Worship Weird)

    Preachers are fond of quoting Annie Dillard’s devastating critique of worship as she experienced it in a traditional church: On the whole, I do not find Christians outside of the catacombs sufficiently sensible of conditions.  Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke?  Or, as I suspect, does no […]