Dear Ask Doug,
My grandparents are always gushing about some dude on the radio® named “Paul Harvey,” as if I should know who that is. Well, I don’t, and I never have. And when I tell them so they just make little huffing noises through their noses and turn to stare derisively into the middle-distance®.Read More ›
If an individual follower of Jesus might have—in addition to their general calling to imitate their Lord at all times—a more specific calling (or at least a more specific outworking of that general calling) that leads them to particular labors, specific good works, and the focus on meeting needs within or serving some segment of culture, then might specific communities of believers also have distinct callings? If so, how is such a calling discerned, and how do distinct individuals with varying personalities and skill-sets find their places within that larger community calling?Read More ›
I imagined something once as a kid, and have pondered it every so often since. What I first imagined was a map on which all the travels I ever made in my life would be recorded. On the same map, all the movements of everyone I knew, had known, or ever would know, would also be recorded.
First—before you read any further—do yourself the mighty favor of watching this video of “Holemabier,” a new song composed, arranged and deftly performed by The Arcadian Wild. You’re welcome.
In the afterglow of Hutchmoot 2018’s dizzying cascade of several dozens of wonderful and meaningful conversations, I can no longer remember who requested copies of the poem I read during Rebecca Reynolds’ and my tag team session on “the holy, hidden potential of human weakness.”
God was always reminding the Israelites of the story they were dropped into at birth. The story that began long before they were born, before their people were even a people; the story that would continue long after any individual had reached the end of his or her life span. Old Testament scripture records those repeated remindings of identity, calling, and sacred responsibility, until those scriptures themselves became a perpetual reminder.
Over a decade-and-a-half stint as a lyricist I began to notice a pattern: The songs that mattered most to me tended to also be the ones that record labels had no interest in. At a certain point, I quit even trying to pitch those sorts of lyrics in industry settings. Instead I wrote them for my own reasons and tucked them away.
One of those was a song I called “North Atlantic.” The lyric voiced the unfolding, final thoughts of a man on a ship going down in frigid waters without hope of rescue. He speaks to his wife words she will never hear:
At Hutchmoot-most-recent I was delighted to join the company of N. D. Wilson and Helena Sorenson for a session on fictional world-building. More comfortable leaning on pre-thought thoughts than trying to formulate new ideas in public, I began by Read More ›
When you write a book it becomes somehow precious to you. Precious in the way that a child is precious.
Okay, not quite that precious. Read More ›
I experience winter, if not as a kind of death, then at least as a closing in of the margins of life.
The light grows shorter, the cold creeps in. The days betray, ending too soon.
I tend to take this personally. Read More ›
Author’s Note: Last May (2016) I enlisted Jamin Still’s visual genius and together we launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring our picture book, The Wishes of the Fish King, to print as a Rabbit Room Press project. Read More ›