I’m father, teacher, writer, inveterate questioner. Curious about most things, I tell my students—and firmly believe—that the only stupid questions are the one prompted by lack of attention the first time around (and outside the classroom, even those can be useful to ask). A friend once called me the “the loyal opposition” because I could be counted on to say, Yes, but what about…? I hope to find loyal opposition here: discussion, dissension, and questions of all sorts are welcome.
I live in Hoover, Alabama, and have 3 children: Zack, a software engineer with Google in San Francisco; Isaac, in high school; and Anna, finishing up middle school. I occasionally keep the family pet: a miniature schnauzer named Haley, who is sometimes my favorite person—she’s always happy to see me, and she never says anything unkind. (Yes, I talk about my dog like she’s a person; no, we don’t dress her up in costumes.)
Work-wise, I’ve taught composition and literature for about 20 years; I’ve been at the University of Alabama at Birmingham since 2001.
my journey in 5 quick steps
- I grew up in the Churches of Christ,
- went charismatic in 1997,
- then non-denominational evangelical in 2001,
- Episcopalian in 2012, and
- now I’m a Methodist.
Though I don’t care much for the phrase, this has been a “faith journey” (you can read a longer version here). And as the Holy Spirit has challenged and enriched my perspective, I have realized there is a whole world of faith that I knew little about. It’s amazing to me that on Sunday morning in any given community, thousands of people gather in churches to honor the same God and read the same Bible yet have such varied expressions of faith and experiences of worship. Even as we all hold in common “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2), I know that no single group has a corner on the truth, and I have learned that I can benefit from a diversity of perspectives.
about this blog
This diversity will be reflected in my posts. In addition to the Bible, you’ll find me responding to the literature I teach on campus, the sermons I hear at church, the songs I sing along with in the car, the shows and movies in my Netflix queue—pretty much anything that gets my attention. Writing, for me, is a way of exploring and refining my perspectives; as British novelist E.M. Forster said, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” Also for me, most things connect one way or another, so a poem or TV show is as likely as the Bible to offer me a glimpse of the sacred (for instance, The Borgias has prompted a lot of thinking about forgiveness—but I’ll save that for another time).
That takes us to the tagline: “adventures in seeking the sacred.” In all the best stories, adventures are shared; we humans need traveling companions. My hope is that you will join me in the journey, ask questions, challenge assumptions, and offer insights of your own. I can’t promise a particular destination; this is one of those “we’ll know where we’re going when we get there” sort of trips. I can promise, however, to be honest—honest with myself and with you, my readers; to be provocative—I don’t mind stirring things up a bit; and to be practical. Honesty and provocation are good, but there’s already plenty of that on blogs—too much, perhaps. At the end of the day, I want practical insights that will help me grow—in my understanding of myself, God, and the life of faith.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I invite you to bookmark this site and check back for new posts, subscribe to the rss feed, or subscribe via email using the form below.
Note: This is my own little piece of the Internet, and it’s exclusively mine. I don’t claim to represent anyone else, least of all present or former family. While I may sometimes speak of we in referring to events from my past, I speak only for myself as I offer my experience of those events, my thoughts on God, or anything else. And of course, what I write here in no way represents the opinions or perspectives of my employer, my church, or anyone else. It’s all—and only—me.