The Barbershop

On Earth as It Is in Heaven: Embracing Limits to Find...

It is encouraging to see how some young people have embraced limits on energy consumption. But the underlying disease of rapacious desire has not been cured. No, this tradeoff only exchanges one delusion of grandeur for another. It swaps external limitlessness for internal limitlessness.

Good University Presses Make Good Neighbors

University presses are remarkable allies in the cause of localism. Though they publish all kinds of academic books, you’ll struggle to find a state university press that does not publish books centered on their region and their local history. It is central to their mission. Strictly academic works are certainly part of university press catalogues, but too many people have forgotten about the many other kinds of books that university presses publish.

The Census Taker in the Pew, Part 3

He does not conflate attendance with salvation or sanctification. But empty pews can neither be saved nor sanctified. They never serve in the nursery or children’s services. They never teach Sunday school or tithe. They bring no food for potluck. They do not pray. They do not worship.

A Tale of Three “Porchers”

We live in fractured days, lacking in harmony, civility, and comity. “Comity,” an old word for courtesy and kindness, is related etymologically to the Sanskrit word for “smile.” As it often does, etymology here beautifully illuminates a reality, in this case about both kindness and smiling: they unceasingly bring warmth, joy, and a smile to both giver and receiver.

How to Buy a Dumb Phone (and How Not to Use...

I did some research with the help of a “dumb phone finder” which told me the functions, network compatibilities, and reviews of the available flip phones and other simplicity-oriented devices. I identified one that was an acceptable price, was still able to run one or two of the apps that I actually do need, and was compatible with my network (or so I thought).

Only Men

The children’s pastor made his point about who was serious or not when it came to serving God. He could have closed the service, and I would have been out of time to change my mind and stand before my peers as one who loved God, so I don’t know what compelled him to do what he did next. Maybe he was tired of working with kids.

Seeds

These days invasive species in my home are once again in a spiral of negative attention. As usual, the dandelion is ignored, except by children seeing the world as the universe intended. Perhaps its humility—despite its profligacy—is the flower’s secret, but I doubt that. I think it’s because the dandelion holds itself in community with us.

On Writing Oklahoma City

What if you can’t live in the place where your imagination feels at home? What if you can’t ever stay in one place long enough to grow roots? What if you have to drive through fast-food-lined headache traffic for an hour a day to get your children to school? Is the solution to find the value in the joke on the Carl’s Jr sign? Is it to be friendly to the stranger in the grocery store? Is it to more intensely contemplate the size of the sky?

Conservatives Should Take Another Look at Cohousing

Maybe we can just call it something else, like, “Living with family and friends in a neighborhood designed to encourage the building of social capital, relying on them in real and tangible ways (rather than just manufacturing reasons to occasionally interact with them), and overcoming the isolating dynamics of modern life.”

Camping and Homemaking

You can’t actually get to utopia; it only seems like you can because it looms so large. I think it’s better to start wherever you are, and ask what it needs you to do.