Edits On Your Draft of “The Gospel of John”

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 7.41.58 PMDear John,

Thanks for submitting your manuscript, The Gospel of John, for consideration for publication. I think this is a very interesting story that will have a lot of appeal for our readers! I made a few edits to your initial draft. Get back to me with your thoughts and we’ll move forward. Thanks!

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Love this opening, but might be a little vague? Our readers like to keep it practical. Read the full post »

On Jesus’ Annual Visit to the North Pole

He comes in for a landing, the way he always does, without much finesse. Not that he doesn’t know how to land—he’s been doing it long enough, Lord knows—but he’s not much for showing off. Anyway, who is there to show off to? There’s only one person to witness the landing, and he’s not easily impressed.

“I hope you take better care when setting that thing down on rooftops,” the one witness says, observing the sleigh with a cocked eyebrow.

“I’d like to see you do better,” the sleigh driver chuckles, gathering his empty sacks. He hops of the sleigh, lightly for a man of his size, and attends to the nearest reindeer harness. The poor beasts look ready to collapse.

“Want me to help with that?”

“Nah,” he says taking the first harness off. “Not on your birthday. I’ve got my own help.” Read the full post »

This Is What the Bible Is About.

As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

The Bible says she was caught “in the act” of adultery.

That’s an odd detail. I don’t entirely understand it. Were the Pharisees running some sort of sting operation? Hiding under the bed and behind the curtains until their plant had sealed the deal?


In any case, it adds an important lens to everything that follows: The Pharisees were right.

It was indisputable. The woman had broken one of the big, capital “C” commandments, handed down to Moses by God Himself. Jewish children learned these commandments the way you and I learn multiplication tables. She was condemned to die. Some might say she had been asking for it. Read the full post »

The Ballad of Marine Todd

A story is inspired by this tale.

A Marine was taking college classes between his deployments to Afghanistan.

One of his courses had a professor that was an atheist. One day the professor shocked everyone by walking into class, looking up and stating “God, if you are real, I want you to come down and knock me off this platform, I will give you 15 minutes.

Several minutes tick by in silence, when the 15 min. time almost expired the Marine gets up from his seat, approaches the professor and punched him in the face knocking him off the platform and out cold. The Marine simply went back to his seat.

The professor came to, visibly shaken and asked the Marine, “What the heck did you do that for?!”

The Marine said, “God was busy protecting America’s military who are out protecting your right to say stupid shit like that, so he sent me to fill in.” Read the full post »

In Search of the White American Cool Guy

I can remember the exact moment I decided to be cool, because it was a real moment, one of those innocuous little interactions out of life’s countless multitude that sticks in your gut; a secular ebenezer.

Shortly before a girl I was very into dumped me, we were listening to the White Stripes and Jack yelped one of those immense, inarticulate yaps of his and I saw her face visibly redden, to the point where she apologized.

“Sorry,” she said. “But that’s sexy.”

She didn’t have to apologize. I had no delusions about being as cool as Jack White then (I do now), but when she left me shortly thereafter, that comment about him stood out.

You can control so few things in life. You can’t control who will love you, and how long they’ll love you for.

But you can control how cool you are. At the very least, I was bound and determined to try. Read the full post »

You Have Struggled With God and Have Overcome

ImageYou are Jacob.

The have two wives. They’re sisters. One is a beauty and one is plain. You love the beautiful one, but it’s Leah who gave you Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. Rachel gave you Joseph. The others came from handmaidens. You have eleven children, all told. Eleven children, two wives, two handmaidens, and more cattle and wealth then you rightly know what to do with.

Or rather, you had all that. You’ve just ferried it across the river, and now you’re alone in the desert, waiting for your twin brother to come and kill you, as he promised to years ago. It is night. There will be no fibbing your way out of this one. No sleeves of goat hair or stew of lamb’s meat to cover your ass or stave off judgement.

You were born grabbing your brother by the heel. It seems he’s finally learned how to kick back.

All you ever wanted was the blessing that had been denied to you by mere seconds. Esau was the elder. The hunter. The favorite. The firstborn. Had there been just the smallest flinch in the womb—a mere hiccup—you would have been born first. Then there would have been no need for games.

But no. It had happened just so. And the blessing was no longer something given, but earned. No, won. 

And you had won it. Hoodwinked your father out of the blessing. Gotten all this.

So why don’t you feel very blessed?  Read the full post »

This Is My Internet Rant

1c616-soapboxThere is an issue. An issue that we all know about, and might even all be upset about. It is an issue that has been covered relentlessly in the national news media, and the uproar has reached a fever pitch. Heads are rolling. Mobs are forming. Hashtags are trending. The people behind this issue ought to be held accountable, arrested, deported or perhaps just killed. We all agree about that.

But while many of us are upset, we may not have truly thought about why we are upset. In fact, many people are upset for the wrong reasons, and have not fully grasped the nuances of the ways in which we should be upset. I too am upset, but unlike most people, I am upset for the right reasons. Reasons which I will outline below. Read the full post »

Suggested Analogies For Various Sins

Last week, an online acquaintance told me her pastor had preached a sermon comparing women who’ve had sex outside of marriage to dirty toothbrushes.

I suppose the idea is that premarital sex makes you dirty, and so why would anyone want to clean their teeth with you. It’s a rough metaphor, but it’s effective—and it’s one I’ve heard variations on for most of my life in the Church. So, in the spirit of multiplying the effectiveness of this analogy, here are some ways to apply this line of thinking to other sins.  Read the full post »

Dear Formerly Sponsored World Vision Child: Sorry, But Look at It From My Perspective

Edit: Thanks, everyone, for reading this piece. Two things about it.

1. It is satirical.

2. It was written in a very emotional moment, and I regret not being more gracious in my approach. I’m leaving it up, because I stand by my general point, but I am aware that good, smart people disagree with me on this one, and I have love for those people.

Thusly armed, read on:


Dear Nabirye,

I’m sorry to say that this will be my final letter to you. I know what you’re thinking and, no, you didn’t do anything wrong. You are a victim here. As a matter of fact, we are both victims here, Nabirye. Let me explain.

You may not have heard, but World Vision has decided to hire people whose are living lives I believe the Bible tells us not to. World Vision is the place that takes care of you. And if I were to continue to support your ongoing health and wellbeing, I’d really be supporting decisions they’ve made about their hiring practices.

I take it you’re beginning to see the problem here.

I’m sure this isn’t easy for you to hear, but before you start getting all upset, try thinking about it from my perspective.

Read the full post »

The Book of Jo: A Play

BookJob[The scene opens on two men playing at a board game on a table. The stage is bare.]

1: I find this dull.

2: That’s why you’re losing.

1: Don’t do that.

2: What?

1: Don’t strike that high and mighty, know-it-all tone. It doesn’t impress me. I know I’m losing. I always lose.

2: So why do you keep playing then?

1: Nature, I suppose.

2: No. Not nature.

1: You’re doing it again.

2: Being know-it-all is in my nature. Read the full post »


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