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    Entries in Writing (14)


    Change of Address

    It's time for a change.

    Very soon, I'll be updating my digital platforms, conducting a website redesign, and launching an effort to generate diverse content in several settings that are reflective of my general interests and broad topics of inquiry. I plan to keep writing about Christianity, religion, philosophy, and theology, as well as books, pop culture, technology, and the political. 

    I have some experience with digital migration, and whenever changes like the ones I'm making take place, it is not uncommon for connections to dissolve and fissures to open. I started playing on the internet in the late 1990s by setting up a GeoCities page, had a Xanga site in the early 2000s, later moved over to Wordpress, and then made my home with Squarespace in 2009. Each time I've made a jump I've improved the delivery but lost track of a few friends. The lines connecting us to one another on the web are hidden from view, and we do not always know when they become frayed.

    But if you're reading this, I'd like to stay in touch. Whether you are an occasional reader or a devoted friend (let's be real: you're probably family), I want you to know where I'm going. If you read via email or subscribe with RSS, I want to remain connected.  But in order for that to happen I will need your help.

    If you would like to stay connected you can send me an email and I'll let you know when the changeover takes place. You can also leave a comment below.

    If you're reading this announcement in your email inbox because you subscribe via RSS, please find a way to be in touch. Send me an email. Contact me on Facebook or Twitter. It would be nice to hear from you. It would also help me to keep you in the loop.

    If you've been paying attention using a online reader like Feedly then we should remain connected if you are subscribed to my primary URL: My address will go with me. From what I've observed, however, sometimes there are hiccups. If you want to make sure we stay connected, reach out so I can send you an email when the new site is live.

    A few people are connected via my Squarespace URL extension, Kudos if that is you and you're still reading. That address will be going away. Again, contact me if you want to remain connected, or update your reader.

    I've never been a prolific blogger. But I've spent more time in the last year writing offline than I have writing anywhere in the previous four, and in 2018 I I'll be doing more of the same, writing curriculum, devotional material, and friendly (often lengthy) epistles.

    I anticipate there will be spillover in the coming year. Some of the stuff I write will need to find a home on the web, so I'm carving space for expression. I have made several transitions over the past year, especially with regard to my creative life. And there are more to come.

    So stay in touch.


    A New Resource for the Lenten Season

    Back in December I signed on with First Methodist Church of Mansfield, Texas to develop a series of Lenten devotional readings that would progress through the Gospel of Luke. Lent begins this Wednesday, March 1. My writings will be featured at First Mansfield's Daily First 15. If you would like to receive the readings in your email inbox you can visit their website and sign up by clicking "subscribe" in the upper right hand corner.

    It has been a pleasure to work with the team at First Mansfield, particularly with Pastor David Alexander. Pastor David has a passion for the local church, for teaching the Scriptures, and for evangelism. It has been good to speak and correspond with him about how best to serve his congregation. Our mutual aim has been for the people of God to be equipped with the knowledge necessary to live faithfully to Jesus.

    Pastor David invited me to join his team in January to film a couple of videos for Mansfield's Lenten sermon series and to speak a little about the devotional series and a small group resource that we developed in tandem. Here is the first video:

    Ben Talks about Super Series from First Methodist Mansfield on Vimeo.

    After working with Mansfield in the fall, Pastor David and his team discovered that people wanted to know who I was, and in an effort to help make a connection, we filmed a second video where I shared a little about my family and vocation:

    Meet Ben from First Methodist Mansfield on Vimeo.

    Many thanks to Pastor David and his team for granting me the opportunity to serve Christ alongside them as a partner in ministry.

    If you have enjoyed reading my stuff and are looking for a resource to help you grow during the Lenten season, I encourage you to visit First Mansfield and sign up for the Daily First 15.

    Through Luke, I hope you meet Jesus, know him a bit better, and follow him in daily life.


    L'Engle on Creation

    Photo by Dave Smith

    It is an extraordinary and beautiful thing that God, in creation, uses precisely the same tools and rules as the artist; he works with the beauty of matter; the reality of things; the discoveries of the senses, all five of them; so that we, in turn, may hear the grass growing; see a face springing to life in love and laughter; feel another human hand or the velvet of a puppy's ear; taste food prepared and offered in love; smell--oh, so many things: food, sewers, each other, flowers, books, new-mown grass, dirt...

    Here, in the offerings of creation, the oblations of story and song, are our glimpses of truth.
    -Madeleine L'Engle, quoted in Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and Reflections


    I'm Working on Something New. A Devotional Project.

    Window View: USEK, Lebanon

    Over the past 18 months I've been invited to work on three separate devotional projects, supplementary material for more expansive church curricula. The first project focused on generosity; the second and third focus on knowing the Bible. Each project has been fun.

    I'm glad to announce that I'm working on material for a fourth project. At Church of the Resurrection, leaders have worked for many years to develop and refine curriculum to help people know, love, and serve God. Abingdon Press has been working with leaders at Resurrection to produce video curriculum, leader, and participant guides for the Journey 101 courses, and I've been brought on board to write the devotional materials.

    The first third has been submitted for edits, but I have two more sections to write. I'd ask that you pray for me as I continue to work. I do my best to write with clarity and simplicity, but also truthfully and with some measure of depth. That's a hard balance to strike. Many of the people who will participate in this course will be new Christians, or people who are taking first steps in the faith. That means these short devotionals will  serve as a foundation for what I hope will be a lifetime of discipleship to Jesus. Please ask God to help me write with conviction and in a way that builds up. By praying, my work becomes a community project. Please join in.

    Again, I'm excited to be back at work, creating materials that help people grow toward maturity in Christ. I'm also excited to share this news with readers. I am so thankful for those who take time to read my words, share in my life, and encourage me along the way.

    We're on the tail end of a snowstorm in Kansas City. So today, I'm enjoying the white blanket, drinking coffee, reading, and staying at work. Time to get to back to it. Blessings!


    Two Pieces Posted Today at The Upper Room

    The Upper Room Magazine is a devotional guide circulated to a lot of people. Today, two pieces I wrote appeared on their website. The first is an entry that appears in this last print edition of the magazine, and the second is a blog piece I was asked to write to accompany the devotional, inviting readers to learn a little more about my life.

    Please read, and if you feel so inclined, leave a comment.

    The Devotional Entry - Divine Comfort

    The Blog Piece - Open to God's Call