1. The beauty of Brennan Manning’s memoir is how it rings with the same tones of all the biblical “heroes.” It’s not pretty. The failures are stark. And the grace of the Gospel takes center stage.
2. I am truly afraid God has placed me in a situation where I must existentially deal with the propositions of my own book. Sometimes I can laugh about this. But often it is a very dark thought.
3. My weekend came with all the emotion of a vacation, which is nice because I’ll get another next week.
4. My social media feeds have devolved into a constant discussion of race and pornography wrapped in a Buzzfeed style of Christianity with numbered lists churning out new laws for us and everyone else to break.
5. I’m glad I’ve relearned the simple joy of opening a pack of baseball cards.
6. Please stop trying to write like Ann Voskamp.
7. I want my kids to experience grace and not the well-oiled machine of American moral religion. But I’m not sure how to do that apart from communicating forgiveness even more than the rules.
8. There are a lot reasons I enjoy the music of Van Morrison. The lack of politics and social issues is not the least of reasons.
9. It’s normal to look forward to the weekend and buying baseball cards, right?
10. I would rather fail at life in the eyes of the watching world and be with my wife than enjoy all that is considered success. I’d rather do without, with her.
1. My wife and I finished watching Ragamuffin, the movie about Rich Mullins last night. It’s a unique experience to watch a movie made about someone you have actually talked with. It’s not a great movie. But it’s good enough to do the job it set out to do. It made me miss him more than ever.
2. The St. Louis Cardinals’ pitchers and catchers report today and that makes all the difference on this Thursday.
3. I can remember the sadness when I heard rich Mullins had passed away and then thinking how it was just like him to go early.
4. One of the more telling points of our consumerism is our pickiness and snobbery surrounding what we eat and drink. Christians should be neither.
5. The first Rich Mullins song I remember latching onto was “Growing Young.” To this day I cannot sing along without being moved to the point of having to only listen.
6. I’ve named my fantasy baseball team “The Trench Arts.” Trench Art was art created by soldiers during WWII while in the “trenches.” they used mortars and helmets and spent shells. It helped get them through. To survive. It’s a weak analogy. But I need something of the sort to survive my weekdays.
7. I can’t remember the last time I had pizza. (hangs head)
8. I still have the copy of “a liturgy, a legacy and a ragamuffin band” I bought in 1993 in Auburn, AL.
9. Wait, I had pizza on Saturday. (wipes brow)
10. My wife’s first reaction after watching the movie about Rich Mullins was to start reading Brennan Manning’s A Ragamuffin Gospel, which is about as good a result as could be imagined.
1. I ache for baseball season. I don’t know if this is a good thing but it feels like my childhood and that was a good thing.
2. The only privileged status Jesus enjoyed could not be seen.
3. Far too often I dream of someone famous getting ahold of my book and recommending it so I can make more money and take my wife on a date to Wendy’s.
4. When I write I’m thinking about Hemingway. Everyone is writing like Voskamp and Piper these days. I want to be Hemingway. A whole other Universe. Who cares if I get there? It’d be better to burn up in the stratosphere of singular writing than just get along on such well-trodden ground.
5. I’m going to two concerts in the next couple of months because growing up is stupid.
6. Social media is a good way for celebrities to engage the nobodies. But usually it’s just used for marketing and promotion. Christian or otherwise.
7. I finished an email interview this week. Only those of you with a stutter will understand how much I enjoyed not having to talk to people I couldn’t see.
8. My brilliant wife suggested we get a St. Louis Cardinals flag to fly by the front door of our house and it was then I fell in love all over again.
9. If “simul iustus et peccator” is true, we should not be surprised to see people acting in complete opposition to what they say they believe as Christians.
10. Repeat after me: “Dear God, Please find Matt a new job. Amen.”