Four Seasons Later

I wore a sweater to work the other day. I climbed half-naked out of bed with a shiver and noted the morning temperature a brisk 49 degrees. So, I grabbed a light sweater from my closet — the first time I’ve worn one since March or April. Since I first moved to Asheville. Winter. Spring. Summer. Autumn. I’ve now called the Blue Ridge home for all four seasons. I remember sitting in training for my job as snowflakes fell outside the […]

Unpacking My 3 Fictional Selves

Every now and then, Twitter messes me up — a 73-character lightning tweet of conviction or a common hashtag stirring genuine conversation. I’m a thinker, I live in my head, I get lost in my head, and if something sparks a thought, I’ll likely be embroiled in a mental forest fire by eventide. Twitter recently trended with the hashtag #DescribeYourselfIn3FictionalCharacters. As soon as I saw people posting their fictional alter egos, I set to work on the forest fire in […]

When the New Man Looks Like the Old Man

“If anyone needs prayer, I invite you to speak with someone at the back of the room before you leave our service today. We’d love to pray with you.” I do need prayer, I think to myself from the back row. I need prayer very much. I need freedom from passivity. I need courage. I need strength to take initiative and step forward again. But therein lies the problem: I need someone to pray for my impulse to move because I […]

All We Like Butterflies…

We’ve been raising monarch caterpillars at work for the last month. A woman we affectionately dubbed “The Butterfly Lady” came in with an aquarium full of milkweed and caterpillars the length of your pinky nail — dozens of them. You’d have never noticed them from afar. Most of those poor things died. It wasn’t our fault. Apparently the milkweed had pesticide. The Butterfly Lady apologized profusely. For all the fallen caterpillars, three survived. And once we got them healthy milkweed to eat, they ate to their little […]

Tradition Doesn’t Have to Suck

Before moving to Asheville six months ago, I ventured into an independent bookstore here with a friend. Malaprop’s, the place is called — a play on “malapropism,” a term for a comedic way of misspeaking. Think Michael Scott of The Office. Said the well-meaning Dunder-Mifflin manager: “I am not one to be truffled with.” Anyway, I’d visited Malaprop’s numerous times prior. I once worked a summer at nearby Camp Ridgecrest, and I’ve passed through Asheville in the years since. It’s one of my […]

Why I Share My Story

I launched my first podcast a few weeks ago. I’ve wanted to be an author since first grade show-and-tell, but I never dreamt of being a podcaster — if for no other reason than I hated my voice. Although I suppose not knowing what a “podcast” was until just three years ago is another significant factor. After discovering the world of podcasts, I started wondering: “How cool would it be to have a podcast and develop inside jokes over the course of dozens of episodes and […]

We Are Not Forgotten or Wasted

A man recently approached me at a gas station. This doesn’t happen often; in fact, I only remember one such other occasion, and it wasn’t particularly pleasant. My initial reaction when anyone approaches me while I’m busy doing something goes something like this: I’M UNDER ATTACK. WAIT, NO I’M NOT. AT LEAST, I DON’T THINK. WAIT, WHAT DOES HE WANT? UGH, DO I HAVE TO TALK TO HER? I see the encroaching form from the corner of my eyes, and I tend to […]

I Have a Podcast!

Friends, You might have heard I started a podcast. It’s called Your Other Brothers Podcast, a show about faith, sexuality, masculinity, and brotherhood. I’m increasingly stirred by this content matter, of helping struggling people escape loneliness and abandonment in the Church. To share my story in the company of my dear brothers is a surreal dream come true. Our first four episodes are now live on iTunes, and it’d mean the world if you’d subscribe! If you do enjoy our show, […]