We’re All the Same Here

The first time I used a laundromat was in Milwaukee the summer of 2011. I worked at a missions camp for three months, and every weekend my team and I would venture to the laundromat down the road to take care of our dirty clothes. I’d always had a washer/dryer wherever I’d lived, so this was a foreign experience for me. I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed sitting to the side with my laptop while my clothes tumbled in a […]

The Opposite of Addiction

Back when I worked in wilderness therapy last year, I learned an important lesson: the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. I had to think about it for a while. Absorb it. Reflect on it. Think back on the times I’ve experienced addition — pornography, promiscuity, a poor self-image — and realize that the saying is true. In my most desperate times of overwhelming addiction, the only effective counteracting agent wasn’t mere withdrawal or […]

Summer Questions: I Don’t Know What’s Best for Me

I knew it had been a while, but I was blown away when I realized my last Struggle Sunday post occurred on… May 27th of last year. Yikes. Please don’t let me go that long without getting messy with y’all again. While my life seems to be peaches and cream at the moment — regularly working, working out, and writing once again — there also exists one mess of a decision at the core of all that peachy cream. The […]

Milwaukee Paradise

Several months ago I reentered Milwaukee a year removed from the most life-changing summer of my life. Midway through the summer I blogged about that heavy drive into the city; here now is the continuation of that tale, recounting my 24 hours back in sweet Milwaukee. After parking on all too familiar Logan Street I stumbled from my car and walked around the Lutheran church that served as my team’s housing site last summer. Perhaps the most eerie stroll I’ve […]

Eastward Ho: Milwaukee Melee

I recently drove across the country to reach my summer camp destination on the east coast. What follows is one of several real-life wandering stories from my incredible “Eastward Ho” adventure. Before I can talk about what I actually did upon my return to Milwaukee, I must first explain the magnitude of my initial arrival. I hope my feeble words translate some glimpse of what this momentous return meant to me. Bluemound Rd Fond du Lac Mitchell Park Domes Oklahoma […]

Eastward Ho: 30 Minutes in Chicago

I recently drove across the country to reach my summer camp location on the east coast. What follows is one of several real-life wandering stories from my incredible “Eastward Ho” adventure. I’d thought about just passing by. It was already dark and getting kinda late. I had 500 miles to travel the next day and any extra miles I could tack onto tonight would make my tomorrow all the easier. But this was Chicago. I couldn’t just zip into Indiana […]

Struggle Sunday: I’m Not Worthy

I recently spoke in church. Like…big-people church. Not children’s church or Sunday School or the nursery. It’s about as insane a claim as my slam-dunking over Shaq. At the start of the year I’d have given greater odds to becoming LeBron Tom than Pastor Tom. But God’s been challenging me this year. Calling me out of isolation and irrelevance and into insane levels of courage. The last couple months especially have brought me further out of fear, but I still […]

Why I’ve Never Been Baptized

Several years ago I watched my younger siblings do it. I’ve often wondered whether I would ever follow in their footsteps. Been questioned about it plenty of times. But I already have Jesus in my heart. I love Him dearly. He is everything; He’s the only thing. For nearly 25 years God’s will has superseded mine, despite countless stumbles along the way. I’m certainly not perfect, but I strive to do the right thing. To love people like God has […]