Oct 2, 2014

Furniture Fit for the Kingdom

Furniture Fit for the Kingdom from This Is Our City on Vimeo . This video, by the very talented Nathan Clarke, just blows me away. My father is a woodworker, and I have some appreciation for how much skill it takes to produce the kind of furniture Harrison Higgins makes, but even if you’ve never picked up a hammer before it’s obvious that he is a seriously gifted craftsman. Even more impressive than his skills, however, is the attitude behind his work. Higgins speaks lovingly about the beauty inherent in wood, and how it can be brought out by the...Read more +
Sep 3, 2014

Legend of Cerro de la Plata

The holy grail of the Texas Hill Country rests somewhere on its far west region in land of a thousand springs. The three canyons area of the Llano, Nueces, and Frio Rivers serve as the focal point in the search for the lost treasure of Coronado. From the mid Eighteenth Century through the early Twentieth Century the stories of silver mines and Spanish treasure get tangled up with the hope for riches buried in the hills. By 1901 the riches Texans set their sights on turned to a black thick liquid. The Spindletop oilfield changed the treasure seekers’ hopes and...Read more +
Jun 23, 2014


Presumption robs us of knowledge. Recently, I came face-to-face with a piece of my own lack of knowledge in the form of presumption. For the better part of four decades a “totem pole” marked the entry to Comanche Outpost, the most primitive of the H. E. Butt Foundation Camps. I always resented the pole. It was totally out of place in the Southwest. Only the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest carved totem poles, certainly not the Comanche people. It seemed to me a caricature of the “Indian” stereotype. The only significance the pole had for me was its location,...Read more +
Apr 25, 2013

Humility Has Two Faces

Humility has two-faces. Beware of the voices you hear saying, “You have to stay humble.” Or, “We’re just trying to be humble in our success.” Even, “I’m feeling humbled by this opportunity.” These expressions of “humility” reduce the word to some feigned modesty or even true modesty but not the essence of humility’s meaning. The English word “humble,” humility’s root, carries with it the original meaning of being lowly but also a modified sense of lowliness we call modesty. We are gradually changing the meaning of the word humility. No longer does the word connote a crawling on the ground...Read more +
Apr 4, 2013

On Promised Lands

I’ve been praying about some promises lately—things I haven’t seen yet. I’ve said things like, “I know God is going to do it,” and “He said it, so it will happen,” and “I’m just going to wait right here and trust Him to do it when He’s ready.” But yesterday during my quiet time, God convicted me of that. And I realized I’ve been going about things all wrong. In fact, I haven’t been going at all. I’ve been sitting, praying in future tense for things that are now. I’ve always heard it said that if God said it, it...Read more +
Apr 1, 2013

My Untold Story

I’ve fought this for a long time—the urge to write out everything stirring inside. I haven’t shared it until now because it is so deeply personal, because I don’t want to start arguments, because my thoughts and experience are not up for debate and I don’t feel I need to justify my beliefs to those who believe differently. I know there are people in my family who avoid it, who think it should never be talked about, and feel it in some way impugns their character, and then there are others who don’t think there’s anything wrong with it and...Read more +
Mar 29, 2013


If we don’t embrace our suffering how can we embrace the fullness of the resurrection? Suffering comes in many forms and it is deeply personal. There are perhaps as many forms of suffering as there are human beings. Our suffering is unique; yet it’s not. If we are to know Christ we are to embrace our suffering as if it were his suffering and for Jesus that suffering was deep, humiliating, painful, worrisome, and unfathomable. We may know about Jesus’ suffering. Too, we can empathize with it cognitively— the idea of suffering and pain can be intellectually understood. But to...Read more +
Mar 20, 2013

Work with Dignity

Stan and Floyd were wise and talented craftsmen. During my last years in college and for a while after I graduated we worked together. I learned a lot from both of these men about giving your best at work, working hard and being a standup guy. Floyd was the boss and he managed people well. He also demanded justice for his staff and the students of the school where we worked. I worked with Stan on the weekends. During the week he collected trash for the city. He was a garbage man. Both men were underemployed sixty-somethings looking to provide...Read more +
Jan 16, 2013


How do you teach maturity? how did we learnt it growing up, was it the reaction to responsibilities which we gained as we got bigger and the way we dealt with situations, the challenges we faced and how we overcame them. Some have responsibility forced on them at a very young age and so very quickly are dealing with circumstances and situations in which someone twice their age would have broken down. They have a maturity that enables them to deal with the circumstance and informs their decision making. I learnt at 13 that my 50p a week pocket money...Read more +
Jan 7, 2013

When God's Answer is a Dust Bunny Breeder

I’ve been a nomad for the past two years. Travelling from room to room, floating from surface to surface, I’ve written from any place I could find that was free of distraction and children. From the edge of the bed to the dining table to the recliner to the floor to the family room to the kitchen counter—I’ve been to every corner of my home looking for a place to designate as my work station. Unsuccessful in my attempts and unwilling to go to the one place left sacred from all interruption (the bathroom, and yes, I still go there...Read more +