It Would Have Been Nice to Know That Somebody Cared

Standing in line at his favorite downtown coffee shop, Arthur waited to order and pay for his overpriced beverage with the fancy name. At times he thought the use of foreign terms and phrases to describe the sizes and contents of the variations on the theme of coffee to be pretentious. Today, he was feeling a bit more mellow, however, and he had to admit that caffè latte, caffè mocha, and macchiato sounded a lot classier than simply coffee with different additives.

As he stood at the condiments bar, stirring milk into his caffè Americano (espresso with hot water added), his peripheral vision caught sight of a familiar figure. Ralph Gruben lived not far from Stauf’s Coffee House. Even though Arthur lived more than thirty miles away, for three years he had worked out of an office in a building just around the corner from Stauf’s. He spent a lot of time in that quirky coffee shop during those years, and as often as not, he would see Ralph at his favorite table in the corner, often reading but sometimes simply lost in his own thoughts. Continue reading

My Soul Is At Peace

My soul is at peace. I haven’t written those words very many times in my life, because for most of my life, it simply was not true. But it is today, and I’ve experienced a growing awareness of that deep, inner peace for the past several weeks. (Oddly enough, the keenest awareness has developed and intensified since early March, just about the time we started the Gathering for Worship in the Liturgical Tradition.) Continue reading

A Little Shameless Self-Promotion

As more and more people read my new book, The Long Road from Highland Springs: A Faith Odyssey, I am beginning to receive letters and notes expressing appreciation for the book. I am grateful.Front Cover.4640319 (final-HiRes)

Some will think I am brazenly opportunistic, as well, when they read this post. I know it may look that way, and it probably is, at its basest level, but it is also at least somewhat necessary.

As many of you know, I published the book myself. That is, rather than submit the manuscript to countless publishers only to be told, if they bothered to respond at all, that they do not read unsolicited manuscripts, I decided to bear the cost of publishing the book myself. That means, among other things, that I have no agent or publisher to promote and market the book on my behalf. Continue reading

No More Either/Or

The text of this post is drawn from the epilogue of my new book, The Long Road from Highland Springs: A Faith Odyssey. A book’s epilogue consists of a few thoughts, generally by the author, tucked into the book following the last chapter of the story. It offers a short Front Cover.4640319 (final-HiRes)commentary on the book’s content or attempts to wrap it up with a concise conclusion.

The Long Road is an autobiographical novel. It is a fictionalized account of my life story, my spiritual pilgrimage, told through the experience of Arthur Lough, my alter ego. The book is written from the perspective of a third-party narrator who describes the events of Arthur’s life while punctuating the narrative with dialogue between Arthur and other key characters. Continue reading

The Arthur Bio Has Been Released!

My new book, The Long Road from Highland Springs: A Faith Odyssey, which I have been working on for a full year, was officially published on Saturday, August 23, 2014. It is now available, in softcover format, from Click on the title or the cover image to access the Amazon listing. Continue reading

Snippets from The Long Road From Highland Springs

Here is a collection of brief quotes from the Arthur Lough biography, The Long Road from Highland Springs: A Faith Odyssey, which I started posting last April, onCapturee per day, as status updates on my Facebook page. That pattern continued until the snippet from chapter twenty-five was posted in late May. After a three-month hiatus, I have begun posting them on Facebook once again. After a snippet appears there, I will add it to the collection here. The posting of the final snippet, from the epilogue following chapter fifty, should roughly coincide with the release of the book around the first of September. I hope you enjoy this collection of quotes, and I hope they will encourage you to purchase a copy of the book, either in softcover format or as an ebook, after it is published. Continue reading

My Chronology of Costly Change

Last Friday, I inadvertently happened upon the Facebook page for the Bible college I attended in the late 1960s. I noticed a picture there, from one of last year’s chapel services, and the speaker was a man I knew very well when we worked together in the same church more than forty years ago. I loved and respected him then, and I still do.

The caption for the photo included a link to the college website’s archive of chapel service audio recordings, so I clicked on it. For the next several hours I listened to excerpts, ranging in length from two to twenty minutes each, from a dozen or more preachers who had spoken in chapel over the past five years, some more than once.

Many of the speakers, like the one I mentioned above, were men I knew personally from my years as a student. One was a classmate who had “competed,” along with me, for the school’s first annual Award in Expository Preaching back in 1970. (I won’t tell you which of us won the award, but it wasn’t him.) One of the speakers had actually been my roommate during our senior year. Continue reading