Are You Self-made?

America has gained this reputation as the land of opportunity. It has done so by trying to destroy any and all hereditary obstacles to advancement. Instead, in America the idea is that individual initiative alone could create social mobility. A self-made man would owe his advancement to things like self discipline, loneliness, sobriety, the avoidance…

“The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do.” Aldous Huxley

One of the astonishing things I’ve learned raising our foster daughter is that abuse often makes its victims incredibly unlovable. Long before we took in our foster daughter I had become obsessed with the ways in which childhood abuse not only affected my character Buck Crenshaw but also his siblings. Christians are called to love…

“If you want to send a message, use Western Union.” Sam Goldwyn

I’m not responsible for your salvation. I’m sure you consider that a good thing. As a writer, I’m responsible for my characters’ salvation but even that can get sticky. How many of us like message films and books? I’m not talking about self-help books or how-to videos. I’m talking about entertainment that aims to convince…

5 Horrible Things I’m Grateful For

What are you really grateful for? No. I don’t mean the usual things we all say when asked on Thanksgiving Day. Family. Friends. Health. We used to just eat on Thanksgiving, but somewhere along the way a family member introduced a toast and the awkward asking everyone to come up with something they were grateful…

Are You a Phony?

Megyn Kelly the former anchor turned morning show host recently recalled a conversation with Roger Ailes who told her she had an “authenticity problem.” Whether you agree or disagree with her perceived politics is not what I care about here. What troubled me instantly was the sense that a growing number of people (including myself)…

Thoughts on Romantic Reformers

“When the romantic fails to illuminate or enlighten others, and when social reform is slow to come—or seems not to come at all—then he or she can only resort to violence.” The Nation review of Man’s Better Angels: Romantic Reformers and the Coming of the Civil War by Philip F. Gura “They have no heart,…