I have a really good friend, David, who loves me a lot. I’ve often considered him my “best friend” (as awkward as that strangely feels for me to say–as a guy). I’ve known him since I was in college in Richmond, Virginia. We would spend hours upon hours at our favorite Richmond coffee-shop talking theology, life, and books. We’ve been through a lot together (we even tried to keep a fledgling online magazine running for a time).
But through the course of our friendship, every once and a while, he’s had to take what he calls “Paul breaks”. These are periods ranging from a couple of weeks to a couple of months where I won’t see him or talk to him. They usually follow a season of intense hanging out where we saw each other for many hours for many days in a row.
I’m an intense guy. He’s a laid-back guy. And so, after a time like this, he’s needed a break from me.
But this wasn’t because he didn’t love me or didn’t care about our friendship, it was precisely because he loved me and wanted our friendship to continue.
And so it has been with this blog.
Well, it’s here. The day we’ve been building up to and meditating upon. This is the day we joyfully celebrate the King who broke into our reality and ushered in His Kingdom and our salvation by coming in the form of a little child.
Even though this time can be tough for some (my grandfather died a year ago tomorrow), I do hope and pray that we are all able to have at least one good laugh this year and see the smile of at least one person we love and that we know loves us. And eat good food. And drink good drink. And listen to bad, cheesy music. (On a side-note: the picture above is a picture of the wall-hanging that went up in my house every year as I grew up. And now I have it. I love it.)
Don’t worry, this isn’t really a whole other post. This Advent season has been an especially fruitful time for my writing (as my Facebook Wall obviously shows). I want to thank everyone that has been telling me how helpful these posts were–or even those that just told me they were reading them in the first place!. I can’t tell you how much it affects me, sticks with me, and encourages me. But anyway, I just wanted to write this post so I could put up all these posts in one place for you easy reading pleasure, should you so desire. Happy Advent!
[Through college up through about a year and a half ago, I ran a little online magazine called Reform & Revive. It’s dead now. While it was going on, one of my best friends, David Schrott, was one of our contributors. He’s an amazing drywaller, photographer, writer, person, and boyfriend (also here, here, and here). This is a post he wrote for R&R back in 2009 at the end of a particularly trying year for him. It’s one of my favorite Advent meditations I’ve ever read, and so I wanted to share it with all of you. Enjoy.]
“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer.”
–I Timothy 2.8, NIV
There are these days, when it is so difficult to find words that wrap around concepts, that, no matter how concrete in one’s mind, find it impossible to find substance in the barrier we use to communicate called language. In those moments, it seems that experience does precede existence and existentialism, for a moment, seems fun (and fun is clearly the wrong word, but for to-day, for this beautiful-day-before-Advent, will have to do).
In honor of this Advent/Christmas Eve, I decided to repost an article on Reform & Revive written almost exactly a year ago by my good friend (and incredible photographer) David Schrott. He is an amazing writer (and here) and an even more amazing friend. This article reflects much on the year that brought the writing into existence with anticipation for the year to come. Well, having been with him and watching him for that year, it was an amazing moment for me to read this and see all that has been done in his life.
The article has all that Advent is about. It’s a reflection on the work of God in the past to build your anticipation for the work of God to come. May this article stir you, sober you, and give you a sense of both the fallenness of the world that is and the glory of the world to come. Here’s the full link:
Also, feel free to check out an article I wrote for Going To Seminary magazine for Advent called “The Beauty of Theology (an Advent Call)”
Lastly, if you’re in town (Philly, that is), my church Liberti: South Philly is doing what should be a beautiful Christmas Eve service tonight (details).
Merry Christmas Eve
One of my best friends and favorite writers (and photographers), David Schrott has finally broken his writer’s block to write another gem for the magazine. So head on over to Reform & Revive and enjoy his prose and honesty.
Here’s the link to the article:
Remember to leave comments and send this link along to others! Also remember that we’re always looking for submissions to the site so feel free to get in touch with me if you have any ideas.
sorry, no y-axis this time
[Thank you to spectacular photographer and friend David Schrott for inspiring this post]
Okay, due to a few recent articles I’ve written, the number of people visiting my blog has increased by over 4000% in the past week. It’s pretty nuts. That’s why everything has seemed to be about Derek Webb and his new album, Stockholm Syndrome. So, I just wanted to take this chance to put in a few plugs for some of my other projects.
I have web magazine called Reform & Revive. It looks at the intersection between faith and culture, politics, art, the church, and just life in general. These Derek Webb posts would perhaps have been more appropriate on that site, but the readership here jumped up so fast (I’m actually on the first page of most Google searches having to do with the album).
Anyway, friend, brother, and fellow impassioned writer, Sean Brendan Stewart, just put up a special article that seems to have a similar message as the new Webb album. It’s some commentary from him, then a very brief manuscript of some audio from a Carter Conlon message. After that, feel free to look at our more regular full articles from our Contributors.
Lastly, I have my own personal site, Prodigal Paul, that acts as a hub for organizing other blogs, Bible studies, sermons, and such that I have produced over the years.
That is all.