My Photos

Today the Church celebrates James the Elder, Apostle.

O gracious God, your servant and apostle James was first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ: Pour out upon the leaders of your Church that spirit of self-denying service, by which they may have true authority among your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Art: Calling of Saint James and Saint John, James Tissot 1886-1894

Calling of Saint James and Saint John, James Tissot

Dusty’s stress at my wife Amber going out on the lake is palpable in this photo, I think.

This commentary on Luke reads like a bunch of really great sermons. Which is probably its genesis!

Battle station ready for my Monday morning sermon prep focus session (reading/research)

Today we commemorate St.. James, who demontrates that leadership and authority in the church have much more to do with the Spirit of self-giving than getting things done.

📚 Some gems found today at Costco, of all places: a great Sherlock Holmes box set, a really helpful collection of key American writings and political speeches, and a fascinating compilation of Eastern philosophy, all in fantastic looking bindings and covers.Great stuff to have on hand for the whole fam!

So thankful to be the father of these amazing humans

Erin Go Bragh tobacco Knob Creek 9 Year bourbon

Happy Father’s Day!

View from the deck where we’re staying right now in Prescott, AZ.

Happy Monday of Easter Week, friends! I’m giving Royal Yacht a try and so far I like it!

A prayer for today from my Anglican tradition–in hopes it will be a blessing:

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that we who celebrate with reverence the Paschal feast may be made worthy to attain to everlasting joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Smoking a clay pipe

A clay pipe can very inexpensively obtained from Pipes & Cigars. I got this one as a Christmas present this year. It offers a great, pure-flavored smoke, with some caveats:

First, the bowl gets super hot, so be careful if–as I do–you have a habit of holding the bowl. You will have to adjust to grasping the stem in order to keep from burning your fingers.

Second, since the entire thing is made out of clay, I found clenching as I am doing in photo to initially be not very pleasant due to the chalky texture of the material. I will say after some practice I’ve gotten pretty used to it. I don’t think it’s ever going to be as comfortable as other materials, but you figure it out, and if you’re not a big clencher it’s even less of a deal.

There’s something very pure, unassuming, and honest about a clay pipe; the simplicity coupled with a quality, consistent smoke is what I find attractive.

Fr. Nathan smoking a clay pipe

Replaced battery in my aging laptop… Been a loooooong time since I’ve done anything like this. Very cool that it was overall very easy. Are Dells still built like this? If so I’ll stick with them for my next laptop…

A meditation for Christmas Eve

There are few images as precious to me as Christ on the cross, the Creator King of the universe hanging, naked from two rough pieces of wood, crushed like a common criminal…

…Christ on the cross, defeating death by allowing himself to die while forgiving and loving even people like me that would do such a thing.

The mercy and grace and indeed justice for all people in that image defies comprehension. But there is another image equally precious to me.

It manifests when I realize in order for Christ to offer his perfect humanity on my behalf on the Cross, he had to live as a human.

He had to be born as a human.

So, the picture of baby Jesus, cradled in his mother’s arms, is indeed precious, its humility no less scandalous in our contemporary world—and perhaps more so—than the cross itself.

At the cross we are ever reminded that God would not, could not, does not die for something he does not love.

As we turn our attention this night to the baby in Mary’s arms we are rightly overwhelmed at the accompanying thought that God would not, could not, and does not live as something he does not love.

There, in a naked, nursing baby, we glimpse something of the deepest goodness of God.

This Christmas is so different, and even perhaps disappointing, when held up to what we wanted.

The first Christmas was no doubt the same.

No one wants to deliver a baby in the midst of foreign occupation, while obeying an inconvenient executive order, in the cold, among manure and far away from family.

Nevertheless the light of that night has never been extinguished, and it gives light to the world still, and the darkness of the pandemic, of isolation, of unmet expectations, and unspoken hurts, and years of selfish and self destructive mistakes cannot overcome it. The light of Christmas is God becoming one of us because he loves all of us.

The light of Christmas is the fullness of God entering the human family, and in so doing welcoming the fullness of humanity into the divine family.

The light of Christmas is God taking on, not human illusions of progress, power, and prestige, but the real substance of humanity itself, womb to tomb, in all its frailty and vulnerability and smallness.

The light of Christmas is Jesus Christ, God from God, living unrelenting love for every human, by becoming a human destined to die, so that his divine love would swallow death forever!

He was raised, vindicated and Resurrected, by the Spirit of love. He now gives us that same Spirit, his Spirit, God from God come again to dwell in and among his people now!

The light of Christmas is nothing less than true fellowship with God. This is something we can know and live and receive in and through and because of Jesus Christ and no one else!

This Light and Love that has come to us in, through, and by Christ, transfigures us finally into the very image of Christ, and imparts to us immortality and eternity.

It is the only gift we truly need.

And the good news is that it is ours!

Christ has come.

Christ is here.

Christ will come again!

Amen.

And, with gratitude for all you have done and who you are.