Back At My Writing Desk

Hello again, my friend. If you’re reading these words, you definitely qualify as a committed reader of my blog. It’s been exactly 1,114 days since I last posted an article on KnoxPriest. I’m grateful to have you back. It’s good to be writing in this space again.

So what happened? Why did KnoxPriest go dark for well over 1,000 days? Simply this: hosting a blog ain’t cheap.

I also thought it would be simple to relaunch my website. I thought that all my previous posts would still be accessible, even though I couldn’t keep the web hosting going. Nope. Not at all. It turns out that if you don’t pay the hosting costs, hosting services turn you out on your ear. Good riddance to you and all the words you typed.

Enough about hosting costs. Once I recovered from the cold sweat of seeing all my articles deleted, I summoned any web search tools I have to retrieve blog posts from years past. Thank goodness for the Internet Way Back Machine. All was not lost. It was just buried—really buried in the recesses of the interwebs.

It took the better part of two hours to retrieve old posts. Instead of bringing all the content from past years, I decided to repost the most popular articles and some of my favorites. Why Scruffy Hospitality Creates Space for Friendship is the most popular article, and that by a long shot, so that article is definitely included here. You might find the article on Autumn’s Thin Places of interest as the leaves begin to change and the nights get cooler. I’ve also included a series of posts on fatherhood, which are especially meaningful for me. They remind me of seeking the heart of God in my earliest days as a father. What I perceived then remains my conviction now: my attention is my affection.

So that’s a sense of what I’ve brought over from years past. Here’s what’s next.

What’s Next on KnoxPriest

In days to come I’ll write posts on a range of topics. If my journals from recent months are any indication of what’s to come (a safe bet), then here are topics of current interest for me:

  • Attention and distraction
  • Biblical wisdom in modern life
  • Localism and Place (expect Wendell Berry references)
  • Simplicity
  • Handworks: cooking, gardening, woodworking
  • Spirituality of houses (we’re building a farmhouse on 2 acres)
  • Learning to see the Kingdom of God
  • Spiritual renewal for exhausted times

I am unlikely to write often about politics, COVID, the media, or the end times. Maybe on occasion I’ll dip into these discussions, but that’s not my voice as a writer. So full disclosure: everything begins and ends with the inner life in my writing. These words of Jesus have become a major theme in my spiritual life, and my life as a writer and priest:

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? (Matthew 16.27, ESV)

I devote much attention to the priority of the soul in my writing, but that doesn’t mean ignoring the outer life. As one of my favorite church fathers, St Maximus the Confessor, said:

To those who have eyes to see, all the invisible (spiritual) world is mysteriously presented in symbols of the visible world; and all the natural world depends on the supernatural world.

I’m enchanted by God’s beautiful world. I’m seeking the unity and harmony of the spiritual and physical worlds that God created. That’s where the glory resides. That’s why I want to write on a wide array of topics.

One of my favorite bookstores, Eighth Day Books, has been described as “eclectic yet orthodox.” I suppose that’s a sort of personal aspiration I have as a writer. Not to be eclectic for its own sake; that would be a pointless and vain pursuit. But to seek the beauty, wisdom, and truth of God wherever I see his Kingdom breaking through. And to share those experiences with you, dear reader.

7 Comments

  1. Michelle Bickers said:

    Yay and glad to see you are back! I always love seeing scruffy hospitality referenced across the web!

    10.06.2020
    Reply
  2. Melissa Roney said:

    Love “seeing” you back! Your words inspire me and I’m grateful for them.

    10.06.2020
    Reply
  3. Laura Barker said:

    Looking forward to these upcoming words!

    10.06.2020
    Reply
  4. Barbara Berry said:

    Glad to see you back! I appreciate your writing, your reflections on life as you move forward.
    God Bless you,

    10.06.2020
    Reply
  5. Chesney Hill said:

    Heard Jesus’ words in Matthew in a fresh way here–thank you! Also, Pres and I have been talking so much lately about the non-competitve relationship between creature and Creator which the St. Maximus quote speaks beautifully to. Needless to say, looking forward to following along.

    10.06.2020
    Reply
  6. anndw22 said:

    Your comment– about the inner life—reminds me of a statement of one of my favorite characters in Elizabeth Goudge’s Pilgrim’s inn Trilogy…Lucilla had moved out of her large family home in the country to the village in a smaller house closer to her eldest son Hilary, a vicar. She moved she said so that she would have time in her old age to “make her soul”… toward the end of the book, she wonders what in the world she meant by that. blessings,

    10.07.2020
    Reply

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