Merry Christmas 2018

  Merry Christmas…. I never imagined I’d get to a time when people consider the phrase divisive, controversial, offensive. How strange. For all the good it’s done through the centuries, (and it has) I also realize religion has been twisted. Weaponized. As someone whose life was transformed by faith in Jesus and who has been on the receiving end of religion’s misuse, I feel the need to reaffirm that the real Christmas story is about Hope. It’s about redemption and transcendence. It’s about justice and love. It’s not a case for ignorance,… Read More

Let’s get our head on straight about this

This ‘Sin’ issue, I mean. This article below prompted a long-standing theological issue to surface yet again. https://www.dailywire.com/news/39037/listen-popular-christian-singer-lauren-daigle-not-amanda-prestigiacomo?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=062316-news&utm_campaign=benshapiro Basically a nice young Christian music celebrity can’t say for certain if a practice – homosexuality in this case – is a ‘sin’ on a TV talk show. Not real news, right? There’s been a lot of hedging, loads of waffle and mince on this one lately, so this can’t be a huge shock. So… she can’t? She won’t? Is our poor celebrity cowed by secular pressure? Choosing the ‘fear of Man’ over the… Read More

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. And I thought this proclamation from earlier American President during a very tumultuous time in our country might be worth taking to heart. Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863 By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation. The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added,… Read More

Whence Cometh Evil?

Plenty is happening on the writing front but I want to post something on a serious note. In the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting, my wife and I attended an interfaith service at the Cape Cod Synagogue last night. Not the sort of thing I would have done earlier in my faith and religious walk. Not at all. But sometimes, things changed for the better. No, I haven’t embraced warm and fuzzy, Kumbaya ecumenicalism; we were invited and I believe it’s critical to be numbered among those who stand against savage acts… Read More

Thoughts on ‘art’ as ‘ministry’

When churched people learn I’m a stained glass artisan who also writes fiction, after they recover from the initial surprise, they often spin my vocation as some form of ministry. (After all, it’s artistic, not practical. Not ‘real’ work, eh) So my windows must be for churches and my stories about Jesus or theology. Or maybe the End Times – that’s OK too. If I have the time and enough of a relationship with the individual, I try to explain my “Christian” testimony in these contexts actually consists of me treating my… Read More

In Between

Thoughts on Faith and Disability A long-ish article that’s part testimony, part experiences as a Christian with a disability. I made it a separate page. There’s a drop down tab in the Header under About HSSJ or you can click on this link. Feel free to comment. I’ll get back to cyber-enhanced soldiers and half-breed orcs now. Have a good weekend.

Oasis: Faith under unfamiliar stars

Amazon’s Pilot Season has begun and for me, the winner is the SF show, OASIS. Without giving too much away, Richard Madden (from Game of Thrones) plays Peter, a young minister in the dystopia of 2032, who travels to Mankind’s last best hope, a distant space colony called Oasis where the best and brightest (and wealthiest) of Humanity is establishing a shiny new future for our species – a future without the ‘treacherous illusion of faith”. At least that’s what it was supposed to be until colony founder David Morgan suddenly and mysteriously… Read More

Let the Stable still Astonish

  Let the stable still astonish: Straw-dirt floor, dull eyes, Dusty flanks of donkeys, oxen; Crumbling, crooked walls; No bed to carry that pain, And then, the child– Rag-wrapped, laid to cry In a trough. Who would have chosen this? Who would have said, “Yes, let the God of Heaven and Earth Be born in this place”? Who but the same God Who stands in the darker, fouler rooms Of our hearts And says, “Yes, let the God of Heaven and Earth Be born in this place.” –  Leslie Leyland Fields ***… Read More

Looking into “Black Mirror”

Netflix just announced Season 3 of the BBC show “Black Mirror“. Billed as a ‘Twilight Zone for the social media generation’, if you missed seasons 1 and 2, you should queue them up asap. But be warned: it’s as brutal as it is brilliant. Black Mirror is a very appropriate title. There’s no “…who’s the fairest of them all?” here – you’re just as likely to be horrified as you are fascinated when you look. A ‘fifteen minutes in the future’ kind of Sci Fi, the show’s writers have an eerie knack… Read More

Casting Stones and Stumbling Blocks

“A prophet gone wrong is almost always more interesting than your grandmother…” Flannery O’Connor     Been on the perimeter of yet another round of Believers Brick-Tag, i.e. the “Spec-fiction is a stumbling block/supernatural and,or worldly elements are a grievous offense” discussion, and I feel the need to stake out what seems incredibly obvious yet damnably elusive. First off, let’s reiterate the distinction between theology and speculative fiction. One is the systematic study of God and religious belief, the other is – by definition  – made up stories. Now I know atheists… Read More