Obligatory Thanksgiving List

Given that today is Thanksgiving, I haven’t had new content since Sunday, and lists are easy, I’m doing a list of things I’m thankful for and why. 

1) People. At their best, people are family, friends, and companions. At their worst, they’re something fun to laugh at. The good ones are the ones we love. The bad ones are the ones we at least get to laugh at.

2) The church. You can’t have Christ without His bride. You also can’t have many holidays and feasts throughout the year without the church, which brings us to item #3:

3) The liturgical calendar. I, as an American evangelical have long ignored and spurned the liturgical calendar. I am now incredibly sorry for that. It is truly a blessing and an enriching reminder of all that God has done for us, not only on specific holidays or feast days, but throughout the whole year. 

4)  Vice Friday. While this week’s day of vice (consumption of horribly unhealthy but delicious foods) will be on Thursday rather than Friday, Friday night is now my second favorite time of the week, behind only Sunday. On Friday nights, all the rules which I normally follow stringently in relation to diet go out the window, and I feast, engorging myself on whatever my heart desires. God bless Vice Friday. 

5) The internet. It’s simultaneously capable of being a great tool and a great entertainer. 

6) The Psalms. Never has any individual piece of art, nor any collection of art stirred and calmed my soul like the Psalms. There is no comparison.

7) C.S. Lewis. Although nothing compares to the Psalms, Lewis gets closer than anyone else. 

8) Barbells. They are manly, fun, and an incredible tool for getting insanely strong if used consistently over long periods of time. 

9) Coffee. If we’re going to have a psychoactive drug that’s socially acceptable, it should at least taste good, a-men?

10) Beef. How many amazing ways can one cook beef and have it be delicious? It would be easier to list the bad ways to cook beef. Mmm, beef. 

11) Singing. The human voice is truly the most beautiful of all musical instruments (except when wielded by Miley Cyrus, but whatever).

Ode To Porches

porch

There are few things I love more than a good porch. While a collection of wood and a canopy to keep the worse elements out isn’t anything special in and of itself, there are few places that spring into my mind quicker than a porch when thinking on my favorite and most vivid memories.

A porch is where one sits after a long day of yard work and lawn mowing in the summer. A porch is where one sits with friends and talks about things of utter unimportance, or has the most meaningful conversations of their life. A porch is where one enjoys God’s good gifts, while taking in views of His beautiful creation. A porch is even where one sits in quietness with a man who’s just lost his wife to cancer. A porch is where one laughs until they cry. A porch is where you daydream and plan. A porch is where you grill various and sundry delicious meats.

Charlie Brown said that every man at his birth should be issued a banjo and a dog. While banjos are great (Rainbow Connection, anyone?) and dogs are too, he’s wrong. Not because of any principles of anarcho-capitalism, but instead because one can’t enjoy a banjo and a dog without a porch. A porch is location that is necessarily associated with feasting. The time and opportunity to enjoy a porch is indeed a great luxury. A porch is a place for sharing and a place for solitude and introspection at any given time. I am an unashamed stoic. Not the passionless fatalistic ancient philosopher type, but rather one who simply loves time spent on a porch, philosophizing, eating, laughing, writing, and just sitting.

I have written this ode to porches from the back porch of my father’s house. I one day in eternity future hope to write something similar from my Father’s, perhaps while smoking a Rocky Patel and drinking scotch with my Lord.