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Songs Everyone Can Hear

By Chad Thomas JohnstonApril 9, 2012

In 1990, when the New Kids on the Block were so popular that Walmart carried sleeping bags with the band members’ faces emblazoned on them, I joined the masses and bought the band’s second album, Hangin’ Tough. It felt good to be at one with the masses. Up to that point, I listened almost exclusively…

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Blessed Are the Tentmakers

By Chad Thomas JohnstonOctober 22, 2015

For my daughter, Evangeline Sofia, who celebrated her first birthday on the second day of October. “Can you build me a tent in the living room when you get home, Chad?” My wife Becki made this request via Google chat. “A tent?” I replied, laughing. “In the living room? What?” When we were children, my…

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A Requiem for Rejects

By Chad Thomas JohnstonAugust 26, 2015

Six or seven years ago, a coworker of mine played a drunken game of chicken with a semi-truck on his bike at ten o’clock at night. His funeral doubled as a memorial service and an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

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Fast Food Funeral Procession

By Chad Thomas JohnstonJuly 17, 2018

The line lurched forward one vehicle at a time, halogen halos radiating from headlights. Although it was eleven o’clock at night, I could not help but think of the funeral processions I saw as a boy, cars coursing through town in the daytime with lights aglow. As I sat in the drive-thru lane at Taco…

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Before the Fall of Baseball

By Chad Thomas JohnstonJune 16, 2015

Much as the Greeks lived in close proximity to their gods, who dwelled on Mt. Olympus, my family lived in Odessa, Missouri, only a half-hour’s drive from Kansas City, where the Royals loomed larger than life for me.

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The Cannibal and the Eucharist

By Chad Thomas JohnstonFebruary 6, 2012

When I first heard Michael Knott singing about a woman suspected of eating her husband, the Eucharist was the furthest thing from my mind. The chasm separating communion and cannibalism was wide, or so I assumed. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt something like a fist balling up in my…

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Good Letters Is My Devotional

By Cathy WarnerDecember 1, 2016

I came to Christianity in my mid-twenties and joined a Protestant church whose denominational arm publishes devotional booklets that called to mind the copies of Watchtowers Jehovah’s Witnesses used to foist on me. As a new believer, I was supposed to develop a disciplined spiritual life, the cornerstone being morning devotions: Rise at dawn, open…

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