Good Links (The Ozark Fall Edition)

Another week is in the books here in the Ozarks, and we have plenty to be thankful for, even in the uncertainty. Fall is poised to break through the foothills sometime this evening, and I've started the process of digging out my favorite sweaters. The Weather Channel is predicting a break from our eighty degree purgatory, says we'll be finding highs in the sixties by tomorrow. I love the changing of the seasons, the way it hangs low clouds over the peaks and valleys of the Boston Mountains. By mid-October, the sugar maples will begin their blush, the Oaks will turn cowards. I'm anticipating it.

By now, some of you may have read about Titus. He's loosing weight again, yes. It can be maddening at times and concerning at others, yes. We're trying our best to get to the bottom of it, yes. But the truth is, never a happier boy has there ever been. He's all out, full on, always running through. He's a wrecking ball of a boy, which I reckon to be a good thing. A kid like that can punch through walls of doubt like no one's business.



It's been a good week for music and the written word. A good week, indeed. Mandy Steward's new book, Thrashing About With God, released. Like any good feast, Steward's words deserve a good-right pairing. Instead of wine, though, I've been pairing it with Arlo Guthrie's album, "Washington County." It's a fine match, indeed. If you haven't picked up Thrashing, do it!

John Blase released his new book this week, too. In the Haines' house, John has two nicknames: "the poet of the people"; and, my personal favorite, "the cowboy of the internet." (Head nod to Amber for the latter one). It should be no surprise, then, that his book, Know When to Hold 'Em, approaches the topic of fatherhood with John's straightforward (but poetic) voice. I suppose this will be one every father needs in his library.


On Sunday, Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit released their new album, "Country Mile." If you aren't familiar with Flynn, it's time to start spinning his stuff. His last album "A Larum" is a poetic favorite of mine, and though I've only listened to "Country Mile" one time through, it has great promise. Check out his track "Murmation," in which he says "let's gather us up to the heavens above; we can always come back, my love."


As for links, it's been slim-pickings for me this week. I've spent little time in these online spaces, but yesterday I ran across Suzannah Paul's offering "incarnation." In it, she writes:

King in a cradle, born in a stable, Mighty God traded heaven for here. Man of sorrows, stricken, his blood-soaked shroud and ours are fuel for the fire.

I love her use of slant rhyme in the first line, the alliteration in the third and fourth lines. This poem just reads like a poem should. And just so we're clear, this piece served as the anchor for my morning devotion yesterday. I paired it with John 1. The two work well together.

John Blase brings a beautiful psalm of his own to the mix, too. In Sunday's Psalm, he writes:

You have bred us to write our own lyrics.
     We do not make the music, that’s sheer hubris.
     But we pen the words.

Enjoy John's words.

That's all I have for today, but I'll leave you with a little taste of Johnny Flynn. "The Water" is one of my favorites. It'll set your day right.