Hi there.  If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for intelligent and thought-provoking blog material.  You’ve come to the right place – almost.  I don’t write here any more, but if you head over to my new blog, Ars Moriendi, you’ll find a slew of content (or a few posts, depending upon how soon after my writing this you read it) on the topics I’m thinking about these days.

If you’re here to look through the BH&R archives, check the menu to the right, or feel free to browse around.  Here are a few of what I consider the better posts of the entire blog.  Cheers!

I struggled for more than a few days with what exactly to write here, even though I knew what this blog’s final post had to be titled.  Especially given the nature of the previous post, I felt like this one had to end on a positive note to counterbalance that post’s emotional gravity (ha).  Like I had to come up with some sort of “you know what? God told me this and that’s why it’ll all be okay in the end.  Yeah!” speech to end this blog with.  I grimaced at the hole I had dug for myself, because I knew what people would be expecting (or at least what I expected them to expect), and what I would necessarily have to fail to deliver.  I kept holding out, waiting for it to come, but it never did, and it’s time to move on.  (more…)

This is this blog’s penultimate post.  I don’t have any pretense that these last couple of writs are going to be any better quality than what I normally write (hopefully they won’t be much worse), but they do pertain to subjects that are very important to me, and I hope that they will comprise an adequate “series finale” to this small corner of the web.

I want to start this post with a question: what tears you apart? (more…)

This post is perhaps a little late in terms of accurate holiday timing for maximum Mariah Carey comedic effect, but I want to post it nonetheless.

I have a request for you, the readers. As I’m trying to figure out how best to implement the Something New that I talked about previously, would you do me a favor? If you read this blog at all — if you are reading these words right now — even if you’ve never left a comment on any blog ever before, even if you don’t know me, would you please leave one here right now? I’ll even sweeten the deal by promising a response directly to YOU!

Even if you’re not the sort of person that posts comments to blogs, or if this is your first time here but you like what you’re reading, I would ask you just to say a quick “Hey!”  If you’re clicking through this blog because you’re looking for witty titles for essays (this is the number one search engine phrase that brings people here), feel free to say “this isn’t what I was looking for!”  I won’t bite, I promise. I just want to know who’s reading this stuff before I kill it off completely.

On the day before Christmas,  let’s take just a moment to bring to light to a subject that has oft directed Christians into one of two camps.  Especially at this holiday season, I think it’s important to discuss this divisive issue.  No, not Protestant or Catholic.  Not Christmas or Easter.  Not “Christmas” or “Xmas” (but seriously, stop making such a big deal out of it).  No, the issue is much deeper than that.

Do you speed when you drive home for the holidays, or do you stay the limit?

One camp is adamant:  Render unto Caesar.  Christians are a good witness when they obey the laws of their country.  Breaking the speed limit is breaking the law, and woe unto him who betrays the traffic cops; it would be better for him if he had not been born!

The other camp is more laid back:  Everything is permissible. If you’re not putting anyone in danger with your driving, who cares if you’re going 65 or 85?  And aren’t those signs more like guidelines anyway?  They’re so arbitrarily decided, who can know?

How can we Christians come together on this issue?  If it’s safer to drive above the speed limit, are we allowed to do that?  Is the gospel in trouble if we drive at 66 mph?  Which camp are you in?

And of course, whether you find yourself exasperated by the slow drivers or endangered by the fast ones, have a merry Christmas.

This update is to let you the reader(s) know that the end of this blog is coming, and coming soon.  The current update plan is to update once a week, and maybe take a break during the Christmas week entirely, until 2011, which I guess leaves only one or two more updates.  Time, man.

Anyway, at some point in the first part of January, this blog will end and Something Else will happen.

It’s been great fun writing on this blog, but I’ve come to realize that what I’m writing about now is sufficiently different from what I originally set out to write about that the appropriate action is to kill off this blog and do that Something Else.

And what exactly will that Something Else be?  Stay tuned.  Death is coming.

This is the conclusive entry in a short series on what I have learned about God’s providence.  You can read part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.  Today I want to talk about what happens when God finally reveals his plans to us.  Instead of talking initially about myself, I want to share a story you probably know.

About two thousand years ago, a young woman was visited by a messenger of God:

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (more…)