By Scott Keith

(I will be teaching a breakout session at the forthcoming Mockingbird Conference. This blog is a foretaste of that lecture. Enjoy. Please check out the Mockingbird Conference and register. See ya there!)

Dynamite does one thing well; it blows stuff up. Dynamite is no more than an absorbent material, such as sawdust, soaked in a highly combustible chemical called nitroglycerin. The absorbent material makes the nitroglycerin much more stable. Attached to the nitroglycerin-infused sawdust is either a fuse or a blasting cap. Once lit, the fuse or cap creates a small explosion that triggers a larger explosion in the dynamite itself. Once ignited, the dynamite burns extremely rapidly and produces a large amount of hot gas in the process. The hot gas expands very quickly and applies pressure and thus blows up or explodes.

By Scott Keith

This winter has been a whirlwind of teaching gigs for me, most of which being centered around the subject matter of my book, Being Dad – Father as a Picture of God’s Grace. Therein, I argue that being a dad means being a mouthpiece of grace and an obscure voice of empathy to his children. In part, this means that dads are called to provide a little magic. The unexpected yes. The hoped for but seldom granted release from the doldrums of day-to-day life. The “I forgive you” when “I condemn you” is what is expected and warranted.

By Scott Keith

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:25

When I’m not traveling for work, I like to spend as much time as possible in the mountains at our little cabin in the woods. Quite simply, it recharges me. The work needed to keep the place up, starting the fire in the morning, the slower pace of life, and the natural beauty all bring me a sense of calm and peace that I don’t always possess when I’m “down the hill.” I have always thought of the mountains as home, and so whenever possible, I follow the well know mantra uttered by Jon Muir: “The mountains are calling, and I must go.”

By Scott Keith

A few years ago at the very tail end of my vacation, Joy and I took all of our children and Dr. Mallinson’s son, Auggie Mallinson, to Yosemite. While Joy and I have been several times, by mere coincidence of timing and obligation, most of our children have not seen the grandeur of the Yosemite Valley. Joy, Autumn, and I left Dr. Rosenbladt’s house in Portland and drove to meet everyone else (Caleb, Erika, Joshua, and Auggie) at the Bass Lake resort just outside of Yosemite. We had fun at Bass Lake driving Jet Skis and cooling off in the now almost completely empty lake. Bass Lake is fun, but it is no Yosemite.

By Scott Keith

I am not a pastor. I also have a hard time staying in one place for a long time. As a result, I have spent the last several years visiting many different churches. The sad reality is that, even in the blessed LCMS, “the goods” are not always handed over on Sunday morning. By “the goods,” I mean to say that in my admittedly limited experience, Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of my sins is infrequently proclaimed to me at church.

By Scott Keith

“We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep into our own history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes which were for the moment unpopular.” These are the words spoken by Edward R. Murrow as encouragement to those who would stand up in opposition to then Senator McCarthy’s hearings designed to root out all dissenters, whether they were guilty of being communists or not. Mr. Murrow goes on to remind us all of a simple yet exceptionally difficult reality: “We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result.”

By Scott Keith

My friend Aaron recently introduced me to a website that has shattered my world. No, it’s not a site spouting a new theology. No, it is not even a site promoting a new worldview or philosophy that has got my head spinning. Rather, it is a site dedicated to tools. Yes, tools. The site is John Neeman tools, and they have a rather simple philosophy. All of their tools are made in their small, traditional workshops (in Latvia) using equally traditional methods and techniques. Their focus is on uniqueness and quality, not quantity. They say that they want to help people remember how to use their hands, to relate their own human energy to their tools and achieve the true joy of creating something from humble beginnings.