Transcripts

Steve the Builder

Steve the Builder

The Mitt

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You did not choose Me, but I chose you….John 15:16

It was twenty-eight years ago.  These are the things I remember about fourth grade.  There was the red dirt playground of Saint Williams, my first baseball mitt, Little League, and my father’s transfer to Taiwan, all that year.  Each has finally wrought its conviction; each is just now finishing its work of grace.

Though it has been nearly thirty years I still remember some of my…

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Steve the Builder

Where Am I?

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Steve discusses physical and spiritual dementia and remembrance in the sacramental life of the Church".

Three years ago we moved my parents into our house. They live in a small attached apartment so each of us our own space and privacy but immediate access if something happens.  We eat supper together and every evening I go over and lift my Mom from her big easy chair into her wheelchair to take her to the supper table. As I push her from the living room she always looks around as if she is seeing the kitchen and dining room in their apartment for the first time…

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Steve the Builder

Death, Life, and Love

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Steve discusses his death at birth, his life-long desire to be old, his "death wish," and what it means to "live is Christ and to die is gain."

Ever since I was a very young child I wanted to be old. Not “older”, but old. There was something about old people that was more than just a fascination with how their skin was like tree bark, or how a particular one or another limped, or how they spoke with some gravel in their throat. They were mystical, magical people who, it seemed, were alive but were somehow living in two worlds.

As I got older, I recall somewhere around my junior high years, I wanted…

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Steve the Builder

An Ordinary Christmas

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On an ordinary night, like ten thousand other nights the shepherds experience the extraordinary: The transcendent God is revealed in our ordinary flesh.

It comes unannounced. It has no warning signs.

You may be driving and you find yourself miles from the last remembered intersection. You realize at odd times that you have been staring through someone, the bank teller, the cashier, or your spouse sitting across the dinner table. You may be washing your hands and look up into the mirror. For a moment you see someone else, a stranger with your face. You may be holding a half-ripe tomato at the produce counter,…

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Steve the Builder

Staying Orthodox

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Steve discusses the realities of becoming Orthodox, being Orthodox, and staying Orthodox.

The first Orthodox book I ever read was one I found in the library at the Episcopal Church I attended. It had been checked out one time in the 20+ years it had been on the shelf. It was “The Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church” by Vladimir Lossky. Of course Lossky lost me for the most part.  I re-read it ten years later and realized that what I did get I got only slightly. But slightly was good enough to put me on the path to spending several mortgage…

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Steve the Builder

Mediocrity

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Steve discusses mediocrity, the struggle with being ordinary, and the reality of what it means to be an "everyday saint."

It’s always interesting to me how seemingly unrelated things come together in a moment of clarity (or perhaps delusion) when you aren’t thinking about them on a conscious level. I drive a stretch of freeway in Phoenix quite often and there is a billboard for Grand Canyon University, a Christian college. The billboard says, “FIND YOUR PURPOSE”.  Of course that is a marketing ploy to evangelical Christians. Every time I saw it, it bugged me but I…

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Steve the Builder

Love Wins: An Orthodox View of Salvation

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In response to Rob Bell's controversial book Love Wins, Steve ventures into the world of video and gives a short summary of the difference between the mainstream Protestant view of salvation and an Orthodox view. Listen to the short audio introduction below, then watch the video.

Welcome to this edition of Steve the Builder. It’s been a while. Recently a pastor named Rob Bell came out with a book called Love Wins which, from what I understand, basically challenges the “pen-sub” view of salvation so popular among Protestant Evangelicals. I admit I haven’t read the book and probably won’t, but I’ve read enough reviews and discussions of it on the internet to know that you’d probably…

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Steve the Builder

Death in the Desert, On the Road with Steve the Builder

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This is the second podcast of a series recorded while travelling through the deserts of Arizona and Nevada to St. John's Monastery. Something caught my eye and I stopped.
This is what I found about 80 miles from civilization.

I just pulled over to the side of the road. I was driving along, [and] I was somewhere between Hawthorne and some little burned-out ghost town, probably about 40 miles from anywhere in either direction. I saw this little roadside grave, and this one looks really old. There’s a white cross made out of two pieces of steel, and there’s four stakes, probably six or eight feet apart, that form a little quadrant, a little square around the gravesite. Then there’s…

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Steve the Builder

The Will of God for My Life, On the Road with Steve the Builder

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Steve the Builder is on the road. Join me on my trip to St. John's Monastery in Manton, California, where I will be working on their new church for the next few weeks. I just traveled through about 1,000 miles of desert and stopped at a lot of interesting and sobering places along the way. Companion pictures for this podcast and more from the trip are on my blog at http://pithlessthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/05/in-desert-of-sorrow-and-sin.html.

Welcome to Steve the Builder. The next series of podcasts—I don’t know how many—are going to be “Steve on the Road.” I recorded a couple of podcasts on my way to Manton, California, where I’m going to be doing the sheet rock work on the Monastery of St. John’s new chapel. I listened to the podcasts that I recorded in my truck while I was driving, and the quality was just so bad and so distracting that I decided to…

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Steve the Builder

On Growing Old

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Steve reflects on turning 59, the past, work, family, a change of careers and facing old age.

I’m turning 59 in five days. I’ve never been much into birthdays and milestones and “passages”.  The big 2-0, 3-0 and 4-0s went pretty much by without any sense of “gee or wow-ness” or movement toward or away from anything.  By twenty I was married, by thirty I had kids, a mortgage, a couple college degrees, had lost my jobs in my fields and ended up in construction.  By forty I’d been through the cliche Red…

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