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About Josh Retterer

Originally from Ohio, Josh lived on the island of Maui for 10 glorious years. Inexplicably, he moved back to Ohio. Josh is ministry adjacent, with few qualifications, and fewer prospects. And ladies, yes, he is single! Pulled from obscurity, Josh now writes for a place that understands unqualified grace. His sense of relief is palpable. Josh also enjoys long walks and liminal space.

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Author Archive

    A Devotional for Tomatoes Growing This Side of Eden

    Then Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees.’ – Amos 7:14 (NRSV) There’ve been almost no pictures of my vegetable garden in August. The most productive time of the growing season is also its most shabby. The weeds have taken […]

    Auden’s Missing Mercy

    The constant background of stress caused by a brand-spanking-new kind of plague, combined with widespread social unrest and a particularly contentious election year, have all conspired to put a serious crimp in my attention span. This has become particularly noticeable in my reading habits; it has to be good, like brake-squealing good, for me to […]

    Glimmers of Hope: Food and the Common Mind

    Seed Frenzies and Saving Grace

    Behind the Music: Clergy Edition

    Rev Coles on Living in the Gap Between Jesus’ Love and Our Best Efforts

    The Devil and Jacob Smith

    It was the whatever-eth anniversary of Elvis’s death. I was a kid, the nightly news was on in the background. The reporter was asking the people in line, who were paying their respects at/to Graceland, if they believed The King was still alive. I distinctly remember one woman saying she had attended Elvis’s funeral, and […]

    “Like a Blaze of Summer Lightning”: Margery Lawrence, Heaven’s Reluctant Guide

    She was being called out in The Sunday Express. The British novelist and poet, Margery Lawrence had been identified as a leading contributor to society’s ills, in print. Being a feminist critical of marriage in 1920s England marked you as a troublemaker. Take Lawrence’s novel, which was quickly turned into the film Madonna of the […]

    “But I Need Those!” What Happens When A Pastor Flushes A Congregation’s Religion Pills

    Have you ever wondered what would happen if a pastor, convinced of the truth of grace, actually tried what Robert Farrar Capon suggested here in The Foolishness of Preaching? I think good preachers should be like bad kids. They ought to be naughty enough to tiptoe up on dozing congregations, steal their bottles of religion […]

    What I Stand On: Wendell Berry’s Collected Catechisms

    The closer he got to Henry County, Kentucky, the more nervous he became. He had been invited by Wendell Berry to visit his home — the Wendell Berry. When his rental car pulled up outside their house, the late Nobel-Prize-winning Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, thought, “This man is too good for me, and it’s going […]

    Tales Too Uncomfortable to Be Apocryphal

    An amazing phenomenon happens every time I climb a ladder. With each step, I gain about a thousand pounds. I probably should report it to science, or it’s simply that I’m really afraid of heights; either way, the effect is as real as gravity. I’ve climbed right up through the clouds to the very top […]

    Peace Among the Monsters

    I’ve never seen Bigfoot myself (other than when he guest-starred on The Six Million Dollar Man). But when I was in kindergarten, I was convinced, more than once, that he would be, at any given time — particularly at night — looking through my bedroom window. The fact that my bedroom was on the second […]

    Botched Convocation for the Handsome Boy Modeling School of Ministry

    “Why is everyone scowling at me?” I had a week(s) where every time I made eye contact with someone, invariably, they would have this pained look on their face. I had to look into a mirror, like Boris Karloff in Targets, before realizing what was causing it: my face. Every time a certain subject came up, […]

    The Life of a Hermit TV Star: Sister Wendy Beckett

    Saint Stephen’s Day 2018 was marked by the passing of the art historian, TV presenter, and author, Sister Wendy Beckett. I surprised myself when a few unexpected tears leaked out on hearing the news. It wasn’t from her untimely death; she was 88 after all. No, the tears, the more I thought about it, were […]