I was on the Godless Spellchecker podcast! No foolin’!

Kind readers,

today is my 46th birthday, and I’m having a banner day… It’s been a banner year, in fact 🙂

Right now, I’m still slowly waking up from a crabcake and fish, red wine, and chocolate buttercream cake coma.

I treated myself to a bunch of toys this week, and Pee Wee’s Playhouse on Blu-ray. In keeping with this theme, I’ve got vintage cartoons playing in the background as I type this.

This week, I also received my copy of Faith Vs. Fact, which I’d asked Professor Coyne to sign. Note the fabulous cat drawing.

Also, I was immensely honored to be a guest on the Godless Spellchecker podcast! My mind still reels at the thought that this truly did happen; it’s overwhelming. I’m still amazed that he asked me in the first place, because who the hell am I? Stephen is an incredibly sweet, funny, and knowledgeable fellow, and it was such a pure joy to chat with him. I’m tremendously grateful for his gracious invitation to be on his podcast.

Click on the image below if you’d like to listen to the episode:

And here’s yet another wonderful and most appreciated review of Hula Girl:

All of this is so encouraging to me as I get set to write my next book, Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast.

And the Non-Conference keeps getting closer…

In conclusion, have some chocolate erasers.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

6 thoughts on “I was on the Godless Spellchecker podcast! No foolin’!

  1. I came across you and your book from the tweets of @CrankyPappy. I started to read your book just 30 mins ago and after the first few pages I remembered that I had written my thoughts down in my journal a few years ago (before my divorce and church leave). I was inspired to look it out and read it. I’m still changing so much but what I’d written was authentic and a big part of what has shaped me into who I am today. Could I share it with you?
    “I’m a child of the ‘70s, born and bred in Belfast in the height of the ‘Troubles’. My mum and dad met when they were very young, and Mum got pregnant. Two weeks before I was born, my dad was shot in the spine. Shocking, I know! As a result, Dad has been in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down ever since.
    Initially, he was given only a few days to live. Weeks turned into months, months to years. It’s been 36 years (now it’s 41!) and he’s still with us. Mum and Dad are still happily married. They have an incredibly difficult life (Mum cares for Dad full time), but they love each other and have gotten through an amazing amount of ‘near death’ situations. They have never displayed any bitterness. They sacrificed their life to make mine the best it could be.
    Ever since my teenage years, I’ve experienced a ‘roller-coaster’ ride of emotions. I would be really ‘up’ for a few weeks, then plummeting to an incredible low, then ‘up’ again. At that time, it was easy to write off the cycle as hormonal, but as I got older, I never grew out of it. It also could have been so easy to blame this ‘high & low’ existence on the stress of living with a paraplegic dad and a mum who was trying desperately to hold everything together.
    I became a Christian when I was 16 years old and joined a seemingly amazing, lively church. I had a growing relationship with Jesus but still battled for emotional stability. I began to get frustrated with my character flaws, especially as others noticed and commented about my lack of consistency.
    I got married (to the pastors son as I’d received a ‘word from God’ via a church leader that it was His will) I became a primary school teacher, had a daughter, and was very involved in church leadership. I tried to combat the feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and numbness by keeping very busy. One day, three years ago, I found that I just couldn’t keep self-medicating any longer. I remember sitting at my desk after my class had gone home, feeling absolutely nothing. I even contemplated pushing the scissors I was holding into my leg – I wanted to feel something, anything, so badly! This was the beginning of my ‘breakdown’.
    I felt like such a failure. Why couldn’t I cope with life like everyone else? These weren’t just my thoughts – some of my ‘friends’ voiced these statements to me, reinforcing the belief that I was useless, weak, and worthless.
    Around this time I developed an eating disorder. I think I just wanted to be able to control something in my life, and I could control how much I ate quite easily. I lost a lot of weight, became very ill, and was referred to a specialist in a hospital. I was at the end of myself. I knew I needed help. I was destroying my relationship with my husband and my daughter. I had to take a year off work. I stepped down from all leadership responsibilities at church. I felt deep embarrassment and shame.
    I took medication for my depression; however, this alone was not to be the answer and the escape from all my pain. It was a great tool, but it was only when I began to question things that I’d blindly believed and saw how tied up in control I was, that I began a journey of recovery.
    I discovered I could be completely honest with myself and thought that surely God doesn’t want me to live this way – if He really is Love then could He still love, accept, and desire me? Could I come out from behind the ‘fig leaf’ I stupidly thought was hiding me from the world’s gaze and scrutiny? When I finally admitted that I couldn’t keep it together, that I felt so lost and alone, a love came rushing in, filling every empty space.
    It’s been a few years, and today I would say I’m still learning a lot and taking it a day at a time. It has been incredibly painful, and I lost quite a few friends along the way who couldn’t understand why I just couldn’t ‘get over it’.

    I’ve learned that an addiction is something that controls people – something they feel they cannot do without or something they do to alleviate pain or pressure. I’ve discovered along the way that I’m an addict – addicted to approval from others. Like any addict, I look for my ‘fix’ when I get shaky. I’ve watched Brene Brown’s TED talks on the power of vulnerability and the damaging effect of shame. I’m learning to “above all else show up, let yourself be seen, and be courageous. Dare greatly.” (Brene Brown)
    If I wanted to be biblical about it, I would say that after feeding the multitudes, Jesus told the disciples to gather up the leftovers “so that nothing may be lost or wasted.” (John 6:12) There’s no way I can escape pain in life. But I’m learning it doesn’t have to be wasted. I’m letting my pain be someone else’s gain”
    That gives you a little insight into my journey (if you’re interested) I’m now 41 years old, about to be a nana as my step-daughter is pregnant, have an amazing daughter who at 16 years old knows she’s bisexual , have lost all confidence in church but still think I love God, have a man in my life who loves me for me and am enjoying my life and all the children who come into it – I’ve been a primary school teacher for 20 years now.
    I just wanted to share a part of my story with you and thank you for your vulnerability and bravery in sharing yours. I’m going to now read your book and I’m so grateful I stumbled across it (and you x)
    Lots of love Nichola (@carrutherssocks)


    • My dearest Nichola,

      thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with me… I’m so touched by your journey, and kindness. I’m so glad that you were able to pull through to the other side, as it were, after enduring so much pain and anguish. I have a good friend who understands all about the damaging impact of shame; you might enjoy her blog, http://soangiewrites.com/ (she’s @SoAngieWrites on Twitter; a truly beautiful, tender heart). I’m also very happy that you freed yourself from an oppressive environment, and have had such wonderful support from your loved ones! I tell you, it does keep getting better 🙂

      Again, thank you so much, so very much, for your encouraging words about my scribble, and for your kindness to me… I can’t begin to express how much it means to me, and how grateful I am. I’m about to start writing another book, and sometimes it all seems so overwhelming, but when I read words like the ones you shared with me, I just know I can do it!

      It’s a joy to know you; I’m so happy our paths crossed like this! I hope you’ll have a wonderful week! Thank you so much for being here ❤

      Your devoted


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