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About Larry Parsley

Husband, father, Texan, and a Baptist pastor of all things. Works at vrbc.net and blogs at lonesomepulpit.com. Enjoys long walks on the sidewalk and dinners by fluorescent light.

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Author Archive
    
    Do Not Pass Go

    Do Not Pass Go

    Last week my parents visited a childhood acquaintance of mine named Russell. Russell and I are close in age, and his late mom and my mom were great friends. But that’s where most of our similarities end. Russell is disabled and has lived his whole life in a wheelchair. As a kid, I remember that […]

    A Welcomed Interrogation

    A Welcomed Interrogation

    John le Carré knows spy craft. A master of espionage fiction, he also once served as an intelligence officer in Britain’s MI5. In a recent interview with Terry Gross of NPR’s “Fresh Air,” while promoting “A Legacy of Spies,” le Carré discussed the art of interrogation. He expressed his firm conviction that the “rough stuff” […]

    Hopelessly Devoted: Exodus Chapter Two Verses One Through Ten

    Hopelessly Devoted: Exodus Chapter Two Verses One Through Ten

    I live over 250 miles away from the path of Hurricane Harvey, but the stories have hit close to home. In the hours leading up to Harvey’s arrival as a Category 4 just north of Corpus Christi (my hometown), I did a lot of anxious calling and texting with members of my immediate family who […]

    The Bible in One Hand, the Novel in the Other

    The Bible in One Hand, the Novel in the Other

    Call it a nerd’s dream-come-true. A few months before I attended their three week summer seminar called “Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching,” Calvin College mailed me a rather large box filled with all manner of books — novels, poetry, short stories, journalism, biography, and children’s literature. Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath was bunking next to Gilead, […]

    Shame as a Motivational Technique

    Shame as a Motivational Technique

    In Tom Verducci’s entertaining book, The Cub’s Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, he describes an incident very early in skipper Joe Maddon’s career. In 1986, Maddon was managing the Double-A Midland Angels in Texas. They were a bad team who had just suffered another bad loss. […]

    How to Draw a Crowd on the Playground

    How to Draw a Crowd on the Playground

    On Fridays I mentor a fifth-grade boy at a local elementary school. The hour we spend together begins in a classroom where he eats his lunch and we work jigsaw puzzles, play board games, and build race cars out of Legos. But when lunch is over, this boy cannot wait to go outside. You can learn […]

    The Promethean Appeal of #Vanlife

    The Promethean Appeal of #Vanlife

    If you created a spectrum, and put freewheeling adventurers on one side, I, sadly, would fall on the opposite end. Still, even my cautious heart stirred a bit when I read a recent New Yorker article by Rachel Monroe about a hashtag called #vanlife.  The article focused on a couple – Emily King and Corey Smith […]

    "Ken M" and the Wisdom of Trolls

    “Ken M” and the Wisdom of Trolls

    It must have been Mockingbird that first introduced me to the “genius of Ken M.” Since then I’ve grown addicted to his commentary. Ken M (aka Kenneth McCarthy) is a 30something comedy writer masquerading as an opinionated 70something, dropping random comments on the internet. Flood Magazine called him “the world’s preeminent Internet troll,” only Ken […]

    "Say Yes" - Tobias Wolff's Parable of Faith

    “Say Yes” – Tobias Wolff’s Parable of Faith

    In Tobias Wolff’s 1985 short story, “Say Yes,” a husband and wife are washing and drying the dishes. He is clearly proud of himself for what a considerate husband he is to help with household chores. But whatever goodwill he has earned evaporates when, in casual conversation, he expresses his opposition to interracial marriage. When […]

    “You Impute Me”: Thoughts on Rude Patients and Kind Teachers

    “You Impute Me”: Thoughts on Rude Patients and Kind Teachers

    I’m still reflecting on Sarah Condon’s excellent talk at Mockingbird Tyler last week, particularly her discussion of imputation. Once you see imputation in action, it is hard not to notice its presence and absence all over the place. Take my newsfeed this week. The New York Times ran an article called, “What Happens When Parents […]

    On "Omniscient" Narrators: W.C. Heinz's "Death of a Racehorse"

    On “Omniscient” Narrators: W.C. Heinz’s “Death of a Racehorse”

    Sportswriters are not generally awarded the prestigious seats at writer’s guild meetings. But when the Library of America brings out a collection of your sportswriting, as they did for W.C. Heinz, the guild must make an exception. Imagine what Heinz’s reportorial eyes witnessed —  the right crosses of Rocky Marciano, the mercurial shouts of Vince […]

    The Pastor in the Batter's Box

    The Pastor in the Batter’s Box

    Get your elbows up! Watch the ball! Bend your knees! Be a hitter! Keep your elbows down! Choke up on the bat! Jump on that fastball! Wait for your pitch! I remember standing in that little league batter’s box, with coaches and random parents and teammates all yelling their well-meaning directives to me at the […]