Book Review: “Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind”

I have just finished reading “Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind” by Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola. The book is an overview of the qualitative research the authors performed of those in the ministry who have reached a point where they no longer believe in the message they preach. The beauty of the book is how it takes a look at these individuals as human beings and the logistical challenges associated with continuing to work for something that you no longer believe in. In any other line of work this would not be strange, and in many cases commended, but not so much within the clergy profession.

The book does a good job of casting a wide net to include individuals from many different denominations and beliefs, ranging from liberal to literalists. It details their internal struggles of falling out of a belief system that many have committed their life too. As well, it highlights the challenges and consequences that arise if these congregational leaders decide to look for a new line of work. Most of these individuals have gone to seminary or schools of divinity, and now find themselves with the same types of worries that non-clergy members have when considering a career change (income, health care, retirement).

While the authors, from the very beginning of the book, express the challenges associated with “qualitative” research and that any extrapolation of their findings should be used with care, it does provide us with insight that these individuals do exist, and possibly on a larger scale than most would imagine. If you have an open mind, both believers and non-believers can enjoy the stories in this book and the observations provided by its authors.

New Release Tuesday: Kacey Musgraves – “Pageant Material”

Today, Kacey Musgraves released her new album “Pageant Material”. I’ve been listening to it on Rhapsody throughout the day and I am enjoying it. Musgraves still has the same clever hooks, good voice, and witty songwriting that won many of us over with her last album “Same Trailer Different Park”. “Pageant Material” is solid, but there were several times where an intro would play and I’d temporarily think I was listening to her hits off of the previous album. Some of this is just her style and what makes Kacey Musgraves, Kacey Musgraves. I did feel like her last album’s “mojo” was propping this record up more so than a new creation in the making. However, I can’t fault Musgraves for sticking to a winning formula, “Same Trailer Different Park” won a Grammy for Best Country Album. It’s always tough to follow-up on an album that was the best in its genre. To be fair to Musgraves and her new album, I believe I had created an expectation that was simply too high to obtain after the success of her last album.

Overall “Pageant Material” is a solid album and definitely worth checking out.

Stop the Barking

We all adore our four legged friends and appreciate the love and loyalty they give us.  There are times however that their barking starts to get out of control.  I’m not talking about the “Hey, glad you’re home from work” bark or the “Yo, I need to use the restroom” bark.  No, I’m referring to the barking that occurs when the breeze changes, a shadow moves, or the possibility that the noise we just heard wasn’t a bird, it was a large fire-breathing dragon just outside our window.  This barking can sometimes be hard to correct, especially if they have a stubborn streak.

We tried many of the products on the market from sonic bird houses to spray collars.  Unfortunately none of these items ever seemed to work on a consistent basis.  This all changed though when I stumbled upon the “Pet Corrector” while surfing around Amazon one day.  It’s a simple device that emits a high-pitched hissing sound, similar to the compressed air containers that you use to clean your computers/keyboards/etc.  I was very skeptical at first that it wouldn’t work but I was proven wrong the first time I used it.  The dogs went crazy when an unexpected doorbell rang one afternoon.  I grabbed the container, did a quick push, and shush…no barking.  They looked puzzled, started again, and another quick push.  After that the barking was done.  Now days, when they start one of their barking spells, it normally only takes a quick push and the barking is over.  I love it because it’s quick, painless, and inexpensive.

I’ve attached a picture of it at the bottom of this post (this is a 50 ml container).  So, if you’re looking for an effective way to stop unwanted barking, you should give it a try.  You can find it here on Amazon.

Pet Corrector (50 ml)
Pet Corrector (50 ml)

Welcome Home Carter

We are proud to announce that we have another addition to our household.  His name is Carter and he is an English Cream Dachshund.  He is absolutely adorable and already has us wrapped around his paw.  We adopted him from the great folks at Chapman’s Dachshund Rescue.

Carter is now 11 weeks old and happy to have three new brothers.  His brothers however have taken a little longer to warm up to him.  We are finally at the point where they will all chase each other around the house and it’s “playing” rather than “pick on the new guy”.

Here are a couple of pics of Carter:

Carter relaxing on the deck.
Carter relaxing on the deck.
All four of our boys.
All four of our boys.