A few years ago I had the privilege of joining a group of guys interested in spiritual growth - whatever that might look like. Some of them wanted to study scripture, some wanted a break from the stresses of every day life, others wanted to "do life together." But after some time it was clear that what we all really wanted was to be part of an authentic community where we could pursue God and at the same time be our honest to goodness selves without people judging us. It was (and still is) an eccentric collection of people: our business folks love to chat about the economy, our agriculturalists are concerned about U.S. crop production, our more philosophical bunch is concerned about the ontological reality of... well, you can fill in the blank, and our computer engineers sit in the corner talking in 1's and 0's. None of us really speak the same language.

In any case, this odd bunch of guys inspired me, for better or worse, to jot down some ideas about the importance of honest relationships. What came of those ideas was a short, little essay called Being Known. I sent that essay out to the group, mainly to give us something to talk about at our next meeting. Bill Hudson, a member of the group and one of my long time best friends, told me I should put the stuff I write on a website. He's one of the guys who communicates in 1's and 0's, so he insisted on starting the project for me. His passion and generosity, his time, and his skill are the things that have driven this entire project and made it possible. Observing the amount of energy he put into the site and its step by step progress has been a humbling experience for me, one that encourages me to continue writing even when I am fully aware of how bad some of that writing actually is! I think real friendship is often that way.

Keeping all of that in mind, a quick word about the content of this site is probably in order. Although it was initially inspired by my involvement with the guys, it is not pre-reviewed by the group. Many of them would certainly agree with a great deal of what I have to say, but they would certainly reject other portions. So, if there are any heresies, harsh, sarcastic attitudes, terribly tedious sentences, or ridiculous ideas, they are mine. Consequently, some careful readers will notice reoccurring themes, authenticity being one of them, but most will probably see a collection of very dissimilar, eccentric writing experiments. I'm pretty sure, for instance, that Pop-Stars and Celtic Poets will feel out of place and irrelevant to just about all site visitors. Relating to a lot of people, however, is not my intention. As a matter of fact, I would suggest that when we try to relate to everyone, we lose the ability to really relate to anyone. Bill and I simply hope that this seemingly random collection of essays and other short pieces will cause someone to be encouraged in some way, or at least pause to think for a few moments.

Josh Fraley