As believers, we know Jesus Christ won the most amazing spiritual victory for the entire world at Calvary. We know it was also at a tremendous cost. The devil surely thought he won by killing the Savior of the world, but little did he know he just unleashed a literal flood of grace upon all of humanity. Before Calvary, only the Jews received God’s favor. After Calvary, all of mankind was included. Salvation was available for all. The devil worked so hard to ensure his own defeat. What a beautiful thing. But what an ugly process. The below is a…


I want to honor a truly special person I had the pleasure of getting to know a few years ago. Though this is a personal sentiment, I will extrapolate some spiritual meaning. Please indulge me.

The first time I met this girl, she and I were in the fourth grade. I just moved to her town over Christmas vacation in late 1987. From the beginning, she was kind to me, always happy to see me and say hi. I never forgot her kindness, though I never understood it. You see, for someone such as me who comes from an abusive…


An ode to insects

Face mites! I have the strangest conversations with my 5-year-old son. One of the latest involved face mites.

I’m not even sure how it happened, but one morning we woke up and (after talking about banana sandwiches) started talking about face mites, which are tiny parasitic arachnids that live on nearly every human being’s face. I told him they eat dead skin (they do not; they eat sebum) and come out at night (which is true). Normally, they hide in our pores, gorging on the oil from our glands. They can live up to two weeks…


What is love? No, not the song by Haddaway. But, really. I want to know what love is. No, not the song by Foreigner. You may ask, “What’s love got to do with it?” No, not the song by Tina Turner. Oh, stop, Joshua.

People use the word “love” casually. They talk about how they love their shoes, their favorite shows, and pumpkin spice lattes. Has our concept of love changed? Have we changed?

I like those stories of couples who are married for 60-some years who die within hours of each other. OK, not the dying part, but the…


Little kids seem to go through phases. I don’t know much about phases little girls go through, since I don’t have a girl, but I’m pretty sure one of the girl phases involves unicorns.

Little boys, on the other hand, I know. Although I don’t remember much about my childhood, I’m pretty sure I was a little boy once upon a time.

What were my obsessions in the 1970s, ’80s, and perhaps the beginning of the ’90s? Taking things apart, for starters. One of my earliest memories is of taking apart dandelion flower heads in my backyard. I tried to…


The caretaker’s house at Spokane, S.D.

It was Thanksgiving Day, a light snow falling, my belly still bursting and with uncertainty of what I might find filling in my mind. My 5-year-old son and I were walking a dirt road of unknown length into what used to be the town of Spokane, S.D., near Custer State Park.
Snow has a tendency to deaden sound. Even though my son had just woken up from a nap, he was his usual talkative self. Still, when we entered the clearing where the caretaker’s house sullenly sits in Spokane, it felt like a hush came over the scene.
There was no…


Wintering in the Black Hills

Spearfish Canyon

True, it’s still technically autumn. But we all know it’s been winter in the Black Hills since, um, September. We can complain about the weather, or we can do something about it! Hmm. OK, maybe we can’t do anything about it. A wise man once said, “The best thing to do when it snows is to let it snow.” So let it snow. And let’s enjoy our winter wonderland — the Black Hills!
Most of the tourists have gone back to their jobs and schoolwork, and the snowbirds have flocked to their warm winter playgrounds. Our…


Autumn. It is a season of contradictions. On one hand, it is the harvest season; it is fullness and bountiful goodness, a reward for hard labor. On the other hand, once the world has reached full ripeness, there is nothing left but rot. The leaves fall, the pumpkins cave in upon themselves, and the apple orchard smells like a brewery. But, much like life itself, while it lasts, it is pure magic.
Autumn is my favorite season. I was born on the cusp of fall in September. September means a return to school. It’s a month of great change. Summer…


And how divorce freed me

After my divorce was finalized more than a year and a half ago, and after having sold my house more than a year ago and after moving into a good-sized apartment and then to a much smaller apartment (whew), I was faced with the prospect of what to do with all my stuff. And why do I have so much stuff?
When you own a home, it’s so easy to accumulate stuff. If you have kids or a life-partner, multiply that stuff by 10! And the more you buy, the more you need to buy…


Or, when creative folks run out of ideas.

Maybe it’s the endless distractions that come with summertime — like the flies buzzing around my head and the front door open to all sorts of vehicular and pedestrian sounds — but sometimes it’s hard to think of what to write for this space. Call it writer’s block. Call it sleepiness. But when a deadline is looming, something must be written!

I know writing isn’t the only profession that has a term for running out of ideas. I think of filmmaking, too. Hollywood loves to remake movies. There are probably more reasons…

Joshua Najacht

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