So the most recent staublog was a year old.

And this week I turn 68 years old.

Why have I not been posting new content?

To be honest, as an aging man I have finally reached a new stage of wisdom,

which is another way of saying, why should I assume anybody is interested in what I have to say?

I’m on Facebook, but seldom post anything there either.

IN 2007 I moved to Orcas Island, in part because I concluded that what really matters is local.

So, I don’t know what place  national or international has in my life at this point.

I’m pretty fully occupied with my local church , my family, my web of friends through The Kindlings

Thought I’d at least give an update.

Posted in Staublog in March 30, 2016 by | 1 Comment »

KindlingsFest 2014 : Come to Your Senses! Register Now!

KindlingsFest 2014 : Come to Your Senses! Register Now!


Calling all my friends to Orcas Island! To come to Your Senses! Register Now!

Fabulous speakers: Dr. Malcolm Guite, Bobette Buster, Graham Kerr, Bruce Herman, Dr. Walter Hansen and Dr. Jerry Root.
Fabulous artists: An on site installation from artist Roger Feldman, tenor Ross Hauck, guitarist Phil Madeira, Poet Scott Cairns, Actor Nigel Goodwin, dancer Karin Stevens.
Three Fabulous Sundance Films: Sterlin Harjo’s This May Be The Last Time, The Overnighters (Winner: Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival 2014) and Sepidah.
Fabulous Orcas Island.

Posted in Staublog in June 3, 2014 by | No Comments »

WinterFest 2014: Dr. Craig Detweiler. “iGods. Living a Fully Human Life in a Mediated Age.”

WinterFest 2014: Dr. Craig Detweiler. “iGods. Living a Fully Human Life in a Mediated Age.”
Join us on Orcas Island for our WinterFest lecture series with Dr. Craig Detweiler director of The Center for Entertainment, Media & Culture at Pepperdine University. Entertaining and Enlightening!
Friday, March 28 at 7 pm: ”The Apple of Our Eye”. How should we respond to the possibilities and temptations contained in our smart phones? Can we cultivate our call to create rather than merely consume?  
Saturday, March 29 at 9 am: Celtic Worship with Jeff Johnson and Wendy Goodwin.
10 am: “More than Metrics”.  In the online world, you are what you click. How do we get beyond the filter bubbles created by Google, Amazon, and Netflix to something deeper? What will it take for us to see ourselves and each other?
7 pm: “Our Social Selves”. From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and YouTube, social media allows us to aggregate friends and followers into an audience. What does it mean to join an online community? How do we care for others in an age of digital discipleship?
Sunday, March 30 9:30 am: “Faith and the Telos of Technology”. Where is technology heading? From hip replacements to pacemakers to hearing aids, we’re all becoming cyborgs enhanced by technological upgrades.  How do the values of technological efficiency (fast, cheap, convenient) square with faith?
Admission is free; suggested donation of $80 for the weekend or $25 per session. All lectures will be held at the Orcas Island Community Church. CLICK HERE TO Register or call 376-6422 (M-F, 20-3) for more information.
 Dr. Craig Detweiler

Posted in Staublog in March 12, 2014 by | No Comments »

Mysticism as Spiritual Concentration

Mysticism as Spiritual Concentration

Living on Orcas Island as I do, I spend a lot of time in conversation with seekers and finders who were raised Christian but found it unsatisfying. Many gravitated to the Eastern Religions where they found something meaningful in meditation practices as a way of concentrating on the transcendent. What they sometimes refer to as the metaphysical, I generally refer to as the mystical.

Thomas Merton, not long before his death in Thailand, wrote one of his friends and said he had traveled to the east only to discover that what he sought was available in his own Christian tradition. He was not dissing the eastern traditions, for they in fact, had led him to the depth of his own tradition.

I remember something Karen Armstrong once said to me. “Get a Christian, Jewish and Muslim mystic in a room and they’ll have more in common then they disagree over.” This statement is jarring, but I could hear it because as an adult, and re-energized Christian, I was introduced to the mystical traditions within the Christian faith. 

A.W. Tozer was a contemporary Christian mystic of sorts. He was “safe, aka firmly orthodox (kosher!) in his beliefs,” and he seldom talked about his mysticism in “how to terms,” but I discovered this tidbit on spiritual concentration in his book, “Of God and Men.” I find it helpful.

Tozer on Spiritual Concentration and the inner life. “Retire from the world each day to some private spot, even if it be only the bedroom (for a while I retreated to the furnace room for want of a better place). Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God’s presence envelopes you. Deliberately tune out the unpleasant sounds and come out of your closet determined not to hear them. Listen for the inward Voice till you learn to recognize it. Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God and then be what and who you are without regard to what others think. Reduce your interests to a few. Learn to pray inwardly every moment. After a while you can do this even while you work. Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility. Pray for a single eye. Read less, but read more of what is important to your inner life. Never let your mind remain scattered for very long. Call home your roving thoughts. Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul. Practice spiritual concentration. “

 Amen and peace be with you my dear  fellow sojourners.




Posted in Staublog in February 12, 2014 by | 5 Comments »

The Prophets of Sundance

The Prophets of Sundance

Jan 30, 2014   PARK CITY, Utah (For RNS) In days of old, God used a burning bush to get Moses’ attention. Today’s prophets are often the truth-telling artists, singers, songwriters and filmmakers whose modern version of “Thus sayeth the Lord” bursts forth in a stunning, sensual explosion of sight, sound and touch.

They get our attention, and their prophetic word is visceral. It often goes beneath the rational radar and it can disturb more than it comforts. The annual Sundance Film Festival is like a tribe huddled around a campfire listening to the stories. These stories function like burning bushes, as prophetic calls to action. These films are meant not just to be watched, but to change us and, through us, to change the world.

Here are some of the messages I heard at Sundance 2014.

Value the worthy traditions of your youth. As most young adults jettison their religious trappings, Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo is drawn into the hymns from his upbringing in the church. In “This May Be the Last Time,” he discovers the ancient roots of these hymns that connect the spirituals of the South, the whole-note singing of Appalachia and the very heart of his own existence.

 There is something very real beyond the physical. In “I Origins,” a scientist sets out to prove Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution and to destroy arguments for intelligent design. Unwittingly, he is drawn into an exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s quip that “the eye is the window to the soul.” Reality, it turns out, is more than meets the eye.


The blind can see. In “Blind,” a stunning piece of storytelling, Norwegian filmmaker Eskil Vogt explores the inner world of a beautiful young woman who loses her sight but finds her fertile imagination can nonetheless take her to places she would never have gone had she seen only through her eyes.

Love your neighbor. In “The Overnighters,” a small church and its pastor encounter legions of men who are flocking to North Dakota for a chance to cash in on the energy boom. The community’s family values don’t include welcoming the thousands of down-on-their-luck, blue-collar workers flooding into the community. Who will love these strangers who are now neighbors?

See injustice. Work for what is right. “Watchers of the Sky” examines the life of Rafael Lemkin, a heroic human rights activist who almost single-handedly created global awareness about the criminal liability of genocide. A blend of artistic animation, literary journaling enable us to look at and into a subject we often want to look away from.

“The Internet’s Own Boy” traces the life of Aaron Swartz, who urged our nation to “come to its senses” about the legality of accessing and distributing publicly funded and available information, even as the Justice Department charged him with acts of terrorism and ruthlessly pursued the case until he eventually took his own life. “Ivory Tower” looks at America’s overpriced, underperforming system of higher education, just as “Waiting for Superman” did for elementary education.

 Parents! Love your children, no matter how messed up you might be. “Low Down” is the heartbreaking true story of Joe Albany, a brilliant bebop pianist, as told through the eyes of daughter Amy Jo Albany. Joe’s addictions are stronger than his ability to provide for, protect and nurture her as a young child and teen. In “Infinitely Polar Bear,” another true story, Mark Ruffalo plays a bipolar father who is as loving and unpredictable as he is unconventional. With the help of his wife, he finds a way to be a responsible, loving, father while realistically facing the limitations imposed by his illness.



Love requires understanding, understanding requires knowing, and knowing requires seeing and listening. Film allows us to vicariously enter into the world of another person facing their unique challenges in their unique way. For instance, in “Fishing Without Nets”: What would possess a nonviolent, kind, family man to become a Somali pirate? “Obvious Child” asks how anybody could see abortion as the subject for a poignant romantic comedy. In “God’s Pocket,” we’re asked how our lives would be different if we had been raised in a tight-knit, insulated, uneducated, violent and gritty blue-collar neighborhood.

Overcome obstacles and follow your dreams. In “Sepideh,” we follow the true story zof an amazing and precocious teenage girl in Iran who, against all odds, pursues her passion for astronomy and personal independence while operating within a system designed to keep her as a woman from achieving her dreams.

In “Whiplash,” the Sundance Grand Jury Award winner of the dramatic competition, a young jazz drummer enters the top music school in the nation determined to be the best drummer ever. His obsessive internal drive explodes when it meets an emotionally abusive band director, and the outcome is unforgettable.

(Dick Staub is author of “About You: Fully Human and Fully Alive” and the host of The Kindlings Muse  ( His blog can be read at Listen to his podcasts at


Posted in Staublog in January 31, 2014 by | No Comments »

Dick Staub with Good News from The Kindlings

Dick Staub with Good News from The Kindlings


DECEMBER 2013 GOAL: $40,000 in donations.

RECEIVED SO FAR: $25,000 in donations!

We are really close to meeting our goal with 7 days to go! If you’ve already sent your year-end donation, thanks! If you haven’t IT IS NOT TOO LATE!

 With just a few days remaining in 2013 here is a quick progress report and a reminder to send in your tax-deductible contribution if you have not already done so!

Any envelopes postmarked December 31, 2013 or earlier with checks dated December 2013 will be credited in 2013! You can also donate online at

Every gift will be used to rekindle the spiritual, intellectual and creative legacy of next-generation Christians in culture.

We’ve received $25,000 (62.5%) towards our goal of $40,000 donations by December 31st, 2013! Your gift can help us meet our year-end obligations and begin our transition to new leadership in 2014!

None of this will be possible without your prayers and financial support.

As of today we’ve received $ 25,000. Just $ 15,000 to go to meet our year-end goal!

Joyfully yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends for the benefit of the world,

Dick Staub  

PS- CFC needs an additional $15,000 by December 31st, 2013 to meet our year-end obligations.  Please partner with us by sending your generous gift now! Thank you and Merry Christmas!




Posted in Staublog in December 26, 2013 by | No Comments »

God the Source of all Good (From Valley of Vision) Puritan Prayers. (On The 1st anniversary of my Father’s death).

God the Source of all Good (From Valley of Vision) Puritan Prayers. (On The 1st anniversary of my Father’s death).
O Lord God, who inhabits eternity,
The heavens declare your glory,
The earth your riches,
The universe is your temple;
Your presence fills immensity,
Yet You have of your pleasure created life,
and communicated happiness;
You have made me what I am,
and given me what I have;
In You I live and move and have my being;
Your providence has set the bounds of my habitation,
and wisely administers all my affairs.
I thank You for your riches to me in Jesus,
for the unclouded revelation of him in your Word,
where I behold his Person, character, grace, glory,
humiliation, sufferings, death, and resurrection;
Give me to feel a need of his continual saviourhood,
and cry with Job, ʻI am vileʼ,
with Peter, ʻI perishʼ,
with the publican, ʻBe merciful to me, a sinnerʼ.
Subdue in me the love of sin,
Let me know the need of renovation
as well as of forgiveness,
in order to serve and enjoy You for ever.
I come to You in the all-prevailing name of Jesus,
with nothing of my own to plead,
no works, no worthiness, no promises.
I am often straying,
often knowingly opposing your authority,
often abusing your goodness;
Much of my guilt arises from my religious privileges,
my low estimation of them,
my failure to use them to my advantage,
But I am not careless of your favor or regardless of your glory;
Impress me deeply with a sense of your omnipresence,
that You are about my path,
my ways, my lying down, my end.

Posted in Staublog in September 6, 2013 by | 3 Comments »

KindlingsFest 2013: Why should you Re-imagine the Good Life?

KindlingsFest 2013: Why should you Re-imagine the Good Life?
We are only 2 weeks from KindlingsFest 2013 and as always last minute registrations are rolling in (We welcome them. Why not register?).
When I asked one last minute registrant why he waited until the last minute to register, he replied, “I wasn’t really sure how this year’s  theme ‘Re-Imagining the Good Life’ was relevant to me”).
This surprised me. I am a child of the 1960’s, a generation that looked at the American Dream of our parents (work hard, go to college, get a good job, get married, have kids and buy a good house), and asked, is that really the good life? We were idealists who wanted to change the world. (Given my generation’s subsequent buy-in to materialistic pursuits, it must be hard for the younger generation to believe that many of us really did consider ourselves counter-cultural!)
After KindlingsFest 2012, where we took on the issue of creating an intergenerational future, we found that both younger and older folks were re-evaluating the American Dream. Many in the older generation did what was supposed to produce the good life and either ended up achieving it, but finding it unfulfilling, or because of the economic crisis, after years of sacrifice, have found that dream vaporizing just as they are entering retirement.
Many young people today are graduating from college and finding no job or a substandard job, are delaying marriage, facing huge debt from college and are realizing they may never ever be able to afford a house or anything close to what they have been told they should aspire for. They are asking, what does a good life look like for me, given these changing circumstances?
The savvy among older and younger generations have always understood that Jesus’ dream for our lives and the American dream never really fit hand and glove. Jesus suggested that rather than pursuing money, clothes, housing and food, we should pursue the Kingdom of God and righteousness (a life consistent with God’s values) and in so doing, we would find a more meaningful life.
At KindlingsFest 2013 our speakers and artists-in-residence will explore Aristotle’s question, “What is the Good Life?” combined with Socrates observation that the “unexamined life is not worth living.”
What a great opportunity for all of us, young and old, to rethink what our life is really all about and then to recalibrate our lives to a richer understanding of the “Good life.”
I’ll speak on “The Godward Life,” Art Miller on “The Shape of your Soul~The Seeds of Your Destiny,” Laurie Wheeler on “A Life With Others,” and Skip Li on “A Life For Others.” Poet Scott Cairns, artist Chris Anderson, the TJ Stafford Band, Nigel Goodwin and so many others will bring this subject to life artistically.
This year’s three Sundance films all explore the theme of a meaningful Queen of Versaille  (Wed. 9:30PM), Gideon’s Army (Thurs 9:30PM) and Circles (Fri 8:30PM).
Click here for information about the whole week, and to register.
Click here to check out the daily Schedule.
 You can register for the entire event, or by the day. If you haven’t already registered, please consider attending this event in just two weeks. It is not too late and it could make all the difference in your world. If money is too tight, there are limited scholarship funds available.

Posted in Staublog in July 16, 2013 by | 1 Comment »

Dick Staub Excellent Listener! Ha!

Dick Staub Excellent Listener! Ha!

I can explain why I’ve got a problem listening attentively…but an explanation is not an excuse. Explanation one. I was born that way. My mother Esther was quick, smart and a great conversationalist…AKA talker. But mom was also a good listener so that explanation doesn’t hold up. Explanation two. I hosted talk radio shows 3 hours daily for nearly 15 years. A One-hour show minus advertisements, news and traffic leaves about 36 minutes of actual show time. If you want to get a lot of callers on the air (which I did), you gotta turn them fast! Keep the caller focused, short and on subject then move on… The only problem is, today when I listen I am just a mere mortal, friend, or pastor…not a talk show host paid to move it quick and keep it entertaining. I guess I have but one choice…try to listen more attentively. Simone Weil wrote, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” Lord, please make me more generous. (And those with whom I personally talk today, please forgive me in advance for my failure to live up to what I know cognitively but have not mastered behaviorally). (Photo is of me talking to grandson Eli, who by the way, is also a good talker! HIs dad is our son Josh Staub

Posted in Staublog in June 12, 2013 by | 1 Comment »

Dallas Willard a Personal Reflection

Dallas Willard a Personal Reflection

With the passing of Dallas Willard any who read his books or heard him speak will share recollections of his profound impact on their thinking. For those of us who knew him personally, we will reflect on those memories of personal encounters with him. For me one such time was life changing.

For fifteen years as a talk show host I enjoyed the benefit of reading a book I liked and then asking my producer to arrange an interview. I met Dallas in 1998 to discuss his book, The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God.

Aristotle said to persuade you need pathos (passion), logos (clear rational thinking expressed well) and ethos (a life to back it up). By any measurement, Dallas Willard was persuasive.

He was a keen intellect, a first rate mind, a philosopher of the highest order who taught at University of Southern California for fifty years.

His head meant he became on expert on the esoteric German phenomenologist Edmund Husserl, but his heart drew him to the central questions philosophers have wrestled with from the beginning. As John Ortberg observes,  “He said the four great questions humans must answer are: What is reality? What is the good life? Who is a good person? And How do you become a good person? His concern was to answer those questions, and live the answers, and he was simply convinced that no one has ever answered them as well as Jesus.” As an undergraduate philosophy major myself, he was singing the song I needed to hear sung well.

But in my life Dallas also played a pivotal pastoral role.

In 1999 I was considering leaving my nationally syndicated talk show. I had an idea for a new show that had a number of working titles. The first demo was called Next, a simple reference to a new venture for me.  Then came Reflectory, what at the time seemed a clever twist on the refectory. Then came a version called Belief, understanding your life through today’s movies, books and music. Finally a version of the show emerged as The Kindlings Muse @ Hales Ales Brewery and Pub, a live event taped for podcast that is still being produced today.

All these show concepts entered on creating substantive dialogue at the intersection of faith and popular culture, and they were aimed at the younger generation. This kind of integration of faith and culture had been going on in my head since the 1960’s when I began to sense my calling was to understand faith and culture and interpret each to the other.

In 1999 I had produced the NEXT demo with my good friend Marty O’Donnell, who went on the become composer and sound designer at Bungee, creators of HALO.  I took it to a national gathering of Christian talk show hosts, figuring I would take a few of them aside and see what they thought about it. Dallas happened to be speaking at that event and he got wind that I was up to something new, different and even daring. He asked if he could listen to it.

He came to my hotel room and Craig Roberts, a talk show host in San Francisco joined us. Dallas plopped down on the bed with his hands behind his head and closed his eyes as we played the 17-minute demo.

When the demo was finished Dallas stayed still. I looked over at Craig and I could see he was restraining laughter. Had my scintillating demo put the great Dallas Willard to sleep?

Finally Dallas rose up and looked me in the eye. He said, “Dick, what I am about to say, I do not say lightly.” He then paused and continued, “If you are capable of producing this quality of material on a regular basis and don’t, God will judge you.”

The next Monday I got fired when my network learned I was creating a demo that did not include a future with them! In a sense I was forced to launch The Kindlings whose aim is to rekindle the spiritual, intellectual; and creative legacy of Christians in culture.”   I was emboldened to take this leap of faith in part because of Dallas Willard, a man after God’s own heart with a giant brain, a warm heart, active mind and hungry soul who found what he was seeking in Jesus Christ and was eager to help others do the same.





Posted in Staublog in May 9, 2013 by | 5 Comments »