For optimal viewing, choose to view in browser. View in browser

Anno Domini 2020
The pagan moontide of Janus 13

Epiphania Lux Mundi:

The Light of the

World Unveiled

Want a preview of Without Flesh?
Read Chapter 1

(See your sneak peak Snippet of the Week below)

This Week in Madness...

This Week in Truth

Epiphany 2 means water, judgment and new expectations.

Without Flesh

Until February 18, find your weekly sneak peak here!

On Fisk's Mind

"Pigs, Drugs, Democrats" and worthy click-bait.


The Genesis of a dystopia with blue cats and testosterone.

Alleluia! Thus he has for us fulfilled all righteousness. Alleluia!

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember you led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

You are the God who works wonders; you with your arm redeemed your people. 

When the waters saw you, O God, they were afraid; when the waters saw you, indeed, the deep trembled. Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters.

Thus I ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.                   from Psalm 77

The second Sunday after Epiphany is the day the that church remembers the Baptism of Jesus of Nazareth by his cousin, John the Baptist, in the waters of the Jordan river. These are the very same waters which once parted for the Ark of the Covenant to enter Israel under Jesus' namesake Joshua, the son of Nun, who, at God's command, was the judge and prototype of the eternal Messiah.

In all lectionaries, including the Old Testament lectionary, this day is a counterpart to the first appearing of John in early Advent. At that time, John is the preacher of repentance and judgement. Now, John is the preacher of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the righteous man who stands in the place of sinners, the King who, on behalf of His peoples' need, does what He does not have to do, in order to return humanity to the good graces of the Father.

As a result, the first full Sunday in the Season of “unexpected” Light emphasizes water, under the outstretched arms of a sinner, in the midst of which stands God, doing what is beyond our understanding. The Old Testament lectionary thus pairs us with Moses, as he stands as the avatar of God on the banks of the Red Sea. There, by water and Word, the ancient foe is drowned, while miraculously, and beyond our understanding, grace allows the undeserving to pass through unharmed and emerge alive on the far side of chaotic judgment.

Remember: your baptism is into Jesus. You don't have to understand how this works in order to believe that it came from Him, and that it is for you.

Let us pray: Jesus, cousin of John, who baptized with water only, in order to prepare the way for your fulfillment of all righteousness on our behalf within the fiery baptism of your crucifixion, Jesus, who drowned hard-hearted Pharaoh and all his hosts in the tidal judgment of the Red Sea, raise us up from the dark currents of our stubborn hearts, and stand us firm upon the bright shoreline of your resurrection, for this is the promise you have baptized us into, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Pigs, Drugs, and Democrats

A Fair/Balanced Left on “the Left” POTUS Debates

I follow a gentleman named James Altucher because of the insights he provides into the cryptocurrency space as well as the high quality guests he continues to feature on his podcast. If you search his name online, you’ll find him accused of quite a few scams and signing up for his newsletter invites email advertisements that look suspiciously like pyramid schemes. However, it is hard to deny the value of the guests he is able to procure for his show, as well as the particular insights he brings to the entrepreneurship spaces he studies.

While I don’t recommend listening to him unless you are actually interested in the particular guest he’s interviewing, I did find this write up of the most recent Democratic debate for President to be excellent. What makes it special, is that Altucher is a Democrat and is not a fan of Trump. Yet, he looks perceptively with a clear eye at the pool of Democratic candidates. He puts aside his own hopes for the Presidency and without bias calls them what they are, all the way down to the last one. It’s a stimulating read which I recommend for people on all sides of the political aisle. If more of us took this approach to politics, understanding those whom we elect and the game they are forced to play by mass media, I think our conversations at Thanksgiving about the Orange Man might go a bit more cordially.

Read this for more on Yang's problems, from a fan.

A Member at my Parish Did (50% of) This!

America’s #2 Favorite Drug Price Spikes Due to Cartels

This fall, I got into trouble with a YouTube viewer when I referenced coffee as a mind altering substance. I was questioning our ill-preparedness as Christians for the legalization of substances that were formerly prohibited, such as in Illinois where marijuana is now legal. Some of my comment was informed by recent studies at John Hopkins University which have investigated the effects of medicinal "microdoses" of some substances. Some “drugs”, such as psilocybin mushrooms, in these small doses, do not cause hallucinations but can have tremendous anti-depressant effects, far exceeding that of standard chemical pharmaceuticals. The fact is we do not understand a good number of the substances that we consider "bad." I am not advocating anything in particular but I do think that we shouldn't pretend that we don't use mind altering substances when we do. Without question, coffee is an addictive substance that changes your perspective and fiddles with your brain chemistry.

So does chocolate.

I like chocolate. It is super high in oxalates, which is bad (Google it). But it tastes amazing and gives you a dopamine hit, that, without hallucinogenic side effects, is very similar to that experienced by those that use things like marijuana.

None of that really matters to me. I just want to share with you that if you do use chocolate as your preferred recreational drug of choice, you need to be prepared for a hike in the price. Apparently, cocaine is not the only thing controlled by the cartels. In recent weeks, the price of cacao has spiked by 15% which is bound to impact the cost of that kiss or that bar at the store. You can read about it here and here.

Sweetness you may have missed...

This Week Preached

Baptism in the Red Sea

Recent Release

Can pure doctrine survive without historical liturgy?

Podcast 0139

It's the End of the World (Again)(Almost)

Fan Favorite

Is the Answer Really More of "Me"? 

Question of the week:

What is your favorite fiction series?

Reply to send in your response!

Pigs in Spaces They aren’t Supposed to Be (Cuz They're Dead)

Speaking of pricing problems:  Personally, I imagine anyone would be disturbed if they were to learn that a quarter of the world’s population of any type of animal had died in the course of one year. It reminds me a little bit of the honeybee crisis which has (no pun intended) flown under the radar for some time now. This article also can’t help but spark my imagination as a newly converted carnivore, who’s focused on ruminant eating. While technically, I'm free in my new nutritional stance to eat chicken and pig, the science shows that neither form of protein is especially valuable to the human body and they are low in vitamin and mineral content. That doesn’t mean I would like all the pigs in the world to die, nor do I despise bacon on principle. But the experience of eating them has diminished for me. What I mean is, chicken and pork no longer satisfy me and I still find myself ravenously hungry for a piece of red meat.

The real concern is that a quarter of the world’s population of anything could be wiped out this quickly. The fact that this is due to poor planning and bad practices in animal husbandry is worrying. If this can happen to so many animals in such a short time, it can happen to anything, anywhere or even to all of us. I am a far cry from being an environmental alarmist, but I do find it necessary to constantly remind myself and anyone who will listen, that the world we live in is far more fragile than our modern assumptions allow us to remember. At any time, things could get very different, very quickly. I’m not predicting a return of the Black Plague, but neither am I under the illusion that such episodes of human trauma on a multi-civilizational basis are a thing relegated to ages past, provided that our Lord should tarry.

Dragons Eat Eagles

I stumbled onto by randomly clicking through recommendations in order to laugh at an old school drone (i.e. model plane). It was crafted to look like a bald eagle in flight and sells for a rather ridiculous amount. But what I saw in the connecting links was far more up my personal geek alley. It's not that I don't like bald eagles - I have several Americana T-shirts - but I just don't find model planes that interesting. But when you make one that's a dragon, complete with turning head and flames of fire spouting from its mouth while in flight, now you have my attention. When you check it out, make sure you spend some time on the mother site which appears to be a place for all sorts of random, one-of-a-kind and overpriced things. I'm not expecting you to buy, but I think you'll alleviate that need for click-bait without having to descend into the madness of Facebook. At least for a few minutes anyway.

If you need something cheaper, there is always this magnificent kite. (And I said “cheaper,” not “cheap.")

It's Dangerous to Go Alone

Share the Resistance

Help me feed my family

Without Flesh: Snippet of the Week

In American Christianity, the "change or die" refrain has become a creed. Unless the Church finds a way to adapt to a changing culture, Christianity is fully and rightly doomed. Our times are nothing new. And Jesus gave us a specific plan.

Use the code REVFISK at check-out to recieve 20% off your purchase off Echo:  Unbroken Truth Worth Repeating, Again from CPH.

Order Echo
Next Week in the Exile:
Unexpected Food Nourishes
facebook twitter instagram website amazon
The Mad Christian

4881 Kilburn Ave., Rockford
Illinois 61101 United States

You received this email because you signed up on our website or made a purchase from us.


I conceived of "Dust" as a science fiction fantasy fusion when I was 21 years old. The first draft was finished in two years and handed in as part of the final submission for my creative writing major at Sonoma State University in Northern California. I gave copies of the book to my parents after my graduation, as well as to my fiance, when I met her six months later. Every single one of them frowned when I asked them "What do you think?" They were right. The only comfort I have is the memory of a conversation I had with one of my professors before I handed in the project. She told me that there was no way anyone would ever be interested in a story about mutated blue cat people in a jungle environment fighting a war. Since then, just in case you missed it, the movie "Avatar" by James Cameron is one of the highest grossing films of all time and certainly highlights the interest in mutated blue cat people fighting wars.

With that said, I went back to the drawing board when I was in seminary, revamping my goals and understanding, striving to see the story as something beyond a post-pubescent boy's flirtation with explosions, magic and dystopia. 

I did it again after seminary.

All along, the book was taking new form as I grew and matured as a writer and also as a human being. I gained a deeper insight into our nature, our psychology, our fears and our hopes. But when the opportunity to write for Concordia Publishing House came along, I had to set my dream aside. I did make some half-hearted attempts to return to it between the release of "Broken" and then "Echo", but something was off. I came to the conclusion that writing a completely different story was what I needed. "Dust" had been 14+ years in the works and was nowhere near even really beginning. I needed new blood. 

As a result, "Earth" was born. If you've followed my podcast for the last 2 to 3 years, you will have heard some of that read and it can still be found under the tag "Bonus: Storytime" on the Mad Christian podcast Podbean channel

This last spring, once I had finished the manuscript for "Without Flesh", I tried to go back to "Earth", believing that it was further along than any other work and promising myself I was allowed to write fiction at long last. I hemmed and hawed and made my way in a dutiful approach, writing regularly, but somehow was never very inspired. It's not that the story is not good. But it's just like it was with Dust many years ago - I've sat on the idea for too long and it's lost it's luster.

It was unintentionally, then, that I returned to "Dust" as a concept. I probably should've written a new book. But one afternoon, when attempting to take a short nap on the floor of my study, I found myself suddenly rolling over, opening my computer and searching for the front of Dust in order to leave a couple of notes about the first lines. "What was that?", I asked myself afterwards. "That was inspiration" is the answer. Now, full disclosure. "Dust" only became "Dust" on that day. Until then this story had been known as "The Crux". That doesn't really matter, except that it does. "Dust" is a new story, crafted after my original desire for a dystopian epic in which fantasy and sci-fi harmonize in a marriage of thematic, adventurous story telling that leads the reader to true experiences of fear, comfort and hope. 

I could say more but this has already gotten a bit long.

Images Used:

Illuminated Book