Bethany Weekend Now Open!

Craft A Vibrant Life.

Striving to live a truly human life we feel confused and undermined by an obsession with power and wealth rather than relationship, image rather than reality, and connection rather than presence. There is a craft that empowers you to fashion a vibrant life for yourself and your loved ones.

Start crafting a vibrant life.

Every Wednesday, receive short, practical reflections on timeless principles and how they apply today.

Become a LifeCraft Member.

Your access to online courses and office hours is FREE of charge. Period. Simply become a Free LifeCraft Member.

If you join as a contributing member, you will help make this content available to an increasing audience. Your financial assistance enables me to spend more time in this work, and it supports a professional website. I thank you in advance. 

 

John Cuddeback

Husband and father, a philosophy professor, and a man on a search.

In my quarter century as a philosophy professor I’ve been exposed to much wisdom. I try to assimilate it, and I want to share what I have found.

As seen on:

Man of the Household

Be a true man in your household

Cultural pressures, coupled with accusations of toxic masculinity, make us uncertain of how to be a man, so we feel frustrated and paralyzed. Join Man of the Household in seeking the reality of true manhood, and find the confidence to live out the gift of your manhood.

Cherishing Your Spouse in Your Children

Cherishing Your Spouse in Your Children

“Goodbye Aeneas. Cherish our love in the son it gave us.” Virgil, The Aeneid This stunningly powerful goodbye between spouses says so much. A son, it says, was ‘given’ to a couple by the love they bore one another. Love between spouses is already itself a gift. That...

read more
Men in Quarantine: 3 Ideas for Rediscovering Marriage

Men in Quarantine: 3 Ideas for Rediscovering Marriage

“What we share now is this home of ours.” “So, my dear, we must recognize what God has assigned to each of us, and try our hardest to carry through our respective responsibilities.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager Marriage is often an exercise in recognizing the gift in...

read more
A Husband: Responsible for the Household

A Husband: Responsible for the Household

Ischomachus’s wife: “My mother told me that my job was to be responsible.” Ischomachus: “My father gave me the same advice.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager One casualty of the decline of the household is that men and women don’t see their role in it as central to their...

read more

True Friendship

Form the kind of friendships that make life worth living.

In a culture that puts connectedness over presence, and success over relationship, the true friendships we crave seem out of reach. Turn to the time-tested wisdom about the reality of true friendships and a plan for forging them today.

Our Pressing Need for Friendship

Our Pressing Need for Friendship

“Besides, friendship is especially necessary for living...” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics There are two reasons we might not give true friendship the priority it deserves. For some, it seems to us that we already have it. Or in any case, it is not evident to us that...

read more
Certain Things in Uncertain Times

Certain Things in Uncertain Times

“First house and wife and an ox for the plough.” Hesiod, Works and Days I think I am not alone in feeling unsettled these days. I experience a subtle, low-grade but constant stress, a sense of foreboding that tends toward fear. Where are things going in our nation and...

read more
Presence Even in Absence: The Power of Friendship

Presence Even in Absence: The Power of Friendship

“…the absent are present, the poor are rich, the weak are strong, and—even more difficult—the dead are alive.” Cicero, On Friendship In our times the issue of presence deserves special attention. What constitutes real human presence? Too often, it seems, those who are...

read more

Good Work

Become capable of deep, meaningful work.

Economic realities along with supposedly work-enhancing or work-reducing technologies often strangle and maim good work, both in our workplace and at home. Turn to time-tested strategies for life-giving, soul-enhancing and relationship-deepening work.

The Economics of Splitting Wood by Hand

The Economics of Splitting Wood by Hand

*This is a reposting of the first piece I ever posted online, almost exactly eight years ago, at Front Porch Republic. It has remained one of the most popular I’ve posted. Also, here is short video sharing my joy in splitting wood. Hilaire Belloc once wrote that he...

read more
Working by Hand: Reconnecting with Our Humanity

Working by Hand: Reconnecting with Our Humanity

“In all manual work we find the primal phenomenon of culture that is human but close to nature.” “The sphere in which we live is becoming more and more artificial, less and less human,” Romano Guardini, Letters from Lake Como We have lost something today, but we can...

read more
In  Praise of Hand Work

In Praise of Hand Work

“The hand is a tool of tools.” Aristotle, On the Soul Recently I was watching a blacksmith work. I was mesmerized. There is something so satisfying and so fitting—indeed, so human—about the ability to do that kind of work. What most struck me is how glad he must be to...

read more

Natural Steward

Find your unique place in the order of nature.

A world of pre-packaged food, disposable products of every kind, and scenic overlooks (for those inside vehicles) systematically detaches us from our place in nature, to the detriment of animals, vegetables and minerals, as well as human persons. NaturalSteward invites the disconnected to find the way back to where we belong, as an integral and active part of the natural order.

Knowing Where Our Food Comes From

Knowing Where Our Food Comes From

“A significant part of the pleasure of eating is one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world form which food comes.” Wendell Berry, “The Pleasures of Eating” in What are People For? There are very good reasons to consider where our food comes from. Let us...

read more
Stewardship Plan for Everyone: Conserve, Beautify, Fructify

Stewardship Plan for Everyone: Conserve, Beautify, Fructify

Stewardship is using the natural world carefully so that it thrives and thus serves human life well. The natural world provides food, cloths, and shelter, each with its proper delight and beauty. It can also form our mind and character, teaching us basic lessons of...

read more
Every Household: The Home of Stewardship

Every Household: The Home of Stewardship

“In the loss of skill, we lose stewardship; in losing stewardship, we lose fellowship; we become outcasts from the great neighborhood of Creation.” Wendell Berry, The Gift of Good Land “Old usage tells us that there is a husbandry also of the land, of the soil, of the...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest