Politics in Exile

Today I am giving a little talk on politics in exile, how Christians engage in such a way that our witness is unhindered. It is not a complete survey of our posture and it won’t make anyone too uncomfortable or gleeful! You can read it here.

Otherwise I thought I would share a few things that have been helpful in forming my thinking that you might find helpful as well.


I point to it a lot but This Cultural Moment is a podcast with valuable, rich content on the underlying realities in our Western culture. Mark Sayers, and Australian pastor and author, has brilliant insights. John Mark Comer interviews him in most of the episodes and each will help you think through how our worldviews are being formed and lived from. Check it out here.


A book that I found extremely helpful recently in shaping the way we engage is from Scott Sauls. Jesus Outside the Line: a way forward for those tired of taking sides. This is centering for Christians and guides us rightly. Check it out.


Justin Taylor highlighted the work of Georgetown professor Paul D. Miller, specifically his white paper for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Council. Faith and Healthy Democracy gives some great clues for civility in public discourse and political engagement. Where I gave three steps in my talk Miller gives individuals a number and churches six key ways to participate without losing our ability to share the gospel. Read it here.


Lastly, I have to go way back to a time I read The Courage of a Conservative by James Watt and The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Wellstone one after the other and thought through them asking what Jesus would have to say.

I choose Watt’s book over the famous Conscience of a Conservative by Goldwater because Watt represented values voters.

The books are very old now and my reading of them was close to 20 years ago. But I think they give some great insight to safer times to be part of the American political landscape and might draw us toward something similar today.


Go forth and be Christian in how you engage!

Worthwhile November 1, 2019

I can’t believe it is November. 2019 has been flying by and I suppose that is great because it get’s us that much closer to the return of Jesus!

This week was a busy one so there is one item worthwhile that is fresh and couple that I came across cleaning out older files. Let’s see if they hold up!

The one item you must check out this week is the lastest bonus episode of This Cultural Moment. It is a recording of an interview session among some leaders at the global Alpha conference.

Mark Sayers, John Tyson, and Pete Hughes discuss revival and renewal with Todd Proctor. It is no a long session but within there is so much good fruit.

Keenly for me was a statement by Tyson: “I don’t want to partner with just people who believe what I believe but want what I want.” That being revival. Such an important word and guiding principle in this season of leading a church.

We so often align based on foundational theology but the outworking of that, or our goal for ministry and life, are different and we waste time spinning tires. What if we find and disciple those most hungry for spiritual renewal, what could the Lord do among us?

Listen in here.


Next from the way-back pile is this post from Adam Sinnett on how to do a church prayer meeting. He provides a great model and if you are looking for a resource to help check it out.

Timely for Reservoir as we plan our November 13 seek night.

Read what Adam wrote back in 2014 here.


Lastly, a timeless reminder from Sam Alberry that you are not your sexuality. A 33 minute talk that will encourage you and situate your identity where it belongs, in Christ.

Here is what Alberry says about the 2016 talk: “This talk is one attempt to outline some of the key lessons for the whole church that those of us with same-sex attraction are learning. Here are five:

  1. Your identity is in Christ.
  2. Discipleship is hard.
  3. God’s Word is good.
  4. The church is vital.
  5. The future is glorious.

I hope it’s a blessing.”

I also hope is a blessing. Watch it here.


That’s it for this week. Hope you got all the candy you longed for on Halloween and enjoy a weekend with those you love and a church that points you to Jesus.

Worthwhile October 25, 2019

Last week I was out-of-pocket and I liked it. So to make up for it this week we have some goodies.

It is an exciting weekend in the Shradar household as our Nebraska Nana and Papa are in town, tonight is our school trunk-or-treat, tomorrow Stacy hosts the Reservoir women’s retreat, and Sunday is well Sunday!

Enjoy your weekend and read, or watch, something worthwhile.


First up from Adam Powers a great reminder about the God’s presence and our pleasure in worship. Powers looks at 2 Samuel 6 and gives us some clues for life now.

“Emotional maturity then means, not avoiding feeling in worship, but feeling what we ought to feel in worship. The grandeur of the glory of God, the gravity of our sin, and the gladness of redemption. God wants all of you. Mind and heart.”

And this on the presence of God. “God’s people are not sustained first and foremost by great victories against their enemies. God’s people are not sustained first and foremost by expanding their borders, no. Victory is good, expanding and growth is good but God’s people are sustained first and foremost by seeking God’s very face, His presence.”

Read the whole thing here.


Thinking through reach Muslims with the hope of Christ? Justin Taylor shared last week a new cartoon series called Journey to Truth that has eight episodes in a number of languages that could be a great help.

The series tackles common barriers to belief and seems to be very accessible. Check it out.


Scott Sauls also had a great piece on loneliness – that it is actually a signs of something good, that we were meant for community.

God “has made us for community, not for isolation; for interdependence, not independence; for relational warmth and receptivity, not for relational coldness and distance.” Even so we feel it. And the recognition of it shouldn’t discourage but fuel us to find relationship with others for the glory of God and our good.

“So then, shall we go there? Shall we take a risk, show some transparency, introduce ourselves to somebody…go first in saying, “Hi, I’m ________. Here’s my story. What is yours? Would you be interested in getting to know each other? Because I am interested in that.” Shall we join a church, and show up every Sunday and look for the same four or five people, initiate conversation, and also reach out to a few that we’ve yet to meet? Shall we begin acting like the family God says that we are in Christ?”

Hang out with Scott through his writing here.


Finally, the videos from the recent Convergence Conference are now available online. This conference invites those in Word and Spirit churches to gather and study moves of God. This year’s topic was healing.

I have already watched Matt Chandler’s session and it was very encouraging. Let’s have faith.

Check out all the sessions here.


Have a great weekend. Get together with people to enjoy life and pursue Jesus together!

Exhausted on Purpose

I don’t think I have interacted recently with anyone that expresses that they are rested up. Everyone, friends, family, neighbors, all talk of how tired they are, how exhausting life is.

Right? This is our experience, everyone we know and we ourselves are beat down. Now it might be a huge indication that something is off. We are taking in too much or stress has our system wrecked. Children are demanding too much energy, there is never enough juice to match the hours we have to be “on.”

We think diet might help, exercise will do something, or maybe a binge of Netflix and a bottle of wine. But usually we end up in the same place. Exhausted. It certainly might be an indicator of needed change in our lifestyle or circumstance and I think we should pursue that.

But what if you are a Christian? What is exhaustion doing in us, those that claim faith in Christ?

I submit that exhaustion is positioning us to be desperate for something beyond physical energy or a new routine. Exhaustion is leading us to recognize our need for the very presence and power of God himself.

In Christ there is the promise and provision of power that is meant to deal a deathblow to our exhaustion – seriously. Think of Jesus’ words before ascending to heaven after the resurrection. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8). Energy for the mission of life, all of life. Witnessing of Jesus.

Then Paul gives us a picture of our lives, and not just the churchy mission type life but all of it in Christ, Paul said he toiled preaching Christ, “struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:29) That is not just for an apostle long ago, that’s for you.

Believer, your exhaustion is bringing you to the need for the Spirit to work in you, to free you, to empower you, to enliven you. Run to him, ask, cry out for strength. For the presence of God in your life. That you would work with all of his energy powerfully working in you.

May it be so.