Posts by Jonathan

Husband. Father. Friend.

Worthwhile December 13, 2019

It’s Friday the thirteenth. Don’t freak out. And if you are already freaking out, chill. Here we are, so close to Christmas. Eagerness is wearing our waiting muscles thin but just around the corner we shall celebrate. Eleven days. We can make it.

Worthwhile this week some good news for the anxious, a new approach to life for success, and singing loud at church. Get some.


Nick Davis has a vital piece on Advent and anxiety. The San Diego pastor is a friend and is acquainted with anxiety. I trust him and the help he provides here is key. He finishes with this prayer:

Father, give us lives that live and breath and move in constant conversation with you. Prayer is the antidote to anxiety. Prayer is Your prescription for a life that lacks trust. Prayer is medicine and balm for a worrisome life.

Help us to trust and rest confidently each day in you. Let us find peace and all security in you, and in you alone. And help us to see that your drawing near to us means all our fears and worries have an expiration date.

That because of Advent, one day soon you are going to do away with all fears and tears, and replace all that with peace, love, and the fullness of joy. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Read it for yourself.


Next up, find your purpose set aside your passion. Based on new Harvard research, Jessica Stillman takes to INC to call those looking toward success to focus their energy and attention on purpose.

Purpose beats passion.

Chasing passion, in other words, tends to make you less satisfied at work because — no huge shocker here — work is often difficult, draining, and even boring. So, are you doomed to simply take whatever job you can do that pays the bills? Nope, replies Jachimowicz. All you need to do is substitute “purpose” for “passion” when considering your path. 

Instead of asking what makes you happy and “following your passion,” instead ask yourself what you care deeply about, he instructs. By focusing on purpose, you align your work with your deepest values, and also relieve yourself of the expectation that the long slog of a career will be all (or even mostly) happiness and sunshine. 

So what’s your purpose? Read more on INC.


Last up this week, as we head into the sining time of year, Brett McCracken call you to sing your heart out. In a repost of a section of his book Uncomfortable, McCracken wants the church, and you, to benefit from worshiping through song together.

“The vitality of a church’s worship depends on members of the body submitting their autonomous freedom and opinionated preferences to the larger community, and ultimately to the Lord. This doesn’t mean there’s no room for discussion and disagreement and compromise when opinions on songs or liturgy clash. But it does mean that in these conflicts we abide by Paul’s Ephesians 5 call to a Christlike posture of service and humility (“submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ,” v. 21).”

I agree. So go ahead, sing your heart out with the church. Read it all here. And maybe even pick up his book, it’s great.


There you go. Enjoy the weekend. Rejoice in the Lord. Love people. Live for eternity. Onward.

Worthwhile December 6, 2019

We are toward the end aren’t we? Another year wraps up, a decade comes to and end. And we have more than enough opportunities to read, hear, and see what everyone has done, enjoyed, or transformed from over the last years, or ten as it might be.

I should probably get to work on my year fine’ manifesto… maybe later.

Today I want to share two such lists, and a great article about Keller. May your calendar be full of healthy reflection and significant anticipation of what is to come!


Jared Wilson is a great dude. He writes a ton and has strong opinions. All gospel rich. He has shared his top ten books of 2019 (ones he has read this year.) It’s a worthwhile list.

Of the books on his list, I read Virgil Wander earlier this year and immensely enjoyed it and really want to read On the Road With Augustine by Smith.

Check his list here.


In the same vane. Andrew Wilson is an avid (if that is even the right word) reader and he has formed his best books of 2019 list as well. His list of books read is long, maybe enviable.

Of his list, there are a number I want to read, and his top book, Dominion by Tom Holland is on my self ready for a free moment… maybe my first book of 2020.

Read what he read here.


Lastly today, if you haven’t already seen it, Pete Wehner has a new entry in the Atlantic on Tim Keller’s Moral Universe. Wehner interviewed Keller and he shares the formation of his faith and how he processes life and lands on Christian responses to the issues of our day.

Keller is among the most valuable authors and pastors of a generation so all of us should take noticed when he speaks. One quote that is being shared to no end on social media hits the nail on the head when it comes to what professing Christians are consuming:

“most Christians are just nowhere nearly as deeply immersed in the scripture and in theology as they are in their respective social-media bubbles and News Feed bubbles. To be honest, I think the ‘woke’ evangelicals are just much more influenced by MSNBC and liberal Twitter. The conservative Christians are much more influenced by Fox News and their particular loops. And they’re [both] living in those things eight to 10 hours a day. They go to church once a week, and they’re just not immersed in the kind of biblical theological study that would nuance that stuff.” Too often, he believes, there’s no relationship between a proper Christian ethic and the way it translates into political and cultural engagement. It’s not the doctrine that’s at fault, Keller would argue; it’s the way people are taught and interpret it. It’s a failure of imagination and hermeneutics.”

Spot on. I shared in a recent talk on politics to pastors that the people in our pews hear us for 40 minutes a week and consume more tv news than they do Bible by at least 100 times. It is sad but true. So we persevere and teach, get excited about theology, and create culture that looks like that described in Scripture rather than the news.

Read the insightful article here.


Tonight we are celebrating Winter at the kids’ school. Hope you have some refreshment and enjoyment planned for your weekend! Onward friends. Aslan is on the move…

The Perfect Gift For Those Still On The List

Okay, perfect might be a stretch, but if you are wanting to close out your Christmas shopping and are looking for that last gift, might I recommend Depths, a daily devotional rich with gospel goodness. I am biased of course as the author. But this really is the gift that keeps giving, 366 days of Scripture and reflection that mine the depths of the fullness of Christ.

You can grab your copy on Amazon, and download one for yourself on the Kindle.

To give you a flavor of the devotional, here is today’s entry:

December 3

Studying the works of the Lord

Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.” -Psalm 111:2–3

There is so much noise in our lives. The schedules, the responsibilities, the people we love, the people we are required to interact with… It can all add up to some hefty distraction and lead us to miss some important things, specifically the great works God has done and is doing in our lives for his glory and our good.

But his works are there, undergirding all things by his creative genius and authority. And oh, the work of the cross—what a miracle and wonder that God himself would be our substitute, meting wrath for sin and defeating death once-for-all! Then come Jesus’ resurrection and the new life it promises us in salvation. We even have the little things, the subtle kindnesses—the grace of rain on parched land or the sustaining wind of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers.

It is these works, the unending works of splendor, majesty, and righteousness that we are now free to delight in, to enjoy as we live. In our delight, in our thanksgiving for them, we can study them, pursue them, read, hear, and tell of them. Let us be reminded once again of Christ’s great work for us and that we might proclaim it so others can experience it too.

Today, pick a few of the great works of the Lord in your life—be it salvation or the provision of a new day. Think about them, savor them, and rejoice in the giver of those gifts. Rest in his wondrous works.

Review and buy a copy of Depths here and Merry Christmas!

Ruthless About Hurry

While on vacation (eight days long to get the maximal refreshment) I finished the latest Christian craze that is John Mark Comer’s new book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. It is a good book. There is vitally important exhortation to be counter-cultural for spiritual, psychological, and physical health. It is well researched and winsomely written. But what nags at me as I have some space from it is wondering if everything presented is actually accessible.

Now don’t get me wrong, this book still keeps its four-star rating on GoodReads, but I think so much of what is suggested is really only available to the affluent.

Comer covers this in the book, he knows the tension and realizes if you can spend $20 on a book you have some level of affluence and we should be okay with that and go on living simple. But I have been mentally wrestling with that as I don’t even think some of the practices are accessible to people in my neighborhood much less the resort town where I vacationed where locals lived a far different life.

Essentially the first half of the book, that dives into the trauma of hurry in our society and the Christian invitation to rest, is a goldmine. Well worth the time to read and contemplate. But from there I wonder if we can advocate for sabbath more broadly. I even felt like some of the tips equated to a new, hipster-approved, self-righteousness. Which is the furthest from the author’s intention.

There has to be a way to disciple all people into rest and intentional slowness before a holy God. One that includes all those we long to be in the church and our lives.

I want to wrestle with this thinking some more and maybe if you read the book we can talk it over together, slowly.

Even so, I am going to walk slower when I can and rest well to serve well. Living simple not as a result of my affluence but because I get to in Christ.