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!

A Persistent Boy and the Faithfulness of God

I found myself emotional while I preached Sunday recounting a gentle reminder from the Lord of continued pursuit of him and I thought I would share it here to encourage you as well.

This last week I have been reading Terry Virgo’s No Well-Worn Paths which tells the story of New Frontiers International and the early days of charismatic renewal in the UK that merged with grace-centered doctrine in the church. As I have been reading of the some of the moves of God, the filling of the Spirit and healings, prophetic words, and boldness in his people, I have been wondering, why not now?

God is the same as he was decades ago. Of course he could pour out his Spirit for his glory and the good of the church (and he has in a number of ways). But hearing the stories I found myself wrestling with God desiring the same gifting and power spiritually as told in the book.

I took my lament into the desert as our family scheduled a day away to rest and reboot. Then Saturday on an early morning hike with my seven-year-old son Ewen, God showed me his kindness.

The night before we had been hiking on the same trail but dinner was approaching and my oldest who was hiking with us wanted to turn back, so halfway through the trail we cut the hike short and returned to camp. Saturday morning though, Ewen could not be stopped. He wanted to press on and arrive at the Palm Oasis promised on the map.

It was such a joy to make the journey with him, talking about life, the groaning of creation for redemption, and how fun it is to grow up together. As we progressed on the trail we turned a corner into a valley surrounded by hills/mountains and beautiful rock formations.

Ewen was ecstatic. “This is so beautiful! If we had turned back we would have never seen this!”

His statement struck me. “If we had turned back we would have never seen this.” As I paused to think about it I knew this was the Lord urging me to keep going. Here I was crying out for the Spirit to move in the church, in my own life, and he was saying, keep coming, don’t stop.

If a small church pastor needs to hear anything often it is this! So with a thankful heart I got back to hiking. We reached the Oasis and had a wonderful time, father and son. Ewen is already planning our next hiking trip.

And I settle back into the routine of discipleship, study, and prayer aching for a move of God, knowing he will, knowing we will keep pursuing him, we will keep going.

Worthwhile September 27, 2019

First off this week is the fact that on this day in 1979 my love was born. She has done quite a bit of growing since then and for that I am thankful. Happy birthday Stacy!

It has been a full week of exciting ministry but I did come across a few important bits for you to peruse.


Tackling acedia. The ancient category of spiritual boredom, or worse, sinful apathy. I think we probably diagnose differing layers of issues but for Christians, and as this article suggests pastors, acedia is a terrible root cause if it exists. Harold Sankbeil has a full article on Gospel Centered Discipleship about it.

Acedia means a lack or absence of care. And that’s deadly. Whenever we grow numb to Christ’s saving work and the Father’s gracious gifts by which he makes us and preserves us, spiritual boredom takes hold, followed by apathy and subsequent despair.”

As you can imagine, when this happens for those responsible for the spiritual health of others, things can get sketchy. Sankbeil gives some good clues to combat acedia and warning sings to watch for.

“God your Father in heaven for Jesus’ sake will take care of you, of that you can be sure. He is the almighty Maker of heaven and earth, and yet at the same time he is your true Father. That means you are his true son, dearly loved. He is guardian and keeper of all his beloved children. He guides you waking and he guards you sleeping. Under his protection you can safely rest even in the most distressing hours of your life.

“So call upon him in every trouble, won’t you? Pray, praise, and give thanks to him. He is good, and his mercy endures forever. Whenever you are at the end of your rope—mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted—he will then be your strength and stay.”

Read the whole thing here.


Going back then a couple of years, after a few questions about the Passion translation of the Bible, and as a local church plant posted a verse from it that I thought was a terrible misreading of Scripture, I wanted to get to the bottom of its dangers or value.

Andrew Wilson does not disappoint as he gives some good guardrails. Essentially the Passion Translation is no translation at all and for that reason we should steer clear of it.

Read Wilson’s thoughts here.


Finally, last week I had some questions on our Church’s view of the gifts of the Spirit and how we desire them today. I have always found resources from The Village Church helpful and thought you might too.

Check out their page of talks and articles.


That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the first days of fall. Nebraska is hosting ESPN’s College Gameday on Saturday so you should watch that! GO BIG RED!

God at Work

Last week David Platt hosted a simulcast to promote the launch of his new book and communicate the urgent need for gospel-spreading ministry to happen in our day.

I haven’t watched the whole video yet, but there was one key story with a brother in a restricted country a buddy shared with me. It is so stirring and leaves me praying “do it again Lord!”

The story begins at 1:02:53 of the video if the link doesn’t play from there.