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…

Worthwhile November 15, 2019

The calendar pages keep turning (unless you have a calendar on your phone then you have no idea what that means). Here we are approaching Thanksgiving, at war with our family and friends over how soon is too soon when it comes to decorating for Christmas and playing the appropriate music for the occasion.

Leaving all that alone, below are some worthwhile bits to check in on as you saunter into the weekend.


As our elder team has started to evaulate ourselves, and I have been thinking through how to lead and form the right team to lead the church into the next season, this bit from Seth Godin has me thinking.

Allies and accomplices.

To be an ally means that you won’t get in the way, and, if you are able to, you’ll try to help.

To become an accomplice, though, means that you’ve risked something, sacrificed something and put yourself on the hook as well.

We need more allies, in all the work we do. Allies can open doors and help us feel a lot less alone.

But finding an accomplice–that’s an extraordinary leap forward.

I have plenty of allies and now I am on the lookout for accomplices.

Read the two paragraphs I haven’t quoted here.


Next up, John Starke’s occasional email newsletter was on point this week. It is on sleeping, or the lack thereof.

“Sleep is a gift. It really is. You can’t make yourself sleep, you can only receive it. I have to put myself on my side and wait for God to give this gift that comes only because he loves me. When that happens an exchange occurs that I neither witness nor oversee: he takes my cares and exchanges them for rest. If only for a little while.”

We all need more of it. Before the lightbulb was invented we slept on average 11 hours a night. Let’s get some of that back! Starke gives a good perspective here and you should check it out.


In the vane of church leadership and being healthy, Faithfully Magazine has launched a series on multicultural churches.

Turns out, a multicultural church is not something you can checklist your way to, but it is something you become when your team is healthy and thinking rightly about the essence of the church.

“…every member of the core leadership team must believe that diversity is God’s desire for the Church universal and the guiding principle for the local congregation. Every aspect of the church’s ministry must be conceived and planned with this in mind, including hiring and leadership development, outreach and missions, discipleship and spiritual formation, preaching, teaching, worship, and fellowship. Leaders must understand this and have a passionate and proven interest in learning about and working across cultures.”

It begins with leadership.

And that is just the first order of things… Read what Chanequa Walker-Barnes has to say here. And let’s have more multicultural churches!


Lastly, around Christian social media a meme has been popular this week. “I can do all things through Christ… But you don’t go to church when it rains.” This is funny, but extra because in San Diego it never rains and people freak out when it does, undoubtably keeping some from the community of believers.

To stir our thinking on not forsaking to meet together, Tim Arndt has written a list of 28 biblical reasons why you should go to church. Read up, set your alarm, and we will see you Sunday!

It also wouldn’t hurt if you came to any midweek services, small groups, or Bible studies!


There you have it. Enjoy the weekend. Laugh when you can. Let the tears flow when needed. Hug someone a second longer than you usually would. And go to church!

I have spoken.

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.