Worthwhile: July 26, 2019

It has been hot here in San Diego County… and much of the country. So as you find some AC to stay cool why not punch up these worthwhile bits of the internet to get you through?!

Three huge gospel influences in today’s pile. What it means to be a pastor, equipping disciples and why we should follow Jesus. Get some.


Jared Wilson’s post this week on pastoral ministry as a job has been getting a lot of attention and it should, it is a good piece. I know firsthand how well-intentioned people can still be confuse as to the actions (other than preaching) and responsibilities of a pastor, and in turn wonder if they are worth the expense.

Wilson points out some key differences that are worth noting and thinking more about.

But the truth is that good pastors are not able to take the pastor hat off at the end of the day or leave their heart for their flocks in the office when they clock out. It’s just not something you can turn off.

For all these reasons and more, it is fine and proper for us “regular” church members to acknowledge that our pastors are special. They aren’t better Christians because of their ministry. They aren’t more justified. They don’t have a special connection to God that we don’t have. And yet their office is unique and brings with it challenges and burdens that most of us do not share.

Jared Wilson

Read it on The Gospel Coalition.


Still in the realm of pastoral ministry is the biblical requirement of equipping the church for ministry. All of the saints.

Jeff Vanderstelt lists five ways to equip in his post on Saturate. If you are in ministry and thinking about how you are to be equipping, Vanderstelt provides a good starting point.

Give it a read and act on it.


Finally, let this truth from Ray Ortland wash over you. Why should you love Jesus?


That’s it. Have a great weekend and remember who loves you. Jesus and me!

Worthwhile: July 20, 2019

Already we have hit the tail end of July and we are beginning to think about all those projects we want to tackle this fall. Let’s not waste today though, there are many worthwhile things out there!

This week I have been a hermit. My family is in Oregon for some summer fun but like most of you I only have so much vacation time to use… so instead I am terribly lonely! Not in a bad, depressive way, but in a “the house is quiet and the dogs don’t talk back” kind of way. I have been able to give undistracted time to at least one project, but mostly I am just going through the motions and paying keen attention to the difference. The results of my “study” so far are that I really miss my tribe and look forward to their return!

Some of the things that have filled my time are these worthwhile bits that I am happy to share with you.


First up from Jonathan Dodson is a needed reminder on the way grace works backwards. How grace doesn’t just cover the present, and as he puts it, your “gospel-awakened” future, but it also deals with our past. The lingering shame of sin.

I know I have experienced the very thing Dodson describes and like him I am forever grateful for the grace of Jesus. “God doesn’t wag a finger of shame at us because of Jesus. We are not defined by our failures because of Jesus. We are wildly loved and unflinchingly accepted because of Jesus.

I need this, and you probably do too. Read it here.


The next two probably go together because they hit us where it counts, our minds. John Mark Comer, Portland pastor and host of the wildly popular This Cultural Moment podcast, has a forthcoming book on the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.

Turns out a significant obstacle to spiritual and emotional health is hurry. We all suffer from it, some of us by choice. The full list, the short windows of time we have to accomplish it all. Running from place to place. In fact if we are not hurried or “busy” what then are we?! Maybe less anxious…

The books appears to make the appeal to slowness for health sake. Intentional living unhurried. I haven’t read it yet but the first two chapters are available free so I plan to read it today, you should too and whet your appetite for the elimination of hurry.


Fittingly then comes the call to leave social media behind. Justin Taylor shared the TED talk video from Cal Newport, a 37-year-old professor of computer science at Georgetown, author of five books, and family man that only works until 5 most days.

Newport has never had a social media account and he suggests that yours are disrupting your life in the worst way, leaving you distracted and not at all productive.

In fact it is when we can give intense concentration to those things we endeavor to develop that we find success. I know this firsthand and you probably do too. I have even taken steps to lessen the noise of social media by removing Twitter from my phone and blocking notifications from others.

So whether it is incremental change or a wholesale escape from social media, Newport’s thirteen minute exhortation is worthwhile.


Lastly, if you are in San Diego and interested in studying Gospel Fluency with other dudes, hit us up at hello@reservoir.church and join us on the third Monday of every month in Escondido.


Have a wonderful weekend. Slow down. Don’t hurry. And listen to the blue birds outside, not the ones on you screens.

Worthwhile: July 12, 2019

Happy Friday friends. We are moving into the second half of July and making all the plans for fall. New projects. Renewed vigor. And the same need of daily naps.

Start your weekend with some reading, and listening, with these worthwhile bits of the internets. From a perspective hard to swallow all the way to Christian music that is genuine and artistic.


“Here his concern is only with the basic question of where authority and rule lie in world events. He will reply that all events originate in heaven, all individuals are stirred and guided by the Lord, all empires rise and fall at his direction: there is no other ultimate agent.”

J. Alec Motyer on Isaiah 41

First up is a topic that comes with quite a lot of controversy but deserves our thoughtful engagement. Reparations. Now answer this question, have you ever really deeply thought about it or do you immediately jump to impossibility when thinking of the topic?

Well, I want to encourage you to actually take the effort to understand the idea and think Christianly about it. Timothy Thomas has published what I think is a fair look at reparation with stirring to rethink it.

“Imagine I came to you and confessed that I had stolen something from you many years ago, something that made it exceedingly difficult for you and your family to prosper. But rather than compensate you for my theft, or even return what I had stolen, I merely apologized. Naturally, you would be unsatisfied by my words. Imagine if I had said: “But it happened so long ago. You’ve overcome so much in the meantime, and your family has found a way to flourish in the face of hardship, even without what I stole from you. So returning or replacing it isn’t going to change anything. It’s only going to stir up bitterness. Besides, we’re both Christians, and you of all people should understand forgiveness.” You probably wouldn’t consider my apology contrite or Christian.”

Head over to Christ and Pop Culture and give it a read.


Next up, giving your church away. I have long had the hope and vision for leading a church planting church – one always sending, seeding the kingdom with mature faithful saints, even if it means we are a small church forever without acclaim.

Alan Frow and the people of Southlands have been living this out as a medium-sized multiplying church and Alan has a forthcoming book on the very idea I think we should all jump on and he has been sharing snippets on his blog.

In this glimpse into the book Frow talks about embracing the pain of subtraction and it gives a helpful look into what it means to pursue multiplication. It sometimes hurts but it worth it because it is what Jesus has called us to.

Give it a read and order the book when it is available later this month!


Lastly, Brett McCracken doesn’t want you to think that all Christian musicians have to offer is what you hear on KLOVE.

“The reputation of Christian music has not been the greatest in recent decades. Often accused of being derivative, sugarcoated, and samey-sounding, “Christian music” as a genre has become such a liability that many musicians understandably avoid the label like the plague.”

Brett goes on to present 14 artists to watch. Each has been producing quality, theologically sound music. Read his take here and then change up your summer playlist.


Cityalight is on McCracken’s list and this song has been wrecking me this week.

Have a great weekend and run to Jesus with all of who you are. He loves you and will give you strength.

Worthwhile: June 21, 2019

I have clearly been in summer mode and am slacking a bit on the worthwhile posts. And that’s okay, you are spending more time outside on adventures anyway, right?!

Three bits for you as you head into the weekend. Questions for those suffering, dieting like a believer and an oldie but a goodie.


David Powlison died June 7 after a battle with cancer. He was a gem in his gracious writing and example. Justin Taylor has shared Powlison’s five questions to ask when you are suffering and they are worthwhile.

What hardship are you facing?

What life-giving word from him speaks to you?

What input do wise friends give you?

How can you honestly wrestle your way toward trusting him?

What should you do next?

Taylor unpacks these a bit and you can read it here.


Next, are you working toward that beach body? Well what do we make of our dieting no matter our goals? Christel Humfrey suggests a higher purpose for your dieting.

For the Christian, a healthy diet is about more than following rules, shedding weight, looking good or proving our worth.

Four clues follow as to why we diet and the might encourage you. Check it out.


Finally, from the archives is Sam Storms’ case for covenantal membership in the local church. Eight biblical guides for linking with other believers in commitment and covenant.

This is one of the frequent questions I get, “why membership?” Storms gives some worthwhile marks we need to take to heart.


That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend and if you are in San Diego Reservoir Church is hosting a prophecy workshop tomorrow on the pursuit of this gift of the Spirit. We would love to have you join us.