Fulfilled in 2020

As we enter into a new year, we have begun a new reading plan to journey through the Bible. This morning in the first installment one word and theme jumped out to me. Fulfilled.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing…” Ezra 1:1 (ESV)

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet…” Matthew 1:22 (ESV)

Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David…” Acts 1:16 (ESV)

God is in the business of fulfilling his promise, his word. This is how the Old Testament enriches us. We know that his word does not return empty but is accomplished. Ultimately the promise of Immanuel is fulfilled making all the other promises part of the the anticipation for a Savior. Jesus has come and he has fulfilled the law for us that by grace we would be children of God. All of God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ.

In light then of the New Testament we live boldly knowing that what God has declared will be fulfilled. He is bringing us all the way home.

As I reflected on this the Spirit brought to mind prophetic promises the Lord has given me and here on the first day of the new year the reminder of his faithfulness to fulfill.

What is it that you are anticipating being fulfilled in Jesus this year? Is it confidence in your identity in him? Restoration of relationships that have been broken? Comfort or the ruling peace of Christ in every corner of life? Ask the Lord to give you an awareness of how he is working fulfillment, rest in the grace of Christ and live. God fulfills.

Closing with Joy

2019 has just a few hours left in it. What a year it has been. There is much to reflect on but this morning as I catch up on the tasks of the day and think of what is next, I have a thankful sense of joy for what I have experienced in 2019 with my family and our church. Hopefully joy found you this year as well.

Family time has been a rich treasure for me this year. While we still have the chaotic sports schedules, school activities, therapy sessions, and so on we have had tremendously valuable time together. The kids are growing in personality and character. Each expressing love uniquely and being excited about different things. Iona (10), loves to bake and create. Ewen (7) has sparked a love for reading; he is now the only in the house with more books in progress than me! Adia (5) has gained mobility and loves to savor every bite of food!

We traveled to Nebraska for an epic dance party at my niece’s quinceanera. Smiling from our time with family there and hoping for Thunderstorms. We took a couple days in the desert in our RV hiking to a palm oasis (boys) and had an otherworldly experience with a bighorn sheep (girls). Staring at the Milky Way gives you a sense of your smallness and God’s care. Then we spent a week in Mexico for my brother-in-law’s wedding, being tumbled by waves in the ocean and spending hours in the pool. Of course there was another dance party there as well.

Stacy and I celebrated 12 years of marriage. I am so amazed by her and excited to see that she has been tackling things outside of her normal comfort zone for the glory of Christ.

There is just something about this group of Shradars that brings me great joy!

The year for Reservoir Church has also been one that I look back on with joy. There has been a deepening of relationships and overall ‘health’ for a church that just five years ago was on the brink. We have joined a great church network and look forward to a long partnership with like-minded churches. We finished our study of Isaiah, which was a long one! Such gospel richness in that ancient book and much of it pertains dramatically to our day. We are poised to continue building together in 2020 and that is exciting.

There is so much else that has brought joy to me in the last year, and even that you would take time to read this is stirring to me. For the end of 2019 I am clinging to Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Happy New Year!

Worthwhile December 27, 2019

The end of the year is here. I didn’t quite reach my reading goal. My weight isn’t what I would prefer. I haven’t scaled unconquerable mountains. But we persist. Trusting in Jesus. His purpose prevails.

A couple of reminders of that truth for your weekend reading.


First up the real abundant life. Rankin Wilbourne wrote for TGC on suffering as an experience of abundant life. It is quite the opposite of what you might here from many religious leaders, but I think he is right.

“Jesus, the perfect image of God and the perfect human being, shows us that a fully human life must include suffering, and that we can only become the man or woman God intends us to be through suffering. Jesus, who was without sin and never did anything to deserve his Father’s displeasure, was made “perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10). The author of Hebrews dares to say that Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8), and that this is part of what makes him our compassionate high priest (Heb. 4:15), able to help us in our time of need. If Jesus, the perfect child, had to learn how to trust and obey through suffering, how much more necessary is it for you and me?”

It takes a long time to be familiar with suffering, and maybe longer to see it as part of the maturing process in Christ. May we be quick to see it in the new year.

Read the whole thing here.


And maybe a few days late but nevertheless important, let’s not neglect the genealogies.

Jennie Pollock exhorts us to read and hear and be encouraged.

“Why on earth would God want to start the New Testament, the story of the new covenant, the bit that most people nowadays are likely to start with, if they’re going to read a Bible at all, with a genealogy? Who wants to read a long stream of unpronounceable names of total strangers before the story starts? Is it like the title cards at the beginning of old movies? Important information to those concerned, but just an opportunity to make yourself comfortable and arrange your snacks for the rest of us? …When those scriptures were read out, for hundreds of years, the descendants of those individuals would have been listening eagerly for their family names, feeling an intimate connection to the story.”

Oh friend you are tied to the story!

“For Christians then, the New Testament starts not with echoes of Genesis, not with the breaking of a 400 year silence, not with the fulfillment of prophecies, but with us. It sets us right in the narrative, reminding us of who we are and where we fit, rooting us in the story, and the story in us.”

Read the whole thing.


Thank you for checking in one last time in 2019. In the new year I am planning some more sharing of great ideas and efforts to be a redemptive expression in our world. If you come across any, send them my way!

May you be blessed as we turn the calendar and may you see more of Jesus in 2020!

Worthwhile December 20, 2019

Oh my you can almost taste it. Christmas is so close. The presents round the tree. The warm family time together. The singing. The laughing. May it be so.

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of adding another year under my belt, 42 I shall be. Let’s begin celebrating now shall we?!

A couple of items today since I know your weekend is busy…


First up is the ruckus coming from our friends in Northern California at a little church named Bethel. You may not be aware, but this last week the daughter of a worship-leading couple passed away unexpectedly. In light of this the church has been holding several days of resurrection meetings calling on little Olive to wake up.

Erik Reed, whose son recently passed away, has a pastoral response to the events.

“The pain this family and church feel over the loss of Olive punches you in the stomach and leaves you cleaving for air. The death of a child hurts. It shatters your heart in a million pieces and prompts your mind to replay endless scenes of times with your child. The permanence of it is heavy. Each day is a reminder that their laugh, their smile, their touch, and their smell are gone.”

“My heart aches for this family. I grieve about how badly they are hurting. It’s terrible.”

“But the pain Olive’s death has brought this family and church will soon lead to another one. It is the pain and confusion that bad theology ushers in. Their response is only compounding the pain. Disillusionment awaits those who pray now for something God has not promised.”

God can absolutely resurrect whom he chooses, but the danger is in the demanding of it. Read his whole post here.


Keeping in the light-hearted tone of today’s articles… Sorry I don’t mean to be a downer… We turn to impeachment.

It is historical, it happened, and we should think about it. Sadly, as has always been the case, impeachment of a president is a rancorous, partisan affair. No one looks good through the process and regular folks like you and I just become more entrenched in our party or perspective.

But there is also something else going on here. Those of you who know me have experienced my displeasure with the current political environment and what I think is a significant failure of those professing faith in Christ making decisions in the public sphere that align with that profession. But I won’t convince you, the dragon goes too deep.

Enter Christianity Today. Neither the most influential instrument in the Christian world nor an entity that can be ignored. The magazine’s editorial board, being consistent with the calls they made twenty years ago for Bill Clinton to be removed from office, have called for President Trump to likewise be removed.

Their article is measured, reasoned, and thoroughly Christian. The problem is, those that could benefit from the dialogue simple won’t read it. We will keep getting our news from narrow sources and only listen to influencers that echo what we already believe. That is terribly unChristian.

So I put it before you, be bold, take up and read. Pray and wrestle. What would Jesus have us do?

If you are hesitant to to click the link, maybe just engage with this paragraph from the piece:

“To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?”

May we prayerfully walk out our faith and life before a watching world. Read it here.


That’s it for today. Enough really. I do hope you will come back! And please enjoy the wonderful Christmas holiday. Be reminded that Jesus came for a wretch like you and the light he brings changes everything.