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.

To Be Comforters

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Isaiah 40:1 (ESV)

To a people in exile, suffering under the weight and repercussions of their sin, far from home and seemingly without hope; prophets are called on by God to comfort them. To serve them, raise their eyes to see him and find hope.

This is a wonderful launch into a new section of Isaiah, an unfurling of chapters written and spoken to a nation in exile. But it is also a call for those that preach, that lead, that pastor God’s people today.

I think of the people in the pews, that might feel their own exile. The loss of expected gain. The struggle of anxiety or depression. The tensions of human relationships. The recovery from abuse or oppression. The drama of everyday life. It all piles on and when we gather to open God’s word, the true word that lasts, it it good news, the gospel we are meant to proclaim and reflect to one another.

I have spent enough days in ministry needing what only Jesus provides and sitting with people that are starving spiritually for the comfort only he can give. It is not a permissive gesture or false freedom to live for self, but it is grace that sustains, serves, and heals those that he loves. His people.

What can you give today? To your friends, to your neighbor, to those hurting and in need, to those celebrating and unaware? Jesus. Comfort that the striving can cease, that righteousness is won by him for us. That he is enough.

Hear of this comfort, this Savior, Jesus who longs for you, and gave himself up for you. That you can have peace, now and in eternity. Rest in him.