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!

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 April 5, 2019

It is finally here, April 5. I have a book due back to the library but I am not finished with it and I can’t get an extension because someone else has it on hold. Awful. Since it is the Lenten season I am embracing waiting as I have reserved the ebook from the library and wait for it to become available.

Oh the things that can get us down!

It is to the archives we go today for some thought provocation and worshipful stirring. Start the weekend off right.


First up is a piece from Rosario Butterfield from February on loving our neighbors well through the tools we have in our hands. Think Nextdoor App and all the fun that happens there.

Butterfield gives a good model of evangelistic living but the questions it raises are worth it. Do we love our neighbors? Do we care about our city and the people around us? Maybe the Lord will stir us new efforts to impact where we are…


This week I sent a group of pastors an article as we were discussing how to measure success in ministry and the pastoral life. I have been significantly encouraged by Jared Wilson’s work in this arena and am digging his latest book were he builds on what the article points out.

Five metrics of grace to help us measure ministry fruitfulness and beyond measuring the church, these are important metrics for all Christ followers. So give it a look and see how you are doing!


Finally a bit of worship from Austin Stone.

I will not be anxious, Jesus, You are near
The Peace of God surrounding me, and casting out all fears
The hand that holds the heavens, is the mighty hand that saves
The voice that calms the stormy seas
Is calling me by name

I’m singing in the victory, the victory of the cross
I’m resting in the shadow, of Your redeeming love
I’m standing on the promise, the promise of new life
‘Cause I am Yours forever, and Jesus, You are mine
Oh Jesus, You are mine

When I have forgotten, the fullness of Your grace
Yes, I’ll remember Calvary, where You took my place

I’m singing in the victory, the victory of the cross
I’m resting in the shadow, of Your redeeming love
I’m standing on the promise, the promise of new life
‘Cause I am Yours forever, and Jesus, You are mine
Oh Jesus, You are mine
Oh Jesus, You are mineThere is no one like You, God
Love immeasurable and strong

There is no one like You, God
So lead this heart to sing in awe
There is no one like You, God, no-o
Love immeasurable and strong
There is no one like You, God
So lead this heart to sing in awe

Finishing the Course

Over two years ago I ascended the small platform in a coffee shop that no longer exists to preach my last sermon to a group of young adults crammed into a trendy building to hear the gospel. It was the sermon that said, I have left it all on the field, I have given you what I know, now carry on and preach the gospel to each other and the waiting world.

The text of the night was Acts 20 and Paul’s final words to the elders of the church in Ephesus. Paul shows his resolve and I had tried my best to model my ministry after his, to preach nothing but Christ and him crucified. Oh to live this way!

Then this week a good friend who is sensing an increasing call to global missions shared how he was stirred by a sermon on Acts 20:24 and the Lord used it as a sweet reminder of the call to faithfulness.

Here are Paul’s words to the leaders of the church: “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24 ESV).

Paul knows he is departing Asia headed for his final acts of ministry. Shortly after he will be taken as a prisoner to Rome where he will eventually be martyred. No fleeing, no scheming to avoid imprisonment. Just leaving it all on the field, preaching the gospel of grace. The thing of value for Paul is not his life, but the gospel.

He lived it. And countless others have as well. And oh that the Lord would empower me to live like this.

As we head into 2017 I don’t have a resolution but this is my prayer. That the trappings of life would be of little value and even my own life would not be what is precious but that I would spend this year, and the decades to come, so transformed by the gospel that I can preach nothing else. That I would so experience the grace and love of God in Christ that it flows to all around me for his glory.

Maybe you might want to pray this way too. That Jesus would be bigger in 2017 to you, that nothing else would take your attention and passion like your Savior. I think it is a prayer that he is pleased to answer.

We won’t be perfect, but by his grace we can keep at it, keep pushing in and living to finish the course he has given us. We have as our source and our hope his grace, now and forevermore.

“And now I commend you to God and the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)