Worthwhile August 16, 2019

The back to school edition… which means it is slim. As a parent of three elementary aged kiddos, and a PTA president it has been a busy week. I also had a couple great meetings our elders, and local pastors for care and encouragement.

It’s the good life though. I wouldn’t trade it.

For our weekend reviewing and viewing, three bits, one of which you may have seen.


First out of the gate is a class piece from Jennie Pollock on Think Theology. She writes to open our thinking to viewing the calming of the storm story in Mark 4.

We all have heard sermons on the sleeping Jesus and the disciples waking him in fear for their lives.

Jennie does good work here, not condemning the disciples for cowardice and waking the sleeping Savior, but her take does lend us a bit of a gut check about just who we think Jesus is.

In the end, we can live in confidence because our Savior controls all things…

Give it a read here.


Next, to what you may have already seen. Anderson Cooper interviewing Stephen Colbert and asking about suffering.

It is a great take on gratefulness and the reality of suffering. By Anderson’s posture it seems he wants to believe what Colbert does but it is just beyond reach. We know better. Or should. Because we are not alone in our suffering, or the experience of it, we can cling to Jesus for hope and help.

Watch the whole seven minutes, you will be encouraged.


And finally some thoughts on leadership from Seth Godin:

“Leaders create the conditions where people choose new actions.

“The choices are voluntary. They’re made by people who see a new landscape, new opportunities and new options.

“You can’t make people change. But you can create an environment where they choose to.”

Now to go and do likewise…


Happy Friday. Enjoy your friends. Laugh more. Be grateful in all circumstances. And know that in Jesus you are loved more than you can imagine.

Worthwhile: August 2, 2019

I just did a double take when typing August… This summer has flown by and I hope you have carved out time for adventure with other people, the reading of good books, and extra naps in the afternoon heat.

If not, take this as permission to catch up this weekend. Go for a hike, invite someone(s) over for a good meal, and sleep in (on Saturday, wake up and go to church on Sunday!).

A few items this week that will hopefully be worthwhile. The unfornuate, the wise, and the call to something better.


Starting off is an interview with a filmmaker from two years ago in a Canadian magazine. The film was a documentary on the effects of pornography. In 2016 it was a political conversation for our Northern neighbor. But the issues raised still stand.

Porn is one of those things that has waves of resistance and then a baseline attitude of acceptance, as if it is a normal part of life and it’s best to not talk about it. Even with data proving the devastating effects it is pervasive still.

Well why not review the effects and determine to forge a new way forward. Get support of those that will remind you of what is better and healthier.

Read the interview here.


Next up, the wise. Tim Keller.

I often listen to Keller sermons while out on a run. In this talk he gave to seminary students he gave some wisdom on the dangers for anyone in ministry. It is a doable 30 minutes.

There is something for all of us in it. Avoiding false identity and those things that ruin us in the pursuit of success. Instead finding our justification and bearing in Christ we are more able to survive.

This might also give you insight into the battle pastors are in the midst of. My friend Elder Bill shared it this week and I trust he was being helpful not accusing me of error!

Listen here.


Lastly in our brief worthwhile list this week is an invitation from Seth Godin to living in surplus.

To spend a bit less than you make, so you’re never worried about paying the rent.

To drive with the flow of (metaphorical) traffic, because not only is it safer, it frees you up to dream.

And to measure yourself against no one but yourself. Raise your standards as often as you can, but not because someone else you chose out of the lineup of success is somehow ahead of you.

It is a better life and I am on my way! Check it.


There you have it. Enjoy life this weekend. Know you are never alone. Go for a walk, say hi to strangers and find a place that will tell you the truth of Jesus and his love for you.

What Are You Saying?

Seth Godin has a post today that is short but says a lot.

This is the problem with just about every lame speech, every overlooked memo, every worthless bit of boilerplate foisted on the world: you write and write and talk and talk and bullet and bullet but no, you’re not really saying anything.

It took me two minutes to find a million examples. Here’s one, “The firm will remain competitive in the constantly changing market for defense legal services by creating and implementing innovative and effective methods of providing cost-effective, quality representation and services for our clients.”

Write nothing instead. It’s shorter.

Most people work hard to find artful ways to say very little. Instead of polishing that turd, why not work harder to think of something remarkable or important to say in the first place?

I am certainly challenged by this idea not only from a professional perspective but one of my faith. I fall into the trap of a boilerplate faith all too often and it is not genuine and robs God of glory. It is like preaching grace but not giving any. It is saying my identity is in Christ but living by cultural standards. It is like the absence of love for those in community with me. Of all this, the new thing I must be saying is that I am sorry. I repent of living a performance faith and determine to glorify God through an authentic faith that is recognizable as different.

Living Like You Are Different?

I had a great conversation with a church leader that has me still pondering just how different Christians should appear to those around us. Frankly, when I am in the office I wonder if I appear any different from the typical DC Communications Director, and then in my social life, is there a difference? I know we are called, as Christ followers, to be different and live lives that honor and glorify God, but what that looks like daily is alluding me…

From a secular perspective thought, Seth Godin has some thoughts on Tribes (those communities we build) and how they should challenge the status quo.

People don’t coalesce into active and committed tribes around the status quo.

The only vibrant tribes in our communities are the ones closer the edges, or those trying to make change. The center is large, but it’s not connected.

As we strive for community, how are we to “live on the edges ” and be a “different” that draws people to Christ?