Worthwhile

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

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.

Discipleship, Grace

The Pain of Progress

This week our youngest had major surgery to reconstruct her hips. I have been saying that she is being given hips that won’t lie. That’s the hope anyway!

As she has been coming out of the anesthesia and working toward pain management and her normal personality, I am struck by the pain in her progress. Of course, she would prefer to never experience pain – and as her father, I wish she would never experience it either! But this pain, on purpose and intentional, is headed somewhere. It is bringing her to healing, functionality, better mobility and flourishing. These few days of major discomfort and the weeks of struggle ahead are all ushering something so much better.

I am stuck that our sanctification works much the same way. Our becoming more like Christ, slaying the dragon of self and living for Jesus’ purpose and glory. It is not easy and we could often categorize it as pain or suffering. But just like Adia’s recovery, this pain is part of the progress.

We run after too much that we assume is “pain” free and that never gets us to where we desire to be. On the flip side, we fight against purposeful discomfort because frankly, we are comfortable in our mess, our inability to flourish. Jesus means to end all that and bring you somewhere worthwhile. To the place your identity in him secures, promises, and provides.

Maybe we should lean into trusting his strength and process. After all, he is tremendously good and he loves you. I know it won’t be easy, but it will be good.

I am praying for you as you face the pain in the progress.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (ESV)