Worthwhile October 11, 2019

What a week it has been! The U.S. political landscape is a minefield of really poor choices, and the NBA unsurprisingly has no backbone that a few billion can’t break. So we are desperately in need of something worthwhile to read and be reminded of. Even Ellen Degeneres can’t be friendly with anyone…

Going further back for good memories, five years ago this week our family minivan burned to a crisp while the shop working on it caught fire. And Stacy and I landed in San Diego to interview and preach at a struggling church called Grace Church North County. Oh the memories…

A few bits to take you mind off of it all this weekend.

Bringing back the Epistle! I came across recommendations for the Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp this week. An early second century exhortation to a leader in the church from another. it is well worth the read (five minutes max).

In a world of tweets and texts I think we have lost the longer form refreshment of the epistle. I am determined to bring it back! (Sorry to you whom received the first of such leaders from me!) Read Ignatius’ here.

Next up, what about hospitality? Darryl Dash has a good post about the requirement that elders be hospitable and he unpacks it in a modern context.

“Radically ordinary hospitality is this: using your Christian home in a daily way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God,” writes Rosaria Butterfield. “It brings glory to God, serves others, and lives out the gospel in word and deed.” I can’t think of anything that’s more countercultural. And yet I can’t think of anything that is provides more opportunity for ministry to others and joy to ourselves.

Christians must be hospitable people, especially to the our neighbors and strangers. This is how the kingdom goes forth. Let’s be about it. Get in on Radical Ordinary Hospitality here.

Then finally, keep you mind off of current events by shoring up your training for missional communities. Jonathan Dodson has compiled the training his church and ministry has facilitated and you can find it here.

Three sessions from an Acts 29 meeting that are sure to be worth the watch. Check them out here.

That’s all I have for you today. We are enjoying (tenuously because of fire danger) Santa Ana winds in San Deigo County. May you weekend be filled with friends, reminders of grace and the worship of our Savior!

Worthwhile October 4, 2019

The first week of October not only brought cooler temps to SoCal (do’t worry it warms up tomorrow) but a sense that people are exhausted. We are in need of rest, in need of the enthusing only God can provide.

I am praying that you find that rest and renewal this weekend. Endeavor toward it. Slow down. Sit around a table with friends and laugh. Eat delicious food. And take naps. I will try to do the same!

For your reading we start with darkness and tend brighter with three bits to check in on.

This week the New York Times posted an in-depth report on the prevalence of imagery and exchange of child sexual abuse. Technology has made it easier and the sickness has spread over the last decade. It is gross. If anyone suggests evil does not exists ask them what they would call torturing children for pleasure.

It is a dark reality that our law enforcement needs more resources to attack. We also need spiritual conviction and repentence… revival in our land. As I engage with books lamenting the loss of free play for kids and unsupervised decision making, I get excited to give my kids more freedom, then I read reports like this and I won’t let them out of my sight.

Read it. Pray. Think of how you can act for change.

Next is how we contribute online. At a meeting last night a colleague mentioned that she has a staff member who left Facebook because she was only using it to be angry and stir up strife.

Justin Taylor has shared some tips from Paul D. Miller, a professor at Georgetown University who too k party in a significant study.

We sketch here an initial draft of recommendations to structure future conversations. We do not mean to bind the conscience of any believer and we recognize that most of the issues we address here lie in the realm of wisdom and prudence. We put forward these ideas as the best practices from what we have seen, observed, and heard during this project. These are not rules for righteousness, but practices of discipleship and character formation we think are uniquely suited to the challenges of the age we are living through.

The tips are in line with where we get news, seeking out difference and attending church. See all seven here.

Finally, a really good sermon from Andrew Wilson. He was at The Villiage Church in Dallas and spoke on life in the Spirit. I have had a few conversations about this very thing this week and I thought he gave great clues and encouragement toward yielding to the Spirit for all of life. Give it a watch or listen.

Enjoy the weekend. Run to Jesus. Rejoice. See you soon.

Worthwhile: April 19, 2019

This is an important weekend. Today is Good Friday, commemorating the Cross of Christ and Sunday is Easter marking his resurrection. Don’t be tempted by the candy and Spring decoration, dive into the significance of a Savior that would die for you and defeat death in his resurrection.

We start with why we call today Good, then on to sticking with what we are meant for in the Church, and a big finish with a nap.

David Mathis wrote a piece a couple of years ago for Desiring God about the goodness of this Friday. How we can call the worst day of history Good.

God was at work, doing his greatest good in our most horrible evil. Over and in and beneath the spiraling evil of Judas, the Jewish leaders, Pilate, the people, and all forgiven sinners, God’s hand is steady, never to blame for evil, ever working it for our final good. As Peter would soon preach, Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God”

Read for yourself and be reminded.

Next up is Trevin Wax’s talk from the Gospel Coalition conference this year. In it Wax invites us back to Orthodoxy. Where there is temptation toward other things, the main thing is the best thing. It is thrilling even.

We live in an age that resists authority, dogma, and institutions. Those who challenge historic doctrines and practices are seen as heroic and courageous, as if there is something inherently attractive and exciting in being heterodox. To defend the faith, we must not merely rely on rational arguments in favor of orthodoxy but also display the beauty and power of Christian truth in a way that makes the appeal of heresy pale in comparison.

And finally, take a nap. It’s science. Napping is good for you and will make you more productive and an all around nicer person. So plan for it, add a nap to your routine and see the benefits!