Showing posts from June, 2019

Robbing Worship of its Reverence

Several months ago Air1 (a national Christian radio station) tweaked its format to include mostly what is defined as "worship" music. They even added tag lines of "worship now" and the like, making sure listeners understood that this was the new place to hear worshipful music you might sing in church as you seek to glorify Christ. I think it has been a good change and I enjoy the music and the intention behind it. The fascinating thing about the change to me however is the lack of continuity with other content on the station. While the playlist has shifted nothing else has. So the station comes out of a meaningful song with trite banter. The hosts talk about funny text messages they have received, the tragedy of lost food, or anything else they think will entertain you. This morning as I dropped a kid off at camp I was struck that the song was raising a hallelujah but the conversation was laughing about things spouses have to put in storage when they get married. Is

Worthwhile: June 21, 2019

I have clearly been in summer mode and am slacking a bit on the worthwhile posts. And that's okay, you are spending more time outside on adventures anyway, right?! Three bits for you as you head into the weekend. Questions for those suffering, dieting like a believer and an oldie but a goodie. David Powlison died June 7 after a battle with cancer. He was a gem in his gracious writing and example. Justin Taylor has shared Powlison's five questions to ask when you are suffering and they are worthwhile. What hardship are you facing? What life-giving word from him speaks to you? What input do wise friends give you? How can you honestly wrestle your way toward trusting him? What should you do next? Taylor unpacks these a bit and you can read it here . Next, are you working toward that beach body? Well what do we make of our dieting no matter our goals? Christel Humfrey suggests a higher purpose for your dieting. " For the Christian, a healthy diet is about more than following

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 sitt

Much Desire Yet So Little Time for Words

There are a small number of websites/blogs that I follow through an aggregate reader. Giving me the opportunity to read and learn from a varied collection of voices each day. And I so desire this. I want to be on top of the latest news inside and outside the church. I want to understand theological wrangling that helps me see Jesus in right and good ways. I want to gain the ability to use all of life as an illustration in the stories I tell and write for myself. The thing is, I don't have the patience, or more culturally appropriate, the time for all the words these people are writing. If I wanted 12,000 words on an issue I would buy a book not subscribe to your blog! There are headlines that draw me in, with excitement I begin to wade through text but then a kid asks a question, or has the volume of their morning cartoons too loud. Slack pings another notification that demands attention. Whatever else happens and I fall to distraction. I get off-track and give up. Because there ar

Worthwhile: June 7, 2019

Did you know that today is national donut day? Go get one! Travel last week and summer in swing this week. There are still a few worthwhile bits of the internet for you to check out. Post-Christian cities, praying for your food and graduating with gratitude. Barna has released its look at the most "post-Christian" cities in the U.S . As Barna says: To qualify as “post-Christian,” individuals must meet nine or more of our 16 criteria (listed below), which identify a lack of Christian identity, belief and practice. These factors include whether individuals identify as atheist, have never made a commitment to Jesus, have not attended church in the last year or have not read the Bible in the last week.  What is surprising is not that there are post-Christian cities ranking with 45% or higher, but where they are. San Diego is ranked 38th most post-Christian but my hometown of Omaha jumps off the list at 34. The town I did grad school, Toledo, OH is 35... Check the list and see wh