Showing posts from October, 2019

Worthwhile October 25, 2019

Last week I was out-of-pocket and I liked it. So to make up for it this week we have some goodies. It is an exciting weekend in the Shradar household as our Nebraska Nana and Papa are in town, tonight is our school trunk-or-treat, tomorrow Stacy hosts the Reservoir women's retreat, and Sunday is well Sunday! Enjoy your weekend and read, or watch, something worthwhile. First up from Adam Powers a great reminder about the God's presence and our pleasure in worship. Powers looks at 2 Samuel 6 and gives us some clues for life now. "Emotional maturity then means, not avoiding feeling in worship, but feeling what we ought to feel in worship. The grandeur of the glory of God, the gravity of our sin, and the gladness of redemption. God wants all of you. Mind and heart." And this on the presence of God. "God’s people are not sustained first and foremost by great victories against their enemies. God’s people are not sustained first and foremost by expanding their borders

Exhausted on Purpose

I don't think I have interacted recently with anyone that expresses that they are rested up. Everyone, friends, family, neighbors, all talk of how tired they are, how exhausting life is. Right? This is our experience, everyone we know and we ourselves are beat down. Now it might be a huge indication that something is off. We are taking in too much or stress has our system wrecked. Children are demanding too much energy, there is never enough juice to match the hours we have to be "on." We think diet might help, exercise will do something, or maybe a binge of Netflix and a bottle of wine. But usually we end up in the same place. Exhausted. It certainly might be an indicator of needed change in our lifestyle or circumstance and I think we should pursue that. But what if you are a Christian? What is exhaustion doing in us, those that claim faith in Christ? I submit that exhaustion is positioning us to be desperate for something beyond physical energy or a new routine. Exhaus

A Persistent Boy and the Faithfulness of God

I found myself emotional while I preached Sunday recounting a gentle reminder from the Lord of continued pursuit of him and I thought I would share it here to encourage you as well. This last week I have been reading Terry Virgo's No Well-Worn Paths which tells the story of New Frontiers International and the early days of charismatic renewal in the UK that merged with grace-centered doctrine in the church. As I have been reading of the some of the moves of God, the filling of the Spirit and healings, prophetic words, and boldness in his people, I have been wondering, why not now? God is the same as he was decades ago. Of course he could pour out his Spirit for his glory and the good of the church (and he has in a number of ways). But hearing the stories I found myself wrestling with God desiring the same gifting and power spiritually as told in the book. I took my lament into the desert as our family scheduled a day away to rest and reboot. Then Saturday on an early morning hike w

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

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 lame

Building a Team For Momentum

I have been spending the last several days thinking through the way we evaluate the team we are assembling as a church for leadership and carrying out a vision for multiplication into the future. It is stirred by prayerfully evaluating an elder candidate and desiring to create a system to prepare men and women for leadership at Reservoir. I have as of late talked a bunch about laying foundation stones in the church for future health and just like some of the other blocks we build up, the team responsible for leading the church is a vital stone that must be nurtured and shaped along the way so as to prevent unnecessary roadblocks or division down the road. Of course we have biblical guides for elders and deacons in the church but I want a list of keys to give us concrete metrics in reviewing the team. In this nurture and shaping then I have leaned on some others' expertise for categories to use in evaluation of health of a team and have come up with 6 C's (which is silly because

Holy Fear and Revival

We have been talking about the elements of renewal or revival in some corners of the church and one dear saint sensed a calling to pray for a holy fear of God to permeate the church. While our modern first response might be hesitancy (who wants to endorse fear), when we have a biblical context for what it means to have an abiding reverence for God, then the environment shifts and the soil is prepared for revival. To this end, this Saint shared her thinking on what the fear of the Lord looks like in a climate of revival. "A Climate for Revival "Holy Fear Outside the Church: Understanding one’s position ->Holy Fear (horror, anguish, woe) coupled w/ hope->Redemption and Salvation "Holy Fear Inside the Church: Understanding One’s position->Holy Fear (humility, awe, wonder) coupled with hope->Revival and Further Sanctification" May we inside the church understand our position, made righteous by Christ, and live in humility, wonder, and awe with a defining hop