Showing posts from April, 2020

Being Undone May Be The Point

I want to commend to you the latest episode of the Spiritual Life & Leadership podcast from Markus Watson . In this episode Markus interviews A.J. Swoboda and discusses sabbath. The remarkable, and important exchange comes early in the conversation when Swoboda talks about how sometimes sabbath undoes us, which is the point to get us to hear God and submit yet again to his way. Our old normal left no margin. Constant noise, busy, full calendars. Never quiet, never just listening. Perhaps then this pandemic is meant to undo us, so that we will find space to hear from the Lord again, to desire it. To truly rest not just metaphorically rest. I know it has been that for me. And I want more. Grab the podcast wherever you listen to such things. And pursue sabbath.

Return to Waste

As we have be languishing (should we use that word) under the stay-at-home order, it has been fascinating to me to watch the number of items shared on social media and recounted in conversations that skew data or make questionable claims, all to back up our perspective that we need to get back to normal. I want to have kids back in school. I want to be with people in public. I want to attends youth sporting events. I want to watch something live on ESPN again. I want to meet up with friends at the brewpub. I want to crowd our little church building again. I want to travel on planes to far-off destinations. I want to have to buy gas for my car again (wait did I just say that?!) I want... I want... I want... You could probably build your own list of the things you want. Many good. To hug grandkids again. To go to a concert. To run in an organized marathon. But as I think through my list I am struck with how selfish my desires for getting back to normal truly are. I am absolutely concerne

The Heart of Christ for You

It has been quite the year hasn't it. None of us could have imagined we would be traversing a global pandemic by staying at home (some of you are cheating I know). And in the midst of the wrecked routines and new normal maybe you have been surprised by some of the things that have helped you get through it all. I know I have. One of those things for me is the new book from Dane Ortlund on "the heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers." It's called " Gentle and Lowly " and I think you need to pick up a copy as soon as you can. Dane is one of Ray Ortlund Jr.'s sons, and the gospel doesn't fall far from the tree here. What a gift this whole family is to the kingdom as they proclaim Christ. In this thoroughly digestible book Ortlund interacts with writings from a collection of Puritans and how they would naw on one verse of Scripture and produce volumes in response. Most reflecting on the heart of Jesus toward his people. Taking his cue then from those

It's Not Them, It's Us

Today as I was reading 2 Timothy 3 I was struck by perspective. All too often I read the first five verses relating to those outside the church, the infamous "them" the bad ones. Here are the verses: " But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people ." 2 Timothy 3:1–5 (ESV) Notice it? We know these people, they don't belong to a "gospel-centered" church, they are not part of our tribe or brand. They probably let women preach and wear sandals to church. They are definitely Democrats. Maybe they are Charismatics... or Presbyterians (depending on you


Of the lessons we must learn from this pandemic is the utter interconnection between individuals and others, and in fact all things pertaining to life. My actions impact my neighbor. My finances are tied to the economics of distant businesses. My food and its availability is tied to decisions about supply chain made in board rooms beyond my LinkedIn account. All connected. All tied to each other. For the believer this shouldn't be new. Jeremiah gives us a picture of bringing Shalom, peace to the places we are connected, telling exiles that their success is tied to that of their neighbors. More than ever, we should lean into our interconnectedness. Take the time to see how we are tied together and work, and live awakened to the ways we can serve and love one another.

Tithing "CoronaBucks?"

Absolutely no one has asked me for my thought on whether you should tithe from your government relief checks, so I will give my opinion anyway! For Christians, everything we have is a gift from the Lord. That includes not only the spiritual truths we cling to but also our possessions and our finances. So whenever we receive something new, or come into a windfall sum of money, we surrender that to the Lord, that it would be used for his glory. Start there. For some of us, this surrender means we automatically give a portion to the gospel work of the church. If that is you, you have your answer. Otherwise, when it comes to this recent payment to Americans, my answer would be to use the money for what it was intended to do, get you through. If you need to use it to pay bills, pay them. If you need it for groceries, buy them. If you don't need it for those things, pray about giving it away to those who do have need. The church might be included in that and as far as Reservoir Church is

Surreal Reality

This week in preparation for recording an Easter sermon one of my confidants relayed how it has been difficult to engage in the usual experiences of Holy Week. For Christians it is the time in the church calendar that commemorates the pivotal events of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Typically there is pause, the slow, thoughtful end of a Lenten season of surrender. But sheltering-at-home has robbed us of routines, of seasonal recognition and the unfolding of what we have believed to be spiritual intention. 2020 has instead given us a new way of aching for something better. Many of us grieve loved-ones and strangers felled by COVID-19. Many of us face the fear of financial uncertainty. Many us are burdened by an avalanche of information and can't figure out who to listen to. We hope for true leadership in the crisis. We wrestle with our usual misplaced hopes and fears on steroids. It is a surreal reality. Bizarre. Can this all be happening? And that is it. Can this be ha

A New Chapter Opened

“The New Testament writers speak as if Christ's achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,' the ‘pioneer of life.' He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has been opened.” - C.S. Lewis, Miracles

We Need a Resurrection

The calm is eerie. Alone in places where we are used to crowds. The drone of information all warning and concern. The unknown or employment, systems, routines wrecked. Death. Sickness. Grief. We need a resurrection. There is one. In Jesus. The ultimate defeat of death. The gift of eternal life. Believe in Him.