Howdy friends! I hope it’s been a great week for you as it has been for me. The anticipation around our house for the arrival of The Little One continues to grow, as does my wife.

There was plenty of good stuff to go around this week. These were the highlights for me.

On My Bookshelfplaydates

You can’t read Playdates with God by Laura Boggess yet…but I can. And I did. Actually, my name is on the first page, as I offered an endorsement of the book. Laura’s aim is to draw us back to the relationship with God we used to have, (or never had) when we were children. Strip away all of the layers that we add as adults. You should plan on reading it when it hits stores in early October. In fact, you can pre-order it on Amazon right now.

In My Blog Reader

As bloggers, we don’t always get too many perspectives from the older, less bloggy generation. I really enjoyed this personal story of confession and redemption from Lyle Dorsett.

My pal, Darrell Vesterfelt discusses how to act in spite of our fears, rather than out of our fears.

Everyone’s favorite blogging funeral director shares twelve of the worst things that have ever been said at a funeral. Holy crap.

Zack Hunt shares the surprising reaction an Oklahoma church demonstrated to the local Satanists. How many of us can honestly say we would treat Satanists the way this church is treating their neighbors?

Finally, Sarah Bessey lets us into her home by introducing us to one of her oft-repeated parenting phrases, Guard Your GatesIt’s something we do not often discuss in the age of limitless and unfettered Christian freedom, but we do still have to guard our spiritual gates. We just cannot go through this life, much less remain spiritually whole, if we allow (force?) ourselves to absorb everything there is to see and hear in the world. Humbling and poignant.

That’s it for me this week. What inspired, challenged, entertained, or fueled you this week?

My wife is

At this point in time, it’s safe to say she’s quite pregnant. No, she’s not eating everything in sight. In fact, she did not really at at all for the first three months. Most of the weight she has gained is truly baby weight.

But it’s funny. While she was sick for three months, she put me in charge of making meals. She just could not stand the sight or smell of cooking food. And so for three months, I made dinner every night. And even though she struggled to force down a meal, I never felt sick. I just kept putting the food away like I always have.

And then a couple of weeks ago, my sweetie, the woman I love, sat down next to me on the couch.

“Honey, I have to say something”


“You aren’t going to like this.”

Red alert.

“It’s just that…Are you putting on some sympathy weight?”

And just like that, my pregnant wife had called me out for being fat.

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Can I be honest?

Last week was an intense week of worry. Cheri and I had our first taste of the worry which all parents know. We know that we have signed on for a lifetime of worry.

Still, our first taste was extremely bitter.

Our week was filled with anxiety over the health of our unborn son. Not just ordinary health concerns. We were dealt revelations about the family’s genetics, premutations that pose threats to future generations. Visions of worst-case-scenarios filled our minds. My back even wrenched itself out of place on Wednesday. I still don’t have full mobility in my neck today after two chiropractic adjustments and a massage.

You know the doctors give you just enough information to worry, but not enough information to be able to give you guarantees. And so you do more tests, but the tests only do what the last tests did. They give you more worry.

By the end of the week, we had spoken to the right people who could give us the strongest reassurances that we could ever hope for. Our boy, in all likelihood, will be normal, healthy.

A week of agony, for nothing.

It’s true, ignorance is bliss. And people used to be a lot more ignorant. What did parents do before we know about all the ways our genetics can go haywire? They did not worry. What did people do before the nightly news broadcast stories of all the scary stuff around the world? They did not worry.

We suffer today, not just from information overload, but worry overload. Because much of the information we are exposed to causes us to react with anxiety, fear, worry, anger, and all of the other toxic, poisonous emotions that will slowly kill us like cancer.

Jesus knew the poison of worry. He told his disciples not to do it, and I don’t think he was being facetious. Today, many of us do not worry about the things the disciples concerned themselves with. But we have a whole lot of other worries. Tomorrow carries as many worries as it did 2,000 years ago. And the words of Jesus still hold true…


Freeing our minds, our hearts and our bodies requires that we do this. That we not waste weeks on worthless worry. That we learn to trust that all things do in fact work for good.

Happy Friday everyone.

I must admit, it’s been a very challenging week in our home. Mostly because we have been suddenly hit with a case of worrying about our unborn child. You know, the emotional state that we’ve basically signed on for the rest of our lives? Well, it’s begun. We know as soon as we get rid of this worry, another worry will come along.

But nevertheless, God is good and faithful, and we are feeling reassurances today and we are thankful for that. Around us, there was so much going on with the 13th anniversary of 9/11 and other things of note.

Here’s what caught my attention.

In My Blog Reader

There actually was not too much about 9/11 that popped up in my reader, but Alece Ronzino offered some good words of remembrance. Emily Wierenga also asked where God is amidst the current threat of ISIS.

Switching gears, I really enjoyed Mary DeMuth’s podcast, Small Is the New BigIt’s a philosophy that I’ve long believed, but struggled to embrace.

Hannah Brencher shares the what happens when you post your phone number on the internet like Bob Goff. (Spoiler: a lot of weird men call.)

Zack Hunt calls attention to a church you probably have not heard of: the church that went broke because it gave away too much.

Finally, from Relevant Magazine, check out this article on how the church can rediscover its roots and create great art again.

In My Classroom

I don’t post too many things from my Art classes, but I was really excited about finding a new use for my underutilized GoPro camera. I posted it on my Instagram, so you should go watch it. It’s less than 15 seconds.

And that is what entertained, challenged, encouraged, edified and otherwise fueled me this week. What about you?

What does Joel Osteen know that the rest of us don’t?joel-osteen-and-wife1

If you are not one of his fans, you would probably answer, “Nothing.”

There has been quite a little bit of chatter as of late about Victoria Osteen finally “outing” herself and her husband and the gospel they are really preaching. She summarized their philosophy by saying that when we obey God, we do not do it for God, but for ourselves. We do it because God’s greatest desire is for us to be “happy.” So this whole exercise of going to church, reading our Bibles, being Christians is not really for God, it’s for us.

Well those statements set off a little chain reaction among quite a bit of blog-land. “Finally,” we said, “at least we know what they really believe!” At least one mega-famous pastor is being honest about the false gospel he is preaching.

But wait a minute.

Take everything that you might believe about the Osteens, their church, their gospel, their wealth or their haircuts. Take all of that pent up frustration and wad it up into a big wet lump in your throat.

Because despite all of these things, as loathe as we may be to admit it, much of the evangelical church can learn something from the Osteens. We might even learn something about ourselves.

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You know, I have made more mistakes than I can count.

When I was a young student in school, I believed that the mistakes I made on my math homework were a big deal. I kept hunting for an elusive “100%.” Every once in a while, I achieved perfection. But not very often.

Then I grew up a little bit and went to high school. I made plenty of mistakes there too, but the ones I cared about most had to do with girls, not math problems. There were all the times I put my foot in my mouth, or misjudged a situation, or just had something blow up in my face.

But I grew up some more, and wouldn’t you know it, I did not care so much about my high school mistakes anymore, mostly because I was busy making new mistakes. I felt I had made a mistake in my choice of school. Then I feared I had made a terrible mistake in my choice of college major. A few years later, I seriously wondered if I had made the worst mistake of my life with my career choice, which was not panning out so well.

Over the last eight years, my happy married life has supplanted my formerly single life. But marriage has not been all bliss. There have been days when I have felt the burden of making huge mistakes in my marriage, actions which I wish I could take back. And just over the last few weeks, I have realized some glaring mistakes I have made in my work life.

You know, this is the funny thing that no one tells you while you are growing up. The mistakes that consumes your mind today will not look so bad later…because you’ll be busy making new mistakes!

I grew up thinking there would come a day when I would be past making mistakes, a time when I would achieve a “100%,” when I would be able to do everything right.

Yeah, right.

It seems to me more and more that while life is hopefully a process of becoming wiser, it is never a process of achieving perfection. If it is perfection we are striving for, we will never reach it.

Cheri and I got a cool old typewriter over the weekend, so I spent a good amount of time playing with it. The thing about an old typewriter is that it is very easy to make mistakes. And once your mistake is on the page, it is on the page. A typewriter is a really good tool for learning to deal with our imperfection. In fact, it took me three tries to get this little paragraph exactly right.

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I think the trick is to learn, not to fear making mistakes, but to learn how to let them go and not let them haunt us. Fortunately, most of our mistakes do not exist, imprinted forever in ink on paper.