Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

four (pastor-y things) for friday

April 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Sort of lame, but nearly everything today is pastor-esque. Sorry if it bores you to tears.

I saw this very short video this week about how Tim Keller prepares a message. It is pretty close to how I go about it. Except that it takes me longer. And I don’t preach it four times.

2) I am a (sometimes) student at Regent College… long story. Anyway, John Stackhouse is prof there and something he shared this week really resonated with me. John, this may be your best yet.

Yesterday I scored very poorly on the 3 C’s–calm, cool, and collected. I had not slept well for a couple of nights and so faced the day fractured. I’m old enough now to realize that I needed to undertake some personal disciplines, and they helped, but I yet really wasn’t under very good control.

Read the rest HERE.

3) This is Lecrae and company addressing the fatherless-ness epidemic and the need for men of all cultures to embrace their God given masculinity as exhibited in Son of Man.

I may have been the only one who needed to Google the lyrics for this song, but in case you are having some difficulty in following the flow, HERE it is.

4) World Clock – This actually doesn’t have anything to do with being a pastor. I just think it is interesting.


Four (Good Things) for Friday

April 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Remember when Martha Stewart used to share little tidbits of advice called “Good Things?”

Yeah, me neither.

In honor of Good Friday, four Good things for your enjoyment.

1) A Good Song // Just found out this week that I like Bombay Bicycle Club. Who knew?

Bombay Bicycle Club – How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep

2) A Good Video // My Good friend, Jacob, shared a video that I thought was fascinating. I love watching people do stuff they both love and are Good at. Predictably, they chose the most provocative image from the video to “sell” it.

3) A Good Book // I’ve mentioned once or twice that there is a something of a controversy surrounding the Christian doctrine of justification. I’m pretty certain not many of you (nor myself for that matter) are losing any sleep over this, but some might say that “justification” lies pretty close to the heart of the Christian message. Therefore, tinkering around with it, or having the appearance of playing fast and loose with it, does tend to ruffle some feathers.

I’ve been reading a book entitled, Justification: Five Views, and it is Good. The title couldn’t be more clear… Five different views on justification. Each view is written up by an “expert” representing that view. And every other contributor writes a response to the essay. It is as close to a theological cage-match as you’re going to find. In the introduction, the editors do a fine job of mapping the current landscape of the debate. Of course, a book on this fundamental doctrine couldn’t be more appropriate for Good Friday.

4) A Good Maundy Thursday Service // Yesterday, our church had four brief services to commemorate the Last Supper and point us towards Resurrection Sunday.



My Good friend, Sarabeth, shares some of what went down at those services. This has been a rich Lenten season for me, and I couldn’t be more ready to celebrate our risen Lord.

Four (from around the web) for Friday

March 9, 2012 1 comment

Today’s edition of Four for Friday is a little gathering up of some stuff from around the intranets…

1) In about a week, I’ll be heading west with eighty friends for a little organized madness in God’s country. This video is inspiring me to keep my skis on the snow as much as possible.

2) Jonas David – Let Me Live // Time to get my mellow on.

3) As you are listening to the above song, take a moment to read some thoughts on a “sanctified imagination” by Kevin Vanhoozer.

My concern is that many Evangelicals are suffering from malnourished imaginations.

Reading is a kind of strength-training that flexes the muscles of our imagination.

I need a sanctified imagination as I seek each day to improvise my life to the glory of God.

Of course, the whole piece is worth reading.

4) You probably remember the magazine National Geographic. I used to love flipping through the pages and looking at all of the stunning photographs.

As all of life has been shifting toward digital, there is a chance that this venerable publication has become something of yesteryear. I don’t know how the magazine is fairing (I haven’t seen one in years), but they seem to have found their niche online. They are still doing what they have always done well… putting incredible photographs out there for the world. My favorite feature they have is their “Photo of the Day.”


For those of you who came looking for tunes, I feel a little bad about short-changing you. Here’s a little extra something.

Tim Fite – Joyriding


February 19, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m pretty sure I don’t need yet another outlet to put “me” out there, but I’ve recently rediscovered tumblr. I’ve had one for a while, but never really figured out why I had it or what I’d do with it.

Well, I think I get it now. I intend to keep my rarely posted on blog going, but I see tumblr as a place to put pictures, quotes, music, or other interesting things that I find on the intenet. So I guess if one were to think of my blog as a magazine (published bi-annually), the tumblr would would be more of a journal or notepad.

Or if my online presence were a house, it might break down like this…

Twitter // the front door – It is where I go out and people come in.

Instagram // the living room – This is where all the pictures are nicely hung.

Square Pegs Blog // the study – I do my thinking here.

Chino-esque Tumblr // the kitchen – Alison and I (and countless others) interact in the kitchen. Conversations both trite and meaningful take place here.  This is where daily life happens. You can subscribe like most any other blog through an RSS feed (Click HERE to subscribe).

Path // the bar – Rarely think of using it, but it is the only place I don’t interact with minors.

Facebook // the toilet – It stinks, but you have to have one.

Like I said, I probably don’t need another neglected social media “room.” But maybe – just maybe – having different places for different things will make life more manageable.

Categories: Personal Tags: ,

Four for Friday (fast forward)

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

And just like that a month goes by.

It has been a full one. They are all full ones. So by way of update, I thought I’d throw together four random things.

1) A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Blind Pilot show at Sticky Fingerz. As I expected, it was great. But real treat was that the opener, Dan Mangan, who was unknown to me ended up being a pleasant surprise. Here’s one of several songs I’ve enjoyed off his latest album, Oh Fortune.

Dan Mangan – How Darwinian

2) A while back, I shared the trailer for a book and video called Bloodlines. I had the chance to watch the full-length video with the rest of the church staff this week. It is worth seventeen minutes of your time.

3) Tomorrow evening, I’ll be going to my first Waterdeep show. It is right here in town. In fact, it is at my church. If you came, then we would both be there.

4) And finally, I crossed a milestone birthday last month. Yep. I’m old. Anyway, to celebrate the occasion, my family (minus one… or two?) slipped away to Banff. This little town in the heart of the Canadian Rockies is an outdoor lover’s paradise. We hiked every day. Over the course of the week, we probably covered somewhere close to 40 miles. Even little Si was up for some of the longer treks. Alison has a few posts and several photos on her blog. We loved every minute!

Dan Mangan – Leaves, Trees, Forests


social media wisdom

September 15, 2011 2 comments

I receive a publication called The Regent World aimed at communicating with friends of Regent College, a seminary in Vancouver, British Columbia. Each edition is themed around a particular idea or issue. Various faculty, students, and alumni weigh in on the topic and it is generally good stuff. This latest go around took a look at social media.

One contributor in particular, Conrade Yap, shared some thoughts that seemed soaked with wisdom.

Social media can be a bridge as well as a barrier. While it can bring people from afar closer together, it can also create distance between people in close proximity. For example, we can joyfully interact with a friend on Skype halfway around the world, and alienate the friend sitting just next to us at the same table. The key guideline I have about social media is this: “Manage social media before it manages you.” For me, one way to do that is to practice a technological Sabbath once a week. From 6pm Saturday to 6pm Sunday, I shut my computers down. Strangely, when that happens, I am free to see that life is bigger than an Internet connection. I am free to let technology be technology. I am free to let me be me, and let God be God.

The technology Sabbath he suggests might be too much or not enough for you, but I think there is a question worth asking…

Is there any time in our week when we aren’t “connected?”

Bobby and I were lamenting that during our time with students, they were so preoccupied with their phones (and no they weren’t just looking up Bible passages) that they didn’t seem like they were really able to engage what was happening in room. They were missing out on connecting with the people standing in front of them or sitting around them. They were there, but they weren’t. So on a whim, we just asked them if they wouldn’t mind setting their phone aside (actually, on a table in the back of the room) for the duration of our time together. Not because either of us think phones are bad, but because they can be distracting. We felt like them being willing to do that was as much symbolic as practical. Students can get distracted pretty easily  – phone or no phone. But parting with their phones – even for an hour – is a non-verbal way of saying, “I’m here. Really here.”

I was sort of surprised that there wasn’t more whining and pushback. I thought the students would get all irate and even say, “forget this blankity-blank place, I’m out.” Instead, they seemed to embrace the idea. No “I’m outta here’s.” No whining. Just a willing – maybe even eager – compliance. And what started as just sort of a fleeing idea has grown. The next week, we mentioned it again and they deposited their phones on the table in no time at all. And then last week, before anyone had said anything, there were at least a dozen phones (curiously, most of them iPhones) taking a break from their masters.

Maybe students aren’t as committed to their technology as we are sometimes led to believe. Maybe something in them recognizes that being constantly “connected” isn’t good for them. Maybe they are longing for more than just a webpage that tells them how many “friends” they have. Maybe there is hope for them yet.

And if there is hope for them, then maybe there is hope for us.

More of Conrade Yap HERE.

The Regent World publication on social media HERE.


September 13, 2011 2 comments

My church has become increasing committed to the gospel vision of a racially unified family of believers. Every now and then something will happen in my ministry or life (there is quite a bit of overlap between those two things, but they aren’t entirely one and the same) that reminds me how far we still have to go. Today has been such a day.

Providentially, I saw this video trailer for a book (or maybe it is a trailer for a longer video) that John Piper has written on race, the Cross, and the Christian. It is called Bloodlines and I can’t wait to read it. Not everyone loves Piper, and there are times when he misses it. But there are times when he is gloriously right. I expect this book to fall in the latter category.

(HT: JT)