1. Mike Campbell may be the most underrated guitarist.
2. My pastor’s sermon from this past week has affected me more than any other that I can remember.
3. I used to eat pizza every day. Okay, not *every* day. But I thought about pizza every day. Now I never eat pizza. Pizza calls though. Well, not calls, but texts. It’s actually the local pizza place. I forgot where I was going with this.
4. Don’t change anything based on a news story. Nothing. Okay, maybe the weather is an exception.
5. Tom Petty said “Mudcrutch” was the worst name his first band could have come up with. Their newest album is fantastic, though. Really, really fantastic.
6. Dusting off my Romans commentaries and using them weekly is the best thing.
7. Most Christian writers today are emulating one of three writers. Either John Piper, Ann Vos Kamp, or Jen Hatmaker. They need to be following Buechner and Hemingway.
8. My 2nd grader hasn’t had any homework yet and I truly have no idea if this is good or bad.
9. Christianity is a fight to love the resurrection more than this beautiful world.
10. Coming home to Bethany is better than money. Or records. Or even pizza.
1. One of the harder lessons to learn as a Christian is the value of the thing hoped for is not measured by “feels.”
2. I’m on my second book about Tom Petty now. And it’s rare for me to like a guy as famous as he is more after the reading. But I do like him more. He is a truly nice guy, who is always free with kind things to say about others. He effuses them. Plus he’s a great songwriter.
3. I should hit my goal of losing 20 pounds in a few days. I’ll weigh pretty close to what I did when I got married. And I’m eating a ton of what I can eat.
4. We went to the Samford University’s women’s volleyball game last night and it was awesome. I understood very little but it was a lot of fun. Seriously, I understood nothing.
5. I realized yesterday as I was studying Romans how much of my understanding I take for granted. So much has been shaped by Cranfield and Luther that I’ll read a verse in Greek and already have in my head an idea of what I think Paul is saying. Then I’ll go to Cranfield and realize I have that idea because I’ve used those commentaries so much over the years. It’s humbling and it makes me glad I spent the money for them.
6. I never get tired of “Insider” from the album Hard Promises. It’s a lesser known duet Petty does with Stevie Nicks. The more popular bring “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” that’s on Nicks’ Bella Donna. But “Insider” surpasses it and is simply one of the best melodies I’ve ever heard.
7. It’s like my kids sit around and try to make up jokes. Not a day goes by that they are not trying out a joke or riddle on us. All three of them do it. You think it sounds sweet? When they are funny, sure. But then there’s those times when they are terrible and you have to walk that too thin line of truth and kind encouragement.
8. I do love getting a new record in the mail from Amazon in 2 days but I’m waiting on a Petty record to come from an independent seller and it’s taking forever. Just like when I was a kid. It’s kinda nice actually.
9. Three day weekends are about three days too short.
10. I still look at Bethany and say, “wow.” Someone is going to think that’s shallow. I just think it’s awesome.
1. There’s needs to be some blood in the game. In today’s world, the message will be far more easily drowned out by all the props and other “gospels.” They need to know you have and do lean hard into it. It has to have at the very least been the only good news you had at one time. And then? You came out on the other side trusting more. There has to be blood in the game.
2. I can’t tell the difference anymore between normal programming and Olympic coverage.
3. I’m not very handy around the house. I wish I was better with power tools than I am. At 44 years old I’ve learned it’s better for me to just be on friendly terms with a guy who repairs them cheap and quick.
4. I started teaching Romans last week in my Sunday School class. The night before I woke in a cold sweat because I was afraid no one would come. About a hundred showed up which would’ve caused the same if I’d known.
5. I’m at that point of the year where Fall feels close. But it’s a false feeling because I live in Alabama and it won’t really feel like Fall till Late October.
6. You weren’t created to take in all the tragedy, causes, and concerns that are constantly hitting you up for emotional responses on social media.
7. I’m not good with simple tools either.
8. I rooted against Usain Bolt because I never want my kids to think loving the spotlight like that is okay.
9. I love being at home.
10. Laughing with Bethany is my favorite.
1. The television and it’s images, caring nothing for you, asks nothing of you except your devotion and your money.
2. On Sunday mornings I will begin teaching through the book of Romans. Stronger than armies, Paul’s letter always leaves hearts and minds changed in its wake. Some for faith. Some hearts are hardened. But always changed.
3. Who told you numbers were the final measurement?
4. For the first time in a long while we took a family vacation and came out on the other side, rested. I woke up early each morning. Made coffee. Sat on our deck overlooking the Gulf. Drank said coffee. Enjoyed the sea air. Listened to the waves. Read the Count of Monte Cristo. Listened to Springsteen or Radiohead. Waited for Bethany to join me.
5. The best part of the Olympics is the unexpected win of someone who has never won before.
6. It’s true there is a lot of food I once enjoyed I no longer can eat. But I can eat as much as I want of everything else. And still lose weight.
7. Social media is a cheap mob’s weapon.
8. I take it back, the best part of the Olympics is watching Bethany enjoy them every night.
9. My rights are never defended in the NT.
10. The week Radiohead released A Moon Shaped Pool, I listened to it three times. It took my breath away. But I stopped listening because I knew I would eventually buy the LP version. This week I received it in the mail and it is one of the most beautiful and captivating pieces of music I’ve ever heard. Each listen takes you further in. More symphonic than anything else. It forces you to think differently about music, much like Kid A. I imagine people will be listening to this in 50 years.