Random Thoughts for the Weekend 


1. How do you raise a kid to live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to our faith? All cliches and trite answers are excluded from discussion.

2. It dawned on me that because of my familiarity with the Scriptures and theology, I need to read them more to keep me awake to their importance and to stay in fellowship with God. My temptation is to do the opposite. 
3. I don’t wanna brag but The Avett Brothers are coming to my hometown.
4. On Tuesday as I drove to work, I was thinking about the Isbell song, “Hope the High Road.” Its a great song with a true kindness behind it. However, it’s sad too. The line, “Last year was a son of a b____ for nearly everyone we know…” is a sad line. He has said this relates to the election of Trump. It’s not sad because I have a different political take on the event. I find it sad because of the misplaced hope people put in politics and politicians. But really if you have no meta narrative higher than that, it makes complete sense that an election would ruin your year. That fills the hole left when Christ is not supreme. I was thinking about all of this as I drove to work and for some reason I turned on NPR for the first time in years. An author was being interviewed about the rise of Isis and other extreme Muslim groups. He basically said in America it is becoming hard for us to understand because the gap created by secularism has placed politics at the center of our being and not religion. Whoa.
5. My wife recently took a test and the only person that knows her, who was worried if she would do well, was her.
6. It has always been a gracious fact that the depth of my sins are not all seen at once.
7. Really looking forward to going on vacation with the family. We’ll spend a lot of money, someone will probably get sunburned, and we’ll be living in a smaller space. Not sure where I was going with this…
8. One of the great scandals of the NT is Paul’s veritable silence about the injustice he was surrounded by and in fact suffered from. His outrage seems consistently reserved for his own sin and the Judaizers. This is not to suggest we should not care about it. But he literally was surrounded by injustice. Not just tweets about it. Why so silent?
9. I’ve been reading Knowing God by Packer again and remembering what it was like back in the mid ’90s for me to encounter depth of theological thought for the first time in a book.
10. Whoever invented the DVD player for the minivan so that my wife and I can talk for a couple hours on a trip, is a hero.

Random Thoughts for the Weekend


1. With so many issues to distract the church, Paul’s resolve to know nothing but Christ and him crucified is a good “issue” to be distracted with.

2. The new poet laureate, Tracy K. Smith, is worth your attention.

3. How is that fight on social media working out for you?

4. Our kids had Papa John’s pizza for the first time last night and gushed like they were eating from the tree of life.

5. A bad meal with good friends is better than a feast with kings.

6. “Does anyone ever point out that you have same name as…”

“Eight times this week.”

7. Unless you care deeply about poetry, you cannot know the importance of spending time with someone who cares deeply about it.

8. The lack of time between reading and reaction that is felt is far too quick for true engagement with subject matter, these days.

9. The location is irrelevant as long as Bethany is there.

10. The new Jason Isbell album is so good I didn’t even ask for records for Father’s Day. I don’t want to listen to anything else.

Random Thoughts for the Weekend


1. The gospel of grace will always refresh us the most when our souls are the most parched.

2. I don’t watch a whole lot of movies because none of them are like Paterson.

3. We should be heartened when politicians like Bernie Sanders think poorly of us who believe the gospel. For our Lord was also thought poorly of for the same reasons.

4. Many think the country is going down the tubes because of politicians. I think it’s because we advertise cheap divorce on billboards just like fast food. 

5. Hi, my name is Matt and I’m addicted to Palmetto Cheese from Costco.

6. I see a lot of arguments on Twitter among Pastors and church leaders and it’s rarely about the gospel. Even if it was, it would still be like watching a fight in a room full of people without much regard for each other or those watching.

7. I read an article about Paterson and the filmmaker decried how poetry has disappeared from public life. He’s right. And now it’s relegated to the back corners of all the bookstores and the libraries. That’s how you get Kenny Chesney and Joel Osteen, both.

8. What’s really amazing to me is Jason Isbell recorded the new album in a couple of weeks. And it’s a masterpiece. Why is it taking U2 so dadgum long?

9. The other day I told my middle son that in heaven every day will be like Saturday and I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear this myself till I choked it out.

10. The kindness of my wife is museum-quality rare. Rarely seen. Heard of, like news from distant lands. But everyday for me.

Random Thoughts for the Weekend


1. The New Testament becomes what it was originally meant to be when we understand those letters were written to a people in “exile” needing to be reminded of the grace of God in Christ.

2. I don’t know if “beauty will save the world.” But I do feel the creeping ugliness in our culture. And in my own heart, often.

3. How about this? I’ll listen to the alarm about climate change when we can have a rational discussion acknowledging gender is not fluid. 

4. I don’t think I ever saw friendship rightly until my special needs kid starting making friends. And it happened at the beginning of her teenage years, which sweetened the deal.

5. I often hear something or read something about an artist – maybe an artist I’ve never heard of – that disappoints me so much, I end up reacting to it in a completely opposite way. Usually, it’s by reading or listening to something beautiful. Like Chopin. Or Monk.

6. Err on the side of being too gracious, I think. Still hold onto your convictions but let grace be the chief one.

7. Jason Isbell released a new song from his forthcoming album a couple of days ago. The song is titled “White Man’s World.” I assumed I would cringe a little about the lyrics but still enjoy the melody and sound. Actually, the reverse is true. It may be my least favorite track by him yet. I apppreciate what he’s saying, especially knowing what’s behind the words. But after listening to it a few times, I’m just not enjoying the song. Which is odd, if you me.

8. When asked about my favorite author, I’ve realized how untruthful I am sometimes. Not sure why. But I should always answer “C.S. Lewis” since I have more books by him and about him, than anyone else. It’s not even close. I also read him more often than anyone else.

9. “The thought occurred to me that the crisis for Christians is not that we are politically homeless, but that we ever thought we could be at home in politics at all.”

10. Last week I pointed out how incredulous I was at any Christian support of our President. One of those reasons is his objectification of women through strip clubs and pornography. I also pointed out in a later “random thought” that I enjoyed summer because I get to see my wife in a bathing suit. There were those who thought I was being inconsistent. Of course, the comment about my wife, while true, was a joke because I see her in far less every day. And in all seriousness, me enjoying seeing my wife in anything or nothing at all is a holy thing. If this is considered objectification of her or women, we have lost the ability to see other things clearly  in our sensitivity on a particular issue. The focus has rendered the context blurry and distorted.