1. One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about being off this summer is the conversations I get to have with my kids. Such as the following after talking about a song that was playing while the kids were in the car. We were in the Target parking lot.
Dylan: Is this another Bible lesson?
Me: Actually, everything is a Bible lesson when you get down to it.
Me: Every word in the Bible is pointing to the King, Jesus. And every thing in this world is about Jesus. So everything is a Bible lesson if you think about it.
2. I have found the following to be true. For every thing I wish was different about one of my kids, there is someone I admire who has that trait or disposition in common with them.
3. I have been listening to a lot of Andrew Peterson. It started when we went to his concert, the last of his most recent tour. My wife and I had no desire to go. The day of the concert had not been a good day. Disappointing news had come and I was frustrated – alternating between sadness and anger. But we already had tickets and we were going with friends and the concert was literally just down the street. Going was one of the best decisions we’ve made in a long time. It didn’t feel like church…how do I say this?…it felt better. Like those gathered.. huddled in hope mixed with despair and fear, waiting for the return of the King, who will wipe away every tear. My friend, David, said that Peterson is truly unique in what he does. The more I listen, the more I agree.
4. We seem to equate caring about what is going on in politics with caring.
5. It is very interesting to watch an Anthony Bourdain episode after he took his own life. I quit watching his shows a while back but I decided to watch at least one this week. I always felt like his bad boy antics were desperate acts of insecurity. He seemed to need to project an image of being “bad.” It’s possible much of it all was marketing. So much the worse. But I admit, there was always something likable about him. And his shows were always interesting, to be sure.
6. The problems with American evangelicalism are diverse and myriad. But the fact that you cannot buy Dostoyevsky at the Christian bookstores is symptomatic of most of those problems.
7. Parenting is hard. But one thing I’m learning – though not yet doing well – the secret is to love them and make sure they know it deeply. It’s not the silver bullet to kill all the fears we have, but it is a leaning into how we were meant to live. They will soon enough enter this world that will deal with them based on their usefulness and how they measure up.
8. As the one who authored The God of the Mundane, I cannot recommend Every Moment Holy high enough. It deserves all the praise it is getting.
9. I have been thinking a lot about the Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain suicides. And other suicides too. I find my position as a pastor to be one now of little interest for those who would seek any understanding. Maybe there would be some. But I find myself in a cultural milieu in which the thoughts of a pastor are of little consequence. Even among those who confess Christ. For we have now relegated suicide and the desperation and darkness that precedes it, as the expertise of mental health professionals. Only. It is a disease after all, like cancer. And it must be treated as such. This is a job for chemists, not those who study the soul and the God, Who created all things and through whom all things are held together. But if I cannot speak to despair, what then can I speak to?
10. On Friday morning, my wife had already left for work when I woke up. I sent her a text and when she responded, she asked if I had checked on the kittens. (We have new kittens, by the way.) She told me she had not checked in on them because if she had, leaving for work would have been impossible. There is something uniquely beautiful in watching someone you love enjoy something so much.
Example for #2: One of my kids likes anime. She’s kinda obsessed with it. Also one of the kindest men I know also loves Anime. I admire this man and his godliness quite a bit.
Someone linked to this on Twitter and I just want to say thank you, it’s a wonderful post. Also, every Christian bookstore should have the poetry of St. Nikolai Velimirovich.
Glad you went to that Andrew Peterson concert. I see him carrying the mantel of Rich Mullins onward. In fact, one of the best things I have ever experienced was AP and friends playing note for note ‘Liturgy, Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band’ at the Ryman. If you get a chance to see his ‘Behold the Lamb of God’, definitely go. I think he is coming to Birmingham this year.
You might also check out ‘Under the Radar’ (radarradio.net) for similar artists.
I’ve seen one other show of him live and two BTLOG shows. All great, that day was just a rough day. Glad I went.
I only recently heard about Andrew Peterson, from a couple friends and now from you. So I listened to a lot of his music. The album The Burning Edge of Dawn is great.
Yep, that is my favorite and it came at just the right time for me.
After a long absence of interest, I am trying to return to listening to Christian music, but depend on recommendations for diamonds in the rough. That album and music like Hidden In My Heart are helpful to suffuse my work days with grace and peace. Thank you for talking about good art, and I look forward to your future posts.
My pleasure and thank you!