Random Thoughts for the Weekend

High school cheerleaders perfoming during football game

1. Jesus is not a cheerleader. When I was in High School, our football team was never good. Everyone expected them to lose most of their games. Even the Cheerleaders expected them to lose. And yet they kept cheering as if our defense could stop the other team and our offense could score. They knew this was fiction, however. Everyone did. When Jesus says things like “Don’t worry about your life…seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else will be provided for you,” he is not cheer-leading. He knows what he is talking about.

2. Many discouraged pastors need to hear, “Celebrity and popularity are not fruits of the Spirit.”

3. No political party is consistent. Republicans/Democrats can get mad all they want, they both ignore in themselves what they hate in the other. There is no hope in this.

4. Josh Garrels new album on a loop.

5. Have you ever stopped to wonder what you are surrounding yourself with and how it might be affecting you?

6. I have had in mind lately the question, “How different is my life than those who do not believe in supernatural realities that are unseen?” In other words, do I live as if there is a God, Who is there, as Schaeffer said.

7. Goodness, it was hard to say “Goodbye” to students this week. I loved them far more than I liked being a teacher.

8. I just assume “deny themselves” includes Constitutional rights. That sounds harsh and hard. Like a kind of death. You could say it sounds like a cross, even.

9. It cannot be pointed out too often how much money and time and attention is given to fit bodies in our culture and how little attention is given to our hearts and minds.

10. I was named after the Apostle Matthew. Former tax collector. Gospel writer. The name means “gift of God.” To see him portrayed in The Chosen as someone with Asperger’s as the father of one with Asperger’s is…something I cannot yet put words to.

Random Thoughts for the Weekend


1. I want a joyful contentment in Jesus with no qualifiers. I want in sickness and in health, poverty or wealth, to be at odds with the world of circumstances. When someone asks me how I am doing, I want to consider the presence of Jesus, my union with him and his love for me, and smile knowing I am safe and I have what I need.

2. There is a scene in The Chosen TV Series, in which Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Zebedee are trying to pull in that miraculous haul of fish and Jesus is watching them. And then he does something that makes more sense than all the stoical pictures of Jesus that have formed in my mind for 48 years.

He laughs.

It is a beautiful scene. We should assume that Jesus was happy to see the will of his Father displayed on earth as it is in heaven.

3. It is the most reasonable thing in the world for a believer to want to listen to songs about Jesus. It is unreasonable to demand they be the best songs before they are listened to.

4. As those who follow Jesus, sometimes we must say “no” to things that are not sinful. It will feel like a death because it is a kind of death. It is a tearing of the flesh. It is often painful. And the pain can be compounded when you see others following Jesus, who do not have to say “no” to that particular thing.

5. It is interesting to read the gospels and notice Jesus does not really argue. He teaches and he responds. But there is no real arguing to speak of.

6. And he doesn’t complain.

7. The life and teaching of Jesus are no less powerful than his work on the cross.

8. For those who follow Christ, our decisions on how to engage people and businesses should be based on our love of Him and our neighbor. Not a particular political persuasion. It is possible we may disagree on how that plays out. But let your politics be love for the King and the advancement of his kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven.

9. There is a wealth that is not affected by the economy.

10. It is hard for me to believe Jesus would be very happy with the way Americans have turned the church into a business that requires funds to survive.