Aug 202014

You may remember me talking a bit about Bill Istad last Christmas. Bill is a formerly homeless man who my church is supporting on recovering his life.

Bill was baptized tonight. He wanted to be immersed, and we don’t have a baptistry at Good Shepherd. Thanks so much to our friends at The Rock Family Worship Center for loaning us theirs.


I’ll echo the sentiments in that Christmas post and say what a blessing Bill is in our lives. He is hope and redemption, walking around. I think he embodies God’s grace more than any other person I’ve ever known.

We’re all so proud of you, Bill. God bless you!

 Posted by at 7:59 pm
Aug 172014

We’re in a message series on leadership at my church right now. This morning, David preached on what it means to be an example, and how we shouldn’t look at things in terms of tit-for-tat as often as we do. “No quid pro quo” was the phrase that appeared on one of his slides.

It reminded me very much of a situation at work maybe six years ago. Now I have a very strict policy about not blogging about my job, and I’m not going to get too far into the ins and outs of this situation at all. Essentially it was a opportunity I recognized and cultivated to help someone near the end of her rope. She was about to give up. I sat with her and we talked at some length about why she shouldn’t. She ultimately recovered the situation, following my advice, and turned it into long-term happiness.

She never acknowledged to me later that I’d helped her. I let that bother me for a long time. Then God clocked me in the melon with it one afternoon. He said, basically, “All right, enough. Did you help her so she’d tell you what a great guy you were? Or did you help her because it was what you should do as a member of My kingdom?”

I ultimately reconciled with myself that the blessing—all of the blessing—was being able to help.

Full stop.

It seems so elementary when I type it now. For a while, though, the resentment was real. She’d have almost certainly made a major professional mistake had I not intervened that morning. How dare she not appreciate that?


How dare I not bask in the glory of embracing the opportunity to make a genuine difference?

I didn’t understand that it wasn’t a transaction. It was over when I helped.

Its completion is not contingent on me spiking the ball.

 Posted by at 9:25 pm
Aug 062014

As I type, the latest armed conflict in Israel is one month old. That ostensibly intelligent people suppose that this conflict is morally ambiguous, or even otherwise difficult to understand in any way, infuriates me. I believe this perceived ambiguity about the unambiguous has developed largely because our esteemed president has fostered it. Israel is [...]

 Posted by at 6:28 pm is using WP-Gravatar