things I’ve been reading lately

things I’ve been reading lately

Since I’m on leave from my doctoral program, I’ve been able to slip a few non-prescribed books in. As I re-read sections and the seeds begin to settle in, I’m thankful for the time with them and hopeful for the fruit. You’ll notice a trend in the titles, it’s been a season of work and thought on the inner life (so less church history, more emotions and rule of life).

I thought I’d share a few titles here, I’ll be posting quotes in the coming weeks.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzerro
The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How We Lead by Who We Are by Robert Fryling
Wholeheartedness: Busyness, Exhaustion, and Healing the Divided Self by Chuck DeGroat
Chasing Contentment: Trusting God in a Discontented Age by Erik Raymond

David Benner’s trilogy:
Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Spiritual Journey)
The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery (Spiritual Journey)

Desiring God’s Will: Aligning Our Hearts with the Heart of God (Spiritual Journey)

The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown (6 or 8 hours here, and well worth it)

Be still my soul, be still. (Psalm 131)

Be still my soul, be still. (Psalm 131)

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;

my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.


Over the last year, this psalm has been a balm to me – a meditative prayer to surrender my anxiety before The Lord. In large part, David Powlison’s article helped walk me into the psalm and learn to counsel myself from these three verses  It’s 4.99 well spent.


Also, you can listen to Sandra McCracken sing through the psalm here:

God meets us in our individuality

God meets us in our individuality

But God does not only create us in uniqueness. God meets us in our uniqueness. Think, for example, of the quite different ways Jesus encounters people in the Gospels. Some are simply invited to follow him, some are engaged in Socratic dialogue, some are given provocative parables as answers to questions, some are healed, some are told their sins are forgiven. There has never been one standard way to meet God.

God meets us in our individuality because God was to fulfill that individuality. God wants us to follow and serve in and through that individuality. God doesn’t seek to annihilate our uniqueness as we follow Christ. Rather, Christ-following leads us to our truest self.

The spiritual life of one person should never be a carbon copy of that of another. Peter and John had quite different personalities and quite different transformational journeys as their followed Jesus. Mary and Martha, two sisters whom Jesus loved deeply, each expressed their love for him uniquely. And he received both, not discouraging Martha from busying herself in service, simply encouraging herself not to fret in doing so (Luke 10:38-42).

God’s will for us is that we live out the harmonious expression of our gifts, temperament, passions and vocation in truthful dependence on God. Nothing less than this is worthy of being called our true self. Nothing less than this will lead to our deepest fulfillment. And nothing less than this will allow us to show the face of Christ to the world that we have been called from eternity to show.

The Gift of Being Yourself, David G. Benner, p. 94

God’s Highway.

God’s Highway.

Today was one of the rare gifts where I got to listen to an album from start to finish.

Twice, in fact, thanks to a >2 hr commute at the end of the day. 🙂

And Sandra McCracken is worth the listen. This album, God’s Highway. Man.

This is good and rich and beautiful. The whole lyric page and streaming is here.

Here is the title track. Enjoy.


Eswine & Peterson: two videos for your next 25 minutes.

Eswine & Peterson: two videos for your next 25 minutes.


Staff In-Service today, and we watched these two videos featuring Zach Eswine and Eugene Peterson. Two pastors, two men I am learning much from.




And in this love, more than in bed, I rest.

And in this love, more than in bed, I rest.

Blest be the God of love,
Who gave me eyes, and light, and power this day,
Both to be busy, and to play.
But much more blest be God above,
Who gave me sight alone,
Which to himself he did deny:
For when he sees my ways, I die:
But I have got his son, and he hath none.

What have I brought thee home
For this thy love? have I discharg’d the debt,
Which this day’s favour did beget?
I ran; but all I brought, was foam.
Thy diet, care and cost
Do end in bubbles, balls of wind;
Of wind to thee whom I have crost,
But balls of wild-fire to my troubled mind.

Yet still thou goest on,
And now with darkness closest weary eyes,
Saying to man, ‘It doth suffice:
Henceforth repose; your work is done.’
Thus in thy Ebony box
Thou dost enclose us, till the day
Put our amendment in our way,
And give new wheels to our disorder’d clocks.

I muse, which shows more love,
The day or night: that is the gale, this th’ harbour;
That is the walk, and this the arbour;
Or that is the garden, this the grove.
My God, thou art all love.
Not one poor minute scapes thy breast,
But brings a favour from above;
And in this love, more than in bed, I rest.


George Herbert, The Complete English Works

Herbert: Ungratefulness

Herbert: Ungratefulness

Lord, with what bounty and rare clemency
Hast thou redeem’d us from the grave!
If thou hadst let us run,
Gladly had man adored the sun,
And thought his god most brave;
Where now we shall be better gods than he.

Thou hast but two rare cabinets full of treasure,
The Trinity , and Incarnation :
Thou hast unlocked them both,
And made them jewels to betroth
The work of thy creation
Unto thyself in everlasting pleasure.

The statelier cabinet is the Trinity ,
Whose sparkling light access denies:
Therefore thou dost not show
This fully to us, till death blow
The dust into our eyes:
For by that powder thou wilt make us see.

But all thy sweets are packed up in the other;
Thy mercies thither flock and flow:
That as the first affrights,
This may allure us with delights;
Because this box we know;
For we have all of us just such another.

But man is close, reserv’d, and dark to thee:
When thou demandest but a heart,
He cavils instantly.
In his poor cabinet of bone
Sins have their box apart,
Defrauding thee, who gavest two for one.

George Herbert

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