You Matter.

If you’re breathing, you matter, because you matter to the One who gave you breath.

Art by worshipgifs

The Worst of Me, the Best of Me.


I believe people are worse than we think.

I believe people are better than we think.

As a Christian, I’m both a pessimist and an optimist at the same time.

I’m painfully aware that we are capable of the worst sorts of evil, and worse, that we too easily turn a blind eye to the real grief of others. Many of us are so sheltered that we deny how deep such depravity runs in our veins. We laugh it off, we whistle past the graveyard, we gloss over the wounded. I’m pessimistic because I see how awful we can be.

I’m also painfully aware that we can be manipulated into thinking people are one-dimensional cartoon caricatures, so much that we become cynical and jaded over the possibility of change. Our very real fears are often exaggerated by a binary social narrative that has us ravenous for blood. We forget that each of us do have hopes and dreams and passions that overlap and interweave. I’m optimistic because I see how harmonious we can be.

I’m hopeful that the best of us, within us and among us, can build bridges through open scars and new stories through broken hearts. That we can give a voice to our uncertainty. That we are on hand one not extremely dismissive, and on the other hand not completely nihilistic. That we validate each other’s concerns and lean into our very real wounds, while not buying into the back-and-forth backlash of answering hurt with hurt.

I am holding space for our fears.
I am holding space for our hopes.
I’m a cynic and a critic.
I’m a believer and I’m with you.
Will you be with me, too?

Photo by Image Catalog, CC BY PDM

“God Is In Control” Doesn’t Let Us Off the Hook

Yes, Christians, “God is in control so don’t worry” and all those other cold comforts that we throw around.

No, Christians, that doesn’t absolve you of being an ambassador of healing and reconciliation and actually leaning into the legitimate fears and anxieties and grief of many people. You ain’t fooling anybody with this “God is in control” stuff. A lot of it’s undercover gloating, and it’s not a free pass to look like you care about those who are truly scared and uncertain.

And yes, Christians, there’s only one King. Nobody in office is fixing what you think is broken. What’s really broken is way, way deeper than that. We proved it.

Photo by Image Catalog, CC BY PDM

Yes, Even You.

I wrestle a lot with insecurity.

I don’t say that as a trendy badge or a “relatable” label. I mean really: it’s debilitating sometimes and I have this shame-loop playing in my head over and over, slithering across the edges of my brain-folds.

Having just finished preaching at an incredible retreat over the weekend, with a beautiful church full of open receptive hearts, I still find that I’m beating myself up over flubbed points, the missed opportunities, and the “Why did I say it like that?” Even after I’ve preached about 800 sermons by now, I’m still learning to “find my voice,” as the poets say. (I don’t say any of this out of self-pity or for false sympathy, by the way. Some of my own criticism of myself is true and valuable.)

I have to keep remembering what God decides to do with the sermon in the hearts of people is actually none of my business. God does the changing part. I can only prepare and show up. And there’s no perfect sermon. Just an imperfect guy with a perfectly generous Father who can work miracles through dirty stained glass.

I often feel like I’m not good enough, smart enough, sharp enough—but that’s closer to the truth than I dare believe. I’m actually not enough. Not by myself. I don’t have what it takes: I never had it. He has to be enough for me. He has to be my rest when my mind goes into that vicious loop, and He has to be my resolve to get up and go again.

Even more, I still can’t believe that anyone would ask me to speak at an event. I’ve never gotten over that feeling, like, “Are you sure? Me?” But yes. Somehow God includes us into His story, even people like you and me. His answer is, Yes, you. You’re the one I want for this. You, the entire insecure weird crazy twitchy you.

I don’t think I will ever, ever get over it. I’m learning just to show up, insecure as always, and simply be grateful that I get to make noises with my mouth that might bless a few people. A new voice is forming in my head, a still small whisper that says, “Rest now, child, and resolve to breathe another day.”

Photo by Image Catalog, CC BY PDM