the blog


Space for silence…


Since the retreat i went on in early August at Youth Front w/Ian Morgan Cron as the retreat guide i’ve been thinking a lot about silence and meditation, prayer and solicitude… these kind of more introspective and slower spiritual rhythms. I believe their important with my brain but don’t prove it much with my living. My spiritual director is encouraging to really dig into this and start, even if it’s baby steps (thanks Bob). So 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there. The sad part is how hard 5 minutes of silence is. The hopefully part is that rhythm can be learned!

Here is a great Nouwen quote! ENJOY!

” SOLITUDE IS BEING with God and God alone. Is there space for that in our lives? …

To believe in Jesus is to believe in Jesus as the one who is sent by God and in whom God’s fullness becomes visible. … To believe in Jesus means to believe in the intimate, full, total communion between the Father and the Son. … Jesus wants to include us in this most intimate communion by giving us the Holy Spirit: “It is good that I go,” says Jesus,” so that I can send you the Spirit” (see John 16:7). In and through the Spirit we become full participants in the communion of love that Jesus shares with his Father. That is the mystery of our redemption and the promise of the spiritual life.

– Henri J. M. Nouwen
A Spirituality of Living



Lenten Reading…


Thought i would share what i’m reading this Lent. And i would love to know what your into!

So every year i pick one book during Lent that will help me reflect on the season as well as the things i’ve given up and taken on. Last year i dove into N.T. Wright’s book Reflecting The Glory. And it was great! This year i’ve picked up Alexander Schmemann’s book entitled Great Lent: Journey to Pascha. I read bits of this last year but i decided to make it on as my Lenten book this year… and so far it’s amazing!

Also on amazing is a free kindle version of a Lent devotional by Alexander Schmemann entitled Great Lent (with a lengthly subtitle). This looks like it’s a shorter devotional version of the book i’m reading but i’m sure it’s awesome and it’s FREE! So get it!

I’m also reading a couple little devotional guides this Lent.

The 1st is my book LENT: A Journey of Discovery by Addition, Subtraction and Introspection. My youth group as well a some friends of mine that are pastors are using this book as a resource to lead their students through this time of Lent. Excited to see what God does with these words i’ve put to paper. My hope is that it’s a helpful guide on this Lenten journey.

My Church also put together a little Lenten devotional guide that uses Psalm 119 as a lighted path for the Lenten journey. You can check that out  (free PDF) if you’d like.

I hope your Lent has started off well and that you are pondering your mortality and your need for a savior, hoping and looking forward to a resurrection but willing to take the hard, long joinery to get there.

Grace, peace and mercy



I wrote a book // LENT


So it’s true, I wrote and self-published a little book. The book is a little devotional piece on Lent, which if your not familiar is the 40 days leading up to Easter. So essentially it’s a devotional book that leads and prepares the reader for Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus.

Here’s what the back of the book says;

This isn’t just another devotional book. This is a guide to a 40-day journey to resurrection.

Maybe you don’t even know what Lent is. Maybe you’re thinking it’s that stuff you pick out of the depths of your pants pockets. Maybe when you hear Lent, you think it’s something only Catholics do.

Even if you’re not familiar with Lent or have a negative association with it, I think we would all agree that Easter is essential to the life of the Church. It’s the time of year when we are intentional about retelling and rehearing the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

And because Christ invites His followers to not just hear about resurrection but to participate in it, we have historically taken the 40 days leading up to Easter to prepare our hearts and minds to enter into the story of Christ.

This little book is a guide, a help, a companion on that 40-day journey of prayer and Christian practice known as Lent. On this journey, we will practice the disciplines of addition, subtraction and introspection so that we may more fully participate in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We call this journey Lent.

And we take this journey because we all need a resurrection.


I would love to offer this little devotional book to you as you as you make your way to Easter Sunday.

If you order the book by this Friday at noon i can guarantee it’s arrival by Wednesday the 22nd, which is when this Lenten journey will start for most of us.

At my church we are using this book to guide our middle school and senior high students on a Lenten journey. There are a handful of other churches that are using this resource to help their students as well.

There are themes for every week of the journey which we will all be using as preaching topics during this next 7 weeks. And if you interested, some of us are going to join a conversation to help each other as we craft messages and services for our students during this time. That conversation will mostly happen via email and i would love to include in that as well.

You can get the book here and checkout the Web Guide (an online resource to supplement the book) here.

My prayer is that this resource would help you and your ministry as you make your way through the desert of Lent to the brilliance of resurrection!

Would love to have you on this journey with us!

Grace and peace

And here is the book cover if you want to see / read it all!
(thanks to Aaron VanStrien for his skills, which he donated to this project!)



2010 Reading List


I read a pretty good amount, not as much as i would like but a decent amount non the less. There are quite a few books i read portions of but here is my 2010 reading list (books i actually completed).
In the Order that i read them not in the order i liked them.

2010 Book List…

#1. iDentity : Who you are in ChristScreen shot 2011-01-21 at 12.18.50 AM

Eric Geiger

#2. Introduction to the Devout Life

Saint Francis de Sales

#3. The Waste Land and other Selected Writings

T.S. Eliot

A little poetry is always good for the soul. I don’t get about 90% but maybe that’s ok.

#4. The Sacred Meal

Nora Gallegar

I believed i blogged about this book. It was solid, not the best account or greatest insight i have ever read on the Eucharist but it was solid. I would recommend it!

#5.  Giving Church Another Chance Screen shot 2011-01-21 at 12.26.20 AM

Bishop Todd Hunter

I had the opportunity to have lunch with Todd back in May so i picked up his book and read it quick. And i really enjoyed it! It didn’t rip my face off with amazing and deep theological reflection but is spoken honestly, authentically, and practically about worship, about liturgy, and about the church. It was a really good read and when and if God does open the door for me to plant a church this is a book i will probably read again. Most of all i just love Todd’s heart not only for the church, tradition and liturgy (all passions i share with him) but also his passion for evangelism (which i also share). Reaching those who either have been disenfranchised by church or just don’t care and never have. Todd wants his church community to meet the needs of those who Jesus is after not just those of us who are already on the journey and to do that in the context of high church (i use that loosely) is really refreshing and inspiring! So… go read this book. His new book is on my 2011 reading list… i’ll share that later.

#6. Reflecting Glory :: Meditations for Living Christ’s Life in the World

NT Wright

NT Wright is a stud, we all know that but this book is more on the devotional side of things. So if your looking for a stellar devotional book, especially during the lenten season this year. Pick up this book!

#7. Born To Run borntorun

Christopher McDougall

Ummm… how to say this without overstating it. AMAZING! This is probably one of the best non-fiction books i have ever read. Simply inspiring! 

#8. Surprised By Hope

N.T. Wright

Tom again. This book was great. Not as great mind blowing as i thought it was going to be but great non the less. And if you haven’t read or thought much about eschatology and mission this book will probably blow your mind and probably even change you life. It really is a must read for all of us to grew up in the Left Behind (is my end time doctrine) era. MUST READ! And i’m reading the follow up book right now.

#9. The Dwelling of the Light :: Praying with the Icons of Christ

Rowan Williams
I’m preparing myself for some new ink. This was a great little devotional book and also part of my preparation.

#10. Our Anglican Heritage

John W. Howe

#11. The identity of Anglicanism :: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology

Paul Avis

The last two books on the list are some Anglican reading i’m doing these days. The church i go to is apart of the AMIA (The Anglican Mission in American) a really great group of people who i am really excited about linking arms with.


So, that’s my 2010 reading list.


What was you favorite book of 2010?


What’s on your list for 2011?
Do share! I will soon.


Grace and peace




A critique of facebook / identity / honesty /and the / self…


So i think we have some identity issues at play in our culture. We have our true self, our facebook self, our desired self, and actualized self. My pastor preached a message on the true self, i heard Peter Rollins give a little commentary on the facebook self when he preached at Mars Hill and i’ve been thinking about identity all my life, mainly cause mine is confusing, i even made a little video about it.

Yesterday i got to thinking about it again.

A few of my friends, some current friends and some old friends from college filled out a little survey on 15 influential authors. As i was writing my list i realized that this was a practice in honesty and identity, at least for me. I wanted to put cool authors and if i were honest i probably stretched the truth with a couple of the authors i wrote down. But it’s a facebook survey, i needed to put all the cool authors i have read and some that hopefully others haven’t read, you know created a perceived reality of myself or something. I couldn’t put down Max Lucado or something, or my gilty pleasure of Joel Olstean (which i have NEVER read in my life, just to clear that up.)

My main point is that we fill out survey’s like this, no no… I fill out a survey like this and it becomes a practice in honesty and identity. Am i honest? Or am i trying to construct a certain view of myself. And the real question probably is, WHY? Why do i even feel the need to do it.  Probably just cause it’s stupid and fun and it only took about 3 1/2 minutes. But it got me thinking about identity again… so i thought i would share.

Just in case you missed it on facebook, here is my list. An honest list, but kind of impressive, right?  😉

Not really…

PS :: you can do this on facebook but copy and paste your list in the comment section of this blog, i would love to read it… BUT REMEMBER, this is a practice in honesty and identity! maybe….

The Rules:

Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag some friends (however many you want) including me, because I’m interested in seeing what authors my friends choose.

(To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note.)

In no particular order…

  1. Don Miller
  2. Brian McLaren
  3. Stanley Hauweras
  4. John Howard Yoder
  5. Jurgen Moltmann
  6. Dallas Willard
  7. NT Wright
  8. Muhammad Yunus
  9. Tim Keel
  10. William Cavanaugh
  11. Soren Keirkagaard
  12. Ernesto “Che” Gueverra
  13. Alexander Schemann
  14. Richard Foster
  15. John Wesley



Some time at the park…


Well it’s superbowl Sunday and a beautiful day in Nashville!!!

So beautiful that Andrea and I decided to head to the park for a bit before we head to a couple superbowl parties we will be hitting up.

Here us a little picture… My reading material and my beautiful sleeping wife.

Gotta love days like this!!!



My Christmas reading list…


I am working on three books right now. The goal is to get them done by the end of the month. I’ll let you know how that goes. 

I usually keep my current reading list up to date, you can check it out on “the shelf”. That the page on this blog where i talk about what i’m reading and stuff like that. Check it out. 
(the link is up top)

So these are the three books i am working through right now. All three are really good and all three are worthy of some blog time. I will do that soon! 

Grace and peace





20 books at once; A Dilemma…


I realize I am not alone, that this dilemma plagues a great number of us to seek to be learners. It’s a dilemma for me especially because I have a mild case of OCD. Whenever I open a book, magazine, newspaper, or anything else that you can read from beginning to end I have this compulsion to start from the first word and end with the last word.

Well right now I am in the middle of about 20 books. A couple of these books I have only a few pages left and a couple of the books I have hardly even started. But I am “reading” them all.

Here is a quick rundown of all the books I am reading at the moment;

(with a sweet little visual to go with it…)

All books


Mark as Story; An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel

Prayer; Karl Barth

Tertullian, Cyprian, & Origen; On the Lord’s Prayer

The Challenge of Jesus; Rediscovering Who Jesus was and Is

Un Christian; What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity

Intuitive Leadership; Embracing a Paradigm of Narrative, Metaphor & Chaos

The Practice of the Presence of God

The Shack

Prayer; Finding the Hearts True Home

Everyman’s Talmud; The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages

Walking the Bible; A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses

Missional Church; A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America


I think that’s all I am actually reading. There is another dozen books on the shelf, waiting to be cracked open but I think I want to finis some of the above first.

So what are you reading? Are you reading about a dozen books as well?

ALSO…  I just updated my Amazon wish list last night. Added about 5 or 6 books I want to read in the next year or so. My Amazon wish list is getting pretty massive. So if you feel so compelled, books are always a way to make me smile and let me know you’re a good friend!  😉 

Well let us know what your reading. And if you have any five start book recommendation let us know that for sure!