Things I Don’t Understand: Syria, the Pumpkin Spice Latte & the Immediate Response to Hate Change

A few weeks ago the military strike against Syria seemed eminent. Syria has been a violent mess for years and now we were calling it out. It’s been intense and heavily critiqued (as military action should be). Some have wondered why now? As others have pointed out, it’s an odd message to say, “You can kill your citizens with gunfire, bombs and knives but not with chemical weapons please.”

As you might know, a significant part of the Syrian conflict has to do with oil and Syria is in situated in a strategic place both geographically and politically. You can start figuring out who benefits if you follow the money and power. Applying the logic of who loses will help in our understanding of the interests of the US and other Arab countries. Yes it’s about money – otherwise why would Russia and Syria be allies?

This I get.

What I don’t understand is why things like money and power cannot be shared. Instead we learn from every corner of the world [Read more…]

The Relational Pastor by Andrew Root

Note: I was sent this book from the publisher and as always I am not required to give a positive review but an honest one. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Great books have a way of marking certain seasons of life. Similar to when you watch a great movie or witness a great sporting event and contextualize your enjoyment of it during a particular time in life. I’ll always remember watching Shawshank Redemption has part of my senior year of college and holding a crying newborn the night the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, I’ll remember reading The Relational Pastor during this beautiful New England summer on my back patio with a cup of french-pressed George Howell coffee. I liked it so much that I read it twice. In addition to the excellent content was the timing of the reading. In a summer that intentionally sought spiritual renewal, Root’s words were welcomed and needed.

Here’s what I like so much about The Relational Pastor:

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There Aren’t Enough Volunteers This Year & There Never Will Be

Primary Audience – Fellow Ministry Types

Each year, ministry leaders are asking for more volunteers. They are needed in countless areas as they help create, teach, illustrate, and host a safe and friendly environment on Sundays and throughout the week. Some of these positions only take an extra 20-30 minutes to actually do but committing to that specific window can be challenging. Some of these positions take many more hours that include preparation and spending time with people. And like most things, agreeing to volunteer is a sacrifice.

I am among those that make these announcements regularly. I currently serve in a large church context and I know full well what’s it’s like to serve in smaller places and let me tell you, looking for volunteers is a [Read more…]

A Word to Fellow Ministry Types Upon Entering the New Ministry Year

Yesterday many churches had their “Vision,” “Launch,” or “Kick-off” Sunday and likely most pastors/ministry types woke up today with mixed feelings of excitement, frustration, anxiety, and hopefully, some clarity.  (There is probably at least one email today that should not be replied to before careful thought).  It’s the new ministry year and there is so much potential goodness to be experienced by us and others.

I’m beginning my third ministry year at my current church Grace Chapel and fourteenth in vocational ministry. This year I have been very intentional about preparing myself to enter the [Read more…]

Sought Renewal This Summer And Found a Bit More

A few months ago the school and church ministry year were ending and summer was on the horizon. In my blog post about this I said that I wasn’t really looking for rest but renewal. I mean, I knew “rest” would be hard to find as we have 3 little kids, and so if I am too well-rested, it probably means my wife has taken an even more unfair share of the load. We also wanted to feel that “we did something” this summer.  Not sure what that meant exactly then, but looking back it feels we’ve had a worthy summer.

So in response to the looking forward to summer post, here’s my recap of looking back:

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