A General Observation

I’m a church historian and theologian who teaches leadership courses. Please indulge a general observation. Pastors who really enjoy theology should probably read a few more leadership books. And pastors who really enjoy leadership should probably read a few more theology books.

NATHAN A FINN from Twitter

So I was digging *deep* into my ideas folder and somehow I randomly wound up at this quote. Here’s the crazy part, Dr. Finn is the provost at North Greenville University – I’m only familiar with the University because I drive through the campus on the way to visit my grandmother in Travelers Rest which is almost literally a stones throw from the campus. 

In a world so large with so many people, sometimes it can feel so small. 

NOTE: I only have a few pictures/videos to go off of when I make these things. At first it seemed like Dr. Finn either didn’t have hair or it was super short but now I’m digging around maybe he does have hair? 🤦🏻‍♂️ I think you look awesome *without* the hair but apologies if you have this magnificent head of hair that I’ve totally neglected. 

David – The Weak Became Strong

My sketch notes from the 9-11-2022 service at Thomas Road Baptist Church. You can download the pdf below! 👇🏻

The Non-Anxious Pastor

A quote from Pastor TREY from his book “The Non-Anxious Pastor:”


I never truly dealt with the root problems of my anxiety because it always seemed to benefit me. Stress turned me into a straight-A student. Fear of failure gave me the ability to consume and create content at a very high level. 

My insatiable desire to appear successful to others created a charisma people found charming and reassuring. Anxiety is a superpower until it’s kryptonite. 

See, anxiety gives you the illusion of success. It convinces you nothing would get done without it. It promises major results with minimal side effects. (Let’s ignore what anxiety has done to my skin, stomach, and sleeping habits.) 

In my mind, these were worthy sacrifices to climb the ladder of success. By God’s grace, this moment in the hospital made me realize my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall. 

Anxiety does the opposite of what it promises. It produces minimal results with major side effects that ruin your soul, your family, your church, and the world. 


I want to be careful using the word “anxiety” here because it’s a clinical term and I’ve heard a *ton* of well-meaning Christian advice that sounds like “You just need Jesus” or “you need to spend more time in the word” or other things that sound nice but really aren’t super helpful. If you need help, get help. For real.

This book has a been a real eye-opener for me not because I want to be a pastor but as someone who is building something and feels the weight on the construction it opened my eyes to some of the deeper issues of things I deal with. 

I can’t recommend it enough; and that’s not just because Trey let me create the cover art. 😉

You are Here Devotional

Busyness can be a disguise for self-sufficiency and pride. 

Prioritizing prayer requires humility. It requires recognizing that we not in control and we need to lay it all down and trust in Jesus.

Chris Spradley (@youarehere_devotional ) from his book “You are Here: A Discipleship Devotional for Marking the Growth and Development of Your Christian Walk.”

Chris reached out and asked if I wanted to read this book and I was happy I did! Look, it has pictures in it and I’m going to level with you: I like to see pictures in the books I read. 😅

This quote hit the nail on the head for me; I’m a person who describes themselves as “busy.” If you asked why however you’d see that I say yes to a lot of things I probably shouldn’t and I have a hard time letting go of control. My priority list is like a garage; it get’s so full of stuff that at some point I break down, clean it all out with great effort, and then ultimately fill it back up again. It’s not a virtuous cycle at all. 

Self-sufficiency and pride – two things I currently deal with FOR SURE. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Jonathan Pokluda on Martyrs

The apostle Paul entered heaven to the cheers of those he martyred.

That’s how the Gospel works.

Jonathan Pokluda 

Man if that’s not a quote I don’t know what is. Granted, Jonathan doesn’t credit for it but in the same spirit; I’m sure whoever said it first is happy to see Christ glorified through it without his name attached. 🙏🏻

That’s the most shocking thing about Christianity to me; it just doesn’t make sense. This beautiful expression of change and hope and forgiveness just doesn’t fit with our perspective of right and wrong. It’s askew to us but totally makes sense to God. I think that’s why it’s so shattering when you see a glimpse of it here on earth.

Justin Khoe on Sabbath

“You will sabbath by choice or by force.

What do I mean?

If you don’t choose to enter into the rhythms ordained by God in creation, if you continually violate this law of nature, eventually sickness, disease or burnout will force your body to take the rest God designed it to enjoy.”

Justin Khoe on IG

I’m a theological dum-dum but it appears that while it’s not sinful to not observe a weekly sabbath; it’s certainly foolish.

As someone who is getting older (well, I guess *technically* we are all getting older – maybe I should say, as my body enters the back half of its’ useful life 😅) the idea of rest and prioritizing rest as a discipline is really becoming a practice I’m trying to get better at. 

I think Justin’s message here is very prophetic – in most situations, your body will take the rest it needs. You can push it, but eventually that engine is going to blow and you’ll be sidelined while it rebuilds itself. And as I’ve discovered you don’t always return to 100% from injuries.

Rest is something God designed for us to enjoy. I get everyone has a crazy situation; but rest is good and we’d be wise to figure out how to take part in it.

Although after following Justin on IG I’m now looking for a kettlebell. I’m sure throwing that thing around helps with rest part. 😅

Tim Keller on Better Discourse

“Never describe the view of an opponent in a way he or she will not own. Rather describe their view so they say, ‘I couldn’t have put it better myself.’ Only then should proceed to refute the view. If instead you caricature your opponent — you persuade no one.”

Tim Keller on Twitter

If I had anything to change about this tweet it would be to change the word “opponent.” Usually when I decide to engage online it’s to *understand* the other person not to battle or fight or win. But wow, could you imagine what our discourse would look like if arguments looked more like this?

I know what it would look like. It would be boring. The tweets wouldn’t get retweeted. The cable news shows wouldn’t get watched. The memes wouldn’t get made. Could you imagine if End Game consisted of the Avengers going back in time to convince Thanos the destruction he caused wasn’t worth the cost? BOOOOOOOOOOORING. 🥱😴

Maybe it should be boring? Maybe our interactions should be calm and thoughtful instead of loud and caustic. 

More and more I try to shy away from entertainment that masquerades as news. I’m not interested in listening to people that present their “opponents” as caricatures to tear down. I’m not paying attention to theology that is there to elevate the person with the shocking views and not elevate Jesus. 

Probably not as exciting; but it’s certainly easier to sleep at night. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Ruslan on Schooling

“As Christians, we cannot have a victim mentality. We cannot go out and look for things to be persecuted by. That is not helpful nor is it healthy.”

@ruslankd from a reaction video in response to an interview by Allie Stuckey with Kirk Cameron on the topic of homeschooling.

Phew – ok that byline was a MOUTHFUL! 😅 Sorry there’s a lot of parts there.

It’s funny, in watching the video I didn’t have a strong reaction to the topic of homeschooling (I’ll share my thoughts on that below) but rather how we engage with topics as Christians. I’m not of the mind that Christians shouldn’t talk about politics but I do feel like we need to go about it in a better way.

There are Christians facing persecution today, right now, in real time. I just don’t think it’s all of us, all the time, about everything. Schooling is one of those topics. Are there bad actors in the school system? Yes FOR SURE. But I don’t think we can attribute the extreme problems to those bad actors to the school system at large. Nor should we look down on the parents that had to deal with those bad actors and chose a different schooling path. I love Dr. Crenshaw’s quote, “we need to have better conversations” and describing the public school system as “grooming” our kids isn’t a better conversation. Let’s not be goofy and hyperbolic in our discussions. We can stand firm in our beliefs and add to the conversation without needing to demonize those that disagree with us.

I have a lot more to say but these captions can only be so long. 🤦🏻‍♂️

My thoughts on homeschooling? I’ve found from being exposed to ALL of the different types of schooling (public, private, military, home, unschooling, etc) it really seems like a family by family or even kid by kid decision. I don’t think it’s helpful to demonize the school system because a lot of people have a lot of different experiences there and I think the same goes for homeschooling. I’d support whatever works best for your family and your children. We’re all just trying to do our best out here and a little grace goes a long way.

Mr. Rogers on Love

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like ‘struggle.’ To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”

Mr. Fred Rogers

I know personally that only loving or accepting people when they act in a manner that you expect them to is a frustrating, disappointing, and unloving way to go through life.

Garrett Kell on what people need

“Pastors, in your sermons, don’t give the people a political hot-take, a stand-up comedy routine, a story time fairy tale, a theological lecture, a moralistic message, a shame-filled scolding, or a feel-good motivational speech. They need more. They need Jesus. Give them Jesus.”

Pastor @j.garrett.kell on twitter

I feel like churches and pastors have an impossible task sometimes – all the sermons, and the programs, and obligations; I don’t know how they balance it all. I’m not a pastor or in professional ministry so I’d flip this advice around for us church-goers; don’t go for the comfy seats, the amazing sound system, the coffee, the parking spot, the atmosphere, the giant screens, catching up with friends…just go for Jesus. We just need Jesus.

Note: I totally failed in capturing his fade. 🤦‍♂️