Be Passionate About Something

Please don’t settle. Don’t settle for complacency. For simply surviving life.
Live it. Enjoy it. Savor it. Treasure it.
Anything less and you are cheating yourself.
Cheating yourself out of joy. Of experiences. Of memories. Of relationships. Of laughter. Of beauty.
And if you cheat yourself I believe you are cheating the world. Because the world won’t get all God created you to be if you’re settling.

Be passionate about something.
Whether it’s photography or mowing lawns, writing stories or making jewelry, building houses or making coffee, playing music or singing or cooking, being a parent or preaching or traveling.
Whatever it is, be passionate about it. Care about it. Refuse to settle.

And invite other people into your dream for life. Share your vision. Give the rest of us the joy of seeing you come to life when talking about your dream.


The Twenty #10 – Why Church is Irrelevant for Me

I’ve gone back and forth on this post for several weeks. Written. Rewritten. Completely started over. Something about saying that church is irrelevant just hasn’t sat quite right with me.

But then I realized that perhaps it was the reasons I had claimed church was irrelevant that weren’t sitting quite right with me. A conviction that the reasons I had written about shouldn’t make church irrelevant.

Thinking back on the last 5 years of my life I finally admitted to myself that church is irrelevant for me because oftentimes it seems to brush aside pain. It wants to overlook our weakness in suffering. Yes, it’s tempting to preach a Gospel that will cure all pain & suffering but it’s false.

Pain & suffering are a fact of life. In fact God makes it pretty clear in Scripture that we will experience them here on earth. Sure they seem to set up camp more in the lives of some than others, but they leave a mark on every single one of our lives in some way. Yet despite that, something in our human nature wants to hide them…to pretend they don’t exist.

And when a church tries to claim that faith will take away all pain that’s when it becomes irrelevant for me. Because I know otherwise. I’ve experienced otherwise. It took years of physical pain & suffering to really drive this home for me but I get it now…at least a little bit. I know that talking about pain and weakness is uncomfortable. I know it can hurt to see others in pain. But my prayer is that as a Church we can get past that. Because if we don’t I think there’s a lot of hurting people in the world that are going to see church as irrelevant for their lives.

What, if anything, makes church irrelevant for you?

Photo Credit: Sarah Jensen

Learning to Love. Discovering Community. Living Justice.

When I visited Nashville a year ago I kept putting off going back to Wisconsin. First I was going to leave Sunday. Then Monday. And finally convinced myself to hit the road on Tuesday.

But after that Monday evening I was sure glad I stayed. I like to think that was God’s plan all along. Because that Monday night God planted the seed in my heart that He might have something for me in Nashville. And that something was community. It was learning how to love. How to simply be. All with the thread of justice running through it.

A friend invited me to come and hang out with what essentially was a big group of friends who got together to make food and serve it to the homeless in downtown Nashville. I remember leaving that night with a million thoughts in my head but blown away by the fact that I had shared my story…a 5 minute, honest, from the heart, version of it…to more people in those 3 hours than I had in probably 3 years. And I didn’t even know those people.

The group now has an official name – People Loving Nashville. And still meets every single Monday night…rain, shine, tornados, snow…you name it.

When I go and sit on the floor in a big circle as we gather for a devotion before heading out I am overwhelmed at what is around me. It’s a group of mostly 20 & 30 somethings, all with incredibly different stories, all from different churches…some not from any church. No one comes out of obligation. No one is getting credit for being there. They come compelled by one thing: love. And that love is the foundation of a community not just among those of us serving but the people we serve as well. It’s grown in size since I first visited but it still feels like a big group of friends getting together to cook some food and give it to those in need. A community strung together by love and a heart for justice.

After missing far too many weeks in a row I made it back downtown last night. And again I was overwhelmed. As I sat in that circle I couldn’t help but think of being there almost a year ago to the day…that first time was actually today…April 26th…and the community that I discovered that night. It was and is one of the most beautiful expressions of being the Church…of living justice…I’ve seen.

I don’t have it all neatly sorted out…perhaps I never will. And maybe that’s okay. But, I’ve discovered this past year that love, community, and justice all seem to go hand in hand. Sure, they can exist independently but their meaning and purpose is most fully seen when they mesh together in messy layers.

I found it fitting last night that the devotion last night was from 1 Corinthians 5 focusing on renewal…about leaving behind the old and living in the new because that is what Christ won for us with His death and resurrection. I have left a lot behind in the last year. A lot that too often I want to drag with me. But God has worked renewal in my life through love, community, and living justice. And it was all planted on a cool but muggy April night in Nashville.



Throwback Sundays – Your Happy Place

All of the places I wrote about in this post still make me happy. I’d add these to the list…these places inspire me, each in different ways…


walking bridge overlooking downtown Nashville

behind a computer running visuals during worship

high above the clouds


All this will not be finished in the first hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
-John F. Kennedy

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to be reminded that I cannot do everything but that shouldn’t stop me from doing something. That just because I might not see the end of something doesn’t mean I can’t see the beginning.