Election Day.

on November 8, 2016 in Culture Matters with no comments by

Sweet friends,

I have been nothing but the worst of all bloggers this fall. I am so very sorry. At an event recently, the host asked if I was to be introduced as an “author, speaker, and blogger” and I cringed thinking how long it has been since I put words to the page here. (I’m putting lots of words to other pages, don’t worry, I’m still writing, but just not here like I should or want to.) I have big plans for returning with a vengeance in 2017 though, so don’t you worry about that!

But today, I asked a dear friend of mine, Michael Wear, to pen a little something about the election. Michael is a massively trusted voice in the faith and politics world, and I’ve watched the last few years as he has led this conversation with integrity and compassion. This is what he had to say to us today…

. . . . .

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23 (NIV)

This morning, we woke up to heated talk about the presidential election. Throughout the day, political strategists will make their predictions, and the stakes will be discussed in starker and starker terms as we move through the day. Millions will agonize over their vote, and then nervously watch the returns come in tonight.

This election has been disconcerting to say the least. It has been defined by the presumption of fear and instability. We are told that great enemies surround us, and that our fate will be decided when the votes are tallied.

It is right to think of pleasant things while reading the twenty-third Psalm: the calm of still waters and the peace of green pastures. We read this Psalm, some of the best-known literature the world has ever known, and we are transported in our minds and in our spirit. We are reminded of God’s character and the promise He has for our lives.

The Psalm is used often at funerals—I read it at my father’s service—and it is depicted on lovely home decor. It is a Psalm for all times, a reminder of the constant things and eternal truths.

Yet, to think this Psalm is primarily for our moments of reflection or mourning is to miss its meaning. The Twenty-Third Psalm is not just for the backdrop of our lives, a reminder in the moments when we finally catch our breath. No, this Psalm is meant for when we are in the very thick of life, for the very moment of crisis.

David, of course, was not someone who lived a simple life. He was a warrior and a king. He led armies and slayed giants. He faced major trials—many of his own making. This Psalm is not just a reflection on God’s faithfulness, but an overflow of David’s experience of God’s faithfulness at the present time.

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Today, I want to remind you that the same God who led David beside still waters, and who prepared a table for him in the midst of his trial, that God is alive and well. If you have cast your lot with Jesus, He says that we can abide in Him and He will take care of our needs. If David can find security in God as others plot his demise, surely we can trust Jesus for our security in the midst of an election.

This does not mean that we ignore reality. This is the great relief of the Psalm: that David is able to acknowledge that he walks through the valley of the shadow of death, but God meets him right there in the mess with blessing and anointing and comfort.

Likewise, as we move through this day, we do not ignore the real consequences that the outcome of this election will have on our well-being and that of our neighbors, our country and the world. We can even care deeply about the outcome. But let us not live as though we have no Shepherd. Jesus encourages us, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We can find security at all times in Him, and we need not fear any evil. We worship a great and compassionate God, who is ushering in a certain kingdom, and whose term as King is not for four or eight years, but all time.

. . . . .

Don’t you love Michael?!? I promise he’s about to become your favorite twitter follow and your favorite political thinkin’ man. And this writing is SUCH good truth. Honestly exactly what I needed to hear today. Michael is the author of the forthcoming book, Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy– I hope you will too. Totally worth it. 

. . . . .

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That Sounds Fun Podcast Episode 22: Scott Sauls

on November 2, 2016 in That Sounds Fun Podcast with no comments by

Scott Sauls on That Sounds Fun PodcastScott Sauls is one of my favorite pastors in Nashville. He is a valued and trusted voice in my life and in the lives of many of my friends here in town and across the nation. Our conversation today is very personal to me- not only do we discuss friendship and Scott’s new book Befriend, but we talk about the life of the church and how we should love and serve the local church. Can’t wait to hear you thoughts on this episode!

Here are the things we talked about on the podcast with Scott!! 🙂

– Scott Sauls

– Christ Presbyterian Church

– Jesus Outside the Lines

– Befriend: Creating Belonging in an Age of Judgement, Isolation, and Fear

– Vanderbilt

– Ben & Jerry’s

– SATCo

– TacoBell

– Redeemer Presbyterian

– Tim Keller

– Columbia University

– Darren Whitehead

– Matt Smallbone

– Ann Voskamp

– Vine

– Twitter

– Instagram

– Amazon

– Mariah Carey

– Jim Carrey

– Tom Brady

– Bianca Juarez Olthoff

– Madeline L’Engle

– St. Augustine

– Enneagram

– Ian Cron

– Richard Rohr

– Tar Heels

– St. Louis Cardinals

– Grant Jackson

– Roland Garros

– Johnnyswim

– Ryman

– Indigo Girls

– Hillary Scott

– Hunter Hayes

– Willie Nelson

– Andrew Peterson Behold the Lamb

– Sam’s Place Steven Curtis Chapman

– Chris Tomlin

– Garth Brooks

– Tricia Yearwood

– “Walkaway Joe”

– Big Fat Greek Wedding

– Gilmore Girls

– Eddie Kaufholz

– Ellie Holcomb

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That Sounds Fun Podcast Episode 21: Eddie Kaufholz

on October 20, 2016 in That Sounds Fun Podcast with no comments by

Y’all. I freakin’ love this guy. Eddie Kaufholz sealed a spot as a bridesmaid in my wedding after this hilarious podcast. No episode has had more laughs or listens or people begging for a repeat performance. This guy is a real treat and I think y’all are going to love him. His new podcast, The New Activist, has quickly become one of my favorites. I think you’ll love it, too!

Here are the links to the things Eddie and I discussed in the podcast!

– Eddie Kaufholz

– The New Activist

– Relevant Podcast

– International Justice Mission

– Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing

– Happy hour with Jamie Ivey

– Men in Blazers

– Brandon Harvey

– NPR show Neighbors

– Cameron Strang

– Belong Tour

– Zumba

– Promise Keepers

Birkenstock sandals

Lowe’s

Jesse Carey

Seinfeld

Crocs

Miranda Lambert

Larry King’s Twitter (KingsThings)

Dave Barnes (not the musician)

Dave Barnes (the musician)

Fancy (Reba)

Dixie Chicks (Cowboy Take me Away)

FOMO

Barna Group

Andy Crouch

Andy Crouch New Activist Podcast

Strong and Weak

Jeremy Courtney

Gary Haugen

Hannah Song

Liberty in North Korea

DC Talk Reunion

Dove Awards

Supernatural DC Talk

DC Talk Reunion Cruise

Ryman Auditorium

Coke ICEES

Slurpee

Burger King

Candida

Sierra Mist

Hot Pocket

Omaha Steaks

– irk! (marble game)

Sarah Groves on New Activist

Ellie Holcomb

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