I turned 40 today which means that I finally have an excuse for my crankiness and I also have the duty to share all of my gathered wisdom with an unsuspecting world. So here are 40 thoughts that no one asked for in no particular order.
Two days ago, the Lester family marked the one year anniversary of our arrival in the US. I cannot believe it has been a year! We arrived tired, smelly, confused and a little fearful and have more or less remained in that state for the rest of the year. It has been a most marvelous adventure!
Dear friends, what if we became the kind of community that our neighbors desperately long for? The kind of place where they wouldn’t need to be Wonder Woman and wouldn’t need confidence juice to enter into, but where it would be okay to be just them, even if just them isn’t okay at all. We can be that sort of a people collectively if we start to just do it individually.
I am more and more persuaded that truly engaged and fully present listening is a gift that Christians could give uniquely to the world, as we of all people aren’t constantly clambering to be heard. Listening is a sacred thing. I think it might be a spiritual discipline actually. Let’s be quick to listen to one another.
Once a week I write a pastoral letter to the good people of the West Congregation of the Austin Stone Community Church. I will occasionally add some of those letters here. Dear West Family I can’t believe that we have been in Austin for two months already. We have loved our time so far, just... Continue Reading →
I used to find people with lots of money intimidating, but God has been teaching me over time what it looks like to serve them and lead them. These are simple observations, but ones that I have learned through pain and frustration at times. My hope is simply to be a faithful minister where God has me, and these are some of the principles that simple faithfulness requires of me in this context.
Turning 39, getting a traffic ticket, listening to Radiohead, reading Esther, and how it all reminds me that I forget the gospel.
In the context of #metoo and #churchtoo, and the horrific things we are learning through that, I am seriously before the Lord asking how we might create churches that are safe spaces for broken and abused women. Churches where we go out of our way - like our Lord - to dignify women's stories, to offer the living and restorative water of the gospel, and to give meaningful purpose in mission to women who previously felt like they had no place.
We are finding our feet. We love our new home, we are enjoying our new city, and we are thriving in our new church, but that doesn't mean that we don't feel deeply for what we have left behind. You can be excited about where you are and sad about where you left all at the same time. We're human. We are complex like that.