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An Angry Tree

By on Feb 21, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Since moving to Nashville, I have come to see that there is a peculiar change occurring in me week in and week out. I have never, ever, gone to a church that was as drenched in the gospel and soaked in the overwhelming grace of Jesus, as Immanuel Nashville. Hear me: they/we are far from perfect. I can find problems with anyone, and anything, ever, and can usually complain about something. But this isn’t a nitpicky sort of thing. I cannot in any way do anything but marvel at the power of God to change me that I am experiencing. And it’s not because of Ray Ortlund or any amazingly well-crafted process or program. In fact, it’s the opposite. There is no formula outside of Gospel + Safety + Time. This exposure to a rowdy, nearly ridiculous group of outcasts who have all encountered grace through crippling brokenness is doing something to me. For instance, I have never,...

Where My Soul Thrives

By on Feb 8, 2017 in The Scrawl |

I posted a photo to Twitter this morning and there was a big reason behind it. I have several friends right now that are suffering in what I think of as “Soul Deserts.” So what is a Soul Desert? Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (ESV) People talk about fresh food deserts. Where the only way a person can get fresh, healthy food, is to travel beyond their ability. I understand this concept and think it’s horrible. But worse is the idea of a Soul Desert. I would define a Soul Desert as an area with few if any healthy churches. And by churches I don’t mean buildings. I mean communities of faith that are actively living out said faith for Jesus, in their broader social community, with a mission towards bringing the gospel. The Soul Desert is a...

The End?

By on Feb 6, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Raped. Murdered. Betrayed. Robbed. Cheated. These are past-tense verbs that describe horrific actions. These are also¬†impossible to permanently apply to a Christian. Can a¬†Christian be murdered? No. Raped? No. Robbed? Betrayed? Insert your sin here. Really, it doesn’t matter what it is. And some of you might be sharpening your pitchforks but I need you to see something and really engage this line of thinking for a moment. But first, let’s talk about immigration, because I need more kindling around my feet. I watched the 84 Lumber ad that was so controversial. From a marketing standpoint, it’s absolutely brilliant. 100% got me. It should be required study for those in pursuit of marketing that makes an impact. But what occurred to me in the whole of the immigration debate is a rather unusual set of assumptions. I am against building a wall. I am also against 100% open...

My Problem with “Woke”

By on Feb 2, 2017 in The Scrawl |

This post will hopefully offend you, whichever side of this you fall on. I want it to. I want you to feel uncomfortable and not just pen another sign that says, “Hurray for our side.” I want you to shift in your seat and feel unsettled. I want you to purse your lips and maybe give me a little sneer from the other side of our screens. I want you to to sigh. Why? Because I want you to question your own bias in this. Either way you go. If you’re politically liberal and believe yourself to be “woke” or politically conservative and believe yourself to be “right,” I want you to be unable to find a cozy spot to park yourself beside me. I run in an odd circle of folks. I, myself, am a theologically conservative Christian. I live in a politically liberal city in a politically conservative state. I go to a church that is a mixture of both ends of that...