Pastors, what rhythm do you have for creating space for deep work and at the same time being connected and available through the digital networking tools at our disposal?

I am really liking using Obsidian to craft blog posts. It’s a nice interface and makes it easy to drop onto

Fireside Coffee in Flint, MI for the win! This Brazilian “Sweet Yellow,” is dang good! ☕️

Today marks my favorite weekend of the year. It is #OpeningDay for MLB ⚾️! There is hope and expectation and a dream of warm summer nights at ball park or sitting on the patio with a cold beer and the game on the radio.

Just started a new, to me, book by Eugene Peterson. The opening sentences:

“The puzzle is why so many people live so badly. Not so wickedly, but so inanely. Not so cruelly, but so stupidly.”

This book is going to be something else.

Currently reading: Run with the Horses by Eugene H. Peterson 📚

Trying out a coffee shop in Eastern Market in Detroit, Anthology. My guy The Beard loves it and recommends the Coffee Tonic. He’s right on the money. Delicious!

Pistons game with some of the fellas courtesy of our guy Noah (not pictured). 🏀

This book was really insightful and helpful. I am excited to begin putting some of Dr Li’s insights into practice. For instance, today I began drinking green tea.

Finished reading: Eat to Beat Your Diet by William M. Li 📚

If you’re in the Ypsilanti area, I’d love for you to come out and join me for some intentional conversation tomorrow night at Tap Room.…


I remember sitting in the living room of my friend, mentor, and pastor, Bob Smart. There were about ten of us sitting in a circle for a Koinonia Group. Koinonia is the Greek word that is roughly translated as “fellowship” in English. He asked a simple question, “What is grace?”

I answered quickly because I knew the answer!

“Grace is unmerited favor, Bob!” I said.

“What’s so amazing about that?” He said.

I sat dumbfounded. Silenced by a simple question that demanded more of me than an intellectual response.

Bono of U2 once wrote about grace this way,

She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

It’s the name for a girl
It’s also a thought that
Changed the world

And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness
In everything

She’s got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She’s got the time to talk

She travels outside
Of karma, karma
She travels outside
Of karma

When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty
In everything

She carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips

She carries a pearl
In perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings

Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace finds beauty
In everything

Grace finds goodness in everything

This paints a picture well beyond something cold like, “unmerited favor”. I am struck by the emotion of what Bono has written.

At the time that I responded to that question by my friend, Bob, I don’t think that I understood that emotion. Grace hadn’t made it down from my head to my heart.


There’s an ancient story that resonates deeply in my soul.

One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”

Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Oh? Tell me.”

“Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”

“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”

Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”

That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”

He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:36-50, The Message)

For a really long time I thought of myself as good. If I’m really honest with you, I thought of my self as being really, really good. So, while in some sense I knew that I needed grace, I was much like Simon in the story above. I didn’t realize that my shadow, my sin, my own brokenness was deep.

I don’t really know when it happened that I began to get it.

Perhaps it was with the birth of our first child and I began to see the deep seated selfishness that reigned like a tyrant only to be demolished by a toddler tyrant supreme?

Perhaps it was beginning to see how I responded to various stressful situations where my go to was anger and rage (heck, that happened yesterday!)?

Perhaps it was acknowledging that my sin-sickness was not somehow less than any other person’s?

As my own need for grace moved from head to heart it stopped being an intellectually rooted concept. It became something else.

Grace had become the thing that “makes beauty out of ugly things.”

What is grace? Grace is the fundamental reality that we are loved, accepted, embraced, reconciled, and cherished by a sovereign and good God because we simply are.

There’s nothing that we do to earn the love. There’s nothing we can do lose the love.

The only thing we bring is ourselves and God loves us.

God chose to love us by lavishing a grace on us that is overwhelming when begin to think about it.

It truly is amazing.

Absolutely killed my workout today! Good start to my off day.

My first day with an Apple Watch that I got just for fitness tracking and I definitely just went for a one mile walk at 9 pm to close all my rings. #challenge #fitness

Tuesday nights I host a conversation called, Tap Room Tuesday. We meet at 8 pm and have an intentional conversation around three questions. Here are the details for our upcoming gathering.…

I get to spend the day exploring Flint,MI again. I’m in the process of missional mapmaking there and learning the place. If you’re around town and want to hang out, hit me up!

I had fun being a guest on a livestream on Twitch this week. I’m thinking I may give it a go and schedule some live AMAs. So, go give me a follow at…

If you have a project you’re working on want to be on, let me know!

The World Baseball Classic was absolutely brilliant.

Last night, the game was played at a high level with everything you could ask for.

Ohtani vs Trout with the game on the line in the 9th? Perfection.


I’m so grateful for the life I get to live. Just about every single day I arise to find a day that is filled with things in my wheelhouse. What a life!

Currently reading: Wondrous Encounters : Scripture for Lent by Richard Rohr 📚

I liked this picture for the photoblog challenge with the prompt, analog.

Happy Oberon Day!

Here are #3goodthings from March 17, 2023:

  1. Time with good friends
  2. Good food
  3. Crazy upsets in college sports

Hit the gym early. Figured this was as good as any for today’s photoblog challenge. @challenges


I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism, Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial, Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension, Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today Through the strength of the love of cherubim, In the obedience of angels, In the service of archangels, In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward, In the prayers of patriarchs, In the predictions of prophets, In the preaching of apostles, In the faith of confessors, In the innocence of holy virgins, In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through The strength of heaven, The light of the sun, The radiance of the moon, The splendor of fire, The speed of lightning, The swiftness of wind, The depth of the sea, The stability of the earth, The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me From snares of devils, From temptation of vices, From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and near.

I summon today All these powers between me and those evils, Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and soul, Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom, Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry, Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards, Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul; Christ to shield me today Against poison, against burning, Against drowning, against wounding, So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

Today’s photoblog challnege is, road.

My favorite road is often no road at all.

Here are #3goodthings for March 16, 2023:

  1. Experienced two new coffee shops and they were fantastic.

  2. A day filled with quality conversations.

  3. Exploring Flint Township was a great time.