On Trauma, Disciplines and Getting Started

I hadn’t ridden my road bike in 22 months. After my friend Paul had been hit and killed on his bike, while riding a route that he and I used to ride together, I hadn’t been able to get on mine. A sort of mental block developed that wasn’t necessarily rational, but I couldn’t seem to get over.⁣

Then, as a part of some training with @thehumanbodylab, I was supposed to do a run, but shin splints required me to rest. He suggested I ride instead, and without thinking much about it, I got my bike out.⁣

A simple, pragmatic need that I didn’t think much about got me over that initial hump to start riding.⁣

Recently I’ve been working on a writing project where I’ve gotten stuck. A friend and mentor who’s written and published a lot of books offered to spend some time helping me think it through better. At one point when I was asking him some practical questions about how to organize it, he said, “I don’t know Mike, I think you have to start writing it to figure it out”⁣

For all kinds of reasons, we get in our own way. We put off the phone call we need to make. We never sign up for that class that was interesting. We talk ourselves out of asking them on a date. We don’t start the project, train for the race, write the article…⁣

And maybe sometimes the best thing we can do is just start. It may not be the best or the final, but the start gets you going. ⁣

A friend and I have been doing an experiment of practicing a different spiritual discipline together for a month at a time. Disciplines are essentially any thing that we do that opens us up for the Spirit of God to move us towards more and more of who were designed and created to be. Too often we have a vision or a desire to move towards being the kind of person Jesus opens up for us – loving our enemies, living without worry, trusting in the abundance of a good God, living self aware and non judgmentally…But we’ve never moved beyond singing about it or being inspired by a sermon or a podcast or a book. And at some point, we have to start. We experiment and we try and we figure out what disciplines will be most helpful. But it only happens when we start. ⁣

I wonder, what is it that you just need to start?

Politics Sermon Resources for Pastors

Over the past month I’ve had several conversations with Pastors who have never addressed politics from the stage at their church in any way, and are feeling like they need to say something in some kind of way this year. While my book on the subject has been a helpful starting point for many, it was written more as a prophetic challenge to the church in the way that Evangelicals have engaged politics.

Because of the nature of this election, I felt that what our church needed was not that kind of challenge, but instead more of a pastoral approach to help find a way forward in the midst of so much political chaos, so many voices and opinions and way too much noise about it all.

So, this weekend, we launched a 2 week series at Parkcrest called “Keeping Your Head Above Water.: How to Keep From Drowning in the Political Chaos” Because a few people asked me if they could have access to these resources, I thought I’d post them here as well in case it could be useful to you and your church.

Here is a link to files that you may find useful, including the manuscript from my sermon this weekend, the sermon notes we used in church and the graphics that we utilized. Below is the video of the message as well. I realize that there are only 3 Sundays left before the election, so wanted to make what we had available as soon as possible. After I preach this next weekend, I will make that sermon available as well.

Feel free to use what’s helpful, we just ask that you find a way to give appropriate credit for the materials.

How Much Is That Stew Worth? from Parkcrest Church on Vimeo.