November 15, 2016

I’ve read a handful of Mark Sayers’ books, as well as seen/heard a number of lectures he’s done. He’s a helpful voice for imagining Christianity in a changing culture. But most of all, I appreciate that his primary calling is still to lead his own local church. So, I was happy to have him and all his thoughtfulness as a guest on Sermonsmith.

November 15, 2016

Zencastr records each voice locally in pristine quality. No more dropouts due to a bad connection. No more changes in quality during the show. Nothing but crystal clear audio.

Happy to see Zencastr moving from a free preview to a sustainable paid online app. I discovered Zencastr earlier this year and have been using it to record my podcasts. It’s a fantastic way to invite a guest to a podcast so that their recording is local and high quality, but doesn’t require technical maneuvering on their end.

November 15, 2016 10:14 am

2016 is rapidly winding down and I’m well behind my annual goal of averaging a book a week over the course of a year. I think I’ve got about 12 years running averaging that goal. I think I can make it but might need to prioritize a few simpler and shorter books on my reading list. Or maybe take Madden off my iPad.

November 14, 2016

A sermon on vocation with influences from an ancient prophet named Isaiah, a divisive election, David Brooks, John Coltrane, and of course, N.T. Wright.

November 1, 2016

We’ve been trying to really celebrate a Sabbath in our family — an intentional day without work — for almost 15 years now. There have been glorious successes and exhausting failures along the way. Now, we’re trying to hoping to be surrounded by a community of people who are also trying to live in such a counter-intuitive way.

October 25, 2016

Continuing in our series about the Common Life we hope to live alongside one another, we talked about the need for our church community to be good neighbors. It was especially fun in this one to have some voices from within aMS respond to some pre-sent questions.

October 10, 2016

Time spent in liturgy reflecting on the value we all experience in liturgy was time well spent. Thoughts from Andrew Sullivan, Richard Foster, and a number of regulars in our church community help carry the sermon along.

September 30, 2016

Part two of a little mini series meant to prepare us to think this fall about how we would be a church oriented around our Common Life — a shared rule of life we are taking on in the coming liturgical year.

September 25, 2016

How much fun to have my friend, and first guest, J.R. Briggs be the first repeat guest on Sermonsmith. J.R. shared what he has been learning about sermon prep from the writings of one of the most famous of history’s preachers: Charles Spurgeon.

September 24, 2016

“I heard birdsong for the first time in years. Well, of course, I had always heard it, but it had been so long since I listened.”

So many articles have been written on unhealthy habits of online living and social media. Somehow, though, this one seems a little more true. Maybe I was more due for it. Maybe we all are.

September 20, 2016


Last week, working alongside the Sidedoor Studio, we launched this new website for the San Francisco Education Fund. There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes when a new website goes live, especially when it is for an organization like this that is offering so much to the common good. I hope it serves them well for years to come.

September 19, 2016

Some sermons feel like they are more fun than others. Some feel like they are more important than others. This one felt like both.

September 19, 2016

One of my favorite parts of doing Sermonsmith interviews is how rapport quickly comes with someone I don’t know when we talk about a shared passion. I certainly felt that in this interview with Jeremy. Our processes don’t look much alike, but our hearts align.

September 14, 2016

A little behind on posting this, but we wrapped up our summer in the parables with the one that gave us our name. We talk about this parable often in other settings, but I was surprised to discover this was the first time we’d covered it since starting our weekly liturgy.

August 23, 2016 9:21 am

Politics still needs meetings that are meetings. It still needs conversations that require listening, conversations in which you are prepared to learn that a situation is more complex than you thought. You might want to change your mind. This is what our current political landscape discourages. There is a lot of conversation—both online and off—in which opponents broadcast prepared sound bites. There is a lot of staged conversation.


August 17, 2016 8:39 am

Settled into a helpful groove with my portable Microsoft keyboard (mentioned in my Puny iPad Mini Utopia). When I’m reading on my iPad, I can switch over the keyboard to pair with my phone which I leave sitting next out next to me. As thoughts come to mind, whether tasks or ideas, I can quickly type them into Drafts on the phone without leaving the book I’m reading on the iPad. Helps me stay on track with what I’m reading knowing I have a reliable way to shove distracting thoughts into a safe place for later handling.

August 17, 2016 8:32 am

The multitasking life puts us into a state similar to vigilance, one of continual alert. In that condition, we can follow only the most rudimentary arguments. So multitasking encourages brevity and simplicity, even when more is called for.

August 14, 2016

Tim Conder co-wrote a book called Free For All, with a subtitle of “Discovering the Bible in Community.” After reading his book, I knew he would have a different perspective on sermon prep, so I was glad to have him as a guest on Sermonsmith.

August 14, 2016

A week after my sermon on The Good Samaritan, we took a second pass at this famous parable in our liturgy. I interviewed Esther Kim, an attender of aMS and a PhD student in the education department at UT. I asked her to talk about how she is using The Good Samaritan as a text to teach Evangelical high school students about critical theory and liberation theology. You know…the usual stuff.

July 26, 2016

Thoughts on my experiences as a 19 year old looking for pretty girls and petty arguments at the Balboa Fun Zone, stories of human bones strewn in sacred temples, and words of wisdom from Dallas Willard, Thomas Keating and Jesus.