Podcast Bonus: Peace is a Who, Not a What

Apr 28, 2020

The radical changes to our lives and our work continue as we stay home and distance ourselves to slow the spread of the coronavirus. We don’t know how this has impacted your emotions, but we’ve wrestled with anxious thoughts and feelings many times since our stay-at-home orders began in mid-March. 


On Sunday after Easter, Alan spoke for our online church service on the theme of peace. We needed it then, and we need it now. The good news of Jesus brings us peace in...

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Finding Courage in the Face of Fear

Apr 22, 2020

Here in California, it’s been a bit more than a month since our governor announced a stay-at-home order. We were gathered as a family celebrating my 59th birthday the evening it was announced. It seems like new dimensions of that order have been added weekly, even daily, since then. You’ve perhaps had a similar experience. 


Many are feeling fearful and uncertain about the future. If I let myself, I can very easily begin to imagine a dire economic future for our family....

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No Means Yes

Apr 15, 2020

No. It’s such a small word. Why is it so hard to say?

Guilt? Obligation? Pride?

But sometimes saying "No" is actually a "Yes."

  • Yes to margin.
  • Yes to boundaries.
  • Yes to rest.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been one large and invasive “NO!” to all of us. 

  • No, you may not get together with your friends. 
  • No, you may not go to your traditional office or place of work. 
  • No, you may not travel.
  • No, you may not carry on as usual in your daily life.

You are likely...

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Podcast 122: Movies are Prayers (Gem with Josh Larsen)

Apr 13, 2020

According to our guest, Josh Larsen, “Films and faith have been intertwined in my head since childhood. As a practicing film critic, I hope to encourage other Christians in a nuanced, aesthetically focused, and theologically rooted exploration of the art of cinema.”

Movies Are Prayers explores how modes of prayer—praise, confession, lament—are modeled by all types of films. In this fashion, Josh’s book illuminates the richness of both cinema and...

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Entering into the Gift of Sabbath

Apr 08, 2020

I’m often asked what Sabbath looks like for me. Though I have a book with Sabbath in the subtitle, this does not mean that I’m always a master of Sabbath. It continues to be a practice I’m growing in and learning to receive as the gift that it is. 

A while back, I read something Rob Bell wrote about Sabbath that was very helpful to me: 

“Sabbath is taking a day a week to remind myself that I did not make the world and that it will continue to exist without my...

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Podcast 121: The Power of Cooperative Relationships (Gem with Greg Holder)

Apr 06, 2020

We are living in one of the most polarizing times in terms of the public conversation that I can remember in forty years of adult life. And we are being invited to be the people of God in this very world. What is Jesus inviting us to? What is on the heart of Jesus for his people in such a time as this. And how does Jesus’ prayer that we would be one as he and the Father are one provide guidance for us now? 

Alan recently enjoyed a conversation with Greg Holder about his...

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The Quality of Your Life

Apr 01, 2020

I love watching cooking shows. It’s all just a delight to the senses. The colors, the creativity…I love it all.

Every chef is different, but all chefs agree on this one thing: A chef is only as good as her ingredients.

There is a difference between canned green beans and fresh haricot vert from an organic garden. There is a difference between boxed potato flakes and a beautiful yukon gold fresh from the ground.

Spiritual leadership is no different.

I may have shared this quote...

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Book Review: Write Better (Andrew T. LePeau)

Mar 27, 2020

Recently, a long-time friend and fellow pastor reached out to me for lunch. It had been a little while since we were last together. He shared that he was working on his first book in which he wanted to share wisdom he’s gained over decades of church, and especially small group, ministry. He was asking for input from my experience. We had a great time together. 

Over the course of lunch, when it came time to recommending further resources to him, I was so glad I remembered Andy...

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When You Are Alarmed

Mar 25, 2020

When I’m reading scripture, I keep my eyes open and my ears attentive to lines that stir me, provoke me or arrest me. When this happens, I take time to reflect further on these words. A while back, while reading the book of 2 Chronicles, a short passage caught my attention like this: 

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah...

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