Necessary Endings

As the year comes to a close I find myself looking back over 2020 and grieving. There was so much lost in our world: the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, the financial security of even more, many of our interactions with one another, and any sense of normal we had before all of this.

The grief feels especially real for our family as I consider all that we walked away from this year. Personally, what continues to hurt the most are the friendships that ended this year. I don’t have regrets on this, just a sadness that this was how it ultimately played out. We made the decisions we felt were right and then paid a huge personal toll in our community for it. The abrupt loss of it was staggering.

But I’m also realizing that maybe this had to happen in order for us to go where Jesus is ultimately taking us. The author Henry Cloud refers to this idea as “necessary endings.” He has this to say in his book with the same title.


The One Quality that Beats Ambition

The title of this post may cause you to believe I’m against ambition. Far from it. For those who know me personally, or especially those who know Michelle and I as a couple, you know that ambition is something we value considerably. I love working hard, pushing myself, and to quote the retail chain Lowe’s, “Never stop improving.”

For me, ambition is not about making more money or rising the ladder of influence. My friend Steve Carter recently shared a quote I keep thinking about: “When you anchor your life in Jesus, you have nothing to prove, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide.” I’m trying hard to live by that.

My ambition applies to weird things. I recently updated my Apple Watch (a “vintage” generation one) to the Apple Watch generation six that just came out. When I checked on the trade-in value for it they let me know that they would recycle it for me. There were quite a few improvements in those five iterations which I noticed immediately. One of them is how good the activity tracker has become.


The Holiday Blog Post You Didn’t Know You Needed

Are you the type of person who gets angry inside when you hear Christmas music BEFORE December? Then do I have a gift for you… a Thanksgiving playlist! Admittedly, there isn’t as much to choose from here which is why I hope you’ll enjoy the efforts I made.

I used a few criteria in making this list:


How to Be Grateful When You Don’t Feel Like It

I have a feeling that Thanksgiving might feel a bit strange to many people this year. This is normally the time we think of what we’re grateful for and often share it with our closest family and friends. But when it’s been a 2020 kind of year… gratitude may not be the first thing on our minds.

I’m not sure how much you are aware of your dreams when you sleep at night but I often dream vividly. It is not uncommon for me to have some amazing dream and then wake up with a sense of disappointment. In my dreams, I often get into fascinating conversations with people I’ve never met. We start new projects together or talk through ideas. Then I wake up bummed and realize I don’t actually know them.

Recently I woke up with a different feeling.


Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

Andy Stanley’s latest book, Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets, puts him back into the genre of life application rather than the theological magnum opus he recently published with his book Irresistible. While I prefer his theologically focused books, Andy is comfortable and competent in both worlds. This book is unabashedly practical but is still written toward a Christian perspective. In addition, each of the five questions comes with a case study from Scripture (his summary on Jeremiah was fascinatingly succinct and well-explained).

Andy’s topic on this latest book lands at a good time for all of us as we navigate the hot mess that is 2020. He has a way of saying things that sound so obvious when you read them but they seem to elude us much of the time. A great example is this line from the book: “Most of us want to be proven right more than we want to know what’s true. We aren’t on truth quests. We’re on confirmation quests.”

How to Process Election Results like a Christian

How to Process Election Results like a Christian

This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.

I’ve been hearing an idea a lot this week. “God is on the throne!”

This comes from Psalm 47:8, and I’d like to suggest it as a misquoted passage: “God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne.” NLT

We often reassure ourselves that “God is on the throne” when the candidate or party we voted for loses. We throw up our hands in despair but encourage one another that this new leader we don’t like can’t do that much anyway.

Or, we use it to separate ourselves from the results. As in, “Who really cares who won, God is on the throne.” This particular usage relies heavily on privilege and the assumption that we are above the consequences of the election. It’s also a coping mechanism that often downplays how we really feel.

Neither of these uses captures the intent of Psalm 47:8.