First Day Onsite

Today we met as a Pioneer Team for the first time onsite at Farragut Middle School. It was an exciting day!

Here are a few pictures from the morning setup.


Immanuel Church gym

In the coming weeks, we will continue to outfit the space in view of a more public launch in October.

A Brief Theology of Fun

Psalm 126:2 Graphic

Fun. Nothing seems more antithetical to the Christian life than fun.

Or at least that’s the stereotype.

Many bible verses come to mind…

  • Solomon commends entering the house of sorrow over the house of mirth.
  • Paul talks about his many travails.
  • Jesus tells his disciples that following him means bearing a cross daily.

Obviously, I have no interest in contradicting these people. We would do well to heed their words. Indeed, their words are truth. But where does that leave fun? Is there any room for just good ol’ fashioned fun?

Continue reading A Brief Theology of Fun

Insisting on the Beach

C.S. Lewis suggested as we approach God our desires are never too big; they are too small. We are too easily pleased. Lewis described us as kids content playing in a mud puddle because we have no idea what a holiday at the beach would be like. We are creatures of weak, small desires. As a result, we miss out.

We see this phenomenon all the time with our children. We find ourselves constantly pushing our kids towards bigger and better choices.

On a recent excursion to the coast, we repeatedly had to insist on the beach. The kids preferred the safety of the pool. They liked the familiar, the known, the shallow. But we knew over the dune sat the vast ocean. We have pools back home we said but no oceans. So we would insist on going to the beach.

Slowly our children came to embrace the beach. The endless playful waves. The sand a never ending canvas for creation.

I think they are better for it. A little braver. A bigger horizon. Another experience. And a good reminder to me.

I wonder what I may be missing just over the dune…

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep calm and carry on.

I really like this old slogan. I am making it my own.

I have found it helpful, and I think it expresses some biblical sentiments.

It’s helpful because so often the only option we have is to, well um, keep calm and carry on. So when you don’t know what to do, don’t panic. Just keep going. Don’t fret over what is. Life has a way of sorting itself out. Perspective and peace will come as you move on.

But this slogan is more than catchy and self-helpy. It also does a decent job of expressing some very biblical concepts.

Keep Calm

For me, keep calm connects with the Biblical idea of trusting God. Everywhere in the Bible God asks us to trust him. Trust and obey. Follow him. Believe. Lean not on our own understanding but lean on Him. Pray to him and he will give us peace. Go to him with every care. All of these concepts capture a slice of what it means to trust God. The only way I can keep calm is to trust God. So when I tell myself to keep calm, I am reminding myself to trust God and I am declaring I will trust God.

Carry On

Carry on connects with the idea of perseverance. Paul tells us to forget what lies behind but press on to what lies ahead. In other words, do not obsess over the past. Do not replay that moment, that sin, than failure, that fear over and over and over again. Keep calm and carry on! Put your trust in the Lord and keep going! Endure! Stand!

The Opposite

The opposite option is a favorite scheme of the devil: Panic and obsess. Our adversary would love for us to freak out and get stuck, to put our minds on repeat, to obsess over every possible scenario, to coddle doubt, to rerun our mistakes, to wring our hands over the news.

But the God of the Bible tells us to keep calm and carry on. He’s got this! He will rescue us.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” -Psalm 42:5-6