Serving Millennials on the Journey Toward Significant Life
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Called Out Episode 006: #MeToo

called out episodes

time cover metooThis new podcast episode topic needs no introduction. The #MeToo hashtag is almost universally known. Not only did it lead to the “Time Person of the Year,” but it has become a nightly news segment, and overtook the Golden Globes earlier this month.

In this episode you’ll hear some personal stories, some encouragement for steps forward for those who are affected by sexual assault in their past, and encouragement for others who are close with individuals who have been affected.

You can listen to the full episode here (click here to listen email readers):

Or find the episode wherever you listen to podcasts, including:

Apple Podcasts || Soundcloud || Stitcher || Overcast

Links to items that were discussed on the episode:

-Mary DeMuth’s memoir Thin Places and her book Not Marked.

-Mary DeMuth’s podcast ReStory.

-Justin Holcomb’s book Rid Me of My Disgrace.

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How it All Began

It all started on a pool deck when I was in between jobs, during the summer of my first year of marriage. I figured I was starting seminary so I needed to get used to reading, so I read for hours on end every day, rereading old favorites and new finds, immersing myself in the world of theology.

Theology is simply the study of God, but in those months it became a place to call home—a centering place—where I wanted to know God more for the nurturing of my soul and in order to be able to lead others on that same journey.

Those poolside reads were a critical time in my life. I had made the choice to leave the vocational field I had spent the previous 4 years getting a degree in. Seminary was not so much a decision based on calling, but more so a wild guess. Like, “God, maybe this?”

Word by word, page by page, book by book, God ignited in me a desire to know Him more deeply. Reading, studying, it was work, and yet, a joy. In all my years of work and study, I only knew work, the joy in it helped me realize I was going in the right direction.

It took many years for my calling to get clarified. It took the input of trusted colleagues, many “am I going the right way Lord?” prayers, and many moments of doubt where I felt incapable and unqualified, but really my calling toward being a minister of God’s people began on the deck of a pool, when I sensed I was being drawn toward a vocational home.

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Best of 2017

While history will likely remember 2017 for mass shootings, protests, hurricanes, floods, and the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, here’s a few other things that deserve mention from this past year.

Best Album

**Listen to my “Best Albums of 2017″ Playlist on Spotify below (or find it directly HERE)**

I believe that music is best listened to through whole album releases, not just individual songs. So while I appreciate a lot of individual songs I want to highlight some of the great albums released this year. I’ve included my top 5 here, but the playlist includes my top 13 albums.

“A Deeper Understanding” The War on Drugs

If you’ve followed me on Twitter or Instagram this one isn’t a big surprise. The War on Drugs are nostalgic and relevant with lyrics describing the struggle of navigating life: “Am I just living in the space between / The beauty and the pain?”

I love the sound of the Bob Dylan-esque vocals mixed with the guitar sounds that successfully bridge the gap between days gone by and the grit of Los Angeles alleyways. There’s a subtlety to it, yet it never seems to hold back. The New Yorker’s album review picked up on this saying, “Rather than knock you over, it slowly fills a room, and lingers.” Great album.

Apologies to: “Work Songs” by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project and “We’re Not Going Anywhere” by David Ramirez and “The Nashville Sound” by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and “Melodrama” by Lorde.


Best Movie


You’ll be hard-pressed to find a comparable film. The loudest in-theater movie I’ve ever seen. Featuring three separate timelines, all operating simultaneously within the film, Dunkirk shows the reality of impending doom within war in a unique way.

Apologies to: “Silence” and literally every other movie released because I think I watched three or four movies all year.


Best Book

“The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb” by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel

This book will push at least one of your buttons at some point. Inspired by Paul’s push toward weakness as power in 2nd Corinthians, Kyle and Jamin rely on trusted leaders within various spaces of the Christian faith to chart a course toward a new and more faithful way of ministry and leadership—the way of the Lamb, or as they call it in the book, the way from above. A truly great book.

Apologies to: “Liturgy of the Ordinary” by Tish Harrison Warren and “Strange Days” by Mark Sayers (read my favorite quotes from the book) and “Uncomfortable” by Brett McCracken

goggin strobel

Best Show

“The Crown”

Season one was worth the price of admission just to watch the interactions between the Queen and the Prime Minister, played by John Lithgow. I’m in the middle of season two, so I can’t comment at length on it, but I appreciate the show’s ability to display the pomp of the royal family, and the humanity of it as well. If you have any interest in leadership, it’s a must watch.

Apologies to: “Stranger Things” and “Mindhunter” and “This is Us” and “Better Call Saul”


Best Podcast

“The Bible Project”

I have no idea how these guys pump out episodes every week, while also continuing to produce videos that are far and away better than anything available online about the Bible. I can’t recommend this podcast highly enough. You’ll be hard pressed to keep up with every episode, so choose a few series to listen to, to start with.

Apologies to: “Word Matters” and “Revisionist History” and “Called Out” (duh)

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My Take on 2017

My generation has grown up in a world that has increasingly operated on hyperbolic fear. It began when planes ran into towers and continued when shooters entered schools. This overwhelming worry about impending doom from exterior evil has been commodified by cable news networks that not only stir up fear but then leverage it for ratings.

Earlier this year I explored how fear often leads to anxiety, which can be a crippling malaise on people who struggle with it. Fear can cripple us to the point where we no longer muster up a fight, instead, we just give into the faceless enemy.

After last year’s election I stopped watching and reading from cable news networks. There’s no question my life is noticeably better since then. I have fewer worries. The latest headline news rarely reverberates in my head, leading to sleepless nights. You might say, my privilege affords me the opportunity to not be overly informed, but to that, I would simply ask how being informed has benefitted you?

There’s plenty of worry to go around without cable news overflowing your fear bucket. Fires in California. Missile tests in North Korea. Shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs. KKK marches in Charlottesville. I haven’t even mentioned the continuous fight along the lines of partisan politics.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re learning how to wrestle with societal problems apart from people, and the ramification is a fractured society of people who cannot relate to others who are not them. And when we can’t relate to or understand those who are different from us, fear takes over.

This past year we sang a song at my church that includes these lyrics in the bridge:

Where there was death, You brought life, Lord
Where there was fear, You brought courage
When I was afraid, You were with me
And You lifted me up, and You lifted me up

The words are a reminder to us that fear is a liar, and God overcomes it by giving us the courage we find lacking on our own. As Doomsday Theology continues to be taught in various Christian circles, we turn our backs to fear, learning to value those who are different than us, and in turn, we bring the light of God’s Kingdom into the darkness of our daily existence.

Dear friends, be light. Do not fear. God has overcome and is overcoming.

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Called Out Episode 005: Calling

called out episodes

Calling has been a subject of interest for me ever since I made the decision to enter seminary (graduate school for pastors) and pursue a vocation within pastoral ministry in the local church. I never had a moment where I sensed God distinctly say, “go there,” and I followed. Instead, calling has been a constant walk through the fog, destination unclear.

I often find myself frustrated by our formulaic conversations surrounding calling. Following the “5 steps to find your calling,” completely misses it.

With this in mind, I recently talked with Ryan Pemberton about calling. This being a subject of both personal and pastoral interest for him, we’ve talked several times in recent years about calling. If you ever wonder where God is leading you, or are trying to discern what your calling might be, I know you will find this episode to be helpful.

You can listen to the full episode below (click here to listen email readers):

Or find the episode wherever you listen to podcasts, including:

Apple Podcasts || Soundcloud || Stitcher || Overcast

You can find Ryan Pemberton on Twitter, and be sure to check out his book Called: My Journey to CS Lewis’s House and Back Again.

We’ll be taking a break over the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays, but you can anticipate a new episode coming in mid-January.

In the meantime, if you have appreciated these episodes, please rate and review the podcast wherever you listen and encourage friends and family to listen to all the episodes released to date.

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Called Out Episode 004: Tiffany Bulgin

called out episodes (1)

This new episode on my podcast Called Out features Tiffany Bulgin, who founded Isaac’s Room with her husband Mark. People in my hometown of Salem, Oregon know of Isaac’s Room through the local coffeeshop Ike Box.

Tiffany and I talk about the backstory leading up to Ike Box starting, as well as talking about foster care and why people avoid it. Then we finish by discussing what it looks like to take in the long view with loving people who are used to being discarded and overlooked.

You can listen to the full episode below (click here to listen email readers):

Or find the episode wherever you listen to podcasts, including:

Apple Podcasts || Soundcloud || Stitcher || Overcast

You can read more about Ike Box and the work they’re doing with Isaac’s Room right here.

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