top3 for November 12, 2021

Before heading out for your weekend, here is a quick list of three things I’ve read and been thinking about this week. Have a great weekend


Tomb of the Unknown commemorates 100 years. (Washington Post story)

One of the most moving places on earth, for me, is Arlington Cemetery. Watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and taking in the solemnity of the process and beauty of the surrounding grounds always moves me. As the Tomb of the Unknown commemorates 100 years the public was welcome to lay flowers and travel the same steps as the guards do each day. I need to make sure not to miss the next time that happens.

My deepest thanks to all of our veterans and those who currently serve. You are an ever-present reminder of the power of living sacrificially. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.


Christian communities will be able to survive and thrive in contemporary societies only if they attend to their “difference” from surrounding cultures and subcultures. The following principle stands: whoever wants the Christian communities to exist must want their difference from the surrounding culture, not their blending into it.

A Public Faith, How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good by Miroslav Volf

Jesus says in John 17 that his followers should be in the world but not of it. Somehow being close enough to develop relationships but far enough to hold a distinct place. The word that sometimes gets used is counter-cultural. The line we must walk is the line between counter and against culture. Edwin Friedman in his book Failure of Nerve says the key to being a change agent is being a non-anxious well-defined presence. One who is unafraid of being sucked into the flow of the present culture even while standing in the big middle of it. I pray that we will be willing to be planted and used in such a way.


There is no force in the world better able to alter anything from its course than love. You can get someone to remove his coat more surely by a warm, gentle sun than with a cold, blistering wind.

John Ruskin

I am more about a leadership style which prioritizes carrots over sticks; chooses honey rather than bitter herbs. That is probably why this statement from the 19th century English critic captured my attention. I also think it is quite a contrast to the cancel culture that swirls all around us.

1 Corinthians 13 says “love never fails”. It may be delayed but never denied. Love is not only a noun – it is a strategy that will bring about the peace we all so desire in our world today.