top3 for March 18, 2022

Friday is a break from the Lenten devotions and a time to share the top three things I have read or been thinking about this week. Happy weekend everyone!


“The time and intelligence that our ancestors spent on understanding the sovereignty revealed in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are directed by our contemporaries in affirming and validating the sovereignty of our needs, wants, and feelings.”

Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson

My love for Scripture is, I hope, well known. 🙂

My love for this book about reading Scripture is also well known in some circles. I highly recommend if you are looking to read something that will help you dig deeper into the Scriptures then read Eugene Peterson’s Eat This Book. Okay…commercial over.

Peterson makes the case that we have replaced a Triune God as the center of our of life for a trinity of personal idols tied to privilege, comfort, and entitlement. As someone who “feels first” and then finds words after, I need this kind of reminder that just because I feel something, desire something, or think I need something – doesn’t always indicate that is the way forward aligned with God’s desires and devices.


People are more resigned to having lost the time to Covid than they should be. People underestimate not only the amount that they can make up, but they can also get into a habit that multiplies the amount of time they have left with people they love – and doing the things they love.

Tim Urban author of blog Wait But Why from a New York Times article

If we are not careful, bitterness about all that we have lost can creep into our lives after these two years of Covid. It was helpful to read Tim Urban’s encouragement in the NY Times this week. While we cannot get back the times we missed with loved ones, we can focus on the experience as a great reprioritizing of our lives. As Christians, we hold to the belief that God redeems all of creation…even time lost.


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 

My leadership style 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 culture that swirls all around us. As the UMC faces many challenges ahead, I am convinced that decisions made in love will far exceed in fruitfulness those made out of fear, anger, jealousy, bitterness, or even envy. 

I am not talking about the watered down version of love that masquerades as tolerance and look the other way and not have the difficult conversations. I am talking about the kind of love Jesus embodied to meet you where you are and refuse to leave you there. Love means to help another person thrive. Nothing less is acceptable.

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