Titus 2, 1 Peter 2:11-12, Matthew 5:16


1. A family of countercultural lives
2. Where God found you


The puzzle is why so many people live so badly. Not so wickedly, but so inanely. Not so cruelly, but so stupidly. There is little to admire and less to imitate in the people who are prominent in our culture. We have celebrities but not saints. Famous entertainers amuse a nation of bored insomniacs. Infamous criminals act out the aggressions of timid conformists. Petulant and spoiled athletes play games vicariously for lazy and apathetic spectators. People, aimless and bored, amuse themselves with trivia and trash. Neither the adventure of goodness nor the pursuit of righteousness gets headlines.
— Eugene H. Peterson, Run With the Horses
They want the gossip, they want the drama
They want Britney Spears to make out with Madonna
They want Kanye to rant and to go on longer, cause that equates to more dollars
They want talking topics, they want trending topics
They want outfits to be outlandish, they want sideways glances
Beef and problems, they want [wardrobe] slips
Cause they live for clicks, this is economics
— Macklemore, “Light Tunnels”
Pliny the Elder once said that the Romans, when they couldn’t make a building beautiful, made it big. The practice continues to be popular: If we can’t do it well, we make it larger. We add dollars to our income, rooms to our houses, activities to our schedules, appointments to our calendars. And the quality of life diminishes with each addition. On the other hand, every time that we retrieve a part of our life from the crowd and respond to God’s call to us, we are that much more ourselves, more human. Every time we reject the habits of the crowd and practice the disciplines of faith, we become a little more alive.
— Eugene H. Peterson, Run With the Horses
Each [Christian] is a human being who once was a child needing to grow up, whose stories are mixtures of tragedies and triumphs. Every [Christian] is a human being who has given wrong answers, prayed incorrectly, misquoted the Bible, day-dreamed, and longer for things that now embarrass or have hurt the people. And it was there as such a person in such environments that God came and found us. Anything good we ever preach as been made possible by a prior testimony of God’s mercy. We’ve dreamt of making a difference. But what if differences are made by remembering where we’d be without God and then ministering to others out of that knowledge? What if [mission] requires something prior to [evangelism]?

Preachers today acknowledge that one of our greatest ministry challenges is “reaching people with the gospel in today’s world.” I am convinced that biblical [churches] will meet this challenge only when a generation of [Christians] remembers where they have been. Until we remember that God drew us to himself and nourished us before we even know where to find the book of Exodus in the Bible or that such things as Arminianism and Calvinism even existed, we will withhold from others the same mercy that was required of run to learn what we now know.
— Zack Eswine


My Lord I Did Not Choose You

Your Great Name

Man of Sorrows

Christ is Risen

10,000 Reasons