5 Things Taylor Swift Gets Right on Her 30 Birthday Lessons

Taylor Swift is turning thirty in December. In light of that, Elle recently published her article about the 30 things she learned before turning 30. The list has since become a massive trending topic on social media, because people like me and my wife are mildly-to-obsessively interested in nearly everything Taylor Swift puts out there for the world to see.

In her list, Swift beautifully blends heart with humor, along with practicality and purpose (her love of Command Strips to hang things on the wall, for example, was both funny and functional).

Sure, there are plenty of things on her list I disagree with. A few I’m neutral about. Another handful I can’t relate to. But honestly, I also believe Taylor Swift gets some of it right. Therefore, here is my spin on the five things she gets right on her 30 birthday lessons …

My Article on Sexual Abuse and the Church

I had the opportunity this week to write an article for FamilyLife about the now well-known subject of sexual abuse in the context of the church. It was not easy for me to write this article, as it is also a personal topic for me.

My hope and prayer was to give a person who has experienced abuse some thoughts to consider as they ask the question, “Why should I even try to go back to church after what happened to me there?” At the very least, I’m hopeful it can point you in the direction of Jesus…the one who knows your hurt and loves you endlessly.

Click here to read the full article.

I’m so pleased to announce that on April 22, 2019, my fourth book Pressure Points will be available to purchase from New Growth Press.

This book has been 2.5 years in the making, and I’m thrilled to see my first book getting published outside of Cru (who, by the way, I still love dearly).

I’ve written it specifically to college students or soon-to-be college students, and I really feel it will help you walk with God during your years of higher education. My friend, Paul Tripp, wrote the foreword and he (of course) nailed it like the boss he is.

Please consider this book for yourself if you’re a college student, or get it for a friend, child, grandchild, or neighbor who needs some practical and honest guidance while in their late teens to early twenties. It will point to the gospel of grace, and make you laugh too.

You can Pre-Order on Amazon here, or read a more full description from my publisher’s site here.

For the One Who Doubts

After I became a Christian during my freshman year of college, the Psalms were such a comforting oasis of honest poetry to me because of how raw and candid they were when I read them. In the months following my decision for Christ, Psalms was always the book I turned to first when I started my private times in the Bible simply because I felt like as I read the Psalms, they were actually reading me.

Photo: Unsplash

I loved how “human” they were by the fact that I could easily see myself in their words. In many cases, it was almost as if my reflection could be spotted when the Psalm scandalously described frustration, anger, or confusion with God. Psalm 13 (a Psalm of David) gives us a good example of what I’m talking about:

Power In The Christian Life

Since I have been involved with Cru as both a student and staff, I’ve read a number of applications for a variety of things, including small group leader applications, summer mission applications, staff/intern applications, and even applications to sing in our campus worship band. One question that is usually asked on these applications is, “What is your understanding of the Spirit-directed life?”

It’s always interesting to see what people write down to answer this question, and it usually ends up being a confusing paragraph on a divine leading from God or some sort of “burning in the bosom” on what the Lord is directing them to do. Now, I don’t know exactly how heartburn or pectoral muscles come into play when the Spirit of God is working in someone’s life, but the one thing that has become quite clear to me is that many students don’t know what it means to live the Spirit-filled life.

Longhorn Cows and Chronic Pain

I recently took a trip to Austin, Texas and was met by the most quintessential Texas-y thing upon leaving the Austin Airport. No, a cowboy didn’t ride up to me on a horse and hand me a plate of barbecue, but it was pretty much the next best thing.

A coworker and friend of mine who I was traveling with, Nate, rented a car at the airport, and as we pulled out of the parking deck to head toward the highway, Nate realized quickly that we had no idea where we were going. He needed to find the address of our hotel and plug it into his phone, so we pulled off the access road we were on, and saw on the GPS there was a side road up ahead that came to a dead end. It was perfect for getting out of the flow of traffic and figuring out where we needed to go, so we turned right and headed to the calmer spot.

But as we pulled toward this dead end, Nate and I immediately realized what we were driving up to was nothing as boring as a cul-de-sac. At the end of this road, not even a quarter mile away from the airport, was a Texas Longhorn cattle ranch.

The Dating Project

The company I work for (Cru) is partnering with a documentary called The Dating Project. I had a chance to see the film via a preview screening, and I can personally tell you the movie is good. Like, for real good.
It’s not a Christian film, even though it’s funded by Christians, and the subjects it addresses are ones that make it incredibly easy to transition into spiritual conversations after you’ve seen it with someone.
In fact, I’m writing a short e-book to act as a discussion guide and small group study that will bridge the gap quite nicely between the film and the dating book I wrote. The producers of the documentary, and Fathom Events themselves even approved a 45 second commercial that will be attached to the beginning of the movie that will advertise for the e-book. It’s kind of weird, but I’ll be on the big screen in 700 theaters nationwide.

Big Break in Panama City Beach, FL

It’s almost here! I can’t believe spring break has arrived so quickly, but I’m surely thankful it has.

I’ll be heading down to the sugary white sands of Panama City Beach, Florida to emcee the first two weeks of Cru’s annual spring break conference, Big Break. Big Break is a conference with great teaching, worship, and evangelism, all wrapped up in the context of a warm, high-energy, fun-filled environment. I’ll be doing my best to bring the funny during the first two weeks of March–won’t you join me by the gulf?

Click here to register and find out the details for the Big Break conference in Florida.

The Old Taylor Can’t Come to the Phone Right Now

It’s been a little over a month since Taylor Swift’s Reputation was released to be purchased online or as a CD in tandem with a magazine at Target. Initially, I was asked by multiple people what I thought of the album, and I could never really give a cut-and-dry response, because my opinion was as varied as Taylor’s album itself.

Now, however, after listening to Reputation all the way through multiple times (probably more than 20 or so), I feel I can more accurately describe my opinion of it without hemming and hawing.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Taylor’s music, and when 1989 came out a few years back, it solidified my admiration and respect for an artist who simply knows what she’s doing when it comes to releasing an incredible collection of songs that are able to move another human being on multiple levels. She showed bravery, heart, spirit, and maturity in her songwriting, coupled with catchiness that hooked me for years. I absolutely loved it.

It’s Almost Here

It’s almost here! Nope, I’m not talking about Christmas (which is also almost here)…I’m talking about the fact that we’re only about three and a half weeks away from Cru Winter Conference /// Baltimore!

When the clock strikes midnight on December 8th, the price of the conference will go up $50, so college students, now through 11:59pm on December 7th is your cheapest option for attending the life-altering event that includes A-list speakers like Sam Allberry.

Sam was one of our speakers at the conference last year, and his time up front was so well liked in 2016 that we asked him to return this year and do three separate talks over the course of our four days in Baltimore. I promise you nothing but an incredible time of worship, Bible teaching, deep community, and fun connection with others.

Plus, I’ll be emceeing this year and I’ve been working hard to deliver an exciting time during our main sessions in the ballroom together. One of our emcee videos is already complete, and I’m plugging away at a fresh Taylor Swift parody that will entertain you and simultaneously embarrass me. It’s a win/win!

Head over to the Cru WC /// Baltimore site and register now! It’s a perfect way to invest your winter break instead of just spend it.