The Blog of Darryl Dash

This blog is about how Jesus changes everything. He changes:

Our relationship with God

Our relationship with others

Our vocations - how we live and work in this world

Our ministries

This blog exists to explore some of the ways that Jesus changes everything. It provides resources and articles that will help you think about the ways that Jesus can change every part of your life.

The Lord himself invites you to a conference concerning your immediate and endless happiness, and He would not have done this if He did not mean well toward you. Do not refuse the Lord Jesus who knocks at your door; for He knocks with a hand which was nailed to the tree for such as you are. Since His only and sole object is your good, incline your ear and come to Him. Hearken diligently, and let the good word sink into your soul. (C.H. Spurgeon, All of Grace)

Filtering by Author: Darryl Dash

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

Millennials Need a Bigger God, Not a Hipper Pastor

When we tell them they’re special, we’re merely echoing what educators, coaches, and parents have told them their whole lives. But when we present a ravishing vision of a loving and holy God, it just might get their attention and capture their hearts as well.

Putting Your City in Its Place

When we know that place matters, that all nations live on the ground somewhere, it keeps us from the nebulous goal of trying to reach everybody on our own, and most importantly, it hones our focus on reaching somebody.

Seven Ways to Love Your Pastor

Pastor Paul shared seven ways that a congregation can love their shepherd, and his words of encouragement are applicable to every local church context.

Six Symptoms of a Dysfunctional Church

In my quest, I found six recurring themes. In every one of the congregations, the church manifested at least three of these symptoms.

Faith and Mental Illness

There will always be a central place for spiritual care—especially the faithful ministry of preaching, teaching, sacraments, prayer, and discipline. But, like a kid with a broken leg, getting people to the "emergency room" may be the first order of business.

5 Tips to Keep Email from Ruining Your Life

There’s no magic button that can reduce your email flood to a trickle. But by eliminating the unimportant junk, minimizing the back-and-forths, and using helper software, you can go a long way toward making the deluge manageable.

A Year of Precision Nutrition

Charlene and I have been clients of Precision Nutrition's coaching program over the past year. Charlene actually qualified as a finalist. I wasn't a finalist, but I experienced some great changes.

I didn't start off impressed - in fact I was fairly cynical about this program when I first heard about it. Charlene joined PN in a support role, which didn't make me any less suspicious. I was wrong: I'm now impressed.

Some things I've been learning over the past year:

  • I love working out with my wife. It's a marriage builder. Why didn't I start years ago?
  • Restriction doesn't work. Not only isn't it fun, but it backfires. So much for most of the approaches to weight loss out there!
  • There's a lot more to this subject than eating and exercise. There's a huge emotional and cognitive component. Health is about more than food. It's about mindset.
  • Food is a gift. I think we eat less food overall, but much better food, and we're also more thankful for it.
  • Habit-based approaches, using small habits, work a lot better than trying to change through willpower or by making sweeping changes.
  • Common grace is amazing. We have lots to learn from others.

The program caps off with an optional photo session. We were surprised how much we enjoyed it. Here's a sample of one of the over 500 (!) pictures we had taken.

This isn't an ad; I get nothing for it. But I am grateful that we went through their coaching. I highly recommend the program, or something like it. It's been good for our marriage and our health. Check it out if you're interested.

If you want to do something on your own without signing up for their coaching program, you can check out their Precision Nutrition System (a book) for a fairly low cost. I also found a few other books helpful in the past year as well:  Foodist and two Michael Pollan books (The Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules).

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

Jen Pollock Michel is on a roll, and is responsible for the first three posts.

The Delicious Invitation to Rest

Sabbath is the day that I cease to see myself as a tool of production. And blissfully, I recover the scale and proportion of my life, even my own self.

Leaders Listen

The incarnation teaches us that to lead is to love—and to love is, in part, to listen.

The Call of Desire

The church doesn’t tell us often enough that desire is needed and necessary for our spiritual lives

But others have written this week too:

Mites, Breadcrumbs, and Kingdom Paradox

Over the past several years, I have observed this one peculiarity in gospel advancement that has received scant attention:

Less is oftentimes more.

We Need To Stop Blaming Parents For “Wayward” Teens

When a teen in the church is sinning, let’s come alongside her parents with love, prayer, and support. Let’s fulfill the law of Christ by loving one another, instead of blaming one another.

7 Good Reasons To Stop Looking at Porn Right Now

My goal for today is simple: I want to give you 7 good reasons you need to stop looking at porn right now.

6 Reasons Pastors Need Learning Communities

Learning is too complicated to do entirely on your own. And pastoral ministry is too important and too difficult for us to fail at being good learners. So let’s work together.

Anxiety and Depression, My Strange Friends

Anxiety and depression have been God’s way of reminding me that I don’t have to be awesome. He has not called me to be awesome, or impressive, or a celebrity pastor, or anything of the sort. He has first and foremost called me to be loved, and to be receptive to that love.

Saturday Links

Links for your weekend reading:

Me and My Ninety-Nine

Too often, I am comfortable with the ritual of remaining with the righteous ninety-nine than the risk of rescuing the one needing repentance and the reward of joy that comes as the fruit of that risk.

Are You Too Christian for Non-Christians?

How much time do you spend with unbelieving individuals, and what is the quality of your social relationships with them? You can boost your number substantially by exercising these seven disciplines.

The Church's Export

The chief export of a local church ought to be love.

When It’s Time to Leave a Church

I detest church hopping. Yet I accept the fact that there are times when Christians transfer church membership. But there is a proper time and way to leave a church.

Top 20 Christ-Centered Expository Preaching Checklist

  1. Preach the text/Preach Christ and His Kingdom (redemptive history, epoch, person & work of Christ, eschatological fulfillment in the Kingdom of Christ)
  2. Honor the Authors of the text
  3. Apply in text in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ...

Why I Am No Longer a Church Planter

Heart and zeal are good. But heart and zeal alone are not enough to build a self-sustaining church.

There’s More Than One Way to Get the Work Done {the writing life}

Writing a book in the midst of ordinary life may not be perfect or ideal, and it may not be what your dream of the writing life looked like way back when you were an English major, but it can be done and done well.

Busyness — Dangerous or Necessary?

I've been busy lately, much too busy. I've had a succession of weeks that have been barely manageable, but each time I've consoled myself that next week would be better. Of course, the next week never is, and the cycle goes on.

As I've thought about this, a couple of things have come to mind. I'm thinking through what I'm doing, and whether my pace is sustainable or not. I'm not one of those people who believe it's better to wear out than rust out; isn't there a third way? I'm thinking through articles like this one and I'm resolutely taking my Sabbath this week.

But I'm not completely sorry that I'm busy.

I've talked to a couple of small business owners in Liberty Village recently. One left a prestigious position to start his own business. He's worked seven days a week to get things going, and hasn't taken a vacation since he's started. It gave me some perspective. Yes, I still need to examine my priorities and act wisely, but why shouldn't I work as hard as him? Paul tells Timothy to work as hard as a hardworking farmer whose work finally pays off (2 Timothy 2:6), so maybe I'm on to something.

I talked to a church planter yesterday who admitted that he's had a run of busy weeks like I have, and that it's a necessary part of what it means to start a church.

Perhaps Kevin DeYoung was right in his book Crazy Busy:

It’s not wrong to be tired. It’s not wrong to feel overwhelmed. It’s not wrong to go through seasons of complete chaos. What is wrong— and heartbreakingly foolish and wonderfully avoidable— is to live a life with more craziness than we want because we have less Jesus than we   need.

Hard work isn't a bad thing. While busyness can be a danger, it can also be a necessary part of what God has called us to do. I need, as they say, the wisdom to know the difference.