God Knows

IMG_9599Recently discovered this beautiful and convicting poem by Minnie Louise Haskins — “God Knows,” more popularly known as “The Gate of the Year.”

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

Carolyn’s Most Important Question

Every summer at The District Church, we do a series called My Most Important Question, during which we get to hear from folks in our community about the biggest question they’ve wrestled with (or are wrestling with) in their life and spiritual journey. The idea behind it is that we don’t believe God calls us to leave our questions at the door when we follow him, but rather, like the man in Mark 9, we can say, “I believe; help my unbelief!” We believe it’s in wrestling with those difficult questions, those doubts and uncertainties, and even in sitting with them — without actually fixing anything — that we grow and mature and God teaches us things we might not otherwise be able to learn.

Carolyn MMIQThis past Sunday, Carolyn shared her most important question. You can listen to it here (she’s last, beginning at 31:53 — though Raessa and Justin, who also spoke on Sunday, are worth listening to as well! For that matter, you should listen to all of the others.). I’m so proud of her, and for the story that she was able to tell because of what God has done; and I hope you’re encouraged.

Praxis Gathering: Planting Churches

praxis invite

In about a month’s time, I’m going to be leading worship at the Praxis Gathering here in DC. It’s going to be an exciting time — organized by my friend JR Woodward and V3, the lineup of speakers includes Alan and Deb Hirsch, David Bailey, Jon Tyson, Don Coleman, and many more (including a number of District Church pastors).

Per the website:

The Praxis Gathering is a unique church planting conference in that we are passionate about the space where real-time practice collides with rich theology, followed by deep reflection. During our time together, we will plummet deep into the hands-on-work of disciple-making, community formation and incarnational mission for the sake of God’s in-breaking Kingdom. There is a movement afoot calling us into these grounded vital essentials. Gather with us and 300 + other practitioners to be equipped, nourished and sent back into the world.

If this is of interest to you, I’d encourage you to register now by clicking here.

And if you’re looking to get a discount, shoot me a message and I’ll send you a code — you’ll need to register by Friday, August 14 for it to work!

On joy and pain


So many things we achieve are achieved only through struggle and conflict, not in easy ways. They always seem to involve crosses. I have so longed to find somewhere in life some corner where joy is unmingled with pain. But I have never found it. Wherever I find joy, my own or other people’s, it always seems to be mingled with pain. And I find that the people I most respect are people who know the link between joy and pain. And I have found that if we will own pain and weep over it together, we will also find Christ’s overflowing comfort. The bad news is that there may be no corner of reality where joy is not related to pain. The good news is that there is no corner of reality where pain cannot be transformed into overflowing joy.

– John Goldingay, Walk On: Life, Loss, Trust, and Other Realities

For more on loss, click here.

The last two months

My mom used to say that she could tell how busy I was by how little I was blogging. My plan is to get back into blogging a little more regularly (I feel like that’s been a recurring plan, but anyway), but to tide you over till then, here’s I’ve been up to the last couple months:

BaptismCelebrated East Side’s 2nd anniversary and a number of baptisms. We had a wonderful time thanking God for what he’s done in the life of East Side parish (it’s hard to believe we’re already two years in!) and in the lives of many individuals who had committed — and recommitted — themselves to Christ.

Fish!Went on vacation with Carolyn’s family. It was a great time of rest, rejuvenation, and reading; and I also got to go offshore fishing for the first time — we caught a few! The couple books I stormed through while in sabbath mode are two I’d highly recommend: Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, and Christena Cleveland’s Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart. (Y’all know books are my love language by now, right?)


John & Bethany's weddingOfficiated two weddings, including that of my dear friends John and Bethany (above). John and Bethany were both part of small groups I led, at various points, and their relationship and story is such a testimony to the gospel and to the goodness of God. It was an absolute privilege to perform their ceremony. (You can see some highlights from their beautiful wedding here.)

Asher sleeping 1We got a dog!
Carolyn and I would like you to meet our pup — well, if you’re friends with, or following, either of us on social media, you’ve probably already met him. He’s a mini-goldendoodle and just turned four months. We named him Asher, which means “happy” in Hebrew, because we felt like he was going to be a source of happiness, not just for us but anyone he encountered. (This is not to say that he’s been a source of constant happiness, as anyone who’s ever had a puppy — or a baby — can attest; but he’s a mostly chill, pretty smart, mildly introverted dog. And we’re grateful for that.)

Also, his full name is Asher Russell Rodgers Fung. Or ARRF. (It just worked out that way.) #gohawks

Blogged for Sojourners: “Learning to Walk in the Desert.” Excerpt: “I used to be afraid of the desert. … To me, the wilderness was a place not only of nothingness but, worse, of negation. … To be in the desert was to be deserted by God.”

Boundaries Series GraphicPreached three out of five weeks at The District Church for our Creating Healthy Boundaries series, which you can listen to here:

The other two sermons were “Creating Healthy Boundaries in Your Family” and “Creating Healthy Boundaries in Your Dating and Marriage,” which you should also go listen to.

Anniversary dinnerCelebrated our first anniversary. This is last on the list, but by no means the least. We had a low key evening, hitting up a really good restaurant in Georgetown called After Peacock Room (go check it out). So grateful for the grace of God this year.

And with that, back to life (back to reality).