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“Life is turbulent. On that, we can all agree. Disappointed dreams, broken relationships, identity crises, vocational hang-ups, wounds from the past—there are so many ways life can send us crashing up against the rocks.

In this deeply personal book, Jonathan Martin draws from his own stories of failure and loss to find the love that can only be discovered on the bottom. How to Survive a Shipwreck is an invitation to trust the goodness of God and the resilience of your soul. Jonathan’s clarion call is this: No matter how hard you’ve fallen, no matter how much you’ve been hurt, help is on the way—just when you need it most.

With visionary artistry and pastoral wisdom, Jonathan Martin reveals what we’ll need to make it through those uncharted waters, how we can use these defining experiences to live out of our depths, and why it will then become impossible to go back to the half-life we once lived.”

Paul’s Outlandish Joy

Paul was coming up on two years in a Roman prison when he wrote a letter to the church at Philippi. Unlike many of his dealings with other churches, this letter wasn’t written to help with problems or to defend his own ministry; this time, Paul wrote to a thriving church whose members needed counsel on how “to walk worthily of their heavenly citizenship” (Phil. 3:17-21).

Founded on his second missionary journey, the church at Philippi was generous, joyful, and a model of what a church should be. This was a church membership Paul could confide in (Acts 16). Facing known enemies in Rome who were doing anything they could to undermine his work, as well as the very real possibility of execution at the end of his imprisonment, Paul easily could have used this opportunity to vent his frustrations and fears to concerned friends.

Instead, he was outlandishly joyful. Continue reading

The Best Ever

IMG_0446I once asked my grown children what their favorite childhood memory was. Without hesitation, they both said, “the summer we went to the pool every day.” And it was a good memory! We would sleep late every day, having stayed up late every night watching television (mostly scary shows…Son’s favorite), playing games, or making crafts.

When we got up the next day, we would take our time with breakfast – toast, fruit, or cereal, something easy – and then gather our “fimmies” (Son’s attempt at saying “swimmies”) and drive the mile or less up the road to the swimming pool.  It was decadent! Hanging out in the sun for hours watching both kids play in the water, Daughter asking me to count out loud as she would see just how many summersaults she could do under water. It was the best summer EVER!

Looking back now, I realize that this best summer ever was only made possible because of the worst experience ever. The reason why I was home and unconscious of time and it’s limits during that summer was because I had spent the previous 18 months contemplating limits. On life. Continue reading