Commentary On Rachel Held Evans’ “Blessed are the un-cool”

Thanks Rachel. Beautiful.

I pastored and led worship for many years in a congregation that was one of the loudest I knew; we had a group from our home for the mentally handicapped, and a large number of street people who would regularly offer commentary during my messages.

The commentary only made the messages feel more profound, I think. Life interwove with life, ideas with application, with messy, forgiving life together.

My favorite messy moment? Once when I was in Winnipeg at a great church that served prostitutes and native glue addicts, a little, old bent over street woman came up and stood beside me while I spoke.

She was half my height, and held my arm. I put my hand on her back. We smiled at each other, and she stayed with me through part of the message, then wandered off the stage.

There is so much joy in the buzz, in the energy, of life together. Why would we trade that for great graphics?

Rachel Held Evans | Blessed are the un-cool.

NOTE: I am also a musician and artist, so I appreciate the “creationality” of churches that care about aesthetics, presentation, astute design and expressive architecture. It is the mingling of these that almost never occurs, because often those whose tithes could resource the excellence don’t want to be at a messy church.

It has been my privilege to know many who do though, and they have my deepest love and respect for directing their resources toward serving the poor, the outcast and me.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

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