The Normalcy Of Greatness

Recently I was standing on the stage floor of the amphitheatre in the ancient city of Phillipi.

Within the 50 or so square feet where I was standing, Paul would have been one of many whose blood would have soaked the soil centuries eariler released by the ripping force of bone-laced whips.

I never identified much with Paul. He represents for me the bold, in-your-face, driver personality, love-him-or-hate-him type.

I’ve always tended to identify more with the classic portrait of the apostle John — head on Jesus’s chest and comfortable with the nickname “beloved.”

In that moment of standing where individual courage (nurtured in community) met systemic hatred (nurtured in culture), I found myself believing something that I think that Paul believed.

I believe that greatness is not a state of personal affairs meant solely for high-achievers and seed of royalty.

Rather, greatness is a normal state of affairs for the human being – living an expansive and generous life both in public and in private.

We are “indisputably bent” as Shaeffer put it, but greatness remains indigenous to the Image within.

RELEASES FEB. 8, 2022 | Brazos press

Sheltering Mercy helps 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.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. 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.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

Pre-Order below, and join my email list, to get author notes and updates about the book and events around it. If purchasing for Christmas gifts, soon you’ll be able to download a Christmas Gift Certificate PDF here so you have something for under the tree!).

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