My Writing

Lots-o-Links 1.2.14

The links

Albert Mohler - "Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books" - Here are his main points, but you should read his whole article. Reading between the lines, I think he reads lots of comic books.

  1. Maintain regular reading projects.
  2. Work through major sections of Scripture.
  3. Read all the titles written by some authors
  4. Get some big sets and read them through
  5. Allow yourself some fun reading, and learn how to enjoy reading by reading enjoyable books.
  6. Write in your books; mark them up and make them yours. - "14 Resolutions for Writers" - I encourage you to check out ScribblePreach. I've been reading Nick for a short time and enjoying it. Here's one of his resolutions...

Start a project you can finish. Finish something this year: a short story, a series of essays, a short book. Before moving onto the big novel or book, finish something small to keep your momentum going.

Journal of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood - "The Wedding Vows 20 Years Later" - My post was published in the Fall 2013 issue...

I love you, Molly. Keep walking with me in these broken bodies and with these selfish struggles with sin; hold my hand, and let’s stay on this narrow path to something far better than what has so far been so amazingly good.

John Piper - "Don't Waste Your Weaknesses in 2014"

In 2014, I encourage you to identify and exploit your weaknesses for the glory of Christ.


Since 2007, millions of people have read books and taken inventories designed to find our strengths. These are useful for positioning people in places of maximum effectiveness.

But I am calling you to give attention and effort in finding your weaknesses and maximizing their God-given purpose.

Poetry & the New Year


I've written an article at Gospel Centered Discipleship on the importance of reading poetry. I've added reading and writing poetry as a discipline for the new year, not just something to do occasionally. The truth is, you already consider poetry as an important part of your life (Psalms, hymns,etc). I think reading the poetry of the culture is important too. I talk about three great benefits to the regular reading of poetry...

  1. The Importance and Power of Words
  2. Slowing Down
  3. Seeing and Feeling

Go and read my whole article, "3 Reasons to Read Poetry" over at GCD. Make poetry a part of your year. It offers many blessings.

Coming Attractions 11.18.10

Coming_attractions-786898 Here are a few things in the works...

1. Ads: You can see that I'm gearing up for some advertising on the right sidebar. I've thought about it for a long time & had some advertisers express some interest. I'm going to give it a go. It would be financially helpful for my family during tight times. If you are interested, click on an "Advertise Here" link. 

2. Links: I also want to add that whenever you see a link of mine to a book or music on Amazon with the Reformissiona-20 tag on it, that means I get a small cut for recommending it. It adds nothing to your cost. It's the same as if you went straight to Amazon. Essentially by buying products with my link you get same good price and help supply my book budget. I have no other book budget than this. Thanks for supporting it. And I work very hard not to just point you to anything in the hope of making some cash. I skip over recommending many deals that I don't personally want to recommended.

3. Reviews: I have reviews coming on Tim Keller's new book, Generous Justice, and Jim Elliff's reworking of Pursuing God. Both are great. Hope to get to both very soon.

4. Writing Projects: I have several blog articles in the works that have been fermenting for a while and that I'm excited about. I want to get a regular schedule for posting articles in the next couple of weeks. Look for that. I'm saying it publicly so I feel guilty if I don't get it started. :)

5. Phriday is for Photos: I haven't been very active in photography lately, but I'm also planning on getting it kicking again. 

6. Molly: I know it doesn't seem like a very cool "coming attraction," but expect more soon about my wife's battle with Chiari I Malformation. The blog has helped her to connect and minister to many women who are suffering the same things and scared. 

7. Tim Keller Resources: It's been a while since I seriously worked on my TK Resource page. Without doing anything a few things there look broken. I hope to get it back in shape for your resourcing pleasure.

NPM09: "This is Just to Say" Poems

The poem, "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams is interesting in itself. It's an apology, sorta. More, it's an explanation of why it's easier (and at times advantageous) to ask forgiveness than permission. It's meant to be playful.

What makes it more fun is how people are responding by writing their own "This is Just to Say" poems.  Some of these are highlighted in the recent This American Life radio episode "Mistakes Were Made" which I recommend you check out. The author of the Somewhere in the Suburbs blog has also asked readers to write their own version of the poem.

First, the original poem by William Carlos Williams. Second, my poem, followed by others from elsewhere.

This Is Just To Say (via)
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

My attempt...

This is Just to Say
by Steve McCoy

I left
an insulting comment
on your

when you
recommended the new
U2 album

Forgive me
I was already
logged in
and have functioning ears

Two from Kenneth Koch, poet (via)

Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!


I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

Carol (Somewhere...commenter)

I called
your new husband
by the name
of your old boyfriend.

The one
We thought
Marry you.

Forgive me.
He was familiar
So jolly
And easy talk to.

Lots-o-Links 12.8.08

Banner_00017I got an email from my buddy, Marcus, at and he told me one of my articles is now listed as a Best of 2008 article on their site.  Very cool. 

Brief Molly Update: Molly is spending the night awake tonight so she can have an EEG test in the morning. If you think of it, pray for her.  She is already exhausted and struggling the last few days with sleep.  She is sleeping longer but not better.  So tonight is going to be rough for her.

I've started to add music recommendations as well as poetry recommendations to my Amazon Store. Shop there and help the Reformissionary!

David Fitch discusses Dan Kimball and missional vs. attractional...and Tim Keller comments a couple of times.  Fun.

Jeremy Pryor is thinking about the centrality of the prayer meeting.

Ligon Duncan has some good thoughts on a gospel culture in the local church.

Justin Buzzard lists 20 books to read in your 20's.

John Piper on why God is not a megalomaniac in demanding to be worshipped.

Sam Storms is starting to list his recommended New Testament commentaries.  Right on so far in my estimation.

N500389893_989192_769 Joe Thorn tagged me in Facebook and said I'm this, uh, person.  If everyone on Facebook who even remotely likes me and who is Joe Thorn's Facebook friend would tag Joe Thorn in one random, funny, or odd place, I would be eternally grateful.

Music Monday 9.15.08

Panic at the Disco's new album is catchy and fun. It's playing a lot at my house.

Teddy Thompson is catchy, but for entirely different reasons. Check out the pleasant acoustic version of "In My Arms" below. If you need the official video, I'm here for you. His album, A Piece of What You Need, is also getting pretty good reviews.

New Tegan and Sara video, "Call It Off"...

New Elbow video, "The Bones of You"...

New Bon Iver videos. Ahhh...

Bon Iver - "For Emma" from MySpace Transmissions

Bon iver - "Flume" from MySpace Transmissions

Bon Iver - "Lump Sum" from MySpace Transmissions

Bon Iver - "Blindsided" from MySpace Transmissions

God Wants Me To Be Successful?

Recently I was browsing in my local bookstore. I picked up a bookwith lots of promises on the cover about what success will come if I implement the teachings of this book into my work. I brought it home only to add it to a bookshelf loaded with books with similar promises.

Wherever you work, there will always be another book to read, another leader to emulate, or another leadership model to adopt. If you want to succeed, there is no shortage of books telling you what to do. But how can we know if the success described in these books is what God considers success? How do we define godly success for our businesses and churches and schools?

Read my new article over at The High Calling of Our Daily Work: "God Wants Me To Be Successful?"  (My bio page.)

My New Article

Ministry can be frustrating and exhausting.  Whatever your work, I'm sure you've experienced much the same thing.  Our recent vacation did little to alleviate my frustrations and I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why.  As usual what I needed more than time off was a fresh grasp of the Gospel.

For more on this head over to The High Calling you can read my new article, "Hello, My Name Is Van."