The Struggling Pastor’s Best Friend, Why Are Teenagers So Sad and Anxious?, and High Praise for Songwriter Mark Heard – Points of Interest for August 15, 2022

John Calvin: The Struggling Pastor’s Best Friend

“Since unceasing spiritual battle is the reality of ministry, all who would be pastors “should carefully consider with themselves, whether or not they were able to bear so heavy a burden.” Ministry will always be filled with difficulties and sufferings, so the frank assessment of one’s ability to bear those difficulties is an essential part of examining one’s call to ministry.”

“Pastors who look to the love of Christ will be enabled to forget their comforts and reputations and be able to persevere in a work that so often costs them those comforts and reputations.”

Why Are American Teenagers So Sad and Anxious?

“Kids need millions of experiences of conflict, getting lost, struggling with something, failing in a low-stakes environment. That’s what play is all about, play is what develops our brain. But what we did beginning around 2009 was we put all of our kids on experience blockers.”

Mark Heard: Treasure of the Broken Land

I quite enjoyed this essay on one of my favourite songwriters, the late Mark Heard. I made a playlist of some of my favourite songs. Have a listen.

“Heard’s reputation is built primarily on his last three albums. That’s where his poetic promise flowered and he finally shook loose of the Christian music industry that had never wanted much to do with him anyway.”

Pray for the foothills
Home to the drones of power lines and rock doves
Mountains gray as velvet
Field for dots of yucca, white with jacarandas
Facing the sky as the day burns away is a desert in mourning
Sheltering the dead stones
Cradle of the lost bones
Home of eternal comings and goings
(“Another Day in Limbo”)

“When an artist dies in his prime, the temptation is to mourn the art he never had a chance to make. And that’s doubly true for Heard, who’d really come into his own as a singer and songwriter only a few years before he died. But we should be thankful for the music he left behind…Heard’s work will stand the test of time, I am sure, even if only a few thousand people ever hear it.”

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Michael Krahn is the Lead Pastor of the EMMC church in Aylmer, Ontario, where he has served for the last 13 years. He has been married to Anne Marie for 27 years and together they have three daughters (19,18,16). You can find more of Michael’s writing at or connect on social media at @Michael_G_Krahn (Twitter), pastor.michael.krahn (IG), and Michael.George.Krahn (Fb)

Harry Potter, Exercising Caution in Our Online Words, and The Confessions of Mark Heard – Points of Interest for February 7, 2022

This is a weekly roundup of pieces I read on other sites around the web. Click on the titles to open the articles in a new tab. Happy reading!

The Strange Fate of Hamilton and Harry Potter | Carl R. Trueman 

“Years ago, when teaching at seminary, I used to tell the students that moral relevance in the modern world was a cruel and fickle mistress. However much Christians accommodated themselves to her demands, sooner or later she would want more. Christian morality and the morality of the world simply could not be reconciled in the long term… Today, moral tastes have too short a shelf life for that. Indeed, embracing the moral spirit of the age is now more akin to having a one-night stand—and that with somebody who kicks you out of bed in the morning and calls the police.”

An Unexpected Reply | Phil Cotnoir

“We have far too easily divorced our online words from the stringent commands about our speech that we find all over the Scriptures. Something about the disembodied nature of the digital medium offers a kind of veil that blinds us to the spiritual significance of our words. And so the digital world is not only a far less human place because it is necessarily disembodied, but also because that disembodiment encourages us to dehumanize others as well.”

The Confessions of Mark Heard
If you’ve never listened to the music of Mark Heard, please spend some time with the playlist below.

“Heard had an ear for melody and a voice full of yearning, but it’s his lyrics that make his songs resonate so deeply for many. He sang of the complexities of human life — the wistfulness of nostalgia, the spectre of death, the joys and ambiguities of romantic love, the quest for truth and permanence in a culture that values neither — while pointing beyond those things to a transcendent hope, however and wherever that hope is found.”

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Header photo by Rhii Photography on Unsplash

25 Years Since I Said I Do… and “I Still Do”

A song for my wife on the occasion of our 25th anniversary. Words and music by me. Words and music for her. Lyrics below…

“I Still Do”

Words & Music by Michael Krahn
Words & Music about Anne Marie Krahn

I remember two fresh kids with our hearts on fire
I remember my brain was buzzing like a hydro wire
And that little white church, and my shiny black boots
I remember the bright spring morning when I said “I do”
And I still do…

I remember we took that flight out to Calgary
I remember loving this land of the maple leaf
And that little green car, and our tiny Banff room
I remember loving every morning waking up to you
And I still do… I still do…

This has not been a long ride…
This has not been a rough ride…

It’s been… windows down and hair blowing in the wind…
It’s been… you sleeping while I drive us up around the bend…
It’s been… eyes open on the road while I hold your hand…

I remember thinking about the future
I remember thinking about the present too
I remember thinking that the present was pretty good…
And I still do…


Well-wishing can be done here…