Jon Jordan

Or put another way: what we need most in moments of conflict are the humanities, and what we are offered instead is a dangerous parody.

My latest essay for The Living Church.

Two Football Notes

  1. With more Americans playing in top flight European leagues than ever, and performing especially well in the Premier League, it is hard to not let USMNT World Cup anticipation and expectations grow every weekend. Sure, it could all be a set up for an extremely disappointing winter. But it could also be the preface to a thrilling run deep into the knockout rounds.

  2. The Premier League is off to a fascinating start. (Come on you Spurs!) Yes, we won’t be through August until this weekend’s matches, but it is an interesting opening month to say the least. Leeds, Liverpool, Man U, and Man City all with welcomed surprises. Things are just getting started. Remembering back to last season: Tottenham at the top and Arsenal at the bottom at the end of August. They finished the season 4 and 5, respectively.

Rich Mullins was the greatest of the 90s era evangelical musicians. (If you know the era, you know the era…)

I often find myself thinking through lines still engrained in my head from songs like this one.

After the year-long run streak finished in March, I fell off the bandwagon for a couple of months. Picking it back up by trying to run every street in my neighborhood (Heights Park) and then city (Richardson). Progress map after a few runs this week.

There are 82 years between these two: my daughter (2) and my grandmother (89), both hiking Red Rocks on our annual two week vacation.

My article on social media and virtue that recommends M.b as a viable alternative to Big Social was published today by The Living Church.

Social Media that doesnt shrink your soul?

Our ancestors sharing what they saw when they checked in on our “progress”:

They have dwellings, but they often pay people to destroy them because they are outdated. And then they pay those same people to put them back together in a style that will soon be outdated.

There are a few pivotal moments recorded in the Gospels that give us a glimpse into Jesus’ life after the resurrection.

But this Sunday’s Gospel is different: it is an Easter-themed flashback to before the Passion that helps us make sense of both the full and the empty tomb.

Began reading these two books today; one for professional and the other for personal reasons. I suspect both will have an impact in both realms.

Glory, glory, Tottenham Hotspur!

On End of Year Academic Awards Ceremonies

An excerpt from my opening remarks at our Rhetoric School Awards Ceremony.

The most important things in life cannot be captured on a certificate.

When my wife gave birth to our children, she was not handed a certificate. (Oddly enough, each of them were!) When a man dies at the age of 93 having lived a life of faithfulness to his wife and family, he does not win an award. The reward of these two examples of faithfulness is not any sort of certificate or recognition, but rather the thing itself. Sacrificial service to another person is the reward. Faithfulness is the reward. Those of us who have experienced glimpses of these things know this to be true.

But many of you have not experienced these things. I know you don’t like to hear this, but it is true: you simply have not lived long enough to experience all of what life has to offer, at least not in its fullest sense. But you will. And what do you now affects the way you will approach the rest of your life.

Which leads me to my second point:

It is worth recognizing—on paper and in front of your peers—those things you have done this school year that are pointers towards the really important things in life.

Grades, in the end, do not matter. But Faithfulness matters a great deal; it can make or break entire families, communities, and nations. And being diligent to give your best effort on homework, even when no one is looking, is a pointer towards the sort of faithfulness you are called to walk in throughout your life. A practice of regular faithfulness now on things that carry little weight is precisely what prepares you for faithfulness when it matters most.

I am not sure we are going to “Redefine” education with QR codes…

Wendell Berry’s poem Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front is all the more impressive/beautiful/haunting for having been first published in 1973.

Wrapping up a draft for my next Covenant piece that tries to answer the question Is there an alternative to Big Social that doesn’t shrink our souls?

My three suggestd alternatives three years after I quit Big Social: the text thread, the newsletter, and

Scrapped idea for another day

A scrapped idea for this year’s Easter Vigil sermon that I think would be interesting to pursue eventually:

I think you can find many, if not all, of Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief in the various reactions to the news of the Resurrection of Jesus found throughout the Gospels.

That is as far as I got before moving in a different direction, but hope to come back to it some time.

A One Year Run Streak

Today I completed a 365 day run streak. I have run at least one mile per day for the past year.


To mark the occasion, below are some initial reflections, interesting stats from the past year, plus a thought about what comes next.

Initial Reflections

You can do just about anything once a day. Most days it was inconvenient to fit in a run. Some days it was nearly impossible. But when the question was when—not if—it somehow became more possible.

Days are different. There were some days where an 11-minute mile felt like a beating. Other days, a 10 mile run at 10-minute pace felt like a breeze. (Time of day, hydration, nutrition, and stress level were all major factors.)

I am certainly not faster than I was when I started, but I have far more endurance.

For some days, weeks, or seasons, the bare minimum is all I had in me. A mile a day for three weeks beats zero miles a day for three weeks.

I have not had a major injury this year. A lingering case of plantar fasciitis has remained, and my legs have been sore for a year, but I did not have an injury that sidelined me entirely.

Running with a stomach bug and running with hiccups and running after a drink or two are all very unpleasant experiences.

My wife picked up a running habit in the past year, and generally runs with me at least one night a week. This has been a great addition to our marital tool belt. (If she asks me an uncomfortable question, I can still run away!)

Interesting Stats

  • 567.5 miles total
  • Average of 1.5 miles per day
  • Longest runs: 13.1 miles (Dallas Half), 10 miles with Ben, and a few 9s around White Rock.
  • Latest run: 11:30pm

What’s Next?

While I am not entirely sure what I plan to train for, I do plan to continue running every day except Thursdays and Fridays starting this week. The streak was a great way to become a runner (again), but rest days are going to be crucial if I actually want to become a better runner.

Best Run Pictures from the Year

Frozen 10 miler with Ben … before his 50 mile race.

Dallas 2-miler with the Family the day before the Half.

Solo run on Pre's trail in Eugene, OR.

On the Lower Slopes of Worship

We are all beginners in the liturgy, really. All of us—from the first-time visitor who finds himself pain helplessly through the Prayer Book wondering what is happening, to the aged priest who has known it all by heart for half a century—are only on the lower slopes of worship. If the great seraphim themselves cover their faces in the presence of the Divine Majesty, who of us will claim to be experts at the act of approaching the Throne with offerings of adoration and praise.

From The Liturgy Explained. (The old edition)

'Man is what he eats.’ With this statement the German materialist philosopher Feuerbach thought he had put an end to all ‘idealistic’ speculations about human nature. In fact, however, he was expressing, without knowing it, the most religious idea of man.

For the Life of the World, Alexander Schmemann. The opening sentences of a book I will never tire of rereading.

But a new major era seems to be just beginning in the shadow of the old and dying modernism. I have a name for it, for what it’s worth. I call it trans-modernism. We’re moving into a new historical period in which we will rediscover the validity of a lot of our traditional understanding, but we’re going to discover it intellectually.

Almost an aside in Paul Vitz’ Socrates in the City talk on Fatherhood. But an intriguing one nonetheless.

Since the beginning of recorded history, empires and civilizations have risen and fallen; sometimes they would seem to have completely disappeared. It would probably be truer to say that the races who have developed the varying civilizations have disappeared, but that their gifts to the world have survived, not always in the form in which they gave them, but in the form in which the world has needed them.

Dorothy Mills, on the fall of Rome in the introduction to her Book of the Middle Ages.

An observation after having run every day for 297 days in a row:

The first mile is almost always the worst/hardest mile of any run.

That’s why he and two co-authors—Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford—recently performed a study that suggests it might be time to change the way we think about our interests. Passions aren’t “found,” they argue. They’re developed.

From a much appreciated article by Olga Khazan—especially for those of us in the world of K-12 Classical Education.

Change your name, and fool the angel of death. Read more from my recent article for the Feast of the Holy Name here.

Spent some time reflecting on Psalm 91, vocation, the Daily Office, work and life balance, and more on a good friend’s podcast this week. Give it a listen here!

Working title for a writing project I am chipping away at these days:

Presence in a Virtual Age: a sacramental theology you didn’t know you needed