If your life were a sentence, how would it read?

Sacred Mundane: an Invitation to Find Freedom, Purpose, and Joy from Jeff & Kari Patterson on Vimeo.

What if the key to extraordinary life change is waiting for you within the ordinary life you already live?
What if it’s been right in front of you all along?

Change can be difficult, but nothing is harder than being stuck in life. This book is an invitation to live unstuck. To find freedom, purpose, and joy. To see every aspect of life what what it really is: an opportunity to see, know, love, and be utterly transformed by a great and glorious God.
Sacred Mundane is now available wherever books are sold. Grateful to God for my wife who wrote this excellent book. (Officially releases today!)


The very best place for you to know and love God is …

“Relentlessly, graciously, He moves through every mundane moment of our lives, using all that is ordinary to transform us into glory. He replaces bondage with freedom, apathy with purpose, despondency with joy. All in the midst of our regular routines. This is what pleases God.”
—Kari Patterson (Sacred Mundane)

“Sacred Mundane” is the theme of our home, the soundtrack of our lives, the drum beat of Kari’s heart. It’s more than a book (or a blog), it’s a shorthand way of saying we’re following Jesus in every square inch of our lives in every square inch of His world. Since it’s all His, let us happily live like it.

Last weekend we joined some dear friends for a “Mountain High, Valley Low” conference, helping post-college grads make sense of why we live in the “valley lows” while longing for the defining and exhilarating highs of mountain-top experiences with God.

Wish I had some photos to share of our time with some people we’ve known since the real life beginning of this journey into the Sacred Mundane (hey Scott & AJ!). For the conference our friend Jeremiah Wilson captured and edited this video, where Kari gives the essence of Sacred Mundane, distilled for a strategy for real life:

(Proud husband smile.)

Sacred Mundane the book officially releases July 25th, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon, or purchased wherever books are sold. All net proceeds will be donated to World Vision for the flourishing of women and children especially in developing communities.


Far from Lonely, Man.

Friends, I write to you today to say THANK YOU for supporting the Loneliman 39.3 fundraiser for NGM — and to note there is still time to join in the fun! Give today! 😉 Even if we haven’t met, your birthday gift doesn’t go to me: it’s all to fund Next Generation Ministries.

Wrote about WHY here, in thirty-nine words:

Behold the moment, weigh your purpose.
Duty and beauty join as one;
Joy of obedience, whether together or lonely, man.
What’s a man’s legacy?

THEY are. Invest in the next generation.
Finish well.
In lieu of presents, give Hope!

I wanted to do a triathlon (a collection of endurance events I enjoy) for a purpose beyond myself. I’m friends with Paul and Pam Hunter; they are people I immensely enjoy and love. So being part of their team in the mission of Next Generation — changing Uganda one person at a time! — made a crazy idea seem wise. Now, some person have noted that I must be borderline crazy to want to do three hours of exercise at threshold for fun. Yes, this was my favorite kind of birthday party. Yet the joy I got to experience, being with Paul and others along the route made this a far from a lonely experience (see the highlight video below, which Papa Paul captured and edited with love and creativity). In fact, after competing in multiple endurance races, like triathlons and a marathon, I must say this was the least lonely I’ve ever been during a race. Here’s why:  Continue reading


Thirty-nine words on the occasion of turning 39.

This Saturday I reach three bakers’ dozen, turning thirty-nine years old. Pausing this moment to contemplate the milestone (like at 38), and envision the road ahead.

Treating the occasion, and my life, as a race, with a purpose beyond myself. A summary in thirty-nine words:

Behold the moment, weigh your purpose.
Duty and beauty join as one;
Joy of obedience, whether together or lonely, man.
What’s a man’s legacy?
THEY are. Invest in the next generation.
Finish well.
In lieu of presents, give Hope!


For my 39th birthday on June 17th I’ll be doing a triathlon as a fundraiser for Next Generation Ministries (NGM), aka the Loneliman 39.3. It will be about three hours of grace-driven effort!

How you can join in:

How long will it take? Swim 1.0 mile, then bike 32.1 miles, then run 6.2 miles. Aiming for three hours.


Since you did not pull yourself out of the pit, nor illuminate yourself.


“A company of travelers fall into a pit: one of them gets a passenger to draw him out. Now he should not be angry with the rest for falling in; nor because they are not yet out, as he is. He did not pull himself out: instead, therefore, of reproaching them, he should show them pity. . . . A man, truly illuminated, will no more despise others, than Bartimaeus1, after his own eyes were opened, would take a stick, and beat every blind man he met.”
—John Newton2
Let us embrace the tenderness of Jesus and embody this habitual tenderness to others.
  1. Read Mark 10:46-52 to see the scene when Jesus restored blind Bartimaeus’ sight
  2. Cecil, Memoirs of the Rev. John Newton, p. 105.

What does clean water do?

Last Friday I shared with three fifth grade classes about the global water crisis. And what clean water does. 

In our brief time together I shared the story of two five-year-olds girls in Kenya and how clean water has the power to free a child to flourish in life, in whole communities. While I spoke broadly of this the direst of all global crises, the reality of 1,000 children dying today due to diarrhea from lack of clean water and sanitation can only hit us if we consider children are real people, and we enter their story. 

Children make the long walk home with containers of polluted water they scooped from holes they dug in a dry riverbed. (Note: Cheru out of the frame in these photos.) Carrying a tea kettle, Cheru Lotuliapus, 5, (wearing red skirt and green shirt below) walks with other children twice a day to dig for water in a dry riverbed in West Pokot, Kenya. A first-year kindergarten student, she carries water to school and returns home by way of the waterhole to refill her kettle. With other school children, she walks more than 6km a day for water.
Kenya (West Pokot County). Location: Ptoyo; sublocation: Kesot; village: Chepoyotwo. Sook program area

What is the power of clean water? What does it do?

Consider how two five-year-olds, Cheru and Kamama, who live near one another in Kenya. Yet their days and lives are vastly different due to one difference: Continue reading


Running their race for water with them

This week I read that every day, women and girls spend 200 million hours walking to collect water for their families. That’s 8.3 million days. More than 22,800 years. All in one day!

That figure is so daunting. Where can one begin to make an impact for these women and children? It’s not just the quantity of hours amassed, it’s also the dangerous treks for fetching poor quality water!I look at my eight-year-old daughter and ask why can she go to any faucet in the house and get clean drinking water on demand?

We get to be leaders in providing clean water, for the world’s future leaders. Every child deserves clean water, and those 200 million hours from each day can be better put to use in seeing families, villages, whole communities, regions and nations flourishing.

Families gather for Renew Church’s 6k for Water event in Oregon City, OR (April 2016)

Last year we hosted a 6K for Water in our city. The enrollment was gradual, and then some signups were rushed near end. While I tried to hand out flyers, I found that the real key was a personal invite. Known as a runner, many thought I would be able to compel other runners. Well, I’m here to tell you it is the unlikely ones who rise to the occasion.

6K for Water

The 6K isn’t really for runners; it’s not even for us.

My friend Dawson has two daughters, and is (or was, and used to proudly say) “NOT a runner.” That all changed last year, after he carried a five-gallon jug of water during the 6K for Water.

“How hard can it be?” he opined, later admitting it was the hardest physical challenge he’d ever endured. What’s more: young girls in Africa do this every day.

Dawson carried 5 gallon (40 lb) jerrycan full of water on the loop back

As the father of two daughters, he wanted to do it for them, and with them.

It wasn’t long until one step led to another as Dawson got motivated to change his life habits and patterns. We joke together that we who have so much comfort get most active when trying to get comfortable. It’s been fun to see him pursue discomfort. A few months into his running journey, accompanied with a plan of bodyweight exercises for whole health, and getting serious about the food the family ate together, Dawson asked if I’d select a course for a run test.

Taking last year’s 6K for Water signs, we set up a simple out-and-back course. He wanted to run at 6:00 AM on Monday morning, because that’s when his body wouldn’t feel like it. Plus, the early dark hours are when women and children must go the distance to fetch water.

During the effort, empowered by God’s Grace, Dawson reflected on his reasons to get healthy. I made him bark out the reasons: that he wanted to be healthy to play with his kids, and one day hold their kids. He ran further than he ever had before, beat his goal time, and afterward I knighted him, “You, my friend, are a runner.” 

My friend could change his life because someone came to run alongside him. And it hit us that this is what we get to do for those in Africa, Haiti, and India. Let us run with endurance their race alongside, for Jesus and all His saints attest it is worth it, and this life of faith can be run. In the most practical ways, clean water unlocks all their potential, and allows them to flourish in this life, learning of the One who offers them eternal life.

Setting audacious goals

Hunter family ready for the 6K for Water

Hunter family ready for the 6K for Water

Dawson and his wife Anna are now the 6K for Water host-site leaders for Team Renew for Water (join or donate here). We’ve set an even more ambitious goal, to more than double last year’s goal of providing water for 116 children. Let’s go for 250 or more! (Actually, let’s make it 500.) 

We’ve set an ambitious goal as church family. If we say “we’re a family of missionary servants,” that means we must also become willing to get uncomfortable and be inconvenienced. It starts with leaders who embrace and embody these truths.

Dawson and Anna now have the personal credibility to challenge everyone in the church to sign up, and offer a simple invitation for global change: we get to be a part of this! Of course, it’s just one hour for a 6K, and the inconvenience of fifty bucks. While I’m not convinced the imperative will work for everyone, we won’t stop the constant reminders, like a leaky faucet of clean water. I know the personal invitations offered with care and insistence will work.

Dawson’s oldest daughter Reagan asked if she could run with him. So one recent Saturday morning Dad delayed the day’s workout until she was awake. They laced up and ran a lap around the driveway. On the second lap Reagan stopped, revealing disappointment. What’s a matter? Reagan confided,

“I thought we were going running! Where are all the kids, where’s the face-painting, and the snacks?”

6K for Water kids bibsHer mind connected to the last time she ran with Daddy: amidst a big party, at a park where the 6K for Water started and ended. And while she may not (yet) grasp the whole run-for-others, it’s clear Dawson gets it.

Think about those 200 million (daily) hours noted above. These are women and children who matter.

They deserve access clean water. We can redeem their time and provide this water.

Would you give one hour to change that?

Since this week was World Water Day, you’re invited to use registration code WWD2017 for $10 off registration for both adults ($40 instead of $50) and children under age 15 ($15 instead of $25) — through Sunday night, March 26th).

originally posted on the World Vision Churches blog