4 Reasons I might Not Follow You

People follow me on Twitter often. They promptly unfollow me after a couple of days. I never understand why this is but it could be because I didn’t follow back. Some probably wonder why I didn’t follow them. If you’re a legitimate person and not a bot, please don’t be offended. It’s for reasons that protect my family, time, and express my finitude.

So here’s some reasons why you may not have been followed back:

1. Creepy Headshot. Some of you just have a creepy headshot. You’re either giving me a “Blue Steel”, some sidelong glance, or borderline seductive look. I don’t want to see that in my feed. I prefer poorly done selfies to your odd glamour shot.

2. Your tag line says something like, “get more followers.” Which is ironic because the majority of those accounts have less than 10 followers. Ed Stetzer is just about the only one who has the right to put that in his tag line.

3. I haven’t met you. It’s rare these days for me to follow people I have not interacted with. I want to trust the people I follow and assume they will edify my feed (or at least be a little snarky like Brandon Smith). Geographical proximity is a factor. I went to a major conference this week and had many great conversations. Not all of the fellowship is sustainable. I only followed a few people and those I did stood a chance because they live in the Chicagoland.

4. I’m not connected to your organization. I may know your organization, but I do not partner with you in some tangible way. Even if I believe in your message, I can only take in and spread so much information.

I know this seems like a minimalist approach and it is. I want to go deeper and not wider in my personal ministry to others. I can’t fellowship with everyone because I am a human with limitations. But I can fellowship with a few.

Maybe you just learned something and are rethinking how you use social media. I hope so. I think you might find that you are able to turn more of your time away from pixels and back to people.

What are some reasons that you don’t follow others?

Spanking to Correct the Heart, Not Just Behavior (Christianity.com Guest Post)

I was a very busy boy. My mom tells me I required two mothers. She also tells me she used to pray I have a son just like me.

God answered her prayer. My wife and I are blessed with one of the busiest 2-year-old boys we’ve seen. He is also a very sweet boy, too.

As with any child, there are moments of utter dismay. We ask ourselves, “Why does he just not listen?” We give simple instructions; often they go unheeded. He does what he wants to do. These are times when we see folly bound within his heart.

We work diligently and patiently with our son. In fact, we are slow to resort to spanking. But when we are certain that he is behaving defiantly and foolishly, we apply the biblical means of correction that God has given us. This may alarm some readers, but please pay attention and try not to jump to conclusions.

Folly is bound in the heart.

What do I mean by folly is bound in my son’s heart? Well, Proverb 22:15 declares, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child…” In reading this authoritative Word, we discover that a child’s heart is by nature arrested by foolishness; it is under folly’s imprisonment.

The Scriptures indicate that the heart is the control center of the person. It governs all activity. And as early as Genesis 6:5, God probes the evil and wickedness of mankind and finds it settled in the heart. Let’s also not forget Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

This applies to our children. Though they are small and seemingly innocent, God’s Word reminds us that our children are bent inward by sin. They are little fools, minions to sin. I know this is a tough pill to swallow, because, like you, I love my kids.


Restoration Project Firm Foundation Vol 1 EP Release


Restoration Project is a collective of songwriters and musicians nationwide, but mostly in the Chicago area, who are dedicated to seeing old hymns restored and celebrated.

Here is a statement from Restoration Project’s website that explains this premise:

Those who are a part of Restoration Project have discovered what many other hymn-writers around the world have:

There is an outstanding, historic catalog of beautiful Christian texts that most of the Church will never hear sung in their lifetimes.

Though not Scripture, these words, when set properly to music, can lift our hearts in praise to God-both corporately and individually, as melody and harmony intertwine with Gospel-rich lyrics.

Last night I had the pleasure of bringing my family to their release party for the Firm Foundation Vol 1 EP. This release party and the next one (Firm Foundation Vol 2 EP releasing this summer) are events fitting for the whole family. These two albums rework children’s songs with new verses, choruses, or bridges. Each song varies in revisions. These songs have been rearranged for a new generation of children to sing and worship.

Here’s details on this album and where you can get it:

Album Credits | Listen/Buy on Bandcamp | iTunes
Church discounts available for orders of 10 or more.


Release Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Produced and Engineered by: Jay Mathes
Recorded at: The Dragon Room, Lombard, IL and Drums at Chris Rud’s house, Aurora, IL
Mixed by: Shane D. Wilson at St. Izzy’s of the East, East Nashville, TN
Mastered by: Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room, Chicago, IL
Graphic design and layout by: Brian Malcolm

Aaron Boynton – Bass (except “This Little Light”) and Drums
Ivan Ishkov – Bass on “This Little Light”
Jay Mathes – Guitars, Keys, Percussion
Michael Mkrtschjan – Piano
Chris Walke – Pedal Steel

1. God is so Good
Lyrics and melody from traditional spiritual
Additional lyrics by Heidi Malcolm and Jay Mathes
Music and arrangement by Jay Mathes
Heidi Malcolm – Lead Vocals
Michael Mkrtschjan – Background Vocals

2. Jesus Loves Me
Lyrics and melody from traditional spiritual
Additional lyrics, music, and arrangement by Jay Mathes
Jay Mathes – Lead Vocals

3. My God is so Big
Lyrics and melody from traditional spiritual
Additional lyrics, music, and arrangement by Jay Mathes
Jay Mathes – Lead Vocals
Michael Mkrtschjan – Background Vocals

4. This Little Light of Mine
Lyrics and melody from traditional spiritual
Additional lyrics, music, and arrangement by Jay Mathes
Oliver Bujdei – Lead Vocals
Jay Mathes – Background Vocals
Michael Mkrtschjan – Background Vocals

The release party was held at Graham’s 318 Coffee House located on Third Street in historic downtown Geneva, IL. I venture to say that there were 50-100 people present for the release (and coffee and gellato too!). Members of Restoration Project led a hymn sing and played the album live for guests at the coffee house and for all those who came out for the release party. This was a sensational event for brothers and sisters to gather and celebrate Jesus in song.

This hymn sing was a great event for children. We brought all three of ours and they loved watching the band, giving song requests, and at one point performing with the band. They also liked Graham’s 318 gellato.

Restoration Project currently has released two other albums prior. These albums arranged lost hymns that you will enjoy! Visit ResProj.com to learn more about this ministry.

Here’s a run down on their other two albums:

Album Credits | Listen on Bandcamp | Buy on iTunes
Church discounts available for orders of 10 or more.

Release date: Sunday, April 6, 2008
Produced by: Jay Mathes
Recorded at: The Dragon Room, Wheaton, IL
Photography by: Joel Sage

1. My Lord, I Did Not Choose You
Words by: Josiah Conder
Music by: Daniel Hautamaki
Daniel Hautamaki – Lead Vox
Paige Winfield – BGV’s
Jake Wegner – Mandolin

2. Fruit of the Spirit
Words and music by: Jay Mathes
Jay Mathes – Lead Vox, Guitars, Sequencing

3. Look, Ye Saints!
Words by: Thomas Kelly
Music by: David Jordan
David Jordan – Lead Vox, Ac Guitars
Jay Mathes – Guitars, Perc
The Chorus: Tim Avery, Brock Bobbitt, Rob B., Andrew Hopkins, David Jordan, Jay Mathes, Rebecca McFarland, Megan Mkrtschjan, Jason S., Tim Smile, Donna Van Cott, Paige Winfield

4. Tis the Church Triumphant Singing
Words by: John Kent
Music by: Daniel Hautamaki
Lora Libby – Lead Vox
Jay Mathes – Guitars

5. There is a Balm in Gilead
Words: Traditional Spiritual
Music by: Daniel Hautamaki
Rob B. – Lead Vox

6. Jesus the Great
Words and music by: Jay Mathes
Jay Mathes – Lead Vox, Guitars
Tim Smile – Keyboards

7. Jesus, True and Living Bread
Words by: George H. Bourne
Music by: David Jordan
David Jordan – Lead Vox
Tim Smile – Keyboards

8. Philippians Hymn
Words and music by: Jay Mathes
Lora Libby – Lead Vox
Tim Smile – Keyboards
Jay Mathes – Guitars, Perc

9. No Condemnation
Words and music by: Jay Mathes
Jay Mathes – Lead Vox, Electric Guitar

Album Credits | Listen/Buy on Bandcamp | Buy on iTunes
Church discounts available for orders of 10 or more.

Release date: Sunday, April 10, 2011
Produced by: Jay Mathes
Mixed by: Jay Mathes and Gary Stanton
Recorded at: The Dragon Room, Lombard, IL
Photography by: Joel Sage
Graphic design by: Phil Rau

1. Eternal Father, Strong to Save
Words by: William Whiting
Music by: Jay Mathes
Jay Mathes – Lead Vox, Guitars, Perc
Michael Mkrtschjan – BGV’s
Phil Rau – Piano, Rhodes

2. O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done
Words by: Charles Wesley
Music by: Michael Mkrtschjan
Michael Mkrtschjan – Lead Vox, Piano
Jay Mathes – Guitars, Harmonium, Perc
Jason Young – Cello

3. Disciple Song
Words and music by: Jay Mathes
Based on Galatians 2:20
Jay Mathes – Lead Vox, Guitars, Drums
Michael Mkrtschjan – BGV’s, Piano

4. Wayfaring Stranger
Traditional Spiritual adapted by Daniel Hautamaki
Gary Stanton – Lead Vox, BGV’s
Jay Mathes – Guitars, Perc

5. Christ is Meaning
Words and music by: Jay Mathes
Based on the book of Ecclesiastes
Lora Libby – Lead Vox, BGV’s
Jay Mathes – Guitars, Perc
Phil Rau – Piano

6. The Promise of Glory
Words and music by: Jay Mathes
Based on 1 Peter 1:7
Eric Strong – Lead Vox, BGV’s
Jared Cochrum – Cajon
Marissa Hunt – BGV’s
Jay Mathes – Guitars, Sequencing

7. Of Matters Concerning Truth (and One, Peculiarly Large Heart)
Words and music by: Jay Mathes
Based on Jeremiah 31:33
Clara Stam – Lead Vox, BGV’s
Jay Mathes – Lead Vox, Guitars, Sequencing
Seth Daniel Mkrtschjan – Crying Baby


Final Thoughts on Sola13

Sola13 was an outstanding conference. If you missed the conference, worry not. I’ve live blogged each of the sessions for your enjoyment. You can get the best of the content in about 30 minutes of reading.

Sola13 Live Blog Introduction and Session 1 Sola Noel Heikkinen

Session 2 Ad Fontes Kevin DeYoung

Session 3 Sola Fide Matt Chandler

Session 4 Sola Gratia Leonce Crump II

Session 5 Solus Christus Stephen Um

Session 6 Sola Scriptura Albert Mohler

Session 7 Soli Deo Gloria John Piper

If you wish to hear the entire 7 hours of audio, Sola13 will be releasing that audio content later this week at there website, sola13.com.

Here are my 3 takeaways from this conference.

1. The Church needs these kinds of conferences. During the last few years I have traveled to many conferences but all of them have been geared to pastors. This is the first conference that I went to that target a lay audience. Every speaker preached their sermon with this in mind. People left having engaged the Scripture, educated on the reformation, and enlivened by the gospel. Churches dream of delivering this kind of training to their people. I hope that Sola13 finds a way to reproduce itself in every region of the United States. Every Christ-foller should have access to this kind of experience. Perhaps they could have a circuit to hit other regions of the US in the coming days.

2. Pastors need these kinds of conferences. As a pastor it was a thrill to observe how the teaching had an immediate impact on people. As I furiously live blogged the conference, I was able to capture how the audience responded to what preachers preached. I was able to listen in on people’s conversations between sessions. I got to watch people get excited about their faith. I observed their interest in the bookstore, consideration of seminary, or even church planting. It warms pastors heart to see how the Body of Christ respond to solid biblical exhortation.

3. Publishers, Seminaries, and Church Planting Networks need these kinds of conferences. There are the obvious reasons for why these organization find these conferences helpful. But there are also more subtle reasons. There is something special when you get a blogger, a couple directors of admissions, a marketing representative from a publisher, and a church planter/gifted web developer together to fellowship and robust discussion about matters of the Church, seminaries, theology, ghostwriting, Nelson Mandela and Carrie Underwood singing the Sound of Music Live. Through these kinds of conferences new friendships are formed.

I’m grateful for my time of fellowship with Jared Oliphint, Stephane Jeanrenaud, Pat Daly, and Matt Heerema on Friday night. I was refreshed by my late night conversation with Michael Breznau, who kindly hosted me at this home. It was great catching up with a seminary bud. I enjoyed getting to know the guys at Crossway, Andrew Tebbe and Matt Tully. And then there was the hilarious antics of Dave Kurt and Ken Buck, two fellas who sat near me while I live blogged on Saturday.

Forming new friendships is a blessing of conferences.

Roy B Zuck Enters Glory (1932 – 2013)

Roy-ZuckRoy B. Zuck, senior professor emeritus of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary and editor of Bibliotheca Sacra, went to be with the Lord on the evening of Saturday, March 16, 2013. Family visitation and viewing time will be on Thursday, March 21, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., at Redeemer Bible Church (Fellowship Hall).

There is an excellent tribute article written on DTS’s website. You may view it here.

Also, you may view his last Chapel message, Is the Rapture Next? here.


Top Ten Books I Read and Reviewed in 2012

It was tough to narrow it down to my favorite ten books, but here is my favorite ten books I read and reviewed in 2012. This is a ranked countdown. Visit my book reviews page here to read these reviews.

10. Giving Up Gimmicks by Brian Cosby

9. Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian

8. Am I Called by Dave Harvey

7. Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler

6. Servanthood as Worship by Nate Palmer

5. Modest by Tim Challies and R. W. Glenn

4. Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger

3. Counterfeit Gospels by Trevin Wax

2. Gospel Deeps by Jared Wilson

1. Note to Self by Joe Thorn


2013 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Resolved, to brush up on Greek by doing a weekly devotional from Devotions on the Greek New Testament by Duvall and Verbrugge.
  2. Resolved, to read Scotty Ward Smith’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel Centered Faith. I’m going to be giving away a print copy of this book on the blog soon.
  3. Resolved, to blog for quality over quantity this year. I hope to put together a couple solid interviews and book reviews a month and continue to blog about theology, family, youth ministry, and popular issues in the Church.
  4. To delve deeper in dependence on the gospel for hope.
  5. To love my family well with quantity time.

What’s Ahead While I’m Out: Next Week at jtcochran.com

This morning my wife, daughter, son and I piled into the mini-van and started our delightful journey to a magical vacation in Disney World. Therefore we will experience an intercalation of our review series on Michael Svigel’s wonderful work, RetroChristianity. I know. This is a very dispensational thing for me to do and say.

When I return from vacation you can expect to see the last two installments on RetroChristianity, an evaluation of Unit One of the Gospel Project, a review of the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones, and my review of Gospel Deeps by Jared Wilson releasing from Crossway on September 30.

In the meantime, here is a preview of next weeks guest posts.

Saturday September 15th high school student Claira Hull shares about her most prized possession.

Monday September 17th author and blogger Aaron Armstrong will share about the not so glamorous life of a writer.

Tuesday September 18th blogger Nate Claiborne will disclose his strategy of applying triperspectivalism in a small group environment.

Wednesday September 19th blogger Kyle Worley will impart insights from the transfiguration pericope.

Thursday September 20th pastor Michael Breznau will provide four critiques on why a print bible excels over the use of a digital bible.

Lastly, on Friday September 21st and Saturday September 22nd, wife and mother Tammy Adams shares from the Genesis story of Joseph and her own touching story that God moves from being cool to astounding.

Look forward to these good reads and please pray for our safe travel.

August’s Featured Posts and Book Reviews

At the end of each month I like to share the most popular posts for the month. Here are the featured posts for this month. If you happened to miss any of these posts, give them a read. Sampling these posts also is a great way to decide if you might want to subscribe to my RSS feed.

Each month I also write a number of book reviews. Typically, the books I read go highly recommended by myself and others. In case you missed any of these reviews here is a list of the books that I reviewed this past month.

Flap Jack Fundraiser for Bless the Children Ministries

Post Updated: 9/6/12

On Saturday September 8th from 8-10am go out to the Applebee’s in Tulsa Oklahoma at 106th and Memorial. For $6 you’ll be able to enjoy a great meal of flapjacks and help raise money for Bless the Children Ministries. Please share with others about this event and spread the word! You can register for this event at orphanrunflapjack.eventbrite.com

To learn more about Bless the Children Ministries visit their website.