top3 for August 23, 2019

Here is a quick dose of three things that have made a difference in my life this week. #1 A spiritual director is not a guru whose authority depends on personal enlightenment, but a person of faith and a discerning companion who listens well and prays with you. Henri Nouwen from Spiritual Formation I believe it is helpful for us to have help with our body, mind and spirit. Someone, in whom we trust, to have access to our “vitals” and our okay to prescribe from time too time what may be helpful. A spiritual director does just that. If … Continue reading top3 for August 23, 2019

Ideology put into practice creates a uniting force

Ideology is the glue that holds decentralized organizations together. The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations I don’t fully agree with the above quote from one of my favorite books on organization leadership. Actually, I think it stops one station short of the destination. One of the questions we face in the local church I serve is one of unity. The question comes up “how are we one church” when we don’t see one another? My answer is that Mission, Vision and Values tie us together. But it not the ideas that tie us together, it … Continue reading Ideology put into practice creates a uniting force

A new day for a new start

Setting aside time for daily devotional of Scripture reading, prayer, meditation and reflection has become a habit for me. Along with working out, these are the two things that make my day begin the right way. It has not always been that way but over the course of the past ten years this has become my reality. I am so glad that I didn’t give up on these practices after years of stops and starts. I am so glad that in these two areas of my life my past hasn’t defined my future. Today is the first day of school … Continue reading A new day for a new start

The Guts of Trust

Much has been made of trust and its importance for relationships, leadership, and effectiveness. But how does it happen? What are the actions that lead to the deepening of faith and, in contrast, what do we do to tear down trust? I found a good starting point in the book Trillion Dollar Coach which is a book about Bill Campbell who was coach to many tech giants. Trust develops through 1) keeping your word, 2) loyalty, 3) integrity / character, 4) discretion. These form the foundation of trust in all types of relationships. If one of these four breaks down … Continue reading The Guts of Trust

Who do you listen to?

I am continuing in the book of 2nd Chronicles and noticed how often the kings rise and fall based on who they have around them and who they listen to. When the kings’ trusted advisors are the prophets, the nation prospers and the king does well. Of course, the opposite is true when the advise of the prophets is rejected. It matters who we have around us and who we allow to speak into our lives. There is a social theory that we are the average of the five people that are closest to us. Therefore, cultivating friendships is one … Continue reading Who do you listen to?

top3 for August 9, 2019

Here is a quick look at three things I’ve been reading or thinking about this week that impacted me the most. #1 Going Home with Wendell Berry from The New Yorker Local knowledge. Embracing limitations. A good reminder that the source of life is always right in front of us. Being completely present in our current situation is the way to a better future and a healing of the past. God is not afraid of embracing limitations. Why would he choose to embody himself in the form of a human that we call Jesus? Because God is not afraid of … Continue reading top3 for August 9, 2019

Waiting

I spend a fair amount of time waiting. Hospitals. Funeral homes. Meetings. When you wait you are expecting something to take place. You are poised for a time of action. In that sense, waiting is one of the most hopeful practices. As followers of Christ, we are always waiting. For his return. For the kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. For promises to be fulfilled. For faith to produce fruit. So it’s not a matter of if we wait but how we wait. Patiently. Expectedly. Productively. These are the mainstays of waiting. They don’t come naturally. … Continue reading Waiting