The Gift of Being Known

Jul 01, 2020

As a young follower of Christ, I remember reading J. I. Packer’s classic book, Knowing God. A deep conviction formed in me that this was at the heart of what being a Christian was about. I wanted to know God. I read my Bible as often as possible. I went to as many gatherings at the church that I could find. I wanted to know God.

 

But at many points it became an exercise in knowing about God rather than knowing God in loving relationship. I think this can happen to any of us in...

Continue Reading...

Podcast 129: Attachment to God (Jim Wilder, Renovated)

Jun 29, 2020

Christian faith has often focused on right beliefs and right choices as the key to personal growth. But biblical evidence and modern brain science show that our character is shaped more by whom we love than merely by what we believe. 

In Renovated, Jim Wilder shows us how we can train our brains to relate to God based on joyful, mutual attachment, leading to emotional and spiritual maturity, as our identity and character are formed by our relationship with God. 

Dr. Jim Wilder...

Continue Reading...

No More Hiding

Jun 24, 2020

When my boys were little, I enjoyed the standard game of peek-a-boo. I got a kick out of it when they actually thought they were invisible. When a small child hides their face, they often think they are, in fact, completely hidden. But, of course, we can still see them and their cute little toddler selves. 

 

So isn’t it ironic that we sometimes think we can hide from God? 

 

We know that we are never hidden from God, so why do we act like we can withhold something...

Continue Reading...

Podcast 128: Sustainable Leadership (Alan Briggs)

Jun 23, 2020

How do we live in a way that doesn’t leave us drained and weary? How do we lead from places of refreshment and vitality instead?  

Alan recently enjoyed a great conversation about “sustainable leadership” with Alan Briggs from Stay Forth Designs. Briggs work intersects at many points with what Gem and Alan have been doing for a while now. So sustainable leadership is what we’ll be talking about today.

As we continue to navigate the practical changes that COVID-19...

Continue Reading...

A Change in Taste

Jun 17, 2020

Over the last six months, I’ve taken some fairly drastic steps related to my eating and exercise. Mainly, I’ve cut out a lot of my usual high sugar and high carbohydrate preferences. It was quite hard at first. My cravings would arise and I would feel a compulsion to eat my usual snacks. 

 

Over time, though, I actually found that my tastes changed. What had tasted boring to me in the past now had a fresh appeal to me. The sweetness of a carrot surprised me. The crisp...

Continue Reading...

Podcast 127: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory (Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger)

Jun 15, 2020

No one is going to argue that we have entered uncharted territory with the ongoing dynamics of COVID-19, and then with the painful wounds of injustice that are being rightly protested. It’s a season when we’ve perhaps never needed good leadership more, and when the complications of how leadership will adapt to the needs of this season may never have been higher. 

When I talk about unhurried leadership, I’m not talking about being slow to respond to real needs....

Continue Reading...

Lean into the Light

Jun 10, 2020

I have been trying to write this email for the last two weeks. And every time I try to put words down, it just feels like I’m saying blah…blah…blah…

 

My heart is heavy. There’s a lump in my throat. And what I think doesn’t matter. I don’t presume for one moment that I know what to say that will encourage or help you in these days following the death of George Floyd.

 

My friend, Morgan Harper Nichols, has graciously given me permission...

Continue Reading...

Podcast 126: Being with God... Together (Diana Shiflett)

Jun 08, 2020

Many of our listeners are leaders and it can be easy for any of us to fall into the groove of teaching or leading for mere information or knowledge…and not into the deeper levels of formation and change. Of course, knowledge is important and we must begin there. But transformation must be right on its heels or the process is incomplete.

Our guest today, Diana Shiflett, has written a very practical and hands-on book entitled Spiritual Practices in Community. And it gets at what I said...

Continue Reading...

Prayer as Productive Soil

Jun 03, 2020

Early in my ministry, I thought of prayer as something mostly personal and disconnected from the practical work of ministry. Later, I came to believe that prayer was important preparation for the work of ministry. Over time, I’ve come to more deeply believe that prayer is the organic engine of fruitful ministry.

 

A passage in which I see this reality in action is David’s prayer related to his plans for his son, Solomon, to build a temple. What strikes me is that this is a...

Continue Reading...

Podcast 125: When Narcissism Comes to Church (Chuck DeGroat)

Jun 01, 2020

We’ve seen the news stories and heard the rumors. Maybe we ourselves have been hurt by a narcissistic church leader. It’s easy to throw the term around and diagnose others from afar—but what is narcissism, really? And how does it infiltrate the church? 

 

Chuck DeGroat has been counseling pastors with narcissistic personality disorder, as well as those wounded by narcissistic leaders and systems, for over twenty years. He knows firsthand the devastation...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.