Still Thirsty for God

Aug 12, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some personal reflections from Psalm 42. This post continues that journal entry:

My tears are my food, by day and by night,
and everyone asks, “Where is your God?”
I remember how I went up to your glorious dwelling-place
and into the house of God:
the memory melts my soul.
The sound of joy and thanksgiving,
the crowds at the festival.
Psalm 42:3-4 (JB)


Instead of feeling nourished and refreshed, this psalm writer grieves and feels abandoned by God....

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Podcast 135: The Sacred Overlap (Alan with J.R. Briggs)

Aug 10, 2020

We are living in a season where “us and them” thinking can be very tempting. Political differences, racial tensions, generational and even religious differences can push us to build thick walls we think will protect ourselves and keep bad things out. But reality is always bigger than simple “us and them” categories.

Today, I’m talking with my friend, J. R. Briggs about his new book, releasing Sept. 8, titled The Sacred Overlap: Learning to Live...

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Gratitude in the Wilderness

Aug 05, 2020

The desert has always been my least favorite geography. The desert is hot and dry and sand colored. Plus, there’s cactus. I know that people have worked hard to bring water into the desert and there are plenty of oasis-type places there. But the desert is still the desert.


A few years ago, while at the Prince of Peace Abbey for a 24-hour personal retreat, I took a walk around the lovely property. The retreat grounds were lush and landscaped, however, the walking path was a...

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Podcast 134: Transforming Leaders: Unexpected Pathway (Alan with Steve Macchia)

Aug 03, 2020

 As leaders, there are things about us we want to see changed. But sometimes, instead of changing what is unpleasant or difficult for us, God chooses instead to be graciously and lovingly present to us in the midst of what doesn’t change. Instead of resolution, God offers us transforming presence.

In my second book, An Unhurried Leader, I wrote a chapter based on Paul’s story of the thorn in his flesh that, no matter how many times he prayed, God did not remove or...

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A Soul Thirsty for God

Jul 29, 2020

It’s summertime, and here in Southern California it begins to get rather hot. And I find myself thirsty a lot. I’ll get out and cycle 20 miles and come back parched. It makes me think of these psalm lines:


Like a deer that longs for springs of water,

so my soul longs for you, O God.

My soul thirsts for God, the living God:

when shall I come and stand before the face of God?

Psalm 42:1-2 (JB)


To what shall I compare the longing of my soul (he said with a Shakespearean...

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Podcast 133: Releasing Frustrations and Embracing Joy (Alan and Gem with Cindy Bunch)

Jul 27, 2020

Editor and spiritual director Cindy Bunch calls us to self-care through greater compassion for ourselves. She helps us pay attention to the frustrations that bug us in order to identify negative thinking about ourselves or others. As we do so, we can discern what we need to let go. This allows us to lean into the things that bring us joy. Each chapter of her book, Be Kind to Yourself, is filled with spiritual practices and creative exercises for reflection and celebration. So, be kind...

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SLOW | A 5-Minute Retreat

Jul 22, 2020

How many times are we going to reference COVID-19 this year? Well, at least once more. This many months into COVID-19 and the ever changing restrictions and isolation, we may be beyond done with the dynamics that affect us all.


Today, knowing that we are all in different places emotionally and physically, I simply want to offer a 5-minute retreat called SLOW. Some of you may have already watched this video. It is one of our most popular YouTube videos.


But some of you may not...

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Podcast 132: Soul Care in African American Practice (Gem with Barbara Peacock)

Jul 20, 2020

In her new book, Soul Care in African American Practice, Dr. Barbara L. Peacock illustrates a journey of prayer, spiritual direction, and soul care from an African American perspective. She reflects on how these disciplines are woven into the African American culture and lived out in the rich heritage of its faith community. 

Using examples of ten significant men and women―Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Darrell Griffin, Renita Weems, Harold Carter, Jessica...

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Avoiding Undigested Scripture Reading

Jul 15, 2020

When I was a young Christian, it was common in the communities of faith in which I found myself to aim at reading through the Bible in a year. I’m grateful for my vision of Scripture today because of how many times I took on that discipline. At the same time, I ended up with a great deal of undigested and unpracticed insights. It sometimes formed in me the habit of reading more than I could actually put into practice.


These days I find myself slowing down with scripture. I often...

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Podcast 131: Analog Church (Alan with Jay Kim)

Jul 13, 2020

In my coaching, consulting and leadership training work, I have the privilege of interacting with Christian leaders around the world. And one thing is clear: our experience of church has radically changed over the last few months. It has been for some a painful challenge, but it has also been for some a unique opportunity. Jay Kim, author of the book Analog Church, talks about this church reality.

Your experience of church has probably changed as much as ours has over the last many months....

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