Solitude: A School for Purpose

Feb 01, 2017

I’m writing this post in a moment of solitude from a third-floor guest room at the Sustainable Faith Indy urban retreat house in Indianapolis, Indiana. We have been hosted by our friends, Dave & Beth Booram. We enjoyed holding a talk and book signing for An Unhurried Life here during our visit. (By the way, I’ve enjoyed Beth’s most recent book, Starting Something New: Spiritual Direction for Your God-Given Dream, especially in light of launching Unhurried Living in the...

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The Transformational Process of Suffering

Jan 25, 2017

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.” (Anne Morrow Lindbergh)

The process about which Lindbergh speaks takes time. Each word she uses (mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, willingness) is an unfolding.

One of the key words is openness. As I remain open to...

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An Unhurried Practice: Reading Scripture Slowly

Jan 11, 2017

I want to tell you about an unhurried practice I've been engaging for a few months now. For my last birthday, I was given an especially beautiful present. One of the disciplines that has been an important part of my spiritual journey over the years has been reading and reflecting on scripture. For many years recently, I have read the Bible on digital devices like my iPhone, iPad or computer screen. I found myself wanting to read a physical Bible again, but my most recent NIV Bible was so...

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Annual Examen (Isaiah 61)

Jan 04, 2017

(Scroll down to access the free resource)

I have found the practice of the examen to be a priceless and grace-giving one for me. I tend to be a more “glass-half-empty” kind of person, so noticing the grace of God in my recent experience helps me realize just how graced my life actually is.

Typically, I take a moment at the end of my day to reflect on my experience since the morning, looking for ways in which I experienced God’s grace in my life or through my life.

...
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Take Five: 22 Simple Ways to Enjoy God’s Presence

Dec 14, 2016

At Unhurried Living, we seek to inspire Christian leaders around the world to rest deeper so they can live fuller and lead better.

Rest deeper. How does that happen?

There is certainly more than one answer to that question, but let's just say that it doesn’t always involve days away for retreat or vacation. Sometimes “rest deeper” can happen in just a few minutes. It’s a focus of soul, not just an emptying of our schedule.

In a recent article in Prevention...

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Retreats: What Are They and Why Make Them?

Oct 19, 2016

Scroll to the bottom of this post to download a free Retreat eBook that includes a schedule for a 24-hour retreat, with options for a half-day and full-day retreats.

Over the years, I’ve led or been part of countless retreats: youth retreats, couples retreats, men’s retreats (never a woman’s retreat—surprise!), leadership retreats, strategic planning retreats, spiritual retreats. What I’ve learned is that there a lot of different ideas out there about what...

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Cultivating a Culture of Blessing

Oct 05, 2016

Watching television lately has been so painful. Have you been watching the news? So much conflict. So many harsh words. So many accusations and insults. And how about those presidential debates? When's the last time you heard a good word--a word of blessing?

It’s made me think that it would be so helpful to rediscover, as a culture, the language of blessing. I’m not talking about saying a prayer before you eat. I don’t just mean having your pastor say something at the...

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Hammering and Silence Do Not Go Together...Or Do They?

Sep 07, 2016

Pound...pound...pound...what is that sound? I awake from an afternoon nap. Someone is hammering nails loudly into thick wood. Don't they know I'm taking a nap? Er, I mean, enjoying solitude and silence. I worry that the other retreat participants will dislike the noise during their afternoon with God.

As I rouse, I realize that there are two gentlemen continuing to add to the stations of the cross at the retreat center. Each vignette depicts an aspect of Jesus' crucifixion. They are...

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Psalm 84: The Presence of God

Aug 24, 2016

Psalm 84 is one of my favorite Psalms. I’m inspired by verse 10: “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” (See the entire Psalm below).

A thousand days in one of the greatest places I’ve ever been does not compare to the value of a simple day in the presence of God.

I love the deep feeling captured in this psalm prayer:

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord.”

“Yearn” is already a strong desire...

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Are You a Reservoir or a Canal?

Aug 17, 2016

We like to think of every person as a leader. We all have influence with others. But what enriches that leadership? What gives it substance? We love an ancient word of wisdom on being a reservoir from Bernard of Clairvaux, a 12th century French abbot who worked as a reformer of the Cistercian order:

“The [one] who is wise, therefore, will see his life as more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water till it...

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