Grace in the Midst of a Pandemic

Oct 21, 2020

I’m getting a bit tired of talking about the pandemic. At first, many of us imagined it was going to be a brief pause button in our lives that we’d soon unpause and be back to normal. Nope! This has changed our lives in a lasting way already.

 

Gem and I have experienced a great deal of change in what we do in our work and how we do it. I wonder if you’ve experienced the same. We’ve found these to be among the most wearying months of ministry we’ve ever...

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Podcast 145: The Possibility of Prayer (Alan with John Starke)

Oct 19, 2020

There are so many reasons we might feel that cultivating a deep life of prayer is just impossible. We feel too busy. We feel we don’t deserve such a life. We imagine that kind of prayer is for someone more spiritual than me. But today, John Starke, author of The Possibility of Prayer, will remind us that prayer is always possible because prayer is a gift we receive more than a life we achieve. 

A mentor of mine, Chuck Miller, often reminded us that prayer isn’t so...

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Community - Perspective, Peace, Influence

Oct 15, 2020

Watch this brief video of Gem talking about internal expectations and the pressure they put on us. She's got an idea for releasing some of that pressure.

 

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Averting Anxiety: Thinking in an Apple Tree

Oct 14, 2020

Growing up on a small farm in rural Washington, we had many varieties of trees–pine, cherry, weeping willow. But the tree I spent the most time with was the lone apple tree in our front pasture. I’m not sure why there was only one tree out there. Why didn’t they plant more? Why didn’t they cut it down? Certainly, there was no need for this single fruit-bearing tree in a huge field.

 

Whatever the reason for its existence, that lonely apple tree became my thinking...

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Podcast 144: Try Softer (Gem with Aundi Kolber)

Oct 12, 2020

The subtitle of Aundi Kolber’s book, Try Softer, is “a fresh approach to move us out of anxiety, stress, and survival mode—and into a life of connection and joy.” Now, who doesn’t need that?! Aundi is a trauma informed therapist and she is going to help us learn what “try softer” really means, today, on the Unhurried Living Podcast.

 

Aundi Kolber believes that we don’t have to white-knuckle our way through life. In her debut...

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An Occupational Hazard for Ministry Leaders

Oct 07, 2020

I’m not the first to say it, but Jesus is an absolute genius. I remembered this yet again in a recent conversation with a Christian leader with whom I meet regularly. We were talking about how one of the challenges for Christian leaders is ending up with a utilitarian orientation to spiritual practices.

 

Engaging in spiritual practices may help the soul of a leader be healthier, but that is a secondary reason for engaging them. The primary reason for any of us to engage in...

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Podcast 143: What is the Church? (Alan with Tim Soerens)

Oct 05, 2020

What is the purpose of the church? Why does it exist and what is on God’s heart as far as its aims? As of the airing of this episode, I have not been part of an in-person gathering of church for more than six months. And then many of the portrayals of church in contemporary media are less than encouraging. The emerging generation has been opting out of the church in large numbers as it is.

My guest today, Tim Soerens, has written a book called Everywhere You Look to highlight the...

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A Few Insights About Perspective

Sep 30, 2020

In our book, What Does Your Soul Love?, I shared the story of how I was learning photography at the same time as I was in the midst of a dark night of the soul.

 

At the time, and even still, I carry within me the metaphors of photography as a paradigm for life. There are many connections between photography, presence and perspective. I’ll share three with you today.

 

LOOK FOR THE LIGHT FIRST. Any skilled photographer will tell you that light is the most important factor in...

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Podcast 142: Resilient Americans (Gem with Diane Burden Cox)

Sep 28, 2020

“Anything that alienates and divides us leaves us weak and exposed to disaster. Simple human compassion is more essential to our national resilience and strength than most of us recognize.” Today, I’m talking with my long time friend, Diane Cox. She is a business owner, a beautiful writer, and an even more glorious human being. And she actually makes resilience something fun and intriguing to talk about. 

With anecdotes and unexpected stories about growing up during...

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Slow Me Down, Lord!

Sep 23, 2020

I love when I cross paths with kindred spirits in the unhurried life. I’ve been grateful to cross paths a number of times with such a fellow traveler in Wilkie Au. I’ve enjoyed reading his books, and Gem and I have had a few group dinners with Wilkie and his wife, Noreen.

 

I love this quotation from his little book The Enduring Heart. I think you will, too. I recommend taking your time with it. Savor it like a fine chocolate.

 

“We need, for the sake of our...

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