Where Do You Go For Refuge?

Feb 20, 2019

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your life? Do you ever feel like you’re under a pile and there is no way to dig out? Most of us feel that way at one point or another.

I’ve noticed that my own negative thoughts and expectations can add another layer of weight when things aren’t going well. I burden my already heavy heart with should’s and self-judgments. It makes for a wicked brew of emotions and circumstances.

This is easier to do when we are sick or when life throws a...

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Lent: Exhaling Hurry, Inhaling Grace

Feb 13, 2019

Last week, I talked about a growing community of friends who will be joining Gem and me for An Unhurried Lent. We’ll begin three weeks from today on March 6, Ash Wednesday.

So, again, why Lent? What’s the big deal? Some resist practices like Lent and other similar ones for fear that we’ll think we’re earning something from God rather than continuing to acknowledge that our salvation is rooted in freely-given grace and not in our own works of earning favor.

Spiritual...

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Podcast: Preparing for an Unhurried Lent

Feb 11, 2019

In less than a month we enter the season of Lent. We invite you to enter this season with us as we prepare for An Unhurried Lent, living faithfully in our following of Jesus.

Today on the podcast we’ll talk a little about Lent in general, then we’ll unpack the more specific idea of An Unhurried Lent.

The goal of this journey together is to live more faithfully into our following of Jesus. It involves saying the right “Yeses” and the right “Noes.” In a...

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Practicing an Unhurried Lent

Feb 06, 2019

The practice of Lent has become a place of grace for me over the last number of years. Some feel that Lent is a failure to recognize that our salvation is rooted in grace. But Lent isn’t about earning favor. It’s actually about recognizing the habits in our lives that keep us from the free grace God is always offering. Lent makes space for the reception of grace.

Simply put, Lent is the period of six weeks (not including Sundays) leading up to Easter. It starts on Ash Wednesday...

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The Internal Enemies of Love

Jan 30, 2019

In An Unhurried Leader, one of my favorite chapters is titled “Questions That Unhurry Leaders.” It’s rooted in the Romans 8 passage that ends in these memorable lines:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

So nothing can actually...

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Podcast: Remain: The Unremarkable, Remarkable Branch

Jan 28, 2019

The most unremarkable part of a grapevine is where the vine and branch meet, but it is the most remarkable place where growth occurs.

A few years ago we spent a long weekend in a beautiful home on a vineyard. While visiting the Napa region of CA, we had the treat of being hosted by a master gardener. We ate beautiful food and drank amazing wine while seated at a picnic table overlooking the rolling hills and fruit-laden vines. We talked, laughed and shared all the way up to sunset. As you...

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Grace Works

Jan 23, 2019

There’s an encouraging line in a psalm of Moses that connects prayer and fruitful work. I’ve prayed it often in the face of writing projects or upcoming speaking engagements.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Ps 90:17 NIV

Moses talks about the work of his hands, but a lot of us work more with our minds. Grace can come along whatever work we’re given to do.

God’s...

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An Unexpected Risk of Succeeding

Jan 16, 2019

Most of us want to live successful lives. I don’t know a lot of people who aspire to fail. But there is always the question of how to measure success, and what it looks like to sustain success.

In Romans 2, Paul has some words for Jewish people then who felt they had arrived at the position of teacher. They felt they had succeeded in their knowledge of the law of God to the degree that they were ready to teach others. Listen to what Paul has to say to them:

“…you, then, who...

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Podcast: Four Common Barriers to Leadership Effectiveness

Jan 14, 2019

In this episode, we’re talking about four common barriers to leadership effectiveness. As a new year presents plenty of opportunities, it also presents common obstacles that get in the way of making, real productive progress.

These aren’t the only four barriers to leading well, but they are four big ones. And these insights aren’t just for people with very visible leadership roles or positions. We see leadership as a much larger category than that. Leadership is about holy...

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Start with the Ending

Jan 09, 2019

Happy New Year! I’ve been enjoying the holiday season this last month, including some time with extended family. A few days ago I was having a conversation with my mother-in-law about end-of-life decisions. She is 78 and so it is appropriate to be thinking about, and planning for, such things.

In addition, Alan and I had an appointment with our financial planner and he raised these kinds of questions with us—What about your will? Who has access to it? Does your family know what...

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