Podcast: The Fruits of the Spirit are Not a To Do LIst

May 07, 2018

I have a little journal. Actually, I have many little journals. Some are full, some are half-full and some are still empty. They are crisp, clean and waiting for my jewels of wisdom to mark their pages. In the age of digital media, I still love pen to paper.

This particular little journal contains doodle prayers. I draw or write on one side and then compose an explanation on the other side. It’s mostly chicken scratch, but deep meaning and heartfelt prayers can be expressed even...

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Podcast: Spiritual Friendship - The Power of Sheer Encouragement

Apr 30, 2018

Spiritual friendship is a life-giving gift we give ourselves and others. There are likely people in your life who are struggling with self-doubt, fear or other issues. You can be a loving, listening ear and a quiet voice of encouragement. A simple sentence or two, shared at just the right time, may have a huge payoff in that person’s life. Don’t ever think that what you have to offer is too small. Small things matter. Quiet goodness offered often is a very good thing.

So, we...

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Podcast: The Unhurried Way of Love

Apr 23, 2018


In these weeks following Easter, our church community has been focusing on “Resurrection: A New Life of Love.” The essence of the risen life is love. Living a risen life is living in Jesus’ way of love.

We live in Southern California, and it can be a very hurried place. I have a little made up word to describe one way I experience the chronic hurry of our region.

The word is “gronk.” “It is a contraction of green and honk, and it represents the nanosecond...

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Love Well

Apr 18, 2018

L.O.V.E. Such a small and simple word. When all is said and done, love is what matters and what lasts.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship...

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Podcast: Creative Conversations - How the Rules of Improv can Benefit Your Relationships

Apr 16, 2018

I recently re-read Tina Fey’s, Bossypants, which is a really fun read. She’s so funny and such a talented writer. I was reminded about the four Rules of Improv. It sent me on an online search and I stumbled upon the 11 Commandments of Improv by Del Close. Del Close was a coachto many of the Saturday Night Live greats like Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Tina Fey, Gilda Radner and dozens more.

It’s amazing how these simple rules can help actors keep a flow of conversation and story...

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Podcast: Addiction - Emotional Deficit Spending

Apr 09, 2018

We’re talking about “Addiction” today. This isn’t so much about the substances, or relationships, or activities to which we find ourselves addicted. It’s more of a conversation about how the dynamics of addiction impact us.

When we act on addictive impulses, it is like borrowing against future emotional resources. Having a few too many drinks to feel lighthearted or relaxed is like borrowing peace or joy from our future. Overeating as a source of comfort is like...

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Podcast: Reservoir Leadership - Influencing from a Full Soul

Apr 02, 2018

What would it be like to be a reservoir kind of person? Wouldn’t you like to live, relate and serve from a place of fullness, rather than continuing to pour out the last drop from your ever-emptying cup?

We can learn how to treasure the goodness God is always pouring out to us, storing it up like a reservoir of abundance out of which we might bless and serve others without becoming empty. We can make space to let God fill our souls to the brim in relationship to him. This is how Jesus...

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Becoming Dallas Willard: A Book Review

Mar 28, 2018

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading and loving a new biography written by my friend, Gary Moon, of the Dallas Willard Center at Westmont College. The title is Becoming Dallas Willard: The Formation of a Philosopher, Teacher, and Christ Follower. What a well-written, enjoyable-to-read book!

It was a gift to reflect on so many intersections and near-path-crossings with Dallas over the years. For example, when Gem and I married in 1985 and moved one month later to Southern...

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Podcast: Dark Night of the Soul - How to Navigate God’s Apparent Absence

Mar 26, 2018

Engage with us as we talk about a dynamic that some will face in their spiritual journey, what John of the Cross called “The Dark Night of the Soul." It sounds kind of ominous and scary, but it’s actually just a place where our faith is given an opportunity for testing and refining. That doesn’t mean it feels good to us, but it is a *good* place. A while back, Alan wrote an article about the dark night for our blog. It’s one of our most visited posts. That’s...

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Podcast: Where Do You Take Your Thirsts

Mar 19, 2018

Right now, we find ourselves in the season of Lent, and a few weeks ago, Alan wrote a blog post titled “Lent: An Invitation to True Satisfaction.” He said that, "In Lent, rather than aiming at acquisition, we aim for some form of openness or even empty space. Fasting results in empty stomachs. Self-denial can quiet our selfish ambition."

But the “empty” here isn’t a vacuum. It is a welcoming of God’s presence. We open up space for God to be active in and...

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