You Are Not Forgotten

Apr 29, 2020

I’m well past the child-bearing years. My sons are all in their 20s. But those long ago days of pregnancy and little people are still as fresh in my memory as ever. I can still picture their little cherub faces and tiny chiclet teeth. And I can remember how their hair smelled like cookies until they were about five years old (yes, even dirty, stinky boys can have cookie hair).

 

All of this brings to mind Isaiah 49:15:

 

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
...

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Entering into the Gift of Sabbath

Apr 08, 2020

I’m often asked what Sabbath looks like for me. Though I have a book with Sabbath in the subtitle, this does not mean that I’m always a master of Sabbath. It continues to be a practice I’m growing in and learning to receive as the gift that it is. 

A while back, I read something Rob Bell wrote about Sabbath that was very helpful to me: 

“Sabbath is taking a day a week to remind myself that I did not make the world and that it will continue to exist without my...

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The Quality of Your Life

Apr 01, 2020

I love watching cooking shows. It’s all just a delight to the senses. The colors, the creativity…I love it all.

Every chef is different, but all chefs agree on this one thing: A chef is only as good as her ingredients.

There is a difference between canned green beans and fresh haricot vert from an organic garden. There is a difference between boxed potato flakes and a beautiful yukon gold fresh from the ground.

Spiritual leadership is no different.

I may have shared this quote...

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Book Review: Write Better (Andrew T. LePeau)

Mar 27, 2020

Recently, a long-time friend and fellow pastor reached out to me for lunch. It had been a little while since we were last together. He shared that he was working on his first book in which he wanted to share wisdom he’s gained over decades of church, and especially small group, ministry. He was asking for input from my experience. We had a great time together. 

Over the course of lunch, when it came time to recommending further resources to him, I was so glad I remembered Andy...

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When You Are Alarmed

Mar 25, 2020

When I’m reading scripture, I keep my eyes open and my ears attentive to lines that stir me, provoke me or arrest me. When this happens, I take time to reflect further on these words. A while back, while reading the book of 2 Chronicles, a short passage caught my attention like this: 

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah...

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If It's Human...It's Mentionable

Mar 18, 2020

Wow. We have been through it this week, right? The escalating news on COVID-19 has many people running to the store and stock piling supplies. From movie stars to sports figures, more and more people are being diagnosed. 

This is a great time to talk about fear and our response to it. It is good for all of us to stay responsibly informed and healthy, helping to keep others healthy as well. 

It’s also ok to feel fear (or anger or frustration or confusion). And it’s good...

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The Grace to Abide

Mar 11, 2020

In our work, we interact with a lot of weary leaders. They began in the work of God with great passion and enthusiasm, but sometimes the work has begun to feel burdensome and even overwhelming. How does this happen? 

There are a few classic authors I return to often. One is Andrew Murray, who was a late 19th and early 20th century South African pastor and author. This passage from Abide in Christ speaks powerfully to my tired friends: 

“The idea they have of grace is...

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Just a Pile of Rocks

Mar 04, 2020

The image below may look like just a pile of rocks to you. But, to me, it represents a bowlful of treasured memories created with my dad.

Hiking in the woods, fishing in the river, a vacation spot…these were all places where we would pick up a rock or two and add it to our collection. We’d then make a plan, purchase the materials and load up our rock polisher to turn these stones into shiny jewels.

So special was this pile of rocks to me that I would invite visitors to our home...

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Do It Again!

Feb 19, 2020

In my childhood, during the summertime, friends and family members would spend their vacations with us at our country home in rural Washington. In addition to some great catching-up time, we would include visits to a standard set of local sites: Multnomah Falls, Beacon Rock, the fish hatchery, The Bridge of the Gods, and Dugan Falls.

 

As we made our way along, we would always take our friends to eat at a restaurant called “The Char Burger.” At the time, I thought it was...

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Rejoicing About or Rejoicing In?

Feb 05, 2020

When I was a young Christian attending a Baptist church that was about 20 minutes away from the home I grew up in, I decided I wanted to make good use of that regular drive. (I was on youth staff, so I ended up at the church multiple times a week). 

I decided to memorize the book of Philippians. This was the early 1980s, so I wrote out the whole book onto a series of 3x5 cards. I would rehearse those lines card by card until they became familiar and repeatable. Once I’d got to the...

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