Comfort Abounds

Aug 21, 2019

When I was young, there was a season of years when my parents cared for foster children. Over the course of about five years, thirteen children flowed through our home. These babies, toddlers and kids (always younger than me) came from extremely broken homes. Their parental abuse ranged from addiction to drugs and alcohol to physical abuse. 

It’s a brutal reality to see a child with their hair pulled out and bruises on their abdomen, and even harder to hear that this was done by...

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Growing Older Isn't Always Growing Wiser

Aug 14, 2019

 

One morning last week, I was enjoying some moments in morning prayer when I came across these lines in Psalm 90:  

Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:10, 12

It’s sobering to think that, at 58, this verse says I might have only another 12 years (or 22 if my strength endures!) to...

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The Sacred Space of Inner Healing

Aug 07, 2019

Many years ago, when I was in the toughest part of my counseling experience, an image emerged in my imagination that perfectly illustrated the difficult dynamic I felt. Picture a dark room and at the center is a banquet table with a black tablecloth on it. On the table are scattered items that represent the various memories and stories from your past. 

Each week, in a one hour session, my counselor and I would pick up one of the memories, look at it, take it apart, put it back together...

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Prayer as the Soul of Good Work

Jul 31, 2019

One of our core values and key practices as Unhurried Living is learning to live and lead from the intersection of deep-rooted inner life and more-fruitful outer life. Prayer and work are not separate menu items you have to choose between. They are not a swing on which you go back and forth between two extremes. 

They are, instead, an integrated, organic, living reality. They are not two things. They are one thing. We pray in the midst of our work. Our work is a way of living in...

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Choosing Better Stories

Jul 24, 2019

“Sylvia in Austin has learned that she is in control not of life, but of the story about her life.“ (Mary Pipher in Women Rowing North)

After our return from Africa, I could personalize this line like this: “Gem in Amsterdam has learned that she is in control not of life, but of the story about her life.”

I am going to try to make a long story short, so put on your seatbelt. This is the glamour of travel. On our way to Africa, we were re-routed from Newark due to...

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Why Wait?

Jul 17, 2019

There are many words of command in scripture that stir and inspire Christian leaders. We love words that invite us to action like “go,” “teach” or “work.” Language like this usually feels like an easy fit for many Christian leaders. 

But there is at least one word of command in scripture that causes many Christian leaders no small level of anxiety. Listen to how David uses it in the last few lines of one of his psalms: 

I remain confident of this:...

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Can Frantic Work Be Dedicated to God?

Jul 10, 2019

When Alan and I were in the early stages of writing What Does Your Soul Love? (releasing September 17), we spent a week in a Utah cabin outlining the entire project. This cabin was remote, with no internet or cell phone coverage. There was one old-fashioned plugged-into-the-wall phone in case we needed to communicate with the outside world. 

It was absolutely quiet except for the blowing wind, the chirping birds and a noisy chipmunk who hung out in the tree on the side yard. I was raised...

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Resting Isn't As Easy As It Looks

Jul 03, 2019

If you’ve read it, you may remember that the subtitle of An Unhurried Life is “Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest.” I continue to find that both inviting and challenging. How about you? 

One of the biblical lines I unpacked in the chapter on “Rest” is Hebrews 4:9: “Make every effort to enter his rest.” From one perspective, that sentence sounds like a contradiction between two very different phrases. “Make every effort” and...

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Listening: Leisure is a Quality of Spirit

Jun 26, 2019

Listening well is becoming a precious commodity. Have you noticed the speed with which people interact? 

Picture yourself at the grocery checkout line. There is friendly banter, of course, but you must be rushed along so that the person behind you doesn’t get agitated.  

What about the fast food drive-thru? More quick talking and moving so that you can get in, out and gone.

If you are a parent, you might find yourself hurrying your children along so that you can get to...

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The Wisdom of Working in Peace and Joy

Jun 19, 2019

If you’re like me, you often have a very long “to do” list going. I recently found myself looking at a list that had grown to many dozens of items. Some of them were ideas I wrote down a while back. Some were ideas others had suggested that sounded good at the time. Some related to steps of development for our many current writing and ministry projects.

Lists like that can eventually become paralyzing for me. I see what looks to me like a million things I must do, and then...

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