Morning Coffee, Morning Communion

Jan 27, 2021

I start most mornings by making my favorite cup of coffee. It starts with some hand-roasted beans. I roast them by the half-pound on our BBQ propane burner using a Whirly-Pop popcorn maker. I grind the beans by hand with a manual grinder. I measure precise grams of ground coffee to precise grams of water. I preheat my mug because I enjoy my coffee as hot as I can get it. I use a one-serving French press because I’m the only regular coffee drinker in our family. I lightly heat the heavy...

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Rehearsing Grace

Dec 30, 2020

I’ve said many times before, both in what I’ve written and spoken, that I grew up with the habit of seeing the cup half empty. I don’t know all the reasons for this. Some of it may be temperament. Some of it may be learned. It doesn’t matter much how it came to be. What matters is what I’d like to do about that in my life now as a follower of Jesus.

 

My pessimism has, at least at times, been rooted in remembering and rehearsing what I think went wrong in...

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Podcast 152: A Creative Process for Spiritual Growth: Inviso (Gem with Brenda Renderos)

Dec 07, 2020

We live in a visual culture. Just a few years ago the Internet Trends Report shared that an average of 1.8 billion images were uploaded to the internet daily. That adds up to 657 billion photos in one year. Every two minutes, people take more photos than existed in total 150 years ago.

With all of that imagery floating through our consciousness every day, how might we use intentional imagery to grow closer to God? If a picture is worth a thousand words, is it also conducive to prayer?

...

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Podcast 146: Open or Closed: Welcoming an Expansive View of God (A Spiritual Practice with Gem)

Oct 26, 2020

2020 has been a rough year. And that is an understatement. It may seem counterintuitive to at least some of us, but one thing that can help us is to see this year up against the expansive backdrop of God’s eternal presence. Christ crucified is a witness to everything we are seeing. Christ crucified is present in our pain, our outrage, our anxiety, our fears. Let’s dig into a practice that can help us envision God’s presence and expanse now. 

Before we dive in here, I...

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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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In the Likeness of the Master

Aug 19, 2020

A few years ago, on trip to St. Petersburg, we had the pleasure of visiting the Hermitage Museum.

 

A mere fraction of their 3,000,000 pieces are on display at any one time, and we saw a fraction of a fraction of that. The amount of beauty and craftsmanship is overwhelming.

 

Alan had been there before, so he knew when we were nearing the painting we were most looking forward to seeing, Rembrandt’s Prodigal Son. He gave me a brief warning as we turned the corner,...

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Podcast 132: Soul Care in African American Practice (Gem with Barbara Peacock)

Jul 20, 2020

In her new book, Soul Care in African American Practice, Dr. Barbara L. Peacock illustrates a journey of prayer, spiritual direction, and soul care from an African American perspective. She reflects on how these disciplines are woven into the African American culture and lived out in the rich heritage of its faith community. 

Using examples of ten significant men and women―Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Darrell Griffin, Renita Weems, Harold Carter, Jessica...

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Podcast 107: Practice of Remembering Grace (Psalm 103)

Dec 30, 2019

Last year, Alan wrote and released Inhaling Grace. One of the big ideas in this little book is that gratitude is exhaling the grace we inhale. A mentor of ours reminded us often that just as surely as we are saved by grace and, of course, we are, we also live by grace, serve by grace, even lead by grace. Today, we share a little practice that has helped us remember this more in our moment-to-moment lives.

As you listen you will enter into a mediation of Psalm 103. We encourage you...

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Podcast 65: Looking Ahead – Navy SEAL Tactics for Creating New Year’s Intentions

Dec 31, 2018

"Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”  Understanding this Navy SEAL tactic helps us set our intentions and walk with Jesus as we enter the new year.

Research revealed this concept of "slow is smooth and smooth is fast" is, at Unhurried Living, a similar way for ourselves and our work. Spiritual practices are the slow of “slow is smooth” that we practice so that when we work, we have access to a deep reserve from within.

In our spiritual practices our souls are learning...

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Podcast 56: Practicing Presence: Moving from Resistant to Relaxed

Aug 27, 2018

Sometimes in the middle of ordinary circumstances we can find ourselves resistant (at odds) versus relaxed, with what is occurring, even when there is nothing to be at odds with.

This podcast is about prayer and presence. Not prayers. But prayer. Openness to God in any and every circumstance is prayer. Because, as we’ve said before, prayer is not something you do so much as it is someone you are with.

Presence is key in all of our interactions with others. Learning to catch yourself...

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