Care Acts!

“Who needs to know you care?” That was the question that I raised with my successor. I didn’t realize just how impactful my challenge would be until I heard my friend, Shan, share it in a recent message to the church. Here’s the surprise, as I listened to my words through the voice box of someone else, they ended up strongly impacting me! Dallas Willard once said that God’s word to us is sometimes God’s word spoken through us. That is, we sometimes hear a message in our spirit with a deeper, stronger voice than our own, or even that of a […]

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Midterm Exam

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” If Socrates was right, then many people I know are in serious danger, even pastors. Every time I share my personal reflections with the leaders that I mentor, some respond by saying, “I wish I could recall things like you do, but my life is just a blur.” So if you were taking a midterm exam right now, how many of the questions below you could answer with an honest “yes!” Have you been growing through the COVID crisis or have you been merely going through it? Are you living with a healthy life-giving rhythm right now? […]

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Hard Knocks

“It’s a hard-knock life for us.” You may remember that line from Little Orphan Annie, then again you may resonate with it from your own experience. Most people I talk with these days have some sort of hard story to tell. In fact, while most of the leaders I know are very good with words, some struggle to find the best words to express why they’re feeling so tired right now. Think about it. They get to work from home, they’re surrounded by a loving family, and they even have ready access to a well-stocked refrigerator! What could be “hard” about that? […]

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Messes & Miracles

The bigger the mess we’re in, the bigger the miracle we need! Right now, things are more than messy in this world gone mad, a world that only God can make right. We need a miracle! But have you noticed that every miracle seems to have a shelf life? It doesn’t matter how amazing the provision of the past, we still have the capacity to doubt God’s provision for the future. I just heard a friend of strong faith say, “In light of the miracles I’ve seen, you’d think I’d never struggle with any doubts, but I’m embarrassed to say that I […]

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Who’s In Your Boat?

“Soon a gale swept down upon them and the sea grew very rough…. They were terrified, but he called out to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here!’ Then they were eager to let him in the boat…” John 6:18-20 It’s been said that while we’re all in the same storm we’re not all in the same boat. That should be obvious right now as some are suffering immensely while others are only enduring inconvenience. Linda and I are definitely in the latter category. We’re enjoying good health and a happy home, but we don’t want to forget those who are […]

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Grieving While Leading

“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.” Lamentations 3:20 NLT I used to say that if I were to ever write a book the title might be: “Grieving While Leading.” Every time I made that comment to other pastors their heads would nod as they resonated with the theme. That’s never been more true than now as every leader is grieving while leading a congregation, a company or a family. Everyone in our culture is now dealing with some level of grief. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review they noted that in an on-line […]

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Catapulted!

I was embarrassed into action! My pastor buddy, Bryan Myers, emailed me wondering what I thought of a book. I was confused until he reminded me that he had sent me the book as a gift. That’s when I went on a search and found it at the bottom of the stack of books on my study floor! The book was entitled: The Obstacle Is The Way – The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity To Advantage, by Ryan Holiday. The search for the book catapulted me into the action of re-organizing my entire library! In addition, I not only started reading it but […]

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Doubling Down?

I read that many are doubling down on their vices these days. When it comes to excessive eating, alcohol, drugs, porn and abuse it’s sad but true. That’s the bad news. The good news is that many others are doubling down on their disciplines. Devotions, exercise, family time and generosity are also on the rise. So which is it for you? Linda and I are definitely in the second category. We’re in a great and grateful place but increasingly concerned for those who are not so blessed. So, one of the things we are doing is doubling down on our giving to the causes we have already been […]

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In Place!

We’re still sheltering in place!  Most of us are both under orders and following orders to stay at home … at least most of time. I’m just grateful that we can take our dog outside for a couple of long walks every day. That’s vital to Molly Brown’s well being, and to ours. By God’s grace we live in a beautiful place, both outside and inside. A few years ago I freshened up my home office and as a result I enjoy an especially serene setting for many hours most every day. A sacred and quiet place has always been a high priority for me. When […]

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Ruthless Trust

We’re all in the same boat right now, and the boat is called: RuthlessTrust! I just re-read the highlights of one of my favorite books with that very title. Author Brennan Manning tells how John Kavanaugh went to work with Mother Teresa for three months at the House of the Dying in Calcutta. On their first morning she asked, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh simply asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she asked. He humbly replied, “Pray that I have clarity.” She said firmly, “No, I will not do that.” When he […]

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