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Category Archives: Midday Prayer

EQ vs. EHS

Studies indicate that EQ (emotional quotient) is so critical that it accounts for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs. In fact, emotional intelligence in the workplace trumps almost every other factor — IQ, personality, education, experience, and gifts — when it comes to effective performance. Businesses rely on emotional intelligence (EQ) to help employees learn key personal competencies (e.g. self-awareness, basic management of their triggers) and social skills (e.g. empathy, conflict management). Our concern in emotional healthy spirituality (EHS), however, is much more than this. We are after long-term inner transformation for the sake of the world. Our goal is that Jesus Christ be formed in us. The greatest difference between EQ and EHS is that we worship and follow a crucified God. His will and presence informs all we do. We don’t simply learn conflict resolution tools, for example, to be more effective at work. Our motivation, above all else,. Read more.

Second-Hand Spirituality

The vast majority of people in our churches have a second-hand spirituality, i.e. they live off the spirituality of others. Because people attend our weekend worship services, participate in our programs, give money and serve, we assume they are in a vital personal relationship of loving union with Jesus. We assume wrong. They are not. Ask the people you serve about their time with Jesus each day: “How often do you meet with Him around Scripture and prayer? What do you do, and for how long? How might silence, solitude, Sabbath, spiritual companionship, and study fit into your life?” Ask for specifics. You are in for a shock. The world has changed dramatically. We have underestimated the magnitude of information overload, the moral decline of Western culture, and the impact of the Internet/social media in altering our brain circuits. “Dozens of studies by neurobiologists point to the same conclusion: when we go online, we. Read more.

Good Friday: A Time to Embrace Our Endings

On Good Friday we remember that at the cross Jesus wipes away our sins, becoming a global magnet that draws the whole world to Himself. Good Friday also reminds me that embracing endings (deaths) and new beginnings (resurrections) is the pattern of life for every Christian. Nothing new takes place without an ending. A real ending—a final death—often feels like disintegration, falling apart, a coming undone. It feels that way because that is what death is. It is an ending that requires walking through a completely dark tunnel, not knowing when or if any light will come again. If we embrace these losses for the severe mercies they are, God does a profound work in us and through us in ways that are similar to what the apostle Paul describes as “death is at work in us, but life is at work in you” (2 Cor. 4:12). As a person who tends to resist. Read more.

Why Transformation Takes So Long!

Last week at our two-day EHS Consultant Training, Wendy Seidman shared Bloom’s taxonomy of how people learn to help us understand why it takes so long for individuals and church/ministry cultures to “get” EHS. The following is her adaptation of Bloom’s classic work on the process people need to move through to really “get” something like EHS: 1- Aware. People hear about EHS for the first time (e.g. Sabbath, slowing down, past’s impact on the present, grieving, learning to feel). 2- Ponder. People think about it, trying to understand or sort through issues as they gather more information. At this point they don’t have a clear inclination for or against it. (e.g. They continue reading, listen to messages, go through the EHS Course, learn a few EHS Skills, talk about Sabbath with others). 3- Value. People think it’s important, find value in it, and commit to it, saying, “I really believe in this EHS. Read more.

Midday Prayer: The Gift of Pilgrimage

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Psalm 84 1 How lovely is your dwelling place,    O LORD Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca (i.e. trouble) they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Devotional Both the king. Read more.

Two Questions for Prayer

At New Life, we have been in a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer for the last two months. At the same time, for the past year, Geri and I have been working through the Ignatian Exercises. Out of this synergy, two questions have emerged for us. They have enabled us to get at the heart of God behind the Lord’s Prayer itself. I offer them to you to slowly ponder before the Lord: 1. What is God’s deepest desire for my life? 2. What is my deepest desire for me? What might be the implications of your answers for the way you lead and live today?