For the first 17 years of my Christian life I grew in knowledge and leadership experience. I worked with university students full-time, graduated from seminary, and started a church. My leadership gifts blossomed. The size and impact of the ministry expanded. The problem was that growing in love was not my number one aim. I focused on bigger, better, and faster – like most of the leaders around me. I wasn’t asking myself: Am I meeker, patient, soft, safe, approachable, courageous, kind, and honest this year than I was last year? Am I less easily triggered under stress? Am I breaking my bad habits from my family of origin (e.g. stuffing resentments, lying when hurt, resolving conflicts poorly, not being attentive)? Are people close to me experiencing me as loving? A revolution took place in my life when I read Jonathan Edward’s sermons on 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. His exegesis and insights launched a Copernican. Read more.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. –Will Rogers Every day we make many judgment calls. Some of these are larger than others. Who do I hire or invite to fill a key volunteer position? When do I launch an initiative I am passionate about? Who do I include for counsel on a key decision? When I look back at some of the judgment calls I made in my early years, I am astounded, especially as it related to hiring decisions. How could I have been so blind, so shortsighted, and so unwise? So let me encourage you: Continue your prayerful process of discernment (get wise counsel, move slowly, be clear about expectations, etc.). Do a low risk, “test “run whenever possible. Relax and don’t beat yourself up. You will make mistakes, especially in your first 10-15 years! You will learn good judgment – but it will. Read more.
Every stage of our life offers us new opportunities to mature- especially in our leadership. One of the most difficult areas to do this, of course, is with our own families. Last month, two of our four daughters set out for an extended time away – one to Spain with her husband for one year, and a second to Australia to work/travel for 1-2 years with her friends. Over the years I have wrestled with the question: How do I respect their independence/separateness (especially in their journey with Christ), while at the same time, keep Jesus as a core value in our family? There is no one “right way” to do devotional time with our children –regardless of their age. So I do have my share of stories about failed “devotional times” with our children at many stages in our family history. But in this case at least, three things bore great fruit. I. Read more.
Our limits are often the last place we look for God. But when we fail to look for God in our limits, we simply bypass Him. In the last three weeks, God has limited me through a bicycle accident that required surgery (breaking my right wrist and dislocating my left elbow) and through personal identity theft (where my banking, credit cards, and online accounts were all compromised). These limits have revealed to me, once again, the condition of my own heart and the challenge it is for me to surrender in trust to Him. O how easy it is to rebel against God right in the midst of my work for Him! I have been reminded of Robert Barron’s insight that the heart of original sin in the Garden of Eden was their refusal to accept God’s limits and not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:15-17). John. Read more.
I stumbled into EHL conference in May 2014 on biblegateway.com website and I immediately signed up to attend online. It was a life changing experience. Since then I have been on your website feeding on every free resource I can find. Having been a Christian for 20years, I have been made to believe that Christianity excludes everything emotions and to make matters worse I am married to an emotionally distant spouse who has been a church leader in one form or another. Though I know there is an element of lie to that belief system, I was so comforted and free when I attended the conference. I believe this knowledge is so lacking in our Christianity today. I would love to become an EHS coordinator to first help myself and also others. I look forward to when I will have an opportunity to become one. I live in Canada. Thank you for the work. Read more.
During my Sabbatical I slowly read a thought provoking book entitled “A Book of Silence” by Sara Maitland that deepened my understanding of silence and its implications for my own life. I remain convinced that silence, along with solitude, remains one of the most indispensable and neglected spiritual practices today. The following are her insights (out of her journey into silence) that I noted in my journal: 1. Silence has a positive power and presence. It is more than simply “the absence of all noise and words.” It has at least eight effects: 1) intensification of our physical sensations; 2) stripping of our public self as “silence un-skins us”; 3) the hearing of voices; 4) connectedness; 5) a boundary confusion with time; 6) an exhilarating sense of peril; 7) bliss or ineffability and; 8) playful joy. 2. God has created many types of silence. The silence of the snow or the sun or the. Read more.