Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities for people with severe mental and physical disabilities, recently offered an interview with Krista Tippett on her show, On Being. Vanier, one of those few hidden, great Christ-followers, is now 85 years old. The following are, in his own words, a few rich insights from that interview. I invite you to read them slowly and prayerfully. 1. The deepest desire for us all is to be appreciated, to be loved, and to be seen as someone of value. 2. Martin Luther King Jr. rightly said that we will continue to despise people until we have loved and accepted what is despicable in ourselves. 3. We need to love people, not because they are beautiful, but because they are human. 4. Those considered marginalized and disabled can restore balance to the world as to what is important, i.e. love and tenderness. 5. The goal of L’Arche is not to change. Read more.
Last week, Geri and I found spent 2 nights in Christchurch, NZ in the midst of a neighborhood devastated by the earthquake of Feb. 11, 2011. People talked about their losses at our conference much like we did in NYC after 9/11. 9/11 didn’t transform us as the church in NYC – long term. Why? I don’t believe we allowed God’s gift of losses to do its deep work in our soul. The following is an adaptation from The Emotionally Healthy Church: Updated and Revised, 2010. I lay it out here for my new friends in New Zealand as well as a pause for all pastors and leaders who are reading this today. Biblical grieving has three phases: 1. Phase 1: Pay Attention Deeply. The ancient Hebrews physically expressed their laments by tearing their clothes and utilizing sackcloth and ashes. During Noah’s generation, Scripture indicates God was grieved about the state of humanity (Gen. 6).. Read more.
I will pay attention to my personal rhythms for waking, sleeping, playing and working. I will nurture those things that bring me life and minimize that which brings me death. I will put boundaries around everything that breathes. I will follow what is important to me. If I don’t live my one, unrepeatable life it won’t get lived.
“Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?” Jim Collins tells this story while a student at Stanford’s graduate business school. His teacher said to him, “Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life.” This led Collins to make a major shift in his how he allocated the most precious of all resources: time. In his monograph Good to Great and the Social Sector, Collins argues that great organizations have piercing clarity about the intersection of three questions: 1) What are you deeply passionate about? 2) What can you be the best in the world at? 3) What drives your. Read more.
We have not done a good job of remembering Good Friday or Holy Saturday in the Western church. We like to quickly jump to Easter. Tonight at New Life Fellowship Church, on Good Friday, we will remember Christ’s crucifixion through a Tenebrae (meaning “darkness” or “shadows”) style service. The service of Tenebrae has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Tenebrae is a prolonged meditation on Christ’s passion, using Scripture, silence, worship, and darkness. As lights are progressively extinguished, we enter into the overwhelming reality of His death. After the final candle is extinguished, we will sit in total darkness for 5 minutes, reminding us of the terrible horror of Jesus laid in the tomb. Why? The cross is the pattern of our lives. Everything happened to Jesus in some way happens to us. That includes the tomb. On the first Holy Saturday, the 11 disciples were at a Wall (See Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, chapter. Read more.
1. Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think 2. Quit Lying 3. Quit Dying to the Wrong Things 4. Quit Denying Anger, Sadness, Fear 5. Quit Blaming 6. Quit Overfunctioning 7. Quit Faulty Thinking 8. Quit Living Someone Else’s Life 1. Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think • I will not say “yes” when I really want to say “no” because I’m afraid the other person will be angry, sad or disappointed. I will quit agreeing with people if I really don’t agree with them. • I don’t need your approval to feel good about myself. I already have intrinsic worth and value as a human being because of God’s love in creating me and dying for me – I have nothing left to prove!