In Stephen W. Smith’s recent book, Inside Job, he cites the Rule of Life Mother Teresa laid down for her nuns in their work among the sick and dying in Calcutta. It reads as follows: The Sisters shall spend 1 day in every week, 1 week in every month, 1 month in every year, 1 year in every 6 years in the Motherhouse, where in contemplation and penance together with solitude she can gather in the spiritual strength, which she might have used up in the service of the poor. (p. 344, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light) Imagine 1 Sabbath day every week, 1 Sabbath week every month, 1 Sabbath month every year, and 1 Sabbath year every 7 years. What I like best about this is 1 Sabbath week every month! Every one of us ministers among the sick and dying. Yet we consistently underestimate how much emotional/spiritual life is flowing out from us.. Read more.
I had a big day on Sunday – preaching three services, greeting and talking with lines of people, and participating in a lively, 3-hour marriage ministry leadership meeting with four couples till 5 pm. Geri and returned home at 6 pm. My sermon was “finished” by Thursday, but then the 5-hour rule kicked in late Saturday night when I took a final look at the message: Add 5 hours to your sermon prep after you think it is finished. That got me to bed after midnight and up early in the morning. Fortunately, I no longer want to quit on Mondays as in my earlier days. In fact, I woke up excited for the week. I dedicated the morning to a few hours of silence, praying the Psalms, and rereading my highlights of Merton’s Contemplation in a World of Action. How is that possible? I have learned a few things over the years about. Read more.
I am excited to announce the launch of our EHS Spanish Webpage! God led Geri and I to learn Spanish in Costa Rica in 1985, and then plant and pastor Iglesia Nueva Vida here in New York from 1991-1996. Now, 30 years later, through our partnership with Editorial Vida, we are entering a new phase of offering all the EHS books/curriculums to the Spanish-speaking world – from Spain to Latin America to North America. We are beginning with The EHS Course (El Curso EES) and the EHS Church-Wide Initiative Kit (Paquete de Campaña Para La Iglesia). The EHS Personal Assessment is also available on our EHS Spanish webpage as a FREE digital questionnaire or downloadable document. Pass this on to your Spanish-speaking pastor/leader friends and pray with us as we discern together (and look forward to) what God will do through EHS in Spanish!! Bendiciones!
We are now in our 20th year of cultivating emotionally healthy spirituality (EHS) into the soil of our local church here at New Life Fellowship in Queens, NYC. It has deepened and enriched every aspect of our life together. In the last two years, however, we have begun to intentionally and carefully bring EHS to the global church. God has brought churches from different languages, cultures, streams, movements, and countries to us looking to integrate EHS into their context. So we are early in our learning process. What do we know to be true? EHS must begin with leadership. When leaders teach EHS without living it, there is little fruit. EHS involves the transformation of an entire church culture; it is not a program. EHS equips the church in a deep, beneath the surface spirituality for the sake of long-term mission. This is a major shift for leaders. The EHS Pathway answers the long-standing. Read more.
A fundamental kingdom of God principle is that God’s ways are little and small. This smallness has been a scandal since Jesus’ day. Next to Herod’s massive Temple, the intellectuals of Athens, and Artemis’ temple in Ephesus, Jesus didn’t look like much. I can understand why Judas quit. I am learning this principle in a new and deeper way these past 12-24 months as the EHS movement has expanded remarkably around the world. I write from Asia where Geri and I are conducting 3 different EHS conferences for very large audiences in Singapore and Malaysia with participants from 19 countries. Last month we were in South Korea partnering with Onnuri church, an amazing global ministry with 75,000 members. And just a couple of months before that we were in Brazil with an outstanding Willow Creek Brazil team who are conducting EHS seminars around their country. Add to this the release of The Emotionally Healthy. Read more.
Geri complained this past week that I had books all around the house – from the living room to the bedroom to the car – reading three to four books at a time. That has been my rhythm for years. If you are like me, you look for a variety of material to peruse during the summer. The following are a few recommendations: 1. The Gospel of John by Frederick Dale Bruner I have been studying and reading John’s gospel for the last 9 months as part of my morning time with God. As part of that process, I prayerfully read this wonderful commentary. Bruner is one of the best commentators I know, combining both great scholarship and devotional passion that leads me to Jesus. I also recommend his 2 volume commentary on Matthew as a must resource in every pastor’s library before preaching on any passage from the synoptic gospels. 2. The Art. Read more.