One of the high points of our EH Leadership Conference this past week was Geri’s opening message around Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. The following is an excerpt. “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Nicodemus, one of the top spiritual leaders of all Israel, seems clueless to the deep transformational spirituality that Jesus is talking about. Jesus looks at him with a bit of shock and says: “How can it be that you’re a leader in God’s Kingdom and… You have little or no emotional connection with your spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, or congregation You have not had emotional or physical intimacy with your spouse for weeks, months, years You intimidate others with your anger You are defensive, critical, and judgmental You avoid. Read more.
The following chart and prayer were highlighted at our EHLeader PreConference Session today as we explored the power of making marriage our first ambition and passion. The first contrasts standard and biblical sexuality for married couples while the prayer reflects something we invited couples to pray each day.
Geri and I finished our one month tour with a full week in Australia, speaking in Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane to over 550 pastors/leaders. Each consisted of an all-day Emotionally Healthy Leadership seminar and an Emotionally Healthy Marriage seminar in the evening. How did God come to me/us? We found Australians warm, winsome, hospitable, direct (like good New Yorkers), and immediately responsive to us. We were deeply appreciative and humbled by the great privilege of speaking to so many pastors here. We also found that Emotionally Healthy Spirituality meets a profound felt need for deep, beneath the surface spiritual formation here. A great sense of God’s presence permeated the meetings, even when we found ourselves tired from the travel. A number of denominations (e.g. The Salvation Army) and churches were already deeply engaged with EHS before we arrived. A number had done the EHS Church-Wide Initiative. The Emotionally Healthy Woman book and DVD course along. Read more.
Geri and I left, last night, for a one-month global partnership trip to New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore. We are going both to give and to receive as we embark on a pilgrimage to be encountered by God. For most of Christian history, going on pilgrimage was understood as a spiritual discipline for devout believers. The first Christians learned about pilgrimage from the Jews who made the journey to Jerusalem each year for the three major feasts. It was only natural for the early Christians to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After the excesses and abuses connected with pilgrimage during the Reformation, Protestants dismissed the entire concept as unnecessary. This changed in the 20th century as Protestants, along with Roman Catholics and Orthodox believers, been returning to Israel in significant numbers. It is common to meet believers making pilgrimages today to Jerusalem, Rome, Ephesus in Turkey, monasteries, and Santiago de Compostela in Spain. A. Read more.