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Tag Archives: interior life

EHL Conference 2014 and The Emotionally Healthy Leader

This year’s Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference will be different this May for a number of reasons. First, I’ve been intensely writing my new learnings since 2007 in a new book called The Emotionally Healthy Leader that will be released in early 2015.  I have narrowed it down to four critical areas that must be established (i.e. our inner life) if we are going to lead our churches well (i.e. our outer life). These reflections, tested over the past seven years, will inform our conference.  The outline is as follows: Your Inner LifeChapter 2    Face Your ShadowChapter 3    Lead out of Your Marriage or SinglenessChapter 4    Slow Down for Loving UnionChapter 5    Practice Sabbath DelightYour Outer LifeChapter 5     Planning and Decision MakingChapter 6     Culture and Team BuildingChapter 7     Community and Dual RelationshipsChapter 8.    Endings and New Beginnings (A Case Study of Succession) Secondly, God has led Geri and I into other new content around leading out of your marriage. Read more.

“Fire” – A Team Builder/Personal Experience

Geri led us in this contemplative experience as a New Life staff team last week. On the “planning” retreats we take two to three times a year, we generally take a half a day focused on our internal lives with God before launching into our external work for Him. Enjoy this personally or as a team. Fire – by Judy Brown What makes a fire burnis space between the logs,a breathing space.Too much of a good thing,too many logspacked in too tightcan douse the flamesalmost as surelyas a pail of water would.So building firesrequires attentionto the spaces in betweenas much as the wood.When we are able to buildopen spacesin the same waywe have learned to pile on the logs,then we can come to see howit is fuel, and absence of the fueltogether, that makes fire possible.We only need lay a loglightly from time to time.A firegrowssimply because the space is there,with openingsin which the. Read more.

"Fire" – A Team Builder/Personal Experience

Geri led us in this contemplative experience as a New Life staff team last week. On the “planning” retreats we take two to three times a year, we generally take a half a day focused on our internal lives with God before launching into our external work for Him. Enjoy this personally or as a team. Fire – by Judy Brown What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, a breathing space. Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would. So building fires requires attention to the spaces in between as much as the wood. When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the logs, then we can come to see how it is fuel, and absence of the fuel together, that makes fire. Read more.

Sabbath-Keeping: A Long, Slow Road

Lauren Winner, herself an author of a book on Sabbath, says that in spite of a bumper crop of books on Sabbath observances in the last ten years or so, “it’s unclear . . . that many people are implementing them.” A Jewish young-adult organization called Reboot launched a “Sabbath manifesto” offers us the following ten recommendations that I appreciate: 1. Avoid technology. 2. Connect with loved ones. 3. Nurture your health. 4. Get outside. 5. Avoid commerce. 6. Light candles. 7. Drink wine. 8. Eat bread. 9. Find silence. 10. Give back. I think Abraham Heschel had it right: He who wants to enter the holiness of the day must first lay down the profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil. He must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling his own life. He must say farewell to. Read more.

Hiddenness, Obscurity, Contemplation and the Active Life

The following are a few of my recent questions, puzzles, and reflections around the working out of my active life as a Christian leader with a commitment to serve out of a foundation of a deep, interior, contemplative life. Much like Dag Hammarskjold’s Markings, some of this is disjointed as it comes out of my journal reflections, my puzzles in prayer with god, along with my readings over the past couple of months (This includes: Bernard of Clairvaux’s sermons on the Song of Songs, the Desert Fathers, Merton on St. Bernard, and Alicia Britt Chole’s little book Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years and Yours.) 90% percent of Jesus’ ministry, 29 years, was spent in obscurity, hiddenness, and the unseen. This was as important as his 3 active years. They provided the character foundation for Him to walk through the temptations of the wilderness and the pressures from the people around him.  These years also empowered Him to live an eternally fruitful. Read more.

Learning Leadership from the Presidents

I recently finished the very enjoyable read of David Gergen’s EyeWitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership in which he describes his work with Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He now teaches leadership at Harvard so his book is particularly focused on lessons to learn from their divergent styles as well as their failures. Here are a few points he made that are particularly revelant to those of us in leadership. Lesson 1: Time for study and reflection are critical for long-term leadership. Richard Nixon –His years in the wilderness (after he lost to John F. Kennedy in the 1961 election) became one of his most productive periods in his life as he had time for reflection, study, and to develop a long –range view of world affairs that became a foundation for his presidency. He seized those years for personal growth and a springboard to serious, tempered, seasoned leadership. There is a time. Read more.