After 9 months of planning Pete and I celebrated our daughter’s wedding last Sat. with about 180 guests. Out of that experience we realized there is such a thing as an “Emotionally Healthy Wedding.” Here are a few reflections as to what made it such a distinct, rich experience: 1. We Recognized Our Peerage. Our peerage with Christy had been established years ago. (We have done it with each of our daughters in young adulthood). We were not in a one-up, adult-child relationship. 2. We Clearly Expressed that the Most Important Thing for us was their Premarital Preparation. This was part of our gift to them. 3. We Gave a Gift of a Fixed Amount of Money and Let Go. Because this was a gift, they controlled the wedding, not us. There were no strings attached. They made the decisions and asked us for input along the way. 4. We Recognized the Most Important. Read more.
The center of Christianity is endings and new beginnings, death and resurrection, leaving and launching into new unknowns. Last Sunday, at our NLF Annual Vision meeting, I took 30 minutes to update our church on my process of transition at New Life Fellowship as I move from being the Senior Pastor (after 26 years) into a new role as a Teaching Pastor and Pastor-at-Large. It has been an awesome experience. I hope this video encourages you to be responsive to God’s invitation, at different seasons of your own life, and to let go as He leads — for the sake of His glory, other people’s development, and yourself.
When we are forced to acknowledge our very limited real control over what happens to us, a “thin” place opens up – one that is filled with spiritual possibilities and gifts. David Benner says it well: “Surrender is simply inner acceptance of what is. There is probably nothing more difficult for humans. But there is also nothing more freeing.” While many demands scream for our attention, I remain convinced the most important thing we do, especially as pastors and leaders, is to surrender our will to His. Towards this end I have been experimenting with a well-known practice known as Welcoming Prayer. It provides a framework for how to respond to something emotionally upsetting with a spirit of surrender. Cynthia Bourgeault describes the three simple movements or steps as follows: 1. Focus on the difficult emotion (e.g. anger, fear, depression, shame). Face it directly and feel it in your body. Don’t try to change. Read more.
God has been increasingly challenging me to take off Saul’s armor as a leader and courageously to follow His voice. This has led me today to review Geri’s chapter in I Quit to quit living someone else’s life (ch.8). The following is a brief summary from her chapter that is worthy of a meditation time before God. God invites you and me to ignore the distracting voices around us — regardless of their source — and to pursue wholeheartedly our God-given life. Four practices provide trustworthy guidance for this journey: Discover Your Integrity When helping someone who is struggling with an inner conflict, I often ask, “What is your integrity calling you to do?” Most ¬people hesitate before responding because they have rarely thought deeply about what they believe and value. The question behind that question is this: “What is important to you?” If you do not take the time to answer that question, other ¬people’s fears, expectations,. Read more.
Toward the end of his life, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was asked what person in history he would most like to have been. He responded by saying he would most like to have been the George Bernard Shaw he might have become but never did. How about you? Whose life are you living — your own or someone else’s? The pressure on Jesus to live someone else’s life was enormous. Yet, by the power of the Holy Spirit and in communion with God, he stayed true to his own life and purpose, finishing the work the Father had given him (John 17:4). Four practices that provide trustworthy guidance for this journey: Discover Your Integrity The journey of living your life instead of someone else’s begins when you discover your integrity. This requires recognizing and defining what is important to you. When helping someone who is struggling with an inner conflict, I often ask, “What is. Read more.