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Tag Archives: setbacks

Endings and New Beginnings In Leadership

Why are endings and transitions so poorly handled in our ministries, organizations, and teams? Why do we often miss God’s new beginnings, the new work he is doing? In part because we fail to apply a central theological truth—that death is a necessary prelude to resurrection. To bear long-term fruit for Christ, we need to recognize that some things must die so something new can grow. If we do not embrace this reality, we will tend to dread endings in the same way our wider culture does, as signs of failure rather than opportunities for something new. You Know You’re Not Doing Endings and New Beginnings Well When . . . • You can’t stop ruminating about something from the past. • You use busyness as an excuse to avoid taking time to grieve endings and losses. • You have a hard time identifying your difficult feelings (sadness, fear, anger). • You often find. Read more.

The Gift of the "Wall"

Emotionally healthy spirituality requires you to go through the pain of the Wall, or, as the ancients called it, “the dark night of the soul.” Circumstances and crisis beyond our control interrupt our plans. Chapter 6 of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality unpacks this theme, but a further insight has emerged for me over the years. It comes from someone who spent a lifetime in prayer and silence, a French Carthusian monk, Augustin Guillerand (1877–1945): Someone (God) wounds our soul with a wound that will never heal, and it is through that wound that He finds His way to the very center of our being. Ponder this today as you walk through your own setbacks, disappointments, and difficulties. Think about it: How else can God peel away the hard layers of our false selves in order to free us?

Self-Leadership and the Battle of the Bulge

How you and I handle our anxiety in the midst of setbacks is one of the critical tasks of leadership. For ten days, during the Battle of the Bulge, American troops were badly beaten by Hitler’s armies in Europe. American casualties were brutal – with 19,000 killed, 48,000 wounded and 9000 others forced to surrender. The US Army was in full retreat. The pressure on Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) to blame his generals for the disaster was immense. Imagine! He did not. Henry Stimpson, his Secretary of War, wrote in his dairy: “He has been very extremely considerate. He has exercised great restraint, for the anxiety on his part must have been very heavy.” This was the fruit of his 12 years of serving, and suffering, as President during the Great Depression and World War II. May it be ours.