This blogs flows out of a question a friend recently asked Pete and I around books that have most shaped our journey with Christ. I noticed a couple things: I follow authors more than books so each author is a person whom I respect and resonate with. I love books that, for me, are profound but nuanced in very practical ways. I read them more than once. I read them slowly and prayerfully. The Attentive Life, Leighton Ford I know Leighton personally. Every time I’m in his presence I cry. That’s because every time I’m in his presence I’m given presence – attention, value, time stands still. In this book Leighton leads us to experience God’s presence the way I do when I’m with Leighton. New Seeds of Contemplation, Thomas Merton This book led me into a conversion of heart that slowed me down to enjoy God and receive His love in deeper ways. Again, doing for. Read more.
“Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?” Jim Collins tells this story while a student at Stanford’s graduate business school. His teacher said to him, “Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life.” This led Collins to make a major shift in his how he allocated the most precious of all resources: time. In his monograph Good to Great and the Social Sector, Collins argues that great organizations have piercing clarity about the intersection of three questions: 1) What are you deeply passionate about? 2) What can you be the best in the world at? 3) What drives your. Read more.
I won’t put things most important, like self-care, at the mercy of things least important, like always putting others before myself. I will actively pursue a day of rest and what is fun for me. I will make time for those things that are a delight to my unique soul.
I recently reviewed my journals from 2007 to 2013 to discern key lessons learned. Countless hours were spent alone, and with wise counselors, wrestling with my leadership at New Life and my own internal”demons” (Matthew 4:1-11). These are the top questions to which I repeatedly return to in prayer: What is success for me as the Lead Pastor? What is God’s unique shape for me? Feelings aside, what is best in the long-term for NLF? What might I be avoiding? Am I staying with the “uncomfortable” in order to get to the goals I believe God has for NLF? How much of my avoidance of difficult issues is driven by a need to be liked? Am I doing anything that soothes my anxiety but betrays my integrity? Am I making room for the space and time I need to provide overall leadership and guard the values and vision? Am I staying focused on the. Read more.
God can’t be reduced to a tweet of a sound byte. Transformation in Christ cannot be done in our present culture’s attention span. A saint is someone who sees the beauty of God in and through all things. This can’t be done on the run. We can communicate creative ideas in this format — but let’s distinguish that from the very large, costly work of the time needed in Scripture and stillness to be truly changed by God.
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.