A pillar of emotionally healthy spirituality is a theology that we lead out of our marriage. This past weekend, Geri and I hosted a marriage weekend with Ron and Kathy Ferrer, founders of Living in Love.The following are a very few of the highlights I hope to integrate more deeply into our marriage and the Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference May 6-8th: 1. Marriage is a life work – a vocation with a mission. We are “sent” by God to our spouse to love passionately, permanently, intimately, totally, and unconditionally. 2. My first call in life is to be living sign of His love to the church/world in my marriage. I am to be present to Geri as God is to me. 3. Christian marriage is meant to be lived in an aura of sexual chemistry and respect. 4. To raise my children in love, I have to make love. 5. When I make what is. Read more.
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.
I’ve always been fascinated by Colin Powell. Four-Star General, Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, Commander of US Army Forces. Yet he grew up in the Bronx, NY and attended City College. I recently read his memoir,It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership where he talked about lessons learned. I appreciated his simplicity, discipline, and wisdom in a number of areas. The following are his “13 Rules to Live By” that he keeps on his desk: 1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. 2. Get mad, then get over it. 3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. 4. It can be done! 5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it. 6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision. 7.. Read more.
A museum curator knows he or she can only display a very small sampling of the artifacts to depict a certain era or time period. Among the perhaps hundreds, or even thousands of possibilities in their storage area, they must choose the few that are most significant. We are much like curators. One of the most important leadership functions is to edit – whether it is in deciding what to not include when we teach/preach, the focus of a staff meeting, the most significant emphasis for a given season, or what is presented in our lobby space to represent our values and vision.
I spent the day yesterday with Leighton Ford, a mentor of mine for the past 30 years. Leighton again shared out of his life as he approaches his 81st birthday and looks forward to another five years of encouraging mentoring communities around the world. The following are a few golden nuggets from our time: 1. The time “between dreams” is perhaps the most important in the spiritual journey. Alan Jones, in Exploring Spiritual Direction, writes: “If we are willing to wait in the darkness “between dreams,” a larger and wider reality appears and life’s dream takes on richer images and more liberating structures. It’s often at a place such as “between dreams” that a guide, a friend, or spiritual director can wait with us in a dark place until a new way of looking at things emerges for us. Many a marriage, for example, turns sour and dies precisely at the point of its. Read more.
Every third Wednesday of the month our pastoral staff takes a Day Alone With God. Each person finds a park, beach, a quiet place outside their home to intentionally spend time in silence, Scripture, etc. Take a look at Rich Villodas’ recent blog called “Yes, our pastors get paid to pray and rest about his experience and to see specific instructions he gave our staff just last week around that day. As I look at my schedule, however, I realize I have moved to Days Alone with God almost weekly. And I wondered why? I believe it relates to the unique season of transition in which I find myself. We are in the final year of my stepping back from the role of Lead Pastor at NLF to a Teaching Pastor/Pastor-at-Large role. (Go to Pete’s Transition for the congregational announcement of our four-year process). It has been wonderful and a joy to coach Rich (along. Read more.