As we enter a New Year I like to take time to review and listen afresh to what God might be saying and doing. This process includes my blog. The blogs that I thought were most important (e.g. Beyond an Airbrushed Spirituality) didn’t make the top ten. Blogs that I considered less important did. A key lesson for me is that people are very interested in detailed applications of EHS in different, real life situations (e.g. “Emotionally Healthy Birthday Planning” is a future blog). Here are my top ten posts from 2015: 10 Qualities of an Emotionally Healthy Wedding Top 10 Quotes from Elie Wiesel’s Memoirs Characteristics of the Emotionally Unhealthy Leader Quit Living Someone Else’s Life Four Steps to a Meaningful Sabbath You Know Your Not Doing Endings Well When Quit Overfunctioning Four Unhealthy Commandments of Church Leadership My #1 Mistake as a Leader Why Can’t We Slow Down
I presided yesterday over the installation of Rich Villodas as my successor at New Life Fellowship Church. It was one of the highlights of my 26 years there as the Founder/Senior Pastor. An installation is like a wedding in which two parties make vows. While that analogy is helpful, I believe the term “covenant” (i.e. a solemn agreement between two parties) is a better term to use when framing a pastor’s relationship with a congregation. While a covenant is not always permanent like a vow, it implies responsibilities, obligations, and privileges. It is a promise, a trust. I learned from some of my Anglican and Presbyterian friends about their process and theology. This, in turn, helped me to shape the installation around the public making of a solemn covenant. It was deeply moving and powerful. A number of people asked me if I would make the text of the covenant agreement available. Here it. Read more.
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.
Out of the experience of our daughter’s wedding last Saturday, 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 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 2. We Were Aware of and Managed Our Own Anxieties. There were plenty of things to worry about, from 6 inches of rain the day before our outdoor wedding, to the groom’s grandfather dying 4 days before the big day, to other people’s attitudes that were challenging. We paid attention to it and responded appropriately. 3. We Rejoiced. This was not simply a weekend event, or nine months of preparation, but a lifetime of labor in. Read more.