peach-tree

God of Peaches

Note: The following devotion is from Life for Leaders, a daily digital devotional. You can subscribe to Life for Leaders at no cost here.When I read Genesis 1:11-12, I can’t help but think of my life in the Texas Hill Country. For seven years, my family and I lived in this beautiful region to the west of Austin and San Antonio. It features rolling hills, rocky outcroppings, winding rivers, and millions of oak trees. If you’ve never been to the Hill Country, I heartily recommend a visit. (On … [Read More...]

The Curious Meaning of “God”

This post is from Life for Leaders, a new daily devotional I am writing as part of my work at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership. You can learn more about Life for Leaders or sign up to receive a daily email devotional here. "In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters." Genesis 1:1-2 I began ​yesterday's Life for Leaders devotion​ by pointing to … [Read More...]

First Impressions of God

This post is part of Life for Leaders, a new daily devotional I am writing as part of my work at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership. You can learn more about Life for Leaders or sign up to receive a daily email devotional here. "In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters." Genesis 1:1-2  When was the last time you really wanted to make a … [Read More...]

Insights for Leaders: Gratitude that Defines Reality

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader." - Max De PreeDon't you love this quotation. Such wisdom in so few words. Later on, I want to think with you about what all of this means. How does a leader define reality? In what sense is a leader a servant? Even a debtor? At this time, however, I want to combine a couple of Max’s i … [Read More...]

Servant Leadership on Maundy Thursday

This post is part of Life for Leaders, a new daily devotional I am writing as part of my work at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership. You can learn more about Life for Leaders or sign up to receive a daily email devotional here.  "You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you." John … [Read More...]

“I’m Ba-a-ack”

To borrow and butcher a line from Poltergeist II, “I’m ba-a-ck.” After a long time away from active blogging, I’m beginning again as a part of a new professional season in my life.During the last few years while I was working for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation (AKA Laity Lodge, The High Calling), I had little time or energy for blogging. Most of my writing effort went into the Daily Reflections, devotionals that were emailed to more than 20,000 people each morning. For quite a while, Alissa … [Read More...]

Congratulations HEB! One of Best Ten Places to Work in the U.S.

Glassdoor just announced its 2015 Employees' Choice Awards for the Best Places to Work in the U.S. and HEB came in at #7. Congratulations, HEB.Now, if you've spent much time in central Texas, HEB needs no introduction. You know it as an outstanding grocery chain, with more than 300 stores in Texas and many in Mexico as well. But if "you're not from around here," as they say, then you might not know HEB. It's time for some learnin'.HEB is the acronym for the Howard E. Butt Grocery … [Read More...]

Does Place Really Matter? If So, Why?

In my last blog post, I asked the question "Does place really matter?" In our increasingly digitized, flattened, and shrunken world, does our physical location make a real difference?Most of those who answered this question, through comments, social media, or email, said, "Yes. Place does matter." I think most people have a gut sense about this. Even though we can communicate with people across the world as if they were right beside our ears, and though many people can work well when they … [Read More...]

Does Place Really Matter?

Increasingly, it seems as if we live in a "placeless" world. Oh, to be sure, you and I occupy places in this world. But with technology flattening and shrinking the world, we might begin to wonder if place really matters. Perhaps we are now inhabitants of "noplace."Take the workplace, for example. We use the word "workplace," but increasingly people are not working from a particular place known as "the office" or "the store." A 2013 article from Wired puts it this way: Forrester Research’s U … [Read More...]

Ch-Ch-Changes

I can hear the chorus of David Bowie’s 1971 song ringing in my memory. Though the song is called “Changes,” it is notable for the repeated line, “Ch-ch-changes.” If you’re my age and want to feel some nostalgia, you can listen to the song here.Why am I thinking about “Ch-ch-changes”? Because that’s what I’m experiencing these days. After seven years working for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation (Laity Lodge, The High Calling), I am moving on to new challenges.The first of these challenges … [Read More...]

The First Sunday of Advent: Waiting for the Shepherd

Waiting for the Shepherd He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.Isaiah 40:11This is the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the season in which Christians throughout the world prepare for a fuller, richer celebration of the birth of Jesus. Advent is a season of expectation, waiting, and hope. During the four weeks before Christmas, we … [Read More...]

Advent Begins Tomorrow. Today Is The Last Day of the Christian Year. Should You Care?

Tomorrow is the first day of Advent. In yesterday's post, I encouraged you to get ready for Advent. Today, I want to think with you about the broader context in which Advent makes sense.Today is the last day of the Christian Year, also known as the Liturgical Year or the Church Year. For those who follow the Christian Year, the latest one began last year on December 1, which was the first Sunday of Advent. We have moved steadily through Advent, Christmas Day, Christmastime, Epiphany, Ash … [Read More...]

Beauty, Art, and My Five-Year-Old Daughter

At The Curator, Heather Walker Peterson writes about looking about art and thinking about beauty with her daughter: I won’t tell my daughter that what matters is the beauty on the inside. Yes, if we desire the way the world will be, then goodness is the the internal beauty of a person becoming like Christ. A Christian tween would be forced to assent, rankled. Inner beauty is important. But the social reality would be crushing her insides. Outside beauty, that which affects our senses, matters. … [Read More...]

The Advent of Advent

Advent is coming. And, given that the word "advent" is derived from the Latin term adventus, which means "visit" or "coming," one might well speak of the advent of Advent, the imminent coming of the Christian season of Advent.Many people I know – including me – feel eager about the approach of Advent, much as we might feel about the pending visit of a dear, old friend. Yet, many others among my friends don't really care that Advent is around the corner. These include quite a few of my Chr … [Read More...]

A Real and Imminent Threat

We have much to be thankful for, but we've also experienced loss this year - as individuals and a society. At Art House America, Dyana Herron writes about some of those things, including the shooting at Seattle Pacific University this year: Now, for the next few hours, I was truly without a home, in transit between one place and the next, surrounded by people in the same situation, either beside me on the ground, or above me in the air: rising, falling, taking off, landing. When I could, I … [Read More...]

Enjoying Your Thanksgiving Dinner Twice

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:18-20Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals. I suppose it has something to do with nostalgia, happy memories, and a chance to enjoy a meal with loved ones. But I also … [Read More...]


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