The Christian season of Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Throughout the world, many Christians will attend special Ash Wednesday services, where they will be reminded of their mortality and need for a Savior. The imposition of ashes on the foreheads of worshipers is a powerful symbol of the fact that “we have come from dust and to dust we shall return” (Genesis 3:19). If you would like to learn more about Ash Wednesday, you might find helpful a… Read more

Kudos to the New York Times for publishing two excellent articles on Christmas, and on Christmas Eve, of all times. The first is “Humanizing Jesus” by Peter Wehner. Don’t let the title worry you. This op-ed is not denying the deity of Jesus or turning him into nothing more than a “good teacher.” Rather, Wehner reflects thoughtfully on the true meaning of Christmas, which is God becoming human in Jesus. What a refreshing piece! The second excellent piece in the… Read more

I just read a fascinating article in the New York Times Magazine, something I’d recommend to all leaders and managers. “What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team” was written by Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and bestselling author. This article is an excerpt from Duhigg’s forthcoming book, Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business. Honestly, this is the sort of book that I would pass by in airports and avoid like the plague…. Read more

Harvard Divinity School began a new, online edX course today called: “World Religious Through Their Scriptures.” This course seeks to help students develop more awareness of and sensitivity to religious traditions throughout the world. That HDS would do this is not particularly surprising. I was startled, however, to read the editorial piece in the Harvard Crimson (undergraduate newspaper) written in response to this course. The Crimson’s positive editorial included a paragraph on the importance of religious diversity at Harvard College,… Read more

There’s a fascinating piece that has just been published in The Atlantic. It has the intriguing title, “Finding Jesus at Work.” The focus of this article is on workplace chaplaincies. [In] recent years, a number of companies have . . . hired spiritual leaders to serve on their staffs. Though slightly less trendy than nap rooms and yoga classes, workplace chaplaincies are another attempt to make workers more productive by catering to their “whole” selves. Sometimes, these chaplains serve as spiritual social… Read more

This week, in my Life for Leaders devotions, I am thinking about success. My inspiration is a passage from Genesis, a description of Joseph’s work in the house of Potiphar. In this passage we read, “The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man” (Gen 39:2). What does this mean and what can we learn from Joseph’s example? On Monday, I talked about “God as the Source of Success.” Yesterday, my theme was “Challenging Our Idea of Success.” Today,… Read more

Okay, I admit that’s an odd title. Please let me explain. A week ago, the University of Alabama football team won the national championship, beating Clemson 45-40. The turning point in the game was a surprise play, in which Alabama used an unexpected onside kick to grab hold of the momentum, not to mention the lead. If you’ve been following college football for a while, you know that this play was doubly unexpected because Alabama is coached by Nick Saban,… Read more

Need to relax? Sit by a crackling fire! Read more

Check out this excellent interview of Bill George, a prof at Harvard Business School.  Faith & Leadership asked George,  “What does it take to be a great leader?” He responded: To be a great leader today, you have to have a great head and a great heart. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “The longest journey that you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.” You might have a high IQ, but if you do… Read more

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!” Psalm 80:1-2 Introduction to Advent Devotions This 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 time of expectation, waiting, and… Read more

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