B-L-E-S-S: one way to do a rule of life

I have a friend who runs a camp outside of Toronto.  It’s one of the largest camps in North America.  I spoke for the staff there a few summers ago, and just the staff numbered over 300.  Their vision is to simply be the presence of Jesus by serving the campers.  It’s more of an Emmaus Road experience (where people end up walking along the road with Jesus for a while before they recognize him) than a Damascus Road experience… Read more

Next Tree…Next Church

It’s intriguing to me that these two days I’m spending in vision development and long range planning should come at just the time when a miracle happened in my backyard. This tree (that’s right, it’s all one tree) you’re looking at is probably 60′ tall, though when things get above about 25′ I lose all sense of perspective.  What’s fun, though, is that the tree is a gift from my mother in law, who got it at a school carnival… Read more

Does Paul think like Paul? (Ron, Apostle)

There’s an interesting NY Times article from this past weekend that declares Europeans can’t afford their cradle to grave safety net.  Declining birth rates, longer lifespan, and the migration of manufacturing to the developing world are all contributors to the problem. Change is needed, and it will be a hard pill to swallow.  I hope we learn from this as a nation.  Conservatives and Liberals both need to find some political will to make the kind of hard choices, and… Read more

“Perhaps” – the paralysis of fear, and power of risk

If you’re climbing a rock face, the thing that spares you from death in the event of a fall is your protection (which is some sort of anchor you put in the rock that will put an end to your falling).  Of course, the higher you climb beyond your last piece of protection, the farther you’ll fall if you fail.  This can have the effect of unnerving the climber, which ultimately negates the climber’s skills, causing him/her to freeze with… Read more

A cup of cold water…or cola?

After Asa Chandler purchased the coca-cola formula from a pharmacist in 1887, he cast a vision to his sales team, declaring that this product should be, “a thirst quenching, heaven-sent drink; a blessing to this sun-parched earth.”  Chandler was a Methodist who began his sales meetings with prayer and ended his training weeks with the whole team singing stirring renditions of “Onward Christian Soldiers.” The marketing strategies of coke, globally, were actually tied to Christian mission work because, as Asa… Read more

Getting to “Why”

This past Sunday evening’s sixty minutes offered a remarkable example of the power of vision.  This is worth watching! Gustavo Dudamel is the new Venezuelan conductor of the LA Philharmonic.  He could have gone anywhere, but chose Los Angeles because, as he says, he wants to “change the future of this city through music”.  Members of the Philharmonic are now investing part of their professional hours teaching young children in the poorest parts of the city how to play instruments,… Read more

Forgiving – the challenge and the power

Yesterday’s theme at my church was forgiveness, in particular the challenge that each of us face in forgive those who’ve hurt us deeply.  We looked at an extended clip from As We Forgive, and then invited people to write down names of those they needed to forgive, bring them forward to the altar, pray, and release their anger. There was an avalanche of forgiving that ensued…all day, at every service.  You can hear the sermon here, but be advised that… Read more

extreme sports, shamanism, and the danger of boredom

I’m rereading a favorite old book of mine called, “Bone Games” right now, about extreme sports and shamanism.  The author had one of those supernatural experiences that climbers sometimes get when their life is hanging by a thread.  He was able, after a fall, to down climb a stretch of ice covered rock flakes in Colorado, something most expert climbers wouldn’t be able to do in a state of even perfect health.  As he writes regarding his perfect presence during… Read more

Of Goalies and Sermons: the mystery and challenge of presence…

This weekend was filled with events that have left me pondering that “being fully present” is actually a lot harder than it appears. I’ve heard it said that “showing up” is 80% of the battle with any endeavor, but soccer, hockey, and preaching, have all shown me that showing up requires more than just showing up. Our local Sounders played soccer on Saturday, but “played” would be too polite of a term.  They were physically present, but their performance was… Read more

Of Goalies and Sermons: the mystery and challenge of presence…

This weekend was filled with events that have left me pondering that “being fully present” is actually a lot harder than it appears. I’ve heard it said that “showing up” is 80% of the battle with any endeavor, but soccer, hockey, and preaching, have all shown me that showing up requires more than just showing up. Our local Sounders played soccer on Saturday, but “played” would be too polite of a term.  They were physically present, but their performance was… Read more


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