What’s in Your Hands today? The Joy of Letting Go

I'm always intrigued by the stories of mountains in the Bible because so much that's transformative happens among them, or at their summits.  Encounters with God in the mountains are nearly always time of transition:  From this....to that.  We're between two mountains when Moses says that each one represents a choice that is yet ahead: life or death.  Then he shouts "choose life" to the whole nation before dying.  We're on a mountain, with Jesus, when we see him transformed into the essence of gl … [Read more...]

Raw Gospel – Convicting and Challenging

In a book filled with stunning events, one that surely must rank near the top of the list is found, almost in passing, in John 13, where Jesus, just hours prior to his arrest and execution, washes his disciples feet.  That the maker of the universe would stoop so low is, itself, a shocker.  People of rank aren't prone to embrace the towel and basin, not even in the best of times.  But on this night we're given clues into Jesus mindset as he enters this evening, and it's these "behind the cu … [Read more...]

Cultivation – Freeing ourselves from “the latest and greatest”

I normally teach in Germany at the end of November, when the harvest has just come in and the farmers are taking a break.  This year, though, I'm privileged to be in this agrarian region of southern Germany (wine, apples, honey, plus much more) at the end of winter and the farms are anything but sleepy.  The vines are being trimmed.  The soil is being tilled, as I encounter numerous tractors on my morning run.  Folks are in their yard gardens, prepping, planting, trimming, cleaning, turning the s … [Read more...]

The Challenges of Wealth and the Call of Christ

David Brooks recent NY Times article entitled "The Great Divorce" speaks of what is becoming on of the largest issues of our day, not just because it's an election year, but because it's a real issue.  Brooks reveals the dramatic shifts in American culture between 1963 and the present, noting that, while there's always been a gap between wealth and poverty, in previous eras that gap wasn't accompanied by a behavior gap.  Brooks writes, "income gaps did not lead to big behavior gaps. Roughly 98 p … [Read more...]

When you don’t like your job

It's common theme these days, a point of conversation among people in every age group, from 'just out of college' to those near retirement.  "I hate my job", or "I can't wait to do something different", or "I'm counting the days..."  It's a subject worthy of book, because the reality is that there's a time to stay, and a time to leave, and that the real challenge is knowing what time it is.  Leave prematurely, and you'll fan the flames of discontent that should instead be quenched, creating a ra … [Read more...]

Getting stuff done… 3 tools for a more productive/creative 2012

"Most of us have two lives.  The life we live, and the unlived life within us." Steven PressfieldThe words of Jesus percolate down into the soil of my heart:  "to whom much is given, much is required".  I take stock of my health, education, access to clean water, abundance of shelter, opportunities for travel and global worldview, healthy marriage, great children, and material wealth.  "Yes" I say to myself, "that's me".  I'm part of the group of which much will be required because I've been … [Read more...]

On Bringing Children into the World: Two Views

“I would not want to bring a child into this world” she said gently, yet emphatically enough to leave no uncertainty about her conviction.  She was a student, travelling from her hometown of Ulm to Ravensberg, where she is studying to be an elementary school teacher.  Her eagerness to practice English, coupled with our mutual curiosity of each other’s cultures created the recipe for a good long conversation.  The train wound it’s way through southern Germany, from east to west, as we spoke of edu … [Read more...]

Gratitude: The ‘on ramp’ to a better story & better world

God knows there are plenty of problems and challenges, both around us in our own homes.  It's easy focus there, fighting our battles, or looking on in despair, anger, or cynicism as others, who are supposed to be fighting battles for us, don't.  The super committee isn't so super after all.  A nuclear Iran and a sluggish economy threaten;  An Arab spring appears to be settling in for a long Arab winter of discontent; A Euro whose future is uncertain creates anxiety.  And all the while, back in ou … [Read more...]