Just getting on with it…

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This week I'm in the stunningly green English countryside with friends from around the globe who gather every four years general conference of Torchbearers.  It's difficult to accurately portray the power of what happens when 200 leaders from 27 Bible centers around the world gather in one room to pray, worship, study the scriptures together, and do business as they seek, each on their own unique setting, to make God's good reign visible through the power of the resurrected Jesus.Every day … [Read more...]

Ordinary Time – the Days that Matter the Most

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People who follow the "Christian Year" know that the Bible readings from December through Pentecost are designed to cover the story of God's restorative plan for the cosmos revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Today begins the long stretch in that same calendar called "Ordinary Time".Ordinary is a word we don't use much at all, and nearly never in a flattering way.  "It was an ordinary day" means that nothing exciting happened.  "Just another day..." we say, to describe the days … [Read more...]

The Best Version of Myself… What’s the recipe?

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With vacation, a planned hike to the summit of St. Helen's, and a climbing project brewing that I'm excited about sharing later, I recently reread a book called "Bone Games: Extreme Sports, Shaminism, Zen, and the Search for Transcendence".  Rob opens with the story of his most desperate moment.  He's fallen, is seriously injured and stranded on a small ledge with hundreds of vertical feet below waiting to devour him when he tries to down climb - with his injury - in the dark - in the snow.  Not … [Read more...]

Marathon Bombs and Baseball’s Best – Lessons on life vs. death from April 15th

Yesterday, as often happens, sport became the backdrop for something larger.  It also happened to be something horrific as Boston blew.  But sport and life were celebrated yesterday too, because April 15th is Jackie Robinson day in Major League Baseball every year.  We do well to ponder, celebrate, and learn, especially this year, when fear is crouching at the door, inviting violence. His story can teach us a few things about the only good way forward.  Here's why:April 15th, 1947, in a Jew … [Read more...]

Holy Week – and the mysterious glory of our guide

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It happens every time I'm in mountains with people in better shape than me.  We start skiing or hiking or climbing and once we're in a rhythm on some steep uphill slope, they start asking me questions:  about family, faith, sport, politics.  They want conversation; I want to breathe!  They're faster than me, and I know that my presence is holding them back because when they say things like, "Yeah, when I was on Mt. McKinley for the fourth time last spring..."  I'm trying to ski up 800 vertical fe … [Read more...]

Instead of new goals for a new year…try this

I like goals that are measurable and have lots of them:  Ski 100k vertical feet in January (now objectively measurable courtesy of a nifty phone app), trim 15 seconds off jogging "per mile" time by the end of February, eat 5 servings of veggies per day (by far the hardest), be consistent in my reading, praying, journaling, blog at least once a week, finish book proposal.I'm close to throwing all these in the trash though, because I keep adding more and more goals to my life, and the end … [Read more...]

Unlocking Potential by Practicing Presence

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. - Victor FranklDo you ever wish you were somewhere else?  Of course you do! You wish you were on the other side of that right light which is holding you back from where you want to be.  You wish you were at a job that pays more, or is energizing rather than mind numbing.  You wish you were with a spouse that is harder wo … [Read more...]

Summits, Self-Denial, Discipleship – a symboiotic trinity

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One climbs, one sees.  One descends, one sees no longer.  But one has seen.  There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up – Rene DumalI’m on the plane, having left a week of wonderful teaching and fellowship in Southern California as I return, refreshed and sun drenched, to the wonderful work I’ve the privilege of doing in Seattle.  The work, as most of you know, is the work of shepherding the flock – and as I finish my sermon on th … [Read more...]


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