February 15, 2019

One thing that fundamentally shapes how we think, feel, and believe is our perspective on influence. It informs what we expect and how we behave. There are three elements at play when we consider influence. Our character, our community, and our culture. We hold these three in tension. We realize that, at least to some degree, they are interconnected. Each is affected by the others. But which comes first? Which leads the way? Do they all carry equal weight? At times, this… Read more

February 13, 2019

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomena in today’s world. It seems like we are becoming increasingly dependent on our institutions. When I worked at a church, I constantly heard people talk about what the church wasn’t doing and how they were suffering for it. We talk about voting as if it were the one moral obligation of our society and as if lawmakers are responsible for the ills of society. At the college we work at, students and parents are expecting… Read more

February 11, 2019

In two years of working with individuals and organizations, we have seen that there is nothing more important to people than meaning. We are driven by a desire for purpose. We want to be significant, or at least participate in something significant. Each of us is searching for fulfillment. We want a life that satisfies. One that does not feel so empty or passionless, where we are going through the motions, stuck in ruts, and trapped in cycles of apathy…. Read more

February 8, 2019

By definition, our values are the things that are most important to us. Yet, for some reason, we don’t really trust our values. We are constantly apologizing for them or sweeping them under a rug or barricading them behind walls of self-preservation. Our values are the fuel of meaning in our lives. So, why are we so afraid of them? Why don’t we trust our values?   Too Real We have a lot of false expectations for our values. We expect them… Read more

February 6, 2019

Family is one of, if not the, most important arenas of life. Our families are little societies, communities, cultures of their own. They help shape who we are, what we value, and how we see the world. They are where we are meant to feel most secure, most known, and most cared for. But this isn’t always the case. Family is also one the biggest sources of anger and emotional scarring. Life with other people is hard. If we’re not careful,… Read more

February 4, 2019

It may seem obvious to view conflict as a negative entity. We don’t like the emotions that come with disagreement. But the truth is, conflict is neutral. In and of itself, it is neither positive nor negative. It is the way we approach, handle, and resolve conflict that determines whether it becomes a bad thing or a good thing. Like most things, it is our choices that determine the value of conflict. As such, there are two kinds of conflict…. Read more

February 1, 2019

It is a bizarre human phenomena. One of us can say something and another hear something completely different. Since a big element to our communication is physical, we are indeed saying more than we realize. In our politically-correct, emotionally-driven world, we are trying hard not to offend anybody and that saturates what we say. We can be passive-aggressive. We can get upset about something without naming (or even knowing) the deep cause for an anger. The result is that the… Read more

January 30, 2019

My brother once dated a girl and the two of them constantly got on my nerves. They had this weird relationship that was addicted to drama. Things could never be normal. Any semblance of normality and one of them would pick a fight with the other. It was like the relationship ran on high emotion. They constantly had to feel turbocharged to feel the relationship was justified. When I was dating the woman who would become my wife, the lack… Read more

January 28, 2019

There is a fascinating verse in the Bible that says this: “Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed” (Matthew 21:44). It is essentially saying that the person who willing surrenders to the truth will be hurt, challenged, and convicted by it. And the only other option is to deny it; but in doing so it will fall on us unawares and destroy us completely. One way or another,… Read more

January 25, 2019

One of the hardest things for us to do is admit when we are wrong. Acknowledging fault feels dangerous to us. And it is. While there are some good reasons we are afraid, the benefits outweigh the risks.   Don’t Make A Mistake The reason we try so hard to cover up, deny, or run from our faults is because we live in a Don’t-Make-A-Mistake culture. There is evidence of this all around. We were watching a popular baking-competition-show on… Read more

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