April 8, 2019

It seems pretty clear that modern Americans are unable to deal with not getting their way. New styles of parenting blame institutions for children’s inadequacies and try hard to clear the path of any struggle. We’re increasingly perfectionistic, superficial, and angry. Suicide rates, divorce rates, and mental health rates are rising at a frightening pace. Our society is becoming a hotbed for toxic individualism. Just last night, I saw a news report about a man who ran over a family… Read more

April 5, 2019

Boundaries are hard. It is a challenging aspect of being human. In a life where we are created for community and intimacy, where does one person end and another begin? We are meant to care for one another, to stand in the gaps, to uplift and support and encourage. But we cannot replace what another person is responsible for. And when our relationships start to endanger what we are responsible for, boundaries need to be set. Just as they do… Read more

April 3, 2019

We live in a world full of options. We have more choices than we can make. Consider the cereal aisle or what to watch on Netflix. When we chose something, we chose it because we have a lot of hope in the object of our choice. We expect things to work out. To have a happy ending. Otherwise, we wouldn’t waste our time on it. The Project Mood Curve has 4 distinct phases. The first of these is the forming stage…. Read more

April 1, 2019

It’s a strange and perverse sort of joy we get from April Fools Day. It is a bit like our fascination with haunted houses. I suppose we love being scared if we can control it and know there’s no true danger. And in the same vein, we enjoy our little jokes at one another’s expense so long as it is temporary and the fact revealed quite soon after the matter. The magic of April Fools is exactly that – a… Read more

March 29, 2019

There are all sorts of narratives out there. Stories we tell ourselves. Stories our family and friends tell us. Stories from society and advertising. As far as we can tell, humans have always been fascinated with stories. The cave men drew stories on the walls. Jesus taught with parables more than any other method. Today, we have television and movies. Stories catch our imaginations, but they do much more than that. They tell our truths. Our increasingly individualistic culture encourages… Read more

March 27, 2019

Our emotions are complicated creatures. They can creep up on us, bursting out at seemingly randomly times. They can also linger like a stain we cannot get rid of or ignore. I was on the subway the other day and a kid (about 2 years old) was crying. Just wailing his heart out. The mother, clearly embarrassed, screamed at him with red eyes “You have to learn to control your emotions!” We try so hard to tame the wild beast… Read more

March 25, 2019

I’m not one of those Christians that loves service projects. I was never longing to go on mission trips or to the nursing home on the weekend. My brother had a heart (and skill) for that kind of thing and, for a long time, I just dismissed it because it was not something I felt naturally connected to. I engaged in a few of these experiences out of obligation and what I discovered shocked me. There is an irony about… Read more

March 22, 2019

For a couple years, we have been working with Servant Leadership talking about the cross-section of character development, leadership, and cultural engagement. And the further we get into the journey, the more I see the importance of perspective. How it drives our behaviors by informing the way we think and believe and see the world. We are a story-telling people. Before writing, stories were passed along through oral traditions. Our best lessons are learned through stories. Jesus taught mostly through parables. We… Read more

March 20, 2019

Everyone human is longing for some version of what might be called “satisfaction”. We might use terms like fulfillment or meaning. The truth is, what we really want is something to make sense of it all. We want life to not be so hard. There is a strange sort of compulsion in us. One that says we shouldn’t have to hurt so much. It shouldn’t be so difficult. And there is a long line of things promising to be the answer… Read more

March 18, 2019

We are a problem-solving society. And so, we take the framework of life and turn it into a tool to solve our problems. We see a symptom here and we treat it. And then another pops up. I had a college student over Christmas break tell me she was anxious because she had nothing to be anxious about. She was anxious about her lack of anxiety! We’re addicted to drama. We secretly love it when things go awry. It gives us something to… Read more

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