A friend and I talked one day about the perils of a hurried life and how hazardous it is to our souls. The more we considered how much a hurried life turns our souls into raisins and preps us to give beef jerky instead of steak to the people we love, the more we agreed, a hurried life is actually a toxic life. If you are open to new ideas that might inject breathing space — the influx of fresh air — into your daily workload, I have four keys to help you get started.

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Life is a sacred gift. But, some seasons are more sacred than others.

Two years ago, my Mother lived on her own, in her own house, driving her own car. Two weeks ago, she entered hospice care. This is my fourth lap with the hospice-farewell process: my father, my father-in law, and my Uncle.

And I have decided that the best words to describe the experience of this season in life are sacred and awful.

Continue Reading "The End of Life: Sacred and Awful"

Have you ever seriously thought about the fact that the way you decorate or arrange a space changes what it feels like to work or meet in that environment. Right now, offices everywhere are decorated with some form of holiday cheer. Unless you are Scrooge himself, you like it and are probably more productive. The nature of the environment changes what happens inside of it. Consider two vastly different experiences I had recently. Two weeks ago I attended a church service in a room that…Continue Reading “Leaders Craft Environments Intentionally”

Continue Reading "Leaders Craft Environments Intentionally"
a freeway on-ramp at night.

One of the keys to a successful sabbatical has nothing to do with what you do on your sabbatical itself, but everything to do with how you transition into and out of it. For twenty years I have watched the best and worst practices of my peers as they have taken sabbaticals, (primarily pastors and leaders of other ministry organizations.) I believe a sabbatical, can be a life-giving experience and it is something I whole-heartedly recommend. However, a sabbatical is not automatically helpful.


Time comes to us in constant increments every day. Moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day how we choose how will spend it. Time passes through our fingers fleetingly, pausing just long enough for us to decide what we will do with it. I guess we can avoid choosing and let let others dictate life for us, but even that is our choice. And, that’s the thing. We spend time by the choices we make. Frighteningly, we only get one shot and once spent, it’s gone.

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Margaret and Lenita on her 80th

I find that we get all twisted up over the notions of mentoring because of some funky ideas that mentoring is about structure or curriculum or Yoda-Like super-wisdom. In reality mentoring is about sharing your life, your experiences, and your perspective when needed. It is more about walking together over the long haul then solving a urgent problem in a perfect way.

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With my Uncle after a burger together

Leaders are wired and trained to look for highly leveraged people and opportunities. We think about influence, change, courage, and about mobilizing the people who can help make things happen. So, what about people who have nothing strategic to give back? What about the people Jesus identified as the least of these?

Can it really mean that serving “one of the least of these”–where there is no quid pro quo, no strokes or favors to be returned–is literally an act of compassion received by Jesus?

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