Sloth or Sabbath?

I have found that the spirit of sloth has been oppressing me for quite some time. It’s the fear of not doing enough and therefore, not being good enough. It’s interesting how everything in our daily lives can, in some ways, be drawn back to how we view ourselves in light of our life and work. We’re filling every day …

Incarnational Leadership for all

I find myself in this unique place in pastoral ministry. I don’t want to lead. Or better said, I don’t want to overstep my bounds. I’m daunted by the temptation to turn church into more a reflection of my personality than the Kingdom of God. Then I acknowledge to some extent any church can, and almost has to be, a …

Know Thyself

The famous Greek philosopher Socrates said, “Know yourself.” Followers of Jesus respond with, “Know God and you will discover your true self.” As we grow in our knowledge of God and his ways, we discover our deep needs and amazing potential, our hidden sins and undeveloped gifts. The Discipleship Dynamics Assessment helps us know where we are in a moment …

Purple Mountains Majesty

I was in Breckenridge, Colorado a few weeks ago. I just couldn’t keep my eyes off the mountains. Peak One, shown in the photo above this blog is the highest of the ten peaks that comprise Tenmile Range. Peak One has the highest ski lift in the U.S., just above 13,000 feet. Each day of the visit my wife, Karen, …

Summer Reflections

It’s hot in Springfield, Missouri these days! Although we’ve just moved into the official summer months, temperatures are hovering in the low to mid-nineties. That’s about six to ten degrees warmer than normal for late-June. It feels more like late-July or August. So, if it’s this hot now, what will it be like then? Most of my recent conversations have …

Sabbath Rest

The artwork above this blog is a recent watercolor piece done by my wife, Kathleen, entitled “Gentle Waters.” It evokes numerous emotions in me, as her artistry always does. One of my thoughts as I reflected on it was the importance of rest in our discipleship journeys. Rest. Sabbath. Solitude. Following Jesus includes sacrifice and work, serving the marginal and …

Death, Discipleship and Discovery

Blogging about discipleship was supposed to be a walk in the park for me!  After all, I’ve had years of experience as a pastor and as a CEO of a large organization.  I’m a psychologist and a social worker and for the past 10 years my graduate students have been supplying me with piles of the latest peer-reviewed literature on issues …

Crowd Surfing on a Holy Mosh Pit

I don’t know anything about heavy metal, or hardcore punk music rock concerts.  It’s not really my scene.  But I’ve often been intrigued by a phenomenon that I have observed in these concerts and only recently found out it actually has a name, “crowd surfing in a mosh pit”.  My ignorance drove me to Wikipedia to get my information (something only …