Thread

Thread

“And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.”  - Donald Miller

This quote, from Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was a revolution in my life.  It was the headwaters of the river that took me from…

Celebrate Your Family

Celebrate Your Family

We’re intentional about celebrating birthdays, holidays, accomplishments, and milestones - but how often do we take time to celebrate the people right around us just for being who they are? Encouragement is something that everyone desperately needs, but few of us freely offer without some sort of “reason.”

Well, here is your reason:

Your family needs encouragement.

So do you…

Simplified

Simplified

I was at a non-fiction writing conference a few years ago. We had a writing exercise that required we describe the same scenario through a decreasing word count. As the word count shrunk, I just started using bigger words so that I could pack more information into the tinier space. When I read my most condensed statement with all the big words, the exasperated instructor said…

Abundance

Abundance

The last thing we need to be worried about in this country at this time in history is abundance, right? We’ve got it pretty good:

  • Median household income of $59k when the world average is $9k.

  • A national median home price of just under $200k.

  • An almost 50 year low of 3.7% jobless rate.

  • A national health system making care available for all.


Things are awesome, right?  

It doesn’t exactly feel that way, does it?  

Gold

Gold

One of my favorite scenes from film involves a crackpot, bush-pilot philosopher named Rosie Little. He is flying a scientist named Tyler to the Valley of the Blackstone in northern Alaska. He is trying to figure out what kind of treasure he is really after. When Tyler won’t tell him, Rosie says…

Ikigai

Ikigai

Scripture tells how we are uniquely created and wonderfully made. C.S. Lewis points out that each one of us uniquely offers one particular aspect of the Divine that no one else can. We are told that we are the crown of His creation and were placed here specifically to rule and subdue all that exists. Clearly we are here for a particular reason.

Tide

Tide

We met a couple during our trip to Colorado.  They’ve recently acquired a guest ranch that has been in existence for decades.  The story about how this all happened is too beautiful and extensive for me to try and share in the 500 words of this post, but I might give that a try on another day.

Among all the inspiring things we talked about during the long afternoon we shared, the career path he took to this vocational stint was particularly interesting.  He had been…

Seasons

Seasons

I grew up as a beach rat.  Hanging out at the shore and dunes of a small back bay that was reachable by foot or bike as a young boy and then to a much larger beach and National seashore by car as a teenager.  My time on the shores was largely unfettered and unsupervised.  That led to all kinds of great boyhood stuff early and all kinds of destructive behavior as I aged.

One of the things a coastal community of South Texas didn’t provide for much of was a traditional change of seasons…

Right

Right

The last few organizations I got involved with heard a similar refrain from me…

“I’m not interested in leading or being in charge of anything.”

I am not joining your organization or board. I am not taking an officer position or signing up to chair anything. I mean, I feel like I lead or am in charge in every other arena of my life. Decisions don’t seem to get made and nothing seems to happen unless I am driving it. Can you relate?

That’s a problem right? 

Deepest

Deepest

When the religious were trying to overcomplicate things, even confuse things, Jesus really made it clear. Almost as if he were establishing a hierarchy of things. As if he was telling them that all their rules, prohibitions, laws, judgements, tips and techniques are pretty much worthless if you aren’t first accomplishing these two simple (but not easy) things:

Love God.

Love others.


I think the lack of this…the lack of the reciprocal of this…is all our deepest longing.  When the bible talks about all creation groaning for the coming Kingdom and the restoration of all things, I think this is one of the things we are groaning for most deeply.

Intentional

Intentional

When we surveyed local leaders, one of the things they mentioned struggling with was maintaining a healthy life/work balance.  The demands of their work not only kept them at the office more than they liked, it tended to follow them home as well.

As a result we spend a lot of time studying Jesus’ way of doing things with the leaders with whom we work.  Despite the incredible mission he came to accomplish and contrary to our Western culture sensibility; he lived a slow, steady…

Soul

Soul

Interestingly enough, I am regularly challenged on most of the measures I have taken to quiet things.  Not by the menacing growl of all those beasts fighting for my attention, but by people who regularly partake in them and seem bothered by the fact that I am not.

I recently wrote about the need for soul care in “Attendance” a few months ago.  It turns out that ordering my life with “soul care” as one of the top priorities has been as disruptive to my life as it has been for others.

Disruptive for good, but disruptive nonetheless.

I am privileged to spend my vocational life in very close alignment with my calling, God’s particular intention for my life.  And while calling is…

Critic

Critic

As a man who felt like life had taught him that he would always be alone, examining life is something that I spent a lot of time doing.  But I wasn’t examining my own, I was just being critical of everyone else’s.  Doing life on my own meant that I was constantly surveying the landscape for anything I could find about others’ lives to criticize as a way to momentarily feel better about my own.

Subversive

Subversive

In the award-winning documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, they celebrate the life of a similar subversive.  He took everything you were supposed to do to create a successful children’s show and did the complete opposite.  Low production values, very slow moving pace, poor acting, and no slapstick energy or comedy.

As an ordained Presbyterian minister, he approached the work with a missional fervor that television has likely ever seen or probably even understood.  When the race…

Rule

Rule

It was always intended that we would lead.  Over our families, businesses, organizations, and pretty much everything, according to Moses.  We were all born to lead.  That taking charge, initiating, and trying to negotiate everything going on around us, is actually holy.  Or at least rooted in something holy.

At the heart of every great story is a…

….hero who decides to use their power for good and not evil.

….villain who decides to use their power for evil and not good.

Opposite sides of the same coin.  Both emanating from power, desire, and the interest in having things go their way.  The origin stories…

Suck

Suck

SUCK -

Not good. Bad. 

The early Jazz musicians would say that a guy could really "Blow" if he had a good sound when playing the horn. If he couldn't play very well then they would say that he was "Sucking" on that horn. That's where the term "Suck" as being something bad came from.

If you suck, it generally means you have no skill and/or talent. 

A good friend of mine is reading a book that was foundational to completely re-orienting my faith about 15 years…

Question

Question

If the primary question you are asking has to do with how to have a good retirement, that is going to lead you in one direction.

If the primary question you are asking has to do with how do you make the world a better place, that will likely lead you in another.

Turns out that the questions we are asking others can have a similar defining effect.  One of the things we regularly challenge the leaders…

Bassline

Bassline

I was listening to a podcast recently where they were talking about the bass note being the deepest, truest, most defining thing about who we are.  This is the type of podcast where they are trying to be inclusive of all religions, but the Christian leader of the podcast was clearly talking about the God that I know…

Betting

Betting

Every employer I talk to is frustrated with the state of the current employment base.  Workers seem less committed to long-term employment.  Tenures of their employees seem to be shrinking.  No one is interested in building a long-term career.  Nothing is like it used to be.

Or is it?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not much has really changed on the tenure of the average employee of a salary and wage job in over 50 years…


Prioritize

Prioritize

Most of us are pretty good at the one and pretty poor at the other.  We're super clear on what our priorities should be:

  1. God

  2. Family

  3. Friends

  4. Work

  5. etc.

We got the “noun” part of this thing down. We know how to give the right answer when we are asked about what is most important to us. The “verb” is where things really start to break down.

The reality is determined…