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For the last several years I have replaced the idea of New Year’s Resolutions with a focus on one single idea – my one word  to help frame the kind of direction I sense the Lord leading me to steer my life toward in the coming year. Previous ideas for My One Word have included Finish, Lean, and One. What’s interesting is that those ideas are still, to one degree or another, relevant and a part of my soul’s DNA.

Last year the theme was Advance! You can read more about that here.  And let me just say, advance I did! On three fronts in particular, 2015 represented major moves forward, mostly in areas of ministry and career development.

One really good thing that arose out of that has been the establishment of LifeVesting International – a mission organization designed to mobilize the church to multiply the Church. We are launching our first series of trips this year to Thailand, and I am thrilled to see where that is going.

May I just say, however, that by the end of the year, I was about advanced out. Frankly, I started the year not nearly as enthusiastic about the One Word idea as I had in previous years. And in terms of what the One Word would actually be, there was nothing really compelling or inspiring.

I thought about the word “READ” because every year at this time I get inspired to read more.

That deafening sound you hear of silence… or crickets… yeah, that’s about how much enthusiasm and passion that idea generated.

But to this point – a few days into January – there was nothing compelling.

And that may actually be the point. [click to continue…]

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Air India Memorial Ireland

Okay, confession time. I have to admit I let something escape my notice.

And I wasn’t supposed to.

In fact the Bible says, Don’t let this fact escape your notice.

I let that escape my notice, too.

I’m starting to see a pattern here… my notice has holes in it.

Anyway, it’s on my radar now, and I’m noticing like crazy.

Here’s what I’m talking about…

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day (2 Peter 3:8).

Oh, that.

We all know what that means, right? [click to continue…]

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Elephant Foot

When everything’s urgent and demands attention now…

And everywhere you turn invites stress at best, frustration at worst…

It’s hard to think, much less act, positively.

So remember again how you eat that elephant… [click to continue…]

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Sorrow

Rejection is one of the most brutal experiences you and I can face.  To say it hurts like hell may not be far from the literal truth.

Psychologists have learned some things about rejection…

Research tells us that rejection travels the same neural pathways in the brain that physical pain does.  In other words, otherwise-unexplained physical pain may have been triggered by the experience or memory of rejection.

Rejection isolates us from people who didn’t reject us, unless we take steps to reconnect.

Rejection causes surges of anger and aggression (gangs, anyone?).

Finally, rejection makes us temporarily stupid.  It literally lowers your IQ and makes you unresponsive to reason for a time. (Translation:  Don’t make vows or major decisions – especially with the word “never” in it – after being rejected.)

In the biblical story of Joseph, you can find the roots of rejection, as I explored in the previous post.   Joseph lived a very uncertain childhood, marked by the death of his mother and the preferential doting of his dad.  He was a dreamer and, to his brothers, something of a goody-two-shoes. All of this set him up to be the objected of their jealousy and hatred.

What no one knew at the time, however, was that rejection can serve as a trap door, straight into the arms (and plans) of God.  And that’s where Joseph learned the truth about rejection. [click to continue…]

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Above the Fog

There’s a productivity that gets things done.

There’s another productivity that makes things one… that nourishes the soul and flourishes into gratitude…

Expectancy…

Joy.

This is Productivity of the Soul.

Both are important.  [click to continue…]

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IMG_6724

When was the last time you literally felt the tension or stress melt off of you?

How long has it been since you were so relaxed, breathing felt optional?

Where do you go to remember who you are, or reconnect – not just spiritually, but emotionally and physically also?

What would it look like for you if you suddenly found yourself surprised by peace?

All that and more has a single answer for me:  Friday.  That was the day we interrupted our regularly-schedule life and made the two-hour drive to the farm.  Know why?  Don’t laugh…

I wanted to see the flowers. [click to continue…]

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Camel 3

Know what day this is?

Isday.

Sorry if you’re stuck on Wasday, hollering “Mayday!” muttering about Humpday, or dreaming of Someday.

Today is Isday.

It may be a good idea to redirect your focus. [click to continue…]

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Your Purpose Green Road Sign

Welcome back to the tour.  Hope you enjoyed the break, and I hope you have a good, roughed up version of a personal mission statement.  We’re ready to move to the advanced part of the lab.  Before we go in, remember, this is MY lab and it’s still messy.  Also remember that this work was done because of a felt need for change.  If you are absolutely satisfied that your personal mission statement is something you can organize your work and life around, with conviction and passion, leave it alone.

Oh… and if you haven’t taken the time to do a little soul work and put your mission statement together, back up to the first part of the tour and get caught up.  Otherwise, we may hijack your tombstone and just say, “He (or she) was too busy to wonder why.”

Ready to go in?  Let’s to this. [click to continue…]

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Plasma Ball

Hello everybody and welcome to the laboratory.  I hope this is educational or helpful to you, and we’ll go inside in just a minute.  Just a couple of guidelines first, so you can benefit the most from the tour.

First, this is MY lab.  It’s up to you to set up YOUR laboratory however you think best.

Second, it’s a little raw and messy because I just finished a major project redesign.  At least I THINK it’s finished.

One other thing… as your tour guide, my job is to remind you, this is not a museum, but an active living and learning space.  So every once in a while I’ll ask you to stop and apply this to your own life and learning.  Deal?  Okay, let’s go… [click to continue…]

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Old compass on the beach with sand and sea

President Woodrow Wilson once said, “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forgot the errand.”

Have you forgotten the errand lately?  Maybe it’s time for a look under the hood.

At least it is for me.  And maybe for you, too.

I’m involved in some pretty big initiatives lately (you’ll be seeing more of that soon).  And those initiatives are added to an already-very-busy life. Never a day goes by when I don’t lay my head on the pillow with plenty more to do tomorrow that I left undone today.  Most days I’m fine with that.  But lately in the middle of all the time and resource challenges I’ve found myself frustrated, more tired than I should be, and actually feeling anxious about some things that should have me feeling excited and hopeful.  And in the middle it all is this nagging question:

Is this really what I’m about?

That brings me back to something I’ve been pretty passionate about for a long time – a clearly-defined sense of personal mission or purpose. [click to continue…]

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