(Or whatever has us in a panic today)

The headlines are curious today, after weeks of holding us hostage over a disease that Americans steadfastly wish to remain somebody else’s problem.  “COMPASSION URGED IN DALLAS AS EBOLA MONITORING ENDS” says the USA Today headline.

Who is this compassion aimed for?

People who don’t have the disease.

So why do they need compassion?

Because at one time we were afraid they may have it.

But after 21 days of having their lives quarantined while the politicians, media, talk radio and social media had everybody in a frenzy, now the science says, they don’t have it.  Meanwhile, two nurses who were doing their jobs caring for the one person who has died from the disease in the U.S. now are fighting the virus, and we pray for their healing and recovery.

In the meantime, Dallas, please be kind to people you may otherwise want to avoid like the you-know-what.  It’s the American thing to do. [click to continue…]

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Compassionate Leader

After surveying more than 10,000 people, the Gallup organization learned that people want four things from their leaders: trust, compassion, stability, and hope.  Whether you consider yourself as the “touchy-feely type” or not, you can greatly influence others by showing you care and are willing to take action on the concerns and joys of somebody else.  In short, regardless of your position, your influence rises and falls with the level of your compassion.

So how’s your level of compassion?  Here are eleven questions to help you explore that: [click to continue…]


Tucked inside a rapid-fire to-do list in the Bible is a simply-carved roadmap into the hearts of other people.  After Paul suggests how believers can get along with their persecutors, and before he suggests how we can get along with other believers (that’s a much longer suggestion), he gives this encouragement:

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”(Romans 12:15).

A simple phrase.  But a world of meaning packed in these simple instructions. [click to continue…]


When it comes to relationships, are you a builder or a buster?  I’ve known both, and I’m sure you have, too.

Relationship builders are liked.  Respected.  Trusted.  They believe in the deep, abiding value of relationships with others, and invest their lives in nurturing them.  But they also seem to go about relationship building in an almost-effortless way.

Relationship busters are different.  They may get along with anybody for a season, but sooner or later their relationships tend to blow up or fall apart.  Or they live in constant relationship drama.

One of the things I have learned about relationships is that a large part of them are an inside job.  That is, there is a difference between the way builders and busters think.  And whatever controls your thinking right now establishes the course of your relationships for a long time.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul writes from a Roman prison and encourages them to engage in linking thinking: [click to continue…]

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A few years ago, my friend Rick was on a plane loaded to the wing flaps with hazardous cargo.

It was hauling a bunch of preachers to a convention.

Rick was in his best never-met-a-stranger form, and he was trolling up and down the aisle introducing himself.

“Are you a pastor?”

“Where are you from?”

He’d chat for a while and move on.  And the more he moved, the more the passengers paid attention.

Finally he reached one row and asked a well-dressed man, “You look like a pastor.  Where are you from?”

“I’m not,” the man replied in a louder-than-usual voice.  “I’ve just been sick for a few days.”

The whole plane erupted with laughter. [click to continue…]


“There is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels for someone, pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”(Milan Kundera) 


Ever read about the double-pump miracle Jesus performed?  Fascinating story, about a blind man in Bethsaida.  Jesus led him outside the village and spit on his eyes.

“Do you see anything”? He asked.

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

So Jesus double-clutched.  Once more, he put his hands on the man’s eyes. This time he saw everything clearly.

It doesn’t bother me that it took two rounds with the Son of God for a blind man to see clearly again.  It does bother me that many believers, myself included, have gone many rounds with Jesus, and we still don’t see clearly at times.

He saw people that looked like trees.  We see people that look like other things – jobs, economic status, social labels, racial stereotypes, gender.  Jesus saw something else entirely.  You can too, but it doesn’t come naturally. 

“I see people; they look like trees.” 

What do you see?  Butcher, baker, candlestick maker?  Hot babe, geek, hero, freak? 

They may as well be Klingons, unless we learn to see from Jesus’ perspective.  We talk a lot about pursuing our own passions, but you can never fulfill your deepest passion unless you first embrace his.  Take a look: [click to continue…]


called-to-loveApril 1 is coming, and with it is the release of Kaye Miller’s new book, Called to Love – Stories of Compassion, Faith, and God’s Amazing Grace. I was privileged to work with Kaye on it, and can tell you, it’s a must-have book.  Kaye masterfully gives love a face, a Name, and a set of instruments with which to express it.  You can pre-order called to love at Amazon here, or at Barnes & Noble Online here.

The following is a composite description of one of the most profound love-related experiences Kaye walked through.  On some level, I think you’ll be able to relate.  Enjoy!  And order the book!

Most of us will not be required to love to the extent that it costs our physical lives.  But we will have to love enough to be willing to give up our own desires, our time, our preferences, our schedules and much more.  But that is a small price, knowing that we were loved by someone named Jesus Christ, who thought we were worth dying for.

This came home to me in a particularly poignant way in my responsibilities as an intensive care nurse.  I heard God’s call loud and clear as He called me to work with the leprosy of our day.  I will never forget the first time I cared for a patient with AIDS.  I thought, “God, I can’t so this!  I have a family – small children who need me.  Please don’t ask me to do this!”  I stood outside the door to the room of my first AIDS patient for what seemed like an eternity, just praying:  “Lord what do I do?”  Then I remembered what Jesus did, and what my father did.  They willingly, lovingly, touched the lepers of their day.  I could do no less.

I took a deep breath and opened the door – [click to continue…]


Seven Ways to Tell Who the Leader Is

by Andy Wood on August 15, 2008

in Leadership, Life Currency

“Who is the leader?” Dad wanted to know.  His son was watching cartoons, and Erwin McManus was asking him to explain the characters and tell him what was going on.

The boy, with great delight, began to tell all about his cartoon heroes.

Erwin thought he’d ask him a simple question about who the leader was, and his son gave him an astonishing explanation.  Pointing to one of the characters, he said, “Well, that’s the leader.”

“How do you know?”

He said, “The leader always stays in the back and only gets involved when everyone else is about to die.”

There you have it:  what McManus describes as the Marvel Comics Theory of Leadership (more here).

True, leaders are often perceived that way.  But that’s not how leaders emerge, or how they last in the world where characters actually breathe.  If you’re looking to:

  • Hire/elect/promote a person to a place of leadership,
  • Strengthen your own leadership abilities,
  • Identify the extent to which you or someone else are actually leading people, or
  • “Find the parade and get in front of it,”

then consider leadership from the front.  Here, from followers’ perspectives, are seven ways to tell who the leader is.

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