• Engage

    Embracing Your Limits – Part 2

    Two years ago, I wrote about an abrupt encounter I had with my own limits and the recognition that, much as I try, I’m simply not cut out for certain things. (For a good laugh, check out the story here.) I hope the lessons learned from how Jesus lived with limits (excerpted below) serve as a timely reminder during this global pandemic to give yourself and others grace as you navigate the various demands on your time, emotions, and resources. (See here and here for other thoughts on COVID-19.) In a do-it-all, be-it-all, have-it-all society, embracing one’s limits is a difficult task. Christian leaders in particular can have trouble remembering…

  • Engage

    Embracing Your Limits

    Sometimes life reminds us of our limits.  I had a humorous encounter with my limits years ago when a dear friend/mentor asked me for a favor. This woman had invested in my life in such meaningful ways I’d run through a wall for her if I could, so I eagerly jumped at the opportunity. My assignment was simple: drive her to the hospital for a minor surgery, listen to post-op care instructions from the nurse, and drive her back home. And here’s how things went south: 7:30am: Surgery begins. I take a few sips of horrific waiting room coffee, read the newspaper, and watch the Today Show. 8:15am: Surgery successful! …

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    Is Working Less the Right Christian Response to Society’s Over-Work?

    “I really try to put away my work phone on the weekends.” “I really want to be fully present with my family this weekend and not focused on work.” Twice in the past week, I’ve heard these phrases from well-meaning Christians. I’ve also said similar things myself lately. Yet the more I think about our approach to work, the more I realize that our thinking might be flawed.   As American believers surrounded by a society focused on over-work, we want to stand out. We don’t want to be slaves to our jobs and servants to our paychecks. We want our faith to be central, reflected in all we do.…

  • Heartprints

    Teaching Children Safety in Relationships.

    A child doesn’t have to be burned to learn that fire is dangerous. It’s not necessary to be hit by a car to learn that a street is not a safe place to play. Children need consistent reinforcement of truth to learn it. For most children, this will be enough to shape their thinking and influence their actions.   While they are very young we take them by the hand moving them out of danger while reinforcing with our words, “It’s hot, don’t touch it or it will burn you. It is dangerous to go into the street. That is a no! This is a yes.” Our actions and words influence…

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    Are you OK without your Facebook, twitterfeed, instagram…? A report from the front.

    True story. Last weekend a group of teens gathered in a nicer than average home in the American suburbs to celebrate the fifteenth birthday of a pretty, popular teenage girl. We’ll call her Miranda. Miranda, her mom and her grandma had knocked themselves out for days making tasty food, decorating the pool, deck and house, and devising a hilarious line-up of games and activities. They even had some movie choices to watch before they settled in for the sleepover. Confident she had everything to  keep the girls enjoying themselves for the duration, Miranda’s mom greeted each girl at the door with a promise of great fun and a gentle reminder…

  • Engage

    Your Board of Directors

    At a conference several years ago I was given a thought-provoking challenge, to identify the people on the board of directors of my life: whose voices do I listen to? Whose counsel do I follow? Whose values do I respond to? The speaker pointed out that some people ought to be kicked off our board—like parents, if their voices of shame and criticism still control and restrict us. So should voices of much of the media, especially TV.  And we can replace them with wiser, more godly voices who can offer us direction and perspective. There was a discussion of categories of potential board members. They don’t have to be…