September 2013

A Small Group of Committed Friends

. . . Are the Way to Change the World!

Jesus showed us the way when he spent MOST OF HIS TIME with 12 disciples. Jesus was starting a movement and a movement begins with a dedicated, devoted, committed, energized, passionate group of Deep Believers. After his death and through the power of Pentecost, that is exactly what they did.

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

A Look at Our Worldview


Since I was first introduced to the 'Waterline Model' several years ago I have been fascinated by many of the 'below the waterline' issues that have such a strong influence on our lives.  One of those, our worldview, has been a front burner issue for me as I come to grips with how my secular worldview has infected my spirituality.  The influence is often sneaky, subtle, and even insidious.  It usually invites me to glorify myself and forget about God.  My sin patterns are bolstered by these influences causing me to fall to temptations with alarming regularity.

The Loss of Language

Language is important. 
One of the constant comments I hear at the end of the spiritual formation seminars and retreats I do - is that people now have language to name what they have intuitively sensed, but didn't know how to express. With the language comes a concept . . . and with the concept is the possibility of living into and living out of that new way.

Pursuing God in the Company of Missional Friends

I've had one of those great weeks of being with a "company of missional friends." We have gathered together around some of the GREAT THEMES that matter most.

We have had passionate and disciplined conversations and explorations about those themes.

We have done all this to help us pursue JESUS and his MISSIONAL PURPOSES.

We have shared our stories, talked about our dreams, seen new possibilities . . .We have prayed, worshipped, played, broken bread, appreciated the beauty of the land, and enjoyed rich community. We have been blessed. 

Such is life when we pursue the beautiful God and His beautiful kingdom. 

It is such a privilege to be a part of Leadership ConneXtions and resourcing missional leaders. When we are in the center of God's loving will, it is a very good place to be.

Eleanor Roosevelt on Becoming

. . . One very smart lady, one very outstanding leader!

Eleanor Roosevelt was married to President Franklin Roosevelt, but she was an outstanding leader in her own right. I am a big fan of reading the genre of books that I call Leadership Biographies. These are not full biographies, but are books that teach core lessons of leadership and illustrate them through the biographical details of a person's life. That is the category of the book: Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way: Strategies From the First Lady of Courage.

Abraham Lincoln on Mercy and Friendship

. . . Mercy Trumps Strict Justice
. . . Mercy Turns Friends Into Enemies

I've read about half a dozen books on Lincoln this year. And I wish I had time to read more about him.

Of the presidential leaders of our country, the top three whom I deeply admire and respect are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

I have read the most about Roosevelt, Lincoln is next and Washington will get my attention next year.

Here are two quotes from Lincoln. 

The Three Things Followers Need

Warren Bennis has been around for some time now. He is one of the early leadership authors who had an enormous influence on just about EVERYONE ELSE. If you want to see the incredible number of books he has written, you can see them here.  I still remember how powerful his book - On Becoming a Leader - was for me. He was clear, direct and compelling. So here is a brief list from this outstanding leadership scholar.

Bennis says followers need three things from their leaders. If leaders do not provide these things, the followers will not be effective, fruitful, successful, devoted followers. they will be confused and frustrated . . . and their ability to commit to the organization is weaker. Here they are, with my own explanation:

The Narcissism Epidemic

. . . Living in the Age of Entitlement

Over the years I have read various good books on the theme of the narcissistic leader. I've read them because from time to time, I find myself working as a mentor for such a leader. I've also read them, because, from time to time - I too suffer from thinking too highly, too often, too uncritically about my self.

A New Way to Think

. . . is needed for a New Way of Being!

We want to become New People. How does that happen? How do you change? How do you grow? How do you develop? How do you overcome bad habits that hold you down? Let's be very honest . . . Change, Growth, Development, Transformation - these are hard things indeed. And the way to real and lasting change will involve a great deal of work.

Tozer on the Will of God

A. W. Tozer and Ignatius of Loyola are on the same page.

It is the page of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane: Let this cup pass from me, yet, not my will be done but THY WILL BE DONE (Luke 22:42).

It is the page of Jesus Christ, what he taught in the Lord's Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, holy be your name, thy kingdom come, THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven (Mathew 6:910).

It is the page of Jesus when he said: My food is to do the will of him who sent me and finish his work (John 4:34).

Benedictine Spirituality for Evangelicals

I read widely in the history of Christian spirituality. I seek to integrate the best practices from my reading and reflection. As many of you know, I am especially indebted to the wisdom of Ignatius and the Jesuits. That way of spiritual formation (as well as education, leadership and organizational management) is profoundly impactful on the DNA of Leadership ConneXtions International.

There are other people who have shaped me a great deal, and one of them who has a place of real significance is St. Benedict and the Benedictine Order. You can get a very inexpensive copy of the Rule of St. Benedict. I recommend the translation by Anthony Meisel, although any translation will be satisfactory. The Rule itself is short and you could read it at one sitting.

Worker Satisfaction - It is Pretty Bad Out There

Here are a few stats that were in a recent article in Fast Company.

A 2103 Gallup Poll on the State of the American Workplace found some pretty striking (staggering) statistics.

70% of workers are either NOT ENGAGED or are ACTIVELY DISENGAGED. While I can't tell you exactly what those states mean, let's just go with face value for meaning.


Wisdom from an Air Force Pilot (part 1)


Part of my past includes serving as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.  There were so many things I learned in my training as a pilot, things that apply in many othe disciplines of life.  These sayings are simple, relevant and often profound.  I will be sharing some of these in the blog over time. 

The Emerging Church


For the past 6-7 years I have been listening to the weekly podcast of interviewer Krista Tippet called "On Being".  It was previously known as "Speaking of Faith" and is broadcast weekly on National Public Radio (NPR).  Krista is brilliant in the way that she researches and selects guests who come from a very eclectic background.  If you prefer to have your spirituality and theology in a nice, neat black and white package then I would discourage you from listening.  There is so much that I am exploring including different pathways that can be found in Christianity and this program helps me with that exploration.

Journaling As a Prayer


Journaling has been something I have done most of my life.  I found one of my old journals from 30 years ago and unfortunately it was more of a chronological arrangement of my day and not a reflection upon my soul.  If that would have been my style then it would have been very interesting to see if there has been much change in my soul in those 30 years but there is not much to gather from that old tattered book. The concept of reflecting on what God has done dates back to Moses where God commanded him to write out the journeys in Numbers 33:2.  They build altars to remember what God had done for them, a physical reminder of the blessings of God.