Vacation means….

Vacation means having no agenda or script. It is an essential break from the routine traffic patterns of our lives. It gives us a chance to see things from new perspectives, to discover new aspects of our relationships with family and friends.

As children, my siblings and I spent hours upon hours in the back seat of our Volvo station wagon, driving back and forth across the country (New York to California and back). We entertained ourselves, bickered, tickled each other, and negotiated the allocation of space repeatedly (driving our parents mad at times!). Wonderful memories!.

Here’s to summer and making space on the calendar for those unscripted, no-agenda times!!

unscripted 3

A Guest House

My relationships with my uncles have become sweeter since my father passed away. My father loved and wrote poetry. I have learned that my uncle Dale also loves poetry. He gave me this Rumi poem a few years ago, and I have it on my wall at work.

“Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably.” – Rumi

My Best Reads of 2015

These are the books I liked most from 2015 (in no particular order):

  • Transfer of Learning: Cognition, Instruction, and Reasoning (2000) by Robert E. Haskell – This book is about deep learning and application of that learning.
  • Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity (2002) by David Whyte
  • Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling (2013) by Edgar H. Schein – This is a book about conversational humility and learning from others. Really loved this book.
  • The Complete Guide to Living with Men (2004) by E. James Wilder – The author is one of the writers of The Life Model: Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You. The book has broad applicability for men and women and explores mental, physical, and emotional patterns.
  • Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy (2015) by Donald Miller – This is a really lovely narrative of Donald Miller’s personal journey to the altar.
  • Rejection Exposed: Understanding the Root and Fruit of Rejection (2012) by Anthony Hulsebus – The premise of the book is that Satan’s fall and expulsion from God’s presence means that his aim is to cause us to feel rejected by God.
  • A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do (2008) by Thomas Moore
  • Hearing Beyond the Words: How to Become a Listening Pastor (2006) by Emma J. Justes

The ideas in these books often find their way into my conversations, and I know they have found a sort of permanence in my mental framework. I also tend to think I will read these books again on down the line!

p.s. the Grace Outpouring (pictured) is another favorite from another year!

Whenever I Feel Afraid…

It’s not as if we consciously choose to be stuck in life’s ruts. But, we can choose to remain fearful — fearful of change, risk, depth, transparency, etcetera etcetera etcetera (to quote the King in “The King and I”).

Anna in “The King and I” faces all kinds of challenging circumstances and she chooses to not be afraid. She even has a song: “whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect and whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect I’m afraid.”

We are not to slip and slide back into fear.  It is a slippery slope. When we allow fear to define us and frame our circumstances, we deny our direct access to God the Father who has adopted us into his family as his very own children. How offensive when we fail to rely on his household covering and offer of intimate connection and instead isolate ourselves in fear’s lies!

Are we fearful? Let’s figure out where have we settled for the enemy’s definitions of circumstances. Let’s kick him and his definitions out and open our minds and hearts to the transforming life-forces of God’s love and truth. Abba, Father! Come!

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…”  (Romans 8:15-16)