Sunday, December 28, 2008

No More in 2009

1. No more irrational thoughts except that 2009 will be the Cubs year.
2. No more annoying habits except for biting my fingernails and blaming everyone else for my failures.
3. No more majoring in the minors except when it comes to the things I know a lot about.
4. No more highs and lows unless they're tied to my emotions.
5. No more pithy political comments unless Congress does something stupid.
6. No more making the Bible say what it doesn't mean unless I'm backed into a corner and need to 'proof-text' something to death.
7. No more satiric jabs at anything religious unless I just can't resist the opportunity.
8. No more cracks about the weather until at least January 2.
9. No more interactions with irrational people unless I'm conversing with myself.
10. No more making to-do lists I can never keep up with unless I need to do something really painful for Lent.

And on the serious side.

1. No more backing down from a needed confrontation.
2. No more putting up with religious bullies.
3. No more standing back and waiting.
4. No more wasting my gifts and talents.
5. No more putting up with gossip.
6. No more of keeping silent when my voice is needed.
7. No more tap-dancing around the truth.
8. No more settling for less than the best.
9. No more being busy for the sake of being busy.
10. No more of not being the leader God has called me to be.
11. No more being afraid to claim my 'future'.
12. No more waiting when I should be on the move.
13. No more being on the move when I should be waiting.
14. No more saying one thing and doing another.
15. No more knowing a lot about God at the expense of really knowing Him.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Writing checks

We wrote some checks this week. I'm not trying to draw attention to ourselves. Not at all. But I am trying to draw attention to the fact that a lot of non-profits need our help.

We wrote checks to fight AIDS and poverty, to help people experience some of our nation's history and journey towards justice, to align ourselves with our church, and to get on board helping the oppressed in our own region. We wrote checks because we have been blessed. It was the right thing to do.

Many of you have been blessed too. A friend gave us $2000 recently to help those who have been impacted by the economy. Nice. People cried when they heard some money was coming their way.

You can make a difference. Now. Maybe it's $10. Maybe it's $10,000. Maybe it's more. This economic crisis is real. For some, it's more real than you realize. People all around us are impacted. People all around the world are dying. You can make a difference.

Write a check. Write two. How about three? Maybe four?

See what God does with the seed you plant. You'll never regret it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shoveling in Chicago

Another snow. More snowblowing and shoveling.

In a funny way, I don't mind it. You see, when I shovel and then survey my work I get a sense of pleasure and accomplishment. It's one of the few things I do that acutally seems to get finished (at least until the next snow). I can see the result of my labor.

I live in a world where there's lots of unfinished projects. My to do list gets longer, never shorter. There's always something more to do.

-When someone comes in for pastoral counseing rarely do I have an A+B=C formula all ready for them. I can give some suggestions but they always leave knowing that they're going to have to work some things out ...that we'll need to touch base again. I offer no magic bullet or pill.

-When I'm challenged by or challenge a colleague on something things don't magically fall into place. If feelings get hurt time has to be spent to patch things up.

-A couple comes in for marriage help. What ails them is not easily fixed. Pushing snow around is a piece of cake. Putting a marriage back together is a lot tougher job.

And so, snow shoveling gives me instant gratification. I need that sometimes. So do you...even though we know, in our heart, that it's not done. Nothing ever is. The driveway I clean today might be snowfilled tomorrow. It's Chicago.

Instant gratification is nice. Rare, but nice. The truth is that I didn't sign up for instant gratification. I signed on to a journey.

I'm a Christian. It snows a fair amount on my faith journey. There's always some shoveling that needs to be done. Even though I'm on a narrow path ...there's snow. I either have to shovel it out, walk through it, or play amidst it. Each day is different. I love the play days.

Some people make the Christian journey pretty formulaic. Say ABC, do DEF, and voila's all good. Doesn't work like that.

Here's the truth. The joy of the Christian faith isn't in a formula. The joy is in the journey. And why shouldn't it be? I have good traveling partners. I've learned some kingdom perspectives. I cling to the hope and promise of all the Jesus stuff I really, really believe in. The people I encounter, the problems I deal with is the stuff of real life. The storms I encounter can dump some big snow. It's OK. Because the people and situations I'm involved with matter to God.So let it snow ...let it snow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Remember Hawkeye, the sarcastic, cynical doc in the TV show 'Mash'. He had an uncanny ability to look life straight in the eye and see both the truth and the absurdity in whatever situation he was in.

Because he could see the absurdity he could cope with what turned out to be some very disturbing truths. After all, he was stuck in a war zone, thousands of miles from home, fighting a war he really didn't believe in and surrounded by a few rather inept colleagues. If that's your truth you gotta be able to laugh because the truth will make you cry.

I wonder if we laugh enough. Good laughs. Not the kind that prey upon innocent victims, or cheap shots from the rear seats. But healthy giggles, knowing grins, deep belly laughs. We need it you know.

It's been said that some people don't laugh well. They can't see the absurd. It's hard for them to see the weird, the crazy, and the preposterous all around us. Why is that?

Well, some people are control freaks. Laughter sometimes gets a bit out of control. A sense of humor isn't easily corralled.

Some people spend a good deal of time pointing fingers. When you're busy pointing at someting or someone it's hard to keep eyes and ears open to the humorous.

Some people feel responsible for everything. The responsibility is so heavy, it's taken so seriously that laughter and fun can't find a place to rest and joy runs and hides.

Control, finger pointing, and heavy loads of unrealistic responsibility are the enemies of joy. It's hard to see the absurdity in certain situations and the fun of life when one is so preoccupied with protecting the order and welfare of the universe. How can you laugh at what's truly amusing if you can't laugh at yourself?

How can one live without laughter?

I don't think Jesus did. It's hard for me to believe that three years around campfires with his motley crew didn't produce a few laughs. Read Scripture sometimes looking for the humor. It's everywhere you look.

Laughter is good medicine. It's 'holy' stuff. 'The joy of the Lord is my strength.' Sure, some humor is crude and exacts a price. But there's more than enough good stuff all around us ...look for it'll smile. Your troubles will seem less heavy. You'll see the truth for what it is and isn't. You'll gain perspective. There's too many dour faced people these days. Laugh a little. You'll feel better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Been Done Wrong?

Ever been accused of something you've never done? Ever had someone misinterpret your motives? It's happened to us all. When it happens to me or someone I love my sense of 'justice' really kicks in. I want to explain, argue, and fight for the truth. The problem is that lots of people think the explanation, the argument, the fight is nothing more than a smokescreen. They're thinking ...'you're protesting too much. You must have done it. Your motivations were bad.'

There's a whole lot of people who aren't interested in having their opinions of you changed. They want to be right even if they're wrong.

Over the past couple of years I think some things I've done and said have been misinterpreted. I don't like it. But trying to change someone else's opinion of me or a particular situation is very, very difficult. Can I live with that? Do I have a choice?

We've all been wronged. No matter what we do or don't do we oftentimes can't get back into the good graces of someone else. So then what do we do?

I know some things not to do ...

Carry a grudge
Conduct a behind the back revenge attack
Get all red-faced and launch a counterattack

Too bad these are off limits, huh?

As I'm getting older I'm starting to recognize that when things hurt I need to start taking a look at what's really happening. Is it about truth or is something stirring inside me that's never been dealt with like some deeper wound, some misplaced priorities, some unnecessary need to save face, or the reemergence of a memory that I thought was successfully buried?

Maybe when I'm 'wronged' I'm being given the opportunity to respectfully confront, to heal a deep wound, to examine my priorities, and/or to carefully examine something I thought was dead that's come back to life. And maybe when I'm wronged or someone I love is wronged I need to go to war to set it straight ...but it's not over everything. You see, we really do have to pick our life battles wisely because if we don't we'll be battling all the time.

I learned awhile back that it's impossible to fix everything. All I can really do is walk with integrity even when life is throwing some tough things at me and take responsibility when I need to own something.

We all have a 'public' profile. Anytime you get involved, have an opinion, take a stand or grab some responsibility you're opening yourself up to criticism, ridicule, gossip, and misunderstanding. It goes with the territory. You gotta live with it. Sometimes you can effectively confront it and work it out. Most of the time you can't.

If I understand this Christian life the right way Jesus promises to be there during the good and the bad. He's always teaching,always alongside ...reaching out. So, when I've been done wrong ...Jesus needs to be there and is. If together we can't get it fixed maybe it isn't meant to be. In the midst of the discomfort of brokenness He's still there. Will I recognize His presence?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Interesting. We look for life anchors, hoping to find safe harbor and a sense of security. We put faith and trust in the government, in trusted instituions, in public figures, and even in sport franchises. Opening my e-mail over the past couple of days I've discovered that the Chicago Trib is being restructured, our Governor is in federal custody, and the economy is still 'iffy'. The Cubs might be making a trade for another starting pitcher 2009 will be the year, finally. Then again, it's the Cubs.


Maybe we're not supposed to be anchored. Maybe we're created to 'sail'. Our eyes might need to be on the horizon ...that which beckons us ...not gazing on the shore of yesterday or the institutions built by the 'people of the harbor'.

Oh, I love safe harbors. Maybe too much.
I love to anchor. Maybe too long.
I love shore leaves. Lasting into monotony.
I love institutional strength. And trust it too much.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Inside, I long for open waters. Not to escape. No, open waters that take me where the wind longs for me to go.

Our society is being restructured. What gave strength to so many for so long ...our business, our industry, our place in the world, our leaders ...well, much of that is failing. We look around and are discovering that what anchored us before is sinking us now.

So what's next?

Maybe we need to set sail. Build a good boat and 'go'.


To that dream God has planted in our hearts. To follow the chart leading to our 'divine adventure'. To a place where you can learn to trust once again ...anchoring yourself in the sweet breeze of Holy Spirit leadings.

There you will find life.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Predisposed towards sudden death ...

"This patient may be predisposed towards sudden death."

That's what my cardiologist wrote on a note that is going to persuade my insurance company to pay for some genetic testing. Why? There's a genetic flaw we've found in our family. It's called long qt syndrom. We think my sister may have died from it. My brother's heart stopped beating last summer. Now he has a machine in his chest that can jump start his heart if it happens again. The long and short of it we're trying to find out if I have this rogue gene and if I do then my kids need to be tested. Sobering, isn't it.

Even if I have it how will that impact the way I live my life?

Maybe it's not the worst thing to live knowing you could die at any instant. Keeps you on your toes I bet.

We cling to life. We fight for last breaths. Even those of us who believe in heavenly reward know that whether we want to or not we're going to take a plunge into something that's well ...unknown.

In June, when I was in an emergency room dealing with a heart attack I dealt with that...this death thing. There was a sense of peace amidst the anxiety and fear. When push comes to shove I trust Christ at His word. He has a place all prepared for me. Even knowing that, I'm not naive enough to say that I won't deal with it again. I will. We all will.

It got me thinking yesterday when I read that phrase 'predisposed towards sudden death'. I love my doc. He shoots straight. I just don't want that 'sudden death' thing to define me. What I really want is for people to write something like this. "Mike is predisposed towards sudden living. Watch out. Get around Mike and you'll want to really live."

My guess is sometimes people sense that. Not always. Those who know me well know how preoccupied I can get. I'm not very life-giving in those situations.

Big question. Do I give off the vibe of 'life'as often as I'd like? Another big question. Do you?

I'm around people all the time and they give off all kinds of vibes ...paranoia, irriation, apathy, meanness. You know them. You are them occassionally.

When you are predisposed to sudden life I think you give off the vibe of thoughtfulness, caring, love, joy, mercy, care compassion, fun, spontaneity. You know people like that. You are them occassionally.

So join my new club. It's called Sudden Life's for those of us who want to be known for breathing life back into a world that sometimes feels a bit suffocating.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Too Safe

There's an old Belgian proverb that reads something like this:

"If you're waiting for your ship to come in ...make sure you've sent one out."

It's a good word. We're in a 'play it safe' time in our history. The economic slide has people hunkering down and battening down the hatches. People are sitting on whatever money they have. They're staying close to home. They're staying with the tried and true. And they just might be missing the ship that needs to go out. Because if It doesn't go out there's no chance it will ever come back in.

I have a hunch that the real winners in today's economic climate are going to be the 'risk takers'. There's still money to be made. It's going to take some vision and gumption to make it happen.

Now, making more money isn't what rings my bell. But I am asking myself some questions about my 'vision and gumption'. Do I have what it takes to make a difference in today's economic, political and overall cultural climate? I think so. I want to.

Do you have what it takes? Are you playing it real safe these days? Hearing any God whispers in your ear? Is there a boat you need to send out in the hopes it's going to come back in? Have you had a vision check lately? How's the 'ol intestinal fortitude these days?

As a Jesus follower I know that God isn't done with me yet. As far as I can tell Jesus hasn't returned? There's still some work that needs to be done. So, what do I do in these interesting times? How safe do I want to play it? Is there an opportunity out there for me ...and for you?

I think now's the time to blow the whistle on playing it 'too safe'. Maybe we ought to be asking each other some interesting questions about listening to God, his call on our life, the possibilities for some risky ministry and some journeys to the edge of adventure.

Lots of folks are hoping and wishing that these crisis times will pass quickly. What if they're meant to be? Maybe it's a wake up call. A chance to seize the day. To dream again. To take a chance. To trust God and see what he can do with some stuff buried deep in our heart. This is the time ...don't play it too safe.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I'm helping out at our church's Thanksgiving service. I am praying a prayer of thanks. Here it is. Lots to be thankful about.

"Almighty God, Many of us here have had interesting years. We’ve battled with health, with relationships, and now we’re at war with the economy. And yet, we are here … blessed people …with thanksgiving hearts …We are so thankful.

We live in freedom.
We have opportunity.
We have access to health care.
We can dream dreams.
We can walk safely in our neighborhoods.
We are able to speak our mind.
We have choices aplenty.
We can open a book.
Good music is in abundance.
We are able to apologize.
We can forgive
We can gather here without fear.
We can argue for what is just and not be afraid of being thrown into a jail.
We have food on our tables.
We drink clean water.
Our supermarkets are the envy of the world.
We have the opportunity to participate in the work of the Kingdom.
Our elections are open.
In emergencies help comes quickly.
We are blessed and o so thankful.
And Lord, we are especially thankful that
Through Christ we have been set free.
We have the hope and promise of eternity with you.

And we know, that no matter how low we might get …or how high our emotions might rise …that you will comfort us when we are at our lowest and you will rejoice with us when there is a time for rejoicing.

We are blessed because we can never flee from your presence.

You are our God …and we are thankful you called us to be your people.

Remind on this day and the holiday season ahead to keep our eyes on you …not our circumstance, not on the headlines …but on you …the author and perfector of our faith …the source of our thanksgiving."

As I read this prayer over I know it will hit the sweet spot for those attending our Thanksgiving service. At least I hope it does. The problem is that it's not a prayer I could pray in every church. For many people I know they're thankfulness is pulled from a different kind of well, in some respects a much deeper well.

Maybe it's smart for those of us who have much to put our thanksgiving into perspective.

I know people who have little as compared to my 'much'.

My streets are safe. Their streets aren't.

Justice isn't quite as accessible for them as it is for me.

Emergency vehicles don't zoom down their streets as quickly as they zoom down mine.

My street lights get fixed. The stay in the dark longer.

I can go into a supermarket and buy what I need. I have something called money. Many don't. Their world is different.

But God loves them. My friends know that. They love God. Because of that love and affection ...thanks wells up. There's 'thankfulness'for things rich suburban folks don't know much about.

I need to learn more about that. We all do.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Zig-Zag Memory

The other day I was spending time 'remembering'. I was remembering nothing in particular just kind of zig zagging through my life. It was all going well until I remembered California. Now, there is nothing wrong with California, nothing at all. In fact, I love the state. I just don't like remembering everything that happened there. I hurt someone.

I was working for a church. I was a youth minister ...young, full of myself, knowing everything. One of the pastors wanted to be my mentor. I loved the idea until his mentoring started to feel like meddling. And so I shut him out.

Looking back his meddling was in fact mentoring. I couldn't get beyond myself to see that. The killer is that I had made a pact with this guy. I had told him that if we ever hit a rough spot that I'd tell him about it and we'd go out for coffee to talk it over. Well, we hit the rough spot. I never made the call. I decided to run away from the problem. I lost a friend and a mentor.

You might be thinking ...big deal. Stuff happens. Get over it. It's not that easy.
You see, there's a reason God put this memory in my head. God does that you know. He's always in teaching mode.

I'm going to try to find him. Tell him that I was immature. That I blew it. Apologize. Ask for forgiveness. Maybe God will do something amazing as a result.

Every have a memory you can't get out of your head? Maybe it's something good. Do you ever wonder why that memory shows up periodically? Maybe, just maybe, there is someone you need to thank, a relationship to renew. There's someone just needing that pat on the back. God's trying to tell you to give someone the 'high five' they need badly. And maybe, just maybe, there's a memory that haunts you. You did someone wrong. Maybe God is trying to tell you that that memory is haunting someone else too. And maybe, just maybe, God is trying to tell you that it's not too late to make things right.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Even More

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. 1 Thess.4:1

Read that last sentence. I mean really look at it. "You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more." It's a pat on the back followed by a kick in the pants. Paul is telling folks that they're living good, they're living right but hey, maybe you can do this living right thing even more. Don't rest on your laurels. Don't settle for good at the expense of best.

What's this all about? I know what some of you are thinking ...this smells of 'works' salvation. Not at all. Paul is always pretty clear about grace. No, this is about not living in a rut. It's a reminder that settling leads to stagnation.

Ever have someone say 'good enough is good enough'? I have. It's a good word especially towards those who tend towards perfectionism. Most of us don't have that problem, right?

Sometimes we can use 'good enough is good enough' to claim victory in that widely popular comparison game. Truth is that I can always find someone I'm beating in the 'good enough' department.

Paul reminds us that 'even more' has the potential to get our eyes off each other and our tendency to compare and back onto the real game we're playing. That game is called 'following Jesus'.

I know, without looking too deeply, that I could love better, be more generous, care more passionately, reflect more earnestly, and use my time more wisely. So could you.

Without beating ourselves up (not easy to do for many of us) maybe we ought to spend some time asking ourselves what 'even more' might mean for our life. We do trick ourselves, you know. We fall into cultural and religious traps. And we do settle for being OK when God beckons us to more.

I don't want to be just OK. I want more. Don't want to be legalistic about it. Don't want to be depressed about my 'even more' progress. But I do know that there's a deeper 'more' that is rooted deep in my heart. I betcha it's in your heart too. We will never feel quite right until we allow that 'even more' to become what God intends it to be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The late Cardinal Joseph Bernadin was fond of saying that when we talk about 'life issues' that we need to be wearing a seamless garment. My understanding is that our 'ethic of life' had to be consistent whether we were talking about the unborn, the marinalized, the disabled, or the elderly. Do we you have an ethic of life that weaves itself through your thinking and influences how you act, what you argue for, how you vote, and where you give your money?

Be careful. This isn't a quick answer. This is not 'proof texting' time for those inclined to whip out the Bible. This is real stuff.

Here's some questions.

Is what you believe consistent? If I watched you in action, examined your bank account would there be evidence that you value life? Do you battle for the unborn but don't care about the quality of the life of poor children? Do you care about children but try to pawn off aging parents on a more caring sibling? If you care about the marginalized how does that care and concern carry consistently through your 'theology of life'?

Do you value all people or only those you agree with? If you're Baptist do you dislike Catholics? If you're a Democrat do you dismiss Republicans? What about capital punishment? Do convicts deserve to be treated with dignity? Would you live next to a 'mosque'?

If pressed would you explain what makes your argument about life 'seamless'.

Here's my take. Most of us 'take a little of this and a little of that'. We listen to this talk show and read that magazine and read a little Scripture, watch some Oprah ...and when push comes to shove we really don't understand nor are able to articulate what we believe and why. And for those of us who are Christians, who need to put a biblical understanding on such things ...well, too many of us, if we're honest, don't have a scriptual framework for talking about it all. Don't believe me? Stand outside your church next Sunday and ask people the questions I'm posing to you. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of people wouldn't be able to lay down a consistent ethic and theology about life issues.

If you haven't noticed our world is getting increasingly complex. Hunkering down in our little 'ghettoes' isn't going to cut it. How do we engage this complex world if we don't know what our consistent belief needs to be? And even then, how does a consistent belief and ethic of life manifest itself when we have discussions with those who see things in a polar opposite way?

Let's start thinking so that we can respond intelligently. vibrantly and compassionately as the great issues of our day keep hitting center stage. What do you really believe? How seamless is your garment?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Life in Motion

About three weeks ago my left eye-lid closed and didn't want to open up. The doc started treating an infection. He also suspected a possible aneurism and/or blood clot.

There have been some interpersonal disuputes that have created relational tensions in my world. Hard stuff. Blood pressure raising. No easy solutions.

We've all had the experience of receiving our quarterly 401k reports. Tough stuff.

Money issues, health anxieties, relational squabbles. How do we handle them?

The truth is that in order to deal with our health, our money issues, relationship fractures, ethical lapses, and most other important things ...the only way way to really deal with these things is to walk towards them, to embrace them, to be humbled by them, to go to school on them.

Some people want to run and hide. Others want to scream. Finger pointing has some brief delicious moments but it's childish.

Nope, walking towards and through our issues is what works. Someone told me once that it's 'easier to tame a fanatic than it is to breathe life into a corpse'. There's something about a life in motion that God can use to bring healing, understanding, and wisdom.

The most unhappy people I know are those hiding, the continually angry, and the finger-pointers. They don't know it ...but they are dead. They're using their anger, their fear, and their avoidance as burial cloths. You can almost smell the scent of 'something going bad' in them.

When I found out about my eye I was discouraged. When I was stuck in the midst of interpersonal strife I felt overwhelmed. When I opened my 401k a little fear hit me. I just wanted to go in a corner and hide away. Want to know something? That's what I did. I took probably an inappropriate amount of time to lick my wounds, to feel sorry for myself, to check my internal GPS. And then reason and grace finally kicked in. I put my life into motion ...walking towards the pain and the discomfort.

I'd like to say it's easy. It's not. I'd like to say everything all works out hunky-dory. It doesn't. Sometimes it get worse. But instead of having life happen to me, I'm discovering it's better to embrace the life I've been given.

In the midst of embracing the problem with my eye my doc was putting his life in motion to help fix it.

In the midst of embracing and moving toward the relationship issues I discovered others involved were doing the same thing.

In the midst of embracing my dwindling retirement I found no one moving toward me. That's why we're calling it an economic crisis I bet.

So two out of three isn't bad.

The truth is thatGod honors a life in motion, someone embracing life, moving towards others, edging towards solutions, accepting the fact that sin has polluted our world and bad stuff happens. But when we start 'moving' God can use us in ways that we can be an ambassador of His healing towards others and he can use others to help heal us.

And what about my eye? It's getting better. Looks healed to me.

The relational issues feel fixable because good people with good hearts are seeking God's best.

My dwindling retirement is still dwindling but I'm realizing my faith has to be in the Lord, not the stock market.

Not bad.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Risk + God = Adventure

At our Higher Ground meeting on Monday we talked about ‘Taking Risks’. I said that ‘risk’ is necessary for a living faith. You can’t live faithfully without venturing out into the unknown.

I like my comfort zone. Don’t you? I like to know what I know. I like to sit around with comfortable people doing comfortable things in comfortable settings. I like to do what I like. It’s human nature.

I prefer safety to risk. And if I have to take a risk I want it measured, controllable. The more I get comfortable the more it becomes all about me.

I heard storyteller Stephen James recently. He said something like this …”Most people work in jobs they don’t like, for a boss they don’t respect, with people they can barely endure to make enough money to buy a whole lot of things they really don’t need. Do it long enough and people look at you and say “Wow, he/she has really achieved success.”

So, is that really living? I’ve been there. Done that. It’s boring really.

This life of faith, I think, is lived out by many people in such a way that it looks like it’s as interesting as root canal. It’s predictable, heavy on rules, and much about score keeping. Welcome to the abundant life.

I’ve experienced faith though that’s different. It looks like this: Risk+God=Adventure. When I risk, trusting God for more, not less I really do feel like I’m on the edge of adventure.

It’s a little scary. Let me take that back. It’s a lot scary. That’s because I don’t live out there on the ‘edge’ enough. I get out of practice. Have I already told you I prefer safety to risk?

So, what does this all mean? Maybe it’s time for an adventure. There’s enough in Scripture that reminds me to invest my life. Is there a dream I need to deal with? Can my dream intersect with someone else’s to take me somewhere that's greater than my own personal vision? Is there something bold being asked of me?

Stay tuned. By the way, if you know me …and God impresses you with something I should know about my next ‘adventure’ …let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's Over

It's over. This long election season is history. America did itself proud. Huge turnout. Few problems.

Some random observations.

This past summer I went on the Justice Journey. The Journey was a bus trip to the major civil rights sites in the south. Half our crew was white. The other half was African-American. Several times we heard what the Obama candidacy meant to our African-American brothers and sisters. The candidacy was a partical fulfilment of the dream, the mountain top that MLK spoke about. When Inauguration day comes it will touch them in very profound mountain top ways. We need to understand that perspective.

I cried last night while watching Obama's speech. The words were well spoken. The visual images were stunning. The meaning for a world that is predominantly non-white was staggering. I thought of my fellow Justice Journey mates. I was moved deeply.

I found myself praying this morning for President Bush and President-elect Barak Obama. I prayed that Bush might finish well. For Obama, I prayed for safety, for wisdom. I prayed that he might draw even closer to Jesus.

I was proud of John McCain. His speech was gracious, unifying, statesmanlike. I have a hunch that he will continue to play a key role in what I hope is a much more bi-partisan approach to governing our nation.

Now we must face our future. Now we all need to ask ourselves what 'we' will do. An election is an election is an election. Life beckons everyday. How then shall we live? The issues we face are staggering on a macro level. That's why our elected officials need our prayer and our input. But everyday we get to make micro decisions about how we use our time, how we will spend our money, how we will love our brothers and sisters and how we will use our gifts and talents for true 'kingdom' purposes. Those decisions are the choices that can start a 'ripple of concern' around the globe. You see, no matter who lives in the White House there is only so much he can do. We have the power to make our part of the world a better place. When we do that out.

Monday, November 03, 2008

When the election is over?

History shows us that our electoral process is remarkably civil. For instance, when the chads were found hanging we managed to deal with that in a fairly grace filled manner.

But in less than 48 hours. we’ll have a new President. Some are predicting wide-spread ‘negativity’ no matter who wins. We know the possibility exists because there is something different about this world this time around. It feels like people are spoiling for a fight. The negative e-mails I get and the letters I see published make me cringe with embarrassment and fear at times.

The truth is that in the aftermath of this election there is some real possibility for ugliness. Add liberal vs. conservative, race, a horrid war, and a messy economic crisis to the electoral cauldron, have it get stirred by a handful of idiots and voila …we got problems. There’s lot riding on this election. Lots of hopes and dreams.

What’s our role?

We need to be reconcilers, bridge builders. We can’t buy into any ugliness. Here’s how I see it. If my candidate doesn’t get elected the world won’t end. God will still be in the heavens. We will still have a democratic process in place. We will still be free. We will still have the ability to work for a better world.

No matter what happens we should give the benefit of the doubt to whichever candidate is elected, praying that God will work in his life and the life of our nation in very significant ways. Whether it’s President McCain or President Obama …they’re inheriting a boatload of troubles. They’re going to need an active, involved citizenry. Heckling from the back row isn’t going to help.

Wednesday morning the ‘talk-shows’ will stink up the airwaves with all kind of finger-pointing and posturing. People are going to be angry, frustrated. Maybe even some of us. Some might decide that a war of words isn't going to be enough. We all worry about those who believe physical violence proves a point. Scary stuff.

But God calls us to a ‘higher road’. We don’t have to join in with the junk. We can be agents of positive response, patrons of thoughtful analysis, conveyers of hope. We can be ‘difference makers’. We have to be. Because if we don't who will?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tug of War

I was reading something today. A woman I really respect said this about her political views... Morally conservative, socially progressive, thus a conflicted voter.

That's a mouthful. When I read it I said ...'yes'. I know lots of people like this.

Moral conservatives do worry about what's happening in today's culture. There's something deep inside a moral conservatives heart that cries out for righteousness. Moral conservatives know that there are some God-given guidelines on more than a few things that really matter. It's not enough to wink and nod at attitudes and behaviors that are foundationally contrary to God's best for humankind.

Some, not all, moral conservatives are also very socially progressive. They've resisted the temptation to retreat into a Christian ghetto and believe very strongly that God's people need to intersect with culture in very pro-active ways. They care about justice and racism, feeding the poor and attending to the lonely. They know, befriend, and care about all kinds of different people. Many of the people they care about aren't necessarily very righteous but they love them anyway. They know that societal ills find their roots in that nasty thing we call 'sin' that has a spiritual remedy in Christ. They also know that God has asked us to help unravel and confront many of the structures and systems that trip people up.

And sometimes moral conservatives who are socially progressive find themselves in a bit of a tight spot ...especially around election time. Some candidates might gain points for their moral agenda but aren't very socially concerned. And some candidates care about the social welfare issues but can't speak clearly or with authenticity about moral considerations.

And so the morally conservative/socially progessive among us can get frustrated trying to figure out who to vote for. And it can get even more frustrating when people point a finger and don't even try to understand the tug of war going on in their life. You see, being morally conservative doesn't trump being socially engaged and involved. Nor does being socially progessive negate the need for a solid moral compass. They're two sides of the same coin. At least that's what my Bible tells me. Wouldn't it be nice if all candidates had strong moral foundations built on a mature faith and a social conscience? Not all do. Maybe most.

So, what does one do? Which value wins out in the voting booth?

I thank God for my morally conservative, socially progressive friends. They love God. They care about God's creations. Many are getting it done in places that most want to ignore. They run the risk of being labeled 'conservative' by some and 'liberal' by others. That just goes to show how shallow those labels really are.

I appreciate the tension they feel. May it be so for all of us.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

As the election approaches

Here's an interesting article written by Ron Sider, a solid guy. He's the author of a book that really influenced me many years ago. Some of you will remember 'Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger".

My guess that many of you who are reading this have already made up your mind who you're voting for. You don't have to tell me and I won't tell you ... but I thought this article was helpful ... Here's how Ron Sider starts. I hope it draws you in and makes you want to read it in its entirety. The link is at the bottom of the page.

If Jesus is Lord and the Bible provides our normative framework, how should we vote on November 4? Every four years, as I anguish over this question, I half wish God would send us an e-mail. But he never has. So we are left with the tough task of evaluating the candidates’ policy proposals and track records on the basis of what I often call a “biblically balanced agenda.” If we ask what the Bible says God cares about, the implications for our political agenda become obvious: We must be pro-life and pro-poor, pro-family and pro-creation care, pro-racial justice and pro-peacemaking. This “completely prolife” agenda is now the official stance of both the Catholic bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals (see “For the Health of the Nation”).

So how do Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama fare if we evaluate them using that basic standard?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm afraid of some of you

I've been to a fair amount of doctors in the past few months internist, an emergency room doc, a cardologist, a podiatrist and an opthalmologist. Those who know me well are probably thinking "What, no psychiatrist?"

One gets older, stuff breaks down. That's life.

It does make one think, however.

Do I take things for granted?
What do I do with the time I have left?
Who and what's important?

Scripture tells us that we are foreigners on this earth. We are made for eternity. That's good. I buy it. I also am fairly attached to this life. It may be unpredicatable but it's known. Ask me to preach a sermon on 'what's next' and I'll paint a remarkable picture ...I also know that I cling to the picture I'm painting in the here and now.

What comes next, after this life, is something I hold onto by faith. It's funny. My faith is strong. Sometimes my certainty isn't. For every measure of faith I have, doubt creeps in like low early morning fog.

John Ortberg has written a book about Doubt and Faith. Read it if you can. Ortberg is always intellectually honest, highly amusing, and carefully thought provoking. He has great faith. He lives with doubt.

I guess if I know everything for sure then I would need no faith, huh? Sometimes I run across people who are sure about everything. They look at the Bible like it's a puzzle needing to be put together. Put all the pieces in the right order in the right place and voila ... you got it all, you figured it out, you're right and everyone else is wrong.

It doesn't work like that. I'm convinced I'll never put that puzzle together in the right order or the right way. And it really doesn't matter. I'm glad people work at it. I benefit from it. It helps me to make sense of things. It helps me develop a paradigm of 'biblical thinking'. But I don't think anyone has it completely right. Do you?

More and more I try to make sense out of my life and my life of faith by not trying to have all the answers. I'm convinced God is still doing something. There's something about Jesus that touches the core of my being. I'm learning to give as much as I know about myself to as much as I know about Jesus ...and I know I have doubts and I have faith and more doubts and renewed faith. It's a cycle.

I'm learning that this life of faith doesn't mean that I have to be able to answer every question, to understand every bible verse, or to never doubt. It means that each day I link the story of Mike to the ages old, ongoing story of faith ...trusting that God knows what he's doing. He knew what he was doing then. He knows what He's doing now. He will do what He needs to do in the future.

I've been afraid, at times, to confront the spiritual bullies of our day and age. You know who I'm talking about. They try to intimidate. If you have a question they insist you believe their answer. They are on the 'right' and on the 'left' ...conservative and liberal. So you better believe what they believe about women in ministry, when Christ is coming back, the age of the earth, whether to vote red or blue ...because if you don't you will be labeled and shamed into silence. Some call folks like this 'guardians of the faith'. I think they're bullies.

There are others who make 'fun' of any mention of a 'faith-filled' life and they use the intimidation of pop culture relevancy as their weapon of choice. They are bullies enjoying the protection of public opinion.

I'm starting to face my own mortality. It makes me wonder about how I want to live out the rest of my days. I don't want to be afraid. I don't want to be afraid to share my faith. I don't want to be afraid to admit my doubt. I don't want to give up thinking. I do want to be faithful. Especially, among other believers I don't want to feel afraid. And sometimes I do.

And so I declare ...

I have an opinion about all kinds of things. Many of you who read this blog wouldn't like some of my takes on certain things. You might label me too conservative or too liberal. You might say I'm clinging to orthodoxy or not. Some might say I'm too religious, others not religious enough.

But you will never know for sure until you listen without the unbending bias of your own tradition and beliefs getting in the way of you really hearing. You see, I think we're all out to prove a point, to correct an error, to label ...we're not really quick to listen ...because when we listen our world can get rocked ...our faith shaken, doubts show up ...we get vulnerable. But maybe, just maybe that's where God really wants us. Because then He can speak into our lives. He becomes a living God.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I have the privilege to help lead a singles group called Higher Ground. We're using a Chip Ingram book called Good to Great in God's Eyes as a broad outline for a series of discussions about how to live life. Last night we talked about Dreaming Great Dreams.

My dreams fall into three categories.

1. Shattered Dreams. You know what I'm talking about. A failed marriage. A business that goes belly-up. The loss of a son/daughter. That promotion that went to someone else.

2. Fulfilled Dreams. The marriage you hoped for is being lived out. The 'dream' vacation actually met expectations. I had a dream of being a 'priest' when I was young. I'm a minister. Close enough.

3. Dreams that take us to what's next. I had a dream when I was a kid of being the second baseman for the Milwaukee Brave (that dates me, doesn't it). Never happened. But that dream fueled some childhood energies. I dreamed of being a lawyer and going into politics. I went to law school for two weeks. Was it a wasted dream? Nope. I learned some things that led to the next best thing for my life.

There are other kind of dreams. You read about them in the Scriptures page after page, story after story. Those are the God-sized dreams, the impossible ones, placed in the hearts of what often looks like improbable people. And God is still in the dream planting business.

Martin Luther King had one of those dreams. I wonder what he'd think of this presidential campaign. So did Mandela. Talk about shock waves. Mother Theresa wasn't anyone really special but God laid a big dream on her heart. She captivated the hearts of millions and more importantly loved God's people face to face.

I have a friend, a mom and church leader who birthed a minstry called Breakthough. God laid one on her. Hundreds and hundreds of folks in a tough neighborhood on the west side of Chicago are given hope day after day, year after year.

I have another friend who is passionate about reaching out to male street hustlers in Chicago. God planted a crazy dream in his heart.

My friend Sherry is having a God-sized bomb of a dream going off in her heart. She's not sure where it's leading but whoa something is happening. It's got a lot to do with justice, the poor and the oppressed.

Another friend is sensing God's leading to develop some co-housing opportunites for single adults.

Here's what I know for sure. God is in the dream-planting business. He's looking for ordinary people, willing to step out of their comfort zone, allowing Him to lead ...often into what looks like impossible situations. And then it happens. A movement is born. A ministry established. Grace is poured out.

Do me a favor. Ask God to plant a dream in your heart. You might be surprised where it leads. For sure, you'll never be the same.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crossing the Line

I watched SNL last night. It was Sarah Palin night. She did a nice job. The cast poked appropriate fun at her. The audience numbers were out of sight.

Earlier in the week both John McCain and Barak Obama took humorous aim at each other at the Al Smith Catholic Charities fund-raising dinner. It was fun. Both McCain and Obama let their hair down (so to speak) and looked like they were having a good time.

I like it when things like this happen. It humanizes people. We get to see that elusive other side of their personalities. The ability to poke fun, receive the poke and still have a great time is something we all need to be able to experience and do.

There's nothing wrong with having a little fun. I wonder though if we don't take it too far. Is there a danger in having fun at the expense of belittling an office or a position of authority?

Do we really value the office of President? Do we value the position of authority and leadership bestowed on people we work with and for?

My take is that we have become far too casual about humanizing everything at the expense of not cherishing much.

When I critique the President does it slide into disrespect for the office?
When I disagee with a pastor do I undermine his/her calling?
When I gossip about my boss does that undermine his/her authority?

When does my critique, disagreement, and gossip cross the line and really starts eroding confidence in legitimate authority?

I wonder if we cross the line too much.

I know people who don't like George Bush. I can accept that. But when does that dislike cross the line into disdain for the office of President. When do we cross the line into belittling one of God's creations?

I know people who are saying all kinds of scandolous things about Barak Obama. Do these people value him as a human being? Probably not. If they did they wouldn't be saying what they're saying in the manner they're saying it.

I'm a pastor. I know people who don't like me. Hard to believe isn't it? But is there a line when dislike for me or any pastor is crossed and dislike turns into undermining the pastoral role?

We all work for somebody. When does water-cooler talk become so personal that it destroys office morale and impedes the ability of leadership to lead?

Where's that line?

Don't get me wrong. Presidents need to be critiqued. As a pastor, disagreement comes with territory. Not every decision by a boss is the right one. But there's a line that is crossed at times that I think does us more harm than good.

I think we have become so 'casual' about people, issues, roles, God-given authority ...that we hold neither the person or the position as sacred. We like it when we can laugh and have fun at the expense of elected officials. But do we really believe that the person has worth and that the office has merit.

That's our dilemna. Are we willing to raise high the value that all people have worth? Are we willing to respect the office or authority given (that doesn't mean giving up the right to speak out)?

How do we not cross that line?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Serving a 'hunker-down' god?

More and more people I know are being impacted by all the economic ups and downs. You know people too. Maybe you're one of them.

Many people who read this haven't been impacted much and probably won't be. Oh, for sure, your retirement plan is off the radar ...but in real time, real dollars ...right now...a lot of people are still OK.

This is for you.

Give generously.
Open your home.
Look for ways to help.
Don't forget the poor.
Support a local ministry.
Support a global ministry.
Fill a table for a not-for-profit fundraiser.

In other words open yourself, your heart, and your pocketbook up. Resist all temptation to just hunker down and ride this out.


We don't serve a god named 'hunker down'. That's a made up god. It's a god who doesn't ask much of those who serve it.

Our God is on the loose, on the prowl. He asks us to take a risk, make a sacrifice. I like this God.

I know, I know, I know there is a time to take a sabbath, time to discover the rest of God ...I know.

But there is also a time to take stock of who we are, what we've been given, to acknowledge the state of the world, to open our eyes, and to move and to act. I think we're in one of those times.

If you're looking for places to invest yourself and your money and aren't sure where or how let me know. I'll be glad to give you some places and people to invest in.

My prayer is that we'll open ourselves up to the possibilities to give. There's a whole lot of people near where you live and certainly all over the globe who have no safety net to catch them when bad economic times hit. It has nothing to do with their willingness to work, or an ethic of entitlement. I wish it was that easy. The causes are complex. But the big reality is that when you fall off the economic ladder and there's no net to catch you and you can't go to the store and buy what you need to fix what hurts and when you really have no place to turn ...who's going to be there for these folks?

Them? The servants of hunker-down?

I think it has to be us. Christ's people. His followers.

There's a great need. We have a big God. He wants to meet needs. We're His plan. It's the only plan He's got.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Return to Prosperity?

I was watching the news. Our Treasury Secretary said something to this effect - "We're taking all these economic measures in order to return us to prosperity."

I went 'huh'?

Prosperity. Not some sort of economic stability. Not some sort of banking normalcy. Prosperity.

What does that mean?

Does it mean the rich get rich, the poor stay poor?
Does it mean a world filled with McMansions and oversized SUV's?
Does it mean a lovefest with excess?
Does prosperity mean that I get more and I'll trickle it down to those who have little?

Prosperity. What a strange choice of words.

I'm a believer. I don't think 'prosperous' is what Jesus is all about. That's what late-night TV health and wealth preachers lean into, not Jesus. And so I'm struggling with what this all means.

You see, if we return to prosperous our life compasses won't work well. Our 'true north' will point us back to ourselves and our oftentimes petty concerns. Uh Uh. That's not the way we need to go.

Maybe we need to move away from prosperity and choose simplicity, intentionality, and sacrifice. Maybe we move away from 'us' being the center of the universe and instead return the universe back to its rightful owner. Maybe we need to shelve our selfish dreams for God-sized dreams.

So, maybe, our economic recovery plan is going to end up being really bad news. Some of us might end up prosperous but in the process lose our heart and soul.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Economic Roller Coaster: What I'm Thinking About

1. My heart breaks for the poor.
2. I'm becoming more and more concerned about what's going to happen to non-profits if people quit giving.
3. I'm noticing that that people of faith (at least the ones I know) have a strange sense of peace.
4. God is doing a new thing.
5. We're going to have to rediscover the biblical notion of community.
6. We're getting a truer picture of the state of the world.
7. I'm asking the question 'where do I need to invest myself?'
8. We put our trust in the wrong things.
9. Greed rules.
10. We truly live in a global village.
11. No one has the remedy.
12. It's going to be a long journey.
13. This is a global paradigm shift.
14. If you're guided by your pocket book instead of some unchanging values you're in for a long ride.
15. God is sufficient.
16. Cutting back for some people doesn't really mean much more than inconvenience. Some of them will make it sound like it's the end of their world. It's really just the end of excess.
17. There's a whole lot of folks who are going to be hurting. They live on no margin.
18. We put our trust in business and political leaders. We walk away disappointed.
19. Who we elect as President needs our prayers.
20. This is an opportunity for people of faith to step up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wanting More

Do you ever want more?

I do.

I'm getting older. I feel it. Somedays more than others but I feel it. In my daydreams, I win the lottery and buy a place in Arube for wintering and Door Country for the summer.

That's in my daydreams.

In my gut, I sense God is calling me to one or two more great adventures. I need to pay attention to that call, that stirring.

In the past couple of weeks many people have had their retirement plans thrown for a loop. It might be a good thing. God might be calling us beyond daydreams, to live into an authentic call on our lives. What if God uses these tough economic times to plant a seed of adventure in people? What if he calls them to something new and unexpected? What's their resonse going to be?

Most people won't ever notice that something is planted. They'll only see a dream dashed against the rocks of economic realities. Instead of pausing and asking for discernment and wisdom all too many will continue to fill life with business, buysyness and clutter. Whatever it is that distracts us will keep us from noticing the oftentimes subtle touch of God in our lives. Instead of finding God's best we'll settle for sulking, pointing a finger, blaming somebody, anybody - maybe even God. Too many won't be able to see beyond their immediate feelings. They'll miss out on this new thing God wants to do in and through their lives.

I don't want to miss that. I don't want to be distracted, sulking my way through life blaming the world and missing out on opportunities.

I talked to my spiritual director today. We talked about this. He told me that God is stirring something in me - something missional. "Find out what that is" he told me. I agree. A seed has been planted. Don't know what it is but it's real.

How about you?

Are you sensing you want more? How many adventures do you have left? Any seeds being planted in your life? What stirrings do you need to be paying attention to?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The World of Stupid

We live in a world of 'stupid'. Not far from where I live a mosque had some graffitti scribbled on it. A Muslim woman at a local college was assualted. Those are 'stupid' things.

I went over to the mosque today. Talked to a couple of guys who were sitting outside. We talked about had happened. I told them that I wished things like this wouldn't happen. They agreed. I asked God to bless them. They asked God to bless me.

At least in my life, for a brief moment, 'stupid' didn't win.

On Thursday I wrote to a drive by e-mailer saying that what he was sharing was 'wrong'. I haven't gotten a response back yet. But I feel I stepped out of 'stupid' and into conviction.

That happened to John McCain this week.

Hats off to him. When the pitbulls started to circle he reached deep and pulled 'conviction' out of his political bag of tricks. He said that Barak Obama is a 'decent man, a family man'. It sounded like more than a few of his 'peeps' didn't want to hear what he had to say.

Too bad. Disheartening. The close minded always want to live in the world of 'stupid'. It's that world where someone can't rethink a position, be kind even when hurt, or let go of a grudge for the common good.

For the record, I think Obama is a decent man, a family man. So is John McCain. I love it when both of them act 'decent', running away from stupid.

When we all start doing that maybe the drive-by e-mailers, the hate-mongers, the designated pit-bulls (with or without lipstick) will be driven back to the shadows where they belong. And maybe, just maybe 'stupid' will be shown for what it really is.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Power of Words

Words are powerful.

I've often wondered if James had been decimated by someone's words when he wrote 'be slow to speak, quick to listen' . Maybe he remembered how he had 'sizzled' someone and winced a bit as he penned those words.

I'm reminded about the 'power of words' once again during this campaign season. A candidate has a friend, an acquaintance. That friend has a documented radical past. Words are hurled. Inferences made. 'If the friend has a radical past then the candidate must be sympathetic to that past - don't you think?'

And people buy it. You betcha they do.

Words. Use the right ones and you can push just the right buttons to get people to do just what you want them to do. Let's push the fear button. Watch the people squirm in their seats. Let's push the race button. Watch the people recoil into their prejudice. Push the 'used to be radical button' and watch people make the easy leap to 'terrorism'.

It's wrong. It's wrong. It's wrong.

By any standard, it's wrong. If we claim to be 'Christ followers' how can we allow words that wound escape from our mouths. How can we allow wounding words to go unchallenged?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Who won the debate?

So, I was asked a dozen times or more about the Vice-Presidential Debate. Each time it was by someone who really didn't want my opinion, only my agreement.

The truth of the matter is that I think both Obama and McCain white-knuckled their way through the Biden/Palen verbal skirmish. I'm sure both of them were relieved that both V.P. candidates did nothing to self-destruct or derail the campaign. That's my truth. I thought both of them were equally uninspiring. Biden comes across as self-righteous. Palin was scripted to evade what she couldn't answer. Ho hum.

But the people who asked me didn't want my opinion. Again, no interchange of ideas. They just wanted me to validate their perception and opinion. Couldn't do it.

I hang out a fair amount with more conservative Christian types. I live in a county that is known for its Republican leanings. I also have a fair amount of more liberal Christian friends. I live near Chicago, that has (rumor has it) leanings that are more democratic.

Can one be truthful with either camp? Are the lines so tightly drawn that truth becomes partisan?

Conservatives equate Christianity with Republicanism. I think that sells the cause of Christ short. To talk about justice, concern for the poor or to even being critical (in the best sense of that word) about a conservative candidate or position seems to put you on the hot seat. It's as if you're not really a Christian if you veer from the conservative line. That's when the walls go up. There is no possibility for dialogue.

Of course, more liberal Christian types have their own bias and they can look down their collective noses at their more conservative brothers and sisters. They are too easily dismissive of anything that doesn't serve their agenda.That's a wall difficult to climb.

So, who is it harder to talk with? Who has the least bandwith to talk intelligently about important issues?

Which group was I with last week? Why was I hemming and hawing? Why was I feeling walled in? What label was I trying to avoid? Was it a more conservative or a more liberal camp?

I felt trapped. I kind of knew that there was no room for discussion. Just agreement.

Oh, I did stick my toe into the political waters. But it didn't feel comfortable. So, I poked and prodded and asked just a little bit. Didn't want to risk more.

That's what happens risk growth. We're all the worse for it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Interesting times-Interesting conversation????

OK. Admittedly we're in trying times. That's a given. The economy is in a sink hole. The election is getting a little tedious. There's crazy people all over the globe who seem intent on making life hard for everybody. The Chicago Tribune decided to dumb down it's content.

But it's interesting.

Really interesting.

There's things to talk about. That's good. Everyone has an opinion about the economy, right? And the election. Even though it's drawn out it's still got some sizzle. I mean, Thursday night, the debate between the V.P. candidates could go in countless directions, most ripe for parody and satire. It's not dull.

If you live in Chicago, you gotta love it. Both the Sox and the beloved Cubs are in the playoffs. Doesn't get much better than that.

There's no end to the discussions possible. Will we have them?

I think we've lost the ability to have a good conversation. What I'm talking about is a conversation with great content, lively interchange, and attentive listening. We live in a sound byte age with sound byte interchanges. We're missing out on opportunities to learn from each other.

Sport conversation can be frivolous. That's OK. It's not end of the world type of stuff. Although I'm convinced a Cubs/Sox World Series will usher in the rapture.

Political conversation is vital. Faith conversations are really important. State of the economy conversations could possibly lead to solutions.

We've got to have these kind of conversations. The problem is that it's starting to be a lost art. We yell at each other too often. We discount another person's position. We aren't willing to be learners. We don't listen.

And so we have drive-by discussions and settle for that. Why?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Underneath the Economy

I've been noodling a bit more about this economic situation.

There are some issues we need to raise in our churches, neighborhoods and all circles of influence.

We need to raise questions about greed.
We need to raise questions about dealing with fear.
We need to raise questions about entitlement.

Greed fuels the economy. Fear creates adverse market responses. When we feel 'entitled' we get fearful that we're not going to get what greed can get us.

It gets ugly real fast.

Greed, fear, entitlement are spiritual issues. We might be able to rescue the economy in the short term but as long as we're dealing with core spiritual issues we will have long term problems.

I work with a lot of Christians.

They feel entitled.
They're greedy.
They react fearfully.

I know because I'm one of them.

Officially Concerned

I'm having a gut check. It's about the economy. If you're not thinking about it yet, please do so. This is one of the national moments where we're going to need everyone's full attention. The American Dream is being channeled down Nightmare Lane.

Here's what's scary. I get the feeling that no one, I mean no one seems to know how to fix what ails us. Economists are shaking their heads and CEO's are weeping into their golden parachute. Some politicians are even speaking straight knowing that now is not the time to posture.

Bill and Suzy middle-class are looking into a very uncertain future and the poor are going to see some support networks ripped up from under them as non-profits see income slip. It's hard to even think of what happens to the poor in under-served countries around the world.

So, it's a scary time. Gut check time.

Where does my hope rest?

It's not in politics.
It can't be the economy.
It can't be in my already meager retirement plan.

My faith?

Is it big enough for a time like this? Do I really believe all those things that I proclaim? Is my God bigger than this economic crisis?

Is Jesus enough?

Those are big questions.

Do me a favor. Start to pray. Really pray. Our country is in a bind. We need God's wisdom and discernment. Get down on your knees and pray. This is scary stuff.

Pray that government leaders will work in non-partisan ways and quit the inane finger pointing.

As God for a bigger portion of faith. We're going to need it.

Ask God to show us how to be 'community' with one another. We might need each other in ways we never had before.

Pray that resources will be poured out to the underesourced in miraculous ways.

Pray for hope.

Pray that all this might help our culture to see that we can't be our own God. It silly. We do need the Lord, to lean into His wisdom and compassion. To understand that He's God. We're not.

This could be the time when our faith is tested. We'll find out what's real and what's not.

Monday, September 22, 2008

At the moment of choice

So, how do we get well, chart a new direction in life, develop new habits ...?

How? Try this. At the next moment of choice decide to act with all the integrity you can muster. Do the right thing in the best way you know how. Do that moment after moment, decision after decision.

The world is changed by good people doing good things at the moment of choice. It's an over and over again process.

Most of us aren't superheroes nor superachievers. We're ordinary people who live fairly ordinary lives. In the midst of the 'ordinary' of life, however, we influence dozens of people daily. We buy groceries, we go to doctor appointments, we do our work, go to the health club, attend a class, go to a bible study. These are all places where we can choose to be God's people caring about others who God loves like crazy. We can make that proverbial difference in someone else's life. It's one decision at a time. Doing the right thing in the best way we know how.

It's not about seeking advantage.
It's not about positioning ourselves the right way.
It's not about spin.

We've seen where that gets us in today's world.

Nope. It's about doing the next right thing, with the right attitude, in the best way we know how.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Road to Recovery

25 people. 25 broken dreams.

It was 'Divorce Recovery' weekend. The people who attend are Christian and not. Some have been married for five years, some for over 40. Most feel they've been dealt a bad hand. There's spiritual damage, emotional distress, relational wreckage, practical roadblocks ...all need to be dealt with in order to heal up.

The people who attend are brave. They've made a decision to 'put their life into motion', to get well.

In order to achieve wellness they will all have to be honest with themselves, admit to their own failures in the marriage, forge a new identity, get right with God, and deal with that hard, hard issue of forgiveness. Can they ask God for forgiveness? Can they forgive themselves? Can they ever forgive their 'ex'?

This is not easy stuff.

I got to be there, with my team, to watch the hurting take their first step towards the rest of their life.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Journey Towards Justice

Listened to yesterday and today. Check out their archived programs. Anita (my wife is executive producer and co-host) actually was a guest along with Alvin Bibbs and Pierre Chastang. The three of them (me too) along with 45 others went on the Justice Journey in June.

The Justice Journey is a bus trip to major civil rights sights in the south. The group was half African American, half Anglo. It's truly a journey into history and towards self-discovery. It's about looking at and coming to grips with the racial divide in our country, all done within the context of a shared faith in Christ. It's fun, intense, thought-provoking, emotional ...

This is worth listening to. Honest. Better yet, try to go on the Justice Journey.

Let me know what you think.

Interesting take on our economic crisis

Greed in the Economy: It's the Morality, Sinner by Jim Wallis

Everyone has heard the famous phrase, attributed to James Carville, which supposedly won the 1992 presidential election for Bill Clinton: "It’s the economy, stupid!" It’s still good advice, especially as the shocking collapse of the financial markets has turned the election campaign into a much more serious and somber discussion than lipstick on pigs.

But the issue is deeper than just the economy. I would now rephrase Carville and say, "It’s the morality, sinner!" And I would direct it to the people who have been making the decisions about the direction of this economy from Wall Street to Washington. Here is the morality play:
Aggressive lending to potential home-buyers using subprime and adjustable rate mortgages led to "mortgage-backed securities" being sold to investors at high returns. As housing prices dropped and interest rates rose, homeowners got caught, fell behind on payments, and millions of foreclosures followed. That resulted in the mortgage-backed assets losing value with banks unable to sell the securities. So the subprime lenders began to fail. Asset declines then spread to investment banks. We have now seen the sale of Bear Stearns brokered by the government, and last week the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as mortgage defaults threatened them. Then Lehman Brothers fell into bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch was sold. Now another bailout, this time of AIG, the largest insurance company in the country -- whose potential demise threatened the whole financial system even further.

During the height of the lending frenzy, many people got very rich, as they did during the previous technology bubble. Now with the collapse, experts say the most likely result will be further tightening of credit and lending standards for consumers and businesses. Home, retail, and business loans will become more expensive and harder to secure. And the consequences of that will spread to most of America.

In the accounts and interpretation of these events, a word is slowly entering the discussion and analysis — greed. It’s an old concept, and one with deep moral roots. Even venerable establishment economists such as Robert Samuelson now say, "Greed and fear, which routinely govern financial markets, have seeded this global crisis ... short-term rewards blinded them to the long-term dangers."

The people on top of the American economy get rich whether they make good or bad decisions, while workers and consumers are the ones who suffer from all their bad ones. Prudent investment has been replaced with reckless financial gambling in what some have called a "casino economy." And the benefits accruing to top CEOs and financial managers, especially as compared to the declining wages of average workers, has become one of the greatest moral travesties of our time.

In the search for blame, some say greed and some say deregulation. Both are right. The financial collapse of Wall Street is the fiscal consequence of the economic philosophy that now governs America — that markets are always good and government is always bad. But it is also the moral consequence of greed, where private profit prevails over the concept of the common good. The American economy is often rooted in unbridled materialism, a culture that continues to extol greed, a false standard of values that puts short-term profits over societal health, and a distorted calculus that measures human worth by personal income instead of character, integrity, and generosity.

Americans have a love-hate relationship with government and business. The climate seems to shift between an "anything goes" mentality and stricter government regulation. The excesses of the 1920s, leading to the Great Depression, were followed by the reforms of Franklin Roosevelt.
The entrepreneurial spirit and social innovation fostered by a market economy has benefited many and should not be overly encumbered by unnecessary or stifling regulations. But left to its own devices and human weakness (let’s call it sin), the market too often disintegrates into greed and corruption, as the Wall Street financial collapse painfully reveals. Capitalism needs rules, or it easily becomes destructive. A healthy, balanced relationship between free enterprise on the one hand, and public accountability and regulation, on the other, is morally and practically essential. Government should encourage innovation, but it must also limit greed.

The behavior of too many on Wall Street is a violation of biblical ethics. The teachings of Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths condemn the greed, selfishness, and cheating that have been revealed in corporate behavior over decades now, and denounce their callous mistreatment of employees. Read your Bible.

The strongest critics of the Wall Street gamblers call it putting self-interest above the public interest; the Bible would call it a sin. I don’t know about the church- or synagogue-going habits of the nation’s top financial managers, but if they do attend services, I wonder if they ever hear a religious word about the practices of arranging huge personal bonuses and escape hatches while destroying the lives of people who work for them.

We now need wisdom from the economists, prudence from the business community, and renewal courses on the common good from the nation’s religious leaders. It’s time for the pulpit to speak — for the religious community to bring the Word of God to bear on the moral issues of the American economy. The Bible speaks of such things from beginning to end, so why not our pastors and preachers?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not sure I get it

So, the U.S. government (which handles its finances so well) is taking over an insurance company because of that company's inability to handle its finances.

Don't completely understand it.

I know it has something to do with trying to avoid a total collapse of our economy (which would be a bad thing) but where does all this end?

We're in deep. So, who do we blame? That's the game isn't it? Who gets the blame? Who can we pin all this on?

Maybe us.

Maybe we've been asleep at the citizenship wheel, caring more for about what we want, not enough about what's really needed. So, when we get what we want, we get fat and sassy and think everything is going along just great.

It wasn't.

There was financial slight of hand.
The poor were getting burned.
The economic divides were getting larger.

And as long as we knew the rule to the slight of hand, and we weren't poor and we were on the right side of the great divide ...everything was OK.

Now what?

The slight of hand is being shown to be what it is ... dishonest.
Everyone is getting burned.
The have's might become the have nots.

It's going to get interesting.

Are you ready?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Time to Panic?

So, let's get this straight.

Wall Street is in turmoil.
The 'greed is good' credo is found to be faulty.
Follow the leader is not a good financial strategy.

It sound like we're in trouble, doesn't it?

A lot of attention was paid to 'getting the American Dream' quick. Not enough attention was paid to the means that was going to get us there. It's staggering to think that our best and brightest could develop economic strategies that would end up leveling some of our most prestigious financial institutions.

Did individual financial gain trump time-tested values? It did.

We're all going to pay the price.Maybe this is an opportunity to step back and mourn what we've lost. It's more than diminished savings plans. It's more than a stumbling and tumbling stock market. We've lost confidence. Confidence in leaders. Confidence in institutions.

What should cause us to reassess (not to panic) is our seeming inability to establish our decision making in solid values rooted in some sort of authoritative source. It's happening not just in our financial marketplace but everywhere we gather. It's about me needs, my desires, my hopes, my dreams little about the 'us' ...the common good. Until we start thinking about the 'us' we'll be subject to the whims of individual decision makers who can't seem to get beyone their own needs and desires.

The big question I have revolves around whether or not 'good people' will be willing to step forward to lead us into whatever comes next. It's us ordinary folks who have to reinvolve and reinvest ourselves into the social and cultural framework. We're going to have to learn to talk to each other.You see, I think we're entering a 'brave new world'. The old rules aren't working very well. We're going to have rethink everything again.

I want to reengage, reinvolve, and reinvest. It will come with a price.Part of the price I'll pay is taking the time to understand what I believe. It's back to my 'authoritative source' ...the Scriptures. It's time to dig, to pray interact with God's word putting aside my pre-conceived notions and biases. If I'm going to both participate and lead in the great cultural and social conversations that need to take place I need to have both God's wisdom and presence 24/7. If I don't, then I should start panicing.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Saw a speaker Craig Groeschel at Willow Creek Summit. He talked about the 'it' factor. Probably pretty close to the 'wow' factor ...same continuum anyway.

What is 'it'?

We've all experienced 'it'. You walk into a church and walk out knowing they've got 'it'.

You meet someone and are totally engaged in what that person has to say. He/She has got 'it'.

Some people say Barak Obama has 'it'.
People who've met Bill Clinton (even his enemies) proclaim that he has 'it'.
Sara Palin looks like she's got 'it'.
Oprah might have 'it' and if she doesn't she'll buy 'it'.
Bono has 'it'.
Wrigley Field does.
So do the Cubs.
Not the Sox (sorry)
Joe Biden? Nope
Mother Theresa had it.
So does Mandela.
Not Prince Charles.
Some people walk around as if they have 'it' but if they have to show 'it' off they probably don't have 'it'.

So, what is 'it'.

It's a spark.
It's a charism.
It's intuitive.
It's disarming.
It's a God thing.
It's obedience.
It's grace under pressure.
It's looking beyond limitations to opportunities.
It breeds optimism.
It cultivates effectiveness.

So if you have 'it' could you lose 'it'?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So much anger ...

So, I talked to this guy about Obama. He almost flipped out.

And then, I talked to this woman about Palin. I thought she was going to throw up.

So, I started reading some blogs. Everyone was throwing up and flipping out.

Turned on talk radio. Lots of ranting, not much listening.

Where's all this anger coming from? Why can't we talk about things?

Last night I had dinner with two friends. We talked about politics. No ranting. No raving. Nice discussion. The three of us weren't in lock-step agreement. I learned some things. Maybe they did too. It was a good exchange with lots of civility.

That's what we've lost ...civility.

I dont' think Obama is the anti-christ.
I don't think Palin is the scourge of womanhood.

When we lose civility we buy into rants and raving. Blood pressure goes up. We lose the ability to have civil discourse. Anger fuels more anger. It's killing us as a culture. We're the worst for it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sacred Echoes

I've been reading a book called 'The Sacred Echo'. It's written by Margaret Feinberg.

Margaret says: "As I’ve been growing in my relationship with God, I’m finding that I’m not listening for the whisper as much as I am the echo. Often when God speaks, He will say the same thing through a sermon, a passage of scripture, a chance conversation, or an unexpected encounter. When we begin looking for these “sacred echoes” then we are better able to recognize God’s voice in our life and more confidently walk in the fullness of what God has for us."

I've been trying to think about the 'echoes' in my own life, those persistent, consistent messages from the Lord. Here's what I've come up with so far.

Make a difference (leave a footprint)

I'm enough. (abide in me)

Let it go (live fully in the present)

You worry too much (what good has it done?)

Show up (be a presence)

Speak up (don't go small)

Use your gifts (I've gifted you)

God does speak. Because we are often inattentive and He's persistent ...the Lord will keep at it, trying to get our attention in a variety of ways.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Baggin' Faith

Whether it's on Facebook, 1 on 1, or through conversations with a friend who saw so and so awhile back I'm beginning to realize that a lot of people I know are baggin' faith.

For some reason, the faith they grew up with, the Jesus they met in adolescence, the 'yes' that was once deep in their heart appears to be more shadow than substance.

I wonder why?

Maybe some are walking away from religion, finding it stifling and close-minded.
College probably did major damage to some.
Some are taking their faith to a different place ...practicing spirituality, experimenting with other forms.
Others are trying to reconcile long held beliefs with newly found political ideals.
Some, perhaps, have found new language.

It's all these things.

And yet I'm bothered.

You see, I still think Jesus transforms lives. Apart from Him, we're less, not more.

I understand what religion does and doesn't do. I can appreciate having to 'try out' stuff throughout life. I can appreciate the tug of idealism on our faith.

But I'm bothered. Wondering what God is nudging me to do as I encounter the 'wanderers'. Wondering how best to start the conversation, to show love, to engage people in this 'faith' discussion.

Friday, September 05, 2008

So, what questions should we be asking during the election?

Most people ask very obvious questions during an election year. Those questions center around a common theme: "Who's going to make my life better?" "Who's going to care about my stuff?"

It's a 'me' world.

I have a problem. It has to do with reading Scripture. The more I read the harder it gets to focus on me. Scripture tells us that it's all about the Lord and the things he cares about. And even though he cares about me (a lot by the way-he's very fond of yours truly)the Lord wants me to look around and maybe ask some less self-centered questions. Like these.

Who's crying themselves to sleep at night?
What about justice?
Why do I have so much, others so little?
Do I need to make a lifestyle adjustment?
Why the racial divide?
What can we do about educational inequity?

Maybe if I ask these kind of questions ...I can hone in a little better on the kind of questions I want the candidates to answer. Reading through the Scriptures's hard to ignore where God's heart is ...and it's not about making me richer and giving me a cushier lifestyle.

So, I want to ask the Lord for the grace to evaluate candidates not based on what they can do for me but rather is there any indication that their hearts breaks over the things that break the heart of God.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wondering about this election

So, I watched Sara Palin last night. Watched Barak the other night. I've seen McCain. I'm familiar with Biden.

Here's my take. I think Barak, more than McCain, is going to have to go to battle on two fronts. One, he's going to have go head to head with McCain. Plus, he's going to have to wage a generational battle with someone who can match his charisma. That's Palin. It's going to be interesting to watch. Really interesting.

As someone who loves listening to really good speakers I'm delighted to have both Obama and Palin around. Both have mastered the teleprompter. They know how to interact with an audience beyond just saying the words. There's a chemistry. They know how to 'speechify'. I just pray that none of them (all four) allow their handlers to suck the essence of who they are away from public view. What's so attractive about this election is that there are some great stories, interesting personalities, and some deep philosophical/political divides. God help us if we sanitize the personality out of this election.

If you're reading this and you are person of faith please make this election a matter of prayer. Pray especially that all the candidates continue to speak their mind and their truth. Pray that the questions on your heart will be answered. Pray for the safety of these candidates. Pray that the electioneering high road will be taken and that citizens will thoughtfully discuss the issues before they vote. Pray that you'll be open to being surprised and willing to have your mind changed.

Let's see what God does.

Monday, September 01, 2008

More election stuff

Thought this was interesting. It's a post by Margaret Feinberg. I think Margaret is one of the best writers in Christendom these days. She lived in Alaska for five years and her husband was born and bred up north. Check out her website.
I've been asked this question countless times since the news hit Friday of Palin being selected as McCain's running vice-president. And it's a great question.

A while ago, I was invited to weigh in on a round table phone conference with McCain advisers about reaching young evangelicals. My mind danced with what I would say, but one key issue kept coming up: McCain needed a sports car of a vice-president--someone who represented everything he was not. The phone conference has been delayed until post-RNC, and now I can't wait to applaud his choice--one I never thought the McCain camp had the guts to make.

Palin surprised everyone (including all of us Alaskans and former Alaskans) when she was named to the Republican ticket. It's no secret that Palin is a strong leader, faithful Christian, and forcefully pro-life. She's conservative and hugs family values so tight and so close that maybe even James Dobson will be able to bring himself to vote Republican after all.

In Alaska, when Palin first entered politics some friendly Republicans told her to pack up and go home. She refused. And over the years climbed steadily up the political ladder until she became Governor. She has been bravely outspoken on the corruption surrounding many political leaders in Alaska--some of whom are under investigation and/or have been indicted (though in Alaska they're often voted for anyway).

I have friends who have known Palin for many years. They've gone to church with her. Received her encouraging notes. And had the opportunity to spend time up close and personal with her. They simply can't rave enough.

In Juneau, she spoke openly about moving the capital to Anchorage. While efficient for political purposes, the capital move would cost tens of millions and on the short-term hurt the economy of Southeast Alaska since many businesses are dependent on the winter legislature (which meets January through April) to survive. Now you have to understand that even whispers of moving the capital sends shock waves through the housing market so for her to speak openly made those in southeast antsy. But to the rest of the state, and there's a whole lot of state in Alaska, it made perfect sense. When a legislature only meets four months a year, it just makes sense to have it in the place where most of the members of the legislature live.

The irony of all this is now she'll probably land a huge percentage of Juneau vote. Those who were against the capitol move will want her in Washington, DC come November, because then the Lt. Governor will take her place (assuming he doesn't win his own run for Congress) and hopefully he won't move the capital, and make movers and map makers everywhere rich.

That said, I think McCain couldn't have made a better decision. As a woman, I'm excited that we're seeing progress on the ballot on both the Republican and Democratic tickets.

As far as the election, I'm wondering if we'll wake up to a new president on November 5. Or if it will still be too close to count...because with Palin on the ballot, make no mistake, this is going to be a tight race. Regardless, the dust will have settled by January 20th when we usher in a new President of the United States...and I'm excited for that day. I think we all are. Feinberg (

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I want to be writing for Saturday Night Live!!!

Big week in politics.

Traveling pantsuits become a footnote in history. (Great line from Hilary, however)
A new VP candidate names Patagonia and North Face as her favorite designers.
An African-American man named as a nominee.
The 'old guy' pulls one out of the hat and states emphatically ...'game's on'.
The 'dental veneer society' names Joe Biden 2008 Poster Boy. (Sorry, but his teeth are really, really white)

It makes me want to be a writer for SNL. Really does. The possibilities for great satire are mind boggling. And who wouldn't want to be a politcal caroonist for the next few months? Oh, for the ability to draw.

Big week in politics turns into a big decision for America. It's a history making election, no matter who wins. Obama can do some permanent damage to the glass ceiling of race and the Governor of Alaska can continue to open doors for women. Both of these things are good for America.

But I'm worried.

I know people who won't vote for Obama solely because of his race. You know these people too. They scare me.

I know people who will hesitate mightily with marking their ballot for McCain/Palin, becasue she is a woman. They scare me too.

I think change is hard for people. When it involves race and gender it gets even harder for a lot of folks. For many, this is going to be a very difficult election. That's good. A lot of people I know have to come face to face with the 21st century. I hope they do.

But I'm worried.

This election will be history making but what happens after the election might make or break us.

I can think of a whole lot of decisions that are going to shape our future. Health care, our role in the world economy, the Middle East, the racial divide in America, immigration, right to life issues, poverty, and global warming come to mind immediately.

As a Christian, I have to admit, I have a lot of thinking and praying to do. No one candidate (or set) is going to satisfy me, giving me what I think I think I'll need to make a decision. I might have to settle for good, not the best.

My role, I think, is to use my influence to ask the questions thinking, prayerful people need to be asking. It's not enough, I don't think, to vote your historic party line or to focus in on one and only one issue to make a decision.

I want us all to think, to pray, to search Scripture read extensively (both sides) ...because these issues are not easy to solve. They will require a long obedience in the same direction. There's no quick fix.

So, who will take us in a direction that will enable us to create the paradigms necessary to create the change that will lead to solutions? What do you think?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Now what 2?

Thought this was interesting has to do with my post yesterday. Interesting perspective from a former gold medal winner.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now what?

I read that a former Olympic gold medal winner stood on the awards platform thinking, "Now what do I do? What's next?"

Good questions. Now what? What's next?

Ever been there. You coach a team. Win the championship. Now what? You start with a company. Get whatever today's equivalent of a corner office is ...and then wonder ...what's next? You get through school, holding in your hand the diploma that represents blood, sweat, and tears and moments later say this all there is?

So, I'm thinking. What's my next? What's driving me? Where am I supposed to go? What am I meant to be? What's going to make tomorrow worth getting up for?

I've won championships. I've sat in a corner office. Had responsibility. Achieved goals. All that is worth celebrating. Good stuff. But I'm still alive. What about tomorrow or the rest of today?

Ever sense that there's a God sized vision deep inside of you? I do. I'm old enough now that I want to give birth to that vision. There's something stirring deep inside me ...that's my next, that's my 'now what'.

The problem is I don't know what that 'vision' represents quite yet. I just know it's quite delicious.

So, what's next for you?

I'd love to hear about the stirring in your life.