• Learn How to Make Time for Rest
    faith,  rest

    10 Ways to Make Time for Rest in Less Than 10 Minutes

    Want to learn how to make time for rest and rejuvenation like a pro? Whether you need rest when you are recovering from being sick, exhausted, or just looking for a healthier routine, here are ten ways to make time for rest in 10 minutes or less. In my global organization, we know that the spiritual practice of rest and refreshment is key to personal and missional growth. We were created to do our best work out of God-ordained rest. As a leader, I want to always seek to nurture and steward our staff, our strategic volunteers, and our global mission well. That’s why we offered a full-month sabbatical for…

  • Christmas Nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus
    faith

    Worthy: An Advent Devotional

    I’ve spent the past 25 years coaching storytellers. I’ve heard them all – family history stories, cultural stories, retellings of fairytales, stories of personal tragedies and celebrations. But it’s the story of Christmas that is the greatest story of all. The story of Christmas is a story of Love coming to live with us. Jesus, Emmanuel, is the source of all Love, born into this world. There is no story more worthy of telling than this. It’s my motivation for empowering extraordinary storytellers…. Because the best story deserves the best telling. In 1885, British writer Christina Georgina Rossetti published a poem called “Christmastide.” It later was adapted into a beautiful…

  • white star light among bushes outside
    faith

    Wonder: An Advent Devotional

    There’s nothing like a toddler at Christmas time. Last Christmas, my then almost-two-year-old grandson came to visit after we had decorated the yard with Christmas lights. It was like someone had plopped him into a true wonderland. As soon as he got out of the car, he ran up the yard to the nearest adorned tree. Tentatively, he reached out his little hand to touch the glowing lights. I could see the awe and wonder reflecting in his big, sparkling eyes. Then, he ran up the yard as fast as his little legs could carry him to touch another tree. Again and again, he bolted from one lit-up tree to…

  • Advent Wise Men Figurines near a Christmas Tree
    faith

    Wisdom: An Advent Devotional

    When my children were young, we used to host a “birthday party” for Jesus each December. A common practice in Sunday School and Christian School settings. We’d sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and eat cake in His honor in hopes that it would help us – especially our children – to focus on the reason for the season. Then we would rush off to the next activity, meeting, or gathering in an effort to get to everything we packed into the holiday season. I think of some other people who long ago celebrated the birth of Jesus, bringing him what we might think of as “birthday presents.” In the old…

  • Woman Sipping Hot Drink by Window with Snow Outside
    faith

    Waiting: An Advent Devotional

    I don’t like to wait. For anything. And since I rarely practice it, I’m not very good at it. You won’t find me waiting in long lines to get into a popular restaurant or camped out for the release of a new tech device or a movie premiere. Simply put, I’m impatient, and waiting feels like a waste of time. And I’m not alone. It’s hard for people in contemporary culture to wait for things. Like me, people are busy checking off to-do lists, cramming in meetings and appointments, rushing through experiences to get to the next thing. We are bombarded with messages telling us to hurry so we don’t…

  • Woman and Child Looking at Laptop Screen Together
    communication

    How to Make the Most of an Online Event, Class, and More!

    As I write this, online meetings are becoming an increasingly common part of our regular routine. Kids participating in online classrooms. Parents working from home. Church services livestreamed. Medical consults, therapy sessions, and business meetings offered via video conferencing platforms. During the past 8 years, my team and I have learned online events and meetings can be just as transformational as in-person experiences – even moreso, if you come in properly prepared. My organization, the Institute for Cultural Communicators, has conducted dozens of live local and global events through our online platforms. Countless families around the world have been touched by these events, participating and interacting to experience genuine, life-giving…

  • Family of all ages preparing dinner in kitchen
    communication,  education

    Everyday Ways to Practice Communication

    Communication at home can be hard. This struggle has been a hot topic among parents throughout the pandemic, and with a new school year and new routines looming, tensions and old habits often sneak back in. My organization conducted a survey of parents which showed us that communication at home is harder now than ever – and in many cases not happening at all. After months of sharing the same space with family (and for a good while, only family), teens generally turned inward and struggled to find anything to talk about. Grief and loss felt heavy, and otherwise tiny frustrations mounted. When we see our students pulling away and…

  • Connection is Key: Developing the Whole Student
    communication,  education,  faith

    Connection is Key:
    Developing the Whole Student

    In previous posts, we talked about how competence without character is dangerous, and character without competence is ineffective. Competence and character grow together. But in preparing the whole person for real life, there’s a third necessary area of development: connection. I’ve spent a lot of time coaching communicators. Often communication skills like public speaking are refined in competition — which is the fastest way up the learning curve. In these settings, competence and character are readily evident. And so is connection. Here’s a story of what happens when we don’t add in that third element of connection: Nathaniel was standing in front of me, ballots in hand. “These judges are…