• communication,  faith

    [Esther] Before You Are Ready To Speak – Are You Ready to Listen?

    Last week, I mentioned Moses as an excellent example of what it means to be ready – able and available – to speak. Another great case study is Esther. Like Moses, Esther knew her people were oppressed and in danger. A decree had been passed to kill all the Jewish people in the land. She had to speak up to save them.    In fact, as you read the book of Esther in the old testament (it’s only ten short chapters – and a fascinating read!), the fact that she needed to speak was clear. The message she had been asked to deliver was also clear.   However, before she…

  • communication,  faith

    [Moses] Before We are Ready to Speak, We Have to be Available

    Let’s say I’m the world’s foremost expert in solving a problem you have. And suddenly you find yourself in crisis mode. You don’t know anyone else who knows how to fix the problem. The meltdown begins. So you pick up the phone and call me, because I absolutely would know exactly what you can do to fix it.    Except I don’t answer your call. You hear that pleasant little voicemail recording: “The person at the number you dialed is unavailable right now.” I may have all the answers, but that’s absolutely unhelpful to you if I’m not available.   During our Communicators for Christ world tour this year, we…

  • What Story Will They Tell?
    communication,  education,  leadership

    What Story Will They Tell?

    Original article published in Outcomes Magazine by the Christian Leadership Alliance. “Our board would like you to come fix our Millennials.” The administrator of a small nonprofit was on the phone explaining that her organization established a “Junior Board of Millennials” as part of their succession plan. The Board of Directors, composed of Baby Boomers and Traditionalists, wanted these Millennials – at the time a group of 20-somethings – “fixed” so they would embrace the organization’s mission and operational strategy Board’s way.  The catch: Board members didn’t want to invest their own time or resources in the fix.  You can guess what happened. Every invested Millennial volunteer left that organization –…

  • communication

    Advent: Joy in the Darkness

    Depression. Anxiety. Crime. Suicide. Darkness. If you’ve watched the news at all during the past 3 years… if you have teenagers…. if your teens have friends…. There’s not a lot of talk about joy. But there’s a whole lot of talk about how hard life is.  So how do we talk about joy at Christmas? I’ve recently asked myself that very question. My husband of 36 years this month is gone. He’s never coming back here. I know he’s out of pain. I know he’s in a better place. But where does that leave me?  Mental health professionals tell us the holidays are the hardest time of year for many…

  • faith

    Advent: Reminders of Love for All

    If you have attended church for any amount of time, you are familiar with John 3:16. It reminds us that God loved us so much that he sent Jesus. Not to condemn us. To save us. From sin, darkness, death, and evil. I find that tremendously reassuring this Christmas season.  I especially appreciate this passage in The Message: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely…

  • 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…