• 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…

  • All I Want is Character
    communication,  education,  faith

    All I Want is Character:
    Developing the Whole Student

    I had just finished speaking to a group of parent educators when a mom approached me. “I don’t think it really matters whether my children master any of their academics. My son isn’t very academically inclined. I’m mostly just interested in his character.” “How will you help them grow in character?” I asked, genuinely interested. “Well, uh, I’ll teach my son to be nice to his sister.” “Good start,” I replied. “What other character traits would you like to see him demonstrate as he grows up?” She thought a minute. “Well, perseverance…and follow through…and respect.” We continued talking. She began to see that every character trait that mattered to her…

  • The Dangers of Competence without Character
    communication,  education,  faith

    The Dangers of Competence without Character: Developing the Whole Student

    “You’re wrong. My daughter could never do something that dishonest. Have you seen her?” Malinda sat across from me in the small university room adjacent to tournament headquarters. Her voice shrieked and quavered. “Sylvia’s one of the most competent young ladies her age.” Sylvia’s competence was not in question. She had been disqualified by tournament officials for plagiarizing evidence in her national championship debate round. Sylvia denied it. Her teammate Missy was horrified — she had no idea what had happened. Still, the consequence was the same for both of them. The guilty and the innocent. Both extremely competent. Both disqualified and embarrassed. Both shedding lots of tears. They left…