Blog

Often times it is so easy to get stuck in the grind. Where life is so busy, and stress is so ever present, that we can forget what we are working towards. Being super busy and super stressed is super draining, and eventually damages our souls, relationships and ministries. One of the more compelling, counter-balancing concepts that I’ve run into the last few years is the idea of flourishing. Fleshing out what flourishing looks like can inspire, and create possibilities of a life that is pleasing to live–and pleasing to the Lord. Read on if you happen to care about those things. :)

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From where my team and I stand, there are 5 critical aspects to leading well and finishing well. Now, none us have fully mastered any of these topics, and one topic simply cannot be mastered. Our prayer is that all Christian leaders would grow in these areas, and we hope to support as many leaders as we can in those areas. Read on to see how you fare in these areas, and please pray about how you may grow in them.

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Our minds are a battlefield. Satan loves to distract, to tempt, to overwhelm and entice. God longs for us to be very intentional about what we think about (as in take every thought captive) and to fix our minds on what matters most. Doing (and reviewing) personal vision work is a vital tool to bring the right thoughts to our minds more and more often. That practice gives us a much better chance at doing the God-honoring and life-giving thing more and more of the time. In my opinion, solid vision habits are foundational to flourishing.
The question is of course how do you do vision work? I’m so glad you asked.

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Life to the full and flourishing go hand in hand. And, part of what brings us life is actually helping others flourish. That raises a really important question: What if you were asked to “design” the perfect person to help people flourish? Seriously. Well, actually, that would be one substantial undertaking. For example, what kind of person would he or she need to be, in terms of their character? What perspectives or wisdom would he or she absolutely need to have? And, finally, what would he or she have to be able to do, to help someone completely flourish?
But, if you really knew what the person was like, you’d have a better idea about where how you need to grow to get better at one of the most important things you can do with your life.

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At first blush, you wouldn’t think this would be a big deal. Or, you’d think it would be easy to do. You’d think people would just get it. But boy, that rarely seems to be the case.
How you say goodbye to important people in your life powerfully shapes their entire experience of you and your relationship. If you’re remotely interested in encouraging people and strengthening ties when your life calls you to say goodbye–whatever the transition is–please read on.

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It was a tremendously shocking and sobering half hour. It started out with reading the sad news about R.C. Sproul Jr. confessing the presence of his name on Ashley Madison’s site, which linked me to Christianity Today’s Gleanings page, where I soon learned about the recent affair and subsequent divorce of Tullian Tchividjian, (a well-known pastor who happens to be Billy Graham’s grandson), which then led to an even more sobering and disturbing account of how a Christian college president was called out on an affair by his own son, who actually used his cell phone to video the confrontation. Oh man. That half hour was brutal.
While there are a number of ways to go with this really painful topic, one major response has to be, how in the world can Christian leaders, or all leaders for that matter, not fall into these terrible traps? Traps that leave lives, marriages, families, churches and campuses simply devastated. Traps that make finishing well almost impossible.

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I was really surprised by the thought that came in my mind as I was getting ready. I was fortunate enough to be water skiing for the third year in a row. I had just jumped into the fabulous Minnesota lake water on a beautiful summer day, put my ski on, and was holding on to the tow bar. As I was waiting for the driver to get the rope taught, a completely unexpected, energetic thought came into my mind: “I could work ‘til I’m 70.” Now, why would I think that when I was just about to have so much fun?

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When I think about one of our greatest wishes as Christian leaders, I believe one of the core ones has to be…helping people flourish. When people are flourishing, they are experiencing richer and richer internal freedom, security, and fullness–as they truly grow in the love of God. That sounds so good. Jesus of course is the ultimate guide to helping people flourish, and patience is one of the foundational qualities he possessed. Becoming more patient ourselves, therefore is vital if we really want to help people flourish.

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The Apostle Paul is certainly a brilliant man. And, amazingly bold and courageous. But, the depth, power, and yes, beauty of his paternal relationship with Timothy is one of the things that draw me to him the most. If we could learn to love well, like Paul came alongside Timothy, I strongly believe our lives would be that much richer.

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Happiness is great. Man, I love it when I’m happy. (My wife and kids like it when I’m happy too!) Psychologically, you could easily say that being happy is my favorite place to be. I’m certainly not alone here. Lots of very wise folks throughout history, such as Aristotle and Augustine have said that happiness is the ultimate goal we all share. Today, I’d like for us to explore three interesting clues that I believe will directly shape the level of happiness you enjoy.

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