I felt it before I saw it. I can't describe how or why, but I felt it. As I opened my front door the hair on my neck and arms stood on end, my heart rate spiked, my breath was sapped from my lungs. Right there, a few feet from our front door, in the middle of the otherwise untouched snow of our front yard, someone had carved a 12-foot by 12-foot swastika. I wasn't prepped to see that symbol. I knew something was off, but I wasn't prepped for the depth of that. I closed the door, prayed, asked the Lord for courage and clarity, and then stepped out into the cold night, fairly certain that whoever had wanted to leave that message was probably still around.
I am an average parent stacking up lots and lots of average days that are the shaping years of my kids lives. Sue and I want to at least interrupt those days with markers of God's provision, guidance and grace. Believe it or not, these two simple little questions, asked every day, have helped us to place plenty of those markers.
There is a slowness to the winter sunrise
An unhurried separation of the darkened sky and shadowed land
Purple and yellow and orange and red spread their blurring edges like a healing bruise
A spilling of paints on a table of dark blue
“We are ghosts or we are ancestors in our children’s lives. We either lay our mistakes and our burdens upon them, and we haunt them as ghosts. Or, we assist them in laying those old burdens down, and we free them from the chains of our own flawed behavior, and as ancestors, we walk alongside of them, assisting them to find their own way, and some sense of transcendence.”
How much of professional Christian life is geared so that we spend more time complaining about sinners than we spend in genuine compassionate friendship and relationship?
What follows then are ten principles of team leadership that I have learned over the last decade, and as the title suggests, these were learned through the hard lessons of disappointing people and then just trying again. In other words, I failed in these areas, and so learned more through failure than through success, which is how a lot of learning seems to happen. I hope they are helpful.
Turning 39, getting a traffic ticket, listening to Radiohead, reading Esther, and how it all reminds me that I forget the gospel.