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Book of the Month: Schola Caritatis: Learning the Rhythms of God's Amazing Love

  Starting a new feature for the next several months called Book of the Month.  I will present one of my books and tell you a little of the ...

Thursday, August 26, 2021

dear jim

how can you
say you love me
if you’re always 
trying to change me

honor the journey
God has me on
and stop trying
to make me into
who and what
you think i should be

Tuesday, August 24, 2021


a soul in silence
is like a flower blooming
becoming fully alive
becoming fully itself
in beauty and in truth
reflecting the delight
from whence it came

Friday, August 20, 2021

leaving jesus behind

“While his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.  Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day.  Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.  When they did not find him they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.” (Luke 2:43-45)

We are people on a mission.  Which, for the most part, is a really great thing.  The problem comes when we charge ahead with our own plans and agendas and leave Jesus behind.  And we are usually a good bit down the road before we even discover that he is missing.  If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be comical.

Life with God always starts with stopping.  We have to stop, look, and listen.  We have to allow God to be the one to set the direction, the tone, and the agenda.  Otherwise, we are not really following him at all, we are just following ourselves.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


There’s been a lot of conversation lately about self-care, and for good reason.  If we do not take care of ourselves, if we do not take steps to maintain our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, we will be of little to no value to others.  We will be so busy spinning around in our own little lives that we will not be able to love them and serve them the way God called us to.

The problem is that self-care can so easily turn into self-consumption, if we are not careful.  Self-care can subtly become an end in itself, and it was never intended to be that way.  A soul turned in on itself will eventually become lifeless and stagnant and desolate.  As the old saying goes, “The Dead Sea is dead for a reason—no outflow.”

You see, we are not the center of the universe, God is.  We were made by him and we were made for him. (Eph. 2:10) The “for” part is the part we tend to forget.  We were made for God, he was not made for us.  God does not revolve around us, we revolve around him.  It is so easy to forget that.  It is easy to get so lost in our smaller stories, that we miss the larger story he has invited us into—his story.  Thus, self-care was never intended to be simply for self’s sake, but for God’s sake.  It was meant to help us be the people he made us to be and do the things he’s called us to do.

Friday, August 13, 2021

the light

“In him was life and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.  He came as a witness concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” (John 1:4-9)


I am the light of the world, you don’t have to be.  You are not responsible (or able) to eliminate all of the darkness.  You are just responsible to bear witness to my light.  Just try to reflect me, in the same way the moon reflects the light of the sun.  Only as I shine on you, will you be able to shine on others.  Remember that.  Otherwise, it will be easy for you to get overwhelmed and exhausted.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

every single day

the key to life in Jesus
is to relentlessly make
time and space
for him to speak
and move
and act

every. single. day.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

beauty and tragedy

 “The tragedy of life is not in the fact of death, but in what dies inside us while we live.” ~Norman Cousins


there is a dying
that is good and beautiful
that brings God joy and delight
it makes good space within us
for something new to be born

and there is a dying
that is sad and tragic
that breaks God’s heart
when we fail to pay attention
to what is good and beautiful within
and it dies from neglect

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

staying out of the way

If I have learned anything in my 18 years as chaplain of the Powell High football program it is how to stay out of the way.  And staying out of the way is much harder than it seems.  In fact, it is an art form.  Staying out of the way requires an active, thoughtful, intentional state of heart and mind.  It is born out of the realization that there is a much larger story going on here than just you.  In fact, you aren't the point at all.  Your job is just to show up, pay attention, be available, and listen.  Your job is to not impede or hinder that larger story, but to support and encourage it whenever and however possible.  Which is an incredibly humbling position to be in.

I don't know about you, but I am not great at staying out of the way.  In fact, sometimes my tendency to interrupt, insert, and initiate actually gets in the way of what God is up to, rather than encouraging and nurturing it.  It becomes about my agenda more than it does about his.  You see, far too often I tend to operate out of need: the need to be heard, the need to be seen, the need to be significant, the need to make an impact, the need to put my two cents in.  In fact, I tend to operate out of this weird combination of pride and insecurity far more than I'd care to admit.  And when I do this, it becomes more about my story than it does about God's story.  I can't tell you how many times through the years I have walked away from a conversation or an encounter thinking, "Oh wow, I really missed it there." (Here's a great example, if you're interested: a do-over .  It comes from a time I did that with a couple of friends who were in some really, really deep grief)

So needless to say, all of these years with the football program have been great for me.  I need as much practice as I can get learning the art of staying out of the way.