Check out my latest article on the Covenant Eyes blog:  How Life Becomes More Fulfilling Without Watching Porn

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I love hearing Ruth Haley Barton’s voice when I read her books.  I have been on nine retreats led by Ruth over approximately a two year period.  When I go to read her books, I can’t help but hear the inflections in her voice and her deep care for ministry leaders (for me!) as she teaches during retreat and as she types the words of the book.

It’s been too long since I finished my Transforming Community retreats and it’s been too long since I read one of Ruth’s books.  My stated goal (rule of life) at the end of my retreat cohort was to continue in certain rhythms that would allow me to live an unhurried life where I was able to enjoy God.  I have not kept my rhythms, my life continues to feel over-busy, over-stressed, and over-hurried, and as a result, I’m not enjoying God in those deep moments like I did on my TC retreats.  Those deep moments that I still long for, but feel impossible to attain in my regular life and ministry.

Then I picked up Ruth’s newest book, Invitation to RetreatWhat I love most about Ruth’s writing and teaching is it reminds me I’m not crazy to desire rest.  She of course uses more eloquent words than this, but you get my idea.  In the world of life and ministry, you are made to feel out-of-place, lazy, and slacking off if you aren’t cramming your life full of tasks, accomplishments, and striving.  Nor does it helped that I am hard-wired for this sort of achievement-based life. Continue Reading…

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My 6-year-old daughter has been avidly reading her kids Bible.  She’s read it through several times and is now excitedly reading her sister’s kids Bible, which her sister just got her for 5th birthday this week.  Using sister’s birthday presents is always better than using your own, of course.  These are the kids Bibles that have a big cartoon picture on each page, along with 3 or 4 lines of jumbo print.  They contain most of the stories in the Bible and are divided up with an Old Testament and a New Testament.

I do love how easily my daughter believes in the stories of the Bible.  It reminds me of why the Old Testament in particular was structured around passing the faith down from one generation to another.

I also have to catch myself, remembering how easily my daughter believes in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.  Arguing with me that Santa Claus exists, even though I tell her time and time again that he doesn’t (against my wife’s will…).  Continue Reading…