stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind the Friday:

  • Is there anyone our society is harsher on than losing head coaches of high-profile teams?
  • This morning, I’m wrapping up my annual preaching retreat, a time during which I get a way for a bit to plan the next year’s sermon calendar, spend time focusing on spiritual and emotional renewal, and also look at some long-range issues/plans for the church. Some friends of mind do this for an entire month. That’s much better than what I do—and it is likely more effective. However, this time away is indispensable to my ministry.
  • I’ve missed 2 years of these retreats in the last 15 years. (1 when Emily was uber-pregnant with Anna, and 1 when we were starting New Vintage Church). In both cases, it was right to miss. But there was a real, felt impact on ministry.
  • I’ve never understood why some churches ignore Easter and Christmas. What a missed opportunity to spend a season anchoring the church in Gospel rather than consumerism or Santa Claus.
  • One of the biggest disservices a preacher can do the congregation is go week-to-week with one’s preaching.
  • Why? Because the preacher will always be less prepared, and will tend to ride one’s hobby horses rather than serving a balanced spiritual diet. In addition, the perspective that planning gives you the advantage of grabbing illustrations as you encounter them in life over a year’s time, instead of between Monday and Thursday.
  • There are some changes coming to blog soon. Stay tuned.
  • The downside of the retreat is always time away from the family. But, I’ve learned these retreats bless family life over the long run. I’m a healthier person, and I’m more on top of life. That makes me much better to live with, and makes me a better husband and father.
  • Another interesting part of the retreat has been the relative lack of wifi where I am. That, my friends, has not been the worst thing in the world. It’s been more boring and also somewhat inconvenient. But, it’s also probably been good for me, as well.
  • The ability to keep one’s life in rhythm is a life skill I want to continue to pursue.
  • If you are looking for a good read, I highly recommend the book, Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne.
  • If you have an iOS device, I hope you’ll consider downloading my leadership experience, “Breaking Through Imaginative Gridlock.” Simply download Leadership Network’s Leadia app, and shop for it in the store.
  • I wish Norah Jones would come out with a Christmas album.
  • If I was trapped on a desert island with 3 Christmas albums. I’d probably pick Mariah Carey (the 1st Christmas album), A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Andrea Bocelli. How about you?