Uber Rides, Learning Your Barista’s Name, and Genuine Human Connection

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A long time ago, back before many of us were a twinkle or a speck or a tiny fig newton in our parent’s minds, a book came out called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” I first heard about the book several years ago, but only recently read the thing when a friend told me about it. Then NPR did a special on the book, and I read it again.

How to Win Friends and Influence People talks about the wonderful art of connecting with others, regardless of our personality or temperament.

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The Fallacy of Numbers

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If you spend enough time in and around church culture, you’re bound to hear lot’s of talk about numbers. Churches, it seems, are fascinated by the myriad of ways we can calculate, measure, and record virtually everything in the congregation. Most of the time, numbers are used in positive ways that help people have a grasp on what’s happening in the life of the church, and the overall impact the church is having.

Numbers used in that way, are truly significant. There is a danger, though, when numbers are viewed as the sole determining factor of our success.

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My Lenten Journey

Used with permission http://www.freeimages.com/photo/road-1447895

Used with permission
http://www.freeimages.com/photo/road-1447895

I grew up going to a private Catholic school from first to eighth grade. This is where I first I heard about Lent. In fact, Lent was kind of a big deal during those early years. We celebrated Fat Tuesday with a school-wide carnival and talked openly about what we’d choose to give up for the season. I distinctly remember one of my teachers giving up coffee for Lent. She was noticeably grumpy for weeks.

Outside of my elementary school days, the practice of Lent wasn’t something I actively participated in. Sure, I knew when it happened and certainly thought about its significance, but I didn’t pursue it.

This year, though, I decided to embark on my own Lenten journey. It’s been a season of contemplation, joy, and focus.

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Preach the Pauses

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One of the things they teach you in seminary is the importance of crafting sermons. A lot of instruction goes into creating biblically sound, articulate, and application heavy messages. Of course, there are certain things about sermons that can’t be taught, but can only be learned.

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