Popular Posts of the Last Month

I continue to be grateful for those of you who take time to reply to your email version of these posts or post comments here on the blog. Thank you. Below are posts that have received the most attention in the last 40 days or so:

  • Solitude Just For Introverts?” – I spoke to the assumption that practices like solitude are only for introverts, and that extroverts would be better off practicing more communal or engaged disciplines.
  • Book Review: Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics” – I shared a few thoughts about this book edited by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel.
  • When Prayer is Realized” – I reflected on Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:16-19, imagining what a Christian community would look like if this prayer were deeply answered in it.
  • Practicing the Presence of God” – I listed here many different ways this spiritual practice has been identified in various Christian traditions and by various authors.
  • An Unhurried Life: Relaxed Outreach” – Adam Hartel, a current participant in The Journey, shares a story of how An Unhurried Life is helping him practice a more unhurried approach to reaching out to his community in Amsterdam.
  • An Unexpected Path to Freedom” – I shared a quotation from Anthony Bloom about how the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land via the wilderness is a metaphor for our own journey from spiritual slavery to spiritual freedom.
  • Playing Games With God” – I reflected on a quotation by Robert Mulholland about how our practice of faith can actually be more rooted in our false, old self rather than in a real, true self rooted in Jesus.

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Popular Posts of the Last Quarter

Below are among the most visited posts of the last three months. Two major events drove a lot of blog activity: 1) The publishing of my book, An Unhurried Life, in April and 2) the death of Dallas Willard in May.

  • Notes from Knowing Christ Conference” – Following Dallas Willard’s passing in May, many of the pages of notes, including my 20 posts from this February conference in Santa Barbara, have been, by far, my most visited pages on the blog. This page lists a link to all 20 posts from that conference, as well as a downloadable Word document of the whole.
  • Morning Prayer: Overcoming Powerful Enemies” – This post from December is a journal reflection from Psalm 118 I wrote in the midst of finishing my manuscript for An Unhurried Life.
  • Dallas Willard: An Unhurried Life” – I mention in the first few pages of my book that a couple of comments Dallas made on the theme of unhurry were significant catalysts for writing An Unhurried Life. In this post, I share a few reflections on participating, with Gem, in Dallas’s memorial and graveside service on May 14.
  • The Sin of Overwork” – Here I shared a quotation from Reginald Somerset Ward on this theme. Many highly engaged Christian leaders are quick to feel the guilt of underwork or possible laziness, but not the guilt of overwork.
  • An Unhurried Life: A Month in Review” – This is a post listing blog reviews and radio interviews related to my book.
  • Being in God for the World” – This is a post sharing a very powerful quotation from Robert Mulholland’s book The Deeper Journey. 

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A Tribute to Dallas Willard

You may or may not have heard that this morning, Dallas Willard lost his ongoing battle with cancer but won the realization of the eternal life in Jesus he so beautifully described and embodied. I cannot find words to express how deeply our lives and our work at The Leadership Institute have been touched by his.

In February, I was grateful to attend the “Knowing Christ” conference held in Santa Barbara. Dallas and John Ortberg shared the teaching role. It was such a powerful experience. I ended up with twenty posts of my notes and reflections from those days. I gathered up all the links and put them on one page. I offer them to you as a tribute from us at The Leadership Institute to Dallas’ life and work.

As a starting point, the most read of those twenty posts was Dallas’s “Eternal Life Begins Now.” It was the opening presentation and I broke my notes from that one into four parts. It is so very rich and insightful.

On behalf of the team here at The Leadership Institute, grace be with you.


P.S. – An Unhurried Life is preparing to ship from Amazon, but the Kindle version is live now. I share in the first few pages that a couple of insights from Dallas Willard served as catalysts for this project. (It is possible now to purchase other ebook formats at ivpress.com).

Top Ten Posts of 2012

Top-10-ListThanks for your interest in this blog over the year. It’s hard to believe I’ve got over 1,400 posts here. Over the last year, here the the most visited ones, #10 to #1. (I’m not including static pages like my bio, calendar, etc.)

The “Ministry Burnout Statistics” post from June 2009 is still the most visited page, with more  hits than #2-4 combined. The “Hiatus for Israel Trip” in March is an odd one in that all I wrote there was that I wasn’t going to be posting much because I’d be in Israel for two weeks. I think it got so many hits because of concern about conditions in Israel. The title looks like I might be talking about holding off on planned visits, but I’m not sure.

May you have a 2013 full of new experiences of the unhurried grace, mercy, peace and love of Jesus.


Popular Posts of the Last Quarter

Good afternoon. It’s been a full season of ministry for which I’m deeply grateful. We’ve begun a Generation 21 group made up of marketplace and academic leaders late last month. We’re seeing the same powerful response from this group as we’ve seen from leaders in church and ministry settings. I’ve just completed edits on my book project for InterVarsity Press, An Unhurried Life, due to be available June 2013. (You can see the cover design on the Amazon pre-order page. We’ll have a pre-order campaign as we get closer to the actual book launch). Today, I gave a brief radio interview with a Christian station in Pittsburgh on the theme of my recent post, “What is a Saint?” It was my first of hopefully more to come. (It should show up as a podcast tomorrow on their website).
Meanwhile, here are a few of the blog posts from the last few months that have received the most attention:
  • One of the strange posts to be a popular one was my March post, “Hiatus for Israel Trip,” where I was simply mentioned my upcoming trip to Israel and how I probably wouldn’t be posting as often. Countless web searches for “Israel” brought a lot of folks who usually don’t visit my blog.
  • ” The Importance of Listening to God” – This post from last month was my attempt to respond to those who don’t expect to hear anything from God in our day and age. It was a journal reflect on one of our recent day retreats.

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Recent Popular Posts

It’s been 40 days since the last time I posted the most visited articles on this blog. Below are those that have received the most hits recently. (There are some older articles that still get many hits, like the “Richard Rohr ‘Healing the Father Wound’ series” or “A Classic Prayer for Strength and Guidance”. The posts below are new ones from the last 40 days).

  • “Experiences in Unhurried Leadership” (part one and part two) shared insights from our increasing work of consulting Christian ministries in “contemplative planning process.”
  • “Practicing Unhurried Leadership” (part one and part two) was a follow-up to the series above on how a team might spend a full day in unhurried planning.
  • I Own Nothing” was a reflection on Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” Do we really believe this when it comes to our stuff?
  • A Practical Tool for Solitude” – I shared a long list of questions I use at the end of a day alone and quiet with God for myself in journaling, or with a group in debrief.
  • Being Saved by What God Says” – A reflection on James 1:21b, “…humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” Are we letting the word be planted in us like a seed, or are we becoming merely seed collectors or seed experts?
  • Thoughts on Seeking God First” – What are we tempted to seek first other than God alone? Are we looking more for something from Jesus or for Jesus Himself?

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Popular Posts: May/June 2012

Historic Mount Tabor, near Nazareth

A quick update on my book for InterVarsity Press (2013) An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest: I was able to send along my first draft of 67,000+ words and 240 manuscript pages in last Friday. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement along the way. I’ll be waiting for edits to work through later this Summer.

Below are the posts that have received the most attention in the last 40 days or so:

  • Necessary Neglect” – this post received a surprising number of visits. I shared a good word from Elton Trueblood on the practical reality that Jesus, in his practice of regularly withdrawing to be alone with the Father, had to step away from real needs of people around him.
  • Giving Up Too Soon” – Here, I spoke about our tendency to give up when things get hard, just when we might break through to a place of greater fruit.
  • Classic Prayer: For Strength and Guidance” – This post from November 2010 continues to receive visits since then. I shared a simple prayer of Alfred the Great, a ninth century British king.
  • Morning Prayer: Courage for the Work” – Here I shared a journal entry from morning prayer in 1 Corinthians 15:57-58: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
  • The Power of Leaders Who Listen” – So much of my work as a Christian leader in the past seems to have been focused on what I say. Christian leaders, of course, are to speak on God’s behalf. But what about the power of simply listening—to God, to others, to our own hearts? 

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