Dallas Willard’s Disciplines For Workaholics

“If there were a blood test for workaholism I’m sure Dallas would come up positive.” That’s a comment Jane Willard made to Gary Moon for his new biography Becoming Dallas Willard. (p. 138) You may relate to Jane or to Dallas. Kristi and I do, as do many of the men and women in ministry…

In the Grip of a Great Happiness

How audacious to claim, “I have life without lack because the Lord is my shepherd.” That’s the point of Psalm 23 according to Dallas Willard in his new book Life Without Lack. But I feel many examples of lack in my life and so do you. Is the poet and singer of Psalm 23 living…

Life Without Lack: A Prayer by Dallas Willard

You can experience life without lack right now. Remember Christ is here with you.  That’s what I told myself a few minutes ago when I was buried under a stack of stress on my desk. Emails. Admin. Unfinished projects. Decisions and more decisions. My body was tense, my breathing was shallow, and my soul was…

Jesus Scorned Your Shame

At times we all feel inadequate, insignificant, less than, or unloved because of some deficiency, real or merely felt. We may fall into a pit of feeling bad about ourselves, even if we know better. We need fresh eyes and a soft heart. We need to become transfixed with Jesus’ glowing, pure face as we…

Praying Your Emotions

When I was in high school I didn’t fit in socially. My days were consumed with being an “A” student, working to save money for college, and being helpful to my parents and four younger siblings. Looking back I can see that my perfectionism and internalization of stress made me anxious and depressed all the…

Vicarious Trauma in Ministry

If you’re caring for people that have been traumatized or are in crisis then you’re suffering with them vicariously. If you’re a pastor, you probably think you live in a nice city, but actually you’re in a spiritual and emotional war zone! Just being a tender-hearted person in our world today exposes you to vicarious…

The Voice of Love to Overcome Self-Hatred

What do you hate the most about yourself? What is the thing about you that most frustrates and embarrasses you? The thing you wish you could change but can’t? At Soul Shepherding we care for pastors and recently they’ve confessed: “My ambition is causing me to neglect my wife.” “We keep pumping up our successes…

Relaxing Your Monkey Brain

Our thoughts can be “like monkeys jumping around in a banana tree,” Henri Nouwen writes. (The full quote is in our article on “Solitude and Silence”.) Have you noticed any monkeys jumping around in your brain? Do you find yourself over-stressed, distractible, irritable, judging yourself or others, or anxious? That’s the impish monkeys! They screech…

Rest: Sabbath Makes a Church Successful

If your church isn’t growing numerically or in spiritual depth or if it has been torn apart by conflict a major reason may be the neglect of Sabbath. It’s through continual Sabbath rest that we learn to trust God, waiting on his leadership and joining his work — rather than trying to control people and…

Rest: Resting in Your Identity

Your fingerprint is unique to you — it’s a physical mark of your identity. What about your personal identity? What defines who you are? Imagine if the cross of Jesus Christ was the most dominant marking of your self-image? You’d know that you are so loved! You’d be so stable and confident! I show you…