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My friend Ben Ferguson

My friend Ben went to be with Jesus at 3:30 a.m. It is the same time I “almost” went to be with the Lord on Black Friday, 2015, of a pulmonary embolism misdiagnosed as pneumonia. Those of us who have a vision that this life is about future hope, not the present hope of this […]

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Devotional Reflection

More Than Necessary

“You are so much more than necessary…. you.are.loved.”  I heard M. Craig Barnes say this at a Young Life Staff conference many, many years ago, sometime around 1998, the first time I had burned myself out in ministry. There is something about being in a service industry that makes high capacity people move toward any […]

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Non-fiction

That Hardest of All Permanent Changes of Station: West Point to Fort Benning in 1984

  When my father was given the assignment of Chief of Staff of the School of the Americas (now WHINSEC), we were a bit apprehensive but mostly excited to be moving back to a Spanish-speaking country, to Panama, after having lived in Lima, Peru while he served as an instructor at the Peruvian Artillery School. […]

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Devotional Reflection

A 2021 Christmastide Reflection

The ongoing pandemic has many of us on the verge of going nuts.  We are either frustrated because we think people are overdoing it, or because we think that people aren’t doing enough.  Either way, we are keeping at least a low grade of inner frustration burning at all times it seems.  For some, this […]

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Devotional Reflection

Advent and the Church Calendar: the Gentle Rhythms of the Household of God

I am always telling my kids that repetition is the key to honing their skills in soccer or other sports.  Repetition works it into muscle memory: the technique, the situational awareness, the ability to receive and deliver the ball expediently.  Almost everything works this way.  I have told them their whole lives that if they […]

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Devotional Reflection

Creating Space for God in Lenten Observance

I by no means want to interfere with your lenten plans for giving something up.  That is the very least we can do for lenten observance, and it is an important method for teaching our children how to fast as an important spiritual discipline in a culture of constant pleasure seeking and feasting.  However, I’d […]

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Burnout

Burnout Part II, Designing the Life You Would Prefer: Burnout Mitigation and Recovery

“With respect to the Army, I believe burnout to be the gravest threat we face to resiliency, readiness, and retention.” All who study the phenomenon of burnout will tell you: prevention is best.  It is best not to wait until you are experiencing deep stages of burnout to begin to make some changes to address […]

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Devotional Reflection

Christian Generosity and Bearing the Family Likeness of the Household of God

One of the greatest ways in which we reflect the glory of God is in Christian generosity.  When we are generous like our Father in heaven has been generous, the reward we ought to be looking for is not “when you give you will receive more,” although this is often true.  No, the reward is […]

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Burnout

The Real Plague: Burnout (Part I in the Burnout Blogs)

Perhaps the greatest threat to the workforce in the 21st Century is a newly designated phenomenon called occupational burnout. The phenomenon is not new, and it has been studied from a variety of disciplinary angles before. My mother used to ominously call its more serious stages, “a nervous breakdown.” What is new is that the […]