A Flurry Of Thoughts


You will heal others out of the deepest wounds you have suffered.

This is your gift to us.

The gift of caring helps others plow their ground, like a tractor for them. Some people’s ground is a swamp, and your tractor will get stuck. Be willing to just be one link, not the savior.

Everybody needs more than just you; they need God. Just do your part.

While in the UK, I ask people what makes them feel “fully alive” — that is their lens for worship and life before God. One girl said, “I love to study biological defense systems on leaves.” The whole place, there in the middle of Oxford, roared with joy (with her) over her discertation topic. What a joy.

It’s hard to be a pastor.

We usually fight darkness with our wound, not our strength. We need a limp to remind us of our great need — it’s our gift, our ladder to climb, our thorn to nurse. In humility then, we can walk among the paradoxes of life.

Do you have an interior life that is as strong as your external life?

The person who is farthest away is the closest.

The most satisfying moment is just before a craving is about to be satisfied, and that moment is especially satisfied when someone else (Piglet) gets to come, too.

People’s praise in not always accurate, and from a pure motivation on their part.

Those that are privileged to have less responsibility for others have greater responsibility for themselves.

Too many words, and too much laughter, can be a cover.


Spiritual leader: Monk and Ambassador, Contemplative and Active, Alone and in Community, Authentic and Restrained.

“He (Gregory the Great) taught that surest witness to the authenticity of a teacher is his embodied behavior.” Thomas Oden

“What is needed is not the training of religious technicians, but rather the formation of spiritual leaders.” Richard John Neuhaus

Gregory’s genre of music has lasted 1500 years. Not bad for an artist’s longevity. Ooooh, go Beatles.

Great leaders are often reluctant to take their post.

Gregory emptied the treasuries of the Vatican to care for the poor and dispossessed. He even formed an army to protect the poor. Which had devastating effects in the Renaissance. Gave away all his wealth. Gave away his high position to become a monk. Stopped 88 miles outside of town to be drawn into papal responsibility — we wants to be a missionary. His book, Pastoral Care, was the main book for training priests/pastors for over 1000 years.

Incarnate into the historical period, and understand what the pressures are before you judge.

We know our tribe by our shared joys and scars.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.