Archives For April 2015


“Being well-taught is not the same thing as being transformed.” ~ Ruth Haley Barton

When the world looks at the Church, and maybe particularly at the leaders of the Church, you know what they’re asking themselves?

Certainly they’re asking about what we believe or who is Jesus and all that. But what they’re really asking underneath it all is this:

Do I want to be like you? Do I want the life you have?

And frankly for most of the Church there isn’t much about who they are or the life they have that’s very appealing to people.

That’s the elephant in the room for Christianity today.


“Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven, but getting God’s will done on earth. It is not overcoming God’s reluctance but laying hold of God’s willingness.” ~ Richard C. Trench

This week I wanted to share with you a small snippet from one of my favorite spiritual mentors, John O’Donohue. It’s ironic that O’Donohue passed away just a few months before I discovered him, but I’m so very thankful his work lives on. This is a brief excerpt from a lecture of his entitled “The Invisible World,” which focuses mainly on the nature and impact of prayer in human life. I thought this particular assignment of his to be a brilliant idea. So I wanted to share it with you here, and encourage you to join me in creating the personal prayer he describes:

You should make one special prayer, which would be the prayer of your soul.

You should listen carefully to your soul. Listen to the voices within you. Listen to your longings, your desires, and your hungers. And listen to the unexpected that is around the rim of your life.

And then, out of all of that, write down a prayer that is big enough for your wild soul…that is tender enough for your shy, awkward vulnerability…that has enough healing in it to put the ointment of the Divine forgiveness over your wounds…that has enough truth and vigor in it to challenge you out of your own complacency…and that has enough graciousness and vision in it to show you a mirror of your own beauty. Write a prayer that’s worthy of the great destiny that’s been given to you.

This is not about narcissism now. This is about honoring the call of your soul.

So write that prayer. Take as long as you need to make it, ‘cause it’s more important to make it well than to get it done. Might take you a month; could take you a year. But write out the prayer that is equal to you.

Then memorize it. And carry for the rest of your days that worthy and gracious prayer of your heart around the world with you. It will become a really individual mantra, the calling of your deepest essence that will open you up within, bring new areas to birth inside you, and bring the wild and tender and creative light and beauty of your heart out to every object, and place, and person that you will ever meet from now on.

A beautiful, and powerful idea. I hope you will take the time to do this. I’m already working on mine.

If you’d like to experience more from O’Donohue, you can find a catalog of his works here.


“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Self-Discipline isn’t about self-denial. If you think it is, that’s why it’s not working for you. Self-Discipline isn’t about trying to force yourself to behave according to some arbitrary list of Shoulds and Oughts. It’s certainly not about killing your desire.

On the contrary, it’s about connecting more viscerally and consistently to your desire. I’m not talking about junk food or video games here; those are just surface urges that come and go like the wind. I talking about the things you really deeply desire for your life and those you love.

Self-Discipline is simply the regular practice of choosing what you want most over what you want right now.

The key to making it work? Getting really clear on what you want most ~ for yourself, for your life, for your relationships ~ and keeping that in front of you every day.

So here’s a 3-step process to build more self-discipline into your life.

1. Grab a journal, or just some paper and a pen, and for each area of the Wheel of Life, write your answers to the questions below.

ACG Expanded Wheel Of Life

  • What kind of person do you most want to be in this area of your life? How would you describe him/her?
  • How do you most want to respond when things go wrong in this area, or something ticks you off?
  • What do you most want others to say about you when they observe you engaging with this area of your life?
  • What do you most want to change about this area of your life?
  • What’s one thing you would have to begin doing regularly for that change to happen?

2. Based on your responses, craft a list of one regular action you can begin to take in each of the areas of the Wheel that will move you toward creating what you most desire for that area of your life.

3. Once you have the list of actions, choose only one action from one section of the wheel (this is important!), and commit to putting it into practice. Do not add a second action until the first action has become automatic.

For example: If one of your deep desires is to deepen your relationship with your spouse, and your action step is to touch them and say you love them at least once every day, then make that your only assignment until it becomes so automatic you no longer have to think about it. Then (and only then!) move on to tackle another regular action from your list.

This is the way authentic change happens. We get connected to something we really desire, not out of self-loathing or fear, but out of self-love and love for others. Then we make one change. And once it sticks, we make one more. Before you know it, your entire life looks radically different, and immeasurably better, than you ever thought it could.

(By the way, if you’re trying to make some big changes in your life, and you’d like a little help, drop me a line. I’d love to talk!)