Mark Moore's Blog

I'm simply an apprentice. . .

My New Role(s)

As I near the end of my sabbatical, I cannot remember a time that I have been more in love with Jesus and more excited about what God is doing in the world. I am beyond blessed to have had three months to pray and seek God without the distractions that come with full-time vocational ministry. At some point in the future I hope to be able to share some thoughts from my sabbatical, but for now I want to take a moment to share what I’ll be doing after my sabbatical.

Beginning May 1…

I’ll be working with Ecclesia Network in a newly created role as the Director of Coaching & Missional Formation. Ecclesia is a relational network of churches, leaders and movements that seek to equip, partner and multiply missional churches and movements. My role will be training, assessing, and coaching church planters, as well as providing pastoral care to church leaders. I’m honored to work with such great people in such a great network!

I’ll also be working in partnership with the BIC US and BIC Canada to explore new church planting initiatives that have distinct Anabaptist theology. I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with a historic Anabaptist denomination as they continue to discover new ways to plant churches and follow Jesus as Anabaptists in a post-Christendom context.

And, I’ll continue serving on the faculty of The Leadership Institute where I am involved in training leaders through the integration of spiritual formation and leadership development. The spiritual formation of leaders continues to be my first and foremost commitment. I’m am thoroughly convinced that both biblical scholars and missional practitioners are often void of deep formation and this results in unhealthy leaders (and unhealthy churches) who evaluate success and failure on everything but abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ must be THE priority for leaders and the context in which all scholarship and mission take place.

Please pray for me as I transition into these new roles and continue to network with other leaders and other ministries with ongoing possibilities for partnership.

Sabbath Thoughts – Part 1

Two weeks ago I stepped down as the lead pastor of the church I planted eleven years ago. Before stepping into a new season of ministry, my church has generously provided me with a three month sabbatical. There are no amount of words that I could use to express how special this gift is to me.

As I feel led, from time to time and with no particular schedule, I want to share some sabbath thoughts. The only reason I feel compelled to do so is out of the hope that someone somewhere would find a sense of peace and rest in these words–a mini-sabbath for them.

Sharing these thoughts for me is enjoyable and life-giving. It is not work. If I felt that I had to do this, and that it was work to do so, then I would stop doing it for the simple reason that it was working against my effort to rest from my work. Yes, I just used the term “effort to rest,” a term I discovered in Hebrews 4:11.

So here goes…

First, I am not what I do.

I’ve realized that this is the first time in 20 years that I have no title and no responsibility for people (obviously I am still “Dad” and still responsible for my family). At the age of 18 I was serving in the U.S. Marines and before the age of 20 I was responsible for the lives of a number of Marines. That number continued to grow as I was promoted and assumed greater responsibilities. I was Sgt. Moore and I was responsible. Having become a Christian while in the Marine Corps, I quickly went from the Marines to ministry. I was now Pastor Mark and I was responsible.

Today I’m just Mark and I’m not responsible for much of anything other than getting my son to his morning off-sesaon workouts on time. When I get home from dropping him off I pour a cup of coffee and I sit down with my Bible and my journal. I read, meditate, pray, and journal. I don’t study. Truthfully I’m about studied out. I currently have no sermon to prepare, no lesson to teach, and no one to listen to me even if I did (my dog sits at my feet each morning, but she doesn’t seem interested in much of what I have to say).

What I’ve learned in a very short period of time is that we easily become what we do. When what we do is taken away we quickly discover whether or not we are more than what we do. Am I what I do or am I who I am?

Having no title and no responsibility, I find that I can only define myself as one loved by God. I am loved by God not on account of what I do. I am loved by God not on account of who I lead. I am loved by God simply because I am his. I belong to him and am a highly valued son to my Father.

Yes, I knew this while I was a pastor with people I was responsible for, but somehow I’m having to relate to that truth in a new way. What was in my head is slowly descending into my heart.

Second, my brain needs rest.

I became a Christian 17 years ago and from the time of my conversion until now I have done nothing but read, study, research, preach, and teach. I’ve taken time off for vacation here and there, but I’ve never been away from reading and thinking. As a pastor, even on vacation you carry with you the text you will preach upon returning from vacation. The next sermon always looms just over the horizon.

As I’ve been thinking about the meaning of rest, sabbath, I’ve been thinking about the fact that God told Israel to let the land rest for a complete year every seven years. The land needs a break. I should have already had two sabbaticals by now if I treated my brain like the land. Interestingly I have a dear friend who is a farmer. He is an older man who I love and respect. At the seven year mark in my church he came to me and said, “Your supposed to take a sabbatical. It’s been seven years. You need to rest from your work.” Of course I didn’t do it because I worried about what would happen to my church if I were to do so. I now realize that fear was more about my own misplaced trust than anything else. God gave the sabbath day to people and the sabbath year to the land. God obviously wasn’t worried about the people for a day or the land for a year. God doesn’t seem to have the same trust issues that I have.

So, I’m letting my brain rest. I read a John Grisham novel last week (Sycamore Row). I remembered that reading was fun. Books are not always something to be conquered and critiqued. They are a gift to enjoy. Literacy, wow, what a gift to be able to read!

I’m pretty sure that I won’t read very much during this sabbatical unless it is fiction and is not boring. Boring reading is work.

Third, I need to keep still.

In Exodus 14, Israel is being pursued by Egypt. As their captors are nearing, Moses says to Israel, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.

In extended periods of silence and solitude I’m learning that I have only to keep still. God will do the rest and therefore I can rest.

And so…

This is a season for me. It won’t last long. Lord willing, soon I’ll return to having some silly title that others give me and I’ll resume being responsible for people and things. But when that time comes, when I return to serving, I pray that I will daily remember these lessons I’m learning on sabbatical.

Turning the Page

This weekend is the eleven year anniversary of the church I planted. It is also my last weekend as its lead pastor.

On January 19, 2003, I gathered with a very small group of Christians for the first Sunday morning worship service of Providence Community Church. I had been dreaming of starting a church for years. It was no longer a dream; it was a reality. After a time of singing, I stood and simply said, “Open your Bibles to…”

Those first words would go on to characterize the next eleven years of my life. I was first and foremost an expository preacher.

In today’s world, pastors are often first and foremost innovators, or great strategists, or even great managers.

I never sensed that was my calling. Yes, I realized at times that there was a need to innovate, strategize, and manage, but none of this was as important as my sense that the people I pastored need to know God.

They needed to be taught the Bible so they could see and understand the great story of redemption and the ways in which God has dealt so lovingly and graciously with his people throughout the years. They needed to know how to believe the gospel.

They needed to be taught the Bible so they could see and understand the ways in which God’s people had lived in the kingdom as a community committed to love and serve one another. They needed to know how to belong to one another.

They needed to be taught the Bible so they could see and understand the ways in which the mission of the gospel had been carried out through average people who had nothing to give to the world except for love and self-sacrifice. They needed to know how to bless the world.

Whether or not I was innovative or strategic or managerial was never the issue. The issue was whether or not I faithfully proclaimed Jesus and his kingdom.

That, and that alone, would be the only way I would evaluate the success of my ministry. Had I been faithful to preach Jesus and his kingdom–in both my words AND my actions?

And so, for the past eleven years, I have been committed above all else to being a faithful expositor of the gospel. I did my best to never water down the truth, to never avoid tough subjects, and to preach the whole counsel of God. Some days this was easier than others. There were days that I couldn’t wait to preach, and there were other days when I couldn’t wait to be done preaching. One thing is for certain, when I preached the Lord was always faithful even when I was without faith.

Through it all, I  aimed to do my best to present myself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 NRSV)

This weekend I will stand in front of my church, one final time, as its pastor. I will end my ministry here the way it started. After we sing, I will stand and simply say, “Open your Bibles to…”

The moments that follow will turn the page on the greatest chapter in my life thus far. I will look upon a people who have learned to believe, to belong, and to bless. My only prayer will be that they will know that it is they who have taught me.

Providence Community, you have taught me to believe the gospel. You have made me want to belong to you. You have shown me what it means to bless the world.

Thank you for being the faithful teacher to me that I strived to be for you.

A Non-Measurable Resolution

There is something about the beginning of a new year. It is fresh and crisp like the cold winter morning air. Ahead lies the promise of spring, where the beauty of new life reminds us that there is the possibility for rebirth, for things once dormant to thrive once more.

And so, the new year always seems like a chance to start afresh.

The result of this feeling is to plan, to strive, to resolve — thus our New Year’s Resolutions. The things we didn’t accomplish last year are now to be forgotten. What lies ahead is all that matters.

New’s Years Resolutions are typically about doing rather than being. Because we are a performance based culture, we strive to set goals that can be measured. The result is that our inner life is often left wanting. The cultivation of a deep inner life is not necessarily something that can be judged and graded. It is a slow, secret, and mysterious work.

Cultivation of a deep inner life best occurs in solitude and in silence. This is the environment in which we discover ourself, because in solitude and silence there is nothing else to discover. It is here, alone with our self, apart from all the noise, that we must reconcile our actions with our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

In solitude and silence we truly come to know ourself. It is in this knowing that we discover whether or not we are living our own life, the life of our true self, or living the life of someone else, our false self.

There is a great passage from Henry David Thoreau, that is quoted by Henri Nouwen in his book Reaching Out. Thoreau says:

When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet a man who can tell us any news which he has not read in a newspaper, or been told by his neighbor; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and our fellow is that he has seen the newspaper, or been out to tea, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters proud of his extensive correspondence has not heard from himself this long while.

Having lived over 150 years ago, today Thoreau may be a little off on where people gain their information and their life, but his evaluation is spot on. Let me change the wording a bit and see how it strikes you.

When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip. We rarely meet someone who can tell us any news which they have not read online, or seen on Facebook; and, for the most part, the only difference between us and them is that they have seen the blog, or been on Twitter, and we have not. In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to social media. You may depend on it, that the poor person who walks away with the greatest number of Facebook friends proud of their extensive correspondence has not heard from his or her self this long while.

In our age of constant connectivity, how do we find time to hear ourselves. Most people check social media right before bed, right when they wake up, right after lunch, while on the toilet, as soon as the plane lands, and as soon as they see something in the news. In fact, the reason people check social media the minute something major occurs in the world is because they don’t know how to respond to it. They cannot hear their own voice and so they must listen to the voice of others in order to know how to respond.

I’d like to suggest that as we think about the New Year we think about our inner life and not just our outer life. Let’s think about being and not simply doing.

Yes, it would be great if you accomplished a lot this year. However, if those accomplishments come at the cost of losing yourself, then what have you really accomplished?

Jesus asked, “For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” (Mark 8:36 NRSV)

If you made New Year’s Resolutions, how many of them are something you can check off a list once they are accomplished? How many of them can be measured?

If your News Year’s Resolution is to cultivate your inner life, you won’t be able to say when you’ve done it. You will, however, definitely know if you have not.

God With Us

If I were a blogger I’d be a terrible one. I blog with zero consistency–not a good sign for a blogger.

Thank God I’m not a real blogger.

I sometimes write on this blog because I sometimes feel like have something stirring inside of me that I would like to say.

I’m not sure who I’m saying it to, but it sure seems like I think more clearly when I write it.

Not that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

For the past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about the interaction between God and Moses at the burning bush. The story is really incredible on a number of levels, but I’ve been lingering on a few words.

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land… (Exodus 3:7-8a)

The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. (Exodus 3:9-10)

when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain. (Exodus 3:12b)

I’ve really tried to imagine this scene. I can picture the celebration and excitement of Moses when God says HE has come down to deliver Israel. Notice how quickly that celebration and excitement turns to confusion and concern when God says MOSES will deliver Israel.

God: I have heard my people’s cry.

Moses: Yes! Finally!

God: I have come to deliver them.

Moses: Yes! It’s about time! It’s been 400 years! This is what I’ve always wanted! This is AWESOME!

God: You will deliver them.

Moses: What?! You just said YOU had come down to deliver them!

God: Yes, I will use you to do it.

Moses: No! This is a terrible idea! This is HORRIBLE!

Moses is just like the rest of us. He wants God to answer his prayers and to do something great, but he does not want to be the one God uses to answer his prayer.

Like all of us, when faced with something beyond his comfort level, Moses begins to doubt himself.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)

In other words, “What skills do I possess? I’m not the right guy for the job. Surely there is someone else who is better equipped!”

God’s answer seems to completely avoid Moses’ question.

He said, “I will be with you”

That’s God’s answer, or non-answer if you prefer. Look at the dialogue again.

Moses: Who am I that I should go?

God: I will be with you.

That’s God’s answer?

I will be with you.

Really?

God, you completely avoided the question. You didn’t answer anything about who I am. You said nothing about my skills or lack of skills. I’m not equipped for this.

From Moses’ perspective the question of identity seems most important. From God’s perspective the fact of his presence is all that matters.

As I write this, it is only a few days until Christmas. I’ve been thinking about these words…

Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

and…

“And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Jesus (Matthew 28:20b)

It’s easy to say Jesus is Lord.

It’s easy to forget Jesus is Emmanuel.

I need to remember that as I look at my situations, at my problems, that Jesus is Emmanuel. He is God with me in my situation. He is God with me and my problems.

Who am I is not the deciding factor in my situation or my problems. The deciding factor is who I am with.

The Unholy Advent Wreath

Advent is a special time of the year in which we (are supposed to) slow down and reorient our lives to Jesus during this season of expectation and hope leading up to the celebration of his birth.

Having grown up in a non-liturgical tradition, I have really come to appreciate the Christian year calendar and the rhythms it gives to me. These various seasons allow me to live in to the Christ story for the sake of my own formation.

Each week of Advent is marked by the lighting of a different candle around the Advent wreath. The four candles around the wreath are representative of hope, peace, joy, and love. In the middle of the wreath stands a lone white candle, larger than the rest, which represents Christ. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, and signifies the end of waiting, the realization of expectation.

While this candle is not lit until the end of Advent, it casts its shadow over the whole season. It is the candle that the others center on. They are there as a result of this candle. Christ at the center means hope, peace, joy, and love. To remove Christ is to quickly dispose of the others.

As I’ve been reflecting, I’ve concluded that most of us fail to realize that there is an Advent wreath in all our lives. An unholy Advent wreath.

The unholy Advent wreath works in reverse. Rather than waiting to light the candle in the center, we light it first, rushing ahead to take matters into our own hands. This is not the Christ candle, this is the me candle. The Christ candle has been displaced from the center of the wreath, an accurate reflection of Christ being displaced from the center of our life.

The unholy Advent wreath represents our life, our world. In this world, we are at the center.

The result is tragic. With the me candle at the center we must remove the candles of hope, peace, joy and love, and replace them with the candles of despair, violence, sorrow, and hate.

This wreath represents a terrible cycle that never stops. An orbit of tragedy caught in the gravitational pull of our desire to be the center of the world.

When we are the center of our lives, we quickly discover that we are more powerless than we would like to admit. There is little that we can control and this impotence leaves us without hope. Plunged into a sea of despair, we become violent in the hopes of regaining control.

Have you ever seen someone drowning? They become so frantic that they often violently take down the person who is trying to save them. This is what happens when we feel hopeless. We act mad.

Have you looked at our world lately? It is mad. Rape, murder, suicide, school shootings, movie theater shootings, mall shootings, acid attacks, car bombings, you name it and this world of despair is experiencing it.

This despair that leads to violence then leads to sorrow. We are a people who must grieve the loss of loved ones and mourn our condition. Violence leads to sorrow, but sadly the cycle doesn’t end and the sorrow sets in and hardens, propelling us further along the cycle towards hate.

In the unholy Advent wreath, despair leads to violence and violence leads to sorrow and sorrow leads to hate. We hate our condition (despair); we hate others (violence); we hate our loss (sorrow). The cycle keeps thrusting us forward without any hope, peace, joy, or love.

The cycle must be broken but it can only be broken by a displacement of the candle at the middle. The me candle must be displaced by the Christ candle. This is what repentance is really all about–letting go of my agenda and embracing Christ’s agenda. I must realize that my agenda for the world, along with everyone’s else’s agenda, leads only to despair, violence, sorrow, and hate. Christ’s agenda brings hope, peace, joy, and love.

Left only to ourselves we are a people trapped in a vicious cycle from which we cannot be freed.

Thus we wait…

And once again Advent draws our thoughts towards the one who will free us.

Put A Face On God

Jesus must be the one I think of when I think of God. Thoughts of God that are inconsistent with what I know to be true of Jesus are therefore not true thoughts about God. Jesus has perfectly revealed God to us (John 1:18; 14:9; Hebrews 1:3).

I find that it is helpful for me to think about God’s character in the context of spending time with Jesus. Let me explain.

Most people, I believe, think about God’s character from above. They think of God in the clouds–speaking and acting in complete transcendence. This way of thinking about God tends to remove him from the earth and render him incomprehensible. I’m going to call this the Psalm 115 way of thinking about God.

Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases. (Psalm 115:3 NRSV)

In other words, when I don’t understand God’s actions I simply say, “Well, I guess he’s God and can do whatever he wants. He’s in heaven and things aren’t the same there as they are here.”

I don’t believe that is a good answer, nor an acceptable answer.

I’m very familiar with that answer–that was my main answer for years. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ll simply say that I had different presuppositions in those days.

These days I have one presupposition about God–He is just like Jesus.

Rather than thinking about God’s character from above, we need to think about it from below. Rather than thinking of God in the clouds, we need to think of God on wood–the wood of the manger and the wood of the cross. This way of thinking about God situates him among us (which was his choice) and renders him comprehensible (this too was his choice). I’m going to call this the John 1 way of thinking about God.

…and the John 14 way of thinking about God

…and the Hebrews 1 way of thinking about God

…let’s just call this the Jesus way of thinking about God

…as a matter of fact, let’s just call this the right way of thinking about God.

Let me show you how this works. I stated above that I find it is helpful for me to think about God’s character in the context of spending time with Jesus. In other words, what would I notice about Jesus if I spent time with him? What would make a lasting impression?

Last week I spent some time thinking about this in light of 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NRSV)

Try to imagine spending a week with Jesus during the time of his incarnation. How would you characterize Jesus at the end of that week?

It was difficult being with Jesus. He was envious, boastful, arrogant, and rude. He insisted on his own way, and he was irritable and resentful. He also rejoiced in wrongdoing.

Or…

It was amazing being with Jesus. He was the most patient and kind person I have ever been around. He always rejoiced in the truth and was willing to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.

You see, we all know that if we spent time with Jesus we would be overwhelmed by love incarnate. We would see the true nature of love in the person of Jesus–his way of being and his way of acting. There would be no question as to the character of Jesus.

Now think about this…

God is love. Love is patient and kind. Therefore, God is patient and kind.

It’s simple logic and yet for some it is impossible to grasp.

God is patient? God is kind? Are you sure about that?

Why is it hard to grasp? Because they only know how to think of God’s character from above. They think of God in the clouds–speaking and acting in complete transcendence. Removed from the earth and rendered incomprehensible, this Psalm 115 way of thinking about God means that he is in heaven and can do whatever he pleases–even when it means that he is inpatient and unkind.

BUT…

God has been perfectly revealed in Jesus. To see Jesus is to see God.

So, what if we say…

Jesus is love. Love is patient and kind. Therefore, Jesus is patient and kind.

It’s the same simple logic, but now it becomes easy to grasp.

Jesus is patient? Jesus is kind? Absolutely!

Why is it suddenly so easy to grasp? Because rather than thinking about God’s character from above, we thought about it from below. Rather than thinking of God in the clouds, we thought of God on wood–the wood of the manger and the wood of the cross. This way of thinking about God situates him among us and renders him comprehensible.

This is putting a face on God and it is how God wants us to do it.

For it is God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NRSV)

Prayer for the First Week of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(BCP Collect: First Sunday of Advent)

Thanksgiving Prayer

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

* From the Book of Common Prayer

An Unhurried Life

An-Unhurried-LifeThis weekend brings two very different days, each marking the beginning of two very different seasons.

First, the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, officially declaring the beginning of the Christmas Shopping Season, which is characterized by hurrying. Second, this Sunday is the beginning of the season of Advent, which is characterized by waiting.

On Black Friday people will stand in long lines for low prices. Many will push and shove, unable to wait their turn. By the time the Christmas Shopping Season comes to an end, people will be utterly exhausted.

In contrast, the first Sunday of Advent will be observed as people wait silently, lighting a single candle that represents hope. This is not a season of hurry, leading to exhaustion; this is a season of waiting, leading to renewal.

To help you embrace this season of waiting, during Advent, I HIGHLY encourage you to read An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling.

I’ll tell you about the book in a minute, but first let me tell you about Alan Fadling.

I met Alan several years ago at a crucial time in my life and ministry. He told me that he worked with an organization called The Leadership Institute and they had a program for Christian leaders called The Journey. It helped leaders embrace the rhythms of Jesus in their life in order to avoid, or recover from, burnout in their ministry. At the time I thought, “That’s great they have that program for ‘those’ types of people.” Little did I know that shortly after meeting Alan I would experience some things that suddenly made me one of ‘those’ types of people.

Realizing that I was overstressed and overworked, I remembered meeting Alan and decided to give him a call. Alan listened to me as I described my current state and then asked me a simple question, “When is the last time you spent time alone with Jesus?”

I thought I knew what he meant. “Well all the time. I was alone with Jesus this morning preparing a sermon,” I answered.

He replied, “Not preparing a sermon. Not doing something. When is the last time you were with Jesus doing nothing? Just being with him. Simply resting and allowing him to restore your soul.”

“Uh…well…um…I think…,” I stuttered, looking for an answer, when I knew the answer was, “Never.”

Alan will never truly understand the impact of that one call, though I tell him regularly. Over the next couple of years, Alan would become a companion to me on my journey to re-learn what it meant to follow Jesus. He was the perfect guide for me as I needed to slow down and re-think my approach to life and ministry.

I was so excited when earlier this year Alan’s book, An Unhurried Life, was published by IVP. This book contains more than just Alan’s words–it contains his life and his wisdom, both of which have been tried and tested by countless pastors and ministry leaders who have experienced Alan’s friendship, humility, and grace.

The first three sentences of the book read, “I’m a recovering speed addict–and I don’t mean the drug. I’m talking about the inner pace of my life. I always seemed to be in a hurry.” The book then goes on to examine the life of Jesus and demonstrate that Jesus was anything but hurried. Jesus maintained an inner calm–he was both unhurried and relaxed. The same cannot be said about most of his followers.

Think about it. Jesus calls us to follow him. He does not call us simply to follow his teaching, but to follow him. It is the person of Jesus we are to follow–this means not only what he says to do, but his way of being.

Is it possible, then, that Jesus calls us to an unhurried life?

I’m one of those people who likes to share his friends. When I meet someone, I’m always thinking about who they should meet. The great thing about having friends who write books is that you finally get to share your friends with everyone you know. Alan is one of those friends that I want everyone to know.

God used Alan to change my life in so many ways, but none more important than his teaching me to live an unhurried life. I, like Alan, still struggle to do so every day, but wow does my life look different.

As we enter into this season of Advent, which is meant to be unhurried, I want to encourage you to slow down long enough to read An Unhurried Life. You may find that reading this book slows you down long enough to really begin to live.

* Thanks, Alan! I am eternally grateful for you.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 952 other followers