Sometimes, I simply cruise through life assuming that everybody knows what I know. The other day, I was in a meeting with two of the Missional Wisdom Foundation’s smart young people, and one asked how to set a price for a class that she is teaching. I kind of cocked my head, thinking “Well, that’s really easy,” and then caught myself. These two have not run their own businesses (yet!), so I slowed down and explained the process step by step. They both caught on very quickly, and told me that the explanation had been so useful to them that I should write it down. So here I am.
Everybody thinks empathy is a good thing, right? Most of us face a challenge, though. We think empathy is a good thing. We want to practice it, especially with those who are closest to us, but find ourselves at a loss in those moments when it doesn’t happen spontaneously.
A self-cropped mop of curls hung around her face which was as red as anger and hurt can make it. The toe of her one-inch heel was missing a few of the plastic jewels that crusted the surface. When she stamped it onto the long-ago polished wooden floor, her fingers, still a little chubby with babyhood, were fisted, tight.
We will pray daily
This is the opening statement of the Missional Wisdom Foundation's Rule of Life. Since I bumped into the MWF in 2012 (when my husband Luke Lingle began Launch & Lead), I have wondered about that line.
SHELTER FROM THE STORM: Walking Tall Wilmington founder Randy Evans (not pictured) took in a group of people who had no where to go during Hurricane Florence as part of Walking Tall Wilmington’s mission to help an under-served population. Photo by Randy Evans
Words from the Keynote Speakers, Randy Evans and Shelley Webb
God gave us brains, and I am convinced that God intends for us to use them. From one perspective, humanity was blessed with reason to be able to carry God’s task of creation forward. Just as God calls us to be God’s hands and feet in service to others, God calls us to use our reason to co-create solutions and blessings for all those around us.
One of the great delights of working for the Missional Wisdom Foundation has been discovering the network of amazing people and organizations connected to the foundation. During the National Gathering we sought to connect people with each other based on their gifts. First, we had people write on cards their gifts, skills, and passions. These were placed on a wall so others could see this amazing portrait of our Dispersed Community's assets.
About fifteen years ago, I first heard about sustainable agriculture. Now, I come from a good, composting family. We had reusable shopping bags way before they were cool. But we never used the compost. We just didn’t throw food scraps in the trash. We threw them in the backyard. But in the world of sustainable agriculture, there are ways of doing things. There is tilth to consider. And biome—or was it biomass? And runoff.
You know how sometimes those informal conversations that pop up around the refreshment table or informally in the parking lot are actually the best part of the whole conference?
Are you ready for a little grammar lesson? In the sentence "I am a lay theologian," there is a subject, I, and a predicate, am a lay theologian. The adjective lay modifies the predicate noun theologian not the subject I. And this feels important enough to risk your eyes glazing over with terrifying flashbacks of diagramming sentences.
The gentle current of God’s will washes over every interaction. Like a river, we rush by the uncomfortable emotions, tension, and conflict.
In the mountains of Western North Carolina, the grass is growing again, the birds have returned, the carpenter bees are eating a perfect circle in the railing of my front porch. Spring has returned. The nights are soft and clear, and a certain yearning has returned to my heart. I love to wander under the twilight sky, deep into the evening—because, in the twilight, I can inhabit an edge.
Pilgrimage is an intentional journey from the pilgrim’s context to a place of religious significance to promote spiritual growth or transformation. It is an ancient practice of process associated with many of the world’s religions.
Hospitality is not just a kind smile or nice refreshments, though those are certainly important. It’s not glamorous most of the time—like putting enough paper towels in the restroom. More often hospitality is noticed by its lack than its presence. How do we create a space in which people feel they belong to something bigger than themselves and are an integral part of what happens there—that each item is provided for you, individually, as well as for the community?
I frequently find myself searching for different ways to connect with God. When I discovered contemplative prayer, I fell in love with visio divina: the practice of sitting with a picture, noticing what I notice, asking questions, and praying about it.
Holy Saturday Meditation
Good Friday Meditation
Maundy Thursday Meditation