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Where The Waters Meet: A Different Way to Engage Conflict

My family and I got to visit Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands last weekend. Somehow, we lucked into the best October weather the Pacific Northwest ever sees. We assumed it would rain the whole time but we got beautiful sunny warm weather. Our family visited Spencer Spit State Park for a few hours and I stumbled upon a pretty cool little spot. This piece of land juts out into the water and almost touches another island. I was able to stand at the end and watch two sets of waves meet. They were flowing opposite directions. I couldn't believe how peaceful and quiet the moment was. Here's a video of it.


As we all continue to figure out how to navigate a world with such polarities and extremes, may new ways of engaging conflict rise to meet us.
Where The Waters Meet


There is a place where one set of waves meet another
You would think they would crash into each other
with their own momentum and route and movement
But they don’t 

Instead, the peaceful energy of one wave
mixes with th…
Recent posts

Let's Talk about the Grief of Growth

In high school, I was a part of a group of people who changed my life. In those teenage days where feelings change by the minute and our insecurity screams, it was pure gift to have a group of people where everyone felt safe to figure out who they were. We worked hard to make sure everyone felt included. No one was was going to feel left out on my watch. No one.

This kind of home base enabled me to dream big dreams, help others and start to see a vision for what's possible in communities like this.

The downside to this group is that it grew. At least it felt like a downside some days. We had so much fun being friends, laughing and hanging out together. We were happy to have new people join us, but if we were really honest, we loved our group the way it was. So sometimes we didn't invite everyone to everything. There were Friday night hangouts where not everyone was invited. I remember feeling the tension at a young age.

My heart beats for including everyone who wants to belon…

Why pastors need collaboration, not competition

There's competition in every industry. Some get promoted over others. Some work incredibly hard but their gifts go unnoticed. Others do good work and people assume they're fine but underneath, they feel like they could never be honest about how hard life is in this season. People spend more energy figuring out how they measure up in a work culture instead of doing the actual work.

Competition itself implies there are two sides.

I remember field days at my elementary school in Alaska. The half-frozen spring ground was covered with clumps of dirty gray snow. Jackets were thrown on the ground as the fourth graders tried to beat the fifth graders at tug of war. Rope burns were shrugged off as sweat dripped down our young faces. We were determined to beat those fifth graders. Our pride was on the line.

Whether you're a fourth grader or an ad manager at a fancy marketing agency or a senator trying out for attorney general, competition runs deep in our DNA.

We want to be the bes…

what to do when a new thing is unfolding

Have you ever felt nudged, invited or slightly pushed into a new season of life? You sense the old way of being is on its way out and something new is calling you forward.

It's awkward. Exciting. Nerve-wracking. Compelling.
These seasons can feel so disruptive. Recently I whispered to God, "I hate that this dream is so disruptive!" 
I want an easy dream. An easy new adventure. One that fits into my life with ease. A new season that's manageable. Definable. Controllable.
*smile*
I've been reminded lately that there is an energy in this world (I call it God, you might call it something else) that loves to stir things up. To remind us it cannot be contained. 
Your Spirit moves like an unexpected wind,
stirring everything up -
you show no concern for etiquette.
Once or twice a year, we delight in this part of you.
But most of the time, we do our best
to tame you
to cage you
to confine you
to our obsessions with order, with rules, with systems, with traditions, and mostly w…

Why Some Experienced Clergy (and Lay People) Have a Hard Time When Younger Clergy Take Renewal Leave

This is a guest post from my very own dad! He's a United Methodist pastor serving in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy chatting church leadership with my dad and it's fascinating to see how our generational differences bring different perspectives to our calling as pastor. We need each generation to walk with each other as we figure it out in this new world. We've been reflecting lately as I finished up a renewal leave and he prepares to retire this June. 
By David Beckett
I fall into the category of experienced clergy which is a polite way of saying I am old. I’ve been pastoring for nearly 40 years. When I was a young pastor my role models were mostly white males who presented an image of success that equated with dedication, overwork, and sacrifice. My first senior pastor talked about the 20 hr/wk he invested in sermon preparation. And he expected his staff to work beyond their stated hours. During those three years of full time seminary and a large youth group I put in up to 80 hr/…

we don't hold anything alone

outgrowing the formulas

This sermon was given today at Marysville United Methodist Church. Or if you prefer, you can watch it. Enjoy!
You can outgrow lots of things. Some allergies as young kids go away. We outgrow some of our fears. A job, a relationship, the ability to eat whatever you want and it not affect you, a movie that you used to love, a bad habit.

We are growing and changing human beings. You are a different person than you were a year ago, maybe even a month ago. You see new things, hear a new perspective and it changes you. This is good. You’re alive in the world. It’s okay to change your mind on something and move to a new understanding.

Today we get to reflect on formulas, mud, spit, Jesus, bacon and why life is better when you can move from your head to your heart.

Confession. I’ve always been pretty bad at math. I remember my high school and college math classes. I barely got through. But I remember learning about formulas. A mathematical relationship or rule expressed in symbols. It’s a p…