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Emotionally Healthy

A Trip Through the Wilderness

May is a bit of a strange anniversary for me. It was a year ago this time that I was working on the final two Sunday messages that I would share as lead pastor of the Ithaca Vineyard (the church I planted in Upstate NY in 1999). I was also preparing to step down at the end of the month to begin making final preparations for our family’s upcoming move to Ireland.

Saving for a Rainy Day

There are a number of things here in Ireland that from the outside seem quite similar to their American (or at least Upstate NY) counterparts. However, once you’ve dealt with them for a while, you realize that they are quite different. Not better or worse necessarily, just different. That said, I think for most of us, we generally interpret different at “not as good.” We romanticize the “good old days,” and get frustrated when things don’t work the way we are used to them working.

Reading Your Mind

I am a very poor mind reader. I do it a lot. I’m just not very good at it. I think it is pretty safe to say, that you are in the same boat as me. You send an email, and a reply doesn’t come when you expect it, so your brain begins painting a picture. “Here is why that person didn’t get back to you.” And most times, we don’t paint a very pretty picture.

Getting Unstuck

I've been feeling a bit stuck lately. You know when you start to feel a bit foggy brained, and even simple things become big problems? That kind of stuck.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

First off, I'm not talking about expecting like there's another baby coming (I think our family is past that point...) But I have been thinking a lot about expectations lately. Here are a couple of the thoughts bouncing around in my head...

How do you know?

This week a friend gave me a large check because he thought God wanted him to. He talked to his wife, she said it sounds like God, so they did it. As the recipient of their gift, it seemed like God to me, but could they have been wrong? Maybe it wasn't God. What then? We know that God clearly loves and blesses generosity...and when we respond simply because it seems like God, I believe He always honors that...even when we miss Him. There is only upside to following through in something like this...but we risk being disobedient if we don't.

Repost: Evangelical Angst

I'm pretty sure I know how to stress you make you feel at least a little bit guilty. In general, if you are an evangelical Christian, I know I just need to ask you a series of questions with the word "enough" at the end. "Are you reading the bible enough?" "Are you praying enough?" "Are you sharing you faith enough?"

How I Stopped Banging My Head Against the Wall

It seemed for a few years I found myself spending more and more time dealing with people who simply wanted to tell me how bad I was, or how bad the church was. It got to a point where I dreaded opening my email, or I'd see the caller ID on the phone and I'd feel the knot in my stomach. I'd let it get to such a place, where I was getting resentful towards our church.

If I could start over…I’d trust my gut more

Over the past couple days I've been writing about things I would have done differently if I could start the Ithaca Vineyard over again. I guess we could call it lessons I've learned (at least I hope I've learned them). Well, I just got back from my annual physical, and found out I'm in great health...other than needing to lose some weight...which reminded me...Another thing I would do differently if I could start over, is I would trust my "gut" more.