Sabbatical Reflections #9: Noisy Souls


The past few days have been enjoyable – learning a lot but also becoming more and more aware of how short our remaining time is. It sounds weird for me to say that, because we’ve had so much time here – this is such a unique situation because it’s much longer than a vacation would ever be but we didn’t “move” here… we are returning. So we’ve long passed “vacation mode” but I don’t know what “mode” we’re in right now — but the thought on all of us is: “we’re going back soon!” It’s particularly weird for me, because I tend to be a “driver” yet one of the main purposes of this sabbatical is for me to NOT drive, but to rest, refresh, recalibrate. And so while there are a few things I was personally hoping to “accomplish” I am trying hard to not put that pressure on myself, but if you’re a driver, you know how hard that can be. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been resting a lot, enjoying the family and making my schedule as it comes, I think it’s the calendar that makes me a little anxious as I look at a few “unrealized” goals and limited time. That will lead us in nicely to what I want to talk with you about today. But before I get there a quick family update…

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Sabbatical Reflections #8: Keep It Simple


So we’ve passed the halfway point in the sabbatical which is creating several emotions in us. There’s an excitement to go back, to see friends, get back to “normal” life and serve God at church. To be honest there’s a little “panic” – how are we going to do this? how do we re-engage after we’ve become so used to this way of life? And then there’s a little reflecting and planning and it’s this third response that I want to talk with you a little about. Where we’re at today is beginning to think about returning to life and asking, what can and do we want to do and be differently as a result of this dedicated time on sabbatical?

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Sabbatical Reflections #7: Deposits & Withdrawals

This is completely fascinating to have time to actually focus on who I am as a person, a pastor and leader. Last week was full of meetings with several pastors, an old mentor/friend from NJ (who’s 84!) and a counselor. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, praying and enjoying the family. God has given Lisa and I 3 really amazing girls and I am truly grateful! It’s nice to attend church, to worship and to sit under the teaching of God’s Word. This is actually our first full week in one place! We’ve always been driving up to South Carolina, Atlanta, Orlando etc – I am guessing that all together so far we have spent over 52 hours in the car!! My kids have been amazing, but it’s been A LOT! I am grateful to have this full week to establish some rhythms and keep growing. I definitely have been developing rhythms on the other weeks, but this is a full week to experiment with it. Ok, onto to today’s learnings…

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Sabbatical Reflections #6: Letting God

So it’s really been these past few days that I’m really starting to get into it here on sabbatical. What I mean is when you are involved in a fast paced, full on, integrated type role like a lead pastor, it takes a little while to decompress and get out of the normal “mode”. Add to that some great meetings with area pastors, biblical counselor, old friends etc and now you’ve got some movement happening. More on that in a second. But on the “what have you been doing topic” – our family and I drove up to South Carolina to attend a party for my sister’s wedding, visited Passion City Church in Atlanta and saw some old friends who now live in Atlanta. It was great to see lots of family I haven’t seen in many years, obviously awesome to spend time with my parents and then a great church and great friends capped off a great long weekend. It was a ton of driving though (21 hours total! – ugh!) So we got back Monday night here in Venice, FL and I’ve been meeting with folks each day since I’m back. No work on my book this week yet, oh well.

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Guest Post: TJ Addington-Humility


One of the great privileges I’m having here on my sabbatical is to do a lot of reading, articles, blogs, books, Bible etc etc And as a leader I am grateful to be influenced by my friend TJ Addington. He’s written a great blog on the topic of humility. I think this topic is one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed with people. I’ve ought referred to it as “teachability” but humility definitely expands the concept in a great way. Take a second and read through this blog post from his blog (Leading From the Sandbox: ) and then reflect on your own life and your humility. See if this is an area you could grow in…

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