Packing a 13 liter backpack + small messenger for a 3 day trip

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For the past several years I have been challenging myself to pack light, so I can go fast. No waiting for checked baggage on arrival when traveling by air, no returns to the car to unload tons of stuff at the hotel when traveling by auto. With less stuff, I’m more mobile, less worried about losing things, and I learn to live with only what I really need.

For my last three-day trip to Georgia, USA, I packed pretty light (almost ultra light) and I thought it’d be worth sharing here. Something I did a bit different this time was to go the two-bag route. Continue reading Packing a 13 liter backpack + small messenger for a 3 day trip

The simple way to practice centering prayer

Centering prayer is about cultivating an awareness of the presence of God and an attitude of submission to his will. In other words, it is practicing consent to the loving action of God to conform you ever more to the image of Christ. Continue reading The simple way to practice centering prayer

Getting Things Done: Current Tools, Practices, & Principles

Please note this is a “living post” and may be updated frequently as my system is developed and refined.

In David Allen’s classic book on personal productivity, Getting Things Done he describes an ideal state of mind:

Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? The answer is, totally appropriately to the force and mass of the input; then it returns to calm. It doesn’t overreact or underreact.

So why do we care about this?

A mind like water is a disciplined mind, a mind focused on the right things, at the right times. David Allen places this in the context of personal productivity, getting the things you need to get done, done. David Allen’s Getting Things Done system can help you clear the clutter from your daily task list and help you order your life in a way that is consistent with your values.

I think there’s actually a spiritual component to this, if we’re open to it: the very biblical concepts of stewardship and working “as for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). Continue reading Getting Things Done: Current Tools, Practices, & Principles

The essential books

This is a “living post” and will be updated over time. You’ll find a curated list of books here that have proven themselves life-changing and helpful over time.

  • How to be filled with the Holy Spirit by A. W. Tozer. A deeply biblical yet accessible work that avoids much of the popular hype surrounding the charismatic gifts, while embracing fully the person and work of the God the Holy Spirit.
  • The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. A definitive work on spiritual growth and the spiritual disciplines.
  • The Meaning of Marriage  by Tim Keller. Probably the best overall book on marriage from Christian perspective out there. Read my full review.
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Where you want to start if you’re questioning Christianity on any level.
  • Worship Old & New by Robert Weber. Academic, but important for understanding the meaning and development of Christian worship over time.
  • My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Undoubtedly one of the most profound devotional works of all time.

Super-quick sermon prep

Finish your sermon or Bible study in half the time.

Are you a busy pastor, small-group leader, or Bible-teacher that struggles to get your sermon or Bible studies done in a reasonable amount of time? Do you sit down to study without a clear plan and struggle to find your next step? Continue reading Super-quick sermon prep