Giveaways You Don’t Want to Miss: Candace Cameron Bure, Jen Hatmaker, Emily Freeman

When I worked as a journalist early in my writing career, I interviewed Kirk Cameron multiple times. Kirk’s kindness, thoughtfulness and passion for Christ made a lasting impression on Leif and I. To this day, whenever we see him at events, he remembers our names, asks about our lives, and still walks in remarkable graciousness. Continue Reading...

How to Nurture Wonder

In our modern culture, we aren’t really taught to nurture a sense of wonder.

Yet from the very beginning of Genesis, we get a glimpse creating endless surprises in the sky, sea, and land, all the way to the closing of Revelation where we see God seated on the throne with peels of lightning and thunder and creatures beyond description, we serve a God who is full of wonder. Indeed, our God is Wonderful.

I'm so excited to be part of the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, October 7-9--an event that attracts more than 10,000 pastors, leaders, and ministers from around the world. Gifted teachers, gurus, and my personal heroes including Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Brene Brown, Erwin McManus, Christine Caine and many more will be exploring the theme of Awaken to Wonder. Plus, on lab day, I can't wait to be part of the If:Gathering Track.

Why is wonder so crucial?

If familiarity breeds contempt, then religious familiarity breeds cynicism. 

All of us, if we are not careful, can lose the wonder.

The wonder of...

being a child of God

of having our name on the lips of Jesus

of sharing the name of a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a gathering of precious saints

of walking among those who are broken but made whole, sinful but redeemed, imperfect but deeply loved

Hebrews 12:28-29 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Do you see it?

Our worship of God, in part, is to be fueled by a sense of awe.

And so if we, who claim to be followers of Jesus, lovers of God, and aren’t experiencing any wonder of who God is in our lives, then maybe we need to ask some hard questions: Continue Reading...

The Most Powerful Gift You’ll Ever Give

What do you give the person who has everything?

What’s the most meaningful gift you can give?

What’s the one transformative gift that money can’t buy? Continue Reading...

Let me introduce you to my friend, Julie. Julie Pierce has one crazy dream: to empower leaders to change the world. She does this through coaching, consulting teams, and speaking around the country. Author of Play, Team, Play!, she lives in the Dallas area with her family. Julie is a dear friend and Writers Boot Camp graduate.

This One Thing Will Destroy Your Team

by Julie Pierce

I reported to a stranger.

Every Monday morning, my boss and I met to dissect my team’s latest marketing plan. His cut-to-the-chase tone and mannerisms made it clear to me he didn’t care to know me as a person, only the details of our projects. These meetings left me feeling like a commodity rather than a contributor, a producer rather than a person.

A few hours later, I’d walk into a meeting with those who reported to me. The transition was like an unexpected ice bucket challenge: a shock to the system.

I knew my team. I sympathized with the financial pressure Frank felt as he pursued a master’s degree. I appreciated Nicki’s ability to silence a crowd with her chimpanzee call. And I understood Cara’s nervousness about pregnancy and Charlie’s nerves about proposing.

In turn, my team knew me. They recognized the “tell” of my tiredness—that’s when my Texas twang drawled every word out for days. They could read the stress on my face and the sparkle in my eyes.

The stark contrast between these two meetings highlighted a deeper truth:

Working for a stranger isolates and demotivates.

Working with a connected team includes and energizes.

Frank, Nicki, Cara, Charlie and I had moved from having a cursory knowledge of cubemates to becoming a knowing community of teammates. Because we knew each other beyond our titles and alma maters, we were motivated to help each other succeed. We wanted to see each other’s strengths shine.

Leader friend, are you leading a group of strangers or an energized, connected team? If you want to lead a dynamic, effective team, try these 3 steps for eliminating the strangers and cultivating team community: Continue Reading...

What NOT to Do When Your Friend Experiences the Loss of a Baby

Becka Burke, my friend and graduated Writers Boot Camp cadet, experienced one of life’s most tragic losses. Within moments of giving birth, her precious baby, Andy, died. She’s been courageously fighting back with joy, but sometimes the grief is just too much.

I asked her to share what have been among the most hurtful and helpful responses from her friends. Burke (who is on instagram and twitter) shares: Continue Reading...