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Showing posts from March, 2017

Keeping Focus in Coaching

It’s possible to drift in coaching relationships. They can become a pleasant catch up, but be relatively ineffective in helping another grow personally, spiritually, and vocationally. Indeed, they can become frustrating sessions, where old issues are re-hashed with little evidence of increasing maturity or responsibility in the coachee.

One of the most important steps in keeping coaching relationships effective is contracting well. Expectations need to be crystal clear, with key goals / growth areas identified at the outset.

Some of the expectations that should be built in to a powerful coaching agreement/contract include:


* preparation for sessions. The coachee should agree to bring an issue to every session.
* commitment to action steps. The coachee is clear s/he desires to grow, and commits to implementing any actions arising from each session.
* regular meetings. If meetings are only very occasional or are made on an ad-hoc basis, the coachee may feel little pressure to implement ac…

On Writing and Witchcraft

Last week I had two friends independently tell me I should be writing more. I've had the impression this just might be a Divine hint.

In reality, I write all the time! Emails, Facebook, messages, reports, articles... so I thought I might start recording some of my incidental writing in this severely neglected blog.

My most interesting email today expressed concern about this resource on baptism, because it refers to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. It claimed this reference was evidence of witchcraft infiltrating Churches of Christ.

How would you respond to such a claim?

This was my reply:


Dear Worried About Witchcraft,

Thanks for expressing your concerns and the respectful tone of your email.

I formerly taught at a Christian school. Once staff there intervened to rescue C.S. Lewis' classic allegory "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" from a group of parents' bonfire purge of all "witchcraft" references from the library.

My personal opinion is th…

Easter Reflection

In any one year, over 2 million Australians will have an anxiety disorder. Among young people in Australia, one in six is currently experiencing an anxiety disorder. Even these horrifying statistics do not factor in the distressing, but non-clinical levels of anxiety experienced by many.

We can readily blame externals like job insecurity, house prices, family breakdown, international conflict and terrorism for this malaise. I suggest swirling beneath this is an unnamed spiritual anxiety. We have unresolved and often unnamed questions deep within our souls. Does my life have any meaning, how do I deal with a vague sense of guilt or unworthiness, how do I respond to all that seems wrong in the world, how can I find inner peace, how can I find lasting love, and if we simply live and die, what is the point of it all?

At Easter time we proclaim anew the ancient message: “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen…

Shake it Off

I was involved in an online forum today discussing how women called to ministry feel about Complementarian theology. Surprise!!! They don't feel thrilled about it. Nor do they feel all warm and fuzzy about its proponents.

I responded with a cautionary reflection:


When Jesus first sent out the 12 disciples (Mark 6, Luke 9), he gave them an interesting instruction: shake the dust off your feet when you leave a town that won’t receive you or listen to you.

It’s an odd kind of saying. I like to think of it in these terms… if you’re rejected, don’t let that stick to you. Move on to the place where you WILL be received… with hope and an open heart.

It’s possible to take the views of Complementarians personally…. VERY personally. I think that’s usually unhelpful; I think it’s better to move on to a context where you ARE accepted, than to become angry and miserable over attitudes you’re unlikely to be able to change.

Am I saying not to advocate for equality? Not at all! Attitudes that min…

Fun, Fun, Fun...

"Ways of having fun are infinite in number, limited only by our imaginations. But how many of us spend weekends and summers resenting that we lack the money to REALLY have fun, or that all the money we spent failed to buy enough of the "happiness product"? We have limited the supply of fun by putting the power to produce it in the hands of sports promoters, casino operators and travel agents. We have put ourselves in the position of anxious and impoverished consumers wanting to buy from the approved sources, but with never enough cash or satisfaction to come out ahead. We have made what is obviously abundant into something that is scarce."

Parker J Palmer “The Promise of Paradox” pp 98 - 99

Who remembers playing games as a child? I remember playing cubby houses with a blanket, making assorted structures with blocks, running around at school playing endless make-believe games with my friends. I remember playing cards and board games with my siblings, exploring the l…