Owning your part in a conflict

Speck-IllustrationLast weekend, we continued our series through James by considering the root causes of conflict. I don’t know anyone who is immune from relational conflict. Broken relationships affect all of us.

James gives us the anatomy of quarrels and fights – our passions that are at war within us. These are selfish pleasures, desires that we seek to fulfill in any given relationship. Desires turn into expectations, and when those expectations are inevitable unfulfilled, we experience disappointment expressed through some form of punishment (withdrawal, irritability, anger, the silent treatment, the list goes on…) Continue reading

The Art of Being Fully Present


Wow! Thanks everyone for the great interaction and response to last week’s post about shutting down technology and being present. I want to balance those thoughts and ideas with a thought on what it takes to engage one another. I say balance because it’s easy to address a topic by saying what we should not do. I want to also offer something that we should do. After all, most of us could attest to the fact that our mobile technology is often a buffer to protect us from the uneasiness of not knowing how to be fully present.

I want to share some insights from my friend, Mike Wilcox. Mike spends a lot of time working with missionaries, helping them process through some extreme wounds, hurt, and brokenness. Last June, I spent some time with Mike talking about what it takes to engage these folks and how he helps them engage others. One of the jewels of our conversation was the way he nuanced the ideas of vulnerability, transparency, and authenticity.

I know for many of us those three words are synonymous. Mike, however, helpfully clarified these terms for me. Contrary to what I had believed, vulnerability and transparency are not necessarily good things for a community. Let me share how he explained it. Continue reading