Thursday, April 29, 2010


This is a re-post of part of a column called “The Next Pitch” by Scott Couchenour. It’s part of his blog Serving Strong. See the entire entry by clicking this link. Given present circumstances, too relevant not to share.


The score is tied 3 to 3. It’s the bottom of the ninth. Two outs. The count is 3 balls, 2 strikes. The pitcher has just received the signal from the catcher and is winding up to throw the next pitch.


Look into the eyes of the batter. Notice what’s going on. Everything around him fades away. It’s just his bat and the next oncoming ball. He has no idea how the ball is going to come at him. It could be high and outside, fast, slow, knuckle ball, changeup, or curve ball. But everything about the batter is completely still.

We must be ready for what comes our way when working with the needs of people. One of my former coaching clients (a great thinker) put it well,

“There is a ‘right time’ to rest and a ‘right kind’ of rest – not based on the need to recover from a recent sprint or marathon, but based on the need to be prepared for the next pitch coming my way. There is a stillness, a single-mindedness, a centered calm that can be chosen, adopted, breathed into my heart and mind, as the key element of physical, emotional, and spiritual preparation for the next task to come.

“As I sit by the stream in my back yard on a cool, windy spring day, I am aware of coming storms. Some people only know how to prepare for storms by getting busy (batten down the hatches, stow away the patio furniture, stock up on batteries, and check the flashlights.) I am learning how to prepare for a storm – by being still.”

Saturday, April 17, 2010

FORWARD, week 1

Tonight we ended the first week of FORWARD with a prayer vigil from 8a.m. to 8p.m. in the Chapel on the St. Paul’s campus. It was a great ending to a full week.

I’ve been reading through a daily (Monday-Friday) devotional book that will last for these first four weeks. A couple of the days readings (especially Tuesday) spoke to a lot of us in very powerful ways. Evidently, “Gratitude in the face of disappoint” is something a lot of us could relate to.

Tonight I was part of the group praying during the final hour of the vigil. Spending an hour in prayer may seem like a long time, but it went so quickly I ran out of time before I ran out of things to pray about. It was a great way to begin this capital initiative at our church.

Tomorrow we’re entering week 2. The specific goals of FORWARD will be laid out in our six services and then in the evening I’ll spend additional time answering questions for people at the Refinery campus and anyone else who wants to come. I’m honestly looking forward (no pun intended) to the questions because I think they show genuine interest.

I’m convinced God’s up to something huge here; I can’t wait to see what it is.