This week in our Sue Edwards’ study on 1 Peter, we’re studying how to remain at peace with our brothers and sisters, as well as those who persecute us. I have to tell you that I’m not great at peacemaking. Sure it’s my intention, but when I’m crossed or offended, pride and self-protection rise […]

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In this third week of Sue Edwards’ study on 1 Peter, we come to this wonderful passage on our identity. I remember loving this passage a young Christian. Like Sue (as she notes in the book), I had been an unplanned, unwanted and wrong sex child who experienced a lot of shame and abuse as […]

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The Christmas Gift

November 18, 2010 | 1 Comment

How often do we discount or mistreat others? And how often are we treated badly by others? And how often are the reasons for those conflicts a mystery, even to us? The Christmas Giftt by R. William Bennett is a charming story of a newcomer, a bully, and the benefits of doing the right thing. […]

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Creating Other People

June 25, 2010 | Comments Off

I’ve been reading a great book called SuperCoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone’s Life by Michael Neil. The book is full of  helpful hints for successful living. I especially liked his chapter on “Listening” in relation to my interest in challenging people. He says, We’ll nearly always hear what we’re listening for. This creates a […]

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Valuing the Unlovely

January 27, 2010 | Comments Off

Do you have challenging people in your small group? People who don’t fit in anywhere? I love this quote from S.D. Gaede in Belonging: Our need for Community in Church and Family (Zondervan: 1985). “More than anything else, community in the modern world depends on our willingness to emulate the Samaritan’s choice—on our willingness to […]

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Care for the Fragile During This Season

October 26, 2009 | Comments Off

If you have challenging people in your group or church, this could be a difficult couple of weeks for them. Most Christians don’t understand the spiritual realities of the Halloween season and therefore, don’t understand how fragile some wounded people can be.  There is a definite correlation between how severely a person was wounded in […]

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Let’s Take Another Look at Halloween

October 22, 2009 | Comments Off

Christians are confused about Halloween. No wonder. When many of us were growing up, Halloween was a favorite holiday. We loved dressing up and parading through the neighborhood in search of the ultimate thrill–a bag full of candy! We squealed with delight when our favorite neighbor feigned fear or pretended not to recognize us. Few […]

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Why Dividing Groups is a Dumb Idea

August 21, 2009 | Comments Off

This post is just one stop on the Sticky Church Blog Tour. To read other posts in the series, visit the Tour Hub. It’s my turn on the Sticky Church Blog Tour and I get to write about one of my pet peeves—dividing groups, or multiplying as some leaders call it.  For almost as long […]

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Pat is Speaking at BASS This Weekend

March 4, 2009 | Comments Off

I want to invite all readers in Northern California to join me at the Bay Area Church Workers Convention Thursday through Saturday (March 5-7) at the Redwood Chapel in Castro Valley. I’m teaching five workshops on small group leadership, including: Leading Dynamic Discussions (Friday, 12:00 m) Getting Started (Friday, 3:00 pm) From Here to Maturity […]

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Auction to Help Needy Family

January 19, 2009 | Comments Off

On December 31 I posted about Liz and Katy, a mom and her 16-year old daughter who found them selves homeless. Katy has been blogging their experience  and my fellow author Brandilyn Collins has been behind what has become a huge nationwide movement to provide help for this family. They have been featured on several […]

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