10 summer reads from our archives for the heat and these hard times

Here are 10 summer reads from the Messy Jesus Business archives that could fuel your fires, ignite your actions, inform your choices. These words could companion you in the summer heat and during these hard times.

The holy work of tending to life

“Everything is work. We either accept it or we fight against life.” This was the declaration of the Mother Superior and leader of Regina Laudis, a Benedictine Abbey of 36 nuns in Connecticut offering their lives in prayer and cooperative work with God and all creation. This community raises beef and dairy cattle, makes cheese,Continue reading “The holy work of tending to life”

Bring on the boredom: the paradox of the path

Years ago, at a family gathering with cousins and aunts and uncles rubbing shoulders and shaking hands, I uttered words for which I was shamed and even scolded. We were in the hills of Iowa at my uncle’s pig farm. He was the eldest uncle. His children were at least a decade older than me,Continue reading “Bring on the boredom: the paradox of the path”

Unprofessional

I recently observed an online discussion in which a full-time church minister who had just become a new mother was lamenting the fact that she was not allowed to bring her new baby with her to the office. She felt she had valid reasoning to do so and made a good case for her abilityContinue reading “Unprofessional”

Work and rest

  This last month was a strenuous one in my youth ministry. It involved back-to-back weekend events, and I found myself putting in tons of extra hours and working for a 21-day stint with only a single day off. It involved late nights and early mornings. It was hard, tiring work. During one evening ofContinue reading “Work and rest”

80/20: following the rules of the Pareto Principle

If you have ever looked to improve your time management, you’ve most likely come across the 80/20 rule (more officially known as the Pareto Principle). The Pareto Principle states that frequently, the majority of effects (roughly 80 percent) come from a minority of causes (roughly 20 percent). You will most often find this principle appliedContinue reading “80/20: following the rules of the Pareto Principle”

Ugandan faith lesson #5: hope

Faith lessons from my Ugandan family Editor’s note: This is the final blog post of a five-part series “Faith lessons from my Ugandan family”  (see lessons #1, #2, #3 and #4) by Messy Jesus Business guest contributor/Rabble Rouser Nicole Steele Wooldridge about her experiences in Mbale, Uganda. More than almost anyone I know, my Ugandan host parentsContinue reading “Ugandan faith lesson #5: hope”

Fear and sandwiches

  On most days at work, I sit down and eat lunch with at least a few people who are, more or less, on the opposite side of the political spectrum from myself. While we agree on many of the problems our country faces, our ideas on how to solve them vary wildly. There are,Continue reading “Fear and sandwiches”

Daily grind and reason to praise

Many of us are in the daily grind of ministry and we don’t really know for sure if we are having a positive effect. We show up at our service sites day-in and day-out. We chime in at meetings. We help others with willing hearts and joyful faces, enlivened by our belief that we’ll encounter ChristContinue reading “Daily grind and reason to praise”

God-centered mundane matters

God is the center of my life. Really, I mean it. God is my life.  God consumes my life. Most of my time, thoughts, and tasks have to do with God. I wish I could tell you it’s completely great. Many mornings, as I hit the snooze button on my alarm, I think ‘God! Already!?” Then IContinue reading “God-centered mundane matters”