Hit that gas in 2023

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While everyone else is hammering on goals for the new year I felt the urge to take a moment of reflection in this last week of the year.  Don’t worry – I know the quote about the reverse mirror. “You do not move ahead by constantly looking in a rear view mirror. The past is […]

Merry Christmas!

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Do you know why I love the shortest day of the year so much? Every next day there is increasingly more daylight! It changes everything. Sounds familiar? There is a beautiful phrase from the book of Isaiah that is quoted a lot around this time of the year. “Of the increase of His government there […]

Fourth Advent: Love

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LOVE There’s one Dutch tradition we ditched pretty quickly after moving from the Netherlands to Italy. Some of our Dutch friends are about to be shocked. Sinterklaas didn’t make it. Ask me why later. We now enjoy giving each other gifts around Christmas instead. Two days ago I returned from teaching in a Discipleship Training […]

Third Advent: Joy

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JOY Monday morning I woke up to a powerful bright light in our bedroom and the voices of Rianne and our kids singing happy birthday songs to me! They still claim it was our normal bedroom light, but I’m convinced they brought a floodlight from the nearest construction site as a last attempt to finally […]

Second Advent: Peace

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PEACE The absence of conflict? When the last bullet has been fired and all weapons have been laid down? We hear about ‘peace talks’ and see images of important looking people shaking firm hands with sincere faces. Last week I wrote about the word ‘Hope’ for the first of four themes for the four Sundays […]

First Advent: Hope

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HOPE Hope requires creativity. The ability to see a different future than the reality that is now. Activating hope involves engaging the imagination. Daring to hope includes a good portion of risk that things may not eventually turn out to be as you imagine they will be. Risk to be disappointed. There is a HOPE […]

Happy Dopamine-Day

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Thanksgiving is a powerful thing. Not the holiday. Well, that too. I like the holiday. It’s nice. Probably our favourite ‘adopted’ holiday of the year. But thanksgiving, gratefulness, gratitude… It’s powerful! When we practice thanksgiving or gratefulness we activate a part of the brain that is associated with cognitive and emotional processes and it releases […]

Brain Games

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Card tricks to kickstart ‘renewal of the mind.’ Who would have thought? Almost every day of this week we started our training sessions with what I like to call ‘brain games.’ Optical illusions, a bit of ‘mind reading,’ card tricks, even – lots of ways to make ourselves question if what we think we know […]

Rare Leadership – Part 3 of 3


“Let’s just be friends!” No, it’s not our anniversary, and no, those aren’t words I was told by anyone personally – at least not recently. Why the wedding cake? Keep reading… Hallmark Christmas movie season is upon us, and soon enough someone will have to utter those words in a painfully anticlimactic scene by a […]

Rare Leadership – Part 2 of 3

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Picture a runner in the desert, all by herself. Classic desert, just sand, for as far as the eye can see. Slowly the scene moves from wide horizons to up close with the runner. Wait, is that a prosthetic leg? In the meantime it’s the deep voice of Idris Elba telling you that the runner […]