Woe and Hope

People throughout time have encountered God.  Abraham and Sarah had a nightly visitor who made them laugh in disbelief.  Don’t forget the burning bush incident – that was weird.  Jacob wrestled with God at night and ended up with both blessing and a chronic injury.  Adam and Eve walked with him in the Garden and then were banished from the garden.  Moses got handed a set of stone tablets but never saw the Promised Land.  Elizabeth and Mary heard from the angels more than modern ultrasounds ever tell us and managed to each experience a miraculous birth.  There were so many, many more times when God entered the lives of his people.

 

I hear the stories today too.  A friend of mine was once diagnosed with cancer and a bunch of his friends prayed over him and his next visit the doctor couldn’t find the cancer - a modern day miracle.  My own brother in 1986 heard the voice of God and he wasn’t even interested in God but that didn’t bother God.  As my brother recounted later, “God said, ‘Gary, this is your chance.  Your last chance.  Call for help or tonight is your last.’ ”  He called.  A few days later he experienced a remarkable and miraculous healing and baptism.  The thing that was also odd about this experience is prior to hearing God’s voice he had WANTED to die.

 

We love these stories, don’t we?  It gives us hope that in our hour of need perhaps God will come for us and save us!  But some of these God encounters are more disturbing than delightful.

 

Isaiah comes to my mind.  Or Jeremiah.  Both had “Woe is me!” moments in the midst of loving God and serving Him.  I suspect many of us have had those moments too.  Both men were sent by God to deliver truth, hard truth, to a people who had grown forgetful of God, his promises and his sovereignty. 

 

What amazes me is how God continues to show up with the exact message folks need to hear.  Some get healing; others rebuke; all his love.  My prayer for us all is that we continue to listen, listen for the voice of God.  Whether it shows up in the wind and rain or sunshine, may He continue to lead us, his beloved children. May we follow his lead today!

Was There Ever a King Like This?

After the Israelites gained possession of their new homeland, they looked around and wanted what other tribes had – a king.  They begged and complained and whined and eventually God gave them what they wanted.  Again.

 

First Saul, who turned out to be a mess and then David, a king after God’s own heart but a complicated guy with his own issues.  In the darkness that inevitably followed God’s people demanded and received what they wanted rather than trusting God with what they need.  Eventually God came with a promise (and some needed consequences as well).  Here’s the promise:

 

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it germinate and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater so shall be every word that proceeds from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”. Isaiah 55:10-11

 

Eleven days from now we will celebrate the birth of Christ.  The day will bring its own mix of sacred and profane, joy and heartache if previous holidays are predictive.  But no matter what happens on December 25th, what we can know is this:  the God of our understanding will accomplish that which he has purposed. 

 

When we forget and begin to believe that our own beliefs, longings, wants and needs, demands, and plans are necessary for God to accomplish his own will – we have fallen into the same trap of self-deception that ensnared the Israelites.  Those guys intended to love God and bless others, sometimes.  But mostly they kept stumbling over themselves and their own ideas.  Even David.  Tomorrow we will remind ourselves of why earthly kings are not where we place our hope. 

God Loves The Sorry People

If you watched the video about Curtis, I wonder if you came to the same conclusions I did:

 

1.    Curtis is a bit indulged so thinking of himself as “less than” is shocking.

2.    Is there a healthy middle ground between King and Sorry Person?

 

On a larger scale, what does this little clip have to do with us spiritually?  I think quite a lot.  When we move on in the scriptures to Joshua 24, we discover the Israelites on the verge of entering the Promised Land.  Spies were sent to scope out the current inhabitants and make an invasion plan.

 

Two guys in the search party wanted to trust God and move forward; the rest were afraid and held back.  God received this news as rebellion so God gave them exactly what they feared – no entrance into the land.  Eventually the doubters died off and the remaining Israelites did indeed claim the land promised them so many years before.

 

As their new lead guy, Joshua reminded his rag tag band of Israelites of their past infidelity and asked a solid question: “Choose this day whom you will serve.”  Josh. 24:15

 

As we draw near to our sacred Christmas holiday and the end of yet another year, maybe we would be well-served to notice if there is some area in our own lives where we are behaving more like King Curtis than a faithful servant of God.

 

In the case of the Israelites, they told Joshua that they would repent even as he reminded them that they weren’t capable of faithfulness.  He reminded them that at this point their freedom and security depended on their ability to follow God and serve him only.  Joshua had done what he could do, but he could not compel them to live as men and women who loved God.  Joshua was proven right; the Israelites soon strayed.

 

Fortunately for us, God loves sorry people.

King Curtis and The Sorry People

A few years ago a little boy named Curtis became well known on a show called “Wife Swap”.  He came from a family of indulgence.  Mom and Dad did whatever it took to make their two children happy.  Curtis accurately read the tea leaves and named himself, “King Curtis.”

 

But the show “Wife Swap” is all about shaking things up; King Curtis’ mom was replaced with a fitness instructor who ran a tight ship in her own home.  Naturally, fireworks ensued:

 

Watch this.   

 

Tomorrow we are going to talk about it.

The First Passover

In Exodus 12, we learn of Moses.  He was an Israelite baby who was spared the judgment of the Pharaoh who had issued a decree to kill male Israelite babies.  He was basically trying to reduce the Israelite population.  Cruel?  You bet.  Hard to fathom?  Oh yeah.  I wish I could say that this cruelty had been eliminated in the world today.  But I’d be lying. 

 

Moses was spared.  He eventually commits murderer in a fit of rage and if you read carefully the accounts of Moses, I think you might agree with me that he was a bit of a whiner too.  He was good and bad during the entirety of his life, ultimately not making it into the Promised Land himself.  He was called to set his people free and successful in doing so to a point. Before, during and after he was weak and strong, trusting and distrusting.  The freedom journey was long and arduous and eventually it worked but a lot of people got slaughtered along the way. God had a plan which the Israelites executed and were saved by that allowed their freedom journey to BEGIN.  But it was all long and hard, glorious and gut-wrenching.

 

We could make a big old long list of the events within the past 12 months that reflect a tone deafness and lack of awareness of how we have continued to marginalize, dehumanize and allow or willingly pursue the winnowing out of one race, religion, gender or another. 

 

But that’s not the point of this devotional.  Here’s my point:  God is always up to something.  Prepare yourself not by perfecting a sparkly crown of good behavior but by figuring out a way to remember that there is a God and he is crazy about you.  Just try.  Someday we all may look back on our lives and see how we were part of the starry sky, a constellation of God’s people who in small but significant ways provided a pin prick of light in an otherwise dark landscape. 

Injured in Battle

My job title can be a burden.  I observe two inclinations in strangers who find out that I serve as a pastor: they back up or lean in.  I prefer the leaning in response.  Paired with our laser focus on spirituality AND recovery at NSC, the “leaning inners” often tell me some really great stories.  One storyline troubles me. It’s the storyline that recounts how a loved one does not believe in God.  I’m not sure the response the “leaner” is looking for, but historically I suspect I’ve been a disappointment in my response to them.  In response to this consistent message, I have acquired a personal perspective on the subject matter of lost sheep.

 

It is far more important to understand God’s perspective on his sheep than it is to know the opinions of the sheep. I could support this perspective with any number of biblical references regarding wandering sheep and their tireless faithful shepherds.  We could talk about how God has been compared to a shepherd in the bible at least 33 times – give or take a few due to my poor counting abilities.  Instead, I want to talk about someone who just might have fit into our community at NSC.  His name was Jacob.

 

He was one of those stars in the lineage of Abraham and he was one tricky trickster.  He used the favoritism of his mother toward him to help him trick his brother out of his portion of his inheritance.  Many biblical accounts support the idea that Jacob was a man with defects of character.  But his greatest weakness – a stubborn propensity to passionately want and take what he wants out of life – turned out to be a strength in the story I want us to focus on today.

 

In Genesis 32 Jacob is once again in the midst of a scheme.  He’s preparing to meet Esau, his twin that he cheated and who he hasn’t seen in years because Jacob fled the scene post con.  He’s gotten in trouble with the family he married into while in exile and is returning home.  It really is a story worthy of your reading!  Trust me on this – Jacob is pretty ruthless in his intent to preserve his own hide.  Then there is this weird wrestling with God story.  Ultimately, we find out he is actually wrestling with God, and he refuses to let go of God until God blesses him.  He received both a blessing and a torn muscle that resulted in a permanent limp.

 

I don’t know what to make of this story but to say this: God is in the business of blessing people. He isn’t interested only in perfect people; he is willing to wrestle with ALL people.  That willingness is a consideration when we are doing our own wrestling – over both dark inclinations and our holy humanity.  When people tell me that their loved one doesn’t believe in God and imply that this somehow is connected with their addiction issues or poor choices, I generally respond like this, “Don’t you think it is at least as important to remember that God loves your kid/niece/spouse as it is to focus on what your loved one indicates about their opinion of God?”  I think it matters.  I’d encourage you to be gentle with yourself and others in the God department.  Disappointed in yourself?  OK.  Go wrestle with what to do.  But remember that the seat of power is God’s (not ours) and he’s crazy about you.

The wreckage of our past

The story started out so well.  The lovely garden, Adam and Eve immediately given the job title of CEO of the earth – no working their way up through the ranks like a lot of my friends have had to do!  Three chapters in and we move from a “very good” God and evening strolls through the garden with the crowning glory of his creation to Adam and Eve hiding behind fig leaves filled with shame. 

 

God’s response?  Consequences.  Every character in the tragic play that we have come to call “The Fall” received a consequence.  Banishment from the garden forced Adam and Eve out – a tragic demotion.  But here’s the thing – God went with them.  It reminds me of this verse:

 

We all have to die—we’re like water spilled out on the ground that can’t be gathered up again. But God doesn’t take life away; instead, he makes plans so those banished from him don’t stay that way.

~ 2 Samuel 14:14 CEB

 

God confirms the value of delivering consequences AND he never delivers them for the purpose of breaking relationship.  Instead, it is so that relationships might be repaired, restored, people might be healed, conflicts resolved.

 

Here are a few things that I think are reasonable principles to consider:

 

· God is good at healthy detachment; he is not advocating for withdrawal from relationships, harsh punishment delivered capriciously, or shaming.

· Consequences have the potential to assist us in developing our character.

· God remains present even as he allows for consequences to play out.

 

It makes good sense for us to consider how God loves us and relates to us so that we might consider how this might impact our own relationships choices. 

Embrace your crazy

Abraham and Sarah weren’t the only couple in the scriptures who struggled with infertility.  Zechariah and Elizabeth did as well.  Infertility, like other misunderstood health issues, was viewed back in the day as a judgment from God. 

 

Honorable folks, Zechariah and Elizabeth didn’t end up responding to their suffering with the same crazy antics that Abraham and Sarah had; they seemed to accept their lot in life. 

 

But then an angel showed up and that was a game changer.

 

His message was a simple one – God was going to give them a son who would ultimately have a specific and crucial role in the grand epic narrative of Israel’s history.  We know him as John the Baptist.  He heard the stories of signs and wonders, after all, his very existence was one of those tales.

 

John was a good kind of crazy; a contemplative by practice, a minimalist by today’s standards.  These decisions were made to prepare himself for his call.  Eventually he left his solitary lifestyle and began to preach and baptize converts.  He was a compelling messenger although a confusing one and the religious leaders wanted to know: who is this dude?  The priests didn’t recognize what seems so obvious in hindsight – OF COURSE God would work like this. 

 

It’s so easy to wonder what’s wrong with those forgetful priests, men whose jobs included  telling the story of God and his people so as to constantly remind the tribe of their calling to bless others.  But wait.  Don’t we forget too?

 

I do.  I forget all the time that it isn’t my job to succeed, even if I am defining success in a way that I am absolutely convinced would make God smile.  I desperately want to succeed at things I think we would all support – effective interventions, restoration of families, spiritual awakenings and transformation of individuals, communities, and the world.  But all that, as good as it sounds, is forgetfulness.  What is my/our work to remember?  That we are to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.  I can participate in all of that as a failure.  I can preach incoherently and still do justice, love mercy and easily walk in humility/humiliation!  I can utterly fail at helping a family get help and still do justice, love mercy and walk humbly.  Me, my marriage, my kids and my extended family can go to hell in a handbasket and still do justice, love mercy and walk humbly.  And the cool thing is this is true for all of us!  Tomorrow we will talk about how we might improve our memory.

Where the Wild Things Are

Although the road was circuitous and much misbehaving happened from start to finish Abraham’s descendants eventually did flourish like the stars.  Eventually.  But at any pin prick point in time, Abraham and Sarah were a mess.

 

Yesterday I suggested that all glory and no guts is not the story the bible tells.  Even though there’s tons of glory (which we all love).  Before we get too hopped up on miraculous signs and wonders, heed the words of Jesus:  “Unless you see miraculous signs and wonders, you won’t believe.”  John 4:48, CEB.

 

We can argue over whether this was Jesus taking a shot at someone, or Jesus gently correcting, or Jesus just telling the truth.  But there is no argument over the gist of the quote.  Jesus isn’t a fan of a big show of religiosity or loving God in the hopes he will show you a shooting star.  He aligns himself with his Father: do justice, embrace faithful love…walk humbly with your God. BECAUSE GOD IS GOD…not for trinkets and magic show tricks.

 

I consider this as I stand at the edge of the fight and consider my options with the lightning fast processing of a big a** computer – or maybe an iphone.  I am NOT going to get in the middle of all that shouting nonsense.  I am not responsible for changing someone else.  I am able to think creatively.  Just because I can think of 100 things I want to do but probably shouldn’t doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to be done. And then, like a shooting star, it comes to me. I spin around and rush back to my car, throwing open the back hatch, and thank my lucky shooting stars that I am messy and I hoard books I love.  I rifle through the Target bags and dig under the area rug that I must return this week.  I toss aside my bible and my big book.  I ignore my grandson’s pretty blue sweater that I have been looking for going on ages – will it still fit him?  And there, shining like two little beacons of light I find them.  Two freshly minted mostly undamaged books of “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown, her latest publication which I have already read cover-to-cover FOUR times.  She has some language in there about politics and people and conflict and bravery that are just so good.  I grab them, slam the trunk, and return to the scene of what I think is a crime.  And I say, as calmly as a person can who knows she might be called crazy in two minutes, “Excuse me.  I have a gift for each of you.”  Gifts are always something that create a pause. I stand between them and have just enough room to extend my arms and hand each of them the book.  I say, “I hope this helps your suffering.”  And then I walk back to my car and drive off. 

 

I totally forget to vote. 

I don’t know if this was good or bad or right or wrong or just crazy.  I do know it was so upsetting that I had to go home and sit for 15 minutes to calm down before going BACK to vote.  I just hope it helps.  I hope it is more reflective of doing justice, loving faithfully, and humbly walking than my frozen state of non-doing last year.  Of course, if you see these two guys yukking it up on Facebook about how that crazy old lady with the really cool boots did that totally insane book giveaway which effectively caused them to stop their public disagreement and what a nut job she was, please don’t judge her.  She was trying to be brave.

Glory and Guts

With what should I approach the Lord
        and bow down before God on high?
Should I come before him with entirely burned offerings,
        with year-old calves?

7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
        with many torrents of oil?
Should I give my oldest child for my crime;
        the fruit of my body for the sin of my spirit?

8 He has told you, human one, what is good and
        what the Lord requires from you:
            to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.

~ Micah 6:5-8 CEB

 

 

That night at Laity Lodge a group of us huddled in the parking lot hoping for a miraculous sign. Like a shooting star.  We got not one, but several.  Oh happy day!  We appropriately celebrated, counting our lucky stars and even remembering to thank God for his glorious works.  So yes, there is glory to be had.

 

But then Pete and I returned to our ultra-modern, super comfy, fancy digs and I complained about a particular person who got on my ever-loving last nerve. Woe is me.

 

The glow of glory fades so fast.  Maybe it’s just me, but if I am sustained only because by signs and wonders, I’m not going to persevere in my faith. I’m going to burnout much like those shooting stars.  For onlookers, a shooting star is tantamount to a miraculous sighting, especially for folks who live in suburbia and rarely see more than a small sample of what the skies hold each night.  From the star’s perspective, it represents its last hurrah – rapidly moving through the sky as it enters the earth’s atmosphere, burning up as it displays its glorious plumage of wreckage while we mere mortals clap and cheer.

 

Thanks be to God that he demonstrates himself not only in the glory but in the guts of simply taking the next right step.  I step out of my car, head toward the voting booths and freeze as I witness the shouting match.  I watch the five little guys display various responses to their fathers’ bad behaving.  Mostly they look scared but a couple are nervously giggling.  In a split second I wonder if they are embarrassed or if this will turn into a tall tale about how my dad can beat up your dad. And I think that for times such as this, we all need adult supervision.

Shooting Stars and Other God Things

In October I saw a shooting star.  It was awesome.  We were in Texas on a retreat at this place we go called Laity Lodge that is freakishly perfect and beautiful.  And dark, really dark, at night.  The view of the stars is amazing and every time we visit I make Pete stare at the heavens for a long time at least one night while we are there. 

 

And I wonder about what in the heck Abraham must have been thinking when God said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them.” He continued, “This is how many children you will have.”  (Genesis 15:5 CEB) And then Sarah was barren.  How do any of us make sense of that?

 

Russ Ramsey says in his book Behold the Lamb of God that every story God tells is filled with glory – and of course, how can I argue with this?  It’s true!!!  But it is also chock full of strange things and mundane acts that continue to highlight the reality that we both bear the very image of God while simultaneously demonstrating our willingness to litter and call each other naughty names.

 

This is key information.  The volunteer ballot bearer, the well-heeled woman in her finery, the two dudes practically coming to blows over the best selection for Commissioner of Revenues for our county and even cowardly me who did not step in and defend a decent woman…we are all both fully human – in both the best and worst sense of that word.

 

This absolutely MUST impact my choices.  I must find grace for the mistakes made – even my own… I must find a way to love who God loves and support what God supports. I need to ask the kind of questions that guide me toward the light.


What does the Lord require? ]

With what should I approach the Lord and bow down before God on high? Should I come before him with entirely burned offerings, with year-old calves?

~ Micah 6:6, CEB

 

It isn’t about what we want to do or need to do or should do or shouldn’t.  There is no one-size fits all response. But there are responses to be made. This God who invites us to look up and admire his handiwork is the same God who encourages us to be transformed through his mercy.  I want that life. 

 

….to be continued

God, you are killing me!

In Alice Fryling’s book, Mirror for the Soul, she writes about Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice in Wonderland.  I’m not sure I knew there was a sequel.  In the Looking Glass House, books can only be read when reflected a mirror because the words are written backwards. Fryling’s book is on the enneagram and she uses that analogy as a way to talk about her fondness for that particular tool for self-discovery and her perception of its value. 

 

I would say that the scriptures have done the same thing for me (and the enneagram too for that matter).  More accurately, are doing the same thing for me.  God’s word provides a grand epic panoramic story that often serves as a backdrop for our own mite-sized narratives. Oftentimes I experience it as a Looking Glass House mirror.  It puts “me” in context; it takes my backward self and turns me around. 

 

I was ashamed of the way I didn’t handle the abusive situation when the older woman spoke so rudely to the slightly less older volunteer.  I felt like I didn’t stand up for someone who had stood up for my children.  She had been an able teacher and for one child in particular, a valuable mentor.  And when she was publicly humiliated I did nothing but hold her gaze and lamely attempt to communicate my silent rage.  This doesn’t fit well with that panoramic vision for life I’ve been reading about for decades.  Of the three of us, I was the greatest offender.

 

Where to go from here?  Back to the drawing board.  I cannot forget the things that are behind me, as Paul suggests in the scripture below, but I also know that needless rumination isn’t healthy either.  Maybe, just maybe, I can learn from my mistake(s).

 

Learning from this past experience has been an actionable item on my “to do” list for exactly one year.  When I arrive at my polling precinct and immediately am confronted with another scene, there’s only one sensible thing to do.  Pray – “God, you are killing me here.  Seriously?”

 

Join me as we go back to the beginning of this grand epic tale and see what God might have me do on election day in light of all we know about who God is and what he is up to.

 

Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me.

~ Philippians 3:13 CEB

Who am I?

Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.  Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

 

Election day 2017 was almost as traumatic as the presidential election day experience.  This time I walked straight into two dads giving each other the business while their combined tribe of five boy children watched.  I know these guys.  I know these kids.  These folks are friends; the dads have known each other since THEY were in diapers.  In a way, this familiarly on my part made the interaction MORE disheartening than the elderly lady who littered as a protest to others having a different political persuasion.

 

This time I wasn’t in shock; this time I wasn’t going to stand quietly by.

 

But what was I going to do?

 

That is ALWAYS the question in situations like this one. 

 

Let me back up and say that in a few minutes I will stop writing, jump up and run over to our “studio” (a different table in my office) and teach a webinar on DETACHMENT, CODEPENDENCY, and BOUNDARIES.  I do NOT think that if something needs doing it is always my place to do so.  I angst; I work out; I meditate; I write down things I feel and want to do and say and then burn them in my fire pit.  I teach hard things that I almost never want to abide by – but this is what it means to grow up.

 

It’s hard.

 

I am a strange bird.  I am both easily frightened and strangely aggressive when it comes to defending someone I perceive is being taken advantage of.  I am nervous and anxious almost 24/7.  I rarely feel capable but am always defensive when criticized.  My dreams are haunted with worst case scenarios and villains.  I try not to burden others with it, but there it is – it is my reality.  I feel responsible for many things that are objectively speaking NOT mine to do.  Sometimes I get in such a state about those things that I fail to notice the things I am responsible for.  Like making sure we have toilet paper in the house or turning on the stove to cook the Thanksgiving turkey.  Pray for my family.

 

But there is one thing that I have been doing consistently for over 30 years that I stand by unapologetically – I keep peering into God’s word to find answers to my moment-by-moment dilemmas.  I know that the bible is not a magic book of answers; I understand that it is the story of God, the story of us (to quote Sean Gladding).  I’ve read enough of it to have MORE questions than answers from the text at this point in my life.  However.  The scriptures reveal hidden mysteries and sacred truths that can guide us at least toward the light, even if on many days it seems so very pale and dim. 

To be continued…

Looking back, leaning in...

Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. Philippians 3:13 CEB

 

On election day 2017 I headed out to do my civic duty with dread in my heart.  During the previous presidential election two seemingly lovely ladies with opposing political perspectives caused a scene and it just killed my spirit.  Heading back to the polling precinct felt like returning to a crime scene.  To be clear, it was mainly one of the two that acted up.  One woman was a lovely retired teacher from my children’s school – she was handing out sample ballots for one political party.  She was as sweet and calm and deferential as she had always been as a teacher.  Top drawer classy lady. The other, ahem, well – this happened. 

 

“May I hand you a sample ballot?”  the volunteer inquires to a statuesque woman with expertly coiffed piles of white hair wearing a killer pair of red shoes and a St. John’s suit that looked fresh off the Nordstrom’s full price rack.  In silence, Red heels grabs the ballot, rips it to shreds and throws it on the ground, stomps her foot (not kidding), and harrumphs at the retired teacher lady.  She folds her arms.  She glares.  She sighs.  She calls the volunteer all sorts of names, one of which I had to google to understand. She was WAY older than me – maybe 100?  I thought perhaps she should have had more skill sets than she displayed.  But she had excellent balance in those shoes.

 

I was frozen in my spot, thinking, “Surely she had other options.” For example, how about..

 

“No thank you, I am clear on my voting preferences.”  OR “Hell no!”  OR 

 

“Sure,” takes the sample ballot, holds it until she gets to the nearest trash can and then deposits it where she believes it belongs.  OR

 

“I don’t need the ballot, but I am curious.  Could you tell me why you are out here on this cold, wet, rainy day to support this platform?  I won’t be voting for them, but I am really interested in hearing your perspective.”

 

When did it get so bad that little old ladies no longer led the way in decorum, wisdom and kindness?  That’s my pity-party sentence – now, let’s get down to changing the world one small next right step at a time.

 

To be continued…

New Blog Features

We know that most of you read the blog in your email inbox.  That's great.  It's quick and easy.  But we also want to make you aware of some new features starting in December that you'll only be able to use if you view the blog on our website.  In short, all posts from December 1, 2017 on will be grouped to make it easier to find past content.  

We will be using "tags" so you can quickly find posts that may be on the same topic but written at different points in time.  For instance, if the tag "codependency" shows up at the bottom of a post (on the website) you can click on that tag and see all the posts we've ever written on codependency.  

You can also:  

  • Find posts based on month and year of creation
  • Find posts based on the author (view all posts an author has ever written)

Bear in mind these features will only apply to posts moving forward and will not apply to the archived posts from our prior blog host and, because of that, it will take a little bit of time before they become really useful.  Even so, we want you to know what's on the horizon and let you know there will be benefits to getting out of your email and onto the website.  

Welcome to our new blog

Hey NSC'ers,

Welcome to our new blog format.  

Starting Dec. 1, 2017, we will post our daily blog directly on our Squarespace website and they will be emailed to you via our new MailChimp account.  Between now and then you will continue to receive the blogs in the exact same format you are used to.  There will only be one more day where you will receive both an "old" blog email and a "new" blog email.

We are doing this so we can have greater control over the format and layout of each post and how they appear both in your browser, on your phone, and in your email app.  Hopefully this will make it easier to read and engage our posts.  In a few days, you'll get another email unpacking new features that make the blog more searchable.

If you're having problems viewing our posts in any of these places, please let me (Scott:  scott@northstarcommunity.com) know so I can get to work on ironing out all the wrinkles.  


Thanks!