Conscious choice

(First published September 20, 2012.) “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” That’s what Jim Collins says at the end of “Good to Great and the Social Sectors.” “Creativity is natural. Discipline is not. The marriage of creativity and discipline is key to […]

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Piling wood.

If we were to look at the Old Testament chronologically, in the order of the story it tells, Nehemiah would be one of the last two books. It may even be the last book, since Malachi, the last of the prophets, may have visited Jerusalem while Nehemiah was away for several years. So the very […]

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5 ways Nehemiah can help you succeed in your great work.

As I’m reviewing the year, I’m seeing how Nehemiah has been teaching me this year. Here are five of the lessons I’m learning. (These are all excerpts from “A Great Work.” Follow the link to order or review it.) Pray every day. “Are you saying,” I asked, “That every morning and every evening, your prayer […]

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Restoring vision: A non-profit leader’s story

First published February 18. This is one of several posts on Nehemiah this year. It didn’t make it into A Great Work. Nehemiah had a problem in the non-profit he was leading. He’d been called to the international office for a lengthy assignment. During Nehemiah’s tenure, the organization had experienced a resurgence in reputation and […]

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“A Great Work” is not a how-to manual. Whew.

Q: Did anything give you chills when writing A Great Work? That’s a really odd question. Except that I have an answer. I was looking at chapter 8 of the book of Nehemiah. It’s the one where Ezra starts reading the book of the Law, and the Levites start translating it, and everyone starts weeping, […]

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