Posts in spirituality
How to Integrate Spirituality in Your Performance Reviews

I don't know about you but I find performance reviews to be both exciting and frustrating.  Exciting from the standpoint of having an opportunity to encourage someone.  Frustrating from the standpoint of not knowing how much "God talk" to include in the document.

The guideline I use is the 80/20 rule of performance reviews:  focus 80% of your comments on the person's workplace performance.  Use the other 20% to affirm their spirituality or ability to sync with the organization's core mission.  We're not talking about religion but about one's spiritual working-ness.

An example of how this could be practiced is in the following example:

"Jose, your ability to manage complex tasks is admirable.  In any given week, you balance 10-12 active projects with precision and in a timely manner.  In particular, your handling of the X Account is worth mentioning as you adeptly coordinated Deadline Y with Issue Z back in February.  Good work on this.  As this organization is focused on stewarding the gifts God has given to each of us, you live this out on a daily basis and we are all better as a result."

Question: how are you integrating spirituality into your performance reviews?

*Photo courtesy of EM

Where the World and the Church Intersect
What kind of Church do you have?

It's easy for the Church to bow to the alluring callings of the world.  It feels cool to have a Church that is staying up with the times.

I'll be the first to admit that I'd like to go to a Church with a coffee shop in the lobby and an ATM machine just outside the door.  I wouldn't mind a Church that helped me with car repair or a Church that actually took the poor seriously.  It would be nice to see a Church that valued preaching every week and not just at Christmas.  Imagine a Church that had great music all the time and not just when the choir really prepares extra hard.

This wish-list sounds lavish, I know.

God created the world and it's our job to help Him redeem and co-create it.  Whenever I hear someone rail against secularism, I try to listen carefully to see if they see the world as a totally barren place or one with the capacity for renewal. (I know, this is not a habit of normal people.)  This world-or-church paradigm is, I think, somewhat of a false dichotomy.

There is a soft spot for where the world intersects with the Church.  This just might be the place where the Gospel is needed the most.  Isn't that what it means to be "in but not of the world" as St. Paul preached?

Worldliness has been part of my own Advent journey this year.  Instead of letting the stuff of the world stress me out (be honest, when you see your neighbor putting up his Christmas lights, don't you feel a nudge to do the same?), I've gone with the flow and tried to take things more slowly.  It's not that I'm shunning the world but rather trying to respond appropriately.

My lights won't go up until this weekend.  I don't plan on sending out Christmas cards.  My co-worker gifts are all getting the same  gift (I ordered 10 copies of Jim Collins' book, Great by Choice).  I'm going to a Mass on Christmas eve at a place that I know will have inspiring music.

And guess what?  I feel great about all of this.  I think Christmas will be meaningful this year because our family has been intentional about Advent and how we see the intersection of the world and the Church.

It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition.
Podcast 19: Interview with Tara Rodden Robinson
In this cast we go live with Tara Rodden Robinson, a.k.a. The Productivity Maven.  Tara can be reached via Twitter (@tararodden)  and offers a great premium content plan called The League of the Extraordinarily Productive.

She speaks from the heart about her faith, her PhD in biology and how she has modified GTD to a broader audience.  Tara's podcasts include the GTD Virtual Study Group and @Context.

Enjoy the cast!
How iCloud is Like the Holy Spirit

Apple officially released iCloud and there seems to be a lot of miscommunication about what it is.  We know what it's not:

  • It's not a website (although you can certainly go to

  • It's not a place

  • It's not a browser

  • It's not a search engine

So what the heck is it?  Well, it's sort of like the Holy Spirit.  In a Christian theology of the Trinity, the Father creates, the Son redeems and the Holy Spirit holds it all together, sanctifying all of creation.

iCloud holds it all together- your calendar, your address book, your photos and documents.  It's the fiber of memory between your mobile devices and the thread that keeps your data backed up.

I imagine that in a few years, people won't even think about iCloud because they'll take it for granted.  Christians have been doing this for centuries, focusing more on the Father and Jesus.

Maybe it's time for techies to get to know iCloud.

Maybe it's time for Christians to get to know the Holy Spirit.

If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end in all our actions but the divine honor.
- Saint Charles Borromeo

What I've Learned from 365 Days of Prayer
If there is one book that God has used to stir my spiritual life, it's Bill Hybels' Too Busy Not to Pray.  I read this just over a year ago and began an adventure of daily prayer that, this past week, marked 365 continuous days of devotions.

Hard to believe!

I've been a Christian for a long time but in only two periods of my life did prayer become real for me.  First, when I was in college, my prayer life was quite vibrant and alive.  Now as a result of reading Hybels' book, I'm thankful that I've hit another patch of spiritual consistency.

God gets the credit.

My previous post documented what I learned from only three weeks of prayer.  Little did I know that we would be here, one year later to report on this "spiritual experiment".  Here are my findings:

  • Simple is good. I've used the ACTS method of prayer and its strength lies in the simple approach to prayer: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication.

  • The journal is key.  By writing down my prayers and complimenting them with verbal prayers, prayer has become more real for me.  I use a simple .99$ notebook from the grocery store.

  • Flexibility is important. As life has "seasons" when some things work and some things don't, so too does prayer have its moments.  I've had to change up my Scripture reading, times of day and length of journaling depending on how things were going.

  • There is no perfect moment. If you wait for the perfect moment to pray, it won't happen.  It will never be totally quiet and you will never hit an hour in the day when you feel perfectly ready for prayer.  The key as Nike coined years ago, just do it.

  • Prayer is about relationship and communication.  In the beginning, my devotions were something that I wanted to test out.  Then, it became something that I had to work at.  Now, I can't imagine not having a daily time of prayer.  My relationship with God needs good communication and by starting the day with prayer, I'm placing Him first on my list.

  • Prayer is about sabbath. Jesus was very serious about taking time to slow down.  Daily prayer peels off a little bit of sabbath time and inserts it in days other than the sabbath.

Wherever you are in your spiritual life, it's never too late to begin a new season of prayer.  Anyone can do it, it costs nothing and there may be no better use of your time. What are you waiting for?

Here's to another 365 days!  I'd love to know what's working in your devotional life so that prayer is real and alive for you...