The Art of Listening: How Men Can Support Women

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Dear friends,

The Association for Women in Business here in Addis recently invited me to give a talk on why men should support women and how men can do this well. I loved this conversation, and I want to share my perspective with you.

As always, thanks to the subscribers who make Stop & Think possible and for your thoughtful feedback. I love hearing from you.

Yours with gratitude,
Andrew

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  1. Who Needs Support?

Every human, regardless of age or gender, needs the support of others.

From womb to tomb, we need others’ support simply to exist. But more profoundly, we need one another’s support to flourish, to come fully alive and to discover the meaning of why we exist.

Our need for others is not an unfortunate flaw but a beautiful feature of how God made us. We are not self-sufficient gods. We are interdependent creatures who are made for communication and cooperation with others.

Support comes from two Latin words: sub, which means “from below,” and portare, which means “to carry.” To support another person is to leave your privileged high-ground and to help them carry the weight of their life... Read More

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Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Let God’s Voice Echo in Your Eyes

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Dear friends,

This week’s essay continues my reflection on God’s declaration, “You are my beloved child; I’m happy with you.” If you try the experiment I suggest, please let me know how it goes.

Congratulations to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, for winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. May peace, justice, and reconciliation spread in Ethiopia.

Yours with gratitude,
Andrew

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In “The Divine Declaration,” I invited you to consider that God’s most basic message to you is the same as his only message to Jesus: “You are my beloved child. I’m happy with you.”

Inhaling and internalizing this divine declaration fills our being with dignity, peace, and joy. Before we have done anything or made something of ourselves, God declares his love for us and his delight in us – simply because we exist.

This divine declaration has powerful implications for our relationships with others and the moral quality of our society.

Imagine if we saw and treated others as people for whom God declares, “You are my beloved child... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

The Divine Declaration

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Dear friends,

This week I’m writing about divine declaration. Hope you all are having a great Fall and hello from Ethiopia!

Rich blessings,
Andrew

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Imagine living your life by embracing that you are lovely and loved by God simply because you exist. Fully accepted at your core. Causing delight. Celebrated as you are created.

Imagine breathing that in and allowing it to oxygenate and illuminate your entire being, even the deepest and darkest parts of your self.

This was the essence of God’s first and only message to Jesus throughout his entire ministry.

God’s words to Jesus are utterly profound and beautiful:

“You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22)

In other words: “Child, I love you. I’m happy with you.”

The phrase “whom I love” translates agapetos – my beloved, the cherished one. The Greek word for “well pleased” (eudokeo) communicates goodness, delight, pleasure: “You are good, delightful, pleasurable.”

It appears that God understands our deeply human fear that we are ultimately unlovely and unworthy of love in the depths of who we are... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Loss, Presence, and Hope

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Dear friends,

This week I’m writing about a recent road trip I took with my parents. The essay reflects on loss, anxiety, and a deep experience of hope I had with my mother. I hope you are encouraged.

Please pray with me as I return for a new semester of service in Ethiopia tonight. I’m excited for the good work ahead.

Rich blessings,
Andrew

###

Do you ever fear that you are losing your past or that the best is behind you?

Six years ago, my mother had a serious stroke. It was a Thursday – October 17, 2013. After that night of anguish, her life – and ours – has never been the same.

Mom’s physical abilities, appearance, and personality all dramatically changed. The person who loved spending time with others, who engaged in deep conversation and prayer, who worked out, rode horses, and practiced massage largely transitioned into memory burdened with a deep sense of loss.

Mom is still with us and full of love... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Being Known Undamns Us

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Dear friends,

This week I’m stopping to think about an unusual question: what damns us? I find Jesus’s perspective extremely thought-provoking and liberating. I’d love your feedback and insights from your own experience.

I’m on a crazy road trip with my parents to Maine. I hope you’re off to a good week.

Love,
Andrew

###

What disconnects us from God and damns our life? In less spiritual language, what is ultimate loss?

Jesus gives a thought-provoking answer to this question at the end of his first major teaching. As I look back on thousands of sermons in church, I can’t recall a preacher discussing Jesus’s strange statement.

Jesus says that not being known by God is damning and leads to ultimate loss. “I never knew you; away from me,” Jesus replies to those seeking his favor at the last judgment (Matthew 7:23).

Jesus’s words here are counter-intuitive. Jesus doesn’t say, “You didn’t know me.” Many religious people assume that us not knowing God is the obvious path to damnation... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Sister Death

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Dear friends,

This week I’m looking at death and lessons it can teach us about living well. Thank you for journeying with me, and special thanks to the subscribers who make Stop & Think possible.

With love,
Andrew

###

Every human being will experience death. In fact, part of what makes us uniquely human is that we live with the awareness that we are dying.

Still, death is difficult for us to face. It disturbs and frightens us, and thus we often avoid or deny it, until death visits us.

Christian faith invites us to face death with honesty and hope. It calls us to reflect on death’s meaning and to live in light of what it reveals. Ecclesiastes says, “Death is the destiny of every human; the living should take this to heart” (7:2). Paul wrote, “I face death every day” (1 Corinthians 15:31).

The reflections below are a brief attempt to take death to heart, to spend time facing death and learning from it rather than pushing it away... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

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I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

The Listener Is a Liberator

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Dear friends,

This week I’m reflecting on the liberating power of listening. Special thanks to Roger and Rebecca Sandberg for their incredible hospitality and beautiful practice of listening.

Yours with gratitude,
Andrew

###

Last Wednesday, I sat on a beautiful beach and experienced a vital truth: The listener is a liberator.

The Pacific Ocean was a deep aqua green. The sun was drenching everything in its golden light. The waves were crashing into foamy fireworks of white and blue. Surfers were riding the waves, and small children were blissfully playing in the sand. The salty smell of the ocean air filled my lunges, and the refreshing wind blew across my face. The surging, crackling roar of the tide filled my ears with its awe-inspiring music. Not far off the coast, a 235-foot volcanic rock towered above the pounding ocean, magnificently unmoved in the restless water.

It was paradise. Everything was beautiful. It was exactly what I hoped for when my friends invited me to come out for a time of fellowship and renewal in nature... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Suicide and Healing

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Dear friends,

One of my goals in Stop & Think is to explore topics that are often ignored or stigmatized in church. This week I’m looking at suicide and healing. I hope this honest essay opens room for you to reveal and listen. Your feedback is always warmly welcome.

Love,
Andrew

Suicide and Healing

I listened to a dear friend this week talk about their struggle with suicide. The darkness had come back, and they found themself thinking about ending it. The loneliness, emptiness, and pain had become unbearable. And yet they also had a nagging sense that their life wasn’t over. So they reached out to a few friends.

I was deeply moved by their courage to reveal themself with me. They talked about a devastating death from their past and enduring pain in their family. They shared about work and friendship and the sense of purposelessness in it all.

My friend then started to ask me a question but quickly interrupted themself... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Sapiens: A Review

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Dear friends,

Yuval Harari has become a famous and influential thinker. His book Sapiens was praised by Barak Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, among others. Many continue to read it. This week, I take a look at this brilliant and dangerous history of humanity.

Special thanks to the subscribers who make this work possible!

Yours with gratitude,
Andrew

#####

Yuval Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014) is written as a wakeup call to human thoughtlessness in the form of an entrancing description of 70,000 years of human history. Harari is convinced that the “history of humankind” is packed with interesting and important stories that will shape – and also potentially lead to the annihilation of– our species’ mind-bending future. Harari’s book, then, serves as an example of the kind of rigorous thinking that he believes is urgently necessary: thinking that makes sense of the past, asks challenging questions of the present, and faces the future with clarity, creativity, and courage... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.

Disappointment with God

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Dear friends,

This week I’m exploring disappointment with God. Thanks for the vulnerable and encouraging feedback on my recent essays exploring burnout and grief. I’m grateful to journey with you.

With love,
Andrew

#####

My sister Abby sat with me this week and listened to me talk about the inner ocean of tears I described in “Grief.” Her loving presence and patient listening freed me to open my heart.

I found myself telling Abby about the suffering of children I have befriended – poverty, injury, abuse, abandonment, humiliation, disease, death. My tears welled up, and my voice was choked with sorrow.

I then confessed something that felt foreign and frightening and yet familiar in my life: “I think I’m wrestling with disappointment with God.”

Why would a loving Father allow his vulnerable children to suffer such terrible pain and evil? I told Abby that I sometimes want to say, “God, you’re such a screwup!”

Those tearful words came out of my mouth like a shard of glass that had cut into my soul... Read More

  • Share post

Announcing my new course:

Neighbor-Love

Neighbor-love is a revolutionary idea. It transforms how people see and treat one another across our greatest divisions. And yet it has been neglected or misunderstood today.

This 8-hour course distills my deepest passions and highest hopes as a professor and practitioner. Please join me and rediscover the rich history, profound meaning, and practical implications of neighbor-love. Become an ambassador of neighbor-love for our world.

View Course

Donation = Appreciation

Stop and Think remains free (and ad-free) and takes time to write, and money to sustain.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee and a good meal.

Sign Up for the Newsletter


I write to help people stop and think, and thus to restart and live more thoughtful, loving, deeply human lives with others. As you stop and think with me, I hope you discover new beginnings that enrich and enlarge your love.