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At VantagePoint3, we have been cultivating the art of seeing others for 23 years . Close friends know that we call this “particularizing a person.” As our lives and the communities we lead continue to re-calibrate and lean into what matters most in 2024, the importance of relationships is front and center.  As a team, we have […]

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Twenty years ago this fall I had my first real taste of VantagePoint3 Ministries. I led a spiritual formation retreat for emerging leaders from six or seven North American Baptist churches in North Dakota and Montana. Just an hour east of Bismarck, sixty adults gathered at Crystal Springs Baptist Camp. There were ranchers and educators […]

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My imagination is being stretched. And I would like to stretch yours.  A neighbor has been coming by our property twice a year on behalf of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology researching the density of eastern bluebirds in the Upper Midwest. For many years she has not seen a single bluebird when she visits.  Early […]

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In his late forties, Sam began to sense that something was wrong. After a couple of decades seeking to honor God in the responsibilities of his life, a question confronted him one evening: Amidst all this stuff I am doing for God and others, does anyone really know me? This question named his unrest. Sam […]

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October 27, 2023

A Harvest

From my home office window, I can see the final fruit of an exceptional pumpkin patch here on the Iowa prairie. It’s not commercial quality or quantity, no state fair winners, but it has been very rewarding and lots of fun. The grandchildren, ages 3 to 6, planted the carefully purchased seeds with no rhyme […]

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Over the last several years I have witnessed four Celebration of Life/Memorial services for friends who I would say each finished well as people. As I remember Randy, Kris, Mary, and Bill, I am continually struck by the beauty of their lives. It’s the sort of beauty that Simone Weil speaks of when she writes […]

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September 28, 2023

Where are you?

One way to express the spiritual crisis of our time is to say that most of us have an address but cannot be found there. – Henri Nouwen __________________ Adam and Eve have just eaten of the tree that God has commanded them not to eat of—perhaps the most disruptive moment in the history of […]

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Many years ago I sat down with a group of Biola University professors and fellow graduate students over lunch to hear Dr. Jim Houston from Regent College (Vancouver, BC) give a brief lecture. In his early seventies at the time, this small, Scottish man, with half a century of experience in the academic settings of […]

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Psalm 51, the Ash Wednesday psalm, is the acknowledged masterpiece of biblical self-knowledge. "I have been wicked from my birth, a sinner from my mother's womb." No human being has ever looked at himself more unflinchingly than the author of this incomparable penitential psalm. "I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me." [...]

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“The language of telling people what to think and what to do dominates most leadership paradigms in the church, with very little, if any, mentoring attention given to the actual details of being a Christian in the home and workplace.” - Eugene Peterson   One of the things our VP3 team has been paying particular [...]

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This prayer of Father Thomas Keating and its radical call to be open to the love of God struck me as we cross the threshold into 2023. May we be increasingly open to the love and activity of the Triune God amidst all that life will throw at us in this new year... The Welcoming Prayer [...]

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Called to set a table... VantagePoint3 has been helping set a table for truly making disciples in the local church.   It really is true that we hear stories of how VP3 has been a catalyst for growth and depth in Christ almost every day. Last week I had the privilege of leading one of [...]

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