On Productivity, Part 3 of 3

Rick Mattson Bible, Devotion, Leadership 2 Comments

In the last post I mentioned my decision to slow down and place rest ahead of work. Here are three things I learned: 1. You can’t rush rest. It takes a long time. 2. For me, the backlog of personal items coming to the surface was eye-opening. I was overdue on many, such as grieving years of losses and wounds, …

On Productivity, Part 2 of 3

Rick Mattson Bible, Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

Part 1 is here. Due to covid confinement this past year, I stayed at home, worked alone . . . overdosed on Zoom calls. It was an unwelcome slow-down. One of the blessings, however, was that I was forced into a period of personal reflection, with no chance for escape. I couldn’t bolt over to campus or church, couldn’t engage …

On Productivity, Part 1 of 3

Rick Mattson Bible, Devotion, Leadership 4 Comments

In his fine book, The Unhurried Life, Alan Fadling reminds us that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. Thus, instead of plunging into a full work-week where the original couple would tend the garden (Gen 2:15) and rule the earth (1:28), they entered quietly into the seventh day: sabbath rest. Fadling asks a profound question: What if …

On Losing a Parent

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 40 Comments

I knew this day would come, but I half-denied it. My mom, Tudy (not Trudy) Mattson, always wanted to be young and never accepted the idea of getting old. On the fated day of January 23, a friend remarked to Tudy that she didn’t look well, and suggested she visit the nurse. Mom hopped in her Toyota instead and went …

Do Christians Have to “Be Right?”

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Evangelism 8 Comments

I saw a quote recently from a Christian author who was disavowing the ministry of evangelism because it meant Christians had to “be right” about everything. And if you’re certain you’re right, then everyone else must be wrong, and it’s your job to convert them to your viewpoint, lest they wind up in hell. If that was biblical evangelism I’d …

On Being a Performer (part 1 of 3)

Rick Mattson Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

First Post: Are you a performer? A sharp student at Macalester College where I worked for many years said to me one day, “I’m a performer.” I could see it in him. He was (and is) talented academically and musically, and when he was “on” he was really on. The idea of being a performer stuck with me from that …

On Being a Performer (part 2 of 3)

Rick Mattson Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

Second Post: Liabilities In my prior post I shared how performers tend to have an altar-ego that kicks in when things need to get done and done well. In my own case, when funds need to be raised for the ministry, or I’m literally on-stage with Muslim or atheist dialogue partners, or I’m bouncing around a college campus meeting students …

On Being a Performer (part 3 of 3)

Rick Mattson Devotion, Leadership 2 Comments

Post #3: A theology of performing In my prior post I tried to affirm the legitimacy of a “performer” profile, while also pointing out certain side-effects that often plague performers, such as loss of identity and performance fatigue. In Be Different: Finding the Resilience to Lead, authors Christopher Howard and Andrew Gross insist that leaders in general — and for …

On Coping, Part 3: Neglected Resources

Rick Mattson Devotion 2 Comments

In my prior post I mentioned that today’s university students are not known for their resilience, mainly due to mental health concerns. In fact, mental health is a runaway train on campus these days, with experts using terms such as “epidemic” and “crisis” to describe the situation. Two massive surveys of college students showed, for example, that depression, anxiety, and …

On Coping, Part 2 of 3: Resilience

Rick Mattson Devotion Leave a Comment

In my prior post I told the story of being left on my own as a college student in Minnesota, while my parents moved to Florida. These days, things are different. Students struggle with “overwhelming anxiety,” loneliness and suicidal behavior. Counseling centers on campus are jammed. Two out of five students are too depressed to function, and many take a …