I was at an annual assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) years ago, and the theme was "Inward, Outward, Upward." At the time that denomination was doing some soul searching and restructuring as a result of economic difficulties, and the theme provided an entry point for examining the inner workings of the church, the church's relationships with those outside the church and denomination, and with our Father above. The day I began this book, years after the church assembly, I referred to the same theme to describe efforts to bring community leaders representing different groups and institutions together. These leaders each have to focus inward to run their organizations effectively, but they can't afford not to have an outward focus on other organizations, and they also focus upward as they seek to craft stronger organizations for community progress and the good of their citizens. I am a big believer in reflection and introspection. I have referred to the inscription above the Oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece before: "Know Thyself." I believe we have to be at peace with ourselves and take care of the inward before we can be much good to others, but the longer I live, the more I realize that we really need to cultivate the outward, too. Granted, my chosen professions of teacher, coach, school administrator, and pastor are much more relationship-driven than some other occupations. Still, I believe that happy and productive people understand the power of relationships and have mastered the outward. For me, personally, the inward and outward have been enhanced tremendously by a focus on the upward. My Christian faith has brought about positive changes in my life, benefiting both the inward and outward. I'm sure there are other higher causes that provide upward benefits for people, too. This book is going to be an exploration of the inward, outward, and upward. It is organized into three parts, containing six exhortations each. Each of the six exhortations is a chapter relating a theme that runs inward, outward, and upward through all three parts of the book. At the risk of confusing the reader, I'll share that I wrote Chapter 1 in each section before going on to Chapter 2 and so on. If you don't mind turning back and forth between inward, outward, and upward, you can read it in the order I wrote it. Otherwise, you can read it section by section. The best thing that could happen with this book is that someone would read it and benefit from it. If you find the book helpful or want to discuss the book, please feel free to email me at [email protected] Enjoy!