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Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Work Makes the World

Work Makes the World

  Note: The following is a speech I gave at the January 13, 2017 fundraiser “Work Makes the World.” To make a donation to Denver Institute, go to our give page. Thank you for coming tonight. Thanks for Jim Howey and Steve Hill hosting us at Blender Products, and thank you to Cañon Catering for the delightful meal. And thank you to our table sponsors. And in case I don’t get another chance: a huge thank you to Joanna Meyer, our Program Director at DIFW, for organizing this tonight. Incredible work. I’m often asked by friends and donors why I started Denver Institute for Faith & Work (DIFW) in 2013. Seems like a strange thing to do in the evenings while working a full-time job that barely paid the bills! I’d like to share with you tonight three reasons why I started DIFW back in 2013. I want to camp on the question of why because What we do is easier to explain: we’re a Denver nonprofit that provides theological education on issues...

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Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Economy, Technology, Work | 1 comment

Your Smartphone is Neither a Cancer nor a Cure-All

Your Smartphone is Neither a Cancer nor a Cure-All

A balanced, biblical take on the devices we can’t seem to live without. I remember the day I got my first smartphone. Upgrading from a “dumb phone,” I was dazzled. Crisp and clear pictures. Email and calendar in one place. Ready access to Twitter, Facebook, and any search engine I wanted. In the words of the AT&T ad, I could now “move at the speed of instantly.” But as the months went on, I realized my smartphone was not a neutral tool that would leave my life unaffected. My days started to change—sometimes drastically. It began with email. I started checking it almost obsessively. Wake up, turn over, check email. Get coffee, check email. My daughter would ask a question. “Hold on, honey, I’m just finishing this email.” Then came social media. I could now post pictures directly to Facebook. Yet rarely did I consider whether my 300 “friends” needed to see my weekend family adventures. Twitter became my news source. Even though I clicked on dozens of articles,...

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Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in business, Economy | 0 comments

The Public Good of Faith Expressed Through Work

The Public Good of Faith Expressed Through Work

  Three stories of Denver business leaders serving their neighbors by providing good jobs It’s often assumed that faith is a private matter. Fine for your personal life, but less appropriate in the workplace or public life. Yet time and time again, I’ve seen that when faith becomes a public matter – and is expressed as working for the good of one’s neighbor – there are transformative results for the entire community. Take for example Karla Nugent, chief business development officer at Weifield Group Electrical Contracting. Two years ago, my friend Bryan Chrisman at National Christian Foundation in Colorado connected us. “You gotta meet Karla,” he said. “She’s doing just what you’re talking about at Denver Institute for Faith & Work.” So we met for coffee, and after 45 minutes I was speechless. Her company was blossoming and now had 350 employees. She had a deep, intrinsic belief in the dignity of the work of electricians that she employs, and had innovated an apprenticeship program that was employing men with...

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Economy, Education, Work | 4 comments

How Do We Change? Formation in the 5280 Fellowship

How Do We Change? Formation in the 5280 Fellowship

  How do we change? I’m 34 years old, have four kids, and have been in the workforce for 9 years. And for me, there is no more pressing question in my life today than How do I change? In the past three years, the stress of leading a growing organization, trying to be a good father, and accomplishing my professional goals has exposed, well, cracks in the foundation of my character.  My precious wife has been so patient with me as I stumble, fall, and get up again – only to find myself back where I started. As I’ve spoken with peers about their lives, careers, and relationships – especially young professionals in Denver and Boulder – I’ve seen common traits among many of us: We’re around people and “social networks” all the time, but we feel lonely, and not deeply known by others. It’s the great irony of a social media age. More noise, but less deep relationships. In our careers we’ve gotten good at a technical...

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Architecture and Design, business, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Economy, Work | 2 comments

Affordable Housing: What You Need to Know About the Most Critical Issue Facing Colorado Today

Affordable Housing: What You Need to Know About the Most Critical Issue Facing Colorado Today

  Imagine with me for a moment. Imagine you and your new spouse have been outbid on four straight houses in two months. Instead of buying your first home in Denver, you finally decide to work remotely, move back to the Midwest to be closer to family, and leave Colorado. Now imagine you’re a business owner at lunch with a real estate developer who is fighting off three simultaneous lawsuits from trial lawyers representing a homeowner’s association. He tells you, “I’ll never build condos again. Never.” Finally, imagine you work construction and rent an apartment near Five Points. In the past eight years, your rent has increased from $900 per month to $1600. Exasperated by rising costs – and stagnant wages – you move to Frederick, 40 minutes from friends, family, and your job site. Dejected you grab a beer with a friend after work. Your friend tells you that back in 2006, his grandma gave him $5,000 for down payment on a $175,000 condo. Today, that condo is...

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