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Posted by on Mar 4, 2019 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Faith and Work Movement, Work | 2 comments

The Thinker

The Thinker

Back of the beating hammer    By which the steel is wrought, Back of the workshop’s clamor    The seeking may find the thought; The thought that is ever master    Of iron and steam and steel, That rises above the disaster    And tramples it under heel! The drudge may fret and tinker,    Or labor with lusty blows, But back of him stands the thinker,    The clear-eyed man who knows; For into each plow or sabre,    Each piece and part and whole, Must go the brains of labor    Which gives the work a soul! Back of the motor’s humming,    Back of the belts that sing, Back of the hammer’s drumming,    Back of the cranes that swing, There is the eye which scans them,    Watching through stress and strain, There is the mind which plans them—   Back of the brawn, the brain! Might of the roaring boiler,    Force of the engine’s thrust, Strength of the sweating toiler,    Greatly in...

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Posted by on Feb 14, 2019 in Politics, Theology, Work | 0 comments

From the Archives: Book Review, “Migration Miracle”

From the Archives: Book Review, “Migration Miracle”

Who doesn’t love a good adventure story? In my opinion, there are few contemporary stories filled with more hope and tragedy than those of Central Americans and Mexicans taking their chances and migrating north to America. I recently published a review of Jacqueline Maria Hagan’s Migration Miracle: Faith, Hope and Meaning on the Undocumented Journey (Harvard Press, 2012, paperback) in The Review of Faith and International Affairs. Here it is: Suffocating from the sweltering heat, Cecelia, a migrant from Puebla, Mexico, crammed into the back seat of a sealed van. She and a dozen other women and children dared not speak, despite the lack of oxygen, because their coyote insisted immigration officials were close behind. During the seemingly eternal trip across the U.S. Border, in tears Cecelia remembered, “I prayed in silence to God and pleaded with him to let me live.”Compelled by stories like Cecilia’s, sociologist Jacqueline Maria Hagan tells the harrowing tales of undocumented migrants traveling from Central America and Mexico to the United States in Migration...

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Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in business, Economy, Work | 0 comments

Who am I? The Identity of an Entrepreneur

Who am I? The Identity of an Entrepreneur

What really motivates us as entrepreneurs? I ask the question because in the past 6 months, I’ve started to notice some disconcerting cracks in my own character. In 2018, as an entrepreneur, father and husband, externally, things have thrived. Internally, however, I’ve struggled. I’ve noticed my patience has gotten shorter with my kids. I haven’t been the kind of husband I want to be. My ability to deal with stress almost seems to be diminishing. I’ve felt spiritually fragile. As I’ve tried to understand what’s happening inside of me, I’ve come back to the question: what is really motivating me to build, grow, and achieve? What is driving me? In 2013, I started Denver Institute for Faith & Work. It was exhilarating. We pitched the idea to a handful of donors. They started giving and we took off. Beginning in January of 2014, we hosted over 600 people at 6 events over 7 months. More donors came, and we eventually hired a communications director and event director. In 2016,...

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2019 in Theology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

The Church in Public Life: Pastoring for the Public Good of Your Community

The Church in Public Life: Pastoring for the Public Good of Your Community

  The following is the talk I gave at Thriving Churches, Thriving Cities, Denver Institute’s annual gathering for pastors and ministry leaders. The topic: what does it mean for pastoral leaders and their churches to be involved in healing the public life of their communities?  Thank you again for coming today. I’d like to introduce our final set of conversations today by speaking to the topic of pastors and public engagement. Today we’ve spoken about pastoral wholeness and integrity, and, in the breakouts, growing in pastoral excellence through navigating change and conflict. What might it mean, then, for pastors to lead churches working toward the healing of their cities? Let me first tell you a personal story. My first pastorate after seminary was serving Iglesia Bautista Nueva Esperanza, a Spanish-speaking church in Brighton, Colorado. I preached in Spanish, led youth group in English, and, as the only white guy there, stuck out like a sore thumb. I realized a year into my pastorate that about 80% of my congregation...

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Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Work | 0 comments

Be a gardener

Be a gardener

Be a gardener, dig and ditch, toil and sweat, and turn the earth upside down and seek the deepness and water the plants in time. Continue this labor and make sweet floods to run and noble and abundant fruits to spring. Take this food and drink and carry it to God as your true worship. Julian of Norwich...

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Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 in Nonprofit, Theology, Work | 0 comments

The 10 Characteristics of a Thriving Pastor

The 10 Characteristics of a Thriving Pastor

For years we at DIFW have focused on what it means to live out the gospel in supposedly “secular” work, like business, medicine, law, or the arts. But several years ago we came to the uncomfortable realization that there was one field we had overlooked: pastoral ministry. Now, we hadn’t completely overlooked pastors. But we had done two things. First, we assumed being a pastor was intrinsically “sacred.” But as my colleague at DIFW Brian Gray says, who was a pastor for 10 years, “It’s possible to wait tables very ‘sacredly,’ but pastor very ‘secularly.’” In our work with pastors, we’ve seen being a pastor, too, can devolved into just being a “job.” Second, I felt like we had started to look at pastors as a means to an end. That is, we hoped pastors would come to “get it,” meaning that they would teach their congregants to be missionaries and servants of God in society through their work. And once they “got it,” we wanted them to influence...

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