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From the Archives: Book Review, “Migration Miracle”

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

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...

Who am I? The Identity of an Entrepreneur

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

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 the Fields of the Lord

Posted by on Jan 14, 2019 in vocation | 0 comments

  This last weekend for me was difficult. And it was difficult for me, because of me. We had friends over, neighbors over, and church members over to our house on Saturday and Sunday. Our home was filled with the noise of laughter, but it was also filled with the tears of children…and adults. My wife and I are wrestling with educational choices for our daughters, trying to discern what’s best for them and what God is calling us to. And our dearest third born continually both delights us and baffles us. Her emotional swings – from joy to incapacitated sadness – weigh heavy on our hearts. I went...

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

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

  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?...

Be a gardener

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

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...

The 10 Characteristics of a Thriving Pastor

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

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...