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Why Every Faith-Driven Investment Firm Needs to Hire a Theologian

Posted by on Sep 4, 2021 in Finance, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Recently I got a prospectus from a faith-motivated advisory firm that outlines what they invest in as Christians. On one level, the responses were predictable. They don’t invest in alcohol, cannabis, pornography, or weapons. And they do invest in companies that have ethical leadership, policies that value employees, and a “positive societal impact.” But after reading the prospectus, I had to pause and say to myself: this is really, complex stuff. On one level, investing is quite straightforward: capital should be used to bring about returns. Yet, what is positive societal impact? What companies are “ethical” and which aren’t?  Aren’t all companies – like people, a mix of good...

From Giving Money to Relinquishing Power: The Three Phases of Generosity

Posted by on Jul 22, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

Giving can change us, but I’ve noticed it doesn’t change everybody equally. Having closely observed hundreds of donors through my work as a fundraiser and nonprofit executive, I’ve tried to ask: what is the actual process of becoming like Christ through our giving? Is there a logic or pattern to the ways people change through their giving, especially Christians? Might giving actually move us backward in character growth, becoming cynical or even resentful of charities? I’ve found there are generally three phases that God invites a giver to experience, represented by two questions about giving and finally a relinquishing of power. “How much do I give?”Spiritual Journey: The first...

The Pearl of Vocation: Why I Bring My Whole Self to Work, Including My Faith

Posted by on Jun 17, 2021 in business, Theology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

When I was in elementary school, my mother took my older sister and I to Lake Itasca State Park for summer vacation, located in the cool northern woods of Minnesota. A life-long teacher, she would glory in making the outdoor visit into a lesson: spotting the diving loons in search of breakfast, explaining the history of old-growth red pines towering over the landscape, and proudly declaring that we were looking at the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. My sister and I, however, were more concerned with the number of times we could skip a rock across the glassy surface and the tiny creatures we discovered on the lakeshore....

Reflections: 2020 Annual Report

Posted by on Jun 7, 2021 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

The following is an introductory letter for our annual report I wrote to our supporters at DIFW. If you’d like a physical copy of the report, visit this page. Dear Friends, Annual reports have a way of being sent, paged through, and put in the recycle bin rather quickly. We know this because we’ve done it so many times, too.  This is why Denver Institute for Faith & Work created a unique annual report this year that doubles as a personal reflection guide for your own walk with Christ in 2020.  After a painful, jarring year, we at DIFW reflected on all the changes in our own lives and...

Vacation Email Responder

Posted by on May 24, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

I recently went on just a short vacation, and the email responder I set up got a bit of attention (mostly positive, some surprised). I post it here in case you need one…that actually allows you to rest. My Last Vacation Email Reponder Well, you got this auto-email because I’m on vacation. Actually, not just vacation – I’m trying to actually practice sabbath rest, even for a single week. In a digital age of being constantly connected – and being a person with constant ideas and a never-ending drive to be productive – I find this difficult. So for the next week of my life, this means three things:...

Why Faith & Work? (Part 2) – Work

Posted by on Apr 16, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series. To learn more, take a look at Why Faith & Work (Part 1). We had lost our footing until Stephen Raifsnider showed up. Actually, I ripped it up.  First the toilet clogged in our main floor bathroom — repeatedly. (How is that possible from such little girls?) So, I bought a new toilet from Home Depot, the kind you can flush seven pool balls down and still be good to go.  As I unscrewed the toilet flange bolts which held my throne to the floor, I gently lifted the potty…only to have the cracked tile come with it. After looking...