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Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Politics, vocation, Work | 0 comments

‘Tis a Gift to Do ‘Undignified’ Work (Christianity Today)

‘Tis a Gift to Do ‘Undignified’ Work (Christianity Today)

Blue-collar labor often goes unappreciated and under-rewarded. How can that change? When I was growing up, the best TV shows all featured blue-collar characters. Cheers, The Simpsons, Love and Marriage, The Wonder Years—each centered on the lives of loveable laborers. Cliff from Cheerswas a postman, Homer Simpson pulled levers in a nuclear power plant, and even the disgruntled Al Bundy sold women’s shoes. One episode of The Wonder Yearsfeatured Kevin learning about his dad’s career path from a loading dock worker to a distribution manager. “You have to make your choices,” Mr. Arnold told his son. “You have to try to be happy with them. I think we’ve done pretty well, don’t you?” What a difference two decades makes. Since 1992, nearly every Emmy for Outstanding Comedy has gone to shows depicting white-collar adults working in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York, or Washington, usually without kids. The exception would be The Office, but its humor is based on the idea that selling paper is an utterly miserable and meaningless job. In the NBC drama This Is Us, the...

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Posted by on Jul 22, 2019 in business, Faith and Work Movement, Theology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Lessons Learned from the Global Workplace Forum

Lessons Learned from the Global Workplace Forum

I recently returned from the Global Workplace Forum, a conference hosted in Manila by the Lausanne Movement. Started in 1974 by John Stott and Billy Graham, the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization gathered people from around the world; last week, 850 leaders from 109 different countries met to discuss the next phase of the global missions movement: the activation of the workplace as the central arena of God’s mission in the world. The highlight was meeting the people* sitting at my table, a small group that discussed the larger live sessions. My table was gloriously diverse:  Jonathan is from India and works in a sports ministry. Because of increased persecution of Christians in India under a Hindu nationalist government, Jonathan shared about his worry for his family, but also said “We’re 100% committed to bringing the gospel to our country.” He plays cricket, hosts a youth group in his home, and humbly serves God in a 650 square-foot flat with his wife and three children, one of whom is an adopted 19-year-old.Solomon works...

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Posted by on Jul 16, 2019 in health care, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Making All Things New – Jeanne Oh Kim, Pediatrician

Making All Things New – Jeanne Oh Kim, Pediatrician

In the last of several posts, here I’m highlighting the first-hand experiences of four professionals in Denver. Each of them shared at our annual fundraiser and celebration of vocation, entitle “Making All Things New: Finding Our Place in God’s Mission.” We asked them what they sense is broken in their industries, and how they sense God was using them in his plan to ultimately “make all things new.” Jeanne is a physician living in Denver As a physician, I work in the confines of a broken medical system with sometimes few answers in relation to the infinitely complex human body.  There is always new evidence to challenge previous practices.  There is also pressure to see over 20 patients a day, which can pose a challenge to meet the true needs of my patients and families at times, especially, since we are in the middle of a mental health crisis, with patients experiencing anxiety, depression, and suicide at an all-time high.  Families are also broken.  Parents are extremely anxious and...

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Posted by on Jun 14, 2019 in Education, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Making All Things New – Britta Apple, High School English Teacher

Making All Things New – Britta Apple, High School English Teacher

In the next several posts, I’m going to be highlighting the first-hand experiences of four professionals in Denver. Each of them shared at our annual fundraiser and celebration of vocation, entitle “Making All Things New: Finding Our Place in God’s Mission.” We asked them what they sense is broken in their industries, and how they sense God was using them in his plan to ultimately “make all things new.” Britta was a 5280 Fellow in 2018-19. One area of brokenness that I encounter as a high school English teacher is within the lives of my students. It ranges anywhere from troubled family situations to poor choices in relationships to students’ whose learning disabilities make it difficult for them to thrive academically.  What draws me to my work is the opportunity to introduce students to universal themes of struggle, courage, doubt, risk, and triumph that resonate with their personal experiences. Whether the work we study is classical or modern, students see their experiences reflected in the novels, plays, poetry and...

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Posted by on May 29, 2019 in retirement, vocation, Work | 0 comments

What should I do if I can’t afford to retire – and still need to work?

What should I do if I can’t afford to retire – and still need to work?

Though I generally received positive feedback from my March 2019 story for Christianity Today “Saving Retirement,” I also received some pretty significant pushback. One reader, Rodney, wrote in: “Your article ‘Saving Retirement’ in the March issue was a good summary of the situation facing retirees today. However, most of the examples of retirees doing something purposeful after retirement were people who had held leading positions in their field of work with presumably large salaries. The article definitely needed to portray what some ‘ordinary workers’ have gone on to do.” Theology editor Caleb Lindgren wrote, “We agreed with Rodney that there is a much broader picture of post-work life that needs to be acknowledged. Do Christian understandings of work and aging accommodate those who can’t afford to retire?” The brunt of the critique was that the article was class-biased. Since I’m rather sensitive to this subject, having written “God of the Second Shift,” a look at the class bias in the faith and work movement, I was rather miffed to read this! Especially...

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Posted by on May 7, 2019 in retirement, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Today is Launch Day! An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life

Today is Launch Day! An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life

Dear Friends, Today is the official launch day for my first trade book An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life. We have an opportunity in this moment to push on our culture’s view of retirement, and give our friends, parents, family members, neighbors, and co-workers a more beautiful vision of work, rest, eldership, and a life a sacrificial love based in the hope of the gospel. In the coming weeks, I’ll post on this blog excerpts from the book. Can I ask you a big favor? Would you consider taking about 3 minutes and posting a review of the book on Amazon.com today? Here are a few themes you might consider mentioning. An Uncommon Guide for Retirement helps readers: Discern God’s call for their retirement years;Challenge cultural assumptions about retirement;Adopt a healthy vision for Sabbath rest, work and meaningful contribution for a lifetime;Embrace a biblical view of time and a deeper understanding of what human longevity means for the retirement years;Live out...

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