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Congratulations HEB! One of Best Ten Places to Work in the U.S.

Glassdoor just announced its 2015 Employees' Choice Awards for the Best Places to Work in the U.S. and HEB came in at #7. Congratulations, HEB.Now, if you've spent much time in central Texas, HEB needs no introduction. You know it as an outstanding grocery chain, with more than 300 stores in Texas and many in Mexico as well. But if "you're not from around here," as they say, then you might not know HEB. It's time for some learnin'.HEB is the acronym for the Howard E. Butt Grocery … [Read More...]

The carrels and stacks of Widener Library. Yes, that is a coffee up you see by my computer. And, yes, it is now legal to bring a drink into Widener.

Does Place Really Matter? If So, Why?

In my last blog post, I asked the question "Does place really matter?" In our increasingly digitized, flattened, and shrunken world, does our physical location make a real difference?Most of those who answered this question, through comments, social media, or email, said, "Yes. Place does matter." I think most people have a gut sense about this. Even though we can communicate with people across the world as if they were right beside our ears, and though many people can work well when they … [Read More...]

Does Place Really Matter?

Increasingly, it seems as if we live in a "placeless" world. Oh, to be sure, you and I occupy places in this world. But with technology flattening and shrinking the world, we might begin to wonder if place really matters. Perhaps we are now inhabitants of "noplace."Take the workplace, for example. We use the word "workplace," but increasingly people are not working from a particular place known as "the office" or "the store." A 2013 article from Wired puts it this way: Forrester Research’s U … [Read More...]

Ch-Ch-Changes

I can hear the chorus of David Bowie’s 1971 song ringing in my memory. Though the song is called “Changes,” it is notable for the repeated line, “Ch-ch-changes.” If you’re my age and want to feel some nostalgia, you can listen to the song here.Why am I thinking about “Ch-ch-changes”? Because that’s what I’m experiencing these days. After seven years working for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation (Laity Lodge, The High Calling), I am moving on to new challenges.The first of these challenges … [Read More...]

The First Sunday of Advent: Waiting for the Shepherd

Waiting for the Shepherd He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.Isaiah 40:11This is the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the season in which Christians throughout the world prepare for a fuller, richer celebration of the birth of Jesus. Advent is a season of expectation, waiting, and hope. During the four weeks before Christmas, we … [Read More...]

Advent Begins Tomorrow. Today Is The Last Day of the Christian Year. Should You Care?

Tomorrow is the first day of Advent. In yesterday's post, I encouraged you to get ready for Advent. Today, I want to think with you about the broader context in which Advent makes sense.Today is the last day of the Christian Year, also known as the Liturgical Year or the Church Year. For those who follow the Christian Year, the latest one began last year on December 1, which was the first Sunday of Advent. We have moved steadily through Advent, Christmas Day, Christmastime, Epiphany, Ash … [Read More...]

Beauty, Art, and My Five-Year-Old Daughter

At The Curator, Heather Walker Peterson writes about looking about art and thinking about beauty with her daughter: I won’t tell my daughter that what matters is the beauty on the inside. Yes, if we desire the way the world will be, then goodness is the the internal beauty of a person becoming like Christ. A Christian tween would be forced to assent, rankled. Inner beauty is important. But the social reality would be crushing her insides. Outside beauty, that which affects our senses, matters. … [Read More...]

The Advent of Advent

Advent is coming. And, given that the word "advent" is derived from the Latin term adventus, which means "visit" or "coming," one might well speak of the advent of Advent, the imminent coming of the Christian season of Advent.Many people I know – including me – feel eager about the approach of Advent, much as we might feel about the pending visit of a dear, old friend. Yet, many others among my friends don't really care that Advent is around the corner. These include quite a few of my Chr … [Read More...]

A Real and Imminent Threat

We have much to be thankful for, but we've also experienced loss this year - as individuals and a society. At Art House America, Dyana Herron writes about some of those things, including the shooting at Seattle Pacific University this year: Now, for the next few hours, I was truly without a home, in transit between one place and the next, surrounded by people in the same situation, either beside me on the ground, or above me in the air: rising, falling, taking off, landing. When I could, I … [Read More...]

Enjoying Your Thanksgiving Dinner Twice

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:18-20Thanksgiving dinner is one of my favorite meals. I suppose it has something to do with nostalgia, happy memories, and a chance to enjoy a meal with loved ones. But I also … [Read More...]

The Poetry of Loss and Redemption

A lovely post at Relief by my friend Jill Reid about the poetry of loss and redemption: A few months ago, I stood in the cold corner of a funeral home with a twenty-one year-old college student whom I have come to love and admire very much over four years of teaching her. Just a day earlier, she was taking notes in her English literature class. Now, she was standing near the casket of her mother, killed on impact in a tragic car crash. And just like that, the month became not her first month as … [Read More...]

Thank You For This Crummy Job

Over at The High Calling, David Rupert thanks God for his crummy job: I sense that I’m not alone. During the recession my friends went from the rolls of short-term unemployed to long-term. Others were underemployed, finding work as temps or part time workers, benefits trimmed or stripped outright. Others had to do way more with way less. We are still recovering. Rather than let my employment challenges drag me down, I’ve decided to take back the workplace for God’s glory, and I’m doing it thro … [Read More...]

Be Sure to Thank People Too!

I’ll never forget something I heard at the baccalaureate service that was part of my graduation from college. As I sat in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, the President of Radcliffe College (part of Harvard) said something like, “The baccalaureate service is a traditional ceremony of thanks and praise.” Wow, I thought, that’s surprisingly good! But then the President continued, “So, on this day, we keep the tradition of baccalaureate by thanking you for being part of this university and … [Read More...]

Life Imitates Hunger Games

I don't know if you caught it in the news, but it turns out the Hunger Games films inspired a protest in Thailand - against the government: Months later, with Mockingjay, Part I, the newest Hunger Games installment, out in theaters, the galvanizing symbol is back in the news. On Wednesday, five Thai students were detained for using the salute during a speech by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha. According to the Bangkok Post, the five, who were wearing anti-coup apparel, were pulled away by milit … [Read More...]

A Brief History of Thanksgiving

For several years, it has been my history to put up a bit of Thanksgiving history a few days prior to the holiday. So, once again, here is my version of a brief history of Thanksgiving.Several years ago I asked my six-year-old nephew, “On Thanksgiving, to whom do we say thank you?” He quickly responded, “To the Native Americans.” (No, I’m not kidding.) “Do we say thank you to anybody else?” I queried persistently. “To the Pilgrims.” “And to anybody else?” I prodded further. “To God!” he excla … [Read More...]

Don’t Overlook the Heart of Thanksgiving

In just a few days, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Yet for many of us, the actual holiday is so full of activity that we have little time for intentional, extended giving of thanks to God. So, as has been my tradition for many years, I am putting up several posts in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day in order to encourage my readers to let this be a season, not just a day of gratitude.When you think of Thanksgiving, what images come to mind? Roast turkey? Pumpkin pie? Watching … [Read More...]


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