Leading From Your Authentic Abyss

By Timothy Askew; reprinted from Inc. with the kind permission of Timothy Askew. American poet May Sarton once said, “We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” Back in the eighties I was watching Johnny Carson one night. The actress Shelley Winters was Johnny’s guest. Shelley Winters flounced herself out and sat her amplitude into the guest chair. Johnny Carson was obviously fond of her, as he frequently had her on…. Read more

God’s into art, not empires

In seminary, several decades ago, I had a good friend named Christ (rhymes with “wrist”) John Otto. He’s written posts on this blog before about how artists need to be the foremost culture-shapers of our time (here and here). We’ve taken different denominational and vocational paths over the decades, but two things are true of both of us: we are both writers and we are both artists. Two years ago, he wrote a book about the centrality of art to… Read more

Retail workers are people too

A while ago, I made a commitment to always greet and thank retail workers in whatever situation I encountered them (Starbucks, Walmart, or the corner doughnut shop. Actually, I don’t live near a corner doughnut shop anymore….more’s the pity.) I have renewed this commitment after I read this penetrating and depressing article about what it’s like to work in retail. Be nice to your store clerks, everybody, and remember they are people made in the image of God. When we… Read more

Is the utopian workplace just a ploy to keep us all at work?

Today’s long read is from Aeon, and asks a provocative question about whether “tech campuses” and the like are really in all of our best interests. After talking about Google’s new Mountain View campus, author Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey wonders: Such offices symbolise not just the future of work in the public mind, but also a new, utopian age with aspirations beyond the workplace. The dream is a place at once comfortable and entrepreneurial, where personal growth aligns with profit growth, and where work… Read more

Vocation and Community on #ValentinesDay

The Church, As it is The Body of Christ Small as a mustard seed and just as fair, The seeds of faith are planted in the night, Seeking their tiny space of warmth and light, Asking but room to grow and prosper there. Small as the seeds of faith, the hope of trust Once-wounded reaches out into the day For answering trust somewhere along the way The fruit of pain and light, of love and loss. We learn there is… Read more

A Leap Into Social Entrepreneurship

…as detailed over at Seedbed by Josh Moon. I heard his presentation to The Asbury Project a couple of years ago, and I commend his efforts: If you are thinking you are way too unprepared to be a social entrepreneur, then we will get along quite well. Before my sophomore year in college I had no idea what social entrepreneurship meant. I kept hearing the term mentioned in conversations; and being the curious individual I am, I decided to take a… Read more

Do long hours make you less productive?

CNBC reported a bit ago that working more than 50 hours a week may not be doing you, or your employer, any favors: Nearly half of U.S. workers say they routinely put in more than 50 hours on the job each week, often without overtime pay. But employers should probably start politely declining the “free” gift, new research suggests. So-called “work martyrs” give hundreds of hours in free labor to their employers every year, encouraged by always-on gadgets, work through… Read more

Even Jesus Wasn’t Always Spiritual: A Theology of Boredom

If Christ’s sacrifice can cover all the sinful things we are, think, say, and do, perhaps it can also make room for spending significant amounts of time not being “spiritual.” Read more

Refugee ministry: Can any church do this?

Not every congregation can do ministry with refugees. But every church can show up in their community and see where God is already working.  Reprinted from Faith & Leadership. By Hannah Terry When people find out about the work I do with the refugee community in the neighborhood surrounding my church, I’m often asked, “Can any church do this?” My answer? Absolutely. Will the results be the same? No. The reason for that is at the heart of our ministry…. Read more

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