August 27, 2015

by Howard E. Butt, Jr.   Howard E. Butt, Jr., served as president of the H. E. Butt Foundation until 2014. He is the founder of Laity Lodge and The High Calling, and serves as vice chairman of the H. E. Butt Grocery Company. Audio originally shared at Read more

August 25, 2015

by David Rupert We sat in the middle of the floor, surrounded by thousands of photos. My sister and I were overwhelmed by these collected images from the generations of our family. Mom had pictures stored in shoeboxes, crumbling albums, and plastic bags, all put away in two massive trunks. The photos were from both sides of the family tree, with many protruding branches. It was disorganized, almost hopelessly so. The photo locations, ages, and bloodlines were all mixed together like a random time machine. The... Read more

August 20, 2015

by Dena Dyer On my mother’s side, I come from a long line of “creatives.” Which is a nice way of saying our family is a little whacked-out. My great-grandfather Pappy wrote many unpublished short stories. His daughter Nanaw was an artist and writer as well as an art teacher. Her husband Dadaw was an amateur inventor and held several patents before he died. And my mother is a talented stained glass artist, children’s music teacher, and decorator. Each of... Read more

August 18, 2015

by Sam Van Eman With the confetti hardly swept from the floor, my grandfather lost the family business. “Celebrating 75 Years,” the photo read, with Grandpa, Great-Grandpa, and Great-great-Grandpa standing tall for the camera. We were the Lowe’s of little town. But soured relationships and a spoiled inheritor buckled its knees. What does it take to receive the baton from Dad—or Mom? How many enter their young professional careers with a plan to take on what their parents built? How... Read more

August 13, 2015

by Erik Wesner I’ve spent a lot of time with the Amish these past few years. I first encountered Amish outside of Arthur, Illinois, a rural community where the corn towers overhead and buggy traffic can outnumber the cars. I was working for a Nashville publisher, where I spent the better part of ten years in sales and management. I ended up selling a Bible product in Amish communities, a set of books called the Family Bible Library, a job which took... Read more

August 11, 2015

by J.B Wood Every now and then it’s good to take an enormous step back and evaluate where you are in life. My friend Rob did this for me over breakfast the other day. You’d like Rob. He is a smart, successful, energetic, forty-something investment banker. The whole package, you might say. Or, what I once assumed was the whole package, but now I know better.  Anyway, I’ve gotten to know him through some business and professional dealings over the past few years,... Read more

July 30, 2015

You probably can recite the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus’ gospel parable is a staple of Sunday school classes and Bible studies. By contrasting the generosity of the Samaritan from the actions of the other travelers, Jesus uses the story to teach a core element of Christianity. (I tried to use it once to entice my son to share his candy bar with me, but he missed the theological premise). The parable also offers lessons for leaders. Jesus included... Read more

July 29, 2015

by Ann Kroeker Whether you’re creating good in this world by faithfully serving others or by actually creating something like art, music, writing, or dance, it takes work. It takes time. It takes persistence. Few of us will be required to persist to the level Paul Smith does in order to create art. Mr. Smith was born with severe spastic cerebral palsy in 1921. “It took him 32 years to learn how to walk and about half of that to speak.... Read more

July 15, 2015

by Alissa Wilkinson Years ago, during Lent, I wrote a short post about how many of my friends were choosing to fast from Facebook—an admirable move, I argued, but probably even more beneficial if it helped us re-think how we used Facebook. I argued that Facebook, like any technology, can act as an “idol” (something that draws attention to itself) or an “icon” (something that draws attention through itself to a presence beyond). How it functions is in the eye of the beholder. It’s not... Read more

July 13, 2015

by Jen Petro White tulips leaned into one another. Tears splotched Lindsay’s shirt as she spied them in a vase on her desk. “They remembered,” she thought, drawing in her breath. This wasn’t a Hallmark moment. It wasn’t her birthday, or any other joyful occasion. Her colleagues knew that it was the first anniversary of losing a child through a failed adoption. Five years of dust layered itself in a nursery as infertility wreaked havoc on Lindsay and her husband.  As... Read more

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