Category Archives: business

A Letter to Leaders

Dear leaders,
Everyday there are opportunities for principled compromise and proximate justice in your service. Some questions to guide your actions:
Do you care about the poor or your power?

Do you want hospitable, legal and secure immigration or talking points?
Can you critique ideas and policies without exaggeration and insult?
Will your secure our financial future with a balanced budget, or just pretend that it does not matter?
Will you look for partnerships or do you prefer polemics and “gotchas’?
Will you fashion reparations as access, equity, and opportunity or another way to stoke resentment?
Will you affirm freedom of conscience and religion and allow people to bring their best selves to the public square, or will you despise the very traditions that offer your current liberties?
Are you willing to normalize your pensions and retirements, saving buckets of money, and serve the public without thought to your gain?
In short, will you be adults, reflecting before reacting, negotiating instead of just negating, and offering vision for the future?

Think Deeply – Act Decisively. A New Era of Conversation Begins

Welcome to my new website!
As the “Messenger to the Thoughtful” it is my delight to offer insights that will prompt serious thought and positive action. For eleven years I have been writing here and it is time for a fresh look and expanded influence.

In the coming season I will offer weekly essays on a variety of topics, from international events to personal spiritual growth, historical reflections to incisive commentary on immediate events.

If you enjoy thinking deeply, welcome to the conversation! We may differ and I look forward to your commendations and criticisms. If you want words that merely reinforce your current ideas or provide fodder for anger, please find another place to offer your attention.

We will explore several domains of the human experience here on this website. Human beings are spiritual creatures. Our conscious (and sometimes unconscious) understanding of God, the universe, personal purpose and “life after life” shapes all other concerns. I will unashamedly address spiritual and theological issues. I do so as a devout Christian in the Pentecostal tradition, an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, and part of a global Christian family numbering in the billions. I love my faith and “tribe” but see Christ working in and through all who adore the Triune God and believe the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

We will explore human wholeness, learning together what inner health is all about and the many great resources available for personal and social maturity. Included here are healthy relationships – with family and friends, colleagues and neighbors and among nations.

We will explore human vocations – the callings bestowed by God that shape what we offer the world. From spiritual gifts to professional prowess, every person has something to contribute for the life of the world.

We will look at the world of economics and work, locally and globally. Every person is a steward of divine resources, endowed by the Creator with gifts, skills, opportunities and relationships to serve others.

We will explore cultural, political and social realities, always going “back to the future” in our analysis. We want to learn from history without insipid nostalgia that clouds our vision or impedes our progress. With want to live in hope, creating a preferred future that empowers others and leaves a flourishing reality for future generations.

We will enjoy exploring local, national and global events, politics and trends and look for ways forward that are enriching for all. We will be principled, but not partisan. We will be passionate without being mean-spirited. We can be patriotic without being exclusive or superior.

Please join the conversation. Check out our partners for great insights and resources. Lend your thoughts to this new community of the thoughtful. Share this site with your friends. Above all, love god and neighbor and think deeply…then act decisively from timeless principles and in service to others.

Flip the Switch: Transforming Today

2014 begins with freezing temperatures across the USA, destabilizing governments in the Middle East, mixed economic news, a gridlocked federal government, and the normal hostility of elites toward any semblance of morality and common sense. In other words, just another day in our beautiful and broken world. 

Globally and nationally the cry of the populace is simple, “We need jobs!” The desire for meaningful, sustainable work is woven in to the fabric of Creation and found in every person of conscience. In spite of stock market gains and an explosion of billionaires, most of the nation and world are not feeling hopeful. this concerns offset somewhat as we discover that abject poverty is declining at a rapid rate and millions of new enterprises are beginning every day. 
The polarized political rhetoric and the simplistic thinking of the chattering classes Left and Right is not helpful in making this next year better. It is not enough to say, “more government ‘investment’ [read here more jobs for bureaucrats]!” or “the magic of the market” [forgetting that the rule of law, access to markets and personal virtue and property rights are necessary conditions for flourishing].”
As politicians maneuver for reelection, I propose a more radical approach to our future. No, it is not a bumper-sticker or a million-person march or even an Internet petition. Let’s start a revolution of humility and service through our everyday activity. Let’s “flip the switch” in our hearts and minds and recast our work – whether paid or unpaid, public or private – as humble service to God and for the common good. 
I am not suggesting an idealistic vision that avoids the drudgery and sweat of daily labor. What I am saying is that all moral and meaningful work at its core is service and when we think this way, there is more energy and wisdom that when we just do it for the paycheck. We should agitate for safe conditions and access to markets. We must uphold personal virtue and the rule of law against amorality and anarchy. We can resist the tyranny of encroaching government by exceeding standards of conduct and creation-care. 
Every company is serving the common good when they supply good jobs. Every clerk makes a difference in serving customers that contribute their resources to the economy. Volunteers sustain our communities as they offer care and services that help people thrive, from coaches to rest homes visitation. 
For people of faith, daily work is worship, as all domains are viewed  as doxological offerings to the Lord. For people of all faiths or none, an ethos of humility and service dignifies and empowers each person and helps erode the class divisions that arrogant elites and envious masses resent so much.
Let’s transform today from the inside out. Let’s offer each person we meet love and respect. Let’s give our bosses and full day’s work and our employees the resources they need for flourishing. Together we can transcend the pundits’ polemics and make our world better one decision at a time.