Category Archives: business

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.

A New Day of Integration

While Washington dithers and much of the world wanders, we can decide that 2013 will be a fruitful and meaningful year for ourselves, our families, our communities and – by extension – even our state and nation.

My new book is now out and it contains insights that help thoughtful women and men integrate faith, work and economics into their personal and spiritual growth and help local churches and communities flourish. 2013 is the year that we

  • Stop separating social justice and wealth creation, recognizing that they are partners in human prosperity at all levels.
  • End our disintegrated lives and choose integration of our callings, careers, community life and creative inspirations (special thanks to Brett and Lyn Johnson and their book, Convergence for this quartet of completeness). 
  • Seek out friends new and old and encourage one another’s dreams and visions that contains the seeds of future flourishing.
  • Help thoughtful Democrats and Republicans cease labeling and libeling each other and begin partnering for balanced budgets, new efficiencies and wise stewardship of resources so that the poor and vulnerable are cared for and our children’s futures are secure.
  • Attend funerals for nostalgia and utopianism and celebration events for first/founding principles and substantive hope rooted in timeless truths and timely observations. 
I remain unapologetically hopeful. I posses no fantasies of the days of yore or Star Trek solutions. I believe that God is working through loving and prayerful people willing to be answers to their own petitions.
The link here provides the information on my new work – an effort that arises from collaboration with so many great men and women. The Acton Institute (www.acton.org) is leading the charge for integration and I am honored  by the appointment as a senior advisor. Yes, my name is on the cover; however, my deepest desires are the glory of God and the good of others.  www.acton.org