Month: October 2011

A Snob in the UK

I’ve never been an anglophile and frankly always gone a little out of my way to make the point.  When the opportunity to have dinner at the House of Lords with Lord Wei came up in our trip planning for London I was the first one to say “That’s not the kind of thing we want to do for dinner.”  What’s the attraction of having dinner with someone just because t ...[Read More]

No Pith Helmets in Paris

I’ve just returned from ten days in Europe – London  Oxford  Paris and Prague.  A small group from The Gathering (11 of us) went together.  In the course of those ten days we made visits or heard presentations from 23 different ministries.  Yes that is insane but you should have seen us high-fiving after the final presentation.&nbs ...[Read More]

'Clearness Committee'

This afternoon I am meeting with a young man who is trying to figure out what to do with his life now that he has left his company. I have found most people in this situation go around and have conversations with individuals and then try to process everything they have heard in their own heads. It’s a pretty standard way of getting advice. If your primary doctor gives you a diagnosis you can ...[Read More]

The Fabric of a Community

I live in a city of 100 000 people.  When I moved here 27 years ago it was 75 000.  Not much change in population but somewhere along the line we passed a tipping point that has affected once well established growth patterns management structures politics and a host of other things.  The change is not merely incremental. Like many cities in the South we have learned to accommodate a ...[Read More]

A Civil Understanding

In a recent column titled “Who will bat against ‘Alibi’ Obama” George Will wrote “Announcing his candidacy near the Statue of Liberty where Ronald Reagan began his 1980 post-convention campaign Huntsman promised “civility” because “I don’t think you need to run down someone’s reputation” when running for president. Actually you do.& ...[Read More]

Idolatry of Philanthropy

In 1985 when five of us met for the first time to talk about giving we had two issues we wanted to discuss.  In our experience we had identified two ditches along the road we wanted to avoid if we were going to stay in this work for a long time.  The first was the tendency to become cynical and disillusioned.  People receiving grants did not always do what they said they were going ...[Read More]

Steve Jobs – Only an Amateur

In all of the news stories being written about the death of Steve Jobs  I have yet to see one that begins with “Billionaire Steve Jobs.” When Warren Buffett and Bill Gates or some Saudi sheikh die I suspect that “billionaire” will be the leading word in the obituary. That word defines them in our minds; it was a by-product for Steve Jobs – not what defined his li ...[Read More]

Those Who Have Eyes To See

For much of my life I had 20/20 vision.  That changed in my 40’s and now I have trifocals for reading seeing close and seeing distance.  I like them…but I have to get them adjusted every couple of years as I grow older.  Some people have glasses for most of their lives.  Come to think of it all of us have glasses all of our lives because we “see” things ...[Read More]

Creative Destruction

Before 1925 each missionary and agency of the Southern Baptist Convention was responsible to raise their own operating support.  While some thrived on this others suffered.  Overall the method (known as “societal giving”) resulted in “severe financial deficits competition overlapping pledge campaigns and frequent emergency appeals.” As well the churches already su ...[Read More]