Year: 2013

Surprised by Joy

Our young waitress at lunch the other day seemed overly concerned about everything being just right. It wasn’t irritating or intrusive. It didn’t interrupt the conversation. It wasn’t the feeling of being rushed through lunch to open up the table for another waiting customer. It was a genuine interest in doing a good job, but she didn’t seem at ease about it. As I said, she ...[Read More]

Feed the Beast

What’s been stirring the pot for the last couple of weeks is the controversy over whether or not Mark Driscoll, the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, plagiarized and how much of his material has been either lifted verbatim from other sources or used with only a slight bit of editing. As well, there has been some scrutiny over the role of outside research agencies like Docent th ...[Read More]

The Reward is Responsibility

Periodically, I think about retirement and what that might mean. I asked one friend about it, and his response was, “Retire from what? You have the job that everyone would like to find when they retire.” He was right, but I still think I’d like to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.  You can quit now.” Fortunately, that is not God’s plan for my life. I ...[Read More]

Telescopic Philanthropy

A few years ago I read William Easterly’s book, The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. While the title pretty much gives you the essence of the book, the first chapter details a basic distinction between two types of people: Planners and Searchers. Planners start with basic problems and make them bigger before offering any solutions ...[Read More]

The Promise

“God gives a man riches, property and wealth so that he lacks nothing that his heart desires, yet God does not enable him to enjoy the fruit of his labor.  Instead, someone else enjoys it!” Ecclesiastes 6:2 My first reaction to the “Giving Pledge” by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates was mixed. On the one hand I was encouraged to see so many who had spent their live ...[Read More]

The Storm Surge of Cash

The Storm Surge of Cash

Millions of Americans and a fair number of Gathering participants are going to respond to the immediate needs of the Philippines through Twitter, Facebook, text donations, appeals from scores of well-known relief organizations, and more than a few scams that proliferate after every disaster. Years from now even many of the better-known organizations (like the American Red Cross) will be either hol ...[Read More]

The Shade of a Father

When I was young people would say to me "It must be difficult growing up in the shadow of your father." Yes it was. It was not until years later that I understood there is a difference between the "shade" of a father and the shadow. While there were struggles that were painful to us both about my being "Jr. ” the advantages gradually eclipsed the difficulties ” ...[Read More]

Starting Fires

I spent part of a weekend with 95 young “social entrepreneurs” at a conference in Austin Texas. They were all part of Echoing Green an organization funded by General Atlantic founder Charles Feeney. Through a two-year fellowship program Echoing Green identifies individuals with ideas for social change and provides them with seed money and strategic support to help them launch new organ ...[Read More]

Teachers and Friends

"Troy went into debt and bought his new equipment because he didn't want to be held back by demanding circumstances…He was young and strong and ambitious. He wanted to be a star…When it came time to plan for next year wishing them to be friends and eventual partners before Athey would die and Troy would become the farm's farmer Athey walked Troy over the sod ground that wa ...[Read More]

What's Below the Waterline?

The author pastor and speaker Gordon MacDonald was in Tyler this weekend but I didn’t get to see him because we were both busy. He was leading a retreat and I was helping out with a session on the topic of ethics for a local civic group of young professionals. However we had an email exchange to catch up with our lives since the last time we saw each other ” and I reminded him of the p ...[Read More]