• Fred's Blog

    This Is My Story

    Listen to “This is My Story” by Fred Smith   Two weeks ago in Menlo Park, a friend convened a group to talk about mentoring. It must be that time of life when people ask you to come and “reflect” on what has been learned. Not all that many years ago we would have been talking about what it means to find a mentor but now the tables are turned and we are looking at it from the perspective of what it means to be one. I am comfortable with that especially as I think the word “mentor” has been so diluted and misused. One of our group, Rick Woolworth,…

  • Fred's Blog

    Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

    Listen to “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” by Fred Smith   Bishop Michael Curry’s royal wedding sermon went viral last weekend partly due to one quote: “Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying…He sacrificed his life for the good of others, for the well-being of the world, for us.  That’s what redemptive love is.”  While I agree, there is a redemptive love that causes me great embarrassment. In fact, I can only cringe when I read about it. Many years ago, the Temptations sang about it: Now I’ve heard a cryin’ man Is half a man with no sense of pride, But if I have to cry to…

  • Fred's Blog

    Ain't Too Proud To Beg

    Listen to “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” by Fred Smith   Bishop Michael Curry’s royal wedding sermon went viral last weekend partly due to one quote: “Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying…He sacrificed his life for the good of others, for the well-being of the world, for us.  That’s what redemptive love is.”  While I agree, there is a redemptive love that causes me great embarrassment. In fact, I can only cringe when I read about it. Many years ago, the Temptations sang about it: Now I’ve heard a cryin’ man Is half a man with no sense of pride, But if I have to cry to…

  • Fred's Blog

    And You Have So Many

    Listen to “And You Have So Many” By Fred Smith   This being the week of Mother’s Day, I remember one of my father’s favorite stories about his mother. They lived in a very poor section of Nashville where my grandfather was the pastor of a small Baptist church. With a pitiful salary the struggle to keep the family of five boys fed and in clothes was a constant pressure on her. One day in the market she spied some ripe tomatoes but could not afford more than one. “Those are beautiful tomatoes,” she complimented the shopkeeper. She then paused and said, “And you have so many.” How could he resist the…

  • Fred's Blog

    Look Out For Pirates

    Listen to “Look Out for Pirates.”   This morning I am in New York serving on a panel at the Praxis Redemptive Imagination Summit. Here is the assignment: “As tectonic shifts happen in technology, secularization, wealth creation, and business as a mechanism for impact, the theologically minded philanthropist or foundation executive may face tough decisions in the years to come: should we invest in tech-driven solutions? Or focus on relationships that may get left behind in the pursuit of scale?” For me, redemptive philanthropy is preparing the next generation of family for wealth and giving. I want to invest in redeeming inheritance. Today, wealth is synonymous with money or other…

  • Fred's Blog

    Jars Of Clay Or Faberge?

    Listen to “Jars of Clay or Faberge?”   A conversation this week with Dan Haseltine, the lead vocalist for the band Jars of Clay and the founder of Blood: Water Mission started me thinking about the origin of the band’s name. Why “Jars of Clay”? “We chose it after studying the passage in 2 Corinthians 4 and it expressed who we desired to be as artists. We wanted to deflect the attention from the band and concentrate people on the message – the treasure inside the container.” I grew up believing the phrase described our frailty or feet of clay or even our disposition toward the weakness inherent in anything earthen.…