The Fourth Lesson

Oh, and did I forget the fourth lesson – or maybe it’s the first – the Vikings can teach us about leadership? Never give up. Never. Ever. Not until the clock shows zero. Never. PS: I’m not sure this embedded video will play; if not, click here. PPS: And, yes, I know, this is...

Leadership Lessons from the Vikings

The Vikings should not be in the playoffs. No way. No one expected it. Even through most of the season, people hardly mentioned them, except perhaps for noting that head coach Mike Zimmer (for most of his career a defensive coordinator) put together a really good defense. Why shouldn’t they be in the playoffs? Last year’s record was mediocre (8-8), and you don’t often improve that much in one year, particularly when your starting quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater) isn’t expected to play much and you trade away your franchise running back (Adrian Peterson). Moreover, even when they got off to a decent start, the QB brought in to replace...

Everyone Has a Story: What’s Yours? Sep16

Everyone Has a Story: What’s Yours?

If you haven’t seen Dave Isay’s TED Talk on how his project StoryCorps got started in Grand Central Station in NYC, you need to watch it. It’s 21 minutes that will rush by as we learn again the power of story and, more than simply story, of simply listening to each other. StoryCorps is a project that invites people to interview other people they know and love and archive those stories so that they are preserved. Isay shares excerpts of several interviews. They will make you smile, cry, and laugh. They are, in a word, amazing. Stories are powerful because through our stories we make sense of our lives, share our selves,...

Why #BlackLivesMatter Sep03

Why #BlackLivesMatter

The controversy around the group and movement identified as #BlackLivesMatter has stirred no small amount of controversy since its inception. By stressing that black lives matter, the typical argument goes, they must be suggesting that black lives matter more than other lives. Isn’t everyone of value? Why this focus just on black lives? I get it. The name has made me uncomfortable from the beginning. And so I’m likely to opt for the compromise that many of our politicians on the campaign trail have suggested. “Yes, black lives matter, because all lives matter.” I get it. But while I’m more comfortable with the assertion that...

Music and Love in the Shared Economy Jun05

Music and Love in the Shared Economy

A few weeks ago a good friend sent me some music. It was a wonderful surprise, all the more so because the music was made by her daughter, one half of a new American folk duo named “Undlin and Wolfe.” What was cool was not just that she sent me some music – which was, indeed, cool – or even that the music is fantastic (more about that in a moment) – which was very, very cool. What was especially cool (okay, I won’t use that word again in this post) was the vehicle by which she shared the music. You see, Undlin and Wolfe are making their music available via voluntary contributions. That’s right, you...

Thoughts on the Sharing Economy Jun04

Thoughts on the Sharing Economy

I’m a bit ambivalent about what folks are calling the “sharing economy”. Not from a lack of desire to share. Goodness, but I think we need to share more, partner more, and cooperate more – as congregations, seminaries, community groups, etc. – than ever. It’s more that the sharing economy doesn’t always feel like sharing. Maybe it’s simply that I’ve used Uber and, sure, it’s great. But it doesn’t exactly feel like sharing when I pay at least as much as I would pay for a cab. It just feels a little more convenient, but otherwise pretty transactional. Which is where my ambivalence comes in. I actually love the way...