Kid President’s Letter to the Future Jun19

Kid President’s Letter to the Future

It’s been a while – maybe too long! – since I’ve posted anything from Kid President. And Friday seems like a great day to make that up. So here is Kid President’s “Letter to the Future.” As usual, it is incredibly upbeat and orients us to positive action – particularly the simple but profound act of believing in someone…and telling them that! But I’m also intrigued not only by the notion of writing a letter to the future – I probably think too much about the future already! – but also and even more by the idea a) that changing the future doesn’t have to mean...

Charis & Colleagues Jun12

Charis & Collea...

I spent the better part of yesterday in a four-and-a-half-hour long faculty meeting. Yes, you read that right: 4.5 hours, 270 minutes, 16,200 seconds. But before you start feeling sorry for me (at least those who know faculty meetings well enough to generate sympathy), let me hasten to...

The Power of Love…and a Good Story Jun03

The Power of Love…and a Good Story

I love Kiva, perhaps the first internet facilitated, global face-to-face micro-lending organization. We’ve enjoyed giving and receiving Kiva gift certificates at Christmas in our family for several years. But although I knew a bit about the organization, I hadn’t seen the TED Talk of its founder, Jessica Jackley, until just recently. And…it…bowled…me…over. Why? Because of two things. First, Jackley believed from the beginning that people care about others and want to help. She didn’t try to convince them, or persuade them, or draw them in to helping others through games or gimmicks. She just...

Lutheran World Relief Hailed by Consumer Reports! Dec18

Lutheran World Relief Hailed by Consumer Reports!

A lot of us have moved in recent years to giving friends and family – and even our kids – the “good gift” of making a charitable contributions in someone’s name, honoring them by choosing not to give them one more thing that they may or may not need but instead making a donation that will help to change someone’s life. Not surprisingly, a lot of charitable giving happens in December, both in response to the Christmas spirit as well as in recognition that we are closing in on the end of another tax year! If you are anything like me, you may not only make such gifts, but also want to make sure you are giving to charities that use...

ALS and the Courage to Ask Dec03

ALS and the Courage to Ask

Yesterday was Giving Tuesday. Lots and lots of us made gifts to various charitable organization – relief agencies, social ministries, colleges, seminaries, animal shelters, our congregations, and more. But did you ever wonder what inspires generosity? Or – and we probably talk about this less – have you ever wondered what inspires the people who ask you to be generous? That’s an interesting question, because if you’ve never done that – asked someone to give of their time, energy, or money – you might not realize how challenging that can be. It can also be wonderful, and we’ll get to that, but it’s also challenging. Why?...

Preachers, Lunch Ladies, and the Rest of Us Sep17

Preachers, Lunch Ladies, and the Rest of Us

When I first created the weekly “Dear Working Preacher” letter at workingpreacher.org, I realized almost immediately that there was something I could do for preachers each week that was as important as it was easy: say thank you. All I wanted to do in that last sentence or two was to offer simple recognition of the hard work and dedication that preachers bring to their calling and to let them know that someone noticed…and appreciated it. Interesting, of all the comments and emails I’ve received over the years about the value of that letter, the one thing folks commented on more than anything else were those closing words of...