Feb 27, 2015

Ambition: The Gift with an Asterisk

At 5:07 and 5:24 and still at 5:46, I’m making my way through the suburbs of our state capitol, each town strung together by a line of evening traffic. Dusk is on and so are the matching brake lights—now leaving the line, now entering it. Lefts and rights, merges, stops,...Read more +
Jan 16, 2015

Paying Well: Compensation Is Never Straightforward

We laughed out loud, the three of us shivering in the garage, breath visible in the biting cold, before one of them handed me some folded cash. I took it like an after-thought, like it didn’t matter, then slipped it into my pocket while making another joke about winter. I...Read more +
Dec 19, 2014

Advent Works: With and Without Us

Advent may cause you to think about holiday sales and twenty-five-day calendars filled with chocolates, or maybe candled wreathes illuminating promise-laden symbols on Sunday mornings throughout December. I think of these, too. But Advent is a movement—a movement that Jesus catalyzed and continues to send forward. In a way, it...Read more +
Oct 17, 2014

Find New Life: Perfectionism vs. Restraint

It began with an estimate for concrete. Our century-old home sits cozily between neighbors, and we wanted to clean up the side access to the backyard. Improvements would address hospitality as much as visual appeal (both important since guests frequently use this entrance). Large cracks made us want to make...Read more +
Sep 26, 2014

Vocation Focus: Making Music Out of Noise

I’m writing from a small sound room with an eleven-year old, her violin, and her instructor—the Concertmaster for the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. The girl is weaving together Concerto No. 5, 1 st Movement, by Friedrich Seitz straight out of the case. I wonder how I’ll concentrate; she’s pretty good. Despite...Read more +
Aug 17, 2014

Outrageous Hospitality: Make Yourself at Home

“Make yourself at home.” You know the expression, even said it yourself to guests. It rolls off the tongue in a moment of warmth so generous you believe you actually mean it. We can’t mean it, though, can we? I live in my own home in ways you wouldn’t in...Read more +
Aug 6, 2014

Building a Platform: How to Reach 140 Million Christian Customers

The Purpose-Driven Life , The Passion of the Christ , and The Chronicles of Narnia were three global success stories shaped by effective marketing. When I met one of the two marketing minds behind them—Greg Stielstra—and discovered that he had co-authored a book called Faith-Based Marketing: The Guide to Reaching...Read more +
Jul 10, 2014

Risk and Reward: Flashes of Crazy

I’d seen movies where kids swung from classroom lights and threw desks around because the instructor had lost control. Until the semester of my student teaching, though, I had never experienced it firsthand. It happened just down the hall. A middle-aged woman taught Spanish there, her story like one of...Read more +
Jul 1, 2014

Best Vacation Stories: Untaken Photos

A few years ago, an acquaintance heard me say that I never take formal vacations and butted in, “Well, you should. And you need to start this year.” I smiled politely. Must be nice to order Disney World onto someone who can’t afford it like you can . When abrasive...Read more +
May 1, 2014

Performance vs. Potential: Highlights from the Week

The gap between performance and potential is far from neutral. On the positive side, it inspires. Think of the young professional who sees her future self in a seasoned colleague and dreams of achieving great things for God. Optimism and drive mark this view. On the negative side, however, the...Read more +