Hallelujah!

This week is filled with various church services moving us towards the culmination of Easter, which will be celebrated this Sunday. And celebrate we should because without the resurrection it is game over—no redemption, no salvation, no hope.

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Crosland Stuart
Workplace Stress... Ughhh!

Given the massive amount of time we spend on work, it should not be surprising that this is a major source of frustration for us. Business deals gone awry, difficult co-workers, intense travel schedules, the economic realities of our business choices, the slow pace of progress or no progress, the disappointment that accompanies poor job satisfaction, and there are many more stressors that could be added to this list. Any one of these frustrations alone could cause us to cry out to God, Why have you forgotten me? Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? (Ps. 42:11, ESV)

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Crosland Stuart
Common Practices

How will the Church in the 21st century “equip the saints for works of service” (Eph. 4:12) for the vast challenges we face in the world today? This seems overwhelming at first blush. But we must not forget that God’s people are touching every area of our cities through their daily work, and it’s the Church’s privilege and responsibility to send out agents of healing through their vocations.

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Crosland Stuart
Digital Minimimalism

Occasionally, we try to feature books that help us on our journey of thriving for the glory of God. Given that we are constantly bombarded with technology, this new book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport has caught my attention. In the article below Ryer Carroll, inventor of the Bullet Journal, interviews Cal Newport about his book Digital Minimalism.

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Crosland Stuart
What is Responsibility: Part II

Any person who has created something of worth has stories of pain, of late nights, juggled debts, headaches that leave you grinding your palms into your temples wondering why you’re doing this. Just recently, my wife and I started a business together. Building a business is like planting the tiniest seed and holding an umbrella for years over the slowly growing sapling because there’s always a thunderstorm crashing right above your head. Creating and protecting the space for something to grow requires a lot from those who want to see the fruit. I’m not saying it’s not worth it. I’m saying that it’s hard. Every entrepreneur knows that building a business requires sacrifice, much as any artist knows the price of creating anything worthwhile.

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PJ Wehry
What is Responsibility: Part 1

Who we are born to and with is not our decision. Whether our parents were rich or poor, educated or not, these were not options we selected on a tablet while we were riding in the stork’s handkerchief. We are born in the middle of a group of strangers who are immediately responsible for us, and we are ultimately responsible to them.

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PJ Wehry
A Faith and Work Eulogy

Today’s blog feature is a special request of mine of my colleague and faithful leader in The Collaborative, Crosland Stuart. I was honored to attend the funeral of her father, Bill Stuart, this past week in Bartow, Florida, at the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Her well written, carefully constructed reflection on her father’s life moved me, and I know will do the same for you.

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Case Thorp
Culture Eats Abortion Legal Strategies for Breakfast

Management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Drucker’s insight applies equally well to contemporary American culture grappling with issues of human life and death. Legal strategies seeking to influence our practices around life and its beginning, death and its end, and the many gray complexities in between, will always be eaten for breakfast by the American culture.

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Case Thorp
Starting Well: Reflecting on the Orlando Fellows' Inaugural Year

Any time a new initiative is started there can be confusion as to how it fits in with the whole, especially if the initiative is multi-faceted, and The Collaborative is no exception. While our branding, communication efforts, and public events have been helpful, understanding each aspect can still be a bit fuzzy, particularly in these early years and given the large constituency that is First Presbyterian Church Orlando. This week’s blog is designed to provide some clarity with regards to The Heart of the City Fellows Program. We were featured in this blog that was written by the The Fellows Institute, which is the governing entity for Fellows programs nationwide.

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Crosland Stuart
Love in the Workplace?

Some people dread this day, others are depressed by it, and still others feel burdened by the obligation to get it right. One trend I am loving is this idea that Valentines is  no longer necessarily an evening in a dark corner of a restaurant with the love of your life. Rather many are broadening the circle and seeing it is an opportunity to celebrate friends and family.

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Crosland Stuart
Art Challenge!

We need art. We need art to remind us of the grandeur of gifts that people possess, to remind us that our imaginations need to be stoked, and to remind us that beauty helps recalibrate our being.

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Crosland Stuart
Missing a Milestone???

I’m generally not one for new years resolutions. If, however, any of my evangelical friends were to ask what I’d recommend, I’d suggest three. 1) Recognize an important milestone likely to happen in 2019. 2) Recognize what this milestone means. 3) Recognize that doing more of what we’re already doing is not a solution.

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Crosland Stuart
Do You Have A Dream?

At the beginning of this week we, as a nation, celebrated MLK Day. While not everyone received a day off, it would be hard to miss that much of our country was moving to a different rhythm this past Monday.  It is curious to me how a variation, even a seemingly insignificant one (like a day off), can prove to be a positive disruptor. These positive disruptors can manifest themselves in a myriad of ways, something out of the ordinary.

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Crosland Stuart
I Am NOT Eloquent

Of all the human responses to God in the Bible, I relate to Moses’ response the most. There are those people whom God calls and without hesitation they say, “Okay, I got this, use me.”  I wish.

But no, like Moses, my response is, “You want me to do what now?”

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Emily Matteson
Double Feature: Inside Amazon & Work Is Changing

We should ask ourselves several questions and among them should be: 1) Does my company/department/policies/work habits promote the well-being of the family? And 2) Does my management style devalue humans or bolster one’s worth? There are other questions that could surface, but these are places to start.

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Crosland Stuart
Redemptive Resolutions 2019

As we re-emerge from the Christmas haze, it is a good time to remember the point of Christ’s birth. He came so that we might be redeemed, and as a redeemed people we are called to live in a manner that strives to recover that which has been lost through the Fall. Asking ourselves how our jobs, families, friendships, etc. can be redeemed helps to shape our goals for 2019. Understanding what the idols in our lives are can also shape our resolutions. So much of what needs to be redeemed is tied to our destructive idols. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Atheism was not introduced in the garden, but idolatry was.” So, these two questions about redemption and idolatry serve to minimize how distracted we are by our feelings, our personal definitions of truth, and our own sins—filters that keep us focused on those things that are truly significant.

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Crosland Stuart
Merry Christmas!

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,

(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten

of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (KJV)

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Crosland Stuart
Should Christians Abandon Christmas?

Recently, someone told me they had never heard of Sinclair Ferguson. My internal response was a groan, not in judgement, but rather out of sadness for what this person has been missing. Sinclair is a spiritual living giant that I would commend to you. He is a prolific writer and his speaking and preaching is not far behind. The article below is just a taste of Dr. Ferguson as well as an article that is on point as we think about what we are doing this December.

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Crosland Stuart
Advent and Work

Culturally, there is nothing virtuous about waiting, and yet throughout Scripture we are called to wait on the Lord and to be still and know that I am Lord. There is the fundamental assumption (particularly in the marketplace) that no good can come from waiting—it is not progress, it is not advancing the cause, it is not success. The questions then become how do I grow my appreciation for this Biblical mandate, what does that look like, how do I more fully cultivate it in my own soul.

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Crosland Stuart