Happiness Is Not the Goal: Contentment Is

Gisle Sorli has no doubt seen his share of the pursuit of happiness through the accumulations of things or the running blindly after lifelong “dreams” in his role as a Certified Financial Planner and CPA. In the article below he reminds us that we really should be seeking contentment and not happiness, but more importantly, that these two words are not synonymous.

Vocations, Vacations, and Politics in Public

Here is a great challenge for all of us to consider if not specifically, as Stephen Lazarus suggests, at least conceptually.  In the article below Stephen, a member of the Cardus team that publishes Comment Magazine and who is passionate about all things people, public policy, and research, encourages us to take a chunk of time to think and reflect. Or as he puts it, “take time this summer to escape into responsibility and reflection.” What a challenge—sign me up!

There’s Nothing Ordinary About You

“I’m useless. I don’t have any gifts or talents to offer,” sadly this sentiment is strangely familiar for too many of us. Not everyone says it out loud, but we have all thought it at one time another. We are caught in a constant struggle with accurately understanding who we are because we of our short memories and our lack of commitment to grasp who God has made us to be. When we fail to get this, we will never believe or fully embrace or comprehend our true purpose for our work and more importantly our lives. In the article below, Dr. Art Lindsley, Vice President of Theological Initiatives for the Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics, helps us to remember, moves us along a path to understanding of ourselves and our work, and challenges us to take more seriously God’s creation.  

Common Ground—Possibility or Pipe Dream?

One starting place may be for us to remember who we are and as well as others. In the video below Jason Petty, also known as Propaganda, gives us fresh new ways to think about these things. Propaganda, is a Los Angeles based rapper who aims to get his message out in any artistic form possible including: rap, preaching, and teaching. He is an advocate for the value of human life and seeks to empower people through art and social justice. This hip-hop artist reminds us that the solution is to be intersectional. As a prophetic voice for reconciliation, Propaganda encourages us to find common ground.

The Vital Role of Work in Raising an American Adult

On several occasions we have mentioned and even recommended Ben Sasse’s new book The Vanishing American Adult. Hugh Whelchel in his article below gives us another reason this book should be on our summer reading list. There are important ideas here for all of us. This book identifies a reality whose impact we have yet to feel the full import of, but there is no doubt it is coming and that it is not good. Given the widespread publicity of the book, many of you may have read several articles, seen multiple interviews, and perhaps even finished the book. The breadth of Sasse’s content merits another few minutes of your time to read Whelchel’s take.

An Old Fashioned Ribbing

Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise, is gunned down at a baseball game. A Congressman playing America’s favorite pastime is shot for his political positions? America is ill. Case Thorp calls for a renewed citizenry. 

Social Justice Isn’t What You Think It Is

Thanks to the millenials “social justice” has not only become a buzz phrase for the past decade, but it continues to show staying power among our favored terms. Of course, the millenials did not invent the idea of social justice, but rather they have put a spotlight on it in such a way that now it is a hip thing to participate in, to pad your resume with, and pursue. The article below, by Andrew Spencer, highlights the problems when terms get hi-jacked and definitions are left undefined. This is an important term for us to understand so that we can bring clarity to situations rather than contribute to the haze.

Why Going to Church Reduces Stress

My life experiences would concur with the point that Dr. Jim Denison, head of the Denison Forum, makes regarding our innate desire to worship and whether or not we bow to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. We bend a knee to something because we are built for worship.  It also confirms that as life gets busier, stress builds, and the important things get crowded out, reminders, any reminders, are helpful in nudging us back to the church, back to a more balanced life. In this short article below, Dr. Dension discusses the results of a recent study that scientifically proves what believers should already know that church attendance reduces stress.  Enjoy the article and see you in church!

When Is Water-Cooler Chit Chat Gossip?

While we all have vastly different workplace experiences, I hope and pray you have not seen the devastating effects of gossip that I have witnessed.  The crushing power of gossip has the ability to destroy people and entities.  Like so many sins, this one has seductive and sneaky aspects to it.  Often we find ourselves in the middle of gossip without realizing that we ever waded into the deep end.  This is why it is important for us to challenge ourselves to think do I engage in it, promote it, have I ever thought about it, etc. Caroline Cross, a communications fellows at the Institute of Faith, Work & Economics, helps us frame our thinking about the “water-cooler” in the article below.