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Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Why Work Is at the Heart of God’s Mission

Why Work Is at the Heart of God’s Mission

Almost every Sunday morning at church, as we finish the final songs and benediction (and I prepare to pick up my crew of girls from Sunday School – now four!), I find myself asking the same question: What is the Church sent into the world to do? This is a question that my friends in pastoral ministry think about often. They do so because it’s so foundational. The “why” of Christian mission, I think, is far less in question: our motivation for ministry is the gospel of Jesus Christ, his atoning death for our sins and his resurrection for our salvation. The free gift of new life in Christ is the spark that ignites the heart of his global people. But what, then, is the church to do about it? In a previous post, I noted that John Stott, the framer of the Lausanne Covenant and best-selling author, saw a unity between service and witness as central to the church’s mission. Both were at the heart of why God...

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Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Work | 0 comments

How should I choose a career?

How should I choose a career?

Today most career counselors and well-meaning friends would respond to this question with: What are you good at? What do you love to do? What’s your personality type? Where do you want to live? What kind of lifestyle do you want? These are good, normal questions. Yet I have to wonder, are the goals of self-fulfillment and maximizing my personal potential the best way to think about a lifetime of work? These views are hardly uncommon. According to the Barna Group, the top career priority for millennials (I’m one of them) is “finding a career they’re passionate about” (42%). David Kinnamen, the CEO of Barna, says about millennials, “They cite working for themselves, a job adaptable to their strengths, having a lot of variety, and the freedom to take risks as essential career priorities, in addition to being able to fund their personal interests.” He adds they also have a strong desire to make a social impact through their job. Somewhat tongue in cheek, he remarks “Young adults want to...

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Work | 0 comments

Hearing the Call

Hearing the Call

[The following blog post was first given as a brief introduction to Palazzo Verdi, the site of our 2015 Women, Work & Calling Event. Two elements of the venue – the Chardin Chandelier and the replica of the prayer labyrinth at the Chartres Cathedral in France – tied in directly to our theme that evening: hearing the call of God.]  “Oh the beauty of spirit as it rises up adorned with all the riches of the earth!” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Catholic priest, wrote this in his book the Hymn of the Universe. Indeed, the entire creation is singing with the beauty of God. From Mars to parking meters, from the Himalayas to high school soccer practices, the glory of God is present. With us. Here. Now. Look up. This is the Chandelier Chardin, created by Lonnie Hanzon and brought to Palazzo Verdi in 2008. I look at this, and I think: “Just look up! And we will see His beauty in all of his creation and in the everyday if we only...

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Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Work | 0 comments

Lincoln on Being a Lawyer

Lincoln on Being a Lawyer

I came across this quote while reading the late Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy Continued, and it was so rich I wanted to pass it on to you: There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonestly is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief—resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgement you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave. Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real...

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Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Video Release: Eugene Peterson on Vocation

Video Release: Eugene Peterson on Vocation

On New Years Eve, 1868, Andrew Carnegie sat alone in his room in the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York. Only 33 years old, he had already been successful beyond his wildest dreams. That year he made $56,110 and had accumulated $400,000 in assets. But his heart was restless. New Years Eve was a time of sober reflection for Scottish Calvinists. Though an atheist, Carnegie the Scot picked up a pen and wrote that night, “To continue much longer overwhelmed by business cares and with most of my thoughts wholly upon the way to make more money in the shortest time must degrade me beyond hope of permanent recovery.” Though he delayed in taking action, that night he committed to get a thorough education, take part in “public matters especially those connected with education and the improvement of the poorer classes” and “choose the life which will be the most elevating in character.” For many of us, New Years is a time to examine our lives and make plans...

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Four Sermons on Work

Four Sermons on Work

In the past several months, I’ve been honored to give four different sermons on work in the Denver Metro area. If you have some time this week, download them onto your iPhone or iPod (remember those?) and listen on your way to or from work. I’d love to get your feedback. Here they are. I’ve included the title, time & place, biblical text, description, brief outline, and highlights for your scanning pleasure. Happy listening. “The Gospel as Public Truth” Listen Now: The Gospel as Public Truth Date: July 27, 2014 Location: Fellowship Denver Church Key Text: Acts 25:23-26:27 Description: Why does it seem like the public worlds of business, politics, technology or art seems so isolated from the world of church? In this sermon, Jeff Haanen explores Paul’s testimony before King Agrippa and Festus in Acts 25-26 to find a model for cultural engagement for our modern culture. Based on Paul’s own call, Jeff explains what it means to be a witness and servant of the gospel of grace in...

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