Blog

Donors Are From Mars…

October 28, 2014 1 Comment 26

I should start with a disclaimer: I’ve never actually read the famous relationship guide Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. However, I’ve had enough conversations about the book to understand the main point: there are things that men and women do not understand about each other, and these challenges can create tension in the midst of relationships. While the donor and nonprofit relationship is not nearly as foundational as the struggle between genders, it is still rife with the same kinds of misunderstanding and confusion. At one level, there is a great desire to partner together in order to make something incredible happen in our community. However, in the very next moment, we are struggling to communicate and we grow frustrated with each other. As someone who has worked for three different nonprofit organizations over the past 14 years, I understand the challenges that organizations face as they passionately pursue their mission and vision. My wife and I frequently wear the donor hat as well. But I don’t really like the word “donor,” so from now on, we’ll use the term “partner.” We give financially and participate regularly with several nonprofit organizations and we love being involved in what they are doing in the Valley and around the globe. I can recall on multiple occasions asking the same question both of partners and the organizations that we partner with: “What the heck are they thinking?” And you know what? I’m sure others have thought the same of me! But frustration should not cause us to throw in the towel and ignore the frailties of our community and world. We should not allow misunderstandings to force us into apathy and division. Rather, we should strive to bridge the communication gaps between partners and nonprofits. This topic is far too big to be fully unpacked...

I should start with a disclaimer: I’ve never actually read the famous relationship guide Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. However, I’ve had enough conversations about the book to understand the main point: there are things that men and women do not understand about each other, and these challenges can create tension in the midst of relationships. While the donor and nonprofit relationship is not nearly as foundational as the struggle between genders, it is still rife with the same kinds of misunderstanding and confusion. At one level, there is a great desire to partner together in order to make something incredible happen in our community. However, in the very next moment, we are struggling to communicate and we grow frustrated with each other. As someone who has worked for three different nonprofit organizations over the past 14 years, I understand the challenges that organizations face as they passionately pursue their mission and vision. My wife and I frequently wear the donor hat as well. But I don’t really like the word “donor,” so from now on, we’ll use the term “partner.” We give financially and participate regularly with several nonprofit organizations and we love being involved in what they...

I should start with a disclaimer: I’ve never actually read the famous relationship guide Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. However, I’ve had enough conversations about the book to understand the main point: there are things that men and women do not understand about each other, and these challenges can create tension in the midst of relationships. While the donor and nonprofit relationship is not nearly as foundational as the struggle between genders, it is still rife with the same kinds of misunderstanding and confusion. At one level, there is a great desire to partner together in order to...

I should start with a disclaimer: I’ve never actually read the famous relationship guide Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. However, I’ve had enough conversations about the book to understand the main point: there are things that men and women do not understand about each other, and these...

I should start with a disclaimer: I’ve never actually read the famous relationship guide Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. However, I’ve had...

I should start with a disclaimer: I’ve never actually read the famous relationship guide Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. However, I’ve had enough conversations about the book to understand the main point: there are things that men and women do not understand about each other, and these challenges can create tension in the midst of relationships. While the donor and nonprofit relationship is not nearly as foundational as the struggle between genders, it is still rife with the same kinds of misunderstanding and confusion. At one level, there is a great desire to partner together in order to...

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Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and the Story of Tempe

October 22, 2014 1 Comment 8

Charles T. Hayden was a risk-taker. After initial business success in 1850s, he decided to leave his comfortable home in Missouri and head west to the dangerous, hot, and sparsely populated state of Arizona. He landed in Tucson and started a successful freighting company that brought supplies to rugged men in mining camps and military posts. One day in the 1860s, Hayden went on a business trip, traveling from Tucson to Prescott. His trip was delayed when he reached the edge of the Salt River, in the place that we now call Tempe Town Lake. It might be hard for us to imagine, but the river was raging, and it was too dangerous for Hayden to cross to the other side. He was delayed on the banks of the uncultivated land that would eventually become the city of Tempe. Hayden camped next to the river for two days. Being the risk-taker that he was, he would eventually pass through the raging river, but the seed of a greater challenge was planted in his mind during his two-day unintentional retreat. One afternoon, he climbed to the top of what we know as A Mountain and looked out at the dusty plot of land at the foot of the hill. Most people would have seen nothing but barrenness and obstacles, but Hayden saw opportunity. He saw the city of Tempe. Tempe-1870 As Hayden stood on the peak of A Mountain, he envisioned businesses, canal systems, river ferries, agricultural opportunities, and schools. So he decided to take another risk, purchasing the 160 acres that now constitute downtown Tempe. He helped start the city, its initial economy, and helped give rise to what is now Arizona State University. A growing skyline now stands on the edge of the Salt River, the...

Charles T. Hayden was a risk-taker. After initial business success in 1850s, he decided to leave his comfortable home in Missouri and head west to the dangerous, hot, and sparsely populated state of Arizona. He landed in Tucson and started a successful freighting company that brought supplies to rugged men in mining camps and military posts. One day in the 1860s, Hayden went on a business trip, traveling from Tucson to Prescott. His trip was delayed when he reached the edge of the Salt River, in the place that we now call Tempe Town Lake. It might be hard for us to imagine, but the river was raging, and it was too dangerous for Hayden to cross to the other side. He was delayed on the banks of the uncultivated land that would eventually become the city of Tempe. Hayden camped next to the river for two days. Being the risk-taker that he was, he would eventually pass through the raging river, but the seed of a greater challenge was planted in his mind during his two-day unintentional retreat. One afternoon, he climbed to the top of what we know as A Mountain and looked out at the dusty plot of land at...

Charles T. Hayden was a risk-taker. After initial business success in 1850s, he decided to leave his comfortable home in Missouri and head west to the dangerous, hot, and sparsely populated state of Arizona. He landed in Tucson and started a successful freighting company that brought supplies to rugged men in mining camps and military posts. One day in the 1860s, Hayden went on a business trip, traveling from Tucson to Prescott. His trip was delayed when he reached the edge of the Salt River, in the place that we now call Tempe Town Lake. It might be hard for us to...

Charles T. Hayden was a risk-taker. After initial business success in 1850s, he decided to leave his comfortable home in Missouri and head west to the dangerous, hot, and sparsely populated state of Arizona. He landed in Tucson and started a successful freighting company that brought supplies to rugged men in...

Charles T. Hayden was a risk-taker. After initial business success in 1850s, he decided to leave his comfortable home in Missouri and head west to the...

Charles T. Hayden was a risk-taker. After initial business success in 1850s, he decided to leave his comfortable home in Missouri and head west to the dangerous, hot, and sparsely populated state of Arizona. He landed in Tucson and started a successful freighting company that brought supplies to rugged men in mining camps and military posts. One day in the 1860s, Hayden went on a business trip, traveling from Tucson to Prescott. His trip was delayed when he reached the edge of the Salt River, in the place that we now call Tempe Town Lake. It might be hard for us to...

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Meeting The People Who Put the Food on our Plates

October 16, 2014 No Comments 6

Joanie Simon knows a thing or two about the metro Phoenix food scene. The host of Restaurant Live AZ, a popular podcast highlighting the best restaurants in our area, Joanie is also the general manager at Copperstate Restaurant Technologies, a leading company in the point of sale industry here in Arizona. We asked Joanie to share with us what she’s learning about the local food scene, what’s been most surprising, and why good food matters. Flourish Phoenix: Tell us a bit about the origins of Restaurant Live AZ. Where did the inspiration for this project come from? Joanie Simon: Working as a vendor to the restaurant industry, I got to know a lot of chefs and restaurateurs. People in the hospitality industry are a fun, colorful and many times, an entertaining bunch. I wanted to be able to share their stories and around the same time, I met some folks in internet radio. It seemed like a great format for storytelling, and I’ve been having fun ever since. FP: As general manager of a restaurant technologies business, and as host of a foodie podcast, you have a unique perspective on restaurants throughout metro Phoenix. In what ways to do you see the local food scene flourishing? JS: The food scene in Phoenix is the best it has ever been—and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We’ve seen a boom in the number of local independent, chef-driven, and ethnic restaurants. Sure, we’re not NYC or San Fran, but we’re seeing a greater variety of establishments, more use of high-quality, farm-to-table ingredients, and envelope pushing ingredients. For example, Chef Gio at Virtu has single-handedly put octopus on the map in Phoenix. His grilled octopus is now a permanent fixture to his otherwise changing menu because people can’t get enough of it. Talking to him, he offered...

Joanie Simon knows a thing or two about the metro Phoenix food scene. The host of Restaurant Live AZ, a popular podcast highlighting the best restaurants in our area, Joanie is also the general manager at Copperstate Restaurant Technologies, a leading company in the point of sale industry here in Arizona. We asked Joanie to share with us what she’s learning about the local food scene, what’s been most surprising, and why good food matters. Flourish Phoenix: Tell us a bit about the origins of Restaurant Live AZ. Where did the inspiration for this project come from? Joanie Simon: Working as a vendor to the restaurant industry, I got to know a lot of chefs and restaurateurs. People in the hospitality industry are a fun, colorful and many times, an entertaining bunch. I wanted to be able to share their stories and around the same time, I met some folks in internet radio. It seemed like a great format for storytelling, and I’ve been having fun ever since. FP: As general manager of a restaurant technologies business, and as host of a foodie podcast, you have a unique perspective on restaurants throughout metro Phoenix. In what ways to do you see the local food...

Joanie Simon knows a thing or two about the metro Phoenix food scene. The host of Restaurant Live AZ, a popular podcast highlighting the best restaurants in our area, Joanie is also the general manager at Copperstate Restaurant Technologies, a leading company in the point of sale industry here in Arizona. We asked Joanie to share with us what she’s learning about the local food scene, what’s been most surprising, and why good food matters. Flourish Phoenix: Tell us a bit about the origins of Restaurant Live AZ. Where did the inspiration for this project come from? Joanie Simon: Working as a vendor...

Joanie Simon knows a thing or two about the metro Phoenix food scene. The host of Restaurant Live AZ, a popular podcast highlighting the best restaurants in our area, Joanie is also the general manager at Copperstate Restaurant Technologies, a leading company in the point of sale industry here in...

Joanie Simon knows a thing or two about the metro Phoenix food scene. The host of Restaurant Live AZ, a popular podcast highlighting the best...

Joanie Simon knows a thing or two about the metro Phoenix food scene. The host of Restaurant Live AZ, a popular podcast highlighting the best restaurants in our area, Joanie is also the general manager at Copperstate Restaurant Technologies, a leading company in the point of sale industry here in Arizona. We asked Joanie to share with us what she’s learning about the local food scene, what’s been most surprising, and why good food matters. Flourish Phoenix: Tell us a bit about the origins of Restaurant Live AZ. Where did the inspiration for this project come from? Joanie Simon: Working as a vendor...

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Politics As If People Mattered

October 13, 2014 2 Comments 12

With Arizona’s gubernatorial election coming up on Tuesday, November 4—just three weeks from tomorrow—the candidates’ signs are ubiquitous at stoplights, campaign TV ads are on heavy rotation, and many of us are more than ready for all of it to be behind us. But if you ask Tyler Johnson, lead pastor of Redemption Church, election season represents an important opportunity. Redemption Church is hosting a pair of civic forum events, with Fred DuVal appearing tomorrow, Tuesday, October 14, followed by an event featuring Doug Ducey two weeks later on October 28. We interviewed Tyler about the motivation behind these events and asked him share his understanding of civic responsibility. Flourish Phoenix: By this point in any electoral campaign, a lot of people are fed up with spin and partisan mudslinging coming from both sides of the aisle. What will set these events apart? Tyler Johnson: Our desire in these forums is to get beyond the websites and advertisements. One of the major goals of these forums is to really get to know the candidates. We will talk a good deal about how the candidates were raised, how their world views were formulated, and who their biggest influences have been and who they are today. These events are set apart from other debates and forums because of our desire to humanize the candidates and humanize the issues. In our polarized world, most of what we get are dehumanizing ads and trite one liners that dehumanize issues. Human beings are complex and the issues we face as a state are complex. Complex issues demand that we engage with each other. Dehumanizing campaigns discourage working together. FP: I'd imagine you've already encountered questions about why a church like Redemption would host these civic forums in the first place. What do you tell those who have expressed these kinds of...

With Arizona’s gubernatorial election coming up on Tuesday, November 4—just three weeks from tomorrow—the candidates’ signs are ubiquitous at stoplights, campaign TV ads are on heavy rotation, and many of us are more than ready for all of it to be behind us. But if you ask Tyler Johnson, lead pastor of Redemption Church, election season represents an important opportunity. Redemption Church is hosting a pair of civic forum events, with Fred DuVal appearing tomorrow, Tuesday, October 14, followed by an event featuring Doug Ducey two weeks later on October 28. We interviewed Tyler about the motivation behind these events and asked him share his understanding of civic responsibility. Flourish Phoenix: By this point in any electoral campaign, a lot of people are fed up with spin and partisan mudslinging coming from both sides of the aisle. What will set these events apart? Tyler Johnson: Our desire in these forums is to get beyond the websites and advertisements. One of the major goals of these forums is to really get to know the candidates. We will talk a good deal about how the candidates were raised, how their world views were formulated, and who their biggest influences have been and who they are today. These...

With Arizona’s gubernatorial election coming up on Tuesday, November 4—just three weeks from tomorrow—the candidates’ signs are ubiquitous at stoplights, campaign TV ads are on heavy rotation, and many of us are more than ready for all of it to be behind us. But if you ask Tyler Johnson, lead pastor of Redemption Church, election season represents an important opportunity. Redemption Church is hosting a pair of civic forum events, with Fred DuVal appearing tomorrow, Tuesday, October 14, followed by an event featuring Doug Ducey two weeks later on October 28. We interviewed Tyler about the motivation behind these events and asked...

With Arizona’s gubernatorial election coming up on Tuesday, November 4—just three weeks from tomorrow—the candidates’ signs are ubiquitous at stoplights, campaign TV ads are on heavy rotation, and many of us are more than ready for all of it to be behind us. But if you ask Tyler Johnson, lead...

With Arizona’s gubernatorial election coming up on Tuesday, November 4—just three weeks from tomorrow—the candidates’ signs are ubiquitous at stoplights, campaign TV ads are on...

With Arizona’s gubernatorial election coming up on Tuesday, November 4—just three weeks from tomorrow—the candidates’ signs are ubiquitous at stoplights, campaign TV ads are on heavy rotation, and many of us are more than ready for all of it to be behind us. But if you ask Tyler Johnson, lead pastor of Redemption Church, election season represents an important opportunity. Redemption Church is hosting a pair of civic forum events, with Fred DuVal appearing tomorrow, Tuesday, October 14, followed by an event featuring Doug Ducey two weeks later on October 28. We interviewed Tyler about the motivation behind these events and asked...

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Renewing Urban Renewal

October 8, 2014 No Comments 7

Urban Renewal is a phrase that, for the last 50 to 60 years or so, has referred to the government program intended to revitalize urban slums. The renewal process included demolishing old or run-down buildings, constructing newer housing, or adding in features like a theater or stadium. Urban renewal is usually undertaken for the purposes of persuading wealthier individuals to come live in a particular area where, years earlier, landowners left the neighborhood but held on to their property. In the 1940s this government program became a nationwide push to clear, rebuild, and redevelop slums. Although good things have come out of this program, critics have contended that although urban renewal programs bulldoze slums, they have often led to their replacement by office buildings and apartment homes for the well-to-do. In hindsight, critics have seen that “renewal” was seen through the lens of a Western capitalist mindset that paid little attention to culture, personal needs, and aesthetic beauty. For instance, you may have heard government housing in “rough” neighborhoods referred to as “the projects.” These are apartment buildings intentionally built to be simple, the same, and lacking any character at all. The plan was to demolish old buildings and houses, move out the poor, and build new buildings for them without any of the frills. In some cities, you can see “the projects” built in rows, almost like corn fields, where all the people who were presumably part of the crime and poverty of one neighborhood have been relocated to start a new community. The idea was that a new place with a new building was going to stimulate the neighborhood’s poor to live differently. This has not been the case. The projects have not only uglified neighborhoods, but have also destroyed the cultures of so many diverse groups. This is because when...

Urban Renewal is a phrase that, for the last 50 to 60 years or so, has referred to the government program intended to revitalize urban slums. The renewal process included demolishing old or run-down buildings, constructing newer housing, or adding in features like a theater or stadium. Urban renewal is usually undertaken for the purposes of persuading wealthier individuals to come live in a particular area where, years earlier, landowners left the neighborhood but held on to their property. In the 1940s this government program became a nationwide push to clear, rebuild, and redevelop slums. Although good things have come out of this program, critics have contended that although urban renewal programs bulldoze slums, they have often led to their replacement by office buildings and apartment homes for the well-to-do. In hindsight, critics have seen that “renewal” was seen through the lens of a Western capitalist mindset that paid little attention to culture, personal needs, and aesthetic beauty. For instance, you may have heard government housing in “rough” neighborhoods referred to as “the projects.” These are apartment buildings intentionally built to be simple, the same, and lacking any character at all. The plan was to demolish old buildings and houses, move out...

Urban Renewal is a phrase that, for the last 50 to 60 years or so, has referred to the government program intended to revitalize urban slums. The renewal process included demolishing old or run-down buildings, constructing newer housing, or adding in features like a theater or stadium. Urban renewal is usually undertaken for the purposes of persuading wealthier individuals to come live in a particular area where, years earlier, landowners left the neighborhood but held on to their property. In the 1940s this government program became a nationwide push to clear, rebuild, and redevelop slums. Although good things have come out...

Urban Renewal is a phrase that, for the last 50 to 60 years or so, has referred to the government program intended to revitalize urban slums. The renewal process included demolishing old or run-down buildings, constructing newer housing, or adding in features like a theater or stadium. Urban renewal is...

Urban Renewal is a phrase that, for the last 50 to 60 years or so, has referred to the government program intended to revitalize urban...

Urban Renewal is a phrase that, for the last 50 to 60 years or so, has referred to the government program intended to revitalize urban slums. The renewal process included demolishing old or run-down buildings, constructing newer housing, or adding in features like a theater or stadium. Urban renewal is usually undertaken for the purposes of persuading wealthier individuals to come live in a particular area where, years earlier, landowners left the neighborhood but held on to their property. In the 1940s this government program became a nationwide push to clear, rebuild, and redevelop slums. Although good things have come out...

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7 Fall Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

September 18, 2014 No Comments 9

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When can we stop being simply the “dry-heat desert” and once again become the envy of the country? In a few short weeks, the anticipation and waiting will come to an end. All will be forgotten. Temperatures will fall and doors will be thrown open. Individuals and families will emerge from their summer cocoons, hitting the hiking trails, outdoor malls, golf courses, resorts, and parks with fervor as intense as the recently dissipated summer heat. As most of the country begins its exodus from the outdoors and migrates toward furnaces, we begin to stretch our legs and explore anew all this city has to offer. And yes, the sixth largest city in the country has a lot to offer—thanks in large part to the wonderful diversity of our metro area. Central High School in Phoenix boasts a student body representing over 60 languages, the Arizona Department of Economic Security reports a refugee population of nearly 63,000 in Phoenix last year, and foods like injera, kimchi, tortillas, halal goat, veal wieners, tom yum paste, and ceviche are all readily available. Diversity awaits us all, if we open our eyes to see who our neighbors are. The fall in Phoenix ushers in the eight months of the year which make us proud to call this city home. And with it comes festival season. It’s my favorite time of the year—when the richness and variety of cultures in the Valley are at our fingertips. Having lived here nearly my whole life, I’ve discovered that our neighbors have...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When can we stop being simply the “dry-heat desert” and once again become the envy of the country? In a few short weeks, the anticipation and waiting will come to an end. All will be forgotten. Temperatures will fall and doors will be thrown open. Individuals and families will emerge from their summer cocoons, hitting the hiking trails, outdoor malls, golf courses, resorts, and parks with fervor as intense as the recently dissipated summer heat. As most of the country begins its exodus from the outdoors and migrates toward furnaces, we begin to stretch our legs and explore anew all this city has to offer. And yes, the sixth largest city in the country has a lot to offer—thanks in large part to the wonderful diversity of our metro area. Central High School in Phoenix boasts a student body representing over 60 languages, the Arizona Department of Economic Security reports a refugee population...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When can we stop being simply the “dry-heat desert” and once again become the envy of the country? In a few short weeks, the anticipation and waiting will come to an end. All will be forgotten. Temperatures will fall and doors will be thrown open. Individuals and families will emerge from their...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When can we stop being simply the “dry-heat desert” and once again become the envy of the country? In a few short weeks, the anticipation and waiting will come to an end. All will be forgotten. Temperatures will fall and doors will be thrown open. Individuals and families will emerge from their...

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Finishing the Story

September 17, 2014 No Comments 5

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen into sin and that only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are people redeemed from this sin. That, however, is where many stop. Repent of your sin, turn to Jesus, and inherit eternal life when you die. While as a pastor I’d affirm that this is all true, it is not complete. The Bible tells of a time when there was not sin in the world. Through the creation account in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we learn that God created man and woman in His own image and issued what is often referred to as the “cultural mandate”: be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and tame it (Gen. 1:26-28). In other words, “Take what I have given you and make the earth like what you see in the Garden of Eden, a place of peace, order and beauty.” We call this first chapter in the story of God, Creation. However, the story of God does not end with Creation, but is soon followed by the Fall, where man and woman disobey God and thereby bring sin into the world. This second chapter is well known both inside and outside the church. But the story of God does...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen into sin and that only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are people redeemed from this sin. That, however, is where many stop. Repent of your sin, turn to Jesus, and inherit eternal life when you die. While as a pastor I’d affirm that this is all true, it is not complete. The Bible tells of a time when there was not sin in the world. Through the creation account in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we learn that God created man and woman in His own image and issued what is often referred to as the...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen...

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Interview: Jeff Bisgrove of Arizona Neighborhood Transformation

September 10, 2014 1 Comment 7

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about Guadalupe and the good things he sees happening there. FP: First of all, not everyone in the Phoenix area is familiar with Guadalupe, even though it’s surrounded by places we all know. What makes Guadalupe unique? JB: Guadalupe is small—less than a square mile, with a population of about 8500. While the town was only incorporated in the 1970s, it was originally settled in 1906 by members of the Pasqua Yaqui tribe after being displaced from their tribal lands in Northern Mexico. The town demographics are mainly Hispanic and Native American, and per capita income is one of the lowest in Arizona. In fact, it’s roughly half the Arizona average. On top of that, the majority of kids in Guadalupe do not graduate from high school. But walking with my friends in Guadalupe, you quickly learn they are proud of their heritage, and are very family- and friend-oriented. FP: You’re not single-handedly trying to bring about “neighborhood transformation” in Guadalupe, are you? JB: I have learned you cannot change another person, let alone a community. Talk to your spouse or good friend if you think that is possible. Transformation is something that happens between you and God. What we do in Guadalupe is listen and develop relationships. We learn about people—their hopes, dreams, fears, and assets. We help them use their assets to make the changes they want to see in the community happen.   We find local leaders that are ready to help make things in their own community and then walk with them...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about Guadalupe and the good things he sees happening there. FP: First of all, not everyone in the Phoenix area is familiar with Guadalupe, even though it’s surrounded by places we all know. What makes Guadalupe unique? JB: Guadalupe is small—less than a square mile, with a population of about 8500. While the town was only incorporated in the 1970s, it was originally settled in 1906 by members of the Pasqua Yaqui tribe after being displaced from their tribal lands in Northern Mexico. The town demographics are mainly Hispanic and Native American, and per capita income is one of the lowest in Arizona. In fact, it’s roughly half the Arizona average. On top of that, the majority of kids in Guadalupe do not graduate from high school. But walking with my friends in Guadalupe, you quickly learn they are proud of their heritage, and are very family- and friend-oriented. FP: You’re not single-handedly trying...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about Guadalupe and the good things he sees happening there. FP: First of all, not everyone in the Phoenix area is familiar with Guadalupe, even though it’s surrounded by places we all know. What makes Guadalupe unique? JB: Guadalupe is small—less than a square mile, with a population of about 8500. While the...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about Guadalupe and the good things he sees happening there. FP: First of all, not everyone in the Phoenix area is familiar with Guadalupe, even though it’s surrounded by places we all know. What makes Guadalupe unique? JB: Guadalupe is small—less than a square mile, with a population of about 8500. While the...

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Good News About Environmental Stewardship

September 9, 2014 No Comments 5

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When sin entered the world through human rebellion in Genesis 3, it not only affected our spiritual lives, but had serious ramifications for all aspects the physical creation. The perfectly balanced systems of God’s creation that were intended to teem and flourish began to fall apart and became a threat to human flourishing. Now, the physical world can be dangerous, but God pushes back so many of the effects of sin through the human work of building, innovating, and other types of  “re-arranging” of the environment. By design, humans always have an impact on the environment, and that should be a good thing. But as we know, that’s not always the case. We often have a detrimental impact on God’s world, because sin has seeped into our hearts and minds. Human decision making was greatly affected by the Fall and the entrance of sin into the world. The very humanity that was created to steward God’s world, to help it flourish, was drawn toward idolatry and injustice, and these sins have a devastating effect on all aspects of God’s good world. For example, the sin of greed can often lead companies to be careless with the disposal of harmful chemicals, polluting our rivers and having a negative impact on the lives of plants, animals, and humans alike. Furthermore, making an idol out of efficiency can lead to short-term planning and development policies that lead to the extinction of whole species of plants and animals that God has created. Sin affects the physical creation, but God goes...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When sin entered the world through human rebellion in Genesis 3, it not only affected our spiritual lives, but had serious ramifications for all aspects the physical creation. The perfectly balanced systems of God’s creation that were intended to teem and flourish began to fall apart and became a threat to human flourishing. Now, the physical world can be dangerous, but God pushes back so many of the effects of sin through the human work of building, innovating, and other types of  “re-arranging” of the environment. By design, humans always have an impact on the environment, and that should be a good thing. But as we know, that’s not always the case. We often have a detrimental impact on God’s world, because sin has seeped into our hearts and minds. Human decision making was greatly affected by the Fall and the entrance of sin into the world. The very humanity that was created to...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When sin entered the world through human rebellion in Genesis 3, it not only affected our spiritual lives, but had serious ramifications for all aspects the physical creation. The perfectly balanced systems of God’s creation that were intended to teem and flourish began to fall apart and became a threat to...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When sin entered the world through human rebellion in Genesis 3, it not only affected our spiritual lives, but had serious ramifications for all aspects the physical creation. The perfectly balanced systems of God’s creation that were intended to teem and flourish began to fall apart and became a threat to...

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Interview: Steven Siwek of Q Commons Phoenix

September 2, 2014 1 Comment 21

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to learn and consider how to advance good in our community, will be held at Redemption Gilbert on October 9 from 7-9pm. The evening will feature three nationally broadcasted talks in addition to three locally curated speakers. Steven Siwek is the host of Q Commons Phoenix, and I recently spoke with him about the event. FP: For those who aren't familiar with Q events, tell us in a nutshell what they're all about. SS: If you've never attended a Q event before, you're in for a treat. Q is different than your typical conference or leadership summit because of its intentionality about gathering a group of like-minded individuals that truly want to change their city through their respective industries. Q is very topic driven. In fact, you may not know the person presenting, but it's their thought-provoking topic or subject matter that will draw you in. One of my favorite parts about the Q model is the 9 minute presentation length. This allows everyone to fully engage with each presenter and contemplate its application in their own life. FP: At Q Commons Phoenix there will be nationally broadcasted talks as well as locally curated ones. Give us a feel for what topics or issues the local speakers will address. SS: Before I ever selected the speakers, or even the topics, I wanted to truly touch on the values of Phoenix. What do we as a city place value in? I thought about our up and coming design community, our leading universities, and our booming healthcare industry...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to learn and consider how to advance good in our community, will be held at Redemption Gilbert on October 9 from 7-9pm. The evening will feature three nationally broadcasted talks in addition to three locally curated speakers. Steven Siwek is the host of Q Commons Phoenix, and I recently spoke with him about the event. FP: For those who aren't familiar with Q events, tell us in a nutshell what they're all about. SS: If you've never attended a Q event before, you're in for a treat. Q is different than your typical conference or leadership summit because of its intentionality about gathering a group of like-minded individuals that truly want to change their city through their respective industries. Q is very topic driven. In fact, you may not know the person presenting, but it's their thought-provoking topic or subject matter that will draw you in. One of my favorite parts about the Q...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to learn and consider how to advance good in our community, will be held at Redemption Gilbert on October 9 from 7-9pm. The evening will feature three nationally broadcasted talks in addition to three locally curated speakers. Steven Siwek is the host of Q Commons Phoenix, and I recently spoke with...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to learn and consider how to advance good in our community, will be held at Redemption Gilbert on October 9 from 7-9pm. The evening will feature three nationally broadcasted talks in addition to three locally curated speakers. Steven Siwek is the host of Q Commons Phoenix, and I recently spoke with...

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