Search Results for: christmas

Sour Patch Christmas

Living in an unfamiliar place — with radically different cultural rules and a foreign language — is a challenge I will never fully understand. To be driven from my home under the threat of death is not something I have experienced. This is not a situation unfamiliar to Jesus and his family, however. Continue reading

Tree Staking Perils

Some experts (or at least a few “old wives”) instruct us to stake our new trees into the ground, protecting them from strong winds and the dangerous world beyond the warm embrace of the nursery. But if you want a strong tree, you’re wise to ignore that advice, no matter the depth of your sympathies. Continue reading

Western Union vs. American Apparel

This isn’t your typical ill-fitting tee shirt. It’s American Apparel. As an owner of two American Apparel tees, I can affirm these shirts fit well. We know they fashion comfortable garb, but we also know their clothes are “crafted with pride in the USA.” Out of the limelight, a financial services company lurks in mystery. We see Western Union signs everywhere, but I’m guessing like me, you’ve never been a customer. Earlier this year, I pitched TOMS Shoes vs. Whole Foods in a corporate do-gooder analysis. Today’s matchup? American Apparel vs. Western Union. Continue reading

Are You REALLY Buying a Heifer?

You aren’t buying a heifer, but this isn’t hush-hush. Heifer International, the heifer-distributing marvel, even tells you so. When you make your purchase, they note (sometimes in small print) that “every gift to Heifer International represents a gift to our total mission.” In other words, when you “gift a heifer,” you grow the general fund. Nearly every donated dollar (94%) is an unrestricted, no-strings-attached general fund contribution. Continue reading

Four Angel Tree Tips

Tis’ the season to display angel trees. I love the spirit of generosity that characterizes Christmastime. But, if our compassion goes awry, we can do more harm than good. Here are four tips to make your Christmas gift giveaway both compassionate and dignifying to those you serve: Continue reading

When the Poor Become Generous

How many times will you hear these wise words this holiday season? This is my favorite time of year primarily because of this season’s emphasis on giving. The charitable and gift-giving yearnings among us all are stoked and encouraged more in December than at any other time of the year. This spirit is encapsulated and affirmed in what might be our favorite Christmas saying: It is more blessed to give than to receive. Continue reading

Parents as Providers

Three weeks ago I entered into a new stage in life. I joined the ranks of parenthood. What I have cherished most about welcoming Desmond into this world has been experiencing how God uniquely gifted Alli and I to provide for him. If we believe that to be true—that God created parents as providers—shouldn’t Christian charity affirm that principle? Continue reading

An Open Letter to the President and CEO of Costco

Below is a letter I have sent to Jim Sinegal and Craig Jelinek (CEO and President, respectively) at Costco Corporation, an international chain of membership warehouses. I am publishing this letter publicly because I believe too often the only businesses we hear about are those which are in some way abusive to customers, vendors and/or employees. As you’ll read elsewhere, Costco is an absolute world-class business. Continue reading

We love… The Whirley Pop

Two years ago I tasted my first batch of Whirley-Pop popcorn. Crisp, airy, fresh, natural–delicious. My life changed in profound ways that day. It’s hard to look back on what life was like when my only popcorn option was the buttery, … Continue reading

Give the Gift of Dignity

Three years ago I read a book by Robert Lupton which changed the way I think about helping the poor. In that book, he introduced the concept of the “dignity of exchange,” which is one of the primary lenses through … Continue reading