Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Burn

::: Paraguay is the First Country in Americas to Eliminate Malaria in 45 Years
Link


::: Can This Cooler Save Lives?
Link


::: Working at Charity:water
No swearing and no lying.
Link

::: Leadership is disappointing your own people at a rate that they can absorb. - Heifetz and Linskey, via Tod Bolsinger

Photo: Congrats to Meghan for completing the Ember ProtoGuide experience.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Family Pictures

2017 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 SR5 Magnetic Grey Metallic. Photo by Joseph Yang.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sheng Send

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings. - Goethe

Sending these two this week. Em flies on Monday with a church team for almost three weeks on a 'tour' of South East Asia, knee brace and all [long story.] Em will is also part of the Ember IG team so gets a few weeks at home before heading out again. Katie flies on Tuesday for a few weeks in Europe visiting with friends and then an internship in India for mid July to the end of August.

We are thrilled for them and trust what the Lord does in their lives this summer.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Burn

::: The Most Successful Ethnic Group in the US
Link via Next Draft


::: The World is Running Out of Japanese People
Link


::: The 20%
the point of the article, and I’m not going to do it justice, everyone should read it, was that it was, effectively, directed at kids. Kids who are now adults. And it was an encouragement to spend more time with your parents because it said, effectively, by the time you leave high school and leave home to go to college, you’ve spent 80 percent of the total hours you will ever spend with your parents before they die.
Now, you can look at it the other way around. As a parent, by the time your kids leave high school or leave home, you will have spent or had the opportunity to spend 80 percent of the hours you’re ever going to spend with them together.
From a transcript interview between Tim Ferriss and Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race
Link

::: Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. - Corrie Ten Boom

Photo: The Sea of Galilee

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Abuse and Misconduct Policy

Like many of you, I have been in disbelief as I have recently read about the sexual and power abuse that is happening in our culture. This disbelief has turned into anger as I've read about this same kind of abuse and power structures in our churches and student ministries. I am no longer in denial and you should not be either - we are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this abuse issue in our churches.

To that end, the board of directors of The Ember Cast and I have just completed working on a policy for abuse, misconduct and leadership with minors. We don't have a good name for this policy but it encompasses a few of these issues altogether: abuse, sexual misconduct, reporting, and conduct for leadership with minors. As of a few weeks ago, we have implemented a new process which includes background checks for leaders and a required review and signature of this policy from each leader. Leaders with partner organizations may also be asked to review and sign this policy, depending on their existing systems for addressing these issues. Of course, some of the motivation behind this is providing absolute clarity for leaders surrounding these topics. Another motive behind the policy is the spirit of the document: if you abuse a student while working with The Ember Cast, we will turn over heaven and earth to put you in jail for as long as possible. [Yeah a little dramatic.]

Here is our policy if you are interested in requesting read access.

Other resources that were helpful included Brad Feld's post on this subject, Andy Crouch's post about power dynamics, and the Protect My Ministry and GRACE organizations. Also, special thanks to friends at Mosaic Christian Church and Grace Community Church for providing examples of their policies.

Monday, June 11, 2018

IG Team Meeting #16

+ Team field trip to Washington DC.
+ Museum of the Bible
+ Sharing Your Story
+ DC Food Trucks
+ The Lincoln

Friday, June 08, 2018

Friday Burn

::: Advice to New Graduates: Scale or Bail
Must read - thanks to Kathleen
Link


::: Missionary Attrition
Of the team/agency factors, the highest rated factors in the decision to return to a passport country as perceived by former missionaries were lack of missionary care, lack of integrity on the team, lack of freedom to pursue calling, team conflict, and confusion over role on the team.
Link


::: Vending Machines from 3018
Link

::: For too many, the opposite of fear is not courage, but conformity. - Alvin Reid via Justin Long

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

IG Team Meeting #15

Lots of meetings with this team, but they all love to spend so much time with yours truly.
+ Final set of videos on context.
+ Ember core principles - more examples.
+ Team member Shannon in real life.
+ Funding - this has stalled a bit. I'm not asking you for money but if you were interested, I would buy you coffee and invite you to partner with us.

Niall, Tommy, Emily, Deanna, Jolie, Sam, Audrey, Shannon.

Monday, June 04, 2018

To All My Anonymous Feedback

Never write what you dare not sign. An anonymous letter-writer is a sort of assassin, who wears a mask, and stabs in the dark. Such a man is a fiend with a pen. If discovered, the wretch will be steeped in the blackest infamy.
- Charles Spurgeon via Denny Burk. PS - I forgive you.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Friday Burn

::: Eastern Europe is Shrinking Before Our Eyes
Link


::: The Salesforce Twoer and the Homeless
Link


::: 20 Takeaways - The Meeker Internet Trends 2018 Report
Link

::: Forever is composed of nows. - Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Real Versus Fake

I thought, like most people, that the paperwork in starting and running a nonprofit would be the most difficult thing about it. Instead, I learned about the real work. The truth is, like any other business endeavor, there is the real work and there is the fake work.

The fake work is what intimidates most people. The nonprofit application. Assembling a board. Getting the IRS status. Yearly filings. Tracking financials. Receipts to donors. Using Quickbooks. Believe me, if I can do it, you can too. All of these things and types of things, they are work. They are tedious, monotonous, they require a learning curve, and they are required. But they are not difficult. They are using learning financial software, stuffing envelopes, chatting with a lawyer, lots of stamps and envelopes. They are web forms, shopping for and buying insurance, putting money in the right bucket. But they are not impossible to learn. In fact, you already have most of these skills. You have a family budget and make decisions accordingly. You buy car insurance. You write a Christmas letter and mail merge it.

The real work, that is the difficult part. Inviting people to join you. Asking them to give up time and energy. Painting a vision for making the world better. Repeating that vision thousands of times. Engaging new interested parties and re-engaging people from the past. Running a volunteer organization where no one has to do anything for a salary. Telling yourself that the effort is worth it for one more day, month, season. Pushing momentum slowly. Being intentional about a culture, teaching and modelling what you do and why you do it - person by person, team by team.

In every project we all aspire to, there is the real work and there is the fake work. If you have a vision for a nonprofit, don't let the fake work scare you. The real work will require all of your heart and soul.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Summer Send - 2018

Over the past few summers, The Ember Cast has executed a series of Summer Sends, one or two fantastic individuals each summer that we send to trusted partners. It's a best of combination: a person or small team that has the Ember DNA and is committed to growing in character, competencies and capacity, a time frame that is longer than a typical student missions experience and hosting partners that we know well and desire to invest in a future missional leader. We fell into this and now have embraced it as a core competency.

Our Summer Send this summer is BM, seated next to MK [ProtoGuide 2016, 2016Italy, 2014X, 2013X]. This summer looks slightly different as BM is going to be living in the suburbs and serving part time in a local refugee resource center [details intentionally obscure]. We are excited for this knowing that there is a ton of work with this center and BM is easy going, likes to get things done and is super friendly and always willing to help someone out. If you recently arrived to a foreign country and didn't know a soul, BM would be a great first friend.

Thanks in advance for supporting BM as our 2018 Summer Send.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Burn

::: Beyond Success, 4 Lessons in Character
Jacqueline Novogratz's 2018 commencment speech to the NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Novagratz is the CEO of the Acumen Fund and her husband is Chris Andersen who runs the TED talks.
Link


::: The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations
Link


::: A Rule of Life for Redemptive Entrepreneurs - from Praxis Labs.
Link

::: Forever is composed of nows. - Emily Dickinson

Photo: Paying the tolls. Italy. 2017.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Frames and Gutters

Last week, The Ember Cast also had the opportunity to work with a team of ladies headed to Caribbean for a week long cross cultural service experience [last post, busy week]. This team is serving with local hosts involved in education, kids programs and poverty alleviation, as part of their church's long standing partnership. It is always an honor to spend a little time with teams like these and share some of what we have learned about high performance cross cultural teams.

Our session included:
+ Frames for Teams
+ Personality assessment results both for individuals and teams
+ Gutterball - [going upstairs]

The statistics prove it: your team will be more effective with intentional team preparation, your team members will be more engaged when they come home, and team training is one of the best investments you can make with your time and energy. Our team doesn't have any more availability for this kind of thing for summer teams this year but we always have ideas.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cultural Navigation

One of the best skills for anyone traveling to another culture to understand is cultural navigation - simply peeling back layers of a given culture to discuss deeper meanings. It's a simple skill that we believe anyone, especially students, can learn easily and a skill that translates across all kinds of life experiences.

Our latest training session on this topic included a brave team, our 2018 cultural navigation tip sheet and some of my secret 'plants' [Kate, Audrey, Emily] inside an ethnic grocery store. Gracious thanks for this team traveling to the Middle East later this summer for their willingness to experiment with us on this one. Tip: you can use any ethnic context [store, neighborhood, restaurant, etc] to practice this.