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Feeding the spirit, feeding the hungry — for Bob Engbrecht, both are God’s will

As printed in The Marketplace July/August 2017

For many people, one “calling” in life is enough. Bob Engbrecht has had two — one to pastoral ministry, the other to feeding the world.

Today, at age 78, Engbrecht has retired from one but not both.bob

GORPFuel for the journey: Colleen Dyck in her basement kitchen where protein, fibre and Omega 3 are packed into tasty GORP bars.

Popular adventure product has a dual mission — furnish clean energy and get people out into God’s creation

Colleen Dyck got a call one day from a retailer: “Did you just pay three people to come into our store and urge us to sell your bars?”

It’s a business owner’s dream — to have customers help with marketing.

That’s what has happened in the four years since Dyck started manufacturing GORP Clean Energy Bars.

Who would have thought the soy fields of Africa could yield benefits in a seniors’ home across the globe

by Linda Whitmore

peopleCare

At first blush, you might wonder what a Canadian organization of seven long-term care homes could learn from women soy farmers in Ghana that they could apply back home. But learn, they did, and the experiences of a dozen peopleCare staff who visited MEDA's Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project in 2014 have been incorporated into its culture and practices.

As featured in The Marketplace - 2015 - May/June:

Civil disruption has not deterred MEDA from working in global hotspots. The following edited report from a strife-torn region suggests what it’s like to work amid constant danger. For reasons of security the MEDA staffer and her location are not identified.

Cavelle in boatAs featured in The Marketplace - 2016 - May/June:

by Cavelle Dove, Myanmar

I grew up in the most eastern part of Canada, in Newfoundland. My early years were in a very small homogenous rural community, where the most exotic thing that ever happened was that once a month we would drive to a larger centre and buy bananas. Bananas! It was a luxury and a reminder of a larger world somewhere out there.

Cavelle DoveCavelle DoveAs featured in The Marketplace - 2016 - May/June

Cavelle Dove is passionate about empowering impoverished women. As director of MEDA’s new project in Myanmar, she helps women seize new business opportunities in the country’s changing economic environment.
Even before working for MEDA she was active in similar pursuits in Yangon, Myanmar. She and a Canadian friend, Kelly MacDonald, opened the Bakehouse, a catering business that gives struggling women a foothold in the new economy.

As featured in The Marketplace - 2016 - November/December

German firm rolls out the welcome mat for refugees

“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35 NRSV).

Horsch Logo

1 minute readBaptism site Dalla Steiner shot bestAl-Maghtas is a United Nations World Heritage site in southern Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus and carried out his ministry. Pope John Paull II named it as the top site Christian pilgrims should visit - photo by Dallas Steiner

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.”
(Matt 3: 13, New International Version)

This site, Bethany beyond the Jordan, was visited by Pope John Paul II in March 2000, and named by him as the number one of eight holy sites that all Christians should try to visit.

Christians should care about equity in the workplace

By Joanna Meyer
Men and women work side by side, wrestling with the same business challenges, attending the same meetings, and walking the same hallways. But as a recent Wall Street Journal article suggests, the common ground ends there:

As Published in The Marketplace magazine

By Jeff Haanen 

I think there are at least three signs we can see in our lives when we make work an idol.

1. Exhaustion.
Always busy, and always tired. That’s the way many Americans live out their lives. Often, I’m the worst offender. Do one more text in the car (at a stoplight, of course);
get in one more email; go in early; stay late. Squeeze in a bit more on the weekends.

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling

As published in The Marketplace Magazine Nov-Dec. 2018

By Deidra Riggs

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been the one sitting in the office chair behind a desk, facing a potential employee, and trying to figure out whether or not that person in the chair would be a good fit for your organization. You’ve been on the other side of the desk, too: the potential employee, trying to anticipate the questions you’d be asked by this potential employer.

Everyone is looking for something, aren’t we?istock employee interview photo for Soul Enterprise pg. 4 November 2018 issue The Marketplaceistockphoto lafor

Employers want to know their risk will pay off if they hire you. Employees want to know they’ll be treated fairly, paid an honest wage, and given the opportunity to exercise their gifts while learning new skills and being treated with respect.

The internet is teeming with advice for those on either side of the interview desk. Advice for the interviewee includes what to wear, what to share about your strengths and weaknesses, whether or not you should talk with your hands or leave them folded in your lap.

Missional Economics coverMissional Economics: Biblical Justice and Christian Formation
By Michael Barram (Wm. E Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018, 283 pp, $26 US)

As printed in The Marketplace magazine

 If North American Christians are guilty of biblical illiteracy, nowhere is this more so than in our failure to wrestle with and grasp God’s intentions around economics.

Most of us, Michael Barram argues, “are, at best, only vaguely aware of what the Bible has to say about economic issues related to justice and Christian discipleship.”

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

pointing fingersBy David Rupert

Each summer, as a teenager headed for college, I was determined to make as much money as possible. My dad, a roofer, needed the help. There were perks:  free transportation in Dad’s ‘52 Chevy, a lunch packed by mom, and a paycheck that didn’t bounce.

Reality is, I wasn’t a good roofer. My lines were often crooked and, if left uncorrected, would ruin the run of shingles going all the way up the house. My patient dad would help me rip up the offending row, and we’d start over.

Spiritual discernment starved in digital dessert

By Ron Tinsley

As printed in The Marketplace - July/August 2018 .

Untitled 1b

Anyone who thinks technology has no impact on spiritual formation is mistaken, Ron Tinsley says

“The Bible consistently warns us about where we fix our gaze and how we direct our desires, he says. “From the golden calf in the Old Testament to Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, where we focus our inclinations tells others what is important to us. As Christians, our focus should be on Jesus and the Spirit he promised us.”

Abundant leisure time and media stimuli provide many more distractions than ancient peoples faced, he notes. “This can draw us away from the rich oasis of experiencing God and increasingly into a digital desert of distractions. Many of them are coming through technology.”

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in the Marketplace - July/August 2018

book cover God Art of Improv Soul Enterprise July 2018Speaking in public tops the list of many people’s greatest fears.

Getting up in front of a room full of strangers and doing improv — a performance made up on the spot — is something that can challenge even people used to public speaking.God, Improv And The Art of Living By MaryAnn McKibben Dana (Wm. E Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018, 230 pp, $21.99 US)

The skills of a good improv artist are things we can all benefit from learning, and are applicable to far more than stand-up comedy, MaryAnn McKibben Dana says.

The author, who is a pastor and student of improv, suggests that we are all improvisers. Recognizing this truth can help us in decision making and many life endeavours, at work, in church, or just around the people we interact with every day.

The book outlines three types of improvisers, all of whom are as useful in companies, congregations and other groups as they are in onstage situations: Pirates, robots and ninjas.

We need all these characters in our lives, in the proper ratios.