Blog

Self evaluation – Am I honoring God?

Most American presidents have regularly issued national day of prayer proclamations. Following in this tradition, President Obama proclaimed May 3, 2012 as a National Day of Prayer. I wonder what God thinks of America's National Day of Prayer? I wonder what he thinks...

Raising a child in a community

Twenty-six years ago yesterday, my daughter Allison was born. At that time our family was part of a small intentional community in Northwest Pasadena, California. Our community lived in a large 80-some year old Victorian house. We shared space, meals, chores, joys,...

Staff Planning Day

Yesterday our small and dynamic Anda Leadership staff team met for a day of reporting and planning. We had a lot to discuss and even though we met from early in the morning until early in the evening, the time passed quickly. We covered topics that are current and...

Coaching others

I read a helpful book over the weekend, The COACH Model, by Keith Webb. Christian leaders who want to help others solve problems, reach goals, and grow will find this a useful resource. The underlying assumption is that most healthy people have sufficient knowledge...

Come with me to CA

Recently, I received an invitation from a group of citizens of a key Central Asian country to train them to be better able to interact with the rest of the world, the West in particular. Their desire to become more engaged members of the global community, threatens...

I loved her first!

Laura, my oldest child, has begun the countdown to her wedding day, August 18. Laura holds a special place in my heart because it was for her that I first felt paternal passion.  Even though it was more than 2 1/2 decades ago that she was born, I clearly remember the...

Helping two 20-somethings out of a tight spot

Sometimes circumstances dramatically affirm my belief that God has a plan and he is continually preparing us for the next episode. Last week Nancy and I spent a couple days in the mountains. Early Thursday morning, I left for a hike. As I walked down the road toward a...

World peace

Sunday evening, Nancy and I enjoyed world peace. We went to a local Muslim family's house for dinner. The tasty and plentiful Arabic dishes were good and our conversation was entertaining. However, more importantly, we implicitly recognized that Christians and Muslims...

Playing hooky

Last Monday morning as I was planning my week's activities, I realized that there was some open space. A flexible schedule combined with a growing case of spring fever gave rise to the idea of spending a couple days in the mountains. I felt I could arrange my tasks so...

A little noticed passing of an OMF missionary

Harold Wik died last week. Although few outside his family and former colleagues will notice, he lived a remarkable life of missionary service that started in Shanghai in 1946 and continued in SouthEast Asia until 1982. Last June 22nd, on his 95th birthday, he wrote:...

Hope for Nigeria

The news from Nigeria, Africa's most populous country,  is confusing. The most prominent stories report horrific attacks on churches which kill dozens of people. For example, yesterday during Easter celebration services in the city of Kaduna, a suicide car-bomb...

Happy Easter

Joining with brothers & sisters from many tribes, tongues, peoples & languages, we wish you a... Happy Easter!   May God bless you this Easter Season & always!

Baseball, springtime, and freedom

Baseball season is upon us! Spring is a wonderful time of year when everyone wants to be outside and outside wants everyone to come. I remember baseball season during my junior year in high school. That was when my life philosophy experienced a paradigm shift....

A simple solution to most irritating situations

Nancy and I own and manage a set of townhouses located close to several Spokane colleges. We rent space to students (mostly Moody Bible School students) on an individual basis with the understanding that we choose who lives in the houses. The students like this...

Enjoying the “evil eggs” of Easter

My family enjoys hosting international students in our home, especially during holidays. When we lived in Denver we connected with Taiwanese students studying at Denver University. They brought us much joy and laughter. We loved them and we especially enjoyed their...

Car dealer vs. Christ

Last weekend one of my daughters needed to buy a car. She wanted me to help her, so I remained easily accessible by phone. We talked through what she should expect when she was interacting with the salespeople at the dealership. She prepared herself with clear...

The value of knowledge

How much are you willing to pay for information you need? I am thinking about this because in two separate situations I gladly paid for knowledge today. First, I went back to the eye doctor. I had experienced discomfort all week. During my visit with the doctor...

A lesson from a temporary loss of vision

I have been experiencing discomfort in my right eye all week. Thinking it was pink eye, I went to urgent care Sunday. The doctor agreed that it might be an early stage of an infection, so he prescribed antibiotic drops and told me to come back if the irritation did...

The power of enthusiasm

Yesterday I had the privilege to tour the Jubilant HollisterStier facility here in Spokane. Jubilant HolisterStier is one of the two largest companies that manufacture pharmaceutical products in the world. Our tour guide was an engineer and executive in the company....

Commending a shrewd manager

Shrewd. What do you think of when you hear this word? Do you think it describes you? Would you want someone to describe you as being shrewd? Yesterday, Dr. James Edwards of Whitworth University taught our adult Sunday school class Jesus' parable about the shrewd...

Growing businesses in Rwanda

This morning I received a phone call from Emmanuel, a Rwandan-Tutsi who miraculously escaped the genocide in 1994. During the 100 days when the murders were happening, 35 of his close relatives were killed. He told me how God has given him grace to forgive the...

Church Involvement

An assumption that Nancy and I have consistently honored and never questioned in our marriage is membership and active participation in a local church. Each time we moved to a new city we quickly jumped into a church community and made that one of the focal points...

The Future of the Global Church

In the first chapter of  his recently released book, The Future of the Global Church, Patrick Johnstone discusses nine global challenges. These are issues that are likely to impact our world during the upcoming decades. In the population section he covers the problems...

Give a hand-up, not a hand-out

Over the weekend I had a phone conversation with an American friend, Jim, who had recently been on his first short term mission trip to a village in Thailand. His church has made a significant commitment to the people in this particular village. The church is...

My message to entrepreneurs

As I anticipate traveling and representing Anda Leadership in Africa and other emerging markets, I have begun to think about what I will say when I am asked to speak to  leaders, entrepreneurs, and business people. I think at least part of my initial message will go...

Relationships are critical

This week I spoke with people either in or representing West Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, India, Indonesia, and the US. There are vast differences between these places, but one thing  is the same everywhere - the importance of personal...

Democracy in Africa

Last week I attended a lecture by Dr. Megan Hersey at Whitworth University. Dr. Hersey's topic was "Democracy Challenges and Change in Contemporary Africa." I enjoyed the presentation. I was particularly interested in a map that showed the African countries according...

Corruption, transparency, and accountability

I am against corruption. I am for transparency and accountability. At least that is what I say. On the other hand, my actions don't entirely back up my words. Why else would I fear being audited by the IRS? You see, even though I keep good records of my personal...

Introverts Arise

Susan Cain's recently released book, The Power of Introverts, is causing considerable chatter. I have not read the book, but I watched a video of Susan giving a talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yyeJ1jaGDU&feature=share. I identify with what she says. Like...

Unintended consequences

During the summer of 1982, I led a short term team to Papua New Guinea. Jim, one of the assistant leaders on the team, was a musician. One evening he sang a song to us that included the line, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." That was the first time I...

Thank you!

It seems that everywhere I turn someone is urging people to express gratefulness. Marketing trainers instruct their students to regularly thank their customers for their business. Nonprofit fundraising consultants help organizations structure seven opportunities to...

Why train children’s workers?

Last evening my wife, Nancy, left for Southeast Asia to spend three weeks training children's workers. This will be a grueling and costly trip for Nancy. Just to get to the capital city of the country is taking her 26 hours. Once she arrives in-country, she will...

Pride can kill you!

Rene, my friend and former colleague at Partners International, tells a wonderful story to illustrate the importance of creative solutions to urgent problems ... and humility. Two birds and a frog were going about their business when they noticed a fire moving in...

99% Fail!

Yesterday Nancy and I went to hear a presentation given by a ministry leader from a large Southeast Asian country. I had met "A" a couple years ago and it was good to connect with him again -- this time in Spokane. "A" leads a ministry that establishes reading posts...

Honoring family – the unsung heroes

Last Friday afternoon, my wife, Nancy, son, Jesse, and I went to a friend's military retirement ceremony. It was an inspiring event with a surprising number of people, mostly in uniform and including a row of "big-shots," in attendance. Throughout my life, I have not...

Standing on the shoulders of my ancestors

If I was offered the opportunity to observe a particular day in history, I might choose February 23, 1957. That is fifty-five years ago today, the day my parents were married in the Methodist Church in Benton, PA. I wish I could have been there. Both of my parents...

A lesson from my Tacoma

My 1998 Tacoma pickup has about 145,000 miles and has been running a little rough lately. Due to our decreased income, I decided to attempt to fix the problem myself. Even though I am pretty handy with home projects, I am not a "gearhead." (What gearhead would allow...

Comparing my adult-children’s leaders

I now have four adult children in the work force. They often talk to me about their bosses. I am a bit surprised at how much time they spend analyzing their bosses' leadership styles. It is a bit intimidating to me to realize that I probably have been similarly...

Advice from African students

Earlier this week I met with two African Whitworth University students to solicit their feedback regarding our Anda Leadership business plan. One student, from Malawi, is pursuing her MBA. The other student, from Ghana, is working on a bachelor's degree in business. I...

Our next Anda Leadership hurdle

During the past several months we have been diligently building a foundation for Anda Leadership. Even though we felt significant pressure to quickly move beyond the preliminary activities, we disciplined ourselves to tackle tasks in a logical order. We were enabled...

My Valentine

My wife, Nancy, has a theory that people tend to marry people who are a lot like them or people who are opposites. I have looked around at our married friends and I think she might be on to something. You can divide married couples into two groups. Some have similar...

You go to Sunday School where?

Last evening we hosted a family at our home for dinner. The dad of the family works at a local engineering firm. His wife, a stay-at-home mom, brought Nancy a bouquet of pretty flowers. Their two sons, 9 and 12, are smart and energetic. They are beginning to notice...

Changing perspectives on international aid

The world has changed and is changing. Many commonly held assumptions are either obsolete or soon will be. This is true in many areas of life. It is particularly true in the world of international relief and development. In the past it was assumed that the way to help...

The devastating global problem of corruption

As we seek solutions to the world's greatest problems, we must confront the problems' causes. Everyone from the United Nations to the street vendors in the world's poorest cities recognizes and complains about what is probably the most pervasive cause of human...

Unexpected application of change – Libya

I have been wondering how changes are really playing out in the "Arab Spring" countries. How has the leadership transition actually effected people as they go about their daily lives? Change often has unexpected ramifications. For example, when I was teaching English...

Life with my Ghanaian “daughter”

Two and a half years ago Nancy and I brought Adjua into our home. Adjua is an international student from Ghana who is studying biochemistry at Whitworth University. During the time she has been with us I have had numerous experiences with her that are generally...

Bikinis on my blog!

Yesterday a friend sent me a screen shot of how my blog looked when it appeared on his computer. At the bottom was a picture of a row of bikini clad women. I was shocked! My first thought was that my blog had been hacked and an evil person was compromising my friends...

Course Canceled – Institutional Integrity

      Whitworth University has a policy that courses with student enrollment of less than eight will be canceled. I understand this policy. Every organization, business, and institution should know its financial break even points and discipline itself...

Cross Cultural Communication

Earlier this week a friend, Jim, who is leading a short term ministry trip to Eastern Europe this summer called me for some advice. His team has led basketball summer camps in the past and this summer they hope to expand the program to include soccer. The basketball...

Surviving Your Serengeti

In a former post I wrote about how I usually read books. Generally, I don't linearly read a book from front to back. However, if a book is particularly interesting I read it through in the traditional way. This past weekend, I did that with Stefan...

Answered Prayer

Last summer my friend Robert recommended that I read Prayer That Shapes the Future, by Long and McMurry. The book was a timely read for me and on July 20 I adjusted my typical daily routine to include two hours of intercessory prayer. Later I shorted that to one hour....

Muslim Friendship

During the World Religions class that I teach at Whitworth University I invite spokespeople from each of the world religions  to give presentations. Last year, I was particularly impressed with the man who represented Islam. He is living out his religious beliefs with...

Research Question

Below is a request for information my colleague Howard wrote for our Anda Leadership initiative. Do you have any wisdom on this matter that you would be willing to share with us? We are attempting to build reasonable metrics and we are having trouble finding relevant...

The “Dad” Talk

I am blessed with three beautiful daughters at prime marriageable age, four if you count the Ghanaian Whitworth University student who has been living with us for 2 1/2 years. As you would imagine, over the years we have encountered many boyfriends. It has been my...

Ministering with one’s spouse

Last evening I had the privilege of teaching a Perspectives class in Moses Lake, WA., a two hour drive from home. Nancy and I drove over there together. As we were meeting the students before the class started, I became aware that several married couples were...

Bloom where you are planted

As I read the story about Joseph in Genesis 37-50 this week, the old saying, "Bloom where you are planted" comes to mind. I am not sure where I first heard this quote, possibly from my Grandmother Baker who was full of pithy wisdom. To me it is an exhortation to do...

Battling Human Trafficking

More and more data is becoming know about the amount of human trafficking that is ruining the lives of many of the most vulnerable people in the world. This horrific evil destroys lives and families. One of the more common scenarios goes like this. Traffickers enter a...

Two Proposal Development Principles

During the past four months I have been in conversation with an organization in Central Asia regarding a training event that they have asked me to organize. Primarily through email correspondence we have agreed on most elements of the training and we are nearly ready...

Setting priorities in the midst of complexity

Yesterday I received a call from a friend of mine who is the lead executive of a well-known mission agency. Last week, his wife was diagnosed with a rare and dangerous form of cancer. He called to seek advice regarding how to negotiate the changes coming into his life...

Lending Courage

Nancy and I were blessed to have our daughter, Allison, visit us over the weekend. It is a significant sacrifice for her to visit us as it is a five hour car trip from her home in Bellevue to our home in Spokane; that is when I-90, including Snoqualmie Pass, is clear....

Failure in Haiti

This morning I read a starting statistic that provides insight into why all the money and effort to rebuild Haiti have not resulted in more progress. Why have billions of dollars not accomplished more? Maybe it is because the people who are deciding how to spend the...

Fortune 500 Companies: Strategic Breakthrough

In Monday’s (1/9/12) Wall Street Journal there is an article titled “Doing Good to Do Well.” Dozens of Fortune 500 companies send employees to Africa and other emerging markets to provide free consulting services to nonprofits and other organizations. The companies...

Chinese are going to Africa

An Aljazeera article titled, “King Cobra and the Dragon” asks, “As China increases its economic ties in Africa, has the continent entered a new era of colonialism?” The article builds on the common knowledge that the Chinese influence is rapidly increasing throughout...

My Work-From-Home Schedule

I recently read a blog from a friend of mine in which she discussed working from home. I thought her blog was interesting and helpful, so I decided to tackle the same topic from my perspective. With many family members joining us for the Christmas holiday, our house...

Excited about Africa

This morning I stumbled on a helpful summary of positive economic data from Africa. (See it below.) It is time for Africa to become a vital part of the global market place. Christian researchers observe that Africans are also growing deeper spiritual roots. The Church...

Family

Nancy and I are delighted with the way our children turned out. As parents, we hoped and prayed that they would not make dumb choices as teenagers, that they would get along with each other as adults, and most importantly, that they would humbly submit to God. Now...

Doing more than pulling teeth

This morning I had a conversation with a friend, a dentist who is preparing to go on his first missions trip. He expects that he will be called upon to perform dental extractions in the poor community where his team will be ministering. During our conversation he...

Organizing Prayer

One way that I like to organize my personal prayer time is to divide prayer topics into three categories: personal, local, and global. The personal topics concern me directly. Often, these prayer items are immediate and pressing, so I usually start my intercession...

A bad year for Dictators

With the way this year has gone for authoritative national rulers it seems appropriate that Kim Jong Il died before the end of 2011. Regardless of the degree of aggrandizement these rulers achieved, they were still subject to the laws of truth, justice, sin and death....

Is anyone striving to be holy anymore?

The Apostle Peter urges us to be holy. "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in...

Business as Mission

For the past couple decades missionaries and businessmen have been talking about "business as mission" or BAM. This idea combines profit-mindedness with cross-cultural Christian ministry. BAM companies minister at two levels. First to the people who directly relate to...

Taming my tongue

This evening our Growth Group is discussing James 3:1-12, “An Unruly Tongue.” As I was preparing to facilitate the conversation, two points seemed particularly potent. First, teachers are held to a higher standard than other people. At first this seems unfair. Why...

Processing Death #2 Mourning

Our friend and fellow growth group member, Terri, died Wednesday just after noon. I considered canceling our meeting Wednesday evening, but decided not to because I personally felt a need to be with other people who also loved and miss her. Apparently, others in our...

Processing Death

Nancy and I visited our friend, Terri, maybe for the last time yesterday morning. Her body has been increasingly suffering from the effects of multiple-sclerosis since we first met her several years ago and now she is lying in a hospital bed with only days left to...

Thanksgiving and Prayer

I enjoy all holidays. However when forced to state my favorite, the American holiday of Thanksgiving generally comes to mind. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Thanksgiving was the biggest feast of the year. In my farming community large groups of extended families...

Six common leadership hurdles

In my last post I noted that one of the insights that arose from Robert Clinton's research on biblical, historical and contemporary leaders is that few leaders finish well. Clinton dug deeper into this issue and discovered "six barriers to finishing well." It is good...

How to read a book

Yesterday in an informal, non-academic situation an upperclassman approached me with, "Professor Fritz, I have a question." Generally that means the question has something to do with school. I enjoy this kind of interaction, so I was eager to hear her problem. Her...

Initiate or Wait?

I take initiative. I am that kind of person. I believe that sometimes you just have to start moving. As you go, you see more clearly where you are going. Anticipating and preparing for contingencies is wasteful because most of them will prove to be irrelevant. On the...

Qaddafi’s leadership

In 1982, after I returned from my stint teaching English in Libya where I had a couple personal encounters with Qaddafi, I publicly declared that his days were numbered. I thought that any leader as feared and hated as he was would not last. I was correct that his...

Vision: 58:

Last evening my daughter, Laura, and I went to see the documentary film 58:. 58: is a Christ-centered global initiative to end extreme poverty. The name comes from Isaiah 58 where God desires that his people carry out a True Fast, one that cares for the poor and...

My Vision

I help social entrepreneurs organize and implement vision. Help: coaching, consulting, teaching, and training in leadership, management, and culture. Social: working for the greater community. Helping those who need a hand. I am particularly interested in helping...