he got it

Early this week, USA Today published a fascinating article by Stephen Mansfield. In it, he reports the story of a young man who back in the 1760s sat in Dublin’s famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral listening to Christian revivalist John Wesley preach.


St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

Aware the congregation of St. Patrick’s was filled with Dublin’s more successful, comfortable and satiated citizens, Wesley spoke with passion about what a life transformed by God would mean.

While praying for his fellow Dubliners, the man felt God say, “Make a drink that men will drink that will be good for them.” These experiences caused this rising entrepreneur to, as Mansfield puts it, “frame a vision for his fledgling company: a vision for producing wealth through brewing excellence and then for using that wealth to serve the downtrodden and the poor…”

The values the young man envisioned for his company were first honed in a life of devotion to God. He was an earthy but humble man who frequently thundered his views despite angry opposition. He put his time and money where his mouth was. He started orphanages and supported missionary efforts around the world. When he died, the Dublin Evening Post declared his life was “useful and benevolent and virtuous.”

1295534-Guinness_Brewery-DublinThe man? Arthur Guinness. His company? Guinness Brewery.  USA Today’s article headline: “Guinness Got It: The company’s 250-year legacy of God-inspired good provides myriad lessons for today. Among them: A benevolent corporate vision is good for business, for its employees and for the world.”

I particularly like Mansfield’s concluding comment: “We are tempted in our disgust with Wall Street greed and corporate misdealing to reject the economic engine that has made us great, to prefer the security of the state to the vicissitudes of free market exchange. What we learn from the Guinness story is that character is king, that markets without ethical boundaries make Madoffs but that corporations driven by a benevolent vision can do vast amounts of good. It is morals and ethics we need, then, not a new economic system…”

“By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”

Great Christian leaders have a message for their contemporaries, as well as the leaders who follow them in succession…

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
November 2009
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Thoughts gone by

"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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