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Telling Secrets

faith, fatherhood, and culture

PAYING DEBTS OF GRATITUDE

Monday, December 11, 2006

As I continue to reflect on the events of my life that have led to last week's nexus, I realize that I have some debts of gratitude that are overdue. So, let the acceptance speech begin:


Angela - my wonderful wife who has believed in my writing and creativity from the start. She has always believed in my taking jobs for which I am passionate about - and she has been willing to pay the price the search for such jobs cost us. Her support and willingness to head in the new direction NavPress will take our family makes it all possible. To her I owe everything.


Keven Winder - one of my closest friends and greatest confidante. He has been pushing me and pushing me in this direction for almost as long as Angela has. We were going to write a book together, which I got lost in the idea of, but he went on to write one of his own just to needle me (well, ok, he also had a book concept that he thought needed to be written).


Bill O'Brien and the M.O.S.E.S. Project in Detroit - Bill taught me everything I know about networking, professional relationship building, and organizing. He and the churches of the M.O.S.E.S. Project instilled in me a passion for social justice and for the Biblical mandate to care for the poor and oppressed.


Getabecha Mekonnen and Tracy Smith at Northeast Denver Housing Center - I was given complete freedom to practice everything I learned in Detroit and in graduate school at NDHC. Gete and Tracy supported every hair-brained idea I had and many of those ideas are still being used with the homeless and impoverished people I worked with. I also began my graphic design training here.


Connie Ferguson at Kaiser Permanente - Connie believed in me from the first day we met while I was at the American Heart Association. She also gave me complete freedom to develop my creativity and graphic design skills. She also provided the flexibility I needed to have our twins "at home" in Utah by letting me work long-distance for a month and to develop my personal network of artists and writers in Denver. If it wasn't for her and for the other leaders in the Kaiser Prevention Department, I am certain that I would not have been prepared for this vocational shift - without my current position at Kaiser, I would not have gotten this job at NavPress.


All 20 medical schools I applied to in college - If it hadn't been for their rigorous and well-conceived application and interviewing process, I would have made the biggest mistake of my career at it's very beginning - I would have gone through medical school to become a doctor. Without their foresight, I would not have met my wife, had my wonderful kids, developed my writing and creativity, and I would have withered on the vine in a job I would have hated.


University of Michigan School of Social Work - They accepted my application when I had no prior social work experience or course work, a fact that caused the other 2 schools of social work to which I applied to deny my application. The Michigan school accepted talent and life experience over previous skill, a worthy approach infrequently followed.


D.J. Turner and Jared Mackey - These two have been my biggest fans and supporters, second only to my wife, and have provided never-ending encouragement. My personal and creative development would have been greatly stunted if it weren't for these two. My time at TNL was highly formative and the artisan's gathering Entersection engineered by D.J. and John Miller gave me a shove in the right direction.


Russ McKendry and Mike McGirk at L2 Church - These two have also been highly influential in my recent development, encouraging my spiritual and doctrinal growth and giving me the opportunity to marry both with my creativity. The freedom and latitude they have provided over the last year has been incredible, from allowing me to help reformulate and repackage their church to taking big political risks by letting me hold the State of Our Values party and the Dekalog discussion at the church, and largely funding both! Without these experiences and their solid teaching, I would not have been in a position to even apply for the position at NavPress.


The rest of my family and friends - there are of course more people I haven't mentioned who have made me who I am and to them I also owe a great deal.


I am very excited to see where my family and I are taken next and we covet your prayers and continued support and encouragement.


  1. Anonymous dj turner said:

    Caleb, I know I've told you this, but I'm so excited for you! I always knew that you could do it. Remember our writing time in your cabin the year you and Angela met? It was in those types of times that I knew God had big plans for you. Here's to changing the world! I will always be one of your biggest fans...

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