Monthly Report: Historic, Trip, Party

I’m taking a break from this month’s “Ruts” series to send you this monthly report.  I sent an email to folks who have asked to receive email updates from me.  If you’d like to receive these updates, just hit the World Concern logo to the right.  Here is what I sent …

I wanted to take this opportunity to give you three notes of interest about World Concern…and one that is historic, one is a trip and one is a party.  Historic.  Trip.  Party.


Let’s start with the historic.  This last week we closed the books on December.  We had a lofty fundraising goal of $2.281 million for the month.  We raise over one-third of our annual budget in the last two months of the calendar year.  In other words, much of our work with children, the poor and oppressed throughout the year was dependent on us hitting that December goal.  It was a stretch goal.  We had never been to that level of giving before.   I’m new to the mission, so the work and the goal seemed daunting as I continued to learn on the job. The historic, great news is that we hit the goal.  We not only hit the goal, we crushed it.  Giving this December over December a year ago was up 25%.  God is good.

Those of you that participated in year-end giving will get a note from me.  This is very exciting for the mission.  It was also exciting for me to watch you all give generously through the Global Gift Guide, appreciated assets, decisions as a family and any other means necessary…we even had folks drop off cash on Saturday, December 31at the headquarters.  You are an impressive group.  Thank you.

KENYA TRIPkenya-office

I also wanted to let you know that I am heading to Kenya with a group.  We will be serving in the slums of Nairobi and a village in the Rift Valley.  I am gone today through January 25.  First, pray for safety.  Pray also for health.  Pray for those Kenyans with which we will be working.  Finally, pray for the hearts and minds of those of us from the U.S.  There is no doubt that God has a plan and purpose for each of us to be on this trip.  Thanks.

If you are ever interested in seeing World Concern’s work firsthand, let me know.  I have a number of trips lined up but would love to be creative with you about how a trip help you see God’s work among the poor and oppressed.  I currently have potential trips to Haiti, Bangladesh and Laos through the summer.


You may not have the time to get overseas, well there is an opportunity for you on Monday, January 30.  Harun Ringera, the World Concern Country Director for South Sudan, will be meeting with folks and sharing about his work during a house party that evening.  The event is hosted by one of our Board members in Sammamish.  Brenda and I are would love to have you join us.  Shoot me an email if you are interested in hearing firsthand from a leader in the world’s youngest country, war-torn South Sudan.

Thank you for your support of World Concern.  Thank you for your prayerful support of me.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve alongside you.


Top Ten Blog Posts of 2016

Life has been full in 2016.  I have tried to well document all of the twists and turns through these posts.  It’s been leaving a 25-year career, finding a new career, internal struggles/conflicts/reflections and Pokémon.  It has been life on the Rutledge.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you will take one more dive into these posts and, maybe, share them with your friends.

Don’t forget to “Follow” the blog.  That can be your New Year’s resolution!  You can follow in the right-hand column by entering your email address in the box and hitting the “Follow” button.  Don’t miss out on any of 2017.

Now, here it is… Scroll down to discover the 10 most popular blog posts from for 2016.

1. Process of Finding a Job Fit (February 11)Mason Skiing

The popularity of this post really speaks to the number of wonderful friends I have in this world.  I’m blessed.  There isn’t anything especially enlightening.  It is simply an outline of my journey and a status report on what I was doing since leaving my last job.

The post was written during my annual week skiing at Whistler.  As you can tell from the picture, it was a splendid trip.

2. The Last Page to the Next Chapter (April 26)

The real “meat” of this post is the bullet list of my thoughts from a journal I used during my job transition.  It outlines my transition plan and the questions I would ask during transition meetings.  A number of people have modeled their career transition plan after the one I executed this past year.  This blog post offers quality, applicable material to those in transition.  I’m glad folks have found it helpful.

This blog post started during a trip to Colorado Springs where I was working on the development of consulting work.

3. Terrific Time of Transition (May 22)

I started a new job and career on May 23rd.  This post was written the day before and outlined my entire transition process.  It also thanks a bunch of people that were especially helpful during this period.

4. New Year and Transition (January 5)

Written on my first day without a job in 25 years.  That will grab your attention, but it really outlines the accomplishments of the Young Life Regional Team over the previous decade of ministry.  It also shares my sense of not knowing what is next.  The blog post was Rutledges in Orlandowritten while Brenda and I attended Young Life’s All-Staff Conference in Orlando.  It wasn’t a bad deal to spend your first day “off-staff” in 25 years at a staff conference with a few thousand wonderful people.  It was a ton of fun and we were honored to be a part of the celebration.

5.  Outpouring of Sweetness (January 10)

A short post about our experience attending the Young Life All-Staff Conference as people who had just left staff.  It was therapeutic to reflect and I’m glad people enjoyed reading it.

6.  Help Me with My Scrambled Eggs (February 18)

Real life.  It’s what happens between our Facebook posts.  This post reflects on the sense that today’s church culture does not include “real life.”  We simply aren’t engaged as a faith community outside of Sunday mornings.  The post is a bit of a lament.  I’m proud of this post and it speaks well to where I was six weeks after leaving my career.  We’ve since changed churches to try and find a “scratch to this itch.”  Good luck, right?

7.  Why World Concern for Me? (May 24)

Here is another status report on my transition.  I had started a new job the day before and this blog post outlines why I landed at World Concern.

8.  Thankful Birthday on this Anniversary (December 4)

I’m surprised this blog post made the list, as it is fairly new.  Most posts collected readers throughout the year.  This post reflected on my experience of the one-year anniversary of my dismissal, which had happened the day before.  Which also happens to be my birthday.  Yes, I was let go after 25 years on my birthday.  If that don’t make you read it, I don’t know what will.

9.  In Awe of the Abundance Mentality (February 15)

Would I ever write a blog post about Taylor Swift?  Well, the answer is yes…and here it is.  It’s not just about “TSwizel,” it’s about how we respond to victories or even more so, watching other people’s victories.

I think I should get a trophy for this blog post.

IMG_283210.  Got to Catch Them All (July 10)

If you didn’t believe I would write about Taylor Swift, would you believe Pokémon?  Well, it’s true.  This is a reflection on the community created by Pokémon Go.  It was one of the first blog posts written about the game phenomenon…another trophy?

It has been a weird, wonderful year.  Thanks for spending it on the Rutledge.  It’s where we like to live and we hope you enjoyed the ride with us.  Here to 2017.  Happy New Year.