Refining Life, on Purpose

How to Find God When Your Tunnel Suddenly Darkens

How do we find God when “stuff” happens? Look to prayer and wisdom for keeping our focus, faith and fortitude when navigating suddenly darkened chasms.

The ways we find God is a common theme or trope throughout book, film, television and story in general. Ever notice it’s almost always through tragedy or struggle? You know, some sort of hardship? Though I bet it does happen, I am doubting many people find God immediately after winning a major lottery. And I’m betting that few people find God as they are being rewarded for landing a big deal or seeing a major project to successful completion. In fact, it’s usually after those things are lost that we find God. Tragedy and bad luck, though, are not guarantees […]

Hope and Light for Unbelief in the Midst of a Darkened World

Where do you stand with Jesus and your unbelief or belief? Are you trusting the engineer in the dark tunnel? Pay attention to the notices.

Sometimes trust comes down to belief and unbelief. In chapter twelve in the book of John, we get a pretty powerful collection of thoughts that serve almost as a final notice to skeptics. The statement weaves together many thoughts and themes from the whole book, the main lesson centering on salvation and judgment through Jesus. All of which, he explains, are ordained by God. This verse is one of several examples of dualism that John uses to convey information about Christ and the need to believe in Him. Those dualisms include: life and death, light and darkness, love and hate, […]

What Obedience and Favor Have to Do with Trusting God

Noah’s story is one of obedience and faith. His incredible response to the ultimate engineer shows dedication to God and follow through that most of us would neglect. Here are a couple good questions to ask yourself for making sure you are not wasting time as you pursue your calling.

Obedience may be the last thing going through your mind when a train enters a dark tunnel. However, obedience is a part of it. By remaining seated, calm, and confident that the engineer will see it through, you are displaying a level of obedience. You are trusting the engineer in the darkened chasms to see you through to the light of day. You are also trusting that the tracks are correctly installed and that all is in working order. That trust is a key attribute asked of passengers. And, in return for that trust, the engineer promises to see you […]

Unlearning the Blame Game and Learning to Reframe

Unlearning is one of the ways Jesus discipled. As life refiners, we must unlearn as we learn are are developing into his perfected masterpieces

The concept of organizational unlearning came into my purview while studying for my master’s degree. It refers to “the discarding of old routines to make way for new ones.” When I applied that to my career experiences, I realized I was seeing it play out in some way daily. Since then, I’ve continued to consider it in other areas of life. It came to light again as I considered the YLU17 topic – “Create a Future That Defies Present Circumstances.” As disciples who are learning, growing, and refining life, on purpose, there are several practical lessons. Here’s some thoughts. Jesus […]

Decoration Day – Anticipating Peace in a Poem from Frank Carleton Nelson

Yes, let us morn and recognize those who have gone before. However, let us be mindful that, one day, we'll be enjoying undivided peace.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day, in the United States, is a day for remembering. It’s about recognizing those who gave everything defending, protecting and guarding our country. Today, I am sharing a poem from Frank Carleton Nelson. Nelson was a traveling salesman and resident of my community who made a name for himself through his prose. He read his poems on radio stations, including WGN Radio, leading to him becoming widely known as “Indiana’s Radio Poet.” As you are reading, please give thought to the message he shares. Yes, let us mourn and recognize those who have gone before. However, […]

Being a Difference Maker When Justice Seems Unlikely

God loves justice and sent his son to administer it. He blesses the difference makers who thirst for and seek justice.

I gotta think we all would like to say we are a difference maker in some form. Whether it is in the lives of our children, in our careers or through our service to others, we make an impression. The type of impression, though, should be one of positivity and valuable impact. I think about this a lot — especially in the context of the legacy I will one day leave behind. It’s not that I want to be known for anything, or that I want to be famous. Instead, it’s about trying to fulfill a personal mission of good […]

A Review of The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon

Most of us are not naturals when it comes to positive leadership. We have to work at developing and refining that skills. Jon Gordon’s book, The Power of Positive Leadership is a practical and valuable guide to help you grow your positive leadership muscles.

In the very beginning of The Power of Positive Leadership: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World, Jon Gordon is very upfront about the fact that he is not a naturally positive person. Boy, can I relate! Most who know me will agree that I am usually stern-faced and deep in thought. They might say I am too serious to have fun. I like to think my personality is much better than advertised, but the jury is still out on that. Even so, I have always wondered, if I am not being viewed as […]

7 Posts About Bringing Change by Defying Status Quo

Bringing changes can be viewed with negative filters. Yet, remember "if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

I used to roll my eyes when bringing change was suggested. No matter where it was, I held hard to an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality. Frankly, i was comfortable with status quo and bringing change meant more work, adapting and was potentially a brig threat to my livelihood. Face it, change sucks. However, without change, there is no progress. Without progress, we have no advancements in technology, we have wasteful processes and systems, we continue to do things that are detrimental to our health. Meanwhile, everything else is improving, evolving, growing and creating. If we’re not […]

Is there a Momentum Effect in Sports and in our Lives?

Baseball players celebrating the momentum effect

I’ve heard many sports talk personalities debate the existence of a momentum effect. It’s also sometimes called psychological momentum. Some will swear it exists and then immediately dismiss their credibility by suggesting there are also curses and responses to not keeping superstitions. A momentum effect is that point in some sort of contest where the tide obviously turns. A tipping point of sorts. If we’re scripting it, it’s that point when Hulk Hogan turns it around after a long and relentless beating at the hands of King Kong Bundy or Andre the Giant. He clenches his fists and puts his […]

How to Change Status Quo When Status Quo is Not in Your Favor

Sometimes you have to change status quo when things aren’t moving in the right direction. You may be trying to get out of a rut or predicament. Or you could be needing to get past “we’ve always done it that way.” I think about this a lot, mostly because of a scene in the movie National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. In that scene, a desperate Patrick Gates, offers his son, Ben some wisdom. “Cooperation,” he says, “only lasts as long as the status quo is unchanged. As soon as this guy gets to wherever this thing ends… he won’t […]