Refining Life, on Purpose

Spirit Promptings: Inklings and Gentle Whispers of God

Spirit promptings are more than emotions and an inward call. They are rooted in relationship with God and studying his living word.

Many folks report having spirit promptings – a compulsion or feeling of obligation seemingly from God. For instance, I once did mission work with someone who was convinced she was supposed to give her shoes to a resident of the area we were working in. Looking at his feet, adorned with shredded and overly worn shoes, she was provoked. She saw that her and his feet were about the same size and remembered an extra pair she had at camp. It was a spirit prompting. And she followed through on our last day, giving this gentleman her shoes. That may […]

God Things; Miracles and Answered (or Unanswered) Prayers

Sometimes, there are life circumstances that can only be called “God Things.” This is an example of how God showed me his presence in my life, and then He later proved it to me.

It had to be one of those God things. That’s the only reasoning I could muster for still being alive. It had to be. Only… I really wasn’t sure if I even believed in God. You see, my earliest memories of church and/or religion begin at a Catholic Church. (Note: this is NOT a criticism of Catholicism – just my experience). That church is where my grandparents faithfully attended. My mother went to a Catholic school and attended this same church sporadically throughout my childhood. It was mostly the result of a programmed obligation and she took me until I […]

Jesus Sightings Show a Watching World He is Present Here

Be on the lookout for Jesus sightings as you go about your day and life. You might just be surprised by when and how he appears.

“Be on the lookout for Jesus sightings.” That was the peculiar charge delivered to a group of mostly junior high kids embarking on international mission work. I was among them as a college-aged youth leader, though I felt quite inadequate for the role. I was certain I would try, but would see no genuine Jesus sightings during this week-long venture. Though I genuinely hoped I would be wrong. I’m glad I was. The Visibly Divine Appointments of Jesus Sightings I had the good fortune of participating in two international mission trips. Although the events of both blend together, but the […]

When Things Come Together, The Body is One

In the church, we come together with Christ as our head, and us as the body. We each have ordinary functions that are vital to achieving the complexity of reaching new believers and discipling them. God seeks for us to take intentional and personal action - to be a a grinder - willing to put forth the effort and work.

The value of things that come together is something Former Ford Motor Company CEO, Alan Mulally knows well. Leaving his role at Boeing and taking the Ford helm as outsider to the auto industry, he was asked why he thought he could turn the company around. He responded by saying, “An automobile has about 10,000 moving parts, right? An airplane has two million, and it has to stay up in the air.” He no doubt knew that all the pieces had to come together. Canadian photographer, Tod McLellan knows that as well. But his fascination of the internal mechanics of […]

Daily Meditation and Spiritual Living: Review of You Are Beloved by Henri J.M. Nouwen

J.M. Nouwen’s life embodied meditation - deep and thoughtful consideration that sought not an empty mind, but one filled with God’s content. By filling it with the right content, and focusing seriously upon the kingdom of God within us, we can allow God’s spirit to master and transform us.

The word “meditation” stirs up many concepts, perceptions and thoughts when it’s said aloud. In fact, many Christians who fear allowing thoughts that might possibly dilute what they believe will balk at the word. However, the concept of meditation is a Biblical one. Remember that Joshua 1:8 tells us to “meditate” on the word “day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” It’s not about clearing one’s mind. Meditation is actually about filling it […]

Review of Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges

Transforming Grace, a book from the late acclaimed author and speaker, Jerry Bridges provides readers with a full-bodied understanding of what grace is and how it should guide our Christian lifestyles. The book is filled with several credit examples and quotes and includes a thorough study guide that helps leaders to guide others in their understanding.

Misunderstanding or mis-placing the importance of God’s grace in our lives. We see and understand it as our eternal salvation, but leave it out of everyday life. The recently re-released, Transforming Grace, by the late Jerry Bridges helps us see it in its fullness. That we don’t base our relationship with God on our performance – but on his love for us. It allows us to see just how inexhaustible and generous God really is. Grace – A Solution for Bankruptcy In Romans 3:10-12, we see our declaration of our spiritual bankruptcy. Unfortunately, many of us tend to think of […]

God Uses Ordinary Every Day – 7 Posts Showing the Ways

God uses ordinary for his mighty works and the good plans for us. He’s not looking just for the most charismatic, famous, skilled and educated. Like the apostles, he’s looking to transform our weaknesses into strength and inviting us to be ordinary men and women to bring him glory.

God uses ordinary. He does it for his mighty works and does it as part of the good plans he has for us. And, it’s not just the most charismatic, famous, skilled and educated he seeks. He used twelve ordinary men to filled with weaknesses and shared their story of HIS story throughout the New Testament. Fisherman, tax collectors, political zealots saw their weakness transformed into strength. God is inviting us to be among another set of ordinary men and women who can can bring him glory. Here’s seven posts to help further our understanding and inspire our pursuits. God […]

The Character Builder’s Bible Goes Deeper Into the Stories

When teaching kids about the Bible, it’s easy to lose focus of the character of the people. This is where The Character Builder's Bible: 60 Character-Building Stories from the Bible comes in. This thick, hardcover book packed with 60 Bible stories containing illustrations, definitions, and memory verses. It’s perfect for showing our kids that God’s Word is relevant to their lives.

Who’s your favorite character in the Bible? It’s a simple and innocent question. I do, however, find myself often getting frustrated at that question. When we ask it, it’s sort of like asking who you favorite character of a popular movie or television show is. When we say “character,” it insinuates a make of fiction. Moreover, it doesn’t actually get to the real point of the question: why are they your favorite? When I teach my kids about the Bible, and the people of it, I want to teach them the character of the people. I want them to know […]

Why Small Stuff Should be in Focus – Faith of a Mustard Seed

I like to think God likes the small stuff of ordinary. That’s why he so often uses ordinary things and ordinary events to do miracles. He uses ordinary - the small stuff - to accomplish great things for his kingdom and his glory.

You’ve heard it: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Or, maybe you’ve heard a different take on it. It suggests that spending time on little things and details is a waste. I am a person who has always considered himself to be exceptionally average. It’s been distressing at times. Sure, I wasn’t the smartest. I wasn’t the least capable either. I was, in a sense, ordinary. And I still am ordinary. I like to think, though, that God likes ordinary. He uses ordinary things and ordinary events to do miracles. He uses ordinary – the small stuff – to accomplish great […]

Deeply Transformational Living and the Way of Jesus

Daniel Fusco's Upward, Inward, Outward teaches the art of transformational living and discipleship by living in sync with God, learning about how God sees you and living in service to others.

The transformational impact of living in the light of Christ is often talked about. However, I don’t think we give true consideration of the significance often enough. We say things like being a “new creation” or “being transformed.” Some might take that to mean “I am saved and going to heaven” and then they move on. When we do that, though, we’re missing so much. In Daniel Fusco’s new book, Upward, Inward and Outward: Love God, Love Yourself, Love Others: , he suggests: I love to call the art of living “Jesus spirituality” — which is ordinary people, living in […]