Refining Life, on Purpose

7 Posts About Finding Value in Disaster and Life’s Trials

Today I am offering you seven posts teaching us that, first, God is in control of your disaster; that you indeed can recover from disaster; and that your trials - even disasters - are not without reason.

It’s not easy to find value in disaster, especially as it’s going down. However, I have no doubt that we can learn from every experience in life. That’s evident in the take-a-ways from today’s “7 Posts About…” post. Today I am offering you seven posts (okay, eight, but two are from the same blog). Through these links, we can see three things. First, God is in control of your disaster. Second, you indeed can recover from disaster. And finally, your trials – even disasters – are not without reason. God is in Control and Can Bring Value to Your Disaster […]

There’s No Healing a Wounded Spirit When You Run Away

When we seek healing to our pain, we have to know that hiding is not healing, that our response can determine how well we heal. And, even though scars usually will remain, we must ultimately release our pain before we are able to truly heal.

When we need healing, we search all sorts of places to get the relief we seek. Of course, healing some events can be a more grueling process than others. Living in a culture where we expect immediate relief from merely taking a pill or syrup, it means we can be quite impatient when our healing doesn’t happen on our timeline. Sometimes, though, the pain we experience is cut so deeply, we might think there is no healing to be had. In those cases, we might even perpetuate the pain because it becomes an actual part of our identity. In other […]

God Salvages a Silver Lining from All Your Adversities

Are you facing trials or experiencing adversity? Have you found a silver lining or are you feeling desperate and hopeless. Take courage, beloved. For it is in our trials that we find meaning, we are refined, and - oh yes - God is glorified.

Let’s face it: some things happen where there is no obvious silver lining. Sometimes, things just plain suck. Whether it is a one time event or a series of decisions or events that lead to it, life will have trials. We do and will continue to face adversity. And, in the wake of adversity, we will – at times – experience loss, trauma, fear, disappointment, discouragement and failure. We’re going to feel like the world is against us. And there is going to be temptation to give in. To give up. On the playground, that’s called “taking my ball and […]

Present the Gospel to Kids with WOW! The Good News in Four Words

Author, Dandi Daley Mackall’s book, Wow! The Good News in Four Words is a fresh and whimsical way for presenting the Gospel to kids in a way they can understand and will set a foundation for lifelong discipleship.

How do we present the Gospel to kids? More importantly, how do we present the Gospel to kids in a way they can understand? Oh yeah, and how do we use it to set the foundation for lifelong discipleship? These questions, and many like it, are common among children’s ministries in pretty much all churches and homes. Author, Dandi Daley Mackall has a new kids book, Wow! The Good News in Four Words is a fresh and whimsical way for presenting the gospel and all of God’s work to our kids. Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy, […]

7 Posts About Trusting God in Every Season of Life

Trusting God means trusting his work in life and the lives of others within our homes, cities, countries and our world - even when bad things happen.

Trusting God is a concept that runs the gamut from trusting his work in your life to the work in the lives of others. That means in our homes, our cities, our countries and our world. It means trusting God to bring non-believers to know him – and on his time. And even with that trust, bad things still happen in our lives. Here are seven posts that are aimed at furthering our understanding of this oft-discussed concept. If you have one you’d like to share, please feel free to add it in the comments. Are We Trusting God? Are […]

Redefining Home – a Review of Almost There by Bekah DiFelice

Bekah DiFelice’s Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move offers a unique perspective of a transient lifestyle. It shows how we are constantly redefining home according to our sense of personal belonging, identity and purpose.

I figure the constant redefining of home is a big part of having a transient lifestyle. It’s not something with which I have much experience. In fact, I lived in my childhood home into my twenties. I never switched schools. As an adult, I have only lived in two homes since finally leaving the one I was raised in. So, it was with a lot of interest that I read Bekuh DiFelice’s Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move. In a sense, it was a way of living somewhat vicariously as she shares her personal experience. […]

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 […]