Refining Life, on Purpose

7 Posts About Allowing Anxiety to be Your Teacher

Overcoming anxiety is a lonely road. Though, when properly framed, we can learn much from it. Here’s 7 posts about letting anxiety be your teacher. Keep listening up, kids.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. In fact, they’re affecting 40 million adults – that’s 18.1% of the population – every year. Though treatable, most sufferers don’t get treatment.It’s connected to stress, worry, doubt, depression, panic, and more. If you’re one such sufferer or know someone who is, I encourage your to learn more about anxiety and depression. Historically, there have been many stigmas attached to anxiety and depression. It’s something I’ve personally experienced throughout life. And it’s something I’m also just really starting to understand. Sadly, the church is too often unequipped to […]

How to Reframe Anxiety for Personal Growth

The ability to reframe anxiety is a personal growth tool that works wonders. Here’s how I’ve used it to do book signings, become friends with strangers, speak at events, and even deliver sermons.

The ability to reframe anxiety is a vital personal growth tool that we – introverts and otherwise – should seek to master. Having spent most of my life being an anxious and nervous person, this took me a look time, and I am still working on it. But the progress so far has allowed me to do book signings, become friends with complete strangers, speak at events and conferences, and even deliver sermons. Just a few short years ago, I could not have ever begin to draft this post. Today, I’m excited to be sharing my experiences with you in […]

Introvert Anxiety Triggers – It’s a Thing!

I can’t help wondering if there is a direct link between anxiety and introverts. The more I think about it, the more I believe it to be true. And, as a classic introvert, I am of course thinking about it – often.

I can’t help wondering if there is a direct link between anxiety and introverts. The more I think about it, the more I believe it to be true. And, as a classic introvert, I am of course thinking about it – often. A while back, I wrote a post titled “Okay, You’re an Introvert, so What?” It was a call to my fellow introverts to stop using their introversion as an excuse to miss out on life’s many opportunities. We are too often using the type of person we’re wired to be as a crutch and treat it as a […]

Divine Encounters – 7 Posts on Watching for Evidence of God

Divine encounters take many forms - Jesus Sightings, God Things, Spirit Promptings. That means we’re always in the presence of God. Here’s some posts showing the blessings we get along the way.

Divine encounters take many forms. Whether it’s scanning for Jesus Sightings, experiencing God Things, or responding to Spirit Promptings, God is omnipresent. Like it or not, we’re always in the presence of God. That means, no matter how much we screw up, it is never so much that we lose our salvation or cast off the Holy Spirit. Despite this fact, it can sometimes seem like we’ve lost a sense of his presence. That’s why it’s important to remember the divine encounters we are blessed with during our lifetimes. Consider this article from GotQuestions.org for more about God’s omnipresence, Here’s […]

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 […]