Refining Life, on Purpose

The Life Balance Myth and What You Can Do About it

When your life balance is teetering, spiraling, fluctuating, and doing whatever it does for creating unbalanced realities, prayer to the one who restores should be our first action.

Balance, life balance in particular, is something I am personally pondering during most of my days. It’s something I’m always aspiring toward and am always hoping to achieve for many reasons. Yet balance, life balance in particular, eludes me. I have pursued it in many ways. I’ve attempted to create a formula. Like many people, I have kept a journal hoping to analyze it and fix everything that’s out of whack. When nothing else is working, I attempt mental exercises. Still, none of it works. So I do what I always do when I have no other options: I pray […]

How Phil Vischer’s Second Act Rises Above the Loss of Veggie Tales

Veggie Tales had a legendary rise and just as legendary fall. Phil Vischer, through the experiences of it all, learned about setting our motives rightly on God and serving God’s will over our own. It’s a lesson he takes into his second act, focusing on deeper discipling and inspiring focused ministry.

As my home church was launching a young disciple’s study from Veggie Tales creator, Phil Vischer, I was reminded of his Vischer’s own tale. It’s one of brokenness, challenge, triumph, defeat, loss, sorrow, regret, and coming back. I thought more about it and concluded it would be a good contribution to the Year of Listening Up topic of Finding Value In Disaster. I’m particularly struck about his realization of God’s goodness after having lost everything. His realizing that God gave him the loss to refocus the motive for dreams and earthly work. The Rise and Fall of Veggie Tales Phil […]

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, […]