I Thirst

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Without thirst, you would be dead.

As I type this, I am eating some delicious, salty pretzels, and these pretzels are making me thirsty!  And that is how it should be. God made our bodies with a complex system to balance the sodium and the water in our cells and blood, primarily through our urge to drink.  Long before Dr. Oz and our Facebook friends were around to tell us to drink water, God wired us with that longing to ensure our survival.

Have you ever noticed, though, that sometimes you can misinterpret the thirst desire?  Sometimes when I am thirsty I will reach for a snack, thinking I am hungry.  Some people have found that they can lose weight if they drink a glass of water when then feel hungry, because they have simply misinterpreted their body’s thirst and thought that it was hunger.

But sin took thirst and twisted it.  People let thirst run their life.  Coffee, beer, Diet Coke – like a toddler with a Sippy Cup, we reach out for our one little shot of happiness to get us through the next hour.  One more coffee to get us through the next meeting.  One glass of wine to get us through the evening.  Continue Reading…

You Don’t Know How to Pray

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That Is Something We Shall Have to Remedy, Isn’t It?!?

Would you like to learn how to pray from an expert?  In his new book Moving Mountains, John Eldredge unlocks the power of prayer in ways I have never read or experienced.  Infused with Scriptures and personal stories, this book is both grounded in truth and true to life.  It is part “How-To Manual,” part diary, part letter of encouragement, and part a call to action.

He sets the stage by explaining what is available to us.

Powerful, effective, life-changing prayer

Conversational intimacy with God

These are available to you and me!

Let’s stop there for a moment.  Deep down, every Christian longs for these 2 things, but that longing has been unfulfilled. Time, experience, experience, frustration has led us to believe that the descriptions of prayer in the Bible are no longer valid to the Christian experience.   At some point, many of us have given in to complacency or bitterness, savvy cynicism or theological explanations, casual indifference or caustic denial.  We think to ourselves “I tried that and it didn’t work.”  Continue Reading…

Reagan, Lincoln, Washington

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I love to learn about leadership through the good and bad decisions of people throughout history.  Although we probably won’t ever be President, we still have an important role to play.  What kind of challenges is God preparing you to face?  Will your leadership qualities and skills be ready for the task?

Coincidentally, 3 of my favorite Presidents were born in February, so it is a great time to think about their leadership through incredibly challenging times.  Here is a recap of our 5 favorite posts about leadership and history.

Lincoln: The Learning Martyr

Growing up in the Land of Lincoln made me biased, but I have a lot of respect for him.  Here is one reason.

Lincoln:  Sharpened on the Anvil of Leadership

What does Servant Leadership mean to you? For Lincoln, it meant sacrificing his life for justice and unity.

Good History

Includes my favorite history DVD and  a cool timeline of the history of everything.

Monumental Thanksgiving

I also love this documentary about some of our nation’s founders!


Not a President, but influential and a good person to study.

New Year, New Goals

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Happy New Year!

As we turn over a new calendar we like to sit down and plan for the new year.  What goals do we have?  What new challenges will we face?  What new things will we tackle?  Here are a few posts that discuss different kinds of goals for you to consider.  Several of these posts have free worksheets that you can print off to assist you in your planning, dreaming, and praying.  Enjoy!

Goal Post:  Don’t kick it wide left – take some time to think and pray about your goals!

Goals and ArmorIn order to accomplish our goals, we are going to have to fight!  This is how we suit up for battle and train our kids.  

Growth and Goals: Are you growing in the right direction?

Goals For Your Kids:  Goals – they’re not just for adults anymore!  Click here to find out more about how we are going to help our kids reflect on last year and look forward to the next!  

Marriage and Parenting GoalsPlan to start the year out right! Download our free worksheet to help you discuss your growth areas for this year.  

Career Goals: What are your values?  What small goals do you have?  What huge goals?  What actions are required?  This is a great time to think about these questions.  

Personal Goals:  Personal goals are like a compass – no matter how far off course you get, you always know which way you are going.  


Here are some of the worksheets with the date changed to 2016 if you are a type-A person like Dana and care about those types of details!

2016 Kid’s New Years Eve Interview

2016 Kid’s Goals 

2016 Gals Personal Goals

2016 Guys Personal Goals

2 Reasons to be Thankful (And 15 More)

Here are some of the leaves from our Thankful Tree

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus


I just got back from a wonderful conference in Nashville. It was an amazing and much-needed time of refreshing. The opening session put my mind on track to really get all that I needed from God the rest of my time there. I needed a mind shift, a perspective change, and they took care of it right off the bat.

They brought us to the Old Testament where David was assigning each member of Israel a job and explaining what that job entailed. At the end David designated people to one simple but important task- to give thanks to God. The leaders of the conference pointed out that no matter what title we have at the end of our name, we all have the same line in our job description. We are all to give thanks to God! Continue Reading…


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“Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.”    (Come As You Are)

My latest musical marinade is Crowder’s Neon Steeple album.  The power and comfort of this album is just what I needed.  I grew up Country, so Crowder’s steel guitar, banjo, Case IH hat, and twang fit nicely with my roots.  But it is his words that really seal the deal.

He asks God to speak truth directly into his heart:

I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through

You are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You’re all I have, You’re everything

Guard your heart, and be careful who and what you allow to speak to it.  Let God speak that Truth into your heart today!   That will give you the security to overcome anything.  Anything!! Continue Reading…

Light Defeats Darkness

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Today’s post is by a dear friend of mine, Andy Vaughn.  Andy and his wife Karlie are part of our community of friends who are purposefully living life and pursuing God together.  Andy has experience ‘letting his light shine’ in Africa, the oil fields, and the suburbs, so I asked him to share his unique perspective with us today.

Light Defeats Darkness, by Andy Vaughn

If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time, you’ve heard encouragements, admonishments, exhortations and advisements to “Shine your light”. We’ve been told to let our light shine in the form of songs, sermons, and small groups. From the time many of us were the height of Zacchaeus the wee little man, we knew what to do with “This little light of mine.” 1

But then we grew up. We entered a world of darkness that was evil and our innocent minds couldn’t comprehend what we were up against. What made so much sense in the safe confines of our local church now seemed…complicated. Some of us tried to witness; only to have a good friend get offended. Others tried the classic “I’ll mind my business, you mind your business” routine. Most would bounce back and forth between the two strategies. Even though we desired to shine our light, we weren’t sure what that even meant anymore.

We know we’re supposed to evangelize, 2 but aren’t sure how. For example, some people find great success handing out tracts, while others cringe at the idea. The one thing most of us can agree on is that we don’t evangelize as much as we should. 3 Continue Reading…

Anxiety, Part 5

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!

I once read a stat that people are more afraid of public speaking than of death.  So the joke goes that at a funeral the guy giving the eulogy is worse off than the corpse.  While this may be an exaggeration, it illustrates the fact that many people struggle with this kind of ‘event anxiety.’

I have struggled with this, and not only limited to public speaking.  It can occur at any event that I deem important.  I discussed this kind of anxiety in my Irrational Anxiety post, because at the time I felt that it was irrational.

Isn’t it great how we can always learn new things about ourselves?  Well, Michael Hyatt has recently helped me to learn a big part of who I am and how I tick.  In his post “How To Reframe Your Fear and Let It Work For You, he admits that he fights anxiety prior to speaking engagements.  (First, this is a great lesson in vulnerability.  The best way to defeat your issues is to stop hiding your issues!)  I have to admit that I was a little surprised that he struggles with anxiety in these kinds of situations…I guess I assumed that CEOs were immune to the struggles that we commoners face!  Myth busted!  But even more importantly, he helped me understand that there actually is some logic to this illogical anxiety that I face.  And I can use it to my advantage!    Continue Reading…

OPL At One Year – Our Vision, Mission, and Values

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On our one year blogging anniversary we wanted to share with you our Vision, Mission, and Values.  Today would be a great day for you to share this post with a friend – have them Like our Facebook Page or enter their email address in the Subscribe button to the right.

Thanks again for all of your support and words of encouragement.  We really appreciate them!

-Nate and Dana

PS:  You don’t need a blog to have these – what is your personal mission?  What is your vision and values? Continue Reading…

One Purposeful Year


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

1 year ago (9/30/13), with a lot of help from our friends, we launched Our Purposeful Life.  Thank you for your support and for participating with us in the conversation.  It has been a blessing to our family, and we hope that God uses it to help you and yours.

Our blog is a little different than some.  In a given week you may have a post about personality tests, parenting, or pumpkinsIntimacy (or here), Accountability, or Anxiety.

If you were to casually review these posts, a natural response would be to say “This blog is all over the place and is totally random!”  And in some ways, you would be right.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to answer the question:  How do they go together?  What is the common thread?  Continue Reading…

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