Special Post

Searching for Light After Darkness

A few moments after getting to my in-laws for Christmas, I received a phone call telling me that one of our team members had died the previous night. It was tragic, sudden, and extremely sad. But little did I know then that this was only the beginning. Over the next six weeks, we lost three direct team members to tragic health situations and a total of nine people overall when counting team family members. 

Winter is the darkest time of the year, and this past winter was one of the darkest. 

As those who follow Jesus celebrate Easter this week, I want to dedicate this post to exploring this question: Can there be light after darkness? Admittedly, this is my annual Easter post, which is a departure from the usual format of this blog. I hope you continue, but if you don’t, I’ll return to the usual format next time. My prayer for you and those grieving is that you find the light. 


As I’ve shared before, one of the most striking things about Jesus is his compassion. The gospel of John does a good job of giving a glimpse of this when his friend Lazarus dies (John 11:1-44). After comforting Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary (verse 19), Jesus moved on to where Lazarus was laid to rest. Then, the narrative arrives at the pivotal moment. Upon arriving, John writes these words: 

“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

Not only is this the shortest verse in the Bible — it is perhaps the most relatable, for we live in a very broken world. Another way to say it is “broken” is to say it is dark. 

Darkness is cancer, heart attacks, and sudden illness that leads to death. Darkness is gun violence, racial injustice, and poverty. Darkness is all kinds of war, just and unjust. Darkness is loneliness, broken relationships, and political strife or idolatry. Darkness is abuse, neglect, and harassment.

The list could go on. 

The skeptic asks, perhaps rightly — with all this darkness, how is there even a God that is good? 

While such a question deserves to be answered — and to be fair to the reader, I believe such an answer exists — notice what Jesus did not do with Mary and Martha. He didn’t answer the question of why. When Mary stated that her brother would have survived had Jesus been there (verse 32), Jesus didn’t agree or disagree. Instead, he just asked where Lazarus was (verse 34), and then he wept.

One of the thousands of reasons why I follow Jesus is because of this: Jesus mourned with those who mourned. He is worth following because his goal was not to win an argument, prove a point, or win a convert. 

One chapter prior, in John 10:10, Jesus said:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Emphasis mine). 

What I learned about darkness this year is that I have to force myself to wallow in it. I have to mourn with those who mourn and resist the urge to move on to the next business opportunity or distraction. And if that means I must wipe away a tear as I walk our plant floor, then so be it. 

Jesus wept. 

So must I. 


I’m going to confess something now: Sometimes, it takes the right set of circumstances to allow myself to feel what I need to feel — and sometimes, it takes international travel for this to happen. I’ve discovered that the lack of sleep, change of routine, and a little bit of homesickness can lessen my self-defenses and allow me to feel what I need to feel. 

One of those moments occurred on January 25th this year. I was leaving Barcelona, one of my favorite places on the planet, and was in the right place at the right time for something I might never forget. 

We were headed to Munich before switching planes and heading back to Chicago, and our flight left Barcelona right at sunset. As we took off, the sky was cloudless. Amazingly, the darkness that had engulfed us on the ride to the airport 90 minutes earlier had disappeared. Outside the airplane window, I could see light beginning to emerge over the Mediterranean. 

I looked up from the book I was reading and then decided to put it down. As I looked out, I just sat in complete and utter wonder. 

One of the things my friend and pastor has always encouraged me to do is look for God in the every day and then praise Him with attributes found in the Bible. This was that kind of moment: 

I silently prayed: 

God, you are the Creator. As I look at the sun coming out from what appears to be underneath the Mediterranean Sea, all I can say is WOW. You are majestic. You are the Light of the World. As I ponder the darkness of losing several Hoffer Plastics team members, I am reminded in your word that you are the Comforter. Jesus, you wept. Because you wept, I know it is okay to weep myself. And Lord, I have! I mourn with those who mourn and pray for you to bring comfort that is unexplainable. Lord, there are times when words just are inadequate, and this is one of those times. I pray you will intercede and bring peace. While your people can be divisive, I know you are the God of peace and I praise you for that. Amen” 

As our plane gained altitude and headed north to Germany, I realized there could be light after darkness. After all, Good Friday was the darkest of days, and it led to Easter morning. 

I know that a short blog post will not convince anyone that Jesus died and rose again. While I believe He did, my prayer is that this post increases your curiosity about Jesus. What I know is that this year has been hard, and most years have elements that are also hard. Jesus is my hope in those years and where I turn when I am at my lowest. If I lean in enough and wait long enough, my experience is that the darkness disappears. I hope that in Jesus, one day, it will be gone forever. 

My words end here, but if you are curious or need a little hope this Easter, may I direct you to something that may help? 

Here is singer-songwriter Blessing Offor — a blind man — singing about how he hopes heaven is like a Tin Roof. I hope it moves you like it moves me. 

Searching for Light After Darkness Read More »

robert hoffer

Dear Grandpa 2024

Dear Grandpa, 

I recently read a critically acclaimed biography about Martin Luther King Jr. (King: A Life) that touched on every aspect of his life. So many elements of King’s life stood out to me: his courage, his tenacity, his sense of calling, his willingness to suffer, and much, much more. His imperfections also stood out to me. Quite honestly, I had not considered them before. The version of MLK I had in my head was simply inaccurate. 

As I have read my Bible this year and reflected on my life, being human has been a primary theme. People are people, a simple lesson I’m sure you’d remind me of. Your leadership saw people for who they were, not for some image of them that was not real. You also recognized that people would have both good and bad moments. To that end, our critical eye is best turned inwardly as Jesus instructed us. 

The same can also be said for companies. The leader’s goal is to steer companies past these imperfections, persevere, and improve day after day despite them. And as I have walked the production floor this year, I’ve reflected on my memories of you. How much of them are still accurate, and what am I missing as the years have passed?  

Your tenacity is one memory I’m confident is accurate. I used to think that great leaders made big strategic moves. I’ve realized that big strategic moves are born from small, intentional disciplines. It is the small things that few notice that make all the difference. While I imagine you had momentary lapses in tenacity, your life’s work is evidence of consistency. It is something I aspire to in all aspects of my own life. 

Some call these small disciplines fundamentals. Looking back, it seems to me that you were tenacious about certain fundamentals within our business: 

  • Safety wasn’t just a buzzword. It was paramount. 
  • Cleanliness meant things were in order and clean long before 5S became commonplace. 
  • Each press was measured, each standard challenged, long before any ERP system was in place.
  • Visiting customers and working to improve their lives was a daily practice and not part of some one-off initiative. 
  • Our team members were treated as part of our family before the value was established and put on the walls.

Our longest-tenured employee is a Black woman who began work over fifty years ago. I don’t know if that was intentional. But I know she is family…and that didn’t happen by accident. It was something you built, day after day, year after year, decade after decade, until the end. 

The end isn’t something people want to think about, but it is something I am thinking about. No, I don’t have any feelings of an early death like President Lincoln or Dr. King did. But, it is the reality of being human. 

Your day came, and my day will too. 

This is a sobering reality to me. 

The morning I returned to work in 2024, I started my day by signing eight sympathy cards. Eight of our team members’ families experienced the worst loss over a 10-day break. It was devastating. I mourned for them and with them. 

And looking back, I remember being upset one night when Dad and I went to visit you at home. I can’t remember how old I was; I only remember asking Grandma where you were. 

“The funeral home,” she said. 

Grandpa’s always at the funeral home, I replied. 

“Yes, he goes often,” she said. 

It’s no wonder your wake went on for hours, and people lined up outside in the cold. 

I want to be that kind of leader as well. 

Thinking of the old house and Grandma brought me to one last realization: My life’s work begins with my marriage to Sarah and then extends to my kids. That’s the most important work, as you would surely remind me. I must remain tenacious there. 

But it doesn’t stop there. My favorite thing to do this year — the thing that has helped me in more ways than I can adequately describe —  is putting on my hairnet, donning my safety glasses, and going to our floor to look for something good. Yes, challenges abound, as they always do with humans, but as you taught us, so does the good. It is there if we seek it. 

Dr. King saw it when it looked impossible; therefore, we, too, can see it when it is cloudy, dark, and cold. What we face pales in comparison to what Dr. King faced. 

What is it that I am looking for? Well, the boldest claim I have ever made in this blog. 

One day, this will all be made right. There will be no more sympathy cards, cloudy days, or sleepless nights. There will be no more racism. In fact, there will no longer be any need to be tenacious.  

We will all finally be able to rest. 

My hope is in Jesus and the coming of his kingdom. This world’s trouble is more than I can handle, so I hope in Him. 

Until then, I promise to work with tenacity. 

One day at a time. 

This is the life you lived. 

I still miss you.



Dear Grandpa 2024 Read More »

I Will Never FORGET

There are some days in life that I will never forget, and 9/11 was one of them. 

We all have our stories.

I was shaving when my fraternity brother told me what was happening. My sister was living in New York then — was she alright? Were the people stuck in the tower going to get out?

A little while later, I was at my first class of the day, an elective drama class. It was an all-time favorite class! But this day was that day. I will never forget the sound of one of my classmates sobbing — a girl whose name I have somehow forgotten all these years later. “Is my sister alive?” she wailed. Her sister worked near the World Trade Center. 

In our drama class two days later, we learned that her sister was okay. And thankfully, my sister was okay too. 

But for thousands, the answer was different. 

Let’s remember those people today.

Let’s never forget.

I Will Never FORGET Read More »

If You Look for It, There’s Something Good to Find

On vacation this summer, I learned a valuable lesson about failure and being hard on myself. I’m sharing it, hoping some of you can relate. 

The Quintessential Father/Sons Fishing Trip

I wanted to take my sons Will and Ben out fishing.  I did the appropriate research and landed on a company with great reviews. In my mind, the boys would have the time of their life. I was going to the #bestdadever! 

We were all psyched as we pulled out of the harbor and headed to the fishing spot. I was not concerned until the boat headed to the open ocean. After all, this was not supposed to be “deep sea” fishing, so I did not know what the Captain was up to. Was he just giving us a glimpse of the open water? 

“The Look”

A mile and a half into our journey, Will gave me “the look” that kids give. It is kind of like “the look” my wife gives, the kind that you don’t need to interpret. The kind that you immediately know there is a problem. Onward we went, however, for another 1.5 miles. 

“Here we are at an old shipwreck,” the Captain said. 

How cool is that, I thought? The waves, however, tossed me to the side of the boat like a little crumb falling from the ice cream cone my kids would eat later that day. My next thought was, “How long will this last?” 

Kudos to the Captain regarding the volume of fish at the shipwreck. We caught fish after fish in the ~13 minutes we were there. The Captain even claimed I had a shark on my line for .23 seconds — the best .23 seconds of my life, an admission that would undoubtedly cause my wife to give me “the look.” 

Ben’s “look” came next. “Dad, I don’t feel well.” It was at this moment that I went into sales mode. “Captain,” I said, “we have a problem.” Captain informed me that his experiences are about “reef” fishing, which I admittedly misinterpreted not to be “deep sea fishing.” I can occasionally hit 300-yard drives, but I have a “25” handicap for fishing. However, I don’t care who’s to blame when seasickness is on the line. I owned my mistake and said he was getting paid regardless, but we needed land in a hurry! After looking at Ben’s face, the Captain knew his mission had been redefined. I later learned that he’s happily married and understands “looks” too.  

The Joy of Unexpected Delight

Ten minutes later, we were back in calmer waters, and the seas lessened considerably. The Captain asked Ben if he could fish there. Ben, of course, rebounded. The next few hours, we had fun fishing, although our success rate decreased considerably. And while we saw a small shark, none were hooked, much to my chagrin. 

Then something happened that I did not expect. While moving from one spot to the next, the Captain let both boys have a turn at the helm. Both were legitimately excited, and Ben had us looping around like he wanted us to be sick this time. His smile is something that words simply can’t describe.

What Does this Experience Make Possible?

As I retell this story, however, I have to confess something. During this moment I did not feel like the morning had gone well. I am embarrassed to admit that when Sarah asked how the morning went, I said it was a failure. I felt like I had failed Will, Ben, my father-in-law who had joined us, and even the Captain. Sarah reminded me that the Captain did not care as he was getting paid. 

Isn’t it alarming how negativity prevented me from seeing what was really going on and also led me to think things were much worse than they were? 

Ben, however, had rolled with the punches. He had lived out a credo I learned from Michael Hyatt, “What does this experience make possible?” 

Ben got it. 

I had missed it. 

I learned that I am so hard on myself about parenting, leadership, golf, and just about everything — even planning a once-a-year, 1/2-day fishing experience. It would be like someone who never plays golf getting mad at themselves for hitting bad shots, an occurrence that happens all the time at my local golf course! 

Yet, if I look for it — if you look for it — there is something good to find. 

You have to look for it, not just what you had hoped for. 

When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

The video of Ben driving that boat will be something I will think about when I am 80 years old. It never would have happened if we had sea legs and if things had gone to “Dad’s plan.” 

A few days later, as the vacation wrapped up, my in-laws asked all 14 of us what our best moment was. 

Ben’s? “Driving that boat.” 

Writing this post made me realize it was mine, too.

If You Look for It, There’s Something Good to Find Read More »

Alex’s Unofficial Rules of Little League

In the Hoffer household, every April through mid-July is Little League season! And as a veteran Little League parent, I’ve learned a few things over the years.

With that in mind, allow me to introduce my completely unofficial (and slightly tongue-in-cheek) rules for Little League parents. 

  1. Anticipate the weather being 30 degrees hotter or colder than the temp your weather app said it would be. Dress appropriately, even if that entails long underwear on Memorial Day weekend.
  2. Eat whenever you can leading up to the game. If you need to eat lunch at 10AM or dinner at 4PM, do it. The concession stand hot dog is only good when you are near starvation — and all those who claim it is good are near starvation.
  3. Do eat the concession stand popcorn. It somehow always tastes better at Little League.
  4. The bathroom situation is like Illinois state politics. For the sake of everyone’s stomach, I’ll leave it at that.
  5. Decide beforehand if “having fun” is REALLY what you believe. Every adult claims this is what it’s about, but only about 1% follow through on this belief after the first pitch is thrown.
  6. Remember that the umpire is usually a teenager (in-house game) or volunteer adult (all-star/travel). Neither umpire for a living. Both are human and WILL make mistakes. Ask yourself if you would A. want to umpire and B. be any better at it? If you answer both “yes,” please sign up at your local Little League — we play games every season without an umpire and could use the help.
  7. Obsess more over your kid’s handling of adversity than success. Hitting the home run may happen once or twice a career, but strikeouts will occur more often. So how Junior handles a strikeout, bad call, or any of the frustrations that come with baseball are the most applicable lessons of Little League.
  8. Everyone knows that 99.99% of these kids are not destined for a career in the MLB. A good practice for most dads (and moms!) is to start the day repeating this statistic to themselves over and over. Seriously — repeat it over and over!
  9. Yelling at kids in Little League is just as effective as yelling at your preferred news channel or your favorite team’s mediocre quarterback during the playoff game.
  10. Yelling at coaches and/or making sarcastic remarks is similarly unhelpful. Respectfully, get off your butt and coach if you know everything.
  11. If you’re coaching, however, remember that this is not game seven of the World Series. Elaborate signs, strategy, and the like make you look as petty as one of those politicians you are yelling at in rule #9.
  12. Speaking of yelling: There is simply TOO MUCH yelling at Little League these days. Leave the yelling to the kids clamoring for ice cream or donuts.
  13. Finally, a baker’s dozen donuts can single-handedly help a team come back from an 8-1 last-inning deficit. Don’t ask me how this happens, but I saw it with my own eyes at a tournament this season. Those kids chanted “Donuts! Donuts!” after the game ended. Now THAT is how every little league game should end! 

Alex’s Unofficial Rules of Little League Read More »

July 4th and My Papa

If I could do anything this 4th of July, it would be the same thing I would choose any other year: spend one more day with my Papa. He has been gone since 2005, and I always think of him on July 4th because his birthday was the following day. 

Papa was a man who served in World War II, worked his entire life in his father-in-law’s pharmacy, and was an avid baseball fan. More importantly, he was married for 61 years to my grandmother and an amazing father and grandfather. 

These characteristics are worth celebrating on July 4th:  


Our veterans demonstrate the American value of service at the highest level. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). 


Working the same job for decade after decade takes grit. Both of my grandfathers exhibited this kind of grit and along with millions of others, built the fabric of a country worth celebrating on July 4th.  


People will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom….The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again.” 

Although the above is fiction from the movie “Field of Dreams,” I often look at baseball and am reminded of the progress of America. Perfect? Of course, not. But a work in progress just like our national pastime. 


The most important of human relationships we have! America is best when we are best for those we most cherish. Building the family, keeping it secure, and making it a place of safety, frees people up to thrive. And this is worth celebrating on the 4th of July! 

While July 4th may have been a week ago, I still wish all the readers of this blog a Happy Fourth of July. Treasure your family, and make some memories over the summer. I will do the same as I remember Papa and dream of watching one more baseball game with him.

July 4th and My Papa Read More »

The Dad List 2023

Random thoughts of a 41-year-old father of three (presently aged 6, 9, and 11)  

  1. Tell your kids you love them with words. They still need to hear it. 
  2. Walk close to your kids that want to walk close, and let your kids that want to walk ahead do so. Parenting is a simultaneous combination of closeness and looseness.   
  3. Always point out what your kids are doing right on the sports field, in school, or at home. Positive affirmation will help them grow more than negative correction. 
  4. Correct their character when it needs correction. This sounds contrary to number three, but it isn’t. Character is much deeper than “form” or “performance.”  
  5. Loving their mom wholeheartedly may be the best way to serve your children. 
  6. Hug your kids before bed every night. 
  7. Explain the “why” behind the decisions you make. Help them to understand the decision-making process so they can use it themselves. 
  8. Loosen the reins as they get older. Remind them that the reins are only loosened with trust but lead them in the transition from “rule-based obedience” to “personal discipline.” 
  9. Cast a vision of what being an adult looks like — things like taking responsibility, leading yourself, and effectively managing money, among MANY other things we’ve talked about this year.
  10. Model the joy of learning. Talk about what you are reading, listening to, and learning. 
  11. Model the positive use of technology. Put your phone away during a one-on-one conversation, or explain why you are answering an email at a professional sports event. Obviously, the goal is not to be. But modeling how — and more importantly, why this is OCCASIONALLY (emphasis intended) necessary is essential as they prepare for a technology-dominated future.   
  12. Demonstrate what a Sabbath looks like. The world is non-stop, so explain why and even how you rest. 
  13. Humanize people in the news through the lens of grace. Try to explain opposing viewpoints in a way that gives them the proper respect. This is counter-cultural and Biblical. 
  14. Try to make your kids laugh from time to time. I occasionally achieve this by talking in a funny voice (I do impersonations if I’m in the right mood!), gently poking fun at them, and talking trash when I dominate them in basement basketball. 
  15. Tell them you love them with words. They still need to hear it. Yes, I am repeating number one, but this is the most important thing. So do it twice. 

The Dad List 2023 Read More »

Mothers: The Original Leaders

As you know, this is a blog about leadership. Leaders are those worth following, and leadership is the process of doing things with and through other people. But the more I think about it, those characteristics also describe mothers! Let me share some examples of moms in action as we celebrate Mother’s Day. 

My Mom

My mom always made our home welcoming. My friends loved coming over because she made it that way! As my wife points out, my mom has the gift of being interested in what other people are interested in — this is one of the reasons she is worth following. She also cares about the community and regularly volunteered her time to help. This example is something I see in my sisters and something I work on modeling in my own life. I am blessed to have the mom I have! 

My Mother-in-Law

Watching my mother-in-law can be like watching a CEO lead a business. There is action everywhere, and the food is always prepped and ready for dinner. And the food is always great! More than this, thanks to her hospitality, her home feels like home to everyone who comes there. 

My mother- and father-in-law regularly welcome a staggering number of guests to their house — a true testament to their generous spirit. I am blessed to have the mother-in-law I have! 

My Wife

Then, there is my wife, Sarah. The day I met her, I said she was amazing, which was an understatement. Besides being brilliant, she is one of the kindest, gentlest, and most humble people I know. She cares deeply for others, especially our three kids. When the COVID-19 pandemic came, she embraced it with possibility thinking, “What does this make possible?” For Sarah, it made homeschooling possible. 

Sarah didn’t just dip her toe in the water with homeschooling — she dove in! Now our kids are several years into the homeschooling journey. Not only are they having fun with it, but they’re making a lot of progress. For example, our two boys are reading at a level I didn’t achieve until much older! I credit Sarah fully for that. 

Complicated Relationships

Reflecting on the amazing mothers in my life, I remember that not everyone shares in such positivity. Sometimes human beings get it wrong. 

So if you don’t have positive memories of your mother, just know that a Heavenly Father still loves you beyond human understanding or ability. 

Further, as Sarah has reminded me through her Tuesday morning Bible Study, there are women out there who can form the bond of sisterhood that approaches the level of intimacy one has with their mother. It can never replace it, but it can certainly help. Sarah’s leadership of this group is another thing I admire about her.   

Thank you, Mothers!

Happy Mother’s Day to all. Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers working from home or balancing careers and motherhood like my two sisters and our VP of Sales! Happy Mother’s Day to those I will never forget, like the memories of my two grandmothers and those you are thinking of as you read this post. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mothers: The Original Leaders Read More »

Hope Springs Eternal

The end of Jesus’ life on earth was filled with alienation, pain, and mocking. As Matthew recalls in the 26th chapter of his Gospel, “…the men stepped forward, seized Jesus, and arrested him” (26:50). The first reaction of Jesus’ disciples was violence (verse 51), but Jesus said no protection was needed from his friends (verses 52-56). This was, after all, the plan. As crazy as that sounds. 

Before long, however, Jesus was alienated and left to fend for himself. Peter gets picked on by modern readers, so it is important to clarify he was not the only one that left Jesus. All did. But Peter did deny that he knew Jesus (verses 69-75). Later on, this was all forgiven, and it serves as a reminder that we can always come back home to Jesus (John 21:15-17). 

Next for Jesus was physical pain. The soldiers “…spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him” (Matthew 26:67). A “crown of thorns was set on his head” (Matthew 27:29). “They struck him on the head again and again” (verse 30), and led him away to be crucified. Crucifixion involved the nailing of irons into his arms and legs. It was a brutal and unimaginably awful way to die. 

Yet, this was not the end. 

Besides the alienation of his friends and the pain he endured, Jesus also dealt with mocking. Early on, it came from the soldiers: “Then they knelt in front of him (Jesus) and mocked him” (verse 27:29). Later on the cross, it came from two rebels who hung beside him. Then it came from the religious leaders watching all the events take place in front of them: “…the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him” (27:41). 

The end seemed to be now approaching, but it was really just the beginning. 

You Are Not Alone

Do you feel alienated? 

Do you struggle with physical pain? 

Do you feel mocked? 

Do you feel like the end is coming? 

You are not alone. 

“After the Sabbath…Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the Tomb” (Matthew 28:1). If you were going to make up a story two thousand years ago, your last choice of witnesses would be two women. Women were not considered credible witnesses in that culture, yet Jesus’ resurrection starts with women because everyone matters to Jesus, and all are welcome. “Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him” (verse 9). 

Have you come to Jesus? The invitation is for everyone and anyone! 

But the religious leaders were not done yet. “When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, ‘you are to say, ‘his disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’” (Verses 11-13). 

What are we to make of this? Did the same disciples who alienated Jesus come and do this? Did they somehow manage to overcome Roman guards and move a large boulder guarding the tomb’s entrance? Or is this whole story just made up? 

I cannot speak for you, but I find it hard to believe that these disciples – the same ones that just alienated Jesus – would turn-around and come to spread the message of Jesus’ resurrection. Not only that, but that they would do so with such fervor that ten of them eventually would be martyred for doing so. That is, unless they were doing so from a place of being certain of what they had witnessed!  

But you have to decide on your own. 

The Hope of the World

In a world lacking hope, and in a world full of ridicule, alienation, and mocking, maybe it is time to reconsider the Hope of the World. 

Jesus is the one I follow because he is the perfect example of truth, love, and hope. He is my Savior. In fact, there are not enough words to describe him in the dictionary! My entire life changed when I discovered the Hope found in him. And there is nothing blind about it. It is there for anyone to see if they look for it. 

If anything written above tugs at your heart, maybe you should consider reading the book of Mark. You can read one chapter per day for the next 16 days and learn what Jesus says on his own. His words are better than mine! 

What I can say is this: 

Jesus welcomes all. 

You can set your bags down. 

There are no qualifications needed. 

Your past is just that, your past. 

You are home now. 

Easter morning is here. 

Hope springs eternal because of Jesus. 

Hope Springs Eternal Read More »

Applying What We Learn

In recent years, one thing I have felt convicted about is my continual pursuit of more learning. Admittedly, this sounds silly on the surface. Undoubtedly, learning can’t be a bad thing, right? The reality that I’ve discovered, however, is that there are two dangers in continual learning. 

First, it can lead to pride. This can lead you to believe that your self-worth is tied to reading books, listening to podcasts, or learning from Ted talks. It might even tempt you to think that you are superior to those who fail to read or pursue improvement. None of these attitudes are healthy for a leader. 

Secondly, and more to the point of today’s post, continual learning keeps one moving from one thing to the next. There are always more books, podcasts, and potential pathways to self-improvement, especially in our current information age. But what happens when “more” is just that — more?  In other words, what happens when the information just stays as information? 


I am passionate to continue learning. But I’m also passionate about ensuring that my learning is accompanied by some application of what I’ve learned.

I use the qualifier “some” intentionally because not all information needs to be actionable. For example, I might read a book on a subject like bald eagles just to learn a few things about them and to engage in a subject that interests my 11-year-old son. Of course, this doesn’t mean I need to apply the learning directly and become a zoologist.  

But there are areas in my life, like leadership development, where I need to be a little more disciplined in terms of what I am applying. To do this, I need to remember, reflect, and respond. I’ll show you how to do this below using my blog homepage


This post is the 13th I’ve published since the start of 2023. I have covered a variety of topics that one can review by quickly scrolling. Does one jump out? For example: 

New Year, Same Old Mechanic (Spirituality) 

My New Year Promise (3 questions to start the new year) 

One More Question for A New Year, New Perspective (Attitude) 

The False Self Series 

The point of remembering is to reengage your mind on the material you have previously learned. 


Here is where you go deeper. It is also where you have to look within yourself. The question is, what jumps out at you? I heard the most feedback from readers about this post: The False Self Series, Part 6: Beating Myself Up about the Past. Maybe this post spoke to you? The point here is to listen to your gut, reread what jumps out, and reflect on how you need to implement it. 


After remembering and reflecting, here is where you apply the material. If you chose the post about beating yourself up, one application could be to find an accountability partner that you can meet with weekly. For example, I meet twice per month with my accountability partner and one of the areas I report on is how I talk to myself about myself. I’ve discovered that trashing myself indicates a lack of faith because my negative self-view of the past doesn’t align with Jesus’ current view of me. 

While I have used my blog as an example today, you can use the remember, reflect, and respond technique on just about any material you are studying. The point of today’s post is to encourage you to do so. This ensures that your head knowledge becomes heart knowledge, and I believe this will help you on your journey of becoming the kind of person others will want to follow.

Applying What We Learn Read More »