Five questions worth asking


16681-shutterstock_90113023When we meet someone, we usually ask the familair question, “So, what do you do?”

  • Answer – “Oh, I am a doctor or a farmer or a lawyer or a plumber or a pastor….”

Our answers to this common question lead to much deeper issues.

People tend to place much of their purpose, value, and identity in their occupation, in what they do. But perhaps we settle for a limited view of ourselves because of the way the culture defines things.

The truth is that no matter what we do to earn a living or to keep our homes, we have a calling that is greater, one that ultimately reaches beyond this life into eternity.

We are called to an indispensably necessary role in the world. Our Lord identified us as salt to the earth and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16).

Evaluate your life – in the context of this higher…

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Links worth seeing

The five links below might not appeal to everyone. Yet they’re worth seeing for those who share a wide variety of interests. Enjoy!

  • “…face to face with dying, he was not quite done with living.” A lengthy but interesting look at the life of neurologist Oliver Sacks – arguably the world’s best-known brain doctor.
  • The Scholar Denied : W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology — Du Bois made one commitment, not to the pursuit of power, equality, freedom, or even justice, but to Truth. He believed then that black liberation would flow naturally from fidelity to this aim.
  • The Psychologists Take Power – In developing Positive Psychology one of Seligman’s core goals has been “to end victimology,” which, he claims, pervades the social sciences and requires us to “view people as the victims of their environment.” After September 11, 2001, he came to see the cultivation of positive strengths and virtues as an urgent task for America, shoring up its people and institutions by increasing their resilience.
  • Lessons of Demopolis – democracy and liberalism are both better off if we understand the difference between them. If democracy is so important, meriting the marshalling of immense effort and resources, people ought to have some clear idea about what it is. At least some of the human misery in the past quarter-century of purported democracy-building efforts has resulted from the fact that the political class had no clear idea of the components of the liberal democracy package. If democracy is worth fighting for, it is important to grasp the basics.
  • Reading Augustine’s Mind – Robin Lane Fox, a British classical scholar, tells us he can reveal the hitherto-unknown deep meanings of Augustine’s Confessions, the book in which Augustine described his own life from his birth in 354, to his early belief in Manichaeism, to his baptism in Milan and the death of his mother, Monnica, in 387.

Steve Cornell

Posted in Philosophy, Government, History, Wisdom, Psychology, Democracy, Links to see, Biopsychology, Neuroscience, sociology, Church history | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The ways of God with a wayward servant


  • Do you tend to think of the book of Jonah as a story about a man and a great fish?
  • If you do, let me challenge you to see it differently.

This book offers four deeply insightful chapters on the ways of God with a wayward servant.

I completed my 12th sermon in the book of Jonah last Sunday. It has been a great study for me and for our church family.

I am honored to be able to make these messages available for you.

I am privileged to have a large number of leaders who frequent Wisdomforlife. If you are one of them, I especially encourage you to invest some time listening to these messages. Perhaps it will inspire you to teach through the book.

Jonah’s decision to reject God’s call to warn Nineveh about coming judgment was made long before God called him. He allowed his heart to be conditioned with growing resentment toward the people God called him to reach.

When a man flees or falls, he rarely falls far. He was already there.

Instead of giving up on Jonah, God patiently and graciously pursues his servant with a variety of intriguing means.

God put Jonah through an aquatic school of discipleship to get him ready to hear the call of God a second time.

Was Jonah all in when God gave him a second opportunity? No. Chapter four makes that clear. So why did God use him?

Listen and learn with me as we meet God in the book of Jonah

Steve Cornell

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Humble, loving, truth-telling Christians in community



God desires to use the lives of those who have experienced His love as plausibility cases for the truthfulness of the good news of salvation.

This is a little overwhelming to contemplate but God has chosen to make a case for or to validate the truth of the gospel through the community life of His people. When this truth sinks deeply into our hearts, it should bring us to our knees to ask for grace to be the kind of witnesses that reflect our Father’s mercy. 

Jesus taught, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciplesif you love one another.” (John 13:34-35).

The story of the Bible “speaks from first to last of a God who did not need to create, but who did so out…

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The workers in the vineyard


There is so much to learn from Jesus’ parable on the workers and the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16).

(Audio version here)

The parable on the workers and the vineyard is considered one of the more difficult to interpret yet it reaches deeply into the human heart at a level that connects with all people. It exposes a common tendency to resent the blessings of others whom we think don’t deserve them (certainly not as much as we do!).

As with many of Jesus parables, he starts with the familiar and turns the story in unexpected and provocative directions. Jesus focused stories in ways that were intentionally disruptive to established cultural assumptions. He did this to expose prideful and self-righteous hearts. It reminds us that God is willing to allow disruptive events to get to the true condition of our hearts.

In this parable, Jesus is also explaining…

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When he thunders…

“When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses”— Jeremiah 10:13 (NIV)

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Does life feel difficult?


I have often felt like my life has been lived with the wind in my face.

Do you feel you’ve been called to a life of swimming upstream?

I am sure this feeling goes back to my early years, growing up as the oldest son in a family of 11 children. I am no stranger to the difficulties and struggles of life. 

I learned a lot about the challenges and trials of this life as I watched those I loved suffer and struggle to provide for our family.

I battled confusion at the seemingly endless setbacks experienced. Before I had maturity to process these experiences, I fought tendencies to resent the trials and to envy those who appeared to be without difficulty.

All of this forced me to grow up quickly. It also plunged me into deep questions about how suffering relates to God. To this day, I’ve found that…

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