Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Baby Boy Kirchner #3 Is Here!

Dear Readers,

My apologies for the lag in my life purpose series and delayed delivery of your bonus content! Baby Boy Kirchner came early! My water broke two weeks ago, and he arrived in the world happy and healthy...but I have been playing sleep catch up ever since! I am finally awake enough to post an update! It is with great thanksgiving that I share these pictures. Please expect your awaited bonus content this month, and my life purpose series will resume next month, probably mid-month. Check out my social media pages in the meantime for updates.



Thank you for sharing in our joy, and we would relish your love and prayers during this special time! Our new baby is a miracle in every sense, as every child is!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

How to Live Your Life Purpose: An Inventory of Strengths, Part Three

Have you ever wondered whether you are living up to your full potential, particularly as you straddle the doldrums of parenthood? If so, I invite you to join me in this series entitled, "How to Live Your Life Purpose." This week continue step three, an inventory of strengths, with a theological and biblical discussion. For material on the first two steps, longing and surrender, be sure to read previous posts on my website. Also, subscribers will get exclusive material from this series emailed to them next week, so be sure that you have subscribed here.

Discerning our strengths, also referred to as our talents or gifts in this series, is key to living our life purpose. I use life purpose to mean God’s comprehensive plan or direction for our life. Another term that is important to a theological understanding of this topic is vocation.

Theologians John Calvin and Martin Luther both developed specific teachings or doctrines on vocation. They understood its scope to extend well beyond traditional ministry positions, such as the monastic life, which was revolutionary in their day. Their broad description of vocation included “even the lowliest daily tasks” as means of responding to God. * Calvin believed that one could even sweep the floor for God’s glory!

The aim of Christian vocation is to give God glory. “As we honor and serve God in our daily life and labor, we worship God. Whatever our situation, we have opportunities each day to bear witness to the power of God at work within us. Therefore, for Christians, worship, work, and witness cannot be separated." * It is our responsiveness and the pervasiveness of our worship that gives God glory. 



How we honor God through our lives will vary. God left his creative thumbprint upon us as our Creator. While we have been infused with different strengths, we are all united as Christians as we serve God through them. “We all, each of us, will write the definition of what this service means as we live out our calls. Whether in the ministry of word and sacrament, in teaching, specialized ministries, administration—whatever and wherever—the common thread of service to God in Christ ties us together.” * In other words, though we have different life purposes, we have one goal. 

While God wants to utilize our strengths to do his work “whatever and wherever” in the world, God has set apart some tasks for the church. Paul addresses the concept of spiritual gifts three main times in scripture in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. Because every Christian is given at least one spiritual gift or strength, they should be included in this step’s discussion too.

There two kinds of spiritual gifts. First, there are extraordinary ones like speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, and miracles. Scripture also names others that are more commonly used in church life. These are the gifts of administration, artistry, discernment, evangelism, exhortation, faith, giving, hospitality, intercession, knowledge, leadership, mercy, vocal and instrumental music, pastoring/shepherding, service, skilled craft, teaching, wisdom, and writing. While it’s clear that certain gifts can carry over into work outside of the church, the primary function of spiritual gifts is to unite, grow, and mature the church. *

An assessment of our spiritual strengths is a factor as we live our life purpose. What unites our gifts—whether spiritual or otherwise—is that we’re meant to employ them to give God glory. Also, they are just that—gifts. They are not something we choose; they are given to us. Uncovering and utilizing them will unlock a greater joy in our lives through our Creator!

* John R. Walchenbach, "Vocation," The Westminster Handbook to Reformed Theology, edited by Donald K. McKim (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001) 231.
* Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Book of Order, "Directory for Worship," W-5.0105.
Donald K. McKim, "The ‘Call’ in the Reformed Theology," Major Themes in the Reformed Tradition, edited by Donald K. McKim (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998), 342.
* “Finding Your Spiritual Gifts Scripture Review — Printable Version,” Elca.org. 

Subscribers will receive exclusive material, sent right to their inbox, to conclude this step next week! I will continue sharing my personal story with them as I have found my life purpose—don't miss it! 
Have you watched my recent interview? It's hit over 2K views! Watch here. To see my most recent sermon, click here.

Monday, April 8, 2019

How to Live Your Life Purpose: An Inventory of Strengths, Part Two

Have you ever wondered whether you are living up to your full potential, particularly as you straddle the doldrums of parenthood? If so, I invite you to join me in this series entitled, "How to Live Your Life Purpose." This week continue step three, which is an inventory of strengths, with six specific pointers. For material on the first two steps, longing and surrender, be sure to read previous posts on my website. Also, subscribers will get exclusive material from this series emailed to them, so be sure that you have subscribed here


Assessing and inventorying our strengths takes time and effort; it is a process. Some have likened it to completing a dot to dot picture. As a child connects the numbered dots, a picture takes shape. Likewise, as we faithfully inventory the gifts we’ve received from our Creator, an image of our life purpose will form. It’s important to recognize that while this image involves our surrender and service, it should not feel imposed. In fact, surrendering to it paradoxically brings us freedom and life. Author Rebekah Lyons describes our purpose as living the life that makes our heart sing.

Asking insightful questions of ourselves can unearth our strengths and God-given life purpose. The following are pointers to help us do that; watch how they are rooted in what brings us joy:

1.     Describe a memorable life experience in which you felt “most alive, creative, inspired, in harmony with yourself and the world.”
2.     Can you recall a time in which you felt the things listed in pointer one specifically in a productive work environment? 
3.     Describe a time in your life when you were “most aware of the Holy, the sacred, or God’s presence.” If you are new to faith or unaware of such a time, use this description as a guide: “Many such experiences are associated with feelings of timelessness, harmony, peace, unity with all people and things, a sense of well-being, or a sense of being part of a loving mystery that is bigger than the person.”
4.     Take an inventory of what you value most about yourself, home, work, and work environment.
5.     Think intentionally about meaning by discerning how you derive it, i.e. from what kinds of values, activities, or things? 
6.     Finally, take an inventory of your wishes for the future by including two wishes each for your personal life, work life, and the world.

These pointers are taken from a book designed to help people discern their life purpose comprehensively by saying yes to God, their neighbor, and themselves. * Our strengths will factor into this assessment and undergird several answers. For instance, pointers one and two will probably reveal them to you in action and pointer four will help you articulate them about yourself. What did you discover? Stay tuned as our exploration continues next week!

* Robert and Kim Voyle, Yes 3! Participant Guide (Clergy Leadership Institute, 2006), 32 and 34.

Did you miss my recent sermon or Chaos to Calm show with NYT bestselling author, Dr. Leonard Sax? To watch the sermon and a surprise reading by acclaimed children's author Laura Sassi, click here. To hear Dr. Sax weigh in on boys' education and the effects of video games, click here. Don't forget to "thumbs up" the videos! Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

How to Live Your Life Purpose: An Inventory of Strengths, Part One

Have you ever wondered whether you are living up to your full potential, particularly as you straddle the doldrums of parenthood? If so, I invite you to join me in this series entitled, "How to Live Your Life Purpose." This week we begin step three, which is an inventory of strengths. For material on the first two steps, longing and surrender, be sure to read previous posts on my website. Also, subscribers will get exclusive material from this series emailed to them, so be sure that you have subscribed here.



Pinpointing our longing and surrendering to God are key factors to living our life purpose. Another aspect that’s essential to living it is an honest assessment of our strengths and a willingness to use them. In other words, we must discern God’s plan and then give the best of our very selves.

Sometimes it’s easy to be nitpicky with ourselves. Rather than having gratitude and appreciation for what we’re doing right, we focus on our shortcomings and what we’re doing wrong. Living our purpose calls us to use and build upon our strengths. One psychologist claims, “I do not believe that you should devote overly much effort to correcting your weaknesses. Rather, I believe that the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction comes from building and using your signature strengths.” * We can't forget that our Creator has gifted us for a reason.

Sometimes we are aware of our signature strengths because we’ve manifested and cultivated them from an early age. Sometimes they need some reflection. Maybe they’ve long been latent, and it takes the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the encouragement of others to bring them to light. Or new experiences unearth talent we never knew we had. Or we see our strength functioning one way, but God takes it in a completely different direction that somehow still “fits.”

Being mindful of our strengths is essential because it is a biblical imperative that we use them. Jesus teaches us this in the Parable of the Talents. In Matthew 25, a master gives three servants a sum of money to look after in his absence. Two of the three servants successfully trade and double their master’s money. One servant, however, buries his money in the ground in fear. Upon his return, the master commends the first two and banishes the third.

While the talents are money in the parable, they also represent our own giftedness or strengths. We are to use those our Creator God has given us in Jesus’ service. Rather than shrink back in fear, we are called to employ and multiply those gifts for God’s glory. The parable is clear that God will not only acknowledge our willingness through a close accounting but will also richly reward it.

This conclusion fits with the parable of the pearl too. In that parable, the merchant receives a great reward indeed. This exchange costs him everything he owns, however. Mining our gifts for our Creator’s plan shows the wise investing of our very selves for God’s glory. Stay tuned for helpful pointers to help us do just that from a contemporary resource, continued study of theology and scripture, and examples from my own life story as we further explore this step!

* Robert and Kim Voyle, Yes 3! Participant Guide (Clergy Leadership Institute, 2006), 32.

Did you miss my recent sermon or Chaos to Calm show with NYT bestselling author, Dr. Leonard Sax? To watch the sermon and a surprise reading by acclaimed children's author Laura Sassi, click here. To hear Dr. Sax weigh in on boys' education and the effects of video games, click here. Don't forget to "thumbs up" the videos! Thank you for your support!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Watch NOW: Extended Chaos to Calm Episode Special!


I had the honor of sitting down with the New York Times bestselling author Dr. Leonard Sax for a second Chaos to Calm episode this month! This time, I interviewed him on his most popular book to date, Boys Adrift. We talked about barriers to boys' education and the effects of video games on boys' development—issues that are so important, we shot an extended episode special!

Watch HERE:


Dr. Sax delves into issues like:

What is the evidence that boys are lagging behind girls in school?
What can a parent do to advocate for their son?
What can educational experts do to make schools more boy-friendly by using the research?
How do video games really impact my child?
Are some video games more "dangerous" to my child's development than others?

For all of these reasons and for many more, you won't want to miss this expert's opinion and practical advice that you can implement right now to help your son, your school, or your community.

Next week, we'll be picking back up on our life purpose series with step three. Are you already a subscriber? If not, subscribe here to receive future exclusive bonus content from this series!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Watch My Newest Sermon: "The Best Legacy"

I'm excited to share with you my favorite sermon yet—one from the heart! I returned to preach at my church's contemporary service this March seven months pregnant. For the message, I shared my grandmother's miraculous faith healing from cancer. Her story challenges us to believe in God's continued miraculous work in the world and also encourages us to share our faith, which is her most lasting legacy to me. 

As a special treat, acclaimed children's book author Laura Sassi read her newest book, Love is Kind, for the children's message. Watch as she relates to the children in an endearing way to equip them to share their faith and love with others too! I hope you enjoy it!

Watch HERE:


The story of my grandmother's miracle reminds me of I Chronicles 16:8-12:

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles...

After watching, I hope you will consider all that God has done for you and feel inspired to tell others about it!

Stay tuned for another recording coming next week! I've also taped an extended episode special for my TV show, Chaos to Calm, with repeat guest Dr. Leonard Sax. I interviewed him on his recently updated and most popular book, Boys' Adrift, for this boy-centered episode. Hear this New York Times bestselling author hone in on the modern challenges to boys' success in education and the effects of video games on boys' development. He offers parents loads of practical advice that I hope you won't miss!

Our life purpose series will begin again in two weeks!

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