‘Repurposing’ [v223]


The Detroit-based nonprofit, Life Remodeled, is ‘REPURPOSING’ the former Durfee Elementary-Middle school into a new “Community Innovation Center.”

Every year, Life Remodeled selects a different Detroit neighborhood to assist them in remodeling a community asset, repairing owner-occupied homes, boarding up dangerous vacant houses, and mobilizing over 10,000 volunteers to remove blight from over 300 surrounding city blocks. This year they selected the Central High School area.

However, this project is a bit different than what they have done in the past three years—it is planned to last at least two years, whereas the previous projects were only one year. The unique element is the ‘repurposing’ of the Durfee Elementary-Middle public school.


In 2015, Life Remodeled was brainstorming ideas for their future projects. They proposed to Detroit Public Schools (DPS), the idea of transforming the first floor of the Central High School into a “business incubator,” and the district seemed to like the idea. However, in 2016, DPS, in a effort to cut costs and be more efficient, decided to close the Durfee building and move all its students into the adjacent Central High School—creating a K-12 school (it was being underutilized since there were only 350 high school students in a building designed for almost 4,000 students).

Having experienced the successful projects Life Remodeled had completed in the previous three years, DPS asked them if they would be interested in putting the business incubator in the Durfee building. Originally, Life Remodeled said “No,” but a tour of the building changed their minds—they saw the opportunity to go far beyond just a business incubator, and create a “Community Innovation Center” (CIC).

The vision for the Center is to be a “one-stop-shop” for recreation, job creation, education opportunities, and community building. Entrepreneurs will guest lecture in classrooms, and students will have the opportunity to learn subjects, like math and finance, with real examples from case studies of business ventures taking place within the Center. Community members of all ages will have access to resources and space in order to learn about entrepreneurship and how to start or grow their own businesses. The Center will also serve as valuable community and recreational space for families and their children.

Life Remodeled will operate the center by leasing the over 100,000 square feet to tenants who want a central location, interaction with other cutting-edge businesses, and are passionate about building community inside and outside the building. Many entrepreneurial companies have already expressed strong interest about moving into the CIC.

Life Remodeled is also planning to create some major ‘community spaces’ in the building. There will be a newly renovated gymnasium that will be open to the community, and available to be rented by sporting groups. The pool will be transformed into a “Makerspace,” where young people can have hands-on experience with creating products, and getting them to think about a possible career path. The lockers will be transformed into a “Trades School,” which will have expensive, high-powered machinery that entrepreneurs can rent to build their products with. The “Cafetorium” (shared cafeteria and auditorium) will be a multi-purpose room that will be able to be rented for events and, on weekends, will be transformed into a “Farmer’s Market.”

Adjacent to the Cafetorium, one confirmed tenant is Toarmina’s Pizza, who has committed to gifting a franchise to someone that will run the pizzeria inside the Durfee building.

Other businesses that have committed to take space in the Center are planning to launch programs this fall. “Detroit Sourced” is a nonprofit that will teach high school students software coding after school. “Quality Design Services” will train students to program assembly line robots. “Gingras Global” will develop a fund to support new business creation in the surrounding neighborhood. “Southwest Solutions” will continue to offer the “Head Start” program it offered at Durfee, which provides early education for children of low-income families.

In addition to beginning the ‘repurposing’ the former Durfee Elementary-Middle School into the new “Community Innovation Center,” this year’s project also accomplished the following: 367 city blocks of blight removal by over 11,000 volunteers; 534 vacant houses were boarded up; and 53 homeowners had critical repairs performed on their homes.

[ FYI: The following link is to the over 7,500 photos that captured the project (organized in albums by day):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liferemodeled2017/albums ].


[ NOTE: Even though you were not there to volunteer during Project Week, YOU STILL CAN HELP! As mentioned above, Life Remodeled is renovating the gymnasium, and is putting in a new floor—and they have a unique fundraising campaign called “10,000 NAMES.” For JUST $10, your name will be permanently displayed on the new gymnasium floor, and the 10,000 names will create a silhouette of the Detroit skyline! So, just click on the following link to add your name to the list:
https://donate.liferemodeled.com/ten ].


Repurposing is a popular concept now with our culture’s emphasis on recycling and being good ‘stewards’ of our resources. Rather than throwing something away after it becomes old, defective, or useless, repurposing changes, ‘tweaks’, or refurbishes it, then uses it in a new way. Lately, I have noticed the term “repurposed” being used quite frequently.

The process of repurposing an object involves striking a balance between preservation and transformation. This can happen TO OUR LIVES, too! People are kind of like furniture, in a way—they can be ‘repurposed’ and given a new purpose for their lives!


If you flip through the pages of history, you will find multiple examples of people being ‘repurposed’. A slave trader named John Newton, saw the ‘light’ and gave himself to supporting the movement to abolish slavery in the British Empire—which, of course, eventually happened. (FYI: He was the one that wrote one of the most famous hymns of all time, “Amazing Grace”).

William Wilson, who was a hopeless alcoholic, one day in his despair, cried out, “If there be a God, let Him show Himself!” He then had the ‘sensation’ of ecstasy, and a new-found feeling of serenity. He never drank again. After that, he founded “Alcoholics Anonymous,” and millions of other alcoholics have found sobriety as well. The twelfth step of the “12 Steps of Recovery” in AA reads like a textbook definition of a repurposed life: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”


Now, if you flip through the pages of the Bible, a pattern emerges of God repurposing a ‘rogue’ gallery of unlikely candidates into enduring ‘models’ of faith—and no one fits the bill of a repurposed life more dramatically than Saul of Tarsus (later known as the Apostle Paul).

Saul was a Pharisee—a group that bitterly opposed Jesus while He was alive. Then, after He was crucified, they were determined to prevent Jesus’ followers from spreading their beliefs about Him. These disciples called themselves, “People of ‘The Way’” (“Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to The Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem” – Acts 9:1-2).

The first followers of Christ didn’t see themselves as beginning a new religion separate from Judaism, but understood themselves as a ‘movement’ within Judaism that recognized Jesus as the Messiah—which was foretold in the Jewish Scriptures. (They are called “Messianic Jews” today).

To Saul, it didn’t matter what they called themselves, he called them “heretics.” He was ‘hellbent’ on a kind of personal vendetta against the People of the Way as he made it his personal mission to hunt them down wherever he could find them and either put them in jail or kill them!

However, while on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, Saul was suddenly blinded by flash of light and heard a ‘voice’—that turns out to be Jesus—say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” (I’m thinking that these are not the first words anyone wants to hear Jesus say to them!). A few days later, after Ananias prays to restore his sight, he gets something more than his old sight back—he receives a new ‘vision’—and becomes a ‘convert’ to “The Way,” and starts to ‘follow’ Jesus.

The passion, intelligence, and commitment that Saul had invested into persecuting the Church, was now ‘REPURPOSED’ for spreading the message he had been so determined to eliminate. The repurposing was so complete that God even changes Saul’s name to Paul. This Apostle would then do more than anyone else to spread the ‘message’ of Christianity, and authored more of the New Testament than any other writer.

Doctor Luke’s telling of Saul’s ‘conversion’ to Christianity (Acts 9:1-20) is also an invitation to ‘repurpose’ our own lives. For some people, this may mean repurposing some talent they possess into something that serves to benefit others. For others it may mean taking the pain of an unhappy childhood, of an addiction, or of a loss, and having God transform it into a ‘gift’ for bringing healing and comfort to others who are still in pain. The possibilities are endless. God leaves no stone unturned and wastes nothing when looking for people to do His work in the world. Each of us has talents, insights, and experiences that can be repurposed by God—even if we don’t recognize them ourselves, or appreciate their potential.

God can take all the ‘raw materials’ of life—even the most painful or the most regrettable—and repurpose them in ways that can bring healing and hope. This CAN HAPPEN TO YOU, too!


We all should consider how we can be ‘repurposed’. Where in our lives are there still some ‘rough edges’ to be smoothed? Some ‘rusted places’ to be refinished? Some ‘broken places’ to be reconnected? What about us still needs to be repurposed in order to unleash the potential that God sees in us?

Well, just like you would do in your own family, God only repurposes the lives of His ‘children’—so you must be “saved” or “born again” by Him. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” [ 1 Corinthians 5:17 ].

[ For more details about being “saved,” read the previous Life’s Deep Thoughts post entitled, “Saved From Death”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/ ].


God has always been in the business of repurposing people by changing their ‘position’ and/or ‘direction’ for the better. He is prepared to do so for you—if you are ready and willing—which will enable you to fulfill your destiny!

In general, all believers are ‘repurposed’ to become disciples of Jesus, to follow His ‘leading, and ‘repurpose’ other people’s lives to do the same. The last thing Jesus said to His disciples just before He ascended to Heaven was: “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” [ Matthew 28:18-20 ].

Specifically, God has a ‘plan’ for every believer—to develop their gifts and talents in order to reach their potential, and then to fulfill a specific purpose that only they can complete (“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” – Philippians 2:13).


So, might I suggest you prayerfully ‘talk’ to God and ask Him to reveal His plan for you—or at least the next ‘piece’ of it. Then, don’t talk yourself out of it—go do it!


Believers are still “People of ‘The Way’” because they are people whose lives are ever in the process of being ‘REPURPOSED’ into whatever is necessary to keep God’s plan for “His Kingdom to come, and His will to be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”


[ Excerpts from: Brian Liechty; Sheri Welch; Ron Fournier; Stephanie Steinberg; Ray Medeiros; Otive Igbuzor ]


In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].





Life Remodeled (2017)

The following links are for more information about the project Life Remodeled did in the Central High School neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan:






Life Remodeled is a Detroit-based nonprofit that invests approximately $5 million in cash, labor and materials into one Detroit neighborhood each year. Projects are determined by the community’s needs and vision. Life Remodeled partners assist in three areas: Remodeling a community asset, repairing owner-occupied homes, and mobilizing 10,000 volunteers to clean up 300 city blocks in six days.

More important than the physical projects are the relationships that are formed in the process. Every phase is about people-transformation, those served and those who are serving. Relationships born of this approach are a catalyst to create transformation and sustainable neighborhoods crucial to making Detroit’s revitalization permanent.

Life Remodeled’s approach to neighborhood sustainability consists of five things: 1) Focusing on the community’s vision, rather than importing a new vision from “outside” the community; 2) Engaging students and community residents in planning and implementation; 3) Increasing the influence of key community and school leaders; 4) Modeling a successful system of blight removal, volunteer management and partnership; 5) Recruiting new stakeholders who make long-term commitments to the school or community assets and neighborhood.

Our partners continue to work in these neighborhoods for years after the project to enhance the schools, revitalize housing, increase employment opportunities and cultivate long-term relationships, all of which enable the development of healthy and thriving communities.

Life Remodeled’s “Family Values”:

We believe our projects are exceptionally valuable, but people are priceless. The people we serve and those we serve alongside matter more than the processes and the products.

We believe in looking beyond the way things may appear and seeing what could be.

We believe in taking the form of servants who value others over ourselves. We do so with confidence and relentless determination.

We believe in investing in work that has strong potential for sustainability, and we work strategically towards that end.

If you are also interested in more information, or supporting this great non-profit, contact me, or click the link below to be taken to Life Remodeled’s website:


Repurposing Your Life
By: David C. Cooper

Most people go through life spending their time at jobs that have little to do with what they’re interested in and passionate about. Can it be any different? Dr. David Cooper believes it is possible to give life new meaning and purpose, and he tells how in this book.


Repurposed And Upcycled Life
By: Michelle Rayburn

Life is frustrating sometimes. It can be hard and ugly. Hurt, frustration and regret can make everything seem hopeless. But, God has a plan for everything in our lives. He offers unconditional love and grace, despite our imperfections. He offers hope where we see only despair.

Discover the repurposed and upcycled life. This is a life where no experience is wasted. Like the best trash–to–treasure decorating project, it’s a life where God repurposes our junky experiences. It’s where he upcycles—turns hopeless situations into something so much better than we ever imagined—when we let him work with the trash. When we surrender to his leading, God demonstrates his creativity in revealing how our greatest disappointments, mistakes, and painful experiences can be priceless treasures.

Through humor and stories, Michelle Rayburn addresses how to unpack emotional baggage and let go of the past. Readers will learn how to confront perfectionism and negative attitudes, change perspective on circumstances, and let go of regret and shame. It’s an opportunity to learn how to build positive healthy relationships, and dream big and live with purpose. Through inspiration from God’s Word and examples from everyday life, readers will discover the joy–filled, hope–rich way of viewing their past, present, and future.


Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life
By: Marc Miller

When you’re in the second half of life, everything looks different, and your career is no exception. Did you miss the path to a really satisfying career? Is it too late to change? And what do you do about money in the meantime? The world is changing fast. Whole industries are being disrupted by technology, globalization is changing the boundaries of the workplace and nobody s sure what skills will be important tomorrow. If you re in the second half of life, you re experiencing your own shifts and upheavals, finding as we all do that things aren t as we thought they would be when we hit our 40s and beyond. You need a strategy to figure out where to go from here. Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the Second Half of Life provides that strategy. Career design expert Marc Miller helps you repurpose your old career, using the experience you ve gained so far to make practical pivots into a new career. He teaches you to identify what you, uniquely, need for a happy work life in the long term. He gives specific advice on knowing yourself, building a tribe, networking strategically, using social media and interviewing successfully.


Repurpose It: Invent New Uses for Old Stuff
By: Tammy Enz

Create amazing inventions and help the environment at the same time. In Repurpose It, you’ll invent a solar still, a bug robot, a textbook safe, and many other resourceful contraptions. When it comes to inventing, your imagination has no limits!


Repurposed Faith: Breathing New Life Into Your Quiet Time
By: Rosie Williams

Whatever happened to the days when you couldn’t wait to sit down and read your Bible? When prayer flowed easily and powerfully? When you felt engaged and active in your spiritual life? Now, like so many Christians, your zeal may have faded without explanation, and you’re left watching from the sidelines as others thrive in their personal walk with Christ. What happened?
Life has a way of shaking us up, cluttering our priorities, and shifting our focus. When this occurs, our walk with the Lord is often disrupted. One morning, you wake up and realize there are only embers where once a spiritual fire roared. If you’ve found yourself in this place, don’t be discouraged!

Repurposed Faith is designed to refresh and redirect your priorities back to Christ and His Word. Through intentionally-written illustrations and real-life stories, you will be prompted to search your heart for the roadblocks that have come between you and meaningful time with the Lord. From there, you will be guided back to a place where you connect and glorify God. Why continue in apathy, deprived of the intimacy and boundless joy of reconnecting with God on a daily basis? Take this moment to repurpose yourself and your faith.


Repurposed: The Memoirs of Nehemiah

Nehemiah heard about the devastation of the city and people of God…and he acted. While rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days was an incredible feat, the project was about something deeper. Mike Hurt examines the memoirs of Nehemiah, builder of walls and communities, and applies principles from this regular man’s life to the modern Christian community.

Nehemiah heard about the devastation of the city and people of God…and he acted. In 52 days he accomplished the remarkable feat of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. But in doing so, he repurposed the project so that it wasn’t just about building a wall of protection around the holy city. As the walls went up, Nehemiah rebuilt a community of faith, compassion, and hope.

Across the spiritual landscape of the 21st century, the walls are down again. Statistics reveal that many in the modern church are cynical, jaded, and disenfranchised. But this five-session study of the book of Nehemiah can provide lasting principles to rebuild our communities of faith as well.

In his second release from Threads, Mike Hurt examines the memoirs of Nehemiah, builder of walls and communities, and applies principles from this regular man’s life that can restore the faith of the modern Christian community.

Hurt examines such issues as:

Biblical community
Spiritual leadership
True compassion
God in the secular world
Journey with Nehemiah and discover how once again the walls of faith can be rebuilt.




(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)



[ Mark Besh ]



[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what it really means to “believe,” visit the following link:
http://4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q10_d1_1of10.html ].





My Repurposed Life

Hi, there! I’m Gail Wilson, the author and mastermind behind “My Repurposed Life.” I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way…literally!


Life Repurposed

Have you ever noticed the large hills across the highway from the Lewis Prison, between Gila Bend and Buckeye? You may know that those are landfills, being used by the companies that haul the trash out of Phoenix. Does something in you cringe when you realize just how much junk we throw away, junk that has to end up somewhere? No wonder the idea of repurposing old stuff has become so popular!

An even worse tragedy is the number of people who have given in to the idea that their lives are falling apart, with no hope of being repurposed. That’s why we are focusing on the theme, “Life Repurposed”, at Stone Ridge this summer. The New Testament letter from Paul to the Galatians is full of good news about God’s plan to reshape our lives by setting us free from the things that would hold us back. Each week, our Summer Sermon Series message will be brought by one of our leaders who will joyfully share out of his own repurposed life.

[ Sam Norris ]



Real Life – Radically Repurposed” (Part 3)

The First Disciples

16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.

Hebrews 13:1-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

Concluding Words

13 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. 2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.

4 Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,

“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”

6 So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper,
so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?”

James 1:19-27 New Living Translation (NLT)

Listening and Doing

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

2 Timothy 4:5-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

[ Ron Yost ]


Repurposing Defeat

No one likes defeat (except maybe the Cleveland Browns). Losing demoralizes and wears us out. That only “weak and useless people suffer defeat” is our fear when we face defeat. Jesus had a crushing defeat: death by public execution, followers scattering, crowds turning on Him and borrowing a tomb for burial. It seemed like everything He had worked for and accomplished was taken from Him, gone, pointless. Hopeless. But His defeat was actually strategic so that He could make the way to repurpose His defeat and then help us gain victory through defeat as well!

[ Brian Liechty ]

A Repurposed Heart Is A Servant’s Heart

In this message we covered the fifth and final mission measure, evidence, or markers that would indicate to us as individuals and as a church that we are maturing/walking in the particular mission statement that we believe the Lord has called us as a local congregation to fulfill.

Just to refresh your memory, we can state our mission measures this way:
A repurposed life….is fluent in the Gospel.
….embraces the broken.

….joyfully participates.

And….generously gives.

When the Spirit of God spiritually transforms a sinner by the grace of the Father, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, there will be changes in the new believer – inside and out. They are immediately justified – made right – declared righteous by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness into our lives – and are eternally secure in this relationship because ‘the good work that the Lord started, He will finish’ (Philippians 1:6). Our life is now Christ’s life.

There should also be seen some inward and outward changes – maybe more gradual, but still evident – in the Christian’s life. That’s what these mission measures are speaking of. The fifth and final measure (although there are many other ‘evidences’ that a life has been spiritually transformed) that we understand is tied into our vision and mission at Grace Christian Fellowship, is that our fallen nature, which is naturally selfish, will have a new desire to serve others. Humble service – being a servant – esteeming others greater than ourselves – is not natural to the fallen nature – and can only be developed and nurtured in the heart and life of a believer after God’s Spirit repurposes/transforms them, and begins the process of sanctification – maturing into Christlikeness.

The greatest joy – the greatest sense of contentment – comes or resides in the believer who is passionately serving the Lord, the church, and those around them. This passionate sense of serving is never to be done in the flesh or for the sake of rewards, awards, recognition, accolades, public affirmations, or to win the pastor’s favor. Everything we are to do we are to do for the glory of God. And of course, the perfect example of servanthood for us is the life of Jesus Christ. Here’s Jesus – the Son of God – but He came to this earth, not to be served (although He deserves to be served!), but to serve. And His greatest act of service was laying down His life for us.

[ Randy Evans ]

The Old Me Made New

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10–12)
When we first hear and receive the good news of Jesus Christ, we’re quite content to have our sins forgiven and our shame removed. We sense the consequences of offending an all-knowing and all-powerful God, and feel the heavy burden being lifted of all we’ve done wrong. In one sense, we know there’s still work to do, a lingering sense of our remaining sin, but the relief of simply being forgiven is even more powerful.

But what if Jesus died for more than forgiveness?

The good news of the gospel doesn’t stop with pardon. We treat grace like it’s God’s big eraser for our every wrong or mistake. But God does not only mean to rub the page clean. No, he intends to write a new story in sin’s place, replacing what was once broken, wicked, and dead with love, faithfulness, and life.

The gospel doesn’t just get us out of hell; it also makes us new. Grace doesn’t just help us shed the weight of past sins; it empowers us to feel and live differently.

More Sinful than We Know

David says, “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3). He had just seen a married woman bathing naked from his palace roof (2 Samuel 11:2), lusted over her, brought her into his home, slept with her (11:4), and gotten her pregnant (11:5). Then, he tried to cover his sin by having her husband come home from war and sleep with her (11:9–13). And when that didn’t work, he conspired to have her husband killed in battle (11:15). He murdered an honest man to protect his affair with his wife.

And then Nathan confronted him about it all (12:1–14). By the time David wrote this psalm, he knew all about his sin — the wickedness and rebellion of his heart.

Or did he? “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). The adultery, the lying, and the murder were all just symptoms of a larger, deeper problem. David was evil at his core, and he’d been that way since birth, even before birth. Sin infects and cripples us more than we’ll admit, and far more than we ever know.

Grace Greater than All Our Sin

David knew that his sin was great, but he also knew something greater than all his sin. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1). God has revealed something about himself that can make even sinners feel safe and confident in his presence. David knows he’s fallen into awful, murderous sin, and yet he comes boldly before God to ask for forgiveness and cleansing. And he prays and pleads not according to anything he has done to make things right, but according to the Lord’s love and mercy.

His prayer does not end with forgiveness (Psalm 51:1), but with newness. He goes further than forgiveness and asks for more, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. . . . Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:7, 10). God, I want to change. I want to love what’s right and good. I want to live differently. I want to love like you love. By the same grace that you rescued me from hell, please make me new.

A Rescued Life Repurposed

The pattern of Psalm 51 — a forgiving grace that is also a transforming grace — shows up again and again throughout the Bible.

For example, Philippians says that Christ humbled himself to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). He died a bloody death in our place. “Therefore,” Paul writes, “my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). How? “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (2:13). The God who saves us by his power empowers us to live more and more like him.

Or, again, in 1 Peter, Peter spends several verses unfolding the glory of God in our salvation: resurrecting our dead souls through the new birth and guarding our faith and joy forever into eternity (1 Peter 1:3–6). So is all the work done then for us in this life? Peter writes, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:14–15). The holiness of God emerges in those whom he saves. He creates in them a new heart like his own.

As God shows you more and more of the ugliness inside your heart, ask him to forgive you, but then ask him to renew you. The grace he gives in forgiveness is beyond our wildest imaginations, but he’s promised even more grace than that. As we look to our Savior, our greatest Treasure, “We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Our old me made new.

[ Marshall Segal ]

Repurposed: God Makes Beautiful Things Out Of Dust

[ Eric Mann ]



The Potter and the Clay

Jeremiah 18:1-11

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it. 9 And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord: Look, I am a potter shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Turn now, all of you from your evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.

[ Chris Furr ]


Repurposed To Follow Christ

Pastor John examines stories of Jesus refusing to let others define him as he re-purposes our own lives to be followers of Christ in the world.

Matthew 11:16-19; 25-30


A Repurposed Life: A Biblical Perspective

WHAT IF, you are exactly where you are supposed to be?

So many of us are in a place where our first life has come to an end. A divorce, the death of a child or other loved one, loss of a job or career, alcohol and drug problems that finally crushed us, financial issues that overwhelmed our ability to be present for ourselves and our families, an illness or mental illness, hospitalization, poor judgment that has caused rampant legal problems, incarceration.

So many of us are suffering and want to find a new way. But they – we – are mostly frozen. Stopped dead in our tracks feeling alone, isolated, and hopeless. We mourn the past and fear the future.

WHAT IF, the feelings you are feeling, the sorrows and joys, the suffering and the release, are what is exactly intended for you? More than just intended for you, what if this moment in your life had to happen – that it has actually been pre-programmed? Pre-programmed for you, and for me, and for everyone.

WHAT IF, knowing that this was pre-programmed, we could anticipate it, welcome it, and accept this part of life as natural. As a God-given portion of our lives. I’m talking to you about middle part, the liminal part. The part of life you are in now – after the first life you’ve lived. And before your second life, a life of uncertainty and the unknown.

WHAT IF, where you are right now is actually the best time of life – the greatest moment of life? And to experience it in all its greatness, all you have to do is ACCEPT that this is exactly where you are supposed to be? That God has pre-programmed in us this moment – whether it be for a week, a month, a year or a decade – and has given us the power and free-will to make it absolutely the greatest period of our lives?

Among my resolutions for this New Year is to present to you some things I’ve learned on my spiritual path to prove that this space we enter, the middle place, actually is (or can be) the best and most important time of our lives.

Let’s start with the Bible, or at least 500 years of it or so crammed into a few paragraphs (with apologies to scholars & close readers).

Have you ever thought about the term, Good Samaritan? Everyone who goes to church wants to be a Good Samaritan, don’t they. Don’t you? In many passages, Jesus talked about good Samaritans, and commended them for all the good works they did for others.

For example, Luke 10:25-37 is actually called “The Parable of The Good Samaritan.” In this scripture, Jesus tells the tale of three men who approach a man on the side of the road who had been attacked by robbers, and commends “the one who had mercy on him.” The Good Samaritan. In other examples in the Bible, John 4:4-26, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well, and asks her for a drink. In this interchange, Jesus gives the Samaritan the greatest gift of all.

The question I have is: when did Samaritans become the good guys, and the people named in the Bible to receive God’s gifts? The Samaritans were a class of people who had lost there place in Jewish society, and were loathed and despised by the Jews ever since. When were Samaritans lifted up and given a place of respect and importance? Repurposed if you will, such that the name Samaritan itself went from being synonymous with outcast, to that of being a doer of good deeds?

It started with the Exile – the Babylonian Exile. Or more accurately, in the time the Fall leading to the Exile. Many prophets had prophesied that the Exile was coming. The Prophet Isaiah, for example, spoke of the coming destruction and exile (i.e. Isaiah 5:13).

And as we know, these prophesies turned out to be accurate. Jerusalem was invaded, people were massacred, and the city and the Great Temple were burned to the ground. The elite – the wealthy, the intelligencia and the religious leaders – were the first to be sent into bondage in Babylon. Followed soon after by the lesser classes. But not all Jews living in Israel and Judah were sent into Exile – some were left in Jerusalem as slaves in their own city. And ignored completely were the Jews living in Samaria – an outpost city in the north of the kingdom.

Not that much was written about the Jews while they lived in exile in Babylon. But one thing seems certain: before the exile the Jews were a people of the Temple, who believed that God resided in the Temple. They worshipped God at the temple and other high places (in Hebrew “bemot”). Without the Temple and high places, the Jews were without their God and the foundations of their religion. In order to preserve their religion and people, having no homeland to call their own, the leaders made a critical decision while in exile – they decided that God was indeed everywhere, and that the worship of God would be from that point founded in the Bible. That is Judaism changed from a “religion of place” to a religion “of the book.” This important decision, made while in captivity – in a space of suffering – not only ensured their continuity in exile, but enabled the Judeo-Christian religion to survive for the next 2500 years.

We know that Jewish people were allowed to return to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile. That prophecy was fulfilled in 537 B.C., and the Jews were allowed by King Cyrus of Persia to return to Israel and begin rebuilding the city and temple. Two great prophets emerged from exile to lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. The prophet Ezra, who declared that the Temple should be rebuilt first, and that God would protect the people who first honored God and their religion. On the other hand, the prophet Nehemiah declared that the Jews should first rebuild the walls of the city. Perhaps more pragmatic than Ezra, he determined that without walls the city would be vulnerable to attack. It is unknown who won this debate, or if the Temple or the walls were reconstructed first. But the debate, between putting God first or material security first, rages on in various ways to this day.

But not all Jews were permitted to rebuild the Temple and the walls of the city.

The Jews who had been left to live in Samaria without going to exile wanted to help rebuild Jerusalem. But in the ensuing seventy years, the Jews in Samaria had intermarried with non-Jews, and now were considered unclean and half-breeds. They were no longer considered to be Jews by the people in Jerusalem and were not allowed to enter the holy city. Instead, they were scorned and mocked for what they had done. The Samaritans were considered a lesser people for the next 500 years, through the Greek occupation of Israel, and then the Roman occupation of Israel, and right up to the time of Jesus when he spoke of them in parables. When Jesus lifted them up, and declared their worthiness as people of God.

It always amazes me that the greatest time of change for the Jews – the change that assured them a new life and a new freedom, was in the middle period while they were in Exile.

The same is true for the Israelites in the Exodus. When we think of the Bible, we are usually drawn to the desert, the place in the middle where the Israelites witnessed great miracles for forty years and became a new people – a people without memories of bondage in Egypt and who had yet to be delivered to the promised land.

And is true for the Samaritans, who led lives of dejection and persecution by their own people, not allowed the rights and privileges to worship and belong for over 500 years. They were restored by Jesus in a new way in a new community, a community which was forming even as Jerusalem and the Temple were again burned to the ground in 70 AD.

I am an Israelite, a Jew, a Samaritan and a Christian.

Perhaps as Israelites, Jews, Samaritans and Christians these Bible passages were given to us for a reason. Perhaps that reason was to charge us with the message that life, and our identity in this life, is impermanent. Perhaps after all the generations since it is burned into our DNA.

Perhaps it has become so embodied that we intuit, we know, that the day will come along where life will indeed different than the life we planned – like the Israelites in Egypt, or the Jews in Jerusalem, or Samaritans in their own city. And that we all enter places middle places where we will have the opportunities to change into something different than before. Something more authentic to our new and unexpected place in the world. Something more able to survive the trials and tests, and enjoy the gifts and blessings of our new order. That, in fact, this inevitability is the only way we can survive and flourish. And that because it is inevitable, it something we do not have to fear. Instead, it is something that we can joyfully anticipate and plan for.

It is my proposition that this middle space, this place of no longer the past and not yet the future, is not actually a place of exile, but is a place of sanctuary. A place of retreat. A holy, God-given place that is an opportunity for every one of us to rest, grow, learn, evolve and become the people God intends us to be.

And in order to experience these gifts in this place, all we have to do is one thing. One simple thing that eludes most of us for so long that we suffer. The one thing we have to do is ACCEPT that we here. ACCEPT that God has delivered us to this place. That we are in this place, right here right now.

The middle place. Exactly where we are supposed to be.

[ Jeff Grant ]

Repurposed for His Purpose

Matthew 4:12-22

I. Repurposing begins with our repentance (v. 17)
A. 2 parts of repentance
1. turning from our sin
2. turning towards Jesus

II. Repurposing is our choice but God’s purpose (v. 18-19)
A. We choose to follow
B. We do not choosing the path, just that we will take it

III. Repurposed for His purpose is a process (v. 19)
A. God will make us into what He wants us to be as long as…
1. I submit myself to God
2. I trust that God knows what’s best for me
3. I want to be repurposed for His purpose

IV. Being repurposed is preceded by our obedience (v. 20-22)
A. We cannot be used by God and disregard His word

Jesus purpose for me is always greater and better than my purpose for me

[ Heath Ferguson ]


Repurposed For What?

“It becomes crucial that we become a generation of storytellers who are both recapturing the glory and joy of the Sacred Romance even as we tell each other our particular stories, so that we can help each other, through God’s Spirit, see His plan of redemption at work in us.” Brent Curtis 1947-1998

It was 5-1/2 years ago. My, how time flies. I started this blog, originally called Heart of a Coach’s Wife, in the summer of 2010 when our lives looked very different. That summer was a turning point for me. I, for the first time in several years, finally began to feel settled in our purpose and in our community.

After a rather raw worship experience led by a gifted musician at a conference, God graced me with the ability to surrender back in 2010. He gave me the courage to not just surrender but embrace what He had led us to years ago. Blogging became a way to pour into others whose spouses were also coaching.

Through a series of circumstances, God challenged my husband to walk a different path… a path away from coaching high school football. Months of conversation and prayer and counsel resulted in releasing the only life we’d known in our fifteen years of marriage. With the release came hope… and grief… and peace… and struggle. Change, of course, brings growth, and we grew a lot. But it was hard, and I still cringe as I write these words. We didn’t just change our circumstance — we sort of changed our identity.

God repurposed our lives. Repurposed our hearts. And after just one year, Heart of a Coach’s Wife became Repurposed Heart and eventually landed on the name Repurposed. There was even an 18-month rest from blogging from 2012-2014 because it started to feel like an idol. Regardless, this has been a place, since its inception, where I wrestle aloud with authentically embracing the gospel.

My audience expanded to include men and women who were in no way involved in coaching careers but were learning to live reflective lives, to surrender, and to intentionally make every day experiences more beautiful. I still believe any situation can be turned into a worship experience. Yes, every experience can be given back to our Maker, our Redeemer.

Centuries ago God promised His people: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekial 36:25-26 esv

My prayer back in 2011 was that my heart — and my readers’ hearts — would be repurposed. I yearned we’d all be changed to embrace every bit of what He planned for us. I begged Him to change our hearts to look more like His.

But here we are in 2016. After re-reading David Platt’s Radical over Christmas break, I’m struck by God’s design for us to live in community, focus on others, and in turn, be changed and molded ourselves. So I’ll ask again: Repurposed for what? Five years later, might Repurposed be a place where you’re not only challenged to live reflectively and surrender, but to ultimately take your stories to others?

Christ intimately poured into 12 men. Who are your 12? Or your 6? Or your 3?

“To whom can you deliberately, intentionally, and sacrificially show the life of Christ in this way? This is foundational in making disciples, and we will multiply the gospel only when we allow others to get close enough to us to see the life of Christ in action.” David Platt

See, the purpose of this blog is now more than just leading you toward reflection. My hope is that your response to your own story will involve repurposing and restoring others’ lives. God has a way of speaking His truth to each heart who hears it — His Spirit comforts and convicts with the very messages each of us need to hear on a given day. What is He saying to you? Where does He want you to take His truth?

Are you ready to step out from what’s comfortable? Together, let’s reflect and then join God in redeeming what’s broken in the lives around us.

I’m excited for what the year holds for us. Whether you’re new here or have been a reader since 2010, welcome. I’m so glad you’re a part of Repurposed, for I believe our Maker has intentionally crossed our paths for such a time as this. We all have a lot to learn from each other, and I’m all ears.

[ Christan Perona ]


Series Topics:
– Being saved is awesome, and God is awesome for saving us. We should praise him.
– Did You Know?
– Saved for a Change
– What A Difference Grace Makes
– Now To Him Who Is Able
– The Best Spiritual Exercise Is To Walk
– Walk In A Manner Worthy Of Your Calling
– A Life Giving Gift Exchange
– You Walk Like Your Dad
– When Discipleship Changes Relationships
– Repurposed to Stand Strong
– The Book of Ephesians

[ Michael DeFazio ]


Life Restored
(Parody of “Last Resort” by Papa Roach)

Plug my life into Jesus—this gets my life restored
Such a cakewalk—no brainer
Don’t need to fuss if I call on our savior
This gets my life restored

Plugged my life into Jesus—I’ve seen my life restored
Such a cakewalk—no brainer
Don’t need to fuss since I called Him my savior
Do not even care if I die later
Cause I belong to Jesus Christ
If they took my life tonight—chances are I’d arrive
In a place that’s out of sight—and I’m confident I’m doin’ fine

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I never realized I was meant to live
To live a new life if I would let Him within
Told me—death is the payoff for living in sin
End the cycle when you’re born again
It all started when I first discovered
The Book on my shelf and read cover to cover
Searching—to find religion that held my attention
Finding—something called Christian redemption

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I’ll be all right—I’ll be just fine
You’re runnin’ out of time
I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine
I can’t go wrong living this way

Plug my life into Jesus
This gets my life restored
Selfish nature—don’t need it
Go give it up—you can conquer your demons
Would it be wrong for me to pry
If you give your life to Christ—Chances are dynamite
You will make it out alive—and I’m confident you’ll do it right

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I’ll be all right—I’ll be just fine—You’re runnin’ out of time
I can’t go wrong livin’ this way—Can’t go wrong living this way
I’ll be all—right

[ ApologetiX – Album: “Keep The Change” ]




“Repurposed music can be a valuable tool. Consider the French song adapted by Mozart that became “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” before we started using the same melody to teach the alphabet to our children…

I want to make [people] realize that there’s more to the Bible than Adam, Noah, David and Goliath and Jonah. I want them to realize that there’s nothing inherently bad about music or anything else that God created. I want them to realize that the Bible is an interesting book, and I want to inspire them to read it for themselves. I want them to discover how simple salvation is, according to the Bible. I want them to remember verses and stories from the Bible. And I want them to learn what I’ve learned, to feel what I’ve felt—to laugh, to cry and to get chills sometimes. But most of all, I want them to see that God is real, and that He cares enough to speak to them in their own language, whether that be English or rock and roll. And I want them to give Him a chance, because He’s offering them a chance, and they need to take it.”
[ John Jackson – Frontman for the Christian parody band, “ApologetiX” ]

“Whatever good things we build end up building us.”
[ Jim Rohn ]

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“We tend to get what we expect.”
[ Norman Vincent Peale ]

“Hope never abandons you. You abandon it.”
[ George Weinberg ]

“He who does not hope to win has already lost.”
[ Jose Joaquin Olmedo ]

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”
[ Orison Swett Marden ]

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
[ Dale Carnegie ]

“There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.”
[ Clare Boothe Luce ]


Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
[ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ].




If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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