All Posts By

Jonathan Hoover

Wise, Foolish, and Evil People – How Can You Tell the Difference?

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Ministry, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Years ago, Dr. Henry Cloud introduced me to the idea that there are three kinds of people in this world: wise, foolish, and evil. I love that observation! It comes straight from the book of Proverbs where the Bible outlines the difference between each of these life paths. The wise person is headed for a bright and exciting future, the fool a life of hardship and frustration, and the evil person a fittingly disastrous and tragic end.

This is very important for those of us who parent, coach, lead teams, supervise, hire, fire, or are in any other type of authority role. We need to be able to quickly recognize the difference between these life patterns, because they massively impact the future of our families, teams, and organizations. Read More

Free to Live What I Believe?

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This article is quite a bit different from the posts I normally write.  I usually blog about marriage, leadership, family issues, or personal growth; current events commentary isn’t exactly my gig.  But when I started the blog, I mentioned that I would also talk about “life challenges”.  And this post addresses something that is a personal challenge for me.  As a husband, dad, and pastor, I’ve grown increasingly concerned by our government’s tendency to punish those who live by traditional views of gender and sexuality.  And when I read Target’s recent statement about bathroom usage, I decided it was time to address the issue on the blog.  This post represents my opinion, and I have tried diligently to keep the ideas and wording thoughtful, balanced, and graciously stated.

Religious freedom is a big issue right now. Watchdog groups on both sides of the issue spend tireless hours trying to make sure their side of the debate is protected. Those who feel that religion has no place in public discourse or the “secular” world have, for instance, fought hard to remove the Ten Commandments from government related spaces, even if the display in question is considered a piece of artwork or a historical monument. They continually pursue the idea that public schools and universities should be religion-free zones, and one by one, any remaining vestiges of faith-based life have been pulled from the education system. They suggest removal of the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance, the motto “In God We Trust” on American coinage, and the phrase “so help me, God” in many public oaths. On the far opposite side, I sometimes meet individuals who feel strongly that religion–their religion–should be embedded in the government’s gear work. I recently read a post on social media from an individual who insisted that it was time for our government to start “legislating from the Bible.”

I suggest that it’s important for all of us to take a balanced and pragmatic look at the issue before we go too far in either direction. Read More

The Defense Won’t Rest

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | 2 Comments
David and Stacy have a real challenge when it comes to communicating. Neither of them ever feel they are truly heard by the other. When they discuss points of conflict, they automatically default to arguing mode; they completely miss the opportunity to share their true feelings with each other. When they talk, defensiveness rules. They refuse to admit responsibility for causing their spouse pain, and instead, they place blame back on the other.

Read More

the “Believer”

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Henry Ford changed the world.  He didn’t invent the automobile, but he figured out how to design, build, and mass-produce one that America could afford and wanted to drive.

He was undeniably brilliant, with a mind that seemed to be custom-built for the industrial age.  He was at once an inventor, designer, and production engineer.  If he hadn’t been a dreamer as well, he might have ended up just another cog in the fast-growing machine of industry.  But in the early days of Ford’s adult life, he did have a dream.  A big one.

When not at work, he spent endless hours in a little garage in which he and a few friends endlessly tinkered and experimented with the technologies they believed could combine to create a working prototype vehicle.  In those days, Ford was just another hobbyist, playing around with the dream of building a car.  He was not the billionaire captain of industry that we now think of when we think of Ford.  He was not internationally respected as a pioneer of mechanics.  He was just a man spending his evening hours mucking around in oil and grease, trying out ideas that might or might not lead to something. Read More

What Do You Think of Me?

By | Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Ministry, Relationships | No Comments
A few nights ago, I was taking my wife to get a cup of coffee at the local Panera.  I was getting ready to turn left into the parking lot, but waiting for the traffic to clear, when I heard a horn honking from behind me.

As I looked in my rear view mirror, I could see a lady in the minivan motioning for me to move into what she obviously thought was a turning lane.  It wasn’t.  I had a double yellow line, and if I’d moved into the lane she was suggesting, I might have been in the path of oncoming traffic.

I quickly responded by glaring into the rear view mirror and giving this lady my best “Look lady, I’m following the laws of the road.  If you don’t like waiting on me to turn, why don’t you just go around?” face.  Somehow I don’t think she got the message.  She responded with her best “You’re an idiot” face.

This, of course, happened within the span of just a few seconds.  Very quickly, the cross lane cleared and I was able to turn into the parking lot and park.

What surprised me was how hard it was to let those few seconds go.  What if that lady did think I was an idiot?  I thought.

Read More

After Betrayal: Does Forgiving Someone Mean You Have to Trust Them Again?

By | Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments

“Forgive and forget” may be one of the most unfortunate phrases that has somehow seeped into our cultural dialogue.  It makes forgiving someone a very difficult (and potentially risky) task.  It asks the person who was harmed or betrayed to somehow make believe that one of the most terrible moments in their life didn’t happen.  In essence, to “forgive and forget” means that the offended party should somehow mentally undo the damage the other person has done.  Not only is this virtually impossible, it is unwise. Read More

Before You Say Yes…

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges | No Comments
Don’t you love that feeling of a promising new opportunity?  There’s terrific excitement packed into that new job offer, new dating relationship, new house, or new business partnership.  But sometimes the excitement of new possibilities can eclipse our common sense. Read More

Book Review – The Entitlement Cure by Dr. John Townsend

By | Authors and Books, Book Reviews, Leadership, Life Challenges, Relationships | No Comments
A couple of years ago I was attending a one-week intensive training for counselors led by Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud.  Dr. Townsend was in the middle of a lecture when he mentioned that he was working on a new book.
“I’m writing a book about the fact that the hard way is usually the right way…” he said, “I’m going to address the issue of entitlement, and what it costs our lives, our families, and our culture.”
Immediately, I knew I had to get my hands on this book.  This topic was screaming to be addressed.  And I knew if anyone could do it well, it was Dr. Townsend.

Read More