No, I Will Not Forgive You!

Extending forgiveness sucks when someone hurts you. It’s hard, and in certain situations, feels impossible. I’m learning there is no clear cut path to forgiveness, but there are a few steps that we can begin to take.

forgive, forgiveness, hurt, pain, suffering

This year I was deeply hurt by someone very close to me. To this day I can still hear his words echoing in my head. Words that ripped me apart and left my heart in pieces. And to think, this was coming from someone I loved, trusted, and respected. (more…)

Have We Lost The Art of Silence

We live in a very noisy world. It’s a truth you don’t often realize until you find yourself in a quiet place. Silence is almost deafening. It feels awkward and unnatural. But I’m beginning to learn that the art of silence is life changing.

silence

For as long as I can remember I have slept with a fan on. The reason I do is not to keep cool. It’s so the room isn’t completely silent. I’m not sure when I started doing this, but I have come to live by it. (more…)

Why Accepting Your Story Is So Important

I love stories. I’ll listen to anything Don Miller teaches about story. I try to be a better storyteller. I even named my daughter story. So when it comes to living my story I’m learning that it is very easy for me to change myself into a character I was never meant to be.

story, Darren A Cooper, Personal Development, pain, growth

When I was in junior high there were a couple of kids in my class I wanted as friends. They seemed cool and fun to hang around. All of my other classmates respected them and I wanted to be just like them.  (more…)

How To Embrace Your Pain

Stop and think about the last time you thought about pain in a way that was positive. You probably haven’t. No, pain is something we try to avoid at all costs. But what if we began to see the purpose in our pain and started using it to fuel us forward? I believe it’s possible.

pain, personal development, Darren A Cooper,

I don’t have a very high pain tolerance. In fact, growing up I was alway more worried about getting hurt than having a fun adventure. From bicycle ramps to tackle football, I was good just watching from the sidelines.  (more…)

How 3 Simple Questions Can Change Your Perspective

Recently I stumbled across Proverbs 19:21 that says, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Before I could even finish reading the verse I was struck with the truth of these words. My “plan A” seems to have turned into “plan C, D, and E”. But does that really mean I have “missed it”?

perspective

This week I have been asking myself some pretty tough questions. I feel as if I am the sum total of failed plans. From my college major choices to my first career path, everything seems to have been met with closed doors that left me in a pile of ashes on the floor. (more…)

How To Stand Strong Through The Storms of Life

Believe it or not, I am not the essence of fitness. Far from it really. But as I begin a new chapter of my life it’s something that I have to step into. Doing so brought an unexpected thought on how to deal with the storms of life.

storms of life, darren a cooper, personal development, productivity, faith

There I was giving it everything I had. The sweat was pouring from every inch of my body. Muscles hurt that I didn’t even know I had. There were only three sets left, but all I could think of was how badly I was hurting. (more…)

What To Do When You Feel Like You’ve Missed Your Mark

There’s a theme that runs through my life where I constantly find myself wondering if I will ever “get there”. The feeling that success is just beyond my reach and I have missed the mark. Although this feeling is a regular occurrence, I was challenged to rethink this idea through a highly unlikely source.

personal development, productivity, darren a cooper, create, create your art

There I was, my finger hovering just above the confirm button on my iPhone. I wasn’t sure what to do, but curiosity had gotten the best of me and I wanted to see what this little adventure brought me. After a few moments of uncertainty, I decided to go for it. (more…)

What To Do As You Stand At The Starting Line

Some of the toughest decisions we face in our life are whenever we first step up to a starting line. Once we get going we’re alright, but those first few steps are always the scariest. In fact, some of us don’t even start. But if you truly desire to make an impact on this world you are going to have to risk moving beyond the starting line.

personal development, start, jump, Darren A Cooper, leadership, growth, productivity

If you hang around me for any length of time you will find out one glaring truth. I am a chicken. This especially rings true when it comes time to jumping into any type of river, lake, or pool.  (more…)

3 Truths to Remember When You Make a Mistake

When you are leading worship there is so much to be thinking about. Chord progressions. Upcoming lyrics. If the drummer will land the next fill. (Sorry drummers…easy target.) But what happens when we miss the mark and completely blow it? I have a few thoughts and they might not just be for worship leaders, but for all of us.

mistakes, worship leading, leadership, darren a cooper

I remember convincing myself that I didn’t need a lyric sheet. I had done these songs a thousand times. It was a simple 3 songs set that ended with the classic song, Jesus Paid It All. The band was rehearsed. Our transitions were perfect. We were ready to go. (more…)

How to Survive The Valley of Shadow of Death

In today’s world, we are bombarded by fear, pain, and tragedy. Uncertainty in our political climate. Multiple mass shootings. Leadership scandals. They all lead us down a path that that ends with us questioning who God is and if he really loves us like he says. So what do we do when we find ourselves walking in the Valley of the Shadow of Death? It’s never easy, but there is hope. Let’s talk about how to get there.

Death, Darren A Cooper,

Growing up I always heard that God would never give you more than you could handle. I believed this to be true. Then again, my life didn’t have many bumps in the road so it was easy to believe. But as I get older I see more and more tragedy. Pain that passes my own understanding. My questions get bigger and my faith is forced to grow. (more…)