Who is Jon Stolpe? I’m so glad you asked.
In a recent survey, many of you said that you wanted to hear from normal people living a rich life. Not that our other guests are abnormal, but I think I know what you meant. Culturally we believe that celebrities, best-selling authors, and well-known individuals are somehow different from you and me. Maybe their social status, income, or popularity is exaggerated, but they’re still just normal people.
What I want this show to highlight is that a rich life is not defined by external things. And nothing against Jon, he’s an amazing man of God, an incredible husband, father, and employer. More than anything, that’s what I want you to see. A rich life is defined by internal qualities and characteristics, decisions and choices we make every day.
Jon is making those decisions.
Jon lives just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is an engineer and graduate of Grove City College. Jon and his wife have been married for eighteen years and they have two children: a sixteen year-old daughter and fourteen year-old son.
With the demands of life, Jon and his wife find themselves saying yes quite a bit.
A good resource to saying no is Dr. Henry Cloud’s Necessary Endings.
Jon loves to run and makes a habit to rise early every day, a consistent habit of individuals living a rich life.
Jon, tell us about a time when you’ve been broken.
A few years ago, my wife received a difficult medical diagnosis which really changed our life. I remember talking with my family and just saying, “I have no idea how I’m going to handle this.”
God places people in your life who pick you up when you can’t pick yourself up. I’m learning that it’s ok to ask for help. So many people don’t want to give up control, but God has placed people here to help us.
Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should look, not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Jon, who has invested in you?
I think of my parents and in-laws as well as the youth leaders at my church and my wife and kids.
One person that really comes to mind is my boss, Craig. We’ve worked together for sixteen years and he’s just gone to bat for me and encouraged me to go after dreams I’ve had. But he’s also helped support my family as we’ve pursued international missions in Guatemala.
I’m just really appreciative for someone like that.
Jon, this just hit me. Sometimes you have to allow people to invest in you, you agree?
It’s like a relay race, we have to take the baton, but we also have to give up the baton.
Jon, tell us about your writing.
In high school, I grew almost a foot and gained the nickname Stretch. So, my blog is called Stretched and I talk about being personally, professionally, and spiritually stretched.
I recently wrote a book called On Track: Lessons from Track and Field as well.
Jon, what speaks to me is that you’re taking incredible initiative to pour into the lives of others, what a testimony of obedience.
Even at work, I was able to speak at a manager’s meeting. So it’s awesome to see how the message spreads.
Jon, tell us about something you’re grateful for which most people aren’t.
I was brainstorming this and I thought about being grateful for weeds. When my wife went into the hospital, our yard became overrun with weeds. When you don’t take care of your lawn, weeds take over. Weeds aren’t fun, but it’s easy to let weeds take root. I believe we need to be intentional about keeping the weeds out of our life; reading scripture and surround ourselves with people who will hold us accountable.
Also, I hate our weekly budget meetings, but they’re necessary. So, I’m grateful to talk with my wife about these very important topics. I hope we can be an example for others.
Quote: “Weeds remind you of the things you need to care for in your life.”
Jon, it sounds like you’re familiar with the phrase, humble yourself with confidence. What does that mean to you?
You know, so many times we want to rely on our own strength, but so many times, we don’t have control. Whether it’s an illness or a struggle economically, we need to lean into others and lean into God.
A couple of years ago, I began reading the Psalms. That book of the Bible was made for life. I found it so encouraging. There’s a humility in saying, “I can’t fix this.”
What radiates to me from the Psalms is how confident David often is in the Lord. Do you have a particular Psalm?
I can’t pull up on immediately, but there’s so many that talk about God being our Rock and our Fortress.
Jon, what does it mean to be rich?
Obviously I’d love to make a ton of money, but that’s not what richness is all about; there’s certainly more to life. I think our families, our friends, and our relationships make a rich life.
In Colossians it talks about making the most of every opportunity. I think a rich life is marked by making the most of every opportunity. Those people have an internal bank account. I always think about, who are we taking with us when we go to heaven?
When you think about monetary wealth, you can’t take it with you, but you can take people with you.
Jon, do you have a rich tip for us?
I really think it comes down to trusting God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” It doesn’t guarantee you won’t have ups and downs, but it means that God is going to go with you. We could paraphrase that as, God will make your life rich.
Find Jon Stolpe at:
Facebook and Twitter @jonstolpe
Go tell Jon what’s stretching you!