Chapters of Our Lives

Have you ever looked at others in and around your life and sort of, well, secretly coveted where they were in their lives and wished that you were where they were or had what they had? Come on, let’s be honest. Haven’t you wondered what it would be like to be further along in your life where you could be living from the fruit of your labors NOW, instead of in the future?

For all of us who are living in the real world, the answer is a huge – and quite possibly a little resentfully – YES! I mean, who would not want to be further along in accomplishing their goals, having their dream soulmate, or experiencing an abundance of worldly success? I know I have.

Here is what God has spoken to me concerning my life journey. I hope that it will speak to your heart as well. Never negate the value of your life and how it can positively affect the world around you. He can use you exactly where you are in life, doing exactly what you are doing, and and all of it is a part of His continual preparation and refining of your life for the great things He has called you to.

David Ward Quote - Life ChaptersNo matter how painful, how revealing, how embarrassing or humbling your life has been in recent times; no matter how sad, how tragic, how great, or even how average it may seem to be. Your life matters and your story matters. 

You were created for things that are exceedingly abundantly above and beyond anything that you can ask or even think. Live every day with focused intent on discovering what you were put on earth to do. Resist the temptation of coveting another person’s story, and keep writing your own story.

Your story is a masterpiece and best seller that God will use to change the world around you, and bring glory to Him. Keep writing your own story by living your life for God and doing those things you know you have been called to do. The chapters of your life will fill up your book, and it will be a great read!

The Paradox of Our Age

 

Dr. Bob Moorehead’s essay The Paradox of Our Age has been quoted countless times and attributed to several others as their original quotes. I think maybe because it is so universally true, no matter who you talk to, that our society has become the very thing he describes in his essay. Take a moment and read this and see what you think.

We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve done larger things, but not better things; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less.

Dr. Moreland's best seller

Dr. Moreland’s best seller

We make faster planes, but have longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lower morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorces; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stock room. Indeed, these are the times!

About the Author: Dr. Bob Moorehead is a former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church. This essay appeared under the title “The Paradox of Our Age” in Words Aptly Spoken, Dr. Moorehead’s 1995 collection of prayers, homilies, and monologues used in his sermons and radio broadcasts.

Start a Fire Down in My Soul

 

LIght a fire in your spiritual lifeCommitment means staying loyal to what you said you are going to do. Long after the mood you said it in has left you, commitment is staying the course you are on to fulfill the obligations you have made. Have you ever just been so amped up to do something, but from having to wait, your excitement and willpower begin to slowly fade? Our relationship with the Lord can be very similar. When God is present in our lives, moving, and blessing us, we are unstoppable, confident, determined. But oftentimes, when we go through times that we like to call dry seasons or valleys in our lives, we find our attitude turning from seeking diligently after God to one where we could care less about praying or picking up a bible.

Because of what Jesus has done for us, He deserves all of us – one-hundred percent of us – not a half-hearted effort out of feeling obligated to love and serve Him. Let us not surrender to complacency in our spiritual lives and allow the flame of our passion for God to burn out. I know it can be a challenge, but remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. Remember what He willingly suffered so that we would not have to!

“There hearts are like an oven, they approach him with intrigue. There passion smolders all night, in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.” (Hosea 7:6)

RER-with-dad

Me and my best friend, My Dad

Growing up, my dad continually encouraged me with these words. “Remember when you are feeling worn down and tired, and don’t feel like giving Jesus any of your day. Jesus was pretty worn down and tired when he was beaten and nailed to the cross, so that we could be forgiven and have life.” When we begin making up excuses, why we can’t fully honor or serve God and do His will in our lives, that’s when our desire for the fire of God starts fading.

I have allowed my fire to go out in my past. I have allowed my fire to go out completely, and it is not a good place to be as a Christian. There is only one place that we can get the fire of God from. It comes directly from our surrender to God and pressing into Him in worship, prayer, and meditation on His Word. We cannot get “on fire for God” looking for it in other people, activities, materials, pastors or even in church communities. It only comes from personally seeking God with all of our heart and mind.

When your desire to burn hot for God exceeds everything else, this is when you become solid in your faith. This is when your thinking begins to align with God’s thoughts, and your daily Christian walk begins to flourish. We must continuously be in a intimate relationship with the Lord, and actively fueling the fire on the altar of our hearts with His word, in prayer and through continual worship. Leviticus 6:12 encourages us saying, “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning add firewood. The fire must be kept burning, the fire must never go out.” Our hearts are the altar and the fire is the result of our constant pursuit of God. This is how the fire in our hearts towards God is kindled and kept ablaze. I desire to see people so filled with the love of God, it’s like fire shut up in their bones! Do you crave such an abundance?

In 2 Samuel 6:14, we read that David was dancing before the Lord with all his might. When we allow our hearts to be overtaken by the Spirit of God like David, our hearts become so engulfed with the power of God’s love, that we can no longer hold it in. Like David being so overwhelmed with God’s presence, we just have to dance with all our might to let it out. Sometimes I get so full of God’s presence that He begins pouring out of me in praise and singing. It is a wonderful place to be.

Altar of our heart on fireI’m always stirring the flames of my heart throughout the day, speaking the word over my life, sharing my testimony, singing praises, or praying. I want my passion burning so strong, people say, her fires uncontainable, and can see my flame from miles away. Let this become your daily challenge in your pursuit of God. Begin building the fire of God on he altar of your heart right now. Begin stirring the flames right now through a renewed commitment and devotion to he Word of God, to consistent prayer, and ongoing worship of God!

Allow God to ignite the fire in the areas of your life where you have allowed the fire of God to grow dim.

Allow God to ignite the fire in the areas of your life where you have allowed the fire of God to grow dim. Trust Him to give your heart a renewed flame that burns so hot, and so brightly and strong for you that darkness can no longer have its way in your life and the world can be led to the Light of God’s love through you.

Finding Help in Time of Need

Have you ever woken up and looked out at the world from your bed, and just wanted to bury your head under the covers and wish the day would pass you by so that you did not have to deal with all that was surrounding your life at that moment in your life? Come on. Admit it. We all have, well, except for the liars who are reading this. It is just human nature to want to avoid conflict and cirsumstances that leave us feeling angry, annoyed, weary, beaten up, abused or frustrated.  I know that I have at times, even when to the world (my public face AKA my outer facade of “Mr. Got It All Together”) I am calm, cool, and collected.

It can be overwhelming at times, even for someone who professes Christ as their Savior and Lord.  And, quite honestly, I personally could not  face some of those things I have had to face in my life, and still must face in my own life, if I did not have Jesus Christ in my life. Call me a whimp before men, but I need Jesus. Maybe you are like me in this way, maybe not, but I want to encourage you right now in that place you are in.

If you are not a Christ follower, some of this might not make sense to you, but please take a moment and at very least, read the Scriptures below. They are filled with hope for you, and they are Living! For my brothers and sisters, hear what the Spirit is saying.

G-d is stretching His people and stripping away the things of this world that are holding them back from HIS BEST for them. He is beginning to separate the wheat from the tares within the Church, and saying to His Bride, “Come away with Me and let me give you counsel and comfort and encouragement in this dark and perverse time before my return.’

“You who have been made weary in your own efforts, in your own stength, but My strength is a stong and sustaining strength that I want to give you. Even though you are weary in this time, KNOW that I the Lord am strong, and I AM your refuge and your comforter if you choose to run into my arms.’

“If you seek Me you will find favor and Life and ressurrection power, MY ressurrection power, and it will be in you to overcome the world because I have overcome the world. Your time is near when you will receive your breakthrough. I know of temptation. I know of dismay and of sorrow. I understand frustration. I understand betrayal. I know of all of these things that you face in your life right now. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I AM with you. Seek only My face and My voice and not the voice of men or angels. Seek ME alone and find your deliverance.’

Thus says the Lord of Hosts to His children.

Brothers, sisters, and those of you who read this now, DO NOT think for a moment that the LIVING G-D of ISRAEL does not see and know of your circumstances and DESIRES to help you in your time of need. Do you feel stretched? Do you feel torn and ragged and worn out? Do you want to cry? If you do, CRY OUT TO THE LORD who saves us from all our calamities and from destruction. Know this, that YOUR BREAKTHROUGH is coming. Do not give up and do not allow thoughts (those from the evil one) to tell you that you are worthless, useless, unappreciated, unbeautiful, or unredeemable. IT IS A LIE!!! You are none of these things, because G-d does not make junk or trash or refuse. YOU ARE HIS TREASURE!!! And, you are a ‘thing’ that HE LOVES DEEPLY!!! Hear the Word of the Lord!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you”, says the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall you call upon Me, and you shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And you shall seek Me, and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart.”

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not; for I am with you. Be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.

Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Be encouraged today, and share this message with others that need encouragement. YOU could be the hope they need to endure, and your sharing this encouragement may very well be their salvation from all they are under or struggling with – even when they do not show it.