Tag Archives: Choices

The Real Question

We ask, “Where does God fit into the story of my life?”
when the real question is,
“Where does my little life fall into the great story of God’s mission?”

~ Christopher J. H. Wright

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Christianity, God's Will, influence with the world, Motivation, Religion and Spirituality, Surrender, Worldview

The Lover of our Souls

Sometimes I fear we are like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. Throughout the entire story, Rhett Butler tried to win her heart, but Scarlett was smitten by the milquetoast Ashley Wilkes. Finally, as the story comes to a close, Rhett walks away in frustration. “I feel sorry for you, Scarlett,” he declares. “You are throwing away love with both hands and grabbing for that which will never love you.”

As I watched the movie, I kept thinking, Doesn’t she see how much Rhett really loves her? He’d move heaven and earth to please her, if she would but let him. Why is she going after someone who would never make her truly happy? And we are Scarlett, ignoring the only one who can make us truly happy and chasing after figments of our imagination…things that will never make us happy—milquetoast lovers who pale in the shadow of the Lover of our soul.

Of course, in the end, Scarlett realizes her love for Rhett and runs home to tell him so. But it is too late. As with most analogies, this one has a fatal flaw: Jesus will never throw up his hands and walk away. “Here I am!” Jesus says. “I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20).

~Excerpted from A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes

Adam and Eve had everything they could possibly want there in the garden that God lovingly provided. But they believed the lie of Satan that there was more to be had; if they would just ditch God and take matters into their own hands.

Mankind has followed suit ever since spending our time and resources chasing after love and joy and peace in all the things that can’t really provide it.

The deepest, truest longing in our soul is for the kind of love and acceptance that only God can provide. Everything else in life and everyone else comes in a distant second place.

And yet we keep pursuing second place things and people to try to fill that void. Like Scarlett we chase after imitation love when the real thing is offered to us in Christ Jesus by the grace of God.

May we give ourselves today to be embraced by the Lover of our souls.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Christianity, God, intimacy with the Lord, Love of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God

As quickly as God…

“Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly
as God in Christ forgave you.”

~ Ephesians 4:32 (MSG)

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Christianity, Conflict, CS Lewis, Forgiveness, God, Grace, Loving others, Mercy, Religion and Spirituality

A Declaration of Trust

Notice what the psalmist DIDN’T say…

“This is the day that I have made…”

“This is the day when every circumstance will go the way I want…”

“This is the day when no obstacles or people will interfere with my plans…”

The psalmist is making a declaration of trust in God’s sovereign agenda.

We don’t know what this new day or new week will hold.

  • Unexpected obstacles.
  • Financial struggles.
  • Relational issues.
  • Health concerns or perhaps even the death of a loved one.

But nothing that comes at us will be a surprise to God. Life is His story, not ours, and we can choose to trust Him with the unknown and the unexpected. We can make a declaration of trust.

God has not promised a problem-free life or even a quick solution to every difficult circumstance that we might face; but He has promised to be with us always – through everything that life throws at us.

And God’s presence is better than any earthly blessing!

“This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Christianity, Divine presence, Faith, God, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God

I’m gonna live to be…

I’m gonna live to be 85… according to the Longevity Calculator.

You can click the link below and answer a series of just 13 simple questions to find out how long you can expect to live.

It was developed by Northwestern Mutual Life; though of course it comes with no guarantees or promises.

But before you try it, let me ask you something. If you could actually know exactly how much longer you would live on this earth, would you want to know?

What would you do with one week, one month, or one year left to live? What would you change or do differently?

I once heard Tony Campolo mention this years ago. He suggested that if you are living your life centered on God then you wouldn’t need or want to change anything about how you are living life.

One last question.

How will you live today since it could be your last day on earth?

Longevity Calculator – http://media.nmfn.com/tnetwork/lifespan/

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Christianity, Death, God's Will, Health & Wellness, Priorities, Religion and Spirituality

Obedience to biblical principles can be wrong?

It’s a surprising thought, and not a little disturbing, that obedience to biblical principles can be wrong. But when doing right is a strategy to get what we want, our energy is pride and our focus is self. ~ Larry Crabb in The Pressure’s Off

Think about it.

We live in a world absorbed with linear thinking. If I do A then I get B as a result. It’s simple cause and effect.

If I want to enjoy dessert then I must eat my vegetables or clear my plate.

If I want to avoid another spanking then I will pick up my toys.

If I wear the right clothes or am a standout athlete then I’ll be popular in school.

If I dress and look and talk a certain way then I’ll get the guy/girl I want to go out with me.

If I get good grades in school then I’ll have a better chance at a good career.

Linear thinking – cause and effect – has its place, but not in relationships. When we apply this principle to getting what we want from people we are manipulating them. And regardless of the outcome… it’s wrong!

This same thought process is especially dangerous in our relationship with God.

“If I read my bible regularly and pray and tithe and volunteer and ________ (fill in the blank), then God will (must) bless me with the good things of life.”

Really? Where is that written?

But I’ve been faithful to You God, why…
… did my spouse leave me?”
… is my kid rebelling?”
… are we struggling with finances?”
… are we experiencing a health crisis?”

It’s not always obvious but it’s often there just below the surface; this notion that God owes us certain blessings.

I don’t think that Jesus is opposed to such blessings in our lives, but when we seek those blessings from God more than we seek God Himself then we are committing idolatry.

And following biblical principles in order to secure blessings from God is a cheap attempt to manipulate and control God.

Jesus said that real life is being in relationship with the Father. This is what eternity in heaven is all about but it starts right here and now.

Forgives us Lord and stir our passions for wanting You more than anything or anyone else in life.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Bible, Choices, Christianity, Desire, Eternity, God, Heaven, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Loving God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Scripture

Fix our eyes on…

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Eternity, Faith, Kingdom of God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation