Tag Archives: Divine presence

In the Silence

Deck into the woods“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”
~ Mother Teresa

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Filed under Christianity, Divine presence, God, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality

Like a Treasure Buried

This Beautiful Mess“Jesus’ kingdom invites us to immerse ourselves in the whole gospel He came to preach. We get to listen and consider and think through the staggering possibilities of kingdom living as Jesus taught it. The practical promise of our faith journey together is this: as we live in fidelity to Christ the King, His in-breaking reign will have a transformational effect on us, our communities, and our world. Anything less is not what Jesus came to earth to tell.

In a mysterious yet absolutely real way, the kingdom of Jesus is here now and in power. Like gravity or high-frequency radio waves, this kingdom doesn’t require our attention or consent in order to exist. It just is. Still, I think you’ll find that we have to learn—and deeply want—to see and imagine in new ways. Otherwise we’ll miss it. So many have. Because it is like a treasure buried.”

~ Excerpted from This Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley

“Lord, may Your Spirit make me sensitive to your activities today so that I can be a part of furthering Your kingdom here on earth.”

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Discipleship, Divine presence, God, Holy Spirit, influence with the world, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation

Whom Shall I Fear – Chris Tomlin

This has quickly become one of my favorite worship songs and is a powerful profession of faith in God.

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The story behind this song is amazing!

What is it that you need to trust God about today?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Chris Tomlin, Christianity, Divine presence, Faith, God, Music Video, Praise, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God, Worship

The Focus of Your Life

More Jesus - Less Religion - Book CoverWhen Jesus walked this earth, he worked to get the focus off “good” people doing what appeared to be “good things” and to get their focus back on God. Many people in first-century Israel were pointing to the rules; Jesus pointed to a God who wanted a relationship with his people. Religious professionals focused on the law; Jesus focused on the Lawgiver who knew our hearts and offered us grace in the midst of our failures.

A healthy, growing faith is always focused on the person of God himself, not on cheap substitutes. A healthy faith begins and ends in God, not in rules or regulations or sheer, raw duty. Jesus, not religion, is at the core of a robust Christian faith.

Today Jesus offers you and me the same opportunity he gave to those people in the early church. Oh, we can still perform and conform out of obligation. We can still try to feel good by all the “good deeds” we chalk up.

Or we can love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. We can experience his love and come to know him intimately. We can stop hiding behind our facades of religious order and meet him right where we are. We can focus on him and find sanity, rest, and peace when all hell seems to be breaking out around us.

I urge you to experience for yourself his love and acceptance. Grow closer to him and choose him because you truly love him. Make him—not your “good deeds” nor anyone or anything else—the focus of your life.

I promise…you will never regret it.

~ Excerpted from More Jesus, Less Religion by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton

What will be the focus of our life in this new week?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Choices, Christianity, Divine presence, God, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Love of God, Loving God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Oh Church, where art thou?

“The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.”
~ Ephesians 1:23 (The Message)

practicing-the-presence-of-god

God longs to fill every nook and cranny  of this earth with His presence. Every home in every neighborhood. Every classroom in every school. Every office in every building. Every store in every city.

Everywhere!

And the way that God intends to accomplish such an enormous task is by sending you and me out into our little part of the world to take His presence with us wherever we go.

Suppose someone asks you about the location of the church you’re a part of; how would you reply?

Would you simply give them a street address or would you tell them that it depends on the day and time.

On Monday morning the church is:

  • Teaching in a classroom…
  • Driving a supply truck…
  • Answering phones in an office…
  • Nurturing children in the home…
  • Carrying books to class…
  • Tending to the needs of patients…
  • Drawing up house plans…
  • Filling a prescription…

Wherever it is that you and I are going today; whatever it is that we are doing; God wants us to be His presence – His hands and feet of grace and truth and love to those we encounter along the way.

Will we be the church today?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Church, Divine presence, God, influence with the world, Religion and Spirituality

Can every day be an adventure?

Wild Goose ChaseWhen we don’t pace ourselves, we tend to miss divine appointments right and left. In fact, they seem like human interruptions. We get so consumed with trying to get where we think God wants us to go that we put on spiritual blinders and miss the Goose trails He wants to take us down. The key is slowing down your pace, taking off your sandals, and experiencing God right here, right now.

…Spiritual maturity has less to do with long-range visions than it does with moment-by-moment sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And it is our moment-by-moment sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that turns life into an everyday adventure.
~ Excerpted from Wild Goose Chase   by Mark Batterson

I know!

I get it!

Most of the stuff that fills our days seems like anything BUT an adventure.

  • The same job…
  • The same spouse and kids…
  • The same co-workers…
  • The same neighbors…
  • The same house chores…
  • The same ol’ same ol’…

But what if these ordinary, everyday circumstances are not the main ingredient to life being an adventure?

If God is “with us always” as Jesus promised then He is with us even in the midst of these seemingly mundane moments. And how can any moment where God’s presence is available be anything but an adventure?

Perhaps we are too focused on our circumstances and not focused enough on learning to live in the awareness of God’s presence?

May today be a brand new adventure with God!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adventure, Christianity, Discipleship, Divine presence, God, Holy Spirit, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Countless Wonders by Chris Tomlin

Declaring the glory of God!

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~ From the CD Burning Lights by Chris Tomlin

If the video doesn’t play go here.

Note: The maker of the video got one word wrong – “of” instead of “all” – but this is by far the best video of the song I’ve seen so far. Hope it touched your heart as much as it did mine!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Divine presence, Glory of God, God, Inspiration, Jesus, Love of God, Music Video, Praise, Religion and Spirituality, Worship

Are we willing to be loved?

Lazarus AwakeningWhen my husband proposed to me so many years ago, I didn’t say, “Wait a minute, John.  Do you have any idea what you’re getting into?”  I didn’t pull out a list of reasons why he couldn’t possibly love me or a rap sheet detailing my inadequacies to prove why he shouldn’t—although there were and are many.

No way! I just threw my arms open wide and accepted his love.  I would have been a fool to turn down an offer like that.

I wonder what would happen in our lives if we stopped resisting God’s love and started receiving it.  What if we stopped trying to do the math, stopped striving to earn His favor? What if we just accepted the altogether-too-good-to-be-true news that the yardstick has been broken and the Cross has opened a door to intimacy with our Maker?

For if we are ever to be His beloved, we must be willing to be loved.
~ Excerpted from Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

It is one thing to understand the love of God and quite another to experience it first-hand in the very center of your being. And being embraced by the love of God is no small matter. In Ephesians 3 Paul offers an amazing, bold prayer. I especially appreciate how it is rendered by Eugene Peterson in The Message.

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:14-19

I don’t know what kinds of pressures or obstacles you’re facing but whether they are internal or external I believe God’s love is bigger. And when we invite the Christ to take up residence in the very core of our being then His love fills us in a way that nothing and no one else can.

May Paul’s prayer be a reality for all of us today!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Divine presence, God, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Love of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Like Children Playing

Children playingI recall sitting in a church service with my parents when I was very young, listening to the minister invite people to come to the front for prayer. People went forward (some were crying as they did), knelt, and prayed. When they finished they returned to their seats, and I noticed a distinct change in them. They were happy and at peace. I looked to my dad for an explanation, but he only motioned me to be silent.

Finally a day came when I looked to my dad, and he bent down to speak. “Would you like to go forward?” he asked. I nodded my affirmation. Like those who had gone before, I knelt, prayed, and cried. Before long I felt better too, and I sensed the time had come to return to my seat. My dad smiled. My little world and I were at peace. I didn’t want to ever leave that place or lose that feeling…

I believe I saw the prayer time to be a form of play. It was fun. It made me feel good—just like play. And perhaps most prayer and worship begin for children as an extension of play. Maybe we should go back to that time to discover the pure joy of being in the presence of the heavenly Father. Our cares will be lighter if we relearn how to play in the presence of God, to let our prayers be an extension of the joy that comes from being with the One who knows us, loves us, and accepts us unconditionally.

~ Excerpted from Whispering in God’s Ear by Wayne Holmes

May we find delight today playing in our Father’s presence!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children of God, Christianity, Divine presence, God, God the Father, intimacy with the Lord, Joy, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

You have already won a victory

Boat

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”
~ 1 John 4:4 (NLT)

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adversity, Christianity, Divine presence, Encouragement, Faith, Holy Spirit, Inspiration, Religion and Spirituality, Scripture, Trusting God