Tag Archives: Relationship with God

Learn to enjoy his presence.

John Ortberg“Many Christians expend so much energy and worry trying not to sin. The goal is not to try to sin less. In all your efforts to keep from sinning, what are you focusing on? Sin. God wants you to focus on him. To be with him. “Abide in me.” (John 15:4) Just relax and learn to enjoy his presence. Every day is a collection of moments, 86,400 seconds in a day. How many of them can you live with God? Start where you are and grow from there. God wants to be with you every moment.”
~ John Ortberg in Soul Keeping

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, intimacy with the Lord, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Prayer… are you listening?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under A W Tozer, intimacy with the Lord, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

God can be trusted!

God can be trusted

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under God, Love of God, Quote, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Resurrection, Trusting God

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday… Why Bother?

Maundy Thursday 2Growing up in the Catholic Church I’m sure we attended on some of the days that are special according to the church calendar but I don’t recall. Then in my late teens I surrender my life to Christ Jesus and was part of an independent Christian Church that didn’t observe such days except for Easter and Christmas.

Fast forward three decades and for the last few years I’ve pastored a church that does participate in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services; and I’ve come to appreciate them very much.

Enduring a power outage gives you a new appreciation for electricity and all the comforts that come with it. And not surprisingly, the longer our gap of no power lasts, the greater our appreciation for it grows.

New depths of disappointment tend to be followed by new heights of joy.

In a similar way, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday develop in us a greater appreciation for Easter. They are opportunities for us to experience and contemplate some of what the disciples must have experienced with Jesus during His final hours …

  • Their excitement of gathering together for the Passover Meal, wondering if Jesus was about to take the throne and restore Israel to a state of independence…
  • Their uncertainty when Jesus led them to the garden to pray …
  • Their shock when Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested like a common criminal…
  • Their disbelief and utter horror as their teacher, the one they’d left everything to follow, was being tortured and nailed to a cross…

But then Sunday comes and with it the empty grave! How can we begin to describe the powerful emotions that must have swept over them with all that was going on?

Making time to participate in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services helps to develop in us an even greater appreciation for Easter and the hope that was born again when Jesus conquered death!

Find some services at a church near you or locate some resources online to reflect on what took place so many years ago. And then celebrate Easter like never before!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Easter, Good Friday, Jesus, Lent, Maundy Thursday, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Breathless Expectation

Certain of God - Oswald Chambers

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adventure, Discipleship, Faith, God, intimacy with the Lord, Oswald Chambers, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God

Always in His gaze

Refining SilverThe woman asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. “Oh yes!” he replied. “I cannot take my eyes off the silver. If it is left in the furnace even a moment too long, it will be destroyed.” The woman suddenly understood the beauty and comfort of Malachi 3:3: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

Yes, there are times when it seems as if we will be swallowed whole by the fires of hell itself. The pain seems too hard to bear. The fear is paralyzing. The doubt is overwhelming and the questions flood our hearts and minds…

Our trials are not random persecutions. Heaven is not in a panic. Where we are and what we are going through is no surprise to God. We may be knocked down and kicked around by life, but if we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we will not be destroyed.

~ Excerpted from Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Encouragement, Faith, God, Grief, Hope, intimacy with the Lord, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Suffering, Trusting God

God’s Invitation to Take a Vacation

Prayer - Does It Make Any Difference“Be still and know that I am God”: the Latin imperative for “be still” is vacate. As Simon Tugwell explains, “God invites us to take a holiday [vacation], to stop being God for a while, and let him be God.” Too often we think of prayer as a serious chore, something that must be scheduled around other appointments, shoehorned in among other pressing activities. We miss the point, says Tugwell: “God is inviting us to take a break, to play truant. We can stop doing all those important things we have to do in our capacity as God, and leave it to him to be God.” Prayer allows me to admit my failures, weaknesses, and limitations to One who responds to human vulnerability with infinite mercy.
~ Philip Yancey in Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Philip Yancey, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Rest, Trusting God

When do you think most about God?

Moses lost the chance to lead the people of God into the promised land because of his anger. (I can relate to the anger thing) But before he died he challenged them to remember and honor God’s commands once they possessed the land. He was concerned that a comfortable lifestyle would interfere with their desire for God.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ~ Deuteronomy 8:10-14

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

He was right to be concerned. Life did get cozy and they did forget God. Then when life unraveled they cried out to God for help and He rescued them. We see this roller coaster pattern over and over and over again in this period of Israel’s history. But I see the same pattern today, even in myself.

According to Philip Yancey, “Alexandr Solzhenitsyn says that he first learned to pray in a Siberian concentration camp. He turned to prayer because he had no other hope. Before his arrest, when things were going well, he had seldom given God a thought.”

So let me pose the question that struck at the heart of the matter and greatly challenged me.

Do you think most about God when things are going  well or when you are in trouble?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under God, intimacy with the Lord, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

I pray because…

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under CS Lewis, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation

Prayer is…

prayer-mother-teresa

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, Mother Teresa, Prayer, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Surrender