Tag Archives: life change

Is Your Heart Thirsty?

This week, I began reading a book called “The Sacred Romance – Drawing Closer to the Heart of God”  This book was written by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge.  Now, for those that have followed my writing, you will notice that I often quote information from Ransomed Heart Ministries and books from John Eldredge and others.  While I just started this book, I felt prompted already to begin sharing.  I look forward to uncovering what else they have in this book and I’m sure I’ll be motivated to share more as I go along.   I don’t do this to copy what they doing, but I do this because I believe God has called me many times over to reach other men and beyond in their own pursuit of knowing God’s purpose for their life and pursuing life in way that is close to God and glorifies Him daily.  That’s what we are all meant to do.  To glorify God in all we do, whether the outcomes are good or bad, we have to give glory to Him.

Now in this book, the very first chapter speaks to the promptings of God through the Holy Spirit.  How He speaks with us throughout our lives to help guide our actions and where we go.  Any of you ever hear that small voice inside telling you that you need to listen to your heart because their’s something more?  It asks you if you’re thirsty for something more.  I certainly have.  No, it’s not a midlife crisis.  It’s prompting from the Holy Spirit saying letting you know that your were purposed for more.  There is something missing.

Often times, when we hear that voice, we brush it aside because we have so much more going on in our crazy lives.  We don’t have time for those thoughts.  However, later it comes back again.  You continue to hear it nag at you, so to speak.  It’s trying to get your attention until you finally stop and pay attention and decide to take action.  This voice is calling you to more.  Calling you to a life that walks closer to the heart of God.  God is always pursuing us.  The Holy Spirit, whether we walk with God daily or not, will always be there to try to get our attention.

Listen closely.  That voice will speak to you at varying times.  It may be in the middle of the night when you’re farthest away from the busy life you have during the day.  It could be at anytime.  Stop and listen.  God is talking you.  Yes, you.  He wants everyone of us to draw closer to His heart and walk in His purpose.  He wants all of us to be contagious for His Kingdom and share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.  He wants all of us to fully come alive through glorifying Him and purposing the purpose He created us for.  When we choose to change course and pursue a life that aligns to God’s purpose for you, you will see a great difference in your own life.

When the Holy Spirit asked if I was thirsty for more, the answer was most definitely yes.  “Thirsty hearts are those whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them.” – A.W. Tozer.  God has wakened me and where I am going.  I’ve chosen to plant the seeds and start on the path He called me for.  I pray that each one of you will do the same in your own lives.  Listen to the voice within.  Don’t let the craziness of this world cloud you and keep you from seeing what God purposed you for and what your calling is.   Maybe it is time for a big change to come.  Will you be strong and courageous enough to pursue it?  Are you still thirsty?

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Having the Courage to Change

I have written many times over the past year since I started this blog about changing our life’s direction and changing ourselves and where we go.  We often times find ourselves on paths that don’t seem to make a lot of sense to us and therefore can get ourselves caught in a life of complacency and not motivated.  We simply just coast along and see where the chips may fall.  Trust me, I have been in that position many times.  A life with a mindset that is complacent and not sure what needs to happen next.

I’ve also written that we all have a purpose in life.  God created each and every one of us in a unique way and with a unique purpose and path.  All of our paths are meant to glorify Him, but the path that we take are often times very different.  Ultimately, however, no matter what assignment God inspires us to do, we are meant to complete those assignments in a way that brings Him glory and continues to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through our works and how we interact with others.

What about you?  Do you find yourself fixated on the purpose of glorifying God?  Do you feel that where you are right now is doing work that God purposed you for or you do you find yourself in a spot that seems to suck at your soul and keeps your heart and mind not fixed on God.  Max Lucado said that, “You change your life by changing your heart.”  If you don’t find that God is that center, then you need to change your heart so that He is.  Once He is, then you are more prepared to do the tasks He purposes for you.

People will often sulk because their not happy with their job or where they are in life.  They sit and complain, but don’t plant the seeds they need to plant in order to move.  They don’t talk with God to see where He wants them to move and sit in misery.  Again, I’ve been there too.  You can get yourself out of cubicle world or out of that job or task that simply has no purpose or value.  Don’t let that keep you from realizing what it is God purposed you for.

Now, I know for many, change can be very difficult.  Change is hard on anyone, especially if it means doing something dramatically different than you’ve ever done.  For me, I’ve found my story has taken me on a path that enables me to share and relate with both worlds.  I know what it is like to sulk and feel life wasting away in meaningless work doing what I thought was the right thing.  Since I’ve been reborn and now see where God is leading me, I can share just how glorious that is.  No, I’m not all the way there.  It’s a long road that can be often times difficult and even test you when the world tells you what your doing is not right.

In this case, I look to Joshua 1:9, “This is my command – Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Even if we cannot see what the end result will be, and I surely don’t know how far God will lead me on this path, I know that I have to strong and courageous.  God will be with us through everything we do.  We need to not turn from Him, but rather let Him lead us.  He will always be there.  If you hear Him say it’s time to move, have faith in where He leads you.  While it may not make much sense on the surface.  He has a purpose for it and following through will show His glory that much more, not just to you, but to the world.

Is It Time to Move or Be Still?

Have you ever come to a moment where you faced a the daunting decision of making a dramatic change in your life, such as a career change?  Do you ever sit and ponder wondering what the results would be if you change and the risks that are involved in those changes?  We are often faced with the challenge of whether or not to make a big change in our life.  It could be changing jobs or career entirely, walking away from your work to do something independently, changing the church you attend, or any of a number of other things.  These big changes can have been consequences on your life, both positive and negative.  The challenge we face however is not really whether or not to change.  Often times you know it is the right calling, but the whether or not to take that leap and move.

I firmly believe that the path we take through life is all a part of God’s plan for us and each road we go down is a significant part of our spiritual journey and growth.  How we choose to manage that growth however is up to us.  We can learn from them and take our cues from God on the next steps or we can sway from that path and choose what may feel like the safe alternative.

Many people, whether they like to admit it or not, myself included, took safer paths through life building on careers doing work that seemed like the right thing to do even though it may not be what really brings you to life.  We go through this for many years and then one day through our own journey, we realize, this is not where we are meant to be.  God had another purpose for me and now that I know what it is that’s where I need to go.  The problem is that we get so caught up in the comfort that we cannot decide whether to make that change and take the risk.  We are faced with the choice of either moving or being still and staying where we are.

While every change is different and some more dramatic than others, we have a choice to make.  You can plan through it effectively or just out right leap.  Either way, my challenge is this; if you are faced with the decision of moving or being still, it is time to move.  If you pray about it regularly and you feel God telling you it is time to move, then it is time move.  Take that leap into the unknown.  It is a scary thing.  I tell you what, it scares me to change.  But that fear is from the evil one and all those that tell you that it is not right.  If you feel down deep it is right then that is you coming to life and that purpose that God created you specifically for awakening like  sleeping giant eager to burst out to the world.  Listen to your heart.  Pray on it each day and ask God to reveal his purpose to you.  It is there inside each and everyone of us, but just needs to be awakened.

This year, I’ve gone through some serious changes in my own life and how I approach my path and growth.  God revealed this door to me to share my testimony through writing to all of you and through other channels as time goes forward.  It’s been a serious transformation for me.   The change is still happening, but I know where my purpose lies now.  I made the next dramatic move a few months back by stepping away from my doctoral studies.  I realized that it was work that was building toward that safe career path, but not one that truly spoke to me.  I didn’t care how much time I had already put in.  I knew it was not the right path, so I had to step away.  Let me tell you, however, it was hard to do.  It took time, but I finally got there and made the choice.  When I did, the burden relief was huge.  I felt free to really pursue my real calling and purpose and hear I am.

We all have different callings in life.  Although I would are to say that a lot of that calling and purpose revolves around advancing God’s kingdom in some way.  It’s how you choose to do that matters.  If you feel that urge to move, if you know it is what God is calling you to do, then make that move move.  Be bold.  Take on that battle.  Don’t let the evil one and the world stop you.  Take that leap.  It may seem scary, but when you do, you will feel it in your soul that this is what you were meant to do.  You will come alive!

How Will Your Next Chapter Read?

As I have shared with you many times, my faith and life journey has gone through an amazing adventure the past few years.  It has led me from a dark shadow and doubt to a renewed sense of who I am and who I want to be based on what I know that God has called me to be.  Last year, a colleague and friend of mine gave me a book called “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge.  With everything I had going one, it took me a while to really sit down and read this book.  A couple of months back, I made a tough decision to step away from my doctorate studies to refocus myself.  At that point I decided to finally start this book.  For me, I am not one that can sit and read a book in a weekend.  This was a slow and deliberate process.  But what a journey, let me tell you.  This book has ignited me in my journey with God and my journey and growth as a man, husband, and father.  I feel I am more ready than ever to take on this world and use my life testimony to share with others and relate with others in their lives and where they have been and where they are going.

We all have a calling in life and reason for why God created each and every one of us.  There are many who never realize that calling and slump through life complacent, miserable, and never know what it means to truly come alive.  “Wild at Heart” reaffirmed my belief that we are called by God to a purpose and it is up to us to answer that calling.  To not let the evil of this world tell you that you can’t.  You have a chance to get away from the dredges of everyday complacency and get out there and live the life you were created for.  For you men out there, this is a calling for you to live as the adventurous and wild spirit that you were intended to be.  Remember you were created in God’s image.  Everything that is God is about the risk, adventure, strength, and courage that is reflected in men.  Remember as boys, we were wild.  We wanted to explore, we built forts, played war, looked for new adventures.  That is the embodiment of God in us as men.  When we grow, we tend to lose that sense of adventure as the world begins to call.

I challenge each and everyone of you to spend time in prayer and scripture every day.  Ask God to show you what He has called and created you for.  He will show it.  I promise you.  And don’t fall into the trap that once you figure that out, everything will change instantly.  It will take time and dedication to get there, but you can do it.  It’s like I tell my wife as she slowly builds her photography business.  Each day is a growth journey.  The more time you put into the effort, the better you get, and the closer you get to fulfilling that purpose.

We all have the opportunity to come alive folks.  Focus on those key areas of life that will help you come alive.  It is up to you to write the next chapter of your life and where your journey takes you.  What will your next chapter in life read?  Will you continue to live a complacent life that does not help you come alive, or will you step into the calling that you were created for.  Let’s all step up to this challenge.  I sure will and I hope that you will join me.  We can all get there.  

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Complacent or Purposeful

Do you ever stop to evaluate your own life to figure out if you are living a life that is planned out and expected of you?  Do you ever get the notion in your mind that there has to be much more in life waiting for me than what has presented itself?  Do you find that you are just going along in life following a plan that just does speak to you or ignite you?  Are you feeling complacent?

Those questions are just the tip of iceberg when it comes to looking at our lives and how we live.  I have seen all to often where people jump down a particular path because it is either acceptable, safe and secure, or what they’ve been taught to do.  In addition, often times life circumstances happen that bring about decision that seem like a good idea at first, but as time goes on you realize that it really is not who you are or you chose that path for the wrong reasons.  It’s not a great feeling because then you start to find yourself stressed and not sure what you can do change.

Often times what is needed is for you take a step back and completely re-evaluate your direction to figure out what it is you are doing and whether or not the path you chose is the right one.  At this point your assessment should look at whether your life is just complacent and settling with your circumstances or if you are living out your real purpose and living purposefully.  I am sure many will say, if giving a true assessment will say they’ve become complacent.

In some ways, I’ve felt the same way.  not with my beautiful wife and children but in overall career and education paths.  Sometimes it feels like I’ve settled into rolls just to make sure they were provided for.  Nothing wrong with that, but when it becomes a problem is when you feel like your path is sucking away at your own soul.  I’ve certainly had that feeling.  The beauty part is that no matter what path you take, every part of it is a part of your journey and growth.  Going through those challenges better prepare you for the making the changes you really need to make in your life.

So what do you do if you find yourself complacent and realizing that you need to make a change.  Well that is simple, CHANGE.  I know it sounds daunting, but that’s what needs to happen.  Figure out what it is that truly makes you happy and go do that.  Live a purposeful life and don’t let naysayers stop you.  Author Joseph Campbell said, “We must let go of the life we planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”  There is a lot more out there waiting for you accomplish in life and life is way to short to sit back and let it all pass by.

Take life by the horns and take the lead on the direction you want to take.  Choose to live a life of purpose and say goodbye to a life of complacency.  It’s something that we can all do.  You don’t have to live miserable and unhappy in nowhere jobs.  You don’t have to keep up with the Jones’s.  The life you lead is between you and God and he will get you to that life of purpose if you trust in Him.  Be purposeful and you can Come Alive!

Awaken That Sleeper Inside You

What do you think about change?  When that word comes up, what is the first feeling you get?  Is it a feeling of anxiety, curiosity, or even excitement?  Everyone tends to respond to change in any number of different ways.  Some change is good and some bad.  Either way, there is a purpose and reason behind it and it is up to you on how you choose to respond to that change.  I’ve been through a number of changes in life.  This relates to job, schooling, growing family, living location, and more.  Each time a change comes, I’ve had to respond in some way to be able adapt to those changes

Now, what I really want to focus on is a change within yourself, your self conscience, and the real focus of your own life.  Have you ever had the urge to make change happen in your life and you just don’t know how to do it?  You could be sitting back waiting for opportunity, or simply afraid of make the change happen and deal with the results that may come.  This again could relate to your work situation, where you live, how you live, how you worship, or how you relate to your family.  Simply stated, change can cover anything.

Often time that urge to change is a result of circumstances or simply could be a new calling and path that God wants to move you toward.  You feel it calling inside you and you know if have to make a conscience choice of how to respond.  Your response to this could call could make a world of difference in your life.  The ultimate decision, however lies in you to make.

What can happen if you ignore this call?  I’m not a psychic, so I can’t say for sure.  What I do know is that failure to act on something can bring about results that may not be the best.  You may find yourself in a dismal rut and not sure how to get out of it.  You may find yourself absolutely miserable in your daily work and settle into a lifetime of complacency.  Complacency in that you settled and accepted your current reality and no matter the toll it can make on you mentally, spiritually, and physically, and not to mention the toll it can have on those around you.  Not the ideal situation.  If you settle, then that is entirely up to you and there is nothing wrong with that if you are comfortable with.

Frank Herbert wrote, “Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.”  If you feel compelled to make change, then maybe that is exactly what you need to do.  There is something sleeping within and when you feel that urge to change, it is trying to awaken.  Why not let it awaken?  You know what that something is?  IT IS YOU!!!  That’s right.  That something sleeping within is who you are and who you were truly meant to be and do.  Why not awaken yourself and make that change happen.

I’m at that crossroads with you and have had to look within myself to figure out what helps me come alive.  For me it is my faith which I grow in each day and secondly above all it is the time I have with my wife and kids.  Getting to maximize my time with them by making needed changes while providing them the life they deserve.

It may be a scary time for you to make those changes.  You may be so uncertain as to what the results may be that it is hard to make that move.  Think on it and definitely pray on it.  If you are not happy where you are.  Something needs to change, but you have to make that change.  Choose to awaken the sleeper within and see how far it take you.

Turning What You Love Doing Into More

The past couple of weeks have been something incredible to watch.  My beautiful wife, Amber, started up her new venture called Amber Clinton Photography.  I wrote about it some last week.  In just the two weeks since she decided to make this move from a hobby to a business, the response has been phenomenal.  Inquiries from all over and her first official photo session this past weekend.  Amber is quite an amazing woman.  She has sacrificed to be at home and raise our three wonderful children.  She has an amazing heart and when it comes to photography, she has some serious skills.  I could go on and on.  I am so thrilled that she has decided to take advantage of this natural ability and work to do something incredible with it.  This story with Amber will continue to evolve over time and I look forward to what she will be able to do in the future as she grows this business and her knowledge and experience to add onto her already talented artistic eye.

How about any of you out there.  Is there something that you love to do, maybe as just a hobby or something?  Have you ever thought about maybe taking that hobby and doing something more.  Maybe you’ve thought about it, but either just out of fear, naysayers, or time passing by you just never capitalized and tried it out.  If you look back in my blogs, I’ve written about those naysayers and fears.

While choosing to move down uncharted territory to something new can be scary and there is never a reason for you to not try.  There is nothing ever easy about it.   What keeps you from taking advantage of those opportunities and trying something different?  Why let anything keep you from pursuing what it is is you love to do.  If it something that calls to you, then God is likely calling you to it.  Why ignore it?  I have a sign hanging in the foyer of my house that reads, “The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God not protect you.”  If you are letting fear or something else keep you from pursuing your real calling, take heart in knowing that God is there to guide you through it all.

Richard Bach is quoted as saying “You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.”  Why not take advantage of that freedom that we all have and build something more. Build something that you define and nobody else. It is a part of realizing your God given purpose.  It does not matter if you are in a career that you have in for years and years or if it has been your education track.  If something else calls you that really speaks to you, then go for it.  It will open your perspective on life and will help you to further come alive and get away from where everyone else thinks you should be you be.  Don’t let other define that for you.