Posted by: mikenicholsblog | September 23, 2012

all that surrounds us

Do you ever wake up with what seems like a million “to-do” list items running through your mind? Without desiring to be distracted, you are distracted!  There are so many things that need our attention, and sometimes we just don’t know where to start.  And on some days … we just want to go back to bed.  I believe that there will always be a tension (at least for me) between being successful and being distracted by all that surrounds us.  All that surrounds us will always clamor to pull our attention from a quiet center and a well-ordered heart. Words that I read just this morning in Proverbs remind me of making sure my heart is in sync, so my life will be in sync. See if the same words give perspective to your journey.  Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Prov. 4:23)

I can think of no better way to attack heart issues than by seeking wisdom daily from the one place that will never ever give us wrong counsel.   At Journey onWord, we want to help you end this year cultivating a well-ordered heart.  By doing so, all that surrounds us won’t dominate us.  This year began with resolutions, and I am challenging you today to let it end with resolve.  Over the next three months, we are going to provide you with real-life accounts of how to live well, trust the Father and finish well. The stories will instruct us through failure, faith and grace. You will gain a fresh understanding of men and women who walked before us, but whose lives have been chronicled to inspire and change us.

Abraham was called the friend of God, but wasn’t perfect by any means.  David lived well and failed incredibly, and yet he is known as a man after God’s own heart.  Moses’ life is a story of immense highs and lows.  What can we learn from them?  Joseph endured great suffering at the hands of his family and others, yet finished well.  Ruth and Esther were women whose lives of faith and courage can inspire us all.  Paul and Peter will challenge us with their boldness, let alone their lives of dedication to our Lord….no matter the consequences.  Can anyone imagine what it must have been like for Mary?  She gave birth to Christ, and raised him in her home. Without a doubt, her life can influence ours!  Could it be that you and I are in need of some life lessons that these great, though flawed, heroes of the past can teach us?

Our reading theme at Journey this year has been slower and deeper.  Reading less, understanding and experiencing more! In the distracted world that we all live in, even fitting in time to read the priceless words of God can be a struggle.  To confront the challenge we all face, we are going to give you reading (if you choose to read with us) focused on key chapters in Scripture that relate to the men and women mentioned above.  One chapter a day (read twice), to help all of us glean principles from the lives of Abraham, David, Esther etc…..that can change our lives, and help us develop a well-ordered heart.  You’ll get to know these men and women better, and gain deeper insight into God’s love and grace in the process.  We’ll even provide study sheets to help you.  If you are finding tension between your faith and all that surrounds you, let these real life stories help your regain balance.

With my temperament, I really fight the million “to-do” lists running through my mind.  And quite frankly, time with my Father in His Word is what gives me courage, strength and perspective.  If you are in need of a re-sync for your heart from all the distractions you face, take our challenge this quarter. Get to know some real people in a better way, and just maybe their stories will encourage yours!

We’ll start the real life stories next Sunday.

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