Seasons of Jobs

20161004_150844 (2)What do you do when you are in a Job-like season, and it seems your loved ones are also.

I am not sure, except to study this book of wisdom more deeply and with fresh eyes. Recently our church studied Job in concert through a series of devotionals every morning.

After considering Job and the devotionals, I had a few takeaways, though only touching the hem of what God may want to teach.


…to God’s still [immovable], small but perfectly powerful voice, trust, get counsel where needed.

…to God’s still [continued] small but perfectly powerful voice, trust, get counsel where needed.

…to God’s still [small] but perfectly powerful voice, trust, get counsel where needed.

“Then Job replied to the LORD:

‘I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.

‘You asked, “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?” It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.

‘You said, “Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.”

‘I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.

‘I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.'”

-Job 42:1-6/NLT

What I am learning…

1 – Be humble.

2 – Refuse to be a Job’s friend.

Or door #3, an option yet to be revealed.

Whether one is a Job or a Job’s friend, God wins, as do God’s image-bearers.

Job was blessed with a double portion of everything in the second half of his life. His new daughters were the fairest in the land. He also included them in his will along with his sons.

Humanity is God’s most prized Creation. God’s enemy is here to destroy God’s success and take over.


Job’s win is God’s win. Job’s friend’s obedience is God’s win, and in the end even Job’s friends are blessed due to God’s mercy and Job’s prayer.


Called to Re-up on Trust

GodReflection: When God Calls

gary portraitMy phone is about to ring. It’s a nagging thought. It’s a faint voice generated from the core of my soul. Is God about to call me to ask that I re-up my trust?
It is both the good news and the bad news.

trust2God’s call to trust is tied tightly with our earth walk. The good news is each time I am called to re-up my trust I morph a tad more into the likeness of the Holy. The bad news is I must step off the ledge and trust God with the darkness of the unknown for growth in His likeness to take place.

Like you, I don’t like the black freefalls. It reminds me of the experience inside a cave when I waited to hear a pebble hit the bottom as I tossed my small stone into a dark pit.

trust0Prior to this post I went to the internet to find a life expectancy calculator.

It predicted my demise to be August 26, 2027. I certainly wouldn’t risk money on the accuracy of the prediction. I would have a better shot were I to purchase a lottery ticket the next time the grand payout exceeds the half billion dollars mark.

However, when I consider my age, my gene pool and my current medical profile, I would guess at best I’m into the last decade of my earth walk. That’s my guess rather than a revelation from God. Only He knows.

trust10During my so called productive years I was at least under the allusion that I was in control. Mostly, I went where I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted.

The process of aging has challenged my control switch. What once seemed as if it came as a given is no longer my reality. Each day calls me to relinquish more control. Even the allusion of whatever control I thought I had over my daily life is gone.

God’s call to crossover the horizon of my earthly walk has begun to echo from the distant canyons.

trust13Within that echo I faintly hear the call to re-up my Trust in His provision and care. There is a sense in which I find myself on a stretch of life’s trail that is unknown.

While on the productive doing portion of the trail even though the unseen was before me, it was as at least interpreted somewhat through a familiar landscape with trail markers I had seen before. While I moved toward the unknown the familiar aided my trust element.

trust16I find I am now in uncharted waters. Never have I been so close to eternity’s door. Before, my intellect knew life to be a progression toward the next reality but there was a sense of prolonged distance that kept the transition out of sight and away from my daily walk. What was once a distant concept is now casting its shadow in the headlights.

So here I am being called to re-up on trust as I await the next call from Father God.

Any advice?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: Called to Re-Up on Trust

Called to Be

GodReflection: When God Calls

gary portraitI am close to the end of Timothy Keller’s book, Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering. By the way, this is one of those books everyone needs to be2read to understand how to better navigate our life’s walk.

Prior to the close of Chapter Thirteen in a section titled Everything Hangs Together, Keller gives this profound insight:

Very seldom do we glimpse even a millionth of the ways God is working all things together for those who love God.

In my previous post I described to the best of my understanding the circumstances that led to my call to the South American country, Brazil.

For eight years in the metropolitan city of São Paulo I thrived at the center of my be6designated gifts: to build and to create. Those skills allowed my contribution to make God and His Son Jesus known to a small portion of that great city.

The Brazil years built upon my preparation years and flowed into what became my life’s work.

At the end of our eighth year, acute medical needs of a new born son called our family back to the states. Assignments at two universities and further academic training paralleled what evolved into three decades of the recruitment, preparation and placement of missionary teams in the great capital cities of Brazil and other South American nations.


Timothy Keller

In hindsight Timothy Keller’s perception into God’s call and guidance upon our lives is humbling to say the least.

It is true that, very seldom do we glimpse even a millionth of the ways God is working all things together for those who love God.

That statement could not ring truer as I reflect upon God’s call on our lives.

My years of doing spanned four decades. As they drew to a close I once again perceived God’s direction. Body degeneration caused by age was on the near horizon. It was obvious soon I would lack the physical stamina to keep pace with evolving demands. It was time to look toward my final stage of life. I’ve tagged this time of life as the time to be.

Over the first two decades of my life my call was to prepare. It was a time to learn and to move in the direction of maturity.

Over the next four decades my assignment was to do. be10Creativity and activity filled the agenda. It was over this timeframe when I began to get a sense of what it meant to trust God.

Time after time with fear and trepidation God would take me to the edge of the cliff then ask me to step into the unknown. Little by little He built my faith for this final stage of life, the call to be.

I’m now in the eighth year of my call to be. When asked what I do, I sometime jokingly reply I spend my time in preparation for finals. The truth is my current homework is not done in anticipation of standing before a pass or fail judge.

The years of preparation and the years of doing were all foundational for my call to be. I find my current place along the trail to be a time of reflection. It is a time to let the good and the important rise to the top and a time to allow the irrelevant and the petty evaporate from life’s concerns.

In my first blog post of 2012 as I began this final stage of my earth walk I stated my call to be in the following words:

It is now the time of my life to focus upon being. To reflect upon being is to reflect upon be8God. I will still learn and do, but my major focus as I see the sun moving toward the horizon, is to be.

I am going to try to be bold and allow you to look over my shoulder while I attempt to look into my own heart and mind as I reflect on God in anticipation of moving toward my own life’s finish line.

There is a deep longing in my soul to reflect on God and his desire that I experience his ultimate and eternal good. I want to know God more and more as a friend because I believe that is how God wants to know me.

As the sun is now lower on the horizon of my life I remain committed to honor that call.
I would love to hear your insights into God’s call upon your own life.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: Called to Be

Called to Do

GodReflection: When God Calls

gary portrait4There was no doubt about it. God was on my phone line. He direct dialed me. The plates of my earth seismically quaked.

This was a biggie. God showed up with the trumpets, the band and the fireworks to get my attention. There was not a doubt in my mind. God was at the door with my assignment in His hand.

do8Let me set the stage.

In previous posts of this series I have attempted to lay out my clumsy progression from cradle through college. Those were the years when my task was simply to learn. To learn was to prepare for what we all refer to as life or vocation.

Life is a time when basic preparations are over and we enter the grownup world to contribute or coast. We join the workforce or we fail to produce and fall through the cracks as we struggle to exist.

It was my senior year in college. The end of the foundational years of learning and preparation was in sight.

At the university I had purposely enrolled in classes with professors and courses that had earned their deserved tough reputation. My focus was on Biblical studies. Slowly, each requirement for graduation was fulfilled.

do1My preparation track took me to a Christian Liberal Arts college. From its establishment in 1906 a required daily chapel was woven into the fabric. As you can image the fact that it was daily increased the danger of routine.

Like life, not every day in chapel was a mountain top experience. It was a fall morning in 1968. I went to chapel, took my assigned seat in complete unawareness of what was about to occur. The announcements were made, songs and prayers were led and Scripture was read.

The chapel speaker was introduced as a missionary visiting from Sao Paulo, Brazil. No big deal. I had never heard of him. However, as he described the hunger of the dourban dwellers for Jesus the Bread of Life the foundations of my world shook.

The speaker was the first of three men God would send from that group of Sao Paulo missionary families over the weeks until graduation to guide me in a very specific direction to accept His call rooted in my childhood and adolescent years.

In the dark of the night after that morning’s chapel service, I got into my 1965 do10baby blue Ford Mustang and headed to Lake Fort Phantom Hill to talk with God and to answer His call. Preparation was about over. I had been called to do. I was now set on a path that would color the entirety of my life’s walk.

But more on that in my next post.

Was there a point in time that seemed to be the “Aha Moment” used by God to call you into the practice of your life’s work? Perhaps you have experienced multiple calls into a variety of vocations along your life’s trail.

Have you ever felt God’s directional call or calls upon your life? Has God called you to serve Him through specific vocations? I would love to hear from you.

Stay tuned. 

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells


A GodReflection: Called to Do


Called to Follow

GodReflection: When God Calls
gary portraitIf you have been reading along with me you might recognized I have addresses today’s reflections at times on previous blog posts.

I explored His call upon my life rather extensively in the book Make Your Vision Go Viral under the chapters titled The Call and Desert Formation.
So today, I will begin with a disclaimer. Each time I reflect on my call from God I am again humbled. This morning I am reminded of the statement of Jesus as well as the statement of Paul.

Jesus teaches:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke 12:48).

And Paul reminds me in 1 Corinthians 4:7:

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

follow8In reflection, I don’t believe I am too far off the mark to declare that my call from the Holy started at birth and came through family and church.

With age it becomes clear that no family is perfect and all families are wired dysfunctional with the difference in each family tree being only the degree of dysfunction.

Thus, my birth was not into a perfect family but it was a family tree where God was grafted into the bark.

Extended family were Christ followers traceable to grandparents. A notable influence was my great uncle Dr.Owen Puckett our county health officer. His home was always open “to stop by” for a visit.

Dr Pucket

Dr. Puckett

To a little boy it was parallel to the apostle John being my great uncle. He loved God, Jesus, the church and people in his community. He brought his medicine and his heart into our home on many occasions. Each time at our place of worship, even when I was a little tyke we would shake hands, he would smile and give words of encouragement.

Obviously, my Christian parents served as formation guides and were a 24/7 influence in my life. A maternal grandpa and a paternal grandma played roles almost daily in my formation. Siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins were also weaved into the fabric.

Then there was church.

band10My church was like extended family. We worshiped together, ate together and they too were hand shakers, teachers and encouragers.

The leadership maintained a vibrant pulpit from which Scripture was proclaim every week. Periodically morning and night instruction flowed daily through what we called Gospel Meetings.

Is it too strange to conclude that I was born into the family of God at birth and His call through that family shaped my answers each time He called for obedience?

No doubt about it, the silent voice, the doors and the nudges were orchestrated by God. I was called to follow.

Obviously, God uses factors unique to each life as He calls across the face of His globe. Have you thought about your story? How has God called you? Perhaps a tougher question, how did you answer? Might be worth putting on your thinking cap for this one.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Called to Follow

When God Calls

GodReflection: When God Calls

gary portraitAt prior times on this Blog I’ve admitted to being a ‘Baby Boomer,’ a great-grandchild of the Enlightenment, and a child of the Scientific Age a time when everything had to be proven as to its reality.

call1Translation: that meant I learned if I couldn’t touch, tastes, or feel something with my hands it didn’t exist. I did however get a pass on God. I was taught that He was the real and only creator.

That didn’t leave me a lot of room for the unseen. Thus, in our church the idea of a call from God didn’t get much billing.

Our preachers and teaches owned a solid touchable Bible and had no trouble with the Holy Spirit’s role in divine inspiration. I was baptized in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and was told the Holy Spirit acted upon me through the inspired Bible.

call9Although we were taught that God answers prayer, we didn’t have much credence in the activity of the unseen Holy in our lives. I do not recall one testimony in our church where anyone declared having received the call of God to do anything.

Let me be clear. I don’t deny anyone’s call. It was just not expressed in such terms in our church.

When I read my Bible, I find it to be a grand compilation of men and women called throughout thousands of years by the God of the universe to work in partnership with Him for the salvation of His beloved humans.

God called Abraham, Moses, Mary and Saul of Tarsus rather directly.
While He called others like Joseph, Peter and Dorcus through more ambiguous circumstances.

Creation God has been active in each and every stage of history. He continues to work with His created ones to share His purposes and His story with other created ones. Continually, He calls each one into action.

call14As I have confessed before I am a whole lot more adept at hindsight than I am at foresight. In times of reflection over my past it isn’t all that difficult to spot the signpost where God had His hand upon my life. He called.

I can see specific times and places when God called. There were times when I responded. I can see clearly other times when I lacked the necessary trust to take the assignment.

Over the next several posts I want to explore the call of God. I investigated it somewhat in a former series of posts titled “Silent God—Seeking His Voice.”

call10As I continue to reflect, I think I see a much wider bandwidth used by God as He calls each and every believer into the service of King Jesus.

I’m beginning to see in a clearer manner how God calls us at different stages of our lives to a grand variety of kingdom tasks and in specific directions.

I’ve never heard the audible voice of God. He has not approached me as directly as He did Samuel with his call, “Samuel, Samuel”. I stand more in the assembly of the multitudes across the history of God’s people who moved with sense of being nudged in a certain direction.

I look forward to further reflections on the reality of God’s call on each one of us throughout our lifetime. I hope you will share with me your insights. I want to make this a rich series. This is an area where I would like to reach greater clarity.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: When God Calls

God Presides Over Worship Through His Presence

GodReflection: Is Worship for God or for Me?
God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the “gods” (Psalms 82:1). A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great (Proverbs 18:16.

gary portraitIn the 1980’s when forming church planting teams for Brazil we hit a brick wall. The Brazilian government closed entry visas for all church workers.

My colleague, Dr. Ellis Long would call upon all of his creative juices to select the exact right gift to take with him when he was allowed an audience with the President or the Vice-President of the nation.

At each encounter it was the President or Vice-President who presided over the meeting. Each presided with his presence.

presence3Through months of dialogue—with input into the nation’s constitution—we were gifted with visas for all church workers.

That gift was greater than the value of all entry gifts presented throughout the process.

Anytime I make an attempt to worship I do so as an act of submission to Creator God. It is recognition that I take a step closer to the Holy. It should always be a “take off your shoes for you are on Holy ground” moment. I should never arrive without the gifts of humility and submission.

presence5I come into the court of Holy God, bow in surrender as He presides over my gift of worship. God-worship can only take place in His presence.

Once I move myself into worship mode it is as if in a holy nanosecond God’s presence seems more intense. He stands ready to preside in a Holy Ceremony of gift reception.

Then, as Holy Presider, He accepts my gift, transforms it and returns it to me as yet a greater gift than I gave. It becomes another beautiful mosaic tile gifted by the Holy to enable my own image to reflect some of Jesus’ presence7likeness—who is the image of God—to those who cross my path.

Truth is, I notice along my way I am not very good as a reflector. I am in need of more God-mosaic tiles to increase His reflection from my life. The good news is there is a limitless tile supply where God presides. He is always ready to preside and to gift His children with reciprocal gifts.

What are gifts other than humility and submission that we bring into the presence of God as He presides over worship?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: God Presides Over Worship Through His Presence.