Living Your Heart's Desire

Living Your Heart's Desire

God's Call and Your Vocation  

by Gregory S. Clapper

If you've ever daydreamed about alternate paths or wondered how you can find peace in today's rat race, this book is for you. You can find your true calling where God's grace and the daily grind meet.

Many of us follow a seemingly arbitrary and rushed path to a paycheck. Once you're out of school, whether it's high school or college, you're expected to go to work. You work hard to pay your dues. Then, one day, you feel stuck. You feel restless and like a mercenary…the "it's just a job" mentality. Soon, these feelings of alienation and cynicism spill over into the rest of your life.

Clapper goes beyond the usual career counseling formula in Living Your Heart's Desire. He explains why it's more helpful to understand the theology behind work, calling, and human freedom. You'll discover a variety of visions of what it means for you to lead a life of Christian faithfulness in all realms of existence. You'll be equipped to understand yourself as a Christian in the workforce as well as understand how to be content — no matter what you do for a living — among the discontented.

"We must ask if the life we are living is a worthy expression of gratitude for what God has done for us," Clapper writes. "Our most important response is the shape of our entire life. It is, in short, our vocation."

Easy to read and relevant to today's economy and world (with many references and lessons from movies), this book can help you lead a more fulfilled, rewarding, and joyful Christian life — regardless of how you earn a paycheck. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this perfect for small group discussions.

Learn to see your "Office Space"-like world as a Spirit-filled and vital calling in Christ. As one reviewer has said, Living Your Heart's Desire will help you "understand the connection between faith of the head and faith of the heart, as well as the next step on your faith journey." Take comfort in knowing that God has a plan for your life. Revel in it.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8358-9805-8
Publisher: The Upper Room
Imprint: Upper Room Books
Publication Date: 03/01/2005
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 8.3750 x 5.2500

Gregory S. Clapper is professor of religion and philosophy at the University of Indianapolis. He is one of two founding directors of the Lantz Center for Christian Vocations at the university, initially funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment. A graduate of Carthage College, Clapper received an MA in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and an MDiv from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He earned a PhD from Emory University. Clapper also completed the Upper Room's Academy for Spiritual Formation and Walk to Emmaus. Clapper taught at Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Alabama, and served as the senior pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, Waverly, Iowa. Clapper also served as associate professor of Religion and Philosophy at Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa. He's the author of numerous articles and two other titles with Upper Room Books: When the World Breaks Your Heart: Spiritual Ways of Living with Tragedy and As If the Heart Mattered: A Wesleyan Spirituality.


"Tired of the rat race? Looking for something beyond a paycheck to give meaning to your work? This is the right book for you and for many Christians in our age. Greg Clapper draws us back to the ancient, spiritual roots of our calling. He rightly sees vocation as a Spirit-filled calling in Christ, grounded in faith, hope, and love. I hope this book inspires many readers to a renewed life of faith in the midst of their daily rounds — our true vocation in Christ."

— Alan G. Padgett
Professor of Systematic Theology
Luther Seminary

"Rather than offering simplistic platitudes on how to find some previously undisclosed divine plan, Clapper instead makes use of ancient Christian wisdom and contemporary popular culture to help us discern God's call by listening for the voice of God in our lives."

— Douglas M. Strong
Professor of the History of Christianity
Wesley Theological Seminary

"Greg Clapper invites you to catch a glimpse of the mystery of who you are and what you are called to be and do as a beloved child of God. Drawing deeply from the wells of Christian tradition, but also 'listening' intently to the voices of selected contemporary films, he woos you graciously into the possibility of a transformed life that is truly worth living."

— Paul Wesley Chilcote
Professor of Historical Theology & Wesleyan Studies
Asbury Theological Seminary
Author, Praying in the Wesleyan Spirit

"Greg Clapper’s book was a real blessing to our growing congregation. It helped many people to understand the connection between faith of the head and faith of the heart, as well as the next step on their faith journey. I’d especially recommend it as a preaching series combined with small study groups."

— M. Bert Kite
Senior Pastor
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Carmel, Indiana

"We found the use of Living Your Heart’s Desire a challenging and stimulating experience. Used at a Lenten small group discussion during the Sunday school hour, and supported by pastor's preaching on the same themes, the group was led to explore deeply the issues of discovering our own gifts and using them to respond to God's call in our lives in a variety of ways."

— Virginia Varce
Chair. Adult Education Committee Immanuel United Methodist Church, Des Moines, IA

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