New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Living Your Heart’s Desire

God's Call and Your Vocation

Gregory S. Clapper • March 2005

BUY Print $13.99

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.

Categories: Discipleship
Gregory Clapper is a professor of religion and philosophy at the University of Indianapolis, an elder in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and a retired chaplain (colonel) from the US Air Force. He has written five books in the areas of Wesleyan studies and spiritual formation, is a graduate of The Upper Room’s Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, and has been on faculty for many Academies across the country. Clapper’s ministry with the Air Force had him dealing with a major airplane crash in Iowa, as well as deploying overseas on five different occasions, including three times as the chaplain on the psychiatric floor of the US Army hospital in Germany. During his service, Dr. Clapper received two Meritorious Service Medals as well as the Air Force Legion of Merit. At the University of Indianapolis, he was a founding Director of UIndy’s Lantz Center for Christian Vocations.

ISBN: 978-0-8358-9805-8

Imprint: Upper Room

Pub Date: March 2005

Trim Size: 5.25 in (w) x 8.375 in (h) x in (d)

Page Count: 128

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Living / Professional Growth

BISAC1: REL012090

BISAC2: REL012070


"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