The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 5, 2013

Seeking substance, reason to live rather than merely existing

By Ruth Ann Replogle, Columnist
Enid News and Eagle

— “We need to get back / To the basics of life / A heart that is pure / And a love that is blind / A faith that is fervently / Grounded in Christ / The hope that endures for all times / These are the basics, / We need to get back / To the basics of life” — 4Him

In 1992, Mark Harris wrote and released “The Basics of Life” as a member of the Christian quartet 4Him, on an album of the same name. I clearly remember thinking at the time he hit the nail on the head and even used the lyrics in a school paper about Christianity.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we attended First Assembly of God in Plano, Texas, with my husband’s relatives. The Rev. Goodwin preached such a moving message I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Reflecting back, I realize now my spirit was obviously hungering for a wake-up call and the pastor delivered.

“We’ve turned the page, for a new day has dawned / We’ve re-arranged what is right and what’s wrong / Somehow we’ve drifted so far from the truth / That we can’t get back home / Where are the virtues that once gave us light / Where are the morals that governed our lives / Someday we all will awake and look back / Just to find what we’ve lost”

It’s not that I’m burned out or out of control. It’s that there is a sense of restlessness all around me, and I have come to a point in my life where I am seeking substance and a reason to live rather than merely exist.

“We’ve let the darkness invade us too long / We’ve got to turn the tide / Oh and we need the passion that burned long ago / To come and open our eyes / There’s no room for compromise”

Rev. Goodwin spoke from Jeremiah 6:16 and 7:3: “Stand at the way and see; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk therein and you will find rest for your souls. … Reform your ways and your actions and I will let you live in this place.”

I could hear my heart crying out, saying, “Lord, bring me back to where I belong!”

Rev. Goodwin commented we need to go back to where we first met God. It is in that place where we can go to find rest, be blessed and have Him fight for us.

Remember how the Jews had allowed the house of the Lord to become a den of robbers in Matthew 21:12-13? Jesus came in and cleared it, changing it back to a house of prayer. He can do the same in our lives.

But it requires making a choice. It is easy to get gobbled up by the world and its twisted ways. I have to make a conscious decision to give my life to the Lord and let Him get it back into alignment.

Joshua pledged: “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Do you see where you are? My eyes were opened that day, as reality struck me full in the face.

Rev. Goodwin mentioned God can’t bless you when you are where you’re not supposed to be. The Lord is holy and requires us to be holy. Just check out the Ten Commandments for reference.

We are to be set apart and to reside in God’s standard, not the world’s. Israel experienced repeated downfall because the Hebrews allowed everything else to get in the way.

It is when I recognize I need Him and call on His name that He can move in my life. He can heal, revive, guide and deliver me when I turn back to Him. He can make my life worth living again, restore that passion I know is buried inside.

As I sat in the pew Sunday, the clarity I had as a teenager returned. I need to get back to the basics of a spiritual life: A heart that is pure, a love that is blind, a faith that is fervently grounded in Christ and a hope that endures for all times.

“But I still believe in the old rugged cross / And I still believe there is hope for the lost / And I know the rock of all ages will stand / Through changes of time.”

Contact Ruth Ann Replogle at or