About the Author

Chara Donahue is the founder of Anchored Voices and loves to engage God through writing. She seeks to be faithful to Jesus in all she does, cherishes time with her family and church, and is honored to spend her life ministering to women.

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  1. Thank you for the beautiful insight you shared regarding life–“In Him we live and move and have our being”.

  2. Chara,
    I remember that scene in the movie oh so well. Some earthly philosophy sounds really profound on the surface. So much of it, unfortunately, is focused on the “I” the “Me” the “My”. We get tripped up thinking we can do anything if we just set our minds to it. We learn this early in life, like when my toddler learning to talk, would say, “I do it,” in defiance of any assistance from me. When we gain wisdom through the Word we learn that the sweet spot isn’t found in “seizing” as in carpe diem, but in “being” as in being still in His presence. There we learn that anything we attempt to do can be done only in Christ’s strength because without Him we can do nothing. Also, setting our sights on a more eternal perspective is where God has instructed my mind to go. Thank you for sharing your journey from seizing to being….may we all take note 🙂
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. A very good article.I had CERTAINLY encouraged me continue to serve God and live for Him instead of satisfying the flesh and temporal pursuits. Thank you.

  4. Carpe Diem can also be a daily life of purpose for God and others. The phrase does not exclusively mean to ignore seeking a deeper meaning to our days or life, it is also a call to daily significance and considering how our today will affect our (and others) tomorrows, too. With intentionality, there can be more depth than transience to carpe diem because as you said, “God sees all, knows all and loves me still.” God truly does inform and expand our moments, days and lives. All glory, praise and honor to Him – the Creator of our moments, days and lives.

    • Jennifer, I definitely think the idea of it can be redeemed under Christ’s control, but in our culture as a whole it is not typically viewed that way. For me, it became dangerous , and a perspective of coram Deo provided a definitive stance that could not be skewed as easily. For those who have always viewed it with biblical intentionality, I could see how it could be an encouragement. Thank you for your perspective and for reading. 🙂

    • I agree. I always took it as an encouragement not to let fear keep you from living your life and making your decisions for you. Coram Deo certainly can put you in the place to achieve the courage to live a life for Jesus.
      Thanks for the article. I too now wanna watch the movie. It’s wanna of my favs.

    • Thank you for reading, Rebecca. I am love the way God orchestrates things so that things find us at the right moment. It never ceases to amaze me. 🙂

  5. Thank you for this. It is so beautiful and certainly pulls you away for the hectic, consistent drive that is bombarding us every day. ! I thank God for this word today….Live in the presence of His wild goodness

  6. I vividly remember how this movie shaped my teen years. Oh, the buckets of tears I cried while watching it. Thank you for sharing this Latin phrase that supersedes our “seizing the day,” especially as we look to seize the new year. May we live it coram Deo, in the presence of God!

  7. Chara- Thank you for such an inspirational post. I’ve been meditating on the idea of practicing the presence of God and asking the question, “what does pausing to ‘practice the presence of God’ actually look like?” After reading your post I immediately went to my chalkboard (a rooster I keep in my kitchen) and scratched out the phrase, “coram Deo” as a constant reminder to remain mindful of the presence of God. You answered my question. What a great way to start the weekend.

    God Bless you and your family!

  8. “If we jump, move, and boldly pursue whatever we crave because tomorrow we may die, we sacrifice wisdom for desire.”

    This spoke to me so deeply today! My husband and I have been wrestling with two – what seem to be – life altering decisions. Career changes for one or both of us, and starting a family. On the one hand, we feel ready. It is our hearts desire. But on the other, we have goals and hopes financially and want to be in a good place personally and as a couple before we make these changes.

    Thank you for the reminder that I need to spend time with God, asking and listening and waiting to be sure we are acting on wisdom and not desire.

    Blessings!

    • Thank you for reading, Jessica. I am praying that God will give you the wisdom you need (James 1:5). God bless you and your husband as you seek His will.

  9. Thank you Chara. This has blessed me greatly. I hope we all live coram deo! May we always live for God and fully trust in Him. God bless you always. Xoxo ❤

  10. Thank you! Your beautifully expressed words of wisdom have truly blessed my spirit & soul.

  11. A challenge I live with daily to know God desires me to love Him even more than my own life. A concept I never quite in my flesh could accept. He is the most important of all

    • It is such a hard concept to accept and embrace. I think you are so right when you say it is a daily challenge, but worth it. Like you said, “He is the most important of all.” Thanks for reading!

  12. And is there any reason why we can’t seize the day in the presence of God? I liked the post earlier this week about how living life to the full is the best reflection of God’s glory. That’s what I want to take into the new year. There’ll be things I can’t afford that I’ll have to put on-hold, but I want to be someone who takes more risks and gets what I can out of life.

    • Sarah, I think we can do both, but that coram Deo encompasses the good from the sentiment of carpe diem without carrying over the impulsivity that can be harmful. I believe that living in the presence of God does demand that we take risks and live to the full, it just gives us the freedom to run after what He is asking of us instead of what we think will fulfill us in a moment. By no means would I suggest that this means we don’t live life filled with faith by boldly embracing what God asks of us, for there is no one I would rather take a risk with than our Holy God. Thank you for reading. Your desire for a full life is encouraging, may you be blessed as you adventure with God in this new year. 🙂

  13. I struggle with this very issue. I am a Christian and God says He will give me life to the full – this is a promise from Him to me. It’s the people around me who put doubt into my mind and “encourage” me to seize the day. You see in their eyes I’m not living up to my potential, I could be doing so much more, I’m wasting my life. I am 47, have one son who has flown the coop, single, live with my parents, not working due to health issues, and people around me want to fix me. Spiritually I’m involved in my church, attend every week, go to bible study weekly, run the local scripture in schools, run a group at church for those suffering mental health issues, run a prayer group, mentor some of the youth in my church, help my parents out as they are getting older, am here for family members if they need a hand or support. So i may not be doing what’s acceptable in the eyes of the world, focusing on career, money, gym, diet, marriage et cetera, but I’m reminded what C.S. Lewis said regarding when we don’t feel like we’re part of this world it’s because we were made for another world. Sorry for the rant, thanks for listening – and thanks for sharing that today, as you can see it stirred something up in me. God bless you xx

    • Gayle,

      Don’t let the people around you discourage you. They have a simple world view of life. Carpe diem. Big career, family, house, etc. Lots of stuff. You my friend have a Christian view of life. It is much more than this world. You know you will get your rewards later in Heaven. You are hard working for God and that means a lot in this day and age! I applaud your efforts and pray for you. May God help you to have better days-health wise. I pray for a sense of peace in your soul!

      (((((Hugs)))))

    • Gayle,
      I am encouraged by your endurance. Sometimes other voices are tempting to listen to, but our God’s is the truest. This morning in my reading I was in 1 Peter 3. I hope these verses speak life to you as they did to me: “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” (13-17).
      By joining in with the work of God you are not only living for another world but are inviting others into the perfect world that awaits us. There is no greater way to spend your life than by living for our God and others, because the impact is eternal. Keep on doing the work you are doing! The body of Christ is thankful for it. 🙂

  14. As one who has watched Dead Poets over 10 times, your words resonate on a visceral level this morning. Coram Deo is all that carpe diem in reality fails to deliver. I’m bookmarking this post to go back and read and reread! Thank you!

    • Thank you for reading and for your encouragement. I do love the movie and when I watch it now, I too, am thankful for the more complete understanding of coram Deo.

  15. Chara,

    Coram Deo new words to ponder for the year! This world screams carpe diem! It is all about me, myself & I. They want it all & now. Not many seem to look toward the future & where they will spend eternity. The millennials are saying “look what I did, how much I have, etc.” They flaunt their lifestyles on TV, & internet. I am sensing a time when this country needs a revival. We need to get back to Coram Deo and thinking about God & others. There is so much out there that is of this world & not of God. We need to stop our frantic carpe diem and slow down to hear God speaking. That is when extraordinary life will happen!

    Blessings 🙂

  16. Dear Chara,
    What a clear and beautiful message. THANK YOU so much for your insight and for sharing! Coram Deo is now in my heart and i hope to be a better Christian to those in my life.
    Blessings,
    Barbara

  17. Love that phrase in Latin. I truly pray to live that way. I’ve been in the valley and desert in 2016 and as I’m closer to coming forth from the desert, my heart and soul yearns for his presence in this valley.

  18. Like another reader mentioned, I was deeply moved by a previous post about livhing fully. I’ve been pondering what that means for me and I believe God has revealed another piece of the puzzle through your post. Thank you for listening to Him so others can hear.

  19. “True life cannot ripen in a moment; it takes place when a life is nurtured, cultivated, and shined upon.” I’m going to savor this tasty morsel. Thanks for your post!