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Category Archives: rest

Holy Week

This week is an incredible week for people of the Christian faith, the week we celebrate Jesus’ suffering death and resurrection to atone for our sins.  Here at Mulberry we are having services every day at noon and fellowship over food afterward each day.  This is a week that those of us who are in ministry often get lost in.

There is so much to do to prepare for the celebration of Sunday, and add on top of that the end of a very busy season within the church.  The time of Lent is capped off with the most joyous celebration of the church.  The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, we have our Good Friday where we are given the gift of salvation through sacrifice, and Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ conquering death on our behalf.

I have written before about rest, and the taking of time for restoration for self and to truly take sabbath. I have also admitted that I am one of the worst at this.  This week I am trying again to stop and smell the roses of this week, no matter how harsh and hurtful they may be.  I am doing this so that I can attempt to truly celebrate on Easter Sunday the amazing gift we have all been given.

But even today a relatively relaxed day for me here at the office and at the church I found my mind wandering during time set apart for God.  This is so disturbing to me to sit and try to focus and fail miserably, especially this week.  But how many of us do this on a daily basis. We get to the end of the day and we cannot turn our minds off.  Our minds get so full of the stuff of life that we cannot turn it off and rest, even at the best of times.

This Easter week I am striving on an invitation to enter into the story and truly experience the emotions and the story that we are living this week. I challenge you to try to do this too. Strive for more simplicity this week, strive to move your life in a direction that increases your dependence upon God, and decreases the self. Good luck, God Bless, and thank God for Easter!

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Resolutions

So it is has been a while since I’ve been able to write a post. The busyness of the season got me, like it probably got most of you.  Today was my first day fully back to work, and I feel refreshed after a little break.

This time of year is one of resolutions, the new year always inspires attempts to change.  I am guilty of this impulse and I put it into action today. It was a balmy 45 degrees outside according to my phone, and I bundled up and went for a bike ride.  I often lament the fact that one of my bicycles has been sitting in my office for literally months without moving. So long in fact that the tires were nearly flat. But I have made a resolution to resume having exercise as part of my routine, every day life.

So why does the beginning of a new year always push us to be introspective and searching about our lives? Why does the calendar changing make us think about the places we feel our lives fall short? I think we all feel that we don’t measure up in some respects, it may be small things or it may be in some serious part of your life, but we all feel the pressure of perfection.

This is also why so many resolutions fail, they say that resolutions are usually broken by the end of January, and soon after comes the most depressing days of the year.  I think there is nothing wrong with resolutions, I think that we all need to examine our lives and make sure that we are living as God calls us to.  But I think that often resolutions are unrealistic in their scope, and when we fail to meet our pie-in-the-sky expectations we feel the sting of failure.

So I challenge you, as I have challenged myself to return to a bit of balance with exercise and being concerned with my health, to make a resolution.  Don’t necessarily relegate resolutions to the change of the calendar year.  I think we can all be more successful if we make small achievable resolutions throughout the year. Let’s see what big changes we can make when me make small incremental changes in our lives.

 
 

One of These Days

Tis the season we say at this time of year, we run around frantically and we wallow in Christmas cheer.  Do not misunderstand me, I love the Christmas season, but it has once again been forcefully reminded to me how busy this time of year becomes. I have Christmas presents to assemble, and I have work that feels undone in my office, as well as what looks like an explosion across my desk.

This season is part of many seasons, the Christmas Season, for those in the church the Advent Season, and for germs Cold & Flu season. I have found the germs and have been battling sickness for a few days, as well as my children fighting sickness.  But as they say the show must go on, it does not matter if I have a fever or don’t feel well I need to take advantage of my days.

But I can’t help but return to the Advent Conspiracy book and video series telling me that maybe I’ve missed the point on Christmas. Maybe there is too much going on, and too many irons in the fire, but I find my life so fulfilling that I don’t want to miss anything on any side. There are so many things that I need to get done and I feel that one day I may possibly catch up. But I am wondering how I can manage to not miss the birth of Jesus amidst the scrum of the rest of life.

One of these days the pace of Christmas will no longer surprise me, and will no longer catch me slightly, if not woefully, under-prepared. One of these days I will figure out how to more successfully focus on Jesus during Christmas. I challenge each of you to take a moment, an hour, or a day of oasis and remember that some day there will not s0 many things around that we forget about the reason for the season.  One of these days I will kneel down earnestly and worship the King child born in a manger, born to poor and lowly people.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2010 in Advent, Authentic Faith, Christmas, Life, rest, service

 

Finding God in Beauty

I went camping this past weekend, the annual Scampers Group trip from the church.  This annual event brings 100 or more people together in one campground to have community in the mountains for the weekend.  Many of our people have RVs, but there are still some who do the good old-fashioned tent camping. I used to do a good bit of camping, especially during the summers, but have not been in a really long time.  There is something about sleeping in the woods, in a tent, on the side of a mountain that makes me think about God.

Now beauty is an interesting argument to me for the existence and even the benevolence of God.  I see the subjectivity in many of our “beauty” judgments (especially those for human’s physical appearance), and it makes my heart hurt for the people who are constantly told they do not measure up to an imaginary standard.  Now the beauty of nature is an argument for God that I can get behind.  I know of very few things that are more beautiful than a mountain view or the changing leaves.

The mental picture I have of God creating the world is that of an incredible artist, God knew exactly where things should be so that the aesthetic of beauty would be achieved.  Our world is filled with landscapes and vistas that simply take our breath away, and often we just keep rolling on without even noticing it. I think that we often lack the introspective sense to stop and see the beauty around us, and it we do not have to limit our ideas of beauty to physical concrete things.

My being a father is one of the greatest joys in my life, and one of the most beautiful things I hear every day are the giggles of Quin and Bobby.  Bobby has just begun to laugh a little and it is such a glorious feeling when he lets one out.  Quin has been giggling for a long time now, but the sound never fails to stop me in my tracks. I know not all people find beauty in the same places, but I was just amazed at how long it had been since I just stopped to admire the stars at night…

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2010 in Point of View, Religion, rest

 

The Importance of Rest

So I hope this is a timely post, one that finds a place in your thinking and reflecting this week.  So this morning I delayed coming in to my office, I spent time playing. I went to the playground and kicked a soccer ball around the neighborhood with my favorite people. Quin, Bobby, Amber and I took some time to just enjoy God’s creation and each others company.

Especially with school starting this week for many of you who might read this.  I want to really encourage all of you to take time to rest, this may mean not having an activity every night of the week, or maybe leaving something you could do today undone.  There is a new phenomenon among people and it is to be overly busy, we look at our lives, like Donald Miller yesterday as having to be “profitable.”  This is something I have recently had to come to terms with in a big way, after having been a student and stay-at-home Dad for the last few years.

We have a tendency to over-commit to work so hard to do so much good that we are too busy all of the time.  Now where to do we get the idea that all of our time has to be spent accomplishing something? Let me tell you now that it is not a biblical idea.  Our infinite God took the seventh day to rest from his labors of creating, so if God took a rest how can we think we can go and go and go 24-7?  Often we feel un-useful or even (gasp) slothful at resting, but this is possibly the most important part of self-care we can take part in.

Self-care is making sure that you take time to re-charge your personal batteries and making sure that you can actually works toward something on another day.  I often start my day with a list of things I need to do a mile long, and some days that prevents me from taking time to study and reflect like I like to do.  I have a challenge for those of you who struggle with over-commitment and that is to give something up, not all things needed in our lives.  I challenge you to attempt to simplify your lives so that you have time to rest.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2010 in rest