Archives For sabbath

I had read and enjoyed Jefferson Bethke’s book Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough.

When I was given a chance to review his new book, It’s Not What You Think: Why Christianity Is About So Much More Than Going to Heaven When You Die, I jumped at the chance.

I was not disappointed.

Bethke takes on many aspects of Christianity in which we have some misunderstandings. Included in this are:

  • Christianity is more than going to heaven
  • The Temple is not a building
  • The Sabbath is not an outdated set of rules
  • The kingdom is not in the sky
    and much, much more.

Bethke hit on so many things I’ve been pondering in my own life. This book became a conversation for me with a fellow traveler.

Fresh Air by Chris Hodges

December 6, 2012

I first heard of Chris Hodges from an article he wrote for Relevant Magazine. He had me at the title with, “Are You Loving God out of Obligation.

Take a look at an excerpt from this article:

“Some people are trying to be good people by doing godly things—reading their Bible, praying and serving those in need. But they’re doing it out of a sense of religious duty and obligation, not because they’re in love with God and want to know Him and offer up their lives to Him. Then they wonder why their spiritual lives are so dry. Aren’t they doing everything a good Christian should do? Well, then, why isn’t God coming through with His end of the deal—answering their prayers and giving them the abundant life of peace and joy that Jesus said He brought to us? “

People now sleep 2 1/2 fewer hours each night compared to people from one hundred years ago.

The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.

We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people who are too busy to answer, and five years waiting for people who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings.

(Stats from The Overworked American  by Juliet Schur and Rick Warren)

In Genesis, when God created the world, He modeled for us the rhythm of rest and work. He was not weary or tired, but rather set an example for the humans He created. This is how He made them; to function in a rhythm.

Slow Down to Speed Up

April 5, 2012

Society would tell us achievement is based on doing more. God says the opposite.

I recently returned from a family holiday, camping in a beautiful South African river valley. There was no cell phone service, so we were completely unplugged. We had a wonderful four days of rest and relaxation as a family without the constant buzzing of our phones to drag our thoughts back to work and ministry.

We left work right in the middle of a very key decision for our campus. Being out of reach forced us to delegate, trust others and God, and leave our cares behind.

God gave a similar piece of advice to Israel. Ok, let’s call it like it is. He gave them a commandment in a list that defines sin! God told Israel to honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy (Exodus 20:8-11).