Remember to Make Room

You have probably noticed that Christmas is hurtling towards us. I’m probably safe in assuming that you feel it coming in the level of your busyness and the feeling that there is “so much left to do.” Shopping needs to be finished. Parties need to be attended. Cooking needs to be done. All the while, you still have to do you normal work. If you are one of the church leaders who read this, your stress is augmented by the preparation for the loads of extra people you expect at church. (Or maybe you are depressed because the crowds no longer come.) In all of this remember on thing. It is THE one thing. Remember to make room for Jesus. Maybe you need to – right now – close your eyes and take five minutes of quiet to listen for God’s voice in your chaos. (Don’t worry, you CAN afford five minutes.) Maybe you need to read a passage of the Bible independent of preparations for a message or study. Maybe you need to gather your family or friends together to read the Christmas story and express thanks. Make space for Him. Don’t stumble over the trappings of the holiday. Think about the Christmas story in Luke. Jesus was born into a world that struggled to make space for Him. Those who had eyes to see dropped everything. My prayer for you in the next week is that you will be one of those. How much space are you making for Christ in the midst of your holiday preparations? What one change will you commit to making right now?...

‘Tis the Season to Be Busy

With one of my clients, the subject of coaching has turned to discipleship. A one size model does not fit all, that is one major structural hurdle. Another hurdle is the obstacle of busyness. What does it mean to be a disciple in a busy culture? People are too busy to attend a group or a workshop. Perception is that there is not enough time to read the Bible, or slow down to pray, or to be still and listen for the voice of the Father. What is true for those we observe is also true for us. We all live in a culture that demands busyness. To be still is not just counter-cultural, it is cause to be labeled lazy or unproductive. This view pervades the workplace, at home, on vacation, and – very sadly – this perception is common in our churches. Now we are entering the season where demands upon our time amp up even more. Being busy, having a never ending to-do list, saying yes-yes-yes, is a product of identity. It is an attempt to cover feelings of worthlessness with productivity and affirmation. The decisions we make are based on what we value. Our values are a function of where our identity is rooted. If you are empty before the Christmas season, then the coming weeks will present many opportunities to perform or accumulate or generate affirmation. It is hard (or impossible) for an identity apart from God to say no to new possibilities. For the church leader, this season is a minefield of comparison and expectations. Services to reach the lost and programs for the devout on...

Sabbath – Identity and the Fourth Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8 – 11 Work is not a curse, it a part of the image of God we bear. For the first man and woman in the garden, work was an expression of their communion with the Creator. Part of the reflection of his glory to the world. But for a people who were in the midst of exiting slavery, work would not have felt like a gift or a product of design, but rather a death sentence. So, God reminded the Israelites that He set the standard for work. In the days of creation. Then He introduced Sabbath, a day of rest that would have been startling to a person who had spent their entire life in slavery. God created the rhythm of work and rest. Yet, in the garden, at the fulcrum event of the Fall, mankind’s relationship with work changed. Rather than responding, the creation was not going to fight back. There was going to be pain and toil. Mankind was also going to look to work...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

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