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Tag Archives: contemplate

Turning Vacations into Sabbaticals

Each of us takes a vacation every year, for one, two, three, or more weeks. The problem, however, is that we take on the culture’s view of “vacations,” treating them simply as days off away from work. Let me suggest a larger biblical perspective, one that sees them as Sabbatical gifts from the Lord our God. Once Geri and I began to do so 12 years ago, it completely transformed the way we prepared and planned. We began to receive our vacations as annual gifts from God that resembled the ancient Jew’s participation in the festivals of their day (the three national feasts of Pentecost, Booths, and Passover). We simply applied the four characteristics that defined our weekly twenty-four-hour Sabbaths – stopping work, enjoying rest, practicing delight, and contemplating God – to our vacations. Remember, the purpose of all earthly life and matter is to lead us to communion with God. The entire cosmos. Read more.

Waiting on God for God

One of the turning points in my leadership happened 12 years ago while spending a week praying the Offices at a Trappist monastery. My prayer life had been marked by waiting on God FOR “THINGS” –e.g. leaders for specific ministries, creative strategies, breakthroughs, key donors to support the work, healings, growth in our church, family blessings, etc. At that point I moved to waiting on God FOR GOD. It turned out to be life-changing – both for my relationship with Jesus and my leadership. While praying for those “things” is good and biblical, I realized that my will was inseparably mixed with God’s will. The lines between the two were blurry. I always seemed to need something else from him. During that week with the Trappists, I sensed from God an invitation to seek his face (Ps. 27:4) and wait for Him alone. Out of that, I trusted, He would reveal himself and his. Read more.

Leading Out of a Marriage that is a Sign and Wonder for Christ

The following chart and prayer were highlighted at our EHLeader PreConference Session today as we explored the power of making marriage our first ambition and passion. The first contrasts standard and biblical sexuality for married couples while the prayer reflects something we invited couples to pray each day.          

Why Do We Resist Silence?

Dallas Willard has called silence and solitude the two most radical disciplines in the Christian life. Henri Nouwen said “without solitude it is almost impossible to live a spiritual life.” If solitude is the practice of being absent to people and things to attend to God, silence is the practice of quieting every inner and outer voice to attend to Him. Yet, I have become increasingly aware, as I teach The EHS Course at New Life Fellowship Church each year, how incredibly difficult the practice of silence is for people. A core part of The EHS Course is spending time with God twice a day, five days a week using Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day: A 40 Day Journey with Daily Office. Each devotional begins and ends with two minutes of silence. That is where the problems begin. Each week we talk about different issues that arise around practicing silence such as: Why is. Read more.

Sabbath: Resisting Powers and Principalities

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…Remember you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a outstretched hand. Deut. 5 This issue of Sabbath is a global problem – from Africa to North America to Asia to Europe to Latin America to Australia/New Zealand. We as pastors and leaders must come out from the slave driver, the Pharaoh, that lives inside of us and dominates our culture. Imagine the violent anxiety the Israelites must have felt for 430 years in Pharaoh’s workaholic system. They were always busy and frenetic. They constantly had to prove they were worthy of being alive based on producing more bricks. We may be free physically from Pharaoh, but he continues to live inside of most of us. Our families of origin, along with Western culture with its emphasis on “bigger and better,” keep us working faster and faster. We. Read more.

Sabbath: Resisting Powers and Principalities

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…Remember you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a outstretched hand. Deut. 5 This issue of Sabbath is a global problem – from Africa to North America to Asia to Europe to Latin America to Australia/New Zealand. We as pastors and leaders must come out from the slave driver, the Pharaoh, that lives inside of us and dominates our culture. Imagine the violent anxiety the Israelites must have felt for 430 years in Pharaoh’s workaholic system. They were always busy and frenetic. They constantly had to prove they were worthy of being alive based on producing more bricks. We may be free physically from Pharaoh, but he continues to live inside of most of us. Our families of origin, along with Western culture with its emphasis on “bigger and better,” keep us working faster and faster. We simply. Read more.