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Tag Archives: contemplate

Hard Lessons Learned (Revisited)

  Last week I preached on this at the twentieth anniversary service of Iglesia Nueva Vida. I was senior pastor of the church for five years before Pastor Julio Rodriquez took over leadership and greatly expanded the work. They now number about a 1000 people and have over 90 works in Latin America. You can listen to this bilingual message if you like by clicking here. (I actually begin speaking 1 hour and 12 minutes into the video).  The following are the hard lessons that I wished someone had taught me 24 years ago when I began pastoring: 1. Be Yourself. I spent too much time in my early years trying to be someone I was not. As Rumi said, “To live unfaithfully to yourself is to cause others great damage.” David models this for us in 1 Sam. 17 as he takes off Saul’s armor. This takes great courage and faith. 2. Seek. Read more.

Summer Reading on Sabbath Vacation

A number of years ago Geri and I began structuring our vacations as mini-sabbaticals, taking the 4 principles of our weekly Sabbaths- Stop, Rest, Delight and Contemplate. One of the most delightful aspects of vacation for me is to read broadly. The following is a sample of what I have been reading the last few weeks. 1. Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson.  This was my favorite read. I felt it was much better written than his Three Cups of Tea. It was so good I didn’t want it to end and put it down for 3 weeks before finishing.  I love Mortenson’s creativity and ability to think outside the box, his clear vision, and his willingness to take risks. God used this book to give me a love for the people of Afghanistan. 2. Russka: The Novel of Russia, Edward Rutherfurd. This outstanding historical novel on the founding and history of. Read more.

Fast for Lent: Receive the Gift of Sabbath

At New Life Fellowship Church we have launched a church-wide initiative to keep Sabbath during the seven weeks of Lent. We asked people to choose  a 24 hour period –either from Saturday night, 6 p.m.,to Sunday night, 6 p.m., or from Friday night, 6 p.m., to Saturday night, 6 p.m. We also asked them to mark the beginning and end of their Sabbath by lighting a candle.  To listen to the sermon and see further resources , go to www.newlifefellowship.org.  One larger goal of Sabbath, I believe, is that the qualities of biblical Sabbath (STOP, REST, DELIGHT, CONTEMPLATE) infuse our other six days. John Freeman’s book, The Tyranny of E-Mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox has been a gift to me these last few months as I seek creative ways to eliminate hurry and multitasking from my daily routine. The following are the suggestions that I found most helpful that I am adding to my “fast” this Lent: 1. Don’t Send.  E-mail only . Read more.

Summer, Our "Rule of Life," and God

I want to encourage you this summer to approach your vacations as mini-sabbaticals in which you build into your time away the same principles of weekly Sabbaths (Stop, Rest, Delight, Contemplate). Instead, then, of being time when you might drift from Him and return home tired, you actually renew your communion with Jesus and yourself. My vacations and summers were revolutionized a number of years ago when I began to do this. It takes planning, forethought, and prayer, especially when you are taking children into account! But it is well worth it! Ask yourself: STOP – What do I need to do to really cease from all my work? REST – What kind of things will enable me to rest this vacation? DELIGHT – What will replenish my soil and fill me with energy, and to delight in God’s gifts? CONTEMPLATE- How can I build in time with God during this extended time? What. Read more.