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.
“If you are going to marry,” thundered the speaker to the 17,000 of us attending the Urbana Student Missions Conference, “…make sure you marry someone who doubles your ministry, and doesn’t cut it in half.” Nobody had said it quite that bluntly before but that was the message about marriage that I was taught as a young Christian leader. The focus of my energy became accumulating knowledge and skills. I read books, attended seminars, traveled to conferences, and invested three years of my life in seminary. Marriage was only talked about in the context of helping other couples. Most present-day theology on a leader’s marriage reflects this secular view: I am a leader who happens to be married. The Christian view, however, is very different. We lead out of a marriage that serves as a sign and wonder of God’s love for the world (Ephesians 5:32). Since Geri and I started our emotionally healthy. Read more.