“Shalom Sabbath!” Having recently returned from Israel, the whole Sabbath thing, taking a day of rest once a week to honor God, is relatively fresh. In Israel, the Sabbath is super important! They organize their elevators to comply with Sabbath regulations, there’s meal guidelines, work closes down for a day & it seems like the entire nation takes a pause. I found the whole experience to be curious & refreshing.
So yesterday, I experienced kind of a “command Sabbath.” We had a really big snowstorm here in Denver, so my kids were home from school & I rested for much of the day. Since I don’t often pause for an entire day, it was an interesting experience. I appreciated getting some extra sleep, along with forcing my mind to disconnect from work stuff. It was nice to enjoy some quiet reading and even catch a great college basketball game!
The “command Sabbath” reminds me that what I do is never as important to God as who I am. And having a day of rest makes me want to be all the more productive today!! 🙂
To a degree, these are all true. But the ultimate fulfillment to going father, being smarter (more wise), visibility & feel good about ourselves isn’t sustained in conventional nor fleshly thinking.
Jesus tells us that the way to being fulfilled is through being committed to kingdom opposites:
The last will be first;
the way ahead is through humility & service;
exercise & discipline are corollaries to soul health;
seeking God’s kingdom first sets everything in proper alignment to live a of fulfillment & reward!
The ultra famous rocker “Prince” died today at the age of 57, of causes yet unknown. If you ever listened to pop radio in the 1980s, there’s a good chance you heard at least a few of his songs – “1999”, “When Doves Cry” & “Let’s Go Crazy”, to name a few. Prince was a very private and creative person. His religious leanings were probably in the Jehovah Witness persuasion & he didn’t really comply with anything institutional nor common. At one point, he changed his name to a symbol & that’s probably where I lost the plot with him.
While you can find plenty of things in his life that didn’t agree with you, he was nevertheless an innovative creator of a rare breed. Some of that creativity was bizarre but some of it was sheer genius.
While many of the people who read this blog may not be familiar with Prince, his premature death drives home the point that life is short. Let’s be certain to live with divine intentionality and pray for the people not only in our daily living but also for the people have platform and influence in today’s culture.
This question gets asked, I think, by every human on the planet at various times & for various reasons. Or the quick version, “why am I here?”
Clearly, this is an important question, but not at the expense of our daily living. Everyday we should be kind, generous, encouraging, gentle, use our time wisely, look for ways to bless & add value . . . . .
All of these things are important ingredients for our purpose everyday & knowing God’s call / purpose for our lives in a broader context is sometimes simply answered by keeping our feet on the ground today with these constructive decisions. You are important. You are wise & you are kind 🙂
When I think about the various things that I would like, it’s an interesting list. Somethings are just superficial & others have more substance & significance. But if I think with honesty about many of the things that I want & drill into what’s really in my heart, what I really want is fulfillment, significance, acceptance, purpose & contentment to name a few things. And with these things in mind, the ultimate source for these desires is a vibrant, growing & tranformational relationship with Jesus.
So lets be careful that we don’t fall into the “materialism trap” & remember that when we seek Jesus 1st & His kingdom, then everything else can fall into the proper alignment & priority 🙂
On the whole, I believe that God has designed us to be social & for people to be important in our lives. And in my life, I see that God has put lots of different kinds of friends & people in my life. For me, its important to have a diversity of friends & not just try to have everything wrapped up into one person or only a few. Here are a few of the diverse friendships that I have:
friends with whom I share recipes,
friends that I see movies with,
friends with whom I talk about good books,
friends where our kids have similar ages so we hang out when our kids play together
friends with whom we share about God at very deep & transparent levels
friends that enjoy travel adventures
friends that challenge my political thoughts, even though I have very few ,)
Let’s be sure to celebrate & honor the various friendships in our lives & let God unfold their purposes over time. Being & having friends is important! 😀
At some point in each of our lives, we ask the question, “What’s my purpose? Why am I on earth?” I think this is a universal human question & there are lots of ways to answer this line of questioning, but here’s a simple approach that God has been dealing w me on of late:
I believe that a significant reason that I’m alive is to raise the awareness of Jesus in my world. Raising this awareness happens in a VARIETY of ways:
sometimes through a direct conversation, helping someone see God’s hand moving in their life, asking a question that helps a person reach out to Jesus, praying for a person when they express a need, . . . . .
sometimes through an act of kindness, a smile, a friendly gesture, an encouraging word, letting someone go in front of you in a line, serving a person, generous forgiveness, . . . .
sometimes through a provision, being generous with our resources (time, energy, finances), paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line, giving a homeless person a meal, giving a starving baby meals for a month with saving moses ,) , . . . .
I want my life to make Jesus attractive to the people with whom I interact – not just because its Easter week & the seasonal trend to invite people to church (although let’s all get really motivated & bring hordes of friends to church). I want to spread the fragrance of Jesus wherever I go. I want to illuminate His presence in all my conversations. I want to express His genuine love with His extravagant provisions. For me, let this purpose be the preoccupation of each day.