Digging in Deeper: Exodus 31:13

“Tell the Israelites: You must observe my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, so that you will know that I am the Lord who consecrates you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When was the last time you truly took a day off? I guess a better question than that may be this: What does it even mean to take a day off? A day off from what? From work? What kind of work? Maybe you’ve taken a day off from your paid work, but spent the entire day running errands and doing chores around the house. That doesn’t seem like much of a day off. Perhaps you took a day of absence from work to spend the day volunteering with a charitable organization. That felt good, but you’re just as tired as if you’d spent all day at your “real” job. How are we supposed to get any rest if we don’t even really know what it means to rest in the first place?

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 3:3-5

“He told the man with the shriveled hand, ‘Stand before us.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. After looking around at them with anger, he was grieved at the hardness of their hearts and told the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.” (CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Why do we have rules? Sound familiar? We started there yesterday too. But here at the beginning of Mark 3, we find Jesus debating the same issue yet again with the Pharisees. Here, though, things are starting to get a bit hotter. The last lesson He taught them was that the rules are first for our good, not simply to be followed because they are there. Here…He teaches the same lesson but in a much more graphic way. Let’s see how.

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Morning Musing: Mark 2:27

“Then he told them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Why do we have rules? What is their purpose? At the most basic level there are two purposes. One is to restrain. The other is to teach. These two are not mutually exclusive of one another. Some rules are intended both to restrain and teach. They restrain behavior that is bad while actively teaching behavior that is good. Good rules do this. Out of balance, though, things can get messy quickly. What we see here is Jesus teaching the Pharisees a lesson on the purpose of God’s rules. Let’s pay attention to it.

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A Slower Pace

This week was part five of our series, Simplicity: Finding Contentment in a Busy Life. Last week we started getting more practical about how to live a life of simple contentment in some specific situations. We started with our stuff. This week: Our time. In a world that is busy and chaotic and stressful, when we feel the pressure of life pushing in on us as we run from one thing to the next, how can we slow things down? With an ancient practice that is often misunderstood. Keep reading to find out what that is and what we can do with it.

A Slower Pace

Do you remember going on vacation as a kid?  I remember several different vacations we took.  I remember seeing Disney for the first time and marveling at the magic found there.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw Old Faithful erupt, or gaping in awe at the artistic wonder of Mount Rushmore.  Long will I treasure seeing the history of our nation preserved in the various Smithsonian Museums, sitting in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Building, and walking the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg.  And the feeling of being small while standing at the base of the giant redwoods in King’s Canyon, California is one that will ever give me perspective on just how big the world is.  I really was privileged to get to go and see a lot of our incredible nation when I was growing up. 

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Keeping the Beat

This Labor Day weekend, we took some time to talk about taking a day off…just like many of you are doing today.  Life was meant to run at a certain pace, to play to a certain beat.  If we don’t get the rhythm of life right, thing are much more difficult than they might otherwise be.  Keep reading to learn a powerful tool that will help us keep on beat with the rhythm of life.  Happy Labor Day.

Keeping the Beat

When playing the drum set, one of the first things you learn is how to play “time.”  Indeed, much drum set music as a part in an ensemble will have several measures that are blank with the exception of a line with two little dots right in the middle which indicates you’re supposed to play “time.”  Now, if you don’t know music lingo, you may be wondering why the drummer is supposed to beat on a clock.  Let me explain. Read the rest…