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Posts Tagged ‘rest’

Technology has some wonderful benefits. I use it almost every day. It has become our way of life and how we connect with the world. We are wired for connection, but this is not the only way to connect.

We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much – if at all. —Steve Jobs

However, that being said, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our world is developing an unhealthy attachment to technology. A recent study showed that:

  • 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device.
  • 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
  • Some mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes.
  • 88% of U.S. consumers use mobile devices as a second screen even while watching television.
  • Almost half of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls.
  • Traditional TV viewing eats up over six days (144 hours, 54 minutes) worth of time per month.
  • Some researchers have begun labelling “cell phone checking” as the new yawn because of its contagious nature.

How then, in our ever-connected world, might we take appropriate steps to find balance and intentionality in our approach to technology? If you need help getting started, try one or more of these:

  • Choose to start your day elsewhere.
  • Power-down for one period of time each day.
  • Better manage the time-wasters.
  • Take one extended break on a regular basis.

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Of course there is a deeper issue here than just disconnecting.  Technology affords us so many options not to take the gaps we need in the day to just pause, reflect, and re frame our thinking.  If we miss too many of these gaps then we miss something important.  Rob Bell, on his podcast calls this, ‘The Importance of Boredom’.  It’s worth a listen.

 

I’m aware of the irony of writing this on a computer, to post on a website, so that you can read this on a screen somewhere.  My sign off and prayer below is for me as much as it is for anyone.

May you my brothers and sisters, find a way this week, to unplug, be present in the gaps between life, and use these times wisely.  May you be still and know that there is more, so much more, that waits for you if you take the time to listen to the music that you may not have heard before, and begin the dance.

Grace and peace.

The Eucharist of Life

I will be still
And not fill the gap
For I choose not
This dance of despair

I will be calm
And celebrate the pause
For I choose not
To fill my mind with emptiness

I will go off the grid
And find the spacious place
For I choose to listen
And not hear or speak

For the Eucharist of Life requires
The empty to become full
The calm before the storm
The rest between two notes

Then and only then
Can the music begin
For the dance of freedom

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Rest Assured

The concept of entering into God’s rest comes from Hebrews 3—4. What is this “rest” the Hebrew writer is talking about? How do we enter it? And how do we fail to enter it? The writer to the Hebrews begins his discussion of God’s rest in chapter 3, where he references the Israelites wandering in the desert. In giving them the land of Canaan, God had promised them that He would go before them and defeat all their enemies in order that they could live securely (Deuteronomy 12:9–10). All that was required of them was to fully trust in Him and His promises. However, they refused to obey Him. Instead, they murmured against Him, even yearning to go back to their bondage under the Egyptians (Exodus 16:3; 17:1–7; Numbers 20:3–13).

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The kind of faith that enables us to enter into God’s rest is a faith that first demands that we rest from relying on our own works. Then the writer seemingly contradicts himself by telling us to make every effort:

For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:10–11).

What this apparent paradox means is that this faith involves humbleness. By grace we don’t need to  earn salvation and the promised eternal rest, we also “make every effort to enter that rest” by choosing to depend solely on God, to trust Him implicitly, to yield totally to the promises of God through the free grace of His salvation.

So how do we stop trusting ourselves? How do we place our full trust in God and His promises? We enter into God’s rest by first understanding our total inability to enter God’s rest on our own. Next, we enter God’s rest by our total faith in the sacrifice of Christ and complete obedience to God and His will.

Unlike the Israelites whose unbelief prevented them from entering the Promised Land, we are to enter God’s rest by faith in Him, faith which is a gift from Him by grace (Ephesians 2:8–9).

So may you, my brothers and sisters, know that Jesus invites you into this rest.  Know that you can go there anytime and in any place.   May this rest and the unforced rhythm of grace transform you.

Rest Assured

Enter the rest
So you will have more
Than you ever dreamed
Ever possible before

Enter the rest
Where suffering ends
The pain and the toil
Are forgotten friends

Enter my rest
Where the pasture is green
The quiet stream flows
Where peace is serene

Today enter my rest
Deep in you soul
Feel me beat your heart
So you become whole

For heaven is here
If you have eyes to see
Fix them on me
If you truly believe

 

 

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If you play Trivial Pursuit long enough you will know that “Jesus wept” is a phrase famous for being the shortest verse in the King James Version of the Bible, as well as many other versions. You can find it in John 11:35.

This verse occurs in John’s narrative of the death of Lazarus, a follower of Jesus. Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus of their brother’s illness and impending death, but Jesus arrived four days after Lazarus died. Jesus, after talking to the grieving sisters and seeing Lazarus’ friends weeping, was deeply troubled and moved. After asking where Lazarus had been laid, and being invited to come see, Jesus wept. He then came to the tomb and told the people to remove the stone covering the tomb, prayed aloud to his Father, and ordered Lazarus to come out, resurrecting him before the mourners.

Significance has been attributed to Jesus’ deep emotional response to his friends’ weeping, and his own tears, including the following:

  • Weeping demonstrates that Christ was indeed a true man, with real bodily functions (such as tears, sweat, blood, eating and drinking—note, for comparison, the emphasis laid on Jesus’ eating during the post-resurrection appearances).
  • His emotions and reactions were real; Christ was not an illusion or spirit
  • The sorrow, sympathy, and compassion Jesus felt for all mankind.
  • The rage he felt against the tyranny of death over mankind.

So sometimes we weep. We know that Jesus has experienced all the suffering and more than we will ever experience.  This can be helpful to us if we can gain the perspective we need to realise it. This of course isn’t very easy to do when we are in the middle of suffering. However this is exactly when God can seem the closest.

It is in these places where Jesus invites us to come to the water, rest a while and let Him guide us through the valley. All we need to do is accept His free invitation.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. – Isaiah 55:1

May you come to know that in the midst of your trials and suffering that Jesus is there, closer to you than your own breath. May you know that Jesus sees and counts each of your tears. May you know that it was for those tears He died and rose again.

For Those Tears I Died

You said you’d come and share all my sorrows
You said you’d be there for all my tomorrows
I came so close to sending you away
But just like you promised, you came here to stayhttps://i2.wp.com/www.awwand.org/images/waterhands.jpg
I just had to pray

And Jesus said,
Come to the water, stand by my side
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied
I felt every tear drop, when in darkness you cried
And I strove to remind you, It’s for those tears I died

Your goodness so great, I can’t understand it
And dear Lord I know now that all this was planned
I know You’re here now and always will be
Your love loosened my chains, and in You I’m free
But Jesus why me?

Jesus I give You, my heart and my soul
I know now without God, I’ll never be whole
Savior, You opened all the right doors
And I thank You and praise You from earth’s humble shores
Take me I’m Yours!

Words and Music by Marsha J. and Russ Stevens

 

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I’ve been underfed, I’ve been overdrawn, I’m tired of walking this fine line for so long, I’ve been looking for you in all the wrong places. So who will come to the aid of a man like me.  This is one of the verses from Derek Lind’s song A Man Like Me.

Life is busy, there are many things that keep us occupied and distracted. Most of this ‘busyness’ wears us down, and tires us out. We need someone or something to come to our rescue.  Sooner than later we start to long for that wonderful time of year where we can sit on the beach, climb into the hammock, close our eyes and drift away while the sun warms our soul. Paradise.

While this is the experience of many of us, something seems wrong with this picture. Something seems very wrong. Is this really all there is to life – waiting for the next break, the next holiday to relax and rest? Is this what the rest of our life looks like? Is it the best we can hope for?

We have an opportunity to turn all of this upside down. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to find a place of rest and then operate our lives from this place. I’m not talking about sitting on a beach with a laptop. I’m talking about getting away with Jesus, taking a rest, and getting (as my American friends would say) the heck out of Dodge.

Jesus wants us to experience his way, his rhythm of life, his rhythm of grace. From this place we can still achieve all the things we need and want to do. Actually it’s more what Jesus wants us to do and be. It’s a change of attitude and mindset. It’s a change of culture.  Here’s how the band Jesus Culture describes it:
 
Come away with Me, Come away with Me
It’s never too late, it’s not too late
It’s not too late for you
 
I have a plan for you
It’s gonna be wild
It’s gonna be great
It’s gonna be full of Me
~ Come Away by Jesus Culture

How do we do this? How do we come away? – we choose to, we ask Jesus for his rest, and we believe it. It’s really that simple.

So what about you? How will you spend the rest of your life? What do you need to stop doing. Will you take up Jesus’ invitation to come away?  Maybe you’re doing this now.  Would you share your experience, here or somewhere. It may help someone find their place of rest, for the rest of their life.

Finally here’s my take from Jesus’ view on rest – his unforced rhythm of grace.

The Rhythm of Grace

Are you tired and weary      
Sick of running this race
Come away with me
Learn the rhythm of grace

Are you weighed down
By the burdens that you face
Come away with me
Learn the rhythm of grace

Are you over religion
Has the salt lost its taste
Come away with me
Learn the rhythm of grace

Do you need real rest
But can’t find it at your place
Come away with me
Learn the rhythm of grace

I can set you life free
Watch me, seek my face
Come walk with me
Learn my rhythm of grace

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