Haiku For the Day 8-3-20: Bid the Earth Rest

BID THE EARTH REST

Sit low in the sky.

Rest your head on Earth’s green breast.

Bid her rest the night.

Night Time Meditation 3-31-16

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 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal….For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Cor. 4;18-5:1

As you lay your head down to sleep what eternal things are you going to fix your thoughts on?

Learning To Sabbath Pt. 1

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Anyone who knows me knows I do not spend a whole lot of time resting. Driven is a word used by parishoners from time to time.

Sometimes I think I am too busy but mostly  I just consider myself as an aggressive pursuer of  the harvest.

I also think that most of the things I am doing are in line with what God desires of me.

That said, I was asked by my District Pastor to read a book recently. The title of that book is, The Rest of God, by Mark Buchanan. It has me thinking a lot about a Sabbath mentality and how that may be lacking in my life.

Here is one of the first thoughts I meditated on as I began to read.

“Without a healthy theology of labor, we’ll have an impoverished theology of rest. We’ll find that both are hectic, sporadic chaotic. We’ll find no joy in either.” Buchanan p.18

Let me ask you…How does a person’s mindset about work affect their mindset about rest?

A Season Of Rest

It’s the sound of water

Lapping at the dock

As my daughter dangles

Her feet in the midnight blue

Of a summer lake.

Walden Pond

Walden Pond

It’s a walk around the block

With my little dogs

And a grey rock

Steeple reaching for the blue heavens

On an autumn day.

Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey

As the moon sings

Her cyclic songs

Over all the world

I forget if only for now

That the world is loud.

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It’s the swish of shovels.

Snow piled high,

Plows hold the world hostage.

And I am in

A season of rest.

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Pastor Wrinkles: Unintended Consequences Pt. 4

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Our discussion continues regarding the fall of man and the nature of original sin. Today we are talking about the loss of rest. If you missed our previous three discussions and want to answer the questions posed in them you can find them

HERE for part 1

HERE for part 2

and

HERE for part 3

Now on to today’s discussion…

It is true, as we have said,  in the fall from grace we lost assurance; We lost our authority; But we also lost our REST-

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;  through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow  you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are  and to dust you will return.” Ge. 3:16-19

I just talked with a friend who came back from vacationing. She was highly stressed and chose to take a spiritual healing retreat at a Christian conference center. She spent a week resting and praying and rejuvenating and then came back to work. Three days later all her stress levels are back. How many of you have been there? That is the power of the fall. God intended that our work itself would refresh us. Before the fall work was a vacation and now even our vacations most times feel like work. We have lost our rest. It is an inside problem. It is the way we look at work not the work itself. It is what work tells us about ourselves and the world not the work itself.

How many of you have said this, “I love what I do I just hate the stuff that goes on around what I do? Or I  love what I do I just wish I felt like it was making a difference?”  That is the power of the fall.

Here’s a question for you. Hebrews 4:6- 11 says,

So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. 7So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:

“Today when you hear his voice,

don’t harden your hearts.”e

8Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. 9So there is a special restf still waiting for the people of God. 10For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. 11So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

What does this teach us about the possibility of having our rest restored?

The Season Of Rest and Listening

Me reclining after walking up the "Rocky" stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Me reclining after walking up the “Rocky” stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Anybody who has been reading Lillie-Put for any length of time knows I have just come through one of the busiest autumns I have ever clocked. Now I am in a season of rest and recuperation.

God has been speaking to me about several things I am to pursue during this season. One of the items on that list is a deeper level of faith. I spoke about this a bit in my series, “Laboring to Rest.”

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As I was meditating this morning, God spoke to me about another item to be added to that list, listening.

One of the issues I am dealing with coming off of the fall harvest is a feeling of both physical and mental exhaustion. My brain feels like it has been sand-blasted and as if all the ideas in it have been turned to dust.

Of course, I realize that is just a feeling and a misconception mixed together. The truth is the ideas are still there because they were not inspired by me in the first place. Any of my really good ideas started out as God’s ideas and since He never grows weary, His ideas can’t be blasted away by my busyness. What has changed is not His ability to create through me but my ability to connect to Him so the creativity can flow. Restoring the creative connection is going to require intentional active listening.

I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.

Larry King

 

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.

Doug Larson

So now I am dedicating a large chunk of my prayer time to reading the Word and just sitting quietly before God and practicing the art of what the Quakers called centering down.

How do you practice the discipline of listening to God?

Pastor Wrinkles: Laboring To Rest Pt. 3

Me reclining after walking up the "Rocky" stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Me reclining after walking up the “Rocky” stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum.

We have been discussing the paradoxes of Scripture in church these last several weeks. Yesterday I got to speak on the paradox of “laboring to rest” which we find in Hebrews 4:11. This post is the conclusion of the matter. So f you missed the first two section s they can be found at the links below:

https://josephelonlillie.com/2014/11/30/pastor-wrinkles-laboring-to-rest-pt-1/

https://josephelonlillie.com/2014/12/01/pastor-wrinkles-laboring-to-rest-pt-2/

What we have learned to this point is that the work…the labor we are called to do as Christians is the work of having faith in a living loving God. We are called to do that in a world that is constantly trying to steal our faith and get us to believe only in our own strength.

The writer to the Hebrews in the verses leading up to our opening verse in Hebrews 4: 11 makes this clear when he writes,

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,” Hebrews 4:1-3

Our work our labor is to believe and have faith in God and to allow that faith to propel us through life rather than our own strength.

Some people scoff at this way of living saying it makes God a crutch. They would say that God helps those who help themselves. But the truth is that we are a people who need a crutch.The world, and even our own inner monologues often tells us that we have to save ourselves, that we cannot rely on God so we have to trust in ourselves, our own strength. The problem is that every time we follow this line of advice we end up in trouble. Some people have gone so far as to make even going to Heaven a work that man can accomplish in his own strength. Others following that advice of working their way to Heaven have worked their way right out of trusting Christ and into Hell. I had one man tell me that if in fact he could not get to Heaven on his own merits he was not going to rely upon someone else’s sacrifice to get him into the pearly gates. That man died and for all his labor he ended up with an eternity of torment.

When the Bible tells us to labor to enter into rest it is not talking about a list of do’s and don’ts but about laboring to build faith in the work of Christ in our lives and this is indeed a labor for the whole world is set against it:

The world tells us to work to get ahead. Christ says trust me and obey me and I will give you the life I intend for you to have.

The world says work hard and pay your own way. The Lord says trust me, pray and do the things I tell you to do and I will supply all your needs.

The world says do good works and God might be impressed enough to let you into Heaven. Jesus says come unto me and trust my work on the cross to save you and then you can rest from your labors.

In the end we have a choice about how to labor. Laboring in our own strength leads us to exhaustion and ultimately failure. Laboring to trust God and His way for our lives leads to rest and peace and ultimately success. It seems like a no-brainer to me but which will you choose?