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Friday, May 30, 2003

Sabbath. What a wonderful concept. Next to Grace, it is perhaps my favorite biblical concept. It is, of course, a type of grace: a gift offered freely to us; one which we can ignore, but we do so at our own peril.

It has always interested me how sins tend to be things we should avoid not only because they displease God, but because they are good for us. Sabbath rest is the flip side of that coin. A sabbath rest was good for God after creation and Jesus took frequent sabbaticals during his ministry. If we truly think of our lives as ruled by the Lord, we cannot ignore the sabbath. And lest anyone misunderstand, I'm not talking about attending church. I believe that's important, but for those who are most involved in the church, Sunday is anything but a sabbath.

No, I'm talking about rest. True, cleansing rest. A good sleep falls under this category, but so does sitting on the beach and staring at the ocean. I've just returned from a wonderful, refreshing vacation on Hilton Head Island, SC. We luckily escaped most of the rain that has soaked the east coast and had glorious weather. I spent much of my time with immediate and extended family, and we had active as well as tranquil moments. But overall, it was a time of rejuvenation for me, where I found myself pulled back into a deeper prayer life (that had been interrupted in the uproar of moving) and contemplating again how I can best serve the Lord in my life.

It's good to be back in this place of conversation with God. It's good to feel refreshed after the efforts and adjustments of moving. And it's good to be back here writing about it.

Monday, May 12, 2003

If you check here at all regularly, you know that my writing has been erratic at best. Moving has scrambled my schedule almost completely. I have new job responsibilities, a new home and neighborhood, I'm searching for a new church, and all these things have led to an upheaval in my life. I do find regular time for Bible reading, but I do little other reading (a shocking statement for me). I'm eating better and taking walks in the beautiful spring weather, which are things I wanted to make a part of my "new life" here. But I want to recover some of my other habits...the ones I enjoyed and that benefited me. Blogging is one of those. However, I don't see it happening over the next few weeks. For one reason, I'll be on vacation next week and I doubt I'll blog from there. But I hope one day I'll be more regular here. It helps me to get my thoughts down in writing, and I've enjoyed the relationships I've made in this medium. So if you are checking in, please be patient, and please keep coming back. Blessings!

Thursday, May 08, 2003

We jokingly refer to our younger son as "our frat boy." He was an easy baby, but ever since he learned to walk he's shown an alarming lack of fear and an incredible propensity to find trouble. Not only could he find the proverbial needle in a haystack, but he'd stick it in his mouth faster than you can say "No!" So it wasn't much of a surprise the other day when his day care called. He had fallen backwards off a small toy and had the bad luck to hit his head on the corner of a toy wooden cradle. He bled quite a bit, and we took him to his new doctor (his first visit!) and discovered he needed two staples to put the skin back where it belonged. So now he probably wouldn't make it through airport security, but the staples come out Monday and he'll be fine.

I just wonder how long it will be before our first emergency room visit...

Monday, May 05, 2003

Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.
--Psalm 25:7
Spending a weekend with old friends is comfortable and invigorating. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and it felt like we hadn't been separated by time and distance at all. And yet such time is at least tinged with regret for me, because it reminds me of many years of sinfulness. Perhaps more importantly, it reminds me of many years without Christ in my life. So in these times I try to spend less effort in reminiscing and more in building new memories that will propel our friendships into the future.

Even so, though, I know that I do not work hard enough at showing how Christ has changed my life around old friends. I'm not talking about taking them aside and giving the the "hard sell" (though that could be the appropriate thing to do). I'm just thinking about how easy it is to avoid the topic of religion and Jesus; how simple it is to display a life that is not largely different from non-Christians around me. If they were particularly observant, they would notice devotionals and books of theology around the house, but that is hardly an example of "spreading the Word." I prayed this morning for future guidance in this area for the future: how do I show my love for Jesus in everyday life, particularly around people who know me as a non-religious person?

Friday, May 02, 2003

Last night began what promises to be a weekend of renewing friendships. By chance, on of the people who now live just a few minutes from us is a close friend from graduage school. He left school before finishing the Ph.D. and has since earned a law degree and gotten married. He decided, though, that law wasn't what he wanted to do with his life, so he is back in the graduate program and trying to write his dissertation. He and his wife came over last night for dinner, and it was great to get back together with them.

This weekend, other grad school friends are coming into town. One family--who used to live near us in northern VA--will stay with us. Another (the family we recently visited in Chicago) will be staying at the above-mentioned couple's home. Why the mini-reunion? We are all heading to Charlottesville on Saturday for a surprise birthday party for another friend from grad school. So while we have all gone down different career paths in different parts of the country, we will be enjoying a mini-reunion of sorts this weekend. I know we'll enjoy seeing old friends who are so comfortable while we are meeting and making new friends in the new neighborhood.

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