Daily Riches: The Sabbath as “Sacred Stasis” (Michael Fishbane and Walter Brueggemann)

“The Sabbath, along with the other practices [Michael Fishbane] exposits, concerns the maintenance of a distinct faith identity in the midst of a culture that is inhospitable to all distinct identities in its impatient reduction of all human life to the requirements of the market. . . . [He argues that] Sabbath is a sphere of inaction.” Walter Brueggemann

”One enters the sphere of inaction through divestment, and this release affects all the elements of the workaday sphere. Business activity and exchange of money are forbidden, and one is urged not just to desist from commerce but to develop more interior spheres of settling the mind from this type of agitation. . . . Slowly, under these multiple conditions, a sense of inaction takes over, and the day does not merely mark the stoppage of work or celebrate the completion of creation, but enforces the value that the earth as a gift of divine creativity, given to humankind in sacred trust. On the Sabbath, the practical benefits of technology are laid aside, and one tries to stand in the cycle of natural time, without manipulation or interference. To the degree possible, one must attempt to bring the qualities of inaction and rest into the heart and mind. . . . The Sabbath is thus a period of sacred stasis, a duration of sanctity through the cultivation of inaction in body and spirit. . . . The heartbeat of repose may thus suffuse the mind and limbs of one’s being, and generate an inner balance poised on quietude and a settled spirit.” Michael Fishbane

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.”
Exodus 20:8-10b NIV

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Imagine joining your Jewish friends for several months as they practice “the heartbeat of repose” the way Fishbane describes it. How would that feel?
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could experience more “quietude and a settled spirit” in our lives? . . . our homes? . . . our churches?
  • Brueggemann points out the profound external, societal implications for God’s people. Sabbath is a major way we resist our inhospitable culture. Are you resisting a culture that wants to shape you?

Abba, may we regularly enter into inaction of body and soul–into quietude and a settled spirit.

For more: Sabbath As Resistance by Walter Brueggemann

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Sources:

Brueggemann, Walter. Sabbath As Resistance: Saying NO to the CULTURE OF NOW. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2014.

Fishbane, Michael. Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008.

 

Daily Riches: How Success Demands Self-Care (Michael Hyatt and Jack Nevison)

“Here’s the hard truth: Time is fixed. It can’t flex. You get 168 hours no matter how important you may think you are. But here’s another truth: energy can flex. You can’t give yourself more time. That’s true. But you can bring a sharper, more energized you to bear on the time you have available. . . . Productivity is less about managing time and more about managing your energy. Most people get this entirely backward. As a result, they work more and more, less and less efficiently. The research shows that after a certain amount of time we’re just chasing our tail. Jack Nevison crunched the numbers from several studies on long work hours, and here’s what he found: there’s a ceiling for productive work. He calls it the law of fifty, and it stands in stark contrast to the hustle fallacy. Push past 50 hours a week, and there’s no productivity gain. Zero. In fact, it could go backward. One study found that 50 hours on the job only yielded 37 hours of useful work. Push that up to 55 hours, and it drops to 30. In other words . . . there’s an inverse relationship between how much you work and how productive you are. You’re not a robot. You’re a person who needs rest to be at your best. As you think about self-care, you have to acknowledge that your self is at the center. . . . I’m asking you to acknowledge the fact that your self is central. Your health, your relationships, your children, your hobbies, your work. . . . At the center of all these is you. You’re all you have to offer these various facets of your life. If you’re not nurturing yourself, if your self is not thriving, then the influence you bring to these other dimensions is going to be less than what it could be.” Michael Hyatt

“I discipline my body and make it my slave,
so that, after I have preached to others,
I myself will not be disqualified.”
1 Corinthians 9:27 NASB

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you feel like a slave?
  • Do you sense that God made you for something more?
  • Hyatt’s principles could come from a book on spiritual formation. Can you use them to give yourself permission to practice self-care?

Abba, may I bring my cared-for self (my best self) into every situation.

For More: “Self-Care As a Leadership Discipline” by Michael Hyatt

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Daily Riches: Moving At Brick-Making Speed (Walter Brueggemann)

“In our own contemporary context of the rat race of anxiety, the celebration of Sabbath is an act of . . .  resistance . . . . It is resistance because it is a visible insistence that our lives are not defined by the production and consumption of commodity goods. Such an act of resistance requires enormous intentionality and communal reinforcement amid the barrage of seductive pressures from the insatiable insistences of the market, with its intrusion into every part of our life . . . .” Walter Brueggemann

“The departure from that same system [the exploitation of modern day ‘brick-makers’] in our time is not geographical. It is rather emotional, liturgical, and economic. It is not an idea but a practical act. Thus the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is an act of trust in the subversive, exodus-causing God of the first commandment, an act of submission to the restful God of commandments one, two, and three. Sabbath is a practical divestment so that neighborly engagement, rather than production and consumption, defines our lives. It is for good reason that sabbath has long been for theologically serious Jews, the defining discipline. It is for good reason that Enlightenment-based autonomous Christians may find the Sabbath commandment the most urgent and the most difficult of all the commandments of Sinai. We are, liberals and conservatives, much inured to Pharaoh’s system. For that reason, the departure into restfulness is both urgent and difficult, for our motors are set to run at brick-making speed. [But] To cease, even for a time, the anxious striving for more bricks is to find ourselves with a ‘light burden’ and an ‘easy yoke.'” Brueggemann

“And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding,
‘Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?’”
Exodus 5:14 NIV

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • The Sabbath calls on you to stop, even if you prefer “brick-making speed.” How else will you practice “neighborly engagement?”
  • Many brag about working 80-hour weeks, or never taking vacation. Does it make sense to you that anyone would brag about living like a slave? . . . as if life were all about making bricks?
  • If Sabbath-keeping in our seductive culture requires “enormous intentionality and communal reinforcement”, is there any hope that you’ll succeed at it? What can you do?

Abba, help me to join the subversive, exodus-causing God, and his community, in resisting unjust powers in my day. Make me available for loving my neighbor.

For more: Sabbath As Resistance by Walter Brueggemann

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Thanks for reading, following and sharing these “Daily Riches!” Look for my upcoming book –Wisdom From the Margins: Daily Readings for more of these provocative quotes, verses, questions, and prayers.

Sources:

Brueggemann, Walter. Sabbath As Resistance: Saying NO to the CULTURE OF NOW. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2014.

Daily Riches: The Rhythmic Dance (Wayne Mueller and Geri Scazzero)

“When we live without listening to the timing of things, when we live and work in twenty-four-hour shifts without rest–we are on war time, mobilized for battle. Yes, we are strong and capable people, we can work without stopping, faster and faster, electric lights making artificial day so the whole machine can labor without ceasing. But remember: No living thing lives like this. There are greater rhythms, seasons and hormonal cycles and sunsets and moonrises and great movements of seas and stars. We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms…. To surrender to the rhythms of seasons and flowerings and dormancies is to savor the secret of life itself. Many scientists believe we are ‘hard-wired’ like this, to live in rhythmic awareness, to be in and then step out, to be engrossed and then detached, to work and then to rest. It follows then that the commandment to remember the Sabbath is not a burdensome requirement from some law-giving deity—’You ought, you’d better, you must’—but rather a remembrance of a law that is firmly embedded in the fabric of nature. It is a reminder of how things really are, the rhythmic dance to which we unavoidably belong.” Wayne Mueller

“Honoring our different rhythms involves respecting and negotiating our needs and preferences at work, with friends, at church, in our marriage, our extended families, and even our parenting. To begin listening to your inner rhythms, consider the following questions: Do you know when it is time to be with people and when it is time to be alone? Do you know when it is time to rest or time to play? What are your most optimal work hours? How much sleep to you need? When is it time to eat? Is it time for you to wait on something or is it time to move on? How does the pace of our life feel? What can you do to establish an enjoyable routine and healthy balance in this season of your life? And finally, what are the one or two changes you can make in order to get more in step with your God-given inner rhythms?” Geri Scazzero

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens”
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you have “rhythmic awareness?” Are you listening to your inner rhythms?
  • Can you see this as a spiritual issue? …one measure of mature faith?
  • Have you “surrendered” to the rhythms built into our world, or are you bucking them?

Abba, help me to listen to what your world, and my body, are telling me.

For More:  I Quit! by Geri Scazzero

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Thanks for reading and following my blog! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: What People Need Most From Their Pastor (Ruth Haley Barton)

“Sabbath-keeping is the primary discipline that helps us to live within the limits of our humanity and to honor God as our Creator. It is the kingpin of a life lived in sync—with the rhythms that God himself built into our world—and yet it is the discipline that seems hardest for us to practice. Sabbath-keeping honors the body’s need for rest, the spirit’s need for replenishment, and the soul’s need to delight itself in God for God’s own sake. It begins with the willingness to acknowledge the limits of our humanness and then taking steps to live more graciously within the order of things. …There are limits to my relational, emotional, mental, and spiritual capacities…. I am not God. God is the only one who can be all things to all people. God is the only one who can be two places at once. God is the one who never sleeps. I am not. This is pretty basic stuff but many of us live as though we don’t know it. …There is something deeply spiritual about honoring the limitations of our existence as human beings, physical and spiritual beings in a world of time and space. There is a peace that descends upon our lives when we accept what is real rather than always pushing beyond our limits. There is something about being gracious and accepting and gentle with ourselves at least once a week that enables us to be gracious and accepting and gentle with others. There is a freedom that comes from being who we are in God and resting into God that eventually enables us to bring something truer to the world than all of our doing. Sabbath-keeping helps us to live within our limits because on the Sabbath, in so many different ways, we allow ourselves to be the creature in the presence of our Creator. We touch something more real in ourselves and others than what we are all able to produce. We touch our very being in God. Surely that is what the people around us need most. – Ruth Haley Barton

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”
He said this because there were so many people coming and going
that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”
Mark 6:31

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you “acknowledged the limits” of your humanity and taken steps to live within the order of things? What steps?
  • Can you “rest” in God? Can you be gentle with yourself?”
  • What message are you sending to others who observe your lifestyle?

Abba, ground me as I rest in you.

For More: Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton

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Thanks for reading/sharing my blog! – Bill

Daily Riches: Your Rested Self … Your Best Self (David Whyte)

“Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is the essence of giving and receiving; an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually but also physiologically and physically. To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right; to rest is to fall back literally or figuratively from outer targets and shift the goal …To rest is not self indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given. In the first state of rest is the sense of stopping, of giving up on what we have been doing or how we have been being. In the second, is the sense of slowly coming home, the physical journey into the body’s un-coerced and un-bullied self, as if trying to remember the way or even the destination itself. In the third state is a sense of healing and self-forgiveness and of arrival. In the fourth state [is] …the blessing and the being blessed and the ability to delight in both. The fifth stage is a sense of absolute readiness and presence, a delight in and an anticipation of the world and all its forms…. Rested, we are ready for the world but not held hostage by it, rested we care again for the right things and the right people in the right way. In rest we reestablish the goals that make us more generous, more courageous, more of an invitation, someone we want to remember, and someone others would want to remember too.” David Whyte

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.”
Psalm 23:1,2

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Does God prioritize rest more than you do?
  • Is God counting on you to lovingly control everyone in your orbit?
  • Are you rested enough to bring “the best of yourself” to your relationships and tasks?

Abba, help me remember the way into my uncoerced self.

For More: Consolations by David Whyte

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest! Please leave a comment or question. –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Where Busyness is a Fetish (Mark Buchanan, Marva Dawn, Eugene Peterson, Tim Keller and Pete Scazzero)

“In a culture where busyness is a fetish and stillness is laziness, rest is sloth. But without rest, we miss the rest of God: the rest he invites us to enter more fully so that we might know him more deeply. ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Some knowing is never pursued, only received. And for that, you need to be still. Sabbath is both a day and an attitude to nurture such stillness. It is both time on a calendar and a disposition of the heart. It is a day we enter, but just as much a way we see. Sabbath imparts the rest of God—actual physical, mental, spiritual rest, but also the rest of God—the things of God’s nature and presence we miss in our busyness.” Mark Buchanan

“A great benefit of Sabbath keeping is that we learn to let God take care of us—not by becoming passive and lazy, but in the freedom of giving up our feeble attempts to be God in our own lives.” Marva J. Dawn

“If you don’t take a Sabbath, something is wrong. You’re doing too much, you’re being too much in charge. You’ve got to quit, one day a week, and just watch what God is doing when you’re not doing anything.” Eugene H. Peterson

“You cannot have a proper work theology unless you have a proper rest theology.” Tim Keller

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
But you would have none of it.’”
Isaiah 30:15

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you positioned to receive what cannot be obtained by pursuing? What might you be missing because of busyness and hurry?
  • Are you gradually being freed from your “feeble attempts” to be God in your own life? Are you learning to let God take care of you?
  • Do you have a “rest theology?” Are you running on fumes? How often do you bring your “best self” to the task or relationship?
  • Is whatever you’re doing now helping you “to know God more deeply?” Why not block out a day soon to “stop, rest, delight and contemplate” (Pete Scazzero), and see what a difference that can make?

Abba, help me live my theology of rest.

For More: The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and God seeks after you. My goal is to share something of unique value with you in 400 words or less. Thanks for following and sharing my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment or question. – Bill

Daily Riches – Publishing Changes

I’ve realized lately that it’s time for me to take a break from the daily publishing of this blog. I need to step back, rest, attend to some other things and other people, and give myself more time to live with the content before I publish it. I’ve resisted doing this for some time because of my love for the project, my sense of responsibility to my readers–and other things like ambition and worrying about what others would think–or how the project might lose momentum. I realize that I have to commit the fate of this project to God without regard to those things, and free up time to do more of what I have been writing about: loving well, resting and relaxing, slowing down, being less driven, and making space for contemplation. I always want this blog to be an overflow of what God is doing with me and never turn into something more like a deadline to meet. (It’s more work than I ever imagined to post something of quality six days a week.)

I’m still planning to write Daily Riches, but I’m afraid the name won’t fit so well anymore–not as far as the “Daily” part. I’m still going to post, but only when I want to, and when I can without interfering with the things I’m mentioned that need more attention. Maybe eventually, like after a sabbatical, I will return to the regular schedule. Thank you so much, faithful readers and new friends for your support–many of you have been reading almost since the beginning over two years ago. I hope you’ll still stay tuned for Riches that will come your way–albeit less frequently. And certainly, and especially if you’re a more recent subscriber, you may want to work through the archives. There’s a lot of great stuff there–most of it definitely worth reading more than one or two times. I still believe this project is important and unique, and I have really appreciated the support and feedback from many along the way.

Please pray for me in the meantime, and for the continuing influence and success of this project. As always, I wish the best for you, as you seek after God, and as God seeks after you.

Bill

Daily Riches: Hooked On Productivity (Jan Johnson, Evelyn Underhill and Eugene Peterson)

“We mostly spend [our] lives conjugating three verbs: to want, to have and to do. Craving, clutching and fussing, we are kept in perpetual unrest.” Evelyn Underhill

“My jabbering prayers have been full of what I want, what I think I should have, and what I want God to do. …Instead of fussing, striving, and monitoring, we surrender ourselves to God over and over again. For those of us who are hooked on productivity, this approach is radical. …Letting go of the need to perform for God sets our hearts on things above and turns our backs on self-importance. Instead of trying to have an accomplishment-driven relationship with God, enjoying God’s presence points us toward:

  • resting instead of productivity,
  • being silent instead of talking,
  • listening instead of giving advice,
  • empowering others instead of preaching to them,
  • asking questions instead of knowing answers,
  • surrendering instead of gritting your teeth,
  • giving instead of consuming,
  • striving for brokenness instead of upward mobility, and
  • gearing down to simplicity instead of gearing up to empire building.” Jan Johnson

“In our religious striving, we are usually looking for something quite other than the God who has come looking for us.” Eugene Peterson

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you “kept in perpetual unrest?” Are you “hooked on productivity?”
  • If so, what do these things say about your need to seem important to others? …to seem important to God? Could that be what you’re “usually looking for?”
  • The Scripture reminds us that God does not require or want our anxious striving. The list above spells out what a relaxed, trusting life might look like. Look at that list again. Is God speaking to you about anything there?

Father, May I rest instead of striving.
walk instead of racing.
receive instead of grasping.
listen instead of speaking.
endure instead of quitting.
May I trust instead of worrying.
appreciate instead of griping.
forgive instead of blaming, and
above all, may I love.

For More: When The Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative Prayer by Jan Johnson

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Snow Day – Rest Day or Work Day? (Thomas Merton, George MacDonald, Brent Bill)

“Our being is not to be enriched merely by activity and experience as such. Everything depends on the quality of our acts and our experiences. A multitude of badly performed actions and of experiences only half lived exhausts and depletes our being. …when our activity is habitually disordered, our malformed conscience can think of nothing better to tell us than to multiply the quantity of our acts, without perfecting their quality. And so we go from bad to worse, exhausting ourselves, empty our whole life of all content, and fall into despair. There are times, then, when in order to keep ourselves in existence at all we simply have to sit back for a while and do nothing. And for a man who has let himself be drawn completely out of himself by his activity, nothing is more difficult than to sit still and rest, doing nothing at all. The very act of resting is the hardest and most courageous act he can perform; and often it is quite beyond his power.” Thomas Merton

“Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.” George MacDonald

“When we discover the secret of being inwardly at worship while outwardly at work, we find that the soul’s silence brings us to God and God to us.” Brent Bill

“my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus, in Matthew 11:30

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you aware of activity in your life that “depletes your being”, leaving you exhausted, unhappy or guilty because of its “disordered” nature?
  • When you feel that way, is your response to simply multiply “the quantity” of your acts? (more “badly performed actions” and “experiences only half lived”)
  • Are you able to “do nothing at all?” to practice “sacred idleness” in order to “keep yourself in existence?”
  • What practice could help you to “find the soul’s silence”, both in work and in rest?

Abba, may my soul find peace with you in both my work and my rest.

For More: No Man Is An Island by Thomas Merton

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Supernatural Impact of Practicing Sabbath (Pete Scazzero) *

“Geri and I … marvel at the supernatural impact of inviting pastors, churches, and movements to slow down and engage the biblical truths of EHS (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality). In particular, something breaks inside people when they are invited to practice Sabbath. The following are a few reasons I think this is true:

  • Sabbath Rest is a revelation. We don’t just talk about the miraculous on Sabbath. We experience it. This enables us to give it away the other six days.
  • The power of God comes through rest – to us and then to those we serve.
  • Sabbath rest is a restoration and a reordering of what is twisted in us. We allow ourselves to be loved. We allow ourselves to be human. We stop and allow ourselves to be healed by God.
  • Sabbath rest is resistance of the demonic powers. We prophetically disconnect from the powers and principalities of darkness on Sabbath. We declare we are not slaves in Egypt any longer being used by God to get his work done. We are sons and daughters who are loved simply for who we are.” Pete Scazzero

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
Jesus in Mark 2:28

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • What Scazzero doesn’t mention, is how difficult it is convincing pastors to embrace a weekly sabbath rhythm – and people in the pews find it just as foreign and tough. How do you feel about setting aside a day each week for Sabbath practices – stopping, resting, delighting and contemplating?
  • Have you moved “from the head to the heart” on this one? Does your behavior match your convictions?
  • The only way any of us will ever know whether practicing “Sabbath rest” delivers is by trying it. Are you willing to make a plan to experiment – scheduling a Sabbath day into your calendar, for perhaps the next month or so?
  • If you’re already keeping a weekly Sabbath day, how many of the benefits mentioned have you experienced?

Abba, even on my Sabbath I’m tempted to find ways to work, or strive – intent on “accomplishing something!” Help me to really stop, rest, delight and contemplate.

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For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Hurry and the Purpose of Life (Vianna Moog, Mother Teresa, Heidi Baker, Eugene Peterson) *

“It seemed then, that my purpose in life was to get the most out of life. … I still assumed that the way to this was to strive to do more and more things … always driving to do more things – to read more books, to learn more languages, to see more people, not to miss anything … a miser-like grabbing and piling up of experience.” Marion Milner in A Life of One’s Own  …………. “I began my lifework on the assumption that I might not live long enough to accomplish everything I’d like to. If I wanted to do anything worthwhile in my life I’d have to hurry up. I have been in a hurry ever since.” Robert Schuller

“The American no longer knows how to contemplate; he does not know how to reflect or even rest.”  Brazilian sociologist Vianna Moog

“The world is lost for want of sweetness and kindness. People are starving for love because everyone is in such a great rush.”  Mother Teresa

“Ministry is simply about loving the person in front of you. It’s about stopping for the one and being the very fragrance of Jesus to a lost and dying world.”  Heidi Baker

“When we are noisy and when we are hurried we are incapable of intimacy—deep, personal, complex relationships. ” Eugene Peterson

“This is what the Sovereign Yahweh,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.’”
Isaiah 30:15

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you anxiously “striving” for more and more? Have you worried that you “might not live long enough” to accomplish everything you want to accomplish? What happens to you in the grip of such fears?
  • According to Moog, Americans don’t know how to contemplate, reflect “or even rest.” In Isaiah’s day God called the people to rest in him, but they “would have none of it.” Do you refuse God’s rest so you can strive for more and more? If so, why?
  • Salvation and strength are found in “quietness and trust” and “rest.” How can you create times of quiet, trusting rest in your daily schedule? your weekly schedule?

Abba, teach me to rest in you, trusting your care for me. Work in me to break the hold that “more” has on my life as I refuse, not your rest, but my striving.

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Sabbath and the Rhythm of Rest (Nancy Schongalla-Bowman and Mark Buchanan) *

“Despite the commandment, despite the day of rest and savoring that closed the creation story, many of us struggle to maintain a rhythm that includes intentional times of play and “non-doing.” Having just finished nature’s season of Sabbath we are reminded that spring, creativity, newness of life, are preceded by fallow time when it appears that nothing is happening. Prayer too is a time when it appears that nothing is happening. But Sabbath and prayer provide necessary opportunities for us to re-align with God and to remember that our purpose is union, faithfulness, and delight, not perfection or productivity.” Nancy Schongalla-Bowman

“”The Exodus command, with its call to imitation, plays on a hidden irony: we mimic God in order to remember we’re not God. In fact, that is a good definition of Sabbath: imitating God so that we stop trying to be God.” Mark Buchanan

“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work,
so that your ox and your donkey may rest,
and so that the slave born in your household
and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.”
Exodus 23:12

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Many of us sense the need for “realigning with God” during each day (e.g., Daily Office) and in the course of each week (Sabbath) – and yet we “struggle” with these practices. What do you suppose accounts for that?
  • Even if the Sabbath command is no longer binding today, can you hear God’s heart in Exodus 23 – to give the gift of rest to his people and those who work for them – even to animals? Do you see value in rest and “fallow time” in the world?  in your life?
  • Do you agree with the statement that our purpose “is union, faithfulness, and delight, not perfection or productivity?” Even productivity? Have you built elements into your regular schedule that reflect this claim?

Abba, sometimes it seems like everyone else is running, striving, and grasping – chasing the brass ring, measuring by accomplishment, affirmation and efficiency. I want union with you more than I want those things. Help me to develop a rhythm of regularly recalibrating my relationship with you and your purposes.

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For More”Sabbath: Keeping a Rhythm of Rest” by Nancy Schongalla-Bowman

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“There grows in me an immense dissatisfaction with all that is merely passively accepted as truth, without struggle and without examination. Faith, surely, is not passive, and not an evasion. And today, more than ever, the things we believe, I mean especially the things we accept on human faith—reported matters of ‘fact,’ questions of history, of policy, of interpretation, of wants—they should be very few.” Thomas Merton   These Daily Riches are designed to encourage examination of convictions, of faith, so that we increasingly trust in the God who is really there, and less in our ideas of Him. Thanks for reading and sharing my daily blog. –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The Supernatural Impact of Practicing Sabbath (Peter Scazzero)

“Geri and I … marvel at the supernatural impact of inviting pastors, churches, and movements to slow down and engage the biblical truths of EHS. In particular, something breaks inside people when they are invited to practice Sabbath. The following are a few reasons I think this is true:

  • Sabbath Rest is a revelation. We don’t just talk about the miraculous on Sabbath. We experience it. This enables us to give it away the other six days.
  • The power of God comes through rest – to us and then to those we serve.
  • Sabbath rest is a restoration and a reordering of what is twisted in us. We allow ourselves to be loved. We allow ourselves to be human. We stop and allow ourselves to be healed by God.
  • Sabbath rest is resistance of the demonic powers. We prophetically disconnect from the powers and principalities of darkness on Sabbath. We declare we are not slaves in Egypt any longer being used by God to get his work done. We are sons and daughters who are loved simply for who we are.” Peter Scazzero

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
(N.B. “even“)
Mark 2:28,29

Moving From Head to Heart

  • What Scazzero doesn’t mention, is how difficult it is convincing pastors to embrace a weekly sabbath rhythm – and people in the pews find it just as foreign and tough. How do you feel about setting aside a day each week for Sabbath practices – stopping, resting, delighting and contemplating?
  • Have you moved “from the head to the heart” on this one? Does your behavior match your convictions?
  • The only way any of us will ever know whether “Sabbath rest” delivers like Scazzero says is by trying it. Are you willing to make a plan to experiment – scheduling a Sabbath day into your calendar, for perhaps the next month or so?
  • If you’re already keeping a weekly Sabbath day, how many of the benefits Scazzero mentions have you experienced?

Abba, even on my Sabbath I find ways to work, or strive – intent on “accomplishing something!” Help me to really stop, rest, delight and contemplate.

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For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

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“Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Hurry and the Purpose of Life (Vianna Moog and Mother Teresa)

“It seemed then, that my purpose in life was to get the most out of life. … I still assumed that the way to this was to strive to do more and more things … always driving to do more things – to read more books, to learn more languages, to see more people, not to miss anything … a miser-like grabbing and piling up of experience.” Marion Milner in A Life of One’s Own

“I began my lifework on the assumption that I might not live long enough to accomplish everything I’d like to. If I wanted to do anything worthwhile in my life I’d have to hurry up. I have been in a hurry ever since.” Robert Schuller

“The American no longer knows how to contemplate; he does not know how to reflect or even rest.”  Brazilian sociologist Vianna Moog

“The world is lost for want of sweetness and kindness. People are starving for love because everyone is in such a great rush.”  M. Teresa

“This is what the Sovereign Yahweh,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.’”
Isaiah 30:15

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you anxiously “striving” for more and more? Have you worried that you “might not live long enough” to accomplish everything you want to accomplish? What happens to you in the grip of such fears?
  • According to Moog, Americans don’t know how to contemplate, reflect “or even rest.” In Isaiah’s day God called the people to rest in him, but they “would have none of it.” Do you refuse God’s rest so you can strive for more and more? If so, why?
  • Salvation and strength are found in “quietness and trust” and “rest.” How can you create times of quiet, trusting rest in your daily schedule? your weekly schedule?

Abba, teach me to rest in you, trusting your care for me. Work in me to break the hold that “more” has on my life as I refuse, not your rest, but my striving.

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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