Day of ‘Rest’ [v175]

SEPTEMBER 2013

Day of ‘Rest’

Remember the seven dwarfs singing “Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, it’s off to work we go”?
[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI0x0KYChq4&t=1m18s ]. Well, when my kids were small, I used to play it for them all the time, and “Happy” was their favorite dwarf.

The thing is, we have changed that song just a little bit over the years haven’t we? It’s more like: “I Owe, I Owe, So It’s Off To Work We Go.” That seems more fitting for us doesn’t it? Perhaps if we had a diamond mine like the dwarfs did, we would enjoy our work just a little more.

Back in the 70’s, Johnny Paycheck had a country hit with a song titled, “Take This Job And Shove It”—a song about the hardship of work and life. It seemed that, in the song, he was just tired of working. [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPrSVkTRb24 ].


Just last week here in America, we celebrated “Labor Day” [ FYI: Actually its roots come from Canada back in the 1800’s, and some American companies that had offices in both countries pushed for the holiday here in the U.S. in the late 1800’s to recognize the labor unions and their commitment to the American worker—In 1894 President Grover Cleveland proclaimed the first Monday in September as a national holiday ]. However, since then, it has evolved into nothing more than a day off work, as there is no special emphasis placed upon this day in honor of labor unions. Instead it has evolved into the weekend that college football starts or the last taste of summer before fall comes. It means many different things to many different people.

Time magazine noted that back in the 60’s, expert testimony was given to a Senate sub-committee on time management. They predicted that advances in technology would radically change how many hours a week people worked. They forecasted that the average American would be working 22 hours a week within 20 years. “The great challenge,” the experts said, “would be figuring out what to do with all the excess time.” Over 50 years later, after major advances in technology, how many of us are wondering what to do with all the excess time on our hands?—because of the technology, being able to be available 24×7, I’m thinking most of are working 50-60 hors per week, if we count all the ‘bits and pieces’ of time we spend. A true story is a good illustration of this.

A Tahoma, Washington newspaper carried the story of “Tattoo,” a basset hound. Tattoo didn’t intend to go for an evening run, but when his owner shut the dog’s leash in the car door and took off for a drive with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, he had no choice. Motorcycle officer Terry Filbert notice a passing vehicle with something dragging behind it. He commented that the poor basset hound was, “picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could.” He chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued. But not before the dog had reached a top speed of 25 miles per hour, falling down and rolling over several times.

Too many of us are living our lives like Tattoo—picking them up and putting them down as fast as we can, and rolling around feeling ‘dragged’ through life.


It seems to me that REST is what many of us desire. So how does one really do this?

Well, there’s been lots of stuff written on rest, relaxation, and stress management, and how a high-level of sustained work without relief is a recipe for ‘burnout’ or ill health—and how rest will “cure what ails ‘ya.” One very ‘ancient’ source “promises peace and rest”—and it ‘author’ has proven to be very reliable over the past few centuries.

That ‘source’, the God of the Bible, ‘wrote’ about how He will give us THE REST WE REALLY NEED. The Bible says, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His.” [Hebrews 4:9-10]. This is for EVERYONE—to cease from their labors at least once a week—because that’s how God made us!


Now, one of the reasons for resting is to rejuvenate our physical bodies, but another—and maybe more importantly—we are to rejuvenate our ‘relationship’ with our Creator. But, there’s even another kind of ‘rest’ that God wants us to experience—and that’s “eternal rest” for our soul!


The thing is, this ‘TRUE REST’ can only be found, by faith, in Jesus Christ. Once, talking to His disciples, Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” [Matthew 11:28-30].

Jesus is telling us here what we need to do in order to truly find rest: Come to Him; Let Him carry our burdens; and Commit to Him. True ‘rest’ (salvation) comes when we meet Jesus personally.

Harrison Ford, the actor, was being interviewed one day and was asked about his success. He said this, “A man only wants what he ain’t got.” When asked what that was, his answer was “peace.”

Everyone is searching for peace or rest for their soul. We wonder if the good we did outweighed the bad, so that we can go to Heaven when we die.

Well, the Bible says that we can’t ever do enough to ‘outweigh’ all of our sins, and that the ‘requirement’ to get into Heaven is perfection!

So, you may say that is “not fair, because I’m only human”—and you may think about giving up the idea of ever getting to Heaven. But, God already has thought of that, and that’s why Jesus came to this earth—to give you a ‘way’ to be perfected—’through’ Him.

Jesus, the perfect ‘sacrifice’, died on the cross to take your place—for the punishment of all of the sins that you are ‘responsible’ for. In addition to that, Jesus said He would help you through the ‘hard times’ while you’re here on earth—”carry your burdens,” and “find rest for your soul.”


It is possible that your eternal destiny no longer be determined by ‘works’, rules and regulations—just ‘yoke’ yourself to Jesus!

Here’s some of what Jesus is offering:
– A freedom from the cares and burdens that rob you of peace and rest
– To cease all efforts at self-help in order to earn salvation and a place in Heaven
– An assurance that your salvation is settled

So, on this ‘labor day’ be a more rested and “happier” person—put your trust in Jesus and assure eternal rest for your soul!


[ Excerpts from: Horace Wimpey; Tim Keller; Let Us Reason Ministries; ]

[P.S.: If you would like to investigate what the Bible says about how good you must be to qualify for Heaven, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d1_1of10.html


LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v175) for SEPTEMBER 2013
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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LIFE REMODELED ‘SUMMARY’ VIDEO
Life Remodeled Detroit 2013 has come to an end and together we accomplished even more than we originally had planned: One gorgeous brand new home, 36 homes renovated, 65 blocks beautified and a 253 houses boarded up (all in just 6 days)! Also, over 5,250 volunteers experienced a little ‘life remodeling’ of their own. None of us will EVER be the same!

This video is a summary of what happened during the ‘build’ week:
http://vimeo.com/71937070

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“FRUIT OF YOUR LABOR” DAY:
Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, “My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50.”

The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100.”

The third boy says, “I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!”
[Author unknown]

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WHAT COUNTS AS TIME OFF?
Of course, ”making the most of every opportunity” is not simple. It never has been simple. Yes, two hours spent in prayer with God will produce far more spiritual benefits than watching an old Cary Grant movie; yet, recreation is something you must have! Mental refreshment is part of a balanced diet for the body and soul, so prayer cannot replace all recreation, exercise, and so on. Sabbath encompasses several different types of rest, as outlined below.

1. Take some time for sheer inactivity.
Most people need some time every week that is unplanned and unstructured, in which you can do whatever you feel like doing. If your Sabbath time is very busy and filled with scheduled activities of “recreation” and ministry, it will not suffice. There must be some cessation from activity or exertion. This pause in the work cycle is analogous to Israel’s practice of letting a field lie fallow every seventh year to produce whatever happened to grow (Leviticus 25:1–7). The soil rested so over-farming would not deplete its nutrients and destroy its ability to keep producing. Whatever came up in the soil came up. You need some unscheduled time like that every week to let come up—out of the heart and mind—whatever will.

2. Take some time for avocational activity.
An avocation is something that is sheer pleasure to you, but that does require some intentionality and gives some structure to your Sabbath rest. In many cases an avocation is something that others do for ”work,” which is analogous to occasionally planting a different crop in a field to replenish the nutrients and make the soil more fertile for its normal crop. Include these elements:

– You need some contemplative rest. Prayer and worship are a critical part of Sabbath rest, from any perspective. Regular time for devotion, reading the Scripture, and listening to God forms the basis for inner rest and provides time away from the more exhausting exertions of life.

– You need some recreational rest. The Puritans and others were rightly skeptical of recreations that required spending a great deal of money and time and exertion, because those types of recreations exhaust people. Be careful that recreation really refreshes.

– You need to include aesthetic rest. Expose yourself to works of God’s creation that refresh and energize you, and that you find beautiful. This may mean outdoor things. It may mean art—music, drama, and visual art. God looked around at the world he made and said it was good, so aesthetic rest is necessary for participating in God’s Sabbath fully.

3. Consider whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.
When planning your Sabbath rest, ask yourself what really “recharges” you. This self-assessment can help you determine how relational your Sabbath time should be. Introverts tend to spend their energy when out with people and recharge their batteries by being alone. Extroverts tend to spend energy in personal work and recharge their batteries by getting out with people. If you are a real introvert, be careful about trying to maintain all of your community-building relationships during your Sabbath time. That would be too draining. On the other hand, relationship-building could be one of the greatest things a true extrovert could possibly do. Don’t try to imitate an introvert’s Sabbath rhythms if you are an extrovert or vice versa! Recognize that some avocational activities take you into solitude, while some take you out into society.

4. Don’t necessarily count family time as Sabbath time.
Do a realistic self-assessment of “family time” and how it affects you. Family time is important, but parents need to be very careful that they don’t let all of their regular Sabbath time be taken up with parental responsibilities. (Introverts especially will need time away from the kids!) Keeping all of these things in good balance may be virtually impossible when your children are very young, but this too will pass.

5. Honor both micro- and macro-rhythms in your seasons of rest.
Israel’s Sabbath cycles of rest-and-work included not only Sabbath days but also Sabbath years and even a Year of Jubilee every forty-nine years (Leviticus 25:8–11). This is a crucial insight for workers in today’s world. It is possible to voluntarily take on a season of work that requires high energy, long hours, and insufficient weekly- Sabbath time. A new physician has to work long hours in a residency program, for example, and many other careers (such as finance, government, and law) similarly demand some sort of initial period of heavy, intense work. Starting your own business or pursuing a major project like making a movie will require something similar. In these situations you have to watch that you don’t justify too little Sabbath by saying you’re “going through a season”—when in actual fact that season never ends.

If you must enter a season like this, it should not last longer than two or three years at the most. Be accountable to someone for this, or you will get locked into an “under-Sabbathed” life-style, and you will burn out. And during this “under-Sabbathed” time, do not let the rhythms of prayer, Bible study, and worship die. Be creative, but get it in.
[Tim Keller]

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MAKE SHOES LAST LONGER
Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Allowing them to rest between wearing them, gives them a chance to air out, relax, and recover their original shape. It will make your shoes last 2-3 times longer!

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DEEP THOUGHT(s):
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
[Augustine of Hippo]

“God never asked us to meet life’s pressures and demands on our own terms or by relying upon our own strength. Nor did He demands that we win His favor by assembling an impressive portfolio of good deeds. Instead, He invites us to enter His rest.”
[Charles R. Swindoll]

“B.U.S.Y. — Being Under Satan’s Yolk”
[Author unknown]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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