Mar 102019

Whew, what a week!

I need a day off!

When I feel like this I have frequently found that that day off has been very disappointing, just another chunk of wasted time rather than anything life-giving and restorative.  So what is Sabbath?  And what is the difference between Sabbath and just a day off?

I’m bruised by Sabbath.  It happened to me in childhood.  When I was just a little chap there was a time when my parents decided we should go to church.  Now this was a new thing and didn’t last that long.  I was a clingy little guy for reasons that had to do with Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Week 5 – the grief and loss week.  Anyway, I hated going to church.  I hated being taken away from my mum and being put into this cold, dank hall that smelled of old carpet.  I hated it so much my brother and I conspired to create all sorts of strategies to make us so late as to render church not worth bothering with.

Sunday was Sabbath in those days.  Sundays were ‘dread’ days of boredom, dampness and worst of all church.  I hated the word Sabbath!  Give me a day off any time.

It’s taken me a while to recover.

In that recovery I have discovered that true Sabbath, the type God meant us to have, is a beautiful opportunity to value and schedule in true restoration – restoration as distinct from just not working.

Pete Scazzero’s key word in relation to Sabbath is ‘delight’.  What a delightful word.  A day, or a 24-hour period, somewhere in the week, the same time each week, where there is no other priority than to do what you delight in doing or being.  If you are a couple, it may be shared, or individual, or a mixture.  Sleeping, walking, reading, riding, gardening, surfing, drinking, eating, painting, sewing or just blobbing; with friends, alone, active, passive, nature, city . . . and on and on – anything that, in the presence of God and his world, brings you delight.

This is more than just a day off.  True Sabbath is intentional, regular, life-giving and utterly different from any other day.

The questions to ask is, did it bring me love, joy, peace, patience and so on?  Was it delighting in oneself and others as God’s child?  Did my eyes get opened?  Was there space and time to see and hear?

Cheryl and I have made Friday our Sabbath day together but with fixing a house, it’s become ‘renovation day’ – really productive but actually not a Sabbath.  This EHS process we have been sharing has awoken us to this fact.  So, two weeks ago we declared Friday to be Sabbath once again – a day of delight.  We both had really missed it.  It’s great to have it back.





Feb 242019 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 30:09 — 10.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1        Genesis 22:1-14 Reading 2        John 11:17-27  

Feb 102019

You may have heard we are introducing a Code of Conduct for our youth and children’s ministry. Young people need, and like, clarity around things.  Sure, they push against clear boundaries but that is why they need them.  The older we get the less we like clear boundaries.  We know there is so much grey in life and in ‘the real world’ and we are suspicious of certainty.  We, sometimes rather smugly, ‘look to God’, rather than his desire that [continue reading…]

Feb 032019 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 33:13 — 11.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1        1 Samuel 15:20-24 Reading 2        Jeremiah 17:9-10  

Jan 272019 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:39 — 8.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1      2 Timothy 2:1-6 Reading 2      Matthew 16:13-20  

Dec 242018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:50 — 5.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Hebrews 1:1-4 John 1:1-14

Dec 232018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:56 — 6.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1      Luke 2:22-35 Reading 2      Luke 2:36-38  

Dec 162018

On Thursday night our middle daughter Georgia graduated from Notre Dame University with an MA in Counselling.  It is encouraging when your kids find the thing they really want to do.  Georgia did a short introduction to counselling with Cheryl about three years ago and it just clicked.  So she found a course and two years later she has graduated with distinction and has been employed by the agency in which she did her training  placement.  Ironically, Emma Jarvis is [continue reading…]

Dec 092018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:40 — 7.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1      Isaiah 11:1-10 Reading 2      Luke 1:67-80