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Monthly Archives: August 2012

What do you do when there is no Book Fair?

Dear Momentum Leaders,

Last week we had many good recommendations of books. I learned that before I buy another book, I’m going to consult with Dan Clark, because it’s a pretty good bet that he’s already read it. 🙂

But Kate Lyon also drove home a reality for many of us: what if we don’t have time to read? What if we don’t even like to read? What other ways do we invest in our own spiritual growth?

If you’ve got some ways you prefer to grow that aren’t reading, let us know. For me, I love meeting with people and listening to them. I can learn so much just by finding out what God is doing in the lives of other people. Anytime I have lunch or coffee with a fellow believer, I always leave either encouraged or challenged in my own spiritual life.

What do you do? How are you investing in yourself?

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Book Fair

When I was a kid in school, every year they would have a book fair. All the students would go to the cafeteria where there would be hundreds of books displayed, all at discount prices. For just a couple of dollars, you could walk out of the cafeteria with 4-5 new books. It was pretty cool.

The best part, though, was later in the day. We would spend the rest of the day sitting in class, looking at the other books that our friends bought. We knew that when we went home we’d have the books we bought to look at, but while we were still at school we wanted to look at everyone else’s books. It was always fun seeing what interested other people.

So, today, we are going to have our own book fair. If there is a book you are reading or you’ve recently read, would you do a brief write up on it? Just a short paragraph letting us know your thoughts, good or bad.

I’ve got a book or two that I might share, but I’ll let some of you start the convo first.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Sabbath

One of the questions I’ve been asked a lot over the past few months has to do with the Sabbath. As I’ve been reading through “The Boys of Summer” reading plan, it is a concept that has come up more than once. But the question remains: what role does the Sabbath have in the life of believers? Here’s an answer I recently provided someone who questioned me about this:

Perhaps the most helpful Old Testament verse to me about the Sabbath comes from Deut. 5:12-15:

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. ”

The key verse here is v. 15, in which God commands them to remember their former slavery. The whole idea of the Sabbath observance comes down to an issue of freedom. Dorothy Bass, in a book called Practicing Our Faith, says this: “Slaves can’t take a day off; free people can. When they stop to work every seventh day, the people will remember that the Lord brought them out of slavery, and they will see to it that no one within their dominion, not even animals, will work without respite. Sabbath rest is a recurring testimony against the drudgery of slavery.”

Just as God is not a slave to His own creation and was free to rest on the seventh day, so He desired His people to have the same freedom. When we move into the New Testament, we are no longer bound by the Mosaic Laws. (This is why Jesus responds as he does in Matthew 12). We are still compelled to celebrate our freedom from slavery to sin. This is one of the reasons Christ was so willing to heal on the Sabbath–he adhered to God’s laws, but not the extra-Biblical traditions of the Pharisees (see, for example Luke 14, John 5, and many others).

Paul picks up this idea of freedom from sin in several places, but most notably in Galatians 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

So, the Sabbath rest when it was instated as a Law under Moses was designed to celebrate freedom and dependence on God.  For believers, it should be a day that we spend worshipping God and serving others, sharing with them the good news that Jesus Christ can set them free from sin as He has set us free.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Planning vs. Execution

Dear Momentum Leaders,

I’ve recently finished reading a book about World War II. I’ve been struck by a lot of things about the history of that generation, but certainly one of the most fascinating has been an examination of different leadership styles, in situations where leadership decisions had such high stakes. I came across this quote, highlighting a difference between the styles of General Eisenhower and General Patton. I think it has profound implications for spiritual leadership:

“Eisenhower had often said that in war, plans are everything before the battle begins, but once the shooting started plans were worthless. And back in 1926, when he had graduated first in his class at the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Patton had written to congratulate him, then to warn him to put all that Leavenworth stuff out of his mind from now on. ‘Victory in the next war,’ Patton had declared, ‘will depend on EXECUTION not PLANS.’”

Indeed, I think it is the follow through on the plan that is the most important facet of doing something well. I think this is a hallmark of discipline, especially for the spiritual life–to be able to follow through on something God has called us to, even when the circumstances change and the task becomes more difficult.

Do you agree? 

How should we think about planning versus doing?

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Uncategorized