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Showing posts from November, 2013

Good Rest and Good Work: God’s Shaping of Christian Life Through the Gift of Sabbath

(written by Brendan McClenahan)
Teach me work that honors Thy work, the true economies of goods and words, to make my arts compatible with the songs of the local birds.
Teach me patience beyond work and, beyond patience, the blest Sabbath of Thy unresting love Which lights all things and gives rest.
Wendell Berry, Given

In 1967, futurists testifying before a senate subcommittee predicted the rise of technology in the 21st century would cause a problem: too much spare time. According to their calculations, the average American workweek would be reduced from 40 hours to 22 hours by 1985.  It doesn’t take much research to discover that they were wrong. As American culture became increasingly global, connected, technological, and consumer-driven, busyness of Americans rose through the roof. In 2004, studies showed that Americans worked 2 more hours per day than Italians and Germans.
Not only are we working harder, we are resting less. Americans are sleeping an average of 2.5 hours less than we did 1…

The Power of Telling Our Stories: Part Two of My Unexpected Meeting with the President of the United States

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I left the West Wing of the White House and immediately called my wife. "Amy, I found out why I was asked to meet with the President." And I told her the story of my op-ed, and the opportunity I had to tell the story of our church and immigration reform. 

Before the meeting in the Oval Office I heard about the Fast for Families group camping on the Mall in view of Capitol Hill. I wanted to see their commitment to immigration reform expressed in fasting and praying until the House brings something to the floor to vote on immigration reform. 
I hailed a cab, and discovered the driver emigrated from Ghana over 30 years ago. I mentioned I had just met with the president. I told him I was a pastor and I met with the president to discuss immigration reform.
Surprised, he said, “I’m a Christian. And I’m a Presbyterian.” I took his hand and prayed a short blessing for him.
Ali took me to a row of tents on the Mall in front of Capitol Hill with a banner that read, “Fast for Families: A C…

Joshua and God's Promise (The Story: Chapter 7)

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No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous... (Joshua 1:5-6)

I am always amazed as I read Joshua's conversation with God. Joshua is given the awesome responsibility of leading two million Israelites to Canaan to take the land God was giving to them. He was Moses' aide, so he saw the challenges of leadership through the wilderness: grumbling, confusion, discomfort, competing alliances, sacrifice and wandering. 

Joshua needed some reassurance, some confidence that he could fulfill his role as a leader. So God gives him a promise and the people give him a promise. God says "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you." The people said, "As we were with Moses, so we will be with you." 

I like God's promise a little better. 

God was with Moses in personal and powerful ways. He went with Moses. He worked through Moses. He listened t…