In Pursuit of Sabbath

restAfter 30 years of ministry, I still get it wrong. I work too hard without recovering and ignore Sabbath rest. This strange phenomena in life called ‘balance’ eludes me. It seems to dance before me... just beyond reach, as if taunting and mocking me.

“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.” Matthew 11:28 (The Message)

I am currently in hiding - trying to recover from a season of intense battle. As a younger man, I did not understand the critical function of rest. I ran without pausing, worked without taking time to reflect. Back then, I could get away with it - or so I thought. But not anymore. 

Facing the enemy

enemyI was 15 000 km away from home when I heard the news, "The doctor says the tumor is large, growing rapidly and most likely malignant."

News like this numbs. Being seven time zones away from your wife when she breaks this news to you is not good. I longed to hold her, cry with her, tell her everything would be OK. Instead, I stepped into a training event.

It's impossible describe the multitude of emotions that raged through my soul. For the first time in my life, I understood panic. Trapped on the other side of the world, I felt powerless. Angry. Alone. Abandoned. The uncertainty of the news was almost debilitating. But there was no way to be certain. We had to wait for the surgery.

What Korea taught me

AB8E9CA3 0F3E 4ABA 827E A04FC85FF9BD‘A North Korean soldier races for the border in a jeep and then on foot before his former comrades shoot him at least five times as he limps into South Korea, where he collapses and is dragged to safety by southern soldiers...’

This was the news headline the day we visited ‘one of the world’s most dangerous borders’ according to NY Times. Tensions at the DMZ (Demilitarized zone) were high, following the shooting the previous day. I was constantly aware that I was visiting a region of the world that is still in deep conflict. The DMZ is 250 kilometers (160 miles) long, and about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide. Setting eyes on North Korea and hearing the pain-filled history was sobering. Crawling through the third underground incursion tunnel (nicknamed the tunnel of aggression) dug by the North to invade the South was surreal. Gas masks every few meters were a stark reminder that the two countries are still technically at war. With no official peace treaty, there have been several incidents in and around the DMZ, resulting in military and civilian casualties.

Surprised in Tulsa

MillenialAs soon as I drove into the parking lot, I knew that God was up to something.  To be honest, I did not really want to be there.  But God was about to catch me by surprise.  Over the years, I have been shown a handful of insights about the future.  They have always been right.  This article contains one of those glimpses into the next 20 years.

I have attended many churches in the USA.  I have to admit that the vast majority of them leave me cold.  I assure you that this is not an attempt to criticize or tear down.  I simply long to see the church become what she was meant to be.  Most churches that I have attended do not give me much hope for the future.  They are usually either stuck in the past or have become slaves to the popular culture.

That morning, I actually wanted to go and experience this particular church.  But I was also exhausted. 

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