Each of us approaches rest differently yet in the same way. We are all the same in that when we rest we do something that we love doing. Something that helps us relax, enjoy, wind down, be creative and not do actual work. We do it differently in that each person has a unique group of activities that they love to do which helps them rest.
The problem is that these things, while good and beneficial and helpful in improving perspective and reducing stress aren’t actually giving me rest on the inside. My problems are still there. When I get home or the movie finishes or I put down my book and leave that ‘world’ I instantly return to the place of reality where my life isn’t perfect and my situation, circumstances, personal issues and relationship problems are still there. My finances usually don’t change for the better when I go on holidays.
Holidays and times of ‘rest’ can simply become an alternate world, a brief stress reliever, a momentary soothing of any pains in life that will still be there when I return. In that sense they can seem like a dream. A surreal experience that, when you return feel like they may never have happened.
So where do we find real rest then?
Simple. In the presence of Jesus.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28: “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.”
Doing what you love is great. There’s no doubt it’s helpful. But time in the presence of God is far greater. Why? That’s a big question with a long answer. So here’s one small part of it. Because faith is restored when you connect to a big powerful God who loves you. Problems lose their power when viewed in comparison to God who can change anything and empower you through it. We receive peace and hope in the presence of God. We find our burdens lifted, our soul lightens, our mind rested, our emotions blessed.
So take a holiday, read a great book, walk many beaches, explore new things, play your favourite video games, engage and play with your kids and do what you love to do… but don’t forget that true rest doesn’t come from doing… but from going to the person of Jesus and finding peace in God’s presence.
Last Sunday night Channel Nine combined 2 of Beck and my favourite shows… The Block and Domesitc Blitz. We got a little addicted to The Block as we’re (hopefully) getting closer to doing our own renovations soon.
But why does this show pull my heart strings so much? It’s a truly noble concept to search for a good family in desperate need of being epically blessed and then bless them in such practical means. The family gets loved on by the show, the viewers and especially the workers, in this case the 8 Block contestants.
It all rushes to an insane, wildly emotional crescendo of elation and overall feel-good-ness when you see what they’ve done to the house of the family in just 2 days while they’ve been blessed with a short holiday. Get out the Kleenex… you’re going to need them!
Here’s why I love it so much. Here’s why I want to DO it for other families. Here’s why: Because it connects so deeply to the heart of God for us.
Everyone of us is in a pit of craziness that we’ve dug for ourselves through sin. All the unforgiveness in our heart, our malicious actions towards others, our gossipy talk, laziness and all other sin has left us in total despair and deep with hurt. These families are like that… perhaps that’s why we identify with them. They have lost a family member or are about to… or they’ve volunteered for a bazillion hours someplace local and deserve a help out.
The part everyone loves and where the tears force their way out, is at the end of the show when the new parts of the house are being shown to the family. It’s amazing. Warm. Full of love. Tears everywhere. Beautiful. This is how it should be.
This is how it is… when a person finds Christ. No kidding! They get all their sin washed away, they get a clean slate, a relationship with God who deeply loves them, a spiritual family, a way to grow and live and enjoy life. They get shown through their new life and they’re in awe and feeling very very loved.
I guess that’s why I like it so much. Because God looked down on us, as rebellious or distant as we were and decided to create something special and wonderful for us even when we didn’t want it. When we find it, we love it and we realise we’ve been looking for it all along.
Check out this great article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the Fitness industry losing it’s way. It also details plenty of good exercises you can do from home that wont break the budget and will build some strength, increase tone and lose fat.
Here’s a few more:
- Go for a 15 minute walk twice a day (or one 30 minute walk).
- Take the kids with you. Or your spouse. Good 1-on-1 time too.
- Wash your car by hand (save money too).
- Mow your own lawn. Give the kids a go if they’re old enough (a small break for you!)
- Take the stairs. Park further away. Go the scenic route.
- DIY. Renovate, strip wallpaper, paint, tile, clean, mop. It’s all more calories down the drain.
- Play with the kids. Wrestle your boys (daily), play soccer, cricket, tip, barbies (probably just girls), dolls, dancing, running (Josie (2) loves this right now).
- Use the Wii’s active games (or PS Move, XBOX Kinect) and get moving. Try Wii Zumba Fitness Party. That’ll get you moving!
- Try adding some strength increasing moves. Have a go at pushups, situps, dips, chin ups, squats and others. Start easy, start small and work up.
- Make small lifestyle choices. Huge changes rarely work. It’s normally a far better option to start eating better and exercising more gradually. Try it.
Any other good non-gym exercises you know?
Warrior is a man’s movie around a MMA (mixed martial arts) global tournament. I have to say it’s become my favourite movie for men and my fav movie of 2011 too.
Here’s why I love it so much.
Guys need movies like this. Movies that deal with guy problems and promote attitudes that men should adopt. Problems like alcoholism, isolation and estrangement. Good qualities like fighting for your family, loving your kids and your wife, forgiveness and trust.
I love it because it’s pretty clean. Very little course language, no sex, some alcohol abuse, no drugs. Movies like that are hard to find these days… especially ones guys will actually watch.
I love it because it values family. Families are the cornerstone of society. Men can become fathers too easily but it takes a change of attitude, lifestyle and selfishness to become a dad. Dads are really important. Dads love their kids, spend time with them, discipline them in love and really care for them while providing them with a good role model.
In Warrior we see a dad (Paddy – Nolte) trying to bridge an impossible gap to his sons (Brendan and Tommy) after being absent and abusive as a father when they were younger.
We see Brendan (Joel Edgerton) playing a father who loves his 2 girls and desperately wants to keep his family home. Tommy (played by Tom Hardy) pledges any winnings from the tournament to a family who lost their dad by his side in Afghanistan next to him in the war.
‘Fight for family’ and ‘Family is worth fighting for’ are two of the taglines the movie uses in promotions. I love them! It’s so true in our pluralistic, anything goes society where the family is under attack from so many sources we need messages like this, in blokey, tough, quality movies men will actually see.
How good is the fighting too?! Such a good flick. Watch it with some guys!
Last Sunday I preached this message which I think everyone needs to hear. Discouragement is living without courage. I think we settle in our spirits for a standard of life that lacks courage. We’re so used to living with so little courage that it becomes the norm.
Here are 6 ways you can defeat discouragement in your life.
1. Remember God gave you a Spirit of faith
2 Timothy 1:7 says, ‘For God did not give you a spirit of timidity but of love, power and sound discipline.’ When you realise that God has given you His Spirit of faith, you can believe that things are going to work out for good. You can be bold and courageous and you ACT from that place.
2. Remember God is with you!
In Joshua 1:5-9 God tells Joshua not to be afraid but to be strong and courageous (3 times!) because He would be WITH HIM. God is with you and promises never to leave you or forsake you when times get tough. Press into Him and feel His presence around you.
3. God fights for you!
In Nehemiah 4:19-21 Nehemiah is rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and he tells the people not to worry because ‘God will fight for us!’. When you’re discouraged don’t forget to pray. Pray puts God to work for you. Prayer releases the power of God’s hand to intervene in a situation and change the results.
4. You’re already victorious!
2 Corinthians 2:14 says that we are captives in Christ’s triumphal procession. He leads us in victory wherever we go. You work FROM a place of victory not TOWARDS it.
5. It’s worth fighting for
Marriage, family, ministry, kingdom, life… all worth the hard yards. All worth getting back up after you have failed countless times. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says that our ‘light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory bigger than them all.’ Your present will soon be your past. Don’t give up.
6. Remember what God has done
In Deuteronomy 4:9 Moses tells the people what to do. To remember God’s goodness and not to let it slip from their hearts. The people were disheartened. Guard your heart because it’s the wellspring of your life (Proverbs 4:23).
Winston Churchill said, ‘Success is going from one failure to the next without loss of enthusiasm.’
Defeat discouragement in your life. Don’t give up. Let the presence of God put fresh faith in you today.
If you’re not careful at home you can lose bills, create a mountain-high mess of random paperwork and it can end up costing you money, time, stress and tension at home.
Who needs that?!
Our paperwork is diverse at home because we have family, church and business related stuff all at once. It can get out of hand.
One thing we’ve tried (and continue to try!) is called Paper Flow. It’s a book you buy from Kikki K and it’s unbelievably helpful when it comes to sorting out a decent SYSTEM at home/office for managing paperwork.
I’m currently setting up the Paper Flow system for church. It’s a good time of year to get organised and take away that stress for the rest of the year. Plus you’ll be able to find stuff, FEEL organised and know that bills are paid on time.
Check it out at www.paperflow.com.au. Brilliant!