Jesus Calls Us To Him

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.””

Mark 6:31 NIV

The pace of life always seems to be increasing, so we must make a conscious effort to live a balanced and healthy life. This includes more than eating right and physical exercise…we must also spend time nurturing our mind and our spirit. If we are always running at peak energy and activity we will eventually crash and the constant up and down of high’s and low’s is taxing on every part of who we are. We need to strive for balance…make time to go to a quiet place and rest. Jesus knows this is important for us and spoke about it in the Gospels. He calls us to follow His example…make time for rest. Amen.

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

Make Time For Rest

The pace of life always seems to be increasing and so we must make a conscious effort to live a balanced and healthy life. This includes more than eating right and physical exercise…we must also spend time nurturing our mind and our spirit. If we are always running at peak energy and activity we will eventually crash and the constant high high’s and low low’s is taxing on every part of who we are. Strive for balance…make time to go to a quiet place and rest. Jesus knows this is important for us and spoke about it in the Gospels. Follow His example…make time for rest. Amen.

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.””

Mark 6:31

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””

Matthew 11:28-30

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

Rest And Restoration

With all that goes on in the world and in our lives we all need to find rest and to be restored.  It is how we are all made.  Balance is a key element in life.  Eating a balanced diet is best…balance in our speaking and listening time makes us better in relationships…balance in our fun and wild times with our quiet times.  The best recipes have a little bit of this and a little bit of that or a pinch of this and a pinch of that…excess will lead to destruction and definitely a poor tasting meal.  In order to be at our best we need balance in all aspects of our lives…physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Seek the Lord and you will find rest and be restored. Amen.

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

(This photo was taken in September of 2019 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Trying to Live With Balance

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Reflecting on different times in life I realize the moments that have the most peace and contentment are the times when I was restoring some balance in life.  It seems we all have at least four key elements of life that can get out of balance and when they do, chaos is more than willing to show up.

I believe these four key elements revolve around the following…

Physical Life = Time focused on health and physical fitness

Emotional Life = Time with friends and family

Mental Life = Time spent reading or learning something or having an interesting discussion

Spiritual Life = Time spent in worship or prayer or feeding our faith

Now many times these elements overlap, which is great but it can also be deceiving.  Many people live with any of these three out of four areas of life getting plenty of time and attention.  Eventually that one area of your life that has been put aside will creep up and show itself and we just don’t know how or when.

Imagine carrying a yoke (a wooden frame that fits your shoulders) that has four buckets of water hanging off it, two buckets on each side.  While you carry this load, as long as the four buckets have an equal amount of water it is easier to stand and move forward.  If one bucket has less than the other three you could still maintain balance with extra effort on your part but moving forward would be very slow.  You could also try to put less in one bucket on each side to help balance but as you move along you will not have enough to share with others to help them balance.  Thankfully, our heavenly father knows us and knows we struggle with this balance.  He sent his Son into the world to save us from our sins.  In the bible in the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says:

“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 in light.”

I encourage you to look for ways to achieve balance in your life by examining which bucket(s) you have the least water in and begin to fill them with time.

I pray that you are blessed on your faith journey today.

Looking Back…God Has Always Been Near

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As I continue to reflect on my faith journey, I have come to realize that God has always been in control and here I thought I had my hands on the wheel of life…bad things happen to everybody.  We all experience that moment of “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that, that is terrible” either something bad happens directly to us or to someone we care about or to a complete stranger.  We also all experience the “Why doesn’t anything go my way?” feeling at one time or another.

Here is what I have learned…the key to these moments is your perspective.  The more you think about “me” or “I” or “how this or that affects me” the more you may feel bad or negative about things.  Trying to focus more on how what has happened affects “him” or “her” or “them” and what can I do to help and support him or her or them will not only help others but also will help how you feel.  This is not an easy transition and just like faith you never completely finish working this part of life.

An example to demonstrate…

When I graduated from college there was nothing available in my field in business.  I worked in restaurants while continuing to search for a position in my chosen major, Human Resources.  This went on for 10 years before the first opportunity to work in my field presented itself as I was able to make more money in restaurant operations positions than in Human Resources.  Finally, a chance was presented and I was able to able to start my career.  I have spent the last 11 years working in my chosen field.

Here is what God was doing while I was focusing on “my career”…

In my first restaurant job after college he brought the woman I was going to marry and am still married to today into my life.  Early in our marriage when we moved to CO for a job for me he blessed us with our first child.  When we moved home to MN he led my wife and I to our church that we still attend now.  He also placed me in a job next to a Christian college that broadcasts a Christian radio station that I have listened to for the last 15 years.  He continues to guide and grow my faith and my family in many ways which I can only see if I am focusing on God and my relationship with him and others instead of myself.

The time period in my life described above is the same number of years…in both descriptions the only difference is the perspective of events.  If I choose to focus only on my work it is not very fulfilling or rewarding, in fact it is frustrating.  I now try to look at work through this perspective:

“Scripture adds a purely benevolent purpose to work: to earn money to provide for our needs and the needs of our families and then to give it away to others.  The overwhelming thrust of the Scriptures is that as God sees fit to prosper us, our abundance should begin to spill over and start benefiting others who, for a variety of reasons, are in need.”

               -Doug Sherman and William Hendricks, Men’s Devotional Bible

What ways can you start to change your perspective and try to find balance between focus on self and focus on others?