Busyness and rest

Busyness is seen as a good thing–rest, not so much.  Some people forfeit their vacation-time for work.  Fast-paced societies see it as a sign of working hard, productivity and diligence. 

We keep ourselves busy with work, business, work in the community.  Keeping up with sports, music and other recreational activities.  It can leave one feeling drained when it goes on and on without time to rest.

Expectations mount.  There’s pressure to be a good spouse, a good son or daughter, a good father or mother, a good friend and community leader.  A good everything.  Been there before? 

It wears down the soul–not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually.  Afterward, it leaves one’s soul feeling lifeless with nothing to give.  You might come to a point where you feel like calling it quits.

When is it okay for one to admit that you need rest.  Rest for the soul is like a deer that craves for water by streams of water.

Rest.  No more errands to attend to.  No more trips to the grocery store to pick-up for the week or day.  No more driving to and from places.  No more work around the house. The list of things-to-do at the house, family, church, can be long.  You long for this to come to an end.

When does one realize that it’s okay to rest?  Rest is a spiritual time to rejuvenate one’s life.  That’s why rest can also be called “re-creation”, but instead, we add recreation to our busyness.  At rest, one can finally be relieved from busyness and be allowed to sigh, to breathe, and to shed tears from tiredness.  Finally, gaining energy, once again, to give.


It’s hard to be humble

It is easy to be humble to those who are better than us, but it is not so easy to be humble to those who are less than us. Benjamin Franklin once said: “To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals is courtesy, and to inferiors is nobleness.” 

We’ve all heard the proverb, “Pride comes before a fall.”   When we boast about ourselves, we do feel better about ourselves, but only for a moment. Then the crash comes, it brings us back down to reality. Sometimes to where we actually should be. Ouch!

Then, there are times when I just take a lower position. There’s a feeling of safety. I didn’t have to elevate myself. Result was I didn’t have to protect that lofty position. Nothing or not much to fear.  There’s less of a distance to fall you know. 

It’s not always easy to be humble, especially when we know we are very good at what we do. Pride can slowly creep up on us. Trip us up. I know I constantly need God’s grace. Christ’s example of humility is good constant reminder for me.

When we boast beyond measure, there’s a fear of being exposed, and humiliated after being found out.  We might think to ourselves: “Oh, if they find out really who I am, they won’t respect me anymore.”  So we put up a false front and make others think we are really good.  Why do we do this?  Fear. 

Jesus Washing the Feet of the Disciples, by an anonymous Sicilian painter, early 1700s

Even when we do fail, God gives us chances to learn and re-learn.  If we fail, we can start again. Whenever I meet a truly humble person, I’ve often thought to myself, “I really like this person… He/she is so unpretentious.” I feel safe just being who I am; not wanting to pretend myself.

I’m reminded by 1 John 4:18 that says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (NIV).  I didn’t really understand this before, then realized another interpretation of this phrase. If we truly believed that others would love and accept us no matter what, no matter how weak or how poor we think we are, there would be no reason for us to fear. 

This is why Paul said to the Philippians:

Be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…” (Phil.2:2-5).

Jesus exemplified this to us through his life example.  This is something we could remember to continually confess and repent of.  It’s something that can easily sneak up on us.  As pride grows bigger…humility gets smaller.

In 1 Peter 5:5-7, Peter says:

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”   Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Painting: This humbling gesture by Jesus was done by an anonymous painter. Very moving. Jesus’ disciples are in shock and disarray because their teacher/master is going beneath himself to serve his disciples. It really shows Jesus’ humility teaching by example.

Read a previous post on: Humility vs selfish ambition

5 bible scholars series

I’d like to note another interesting series on the blogosphere.  Over at Boston Bible Geeks, Danny Pierce has an interesting series he labelled as the “5 Scholars” series.  I think he’s really put some deep thought into his selections.  I don’t have any opinions on his selections but they’re all recognized top-notch evangelical scholars. The only thing I’d disagree with are the titles of his posts “(for the non-academic)”. Really? They’re all quite academic of which most lay-people would get dizzy reading. Great selections Danny!

5 Bible Scholars Who Should Write More for the Non-Academic

  1. Craig Blomberg
  2. Douglas Moo
  3. Bruce Waltke
  4. Gordon Wenham
  5. Peter O’Brien

5 Good Read Bible Scholars (for the non-academic)

  1. Craig Keener
  2. Douglas Stuart
  3. Darrell Bock
  4. Tremper Longman III
  5. George Eldon Ladd

5 Must Read Bible Scholars (for the non-academic)

  1. Gordon Fee
  2. Christopher J H Wright
  3. Richard Bauckham
  4. D.A. Carson
  5. N.T. Wright

New commentary on Romans by Prof. Craig Keener

It’s been a while but I need to get back to blogging. I’ve been busy since Christmas and finally have  some time to breath now.

Nijay Gupta posted his interview with Dr. Craig Keener, Professor of N.T. Theology at Palmer Theological Seminary (Pt.1 here and Pt.2 here) [Hat tip: Brian].   Prof. Craig Keener has a new commentary on Romans that I am considering adding to my list of future books to get.  Romans is my favorite book for study.  I currently have commentaries by Fitzmyer, and Schreiner and Dunn in electronic format.  I thought about getting the new one by Jewett but that’s on the pricy side.  However, I may consider getting Keener’s commentary because it’s concise.  These days, time is more valuable and getting the important points quickly is more important to me these days.

Recipe meme: my caesar salad dressing

Bitsy Griffin tagged me for a recipe meme. Here are the rules that were first provided:

1. Choose one ingredient from the previous recipe and post a recipe using this ingredient on your blog, linking back to the previous blogs that have posted a recipe.
2. Then tag four new people, and we will see how it grows.
3. To keep it exciting please post within a week of receiving the tag.

I’m not big on recipes because I never cook using recipes. I just go by whatever feels right. But here’s one that someone recently gave me. I eat salad for raw vegetables on most mornings for breakfast. I know…that’s wierd.

This is for a simple, tasty, and healthy caesar salad dressing.

60 mL lemon juice
120 mL olive oil
2 tsp sour cream
1/4 cup parmasan cheese
2-3 pressed garlic cloves
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1-2 tsp brown or white sugar

Makes: 250 mL (mL is metric for milliliter). Prep Time: 5-6 min.

Directions: Simply mix everything together (order does not matter). You may put it into an old salad dressing bottle or a covered container.  If anyone decides to try this dressing and likes it, please let me know.

I tag: TC, Brian, Peter, and Gary.

Adventure for Autism Journeyman cycling through 19 countries

I just had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Adam Biel yesterday, who is now making his way across Canada and the U.S.A. to raise funds and awareness for autism called Adventure for Autism.  He will have biked through 19 countries throughout the North and South American continents by the end of his journey.

My family had Adam stay with us last night.  We had 9-10 o us around for supper and coffee at the church.  After supper, we had got to know Adam better as we learned more about autism and how it has and is increasing in our society.  Adam also discussed what is happening in autism research.

Adam says he is doing this “because he wants to give back” and contribute to something that is outside of himself.  This makes a lot of sense.  He believes that he should give more than what he receives.  I really admire this man who I believe is a man of integrity and a committed follower of Christ.

I plan to follow Adam’s trip on Twitter and Facebook.  He started in Anchorage, Alaska, has been through Vancouver, and made a stopover in his hometown of Sherwood Park (Edmonton, AB).  He most recently came through Saskatoon, my town of Davidson, and is now on his way to Regina, Winnipeg.

He might be on route through your part of the country and I hope people across Canada and the U.S.A. can support him in this endeavour.  He will be cycling through the Great Lakes states, then head through the Maritime provinces, the New England states, hen down along the East Coast.  He plans to make a stop in North Carolina, home of his alma mater, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, then down to Florida, the southern Texas coastline, and down through eastern Mexico, Central America, and then onto the South America Hemisphere. (see map here).  Adam figures that the entire trip may take him to 2011.  The public may donate to Adventure for Autism here.

Adam, may God bless him in your awesome adventure in raising awareness and money for autism.  May God guide you as you give back to this greater cause.