Post Sabbatical

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This picture says it all. I’m grateful for our elders at Harvest Raleigh who initiated a Sabbatical for me, Vanessa and our kids this summer. I’m grateful for our staff team who were behind it and encouraging us toward prolonged rest. These amazing people that Jesus has assembled stepped up and have not stepped back since. Jesus builds His church.

By God’s grace, ministry hadn’t turned me into a castaway but I had forgotten how to rest. I was unable to enjoy common graces like my kids laughing. I couldn’t unwind anymore. Adrenaline always.

Three months of rest was uncomfortable at first. “What do I do with my hands?” =) “I feel sorry for my wife!”

Then the God, so wonderfully described in Psalm 147, who created the stars (how powerful!) and binds up wounds (how personal!) gave me a non-new but very profound Truth … love God (Matthew 22:37), emphasis on God. I saw anew during Sabbatical, in a particular manner, the greatness of God, who He is, His might, His care, His goodness, His wrath, His mercy.

A fresh Hallelujah was occurring within.

In our culture, rest is either taboo (rest is for the weak) or over-indulged. What’s the right rest?? 7 weeks back from Sabbatical, I am still determining what rest must look like for me each week.

Particularly rest in the Lord. More dependent prayer, preaching the gospel to myself, trusting God when I don’t know what to do next.

Particular rest physically/mentally. What must days off looks like? How much to sleep? What if I schedule some reading time each afternoon? What must free evenings look like so I feel rest?

Particular rest emotionally. Cutting loose with friends and laughing. X-factor communication and connection with my wife.

By God’s grace, I hope to keep the ministry life somewhere between Mr Rogers and Castaway.