Category Archives: the self


Sometimes the best thing to do with a slow or struggling PC is just to turn it off count to 10 and turn it back on. We just get too much stuff going at the same time and stuff starts messing up and we need to shut it down, let it rest and start over. I think humans are like that too. They need to turn off and rest. reboot.

I was talking to an old friend recently who said that prayer and Scripture are dry. It would appear that this is true from time to time for us all. Well, at least those who pay attention to such things.

So, what do you do when this happens? Well, I suggest a reboot.

People in vocational (paid) ministry that are in ‘secure’ positions often have the ability to take a ‘sabbatical.’ These sabbaticals sometimes last a couple of (or a few) months. Its kinda like when someone gets sent to rehab for this or that. They often don’t go until they are in trouble with burnout, but for many, its too late. I was once told that many (most?) ministry leaders wait until its too late and change jobs soon after the sabbatical. The have burned out too far. Oh, they CHANGE jobs, not just churches. They go sell insurance or something (this is not a slam on selling insurance, I happen to like my insurance guy).

But for most people, that is all totally impractical anyway, the whole taking a couple of months off.

So, I thought I would suggest the idea of what I call a “sabbath rest.” Back in the summer I took one. The background is that I had been physically unwell and blah, blah, blah and was asked the question “Can you take 2 weeks off?” I thought about it and over a couple of months a plan developed that wound up being a 10 day (which is only 1 day longer than a week of vacation with weekends on each end) sabbath rest.

Over the next period of time (‘cuz I don’t know how long this will take) I will be posting how I did that and how you might profit from it. Stay tuned. This is te first and the other post will be in the category “rest.”

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Filed under rest, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, the self


I just saw this and thought it significant enough to add to the blog…

“Sarcastic put-down humor is ultimately a new form of self-righteousness and self-justification. Gospel love destroys this type of humor.”

– Tim Keller via @timkellernyc 

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Filed under culture, experience, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, the self

Making resolutions?

Like every new year, we’ve heard a lot about resolutions as we begin the new year. People think about their need to change. A great deal is written about how to keep resolutions and even the psychology of not keeping them. I would suggest that perhaps the best use of resolutions is the same as the Law, we can’t keep them and that shows us that we need the Gospel. Real change in me is the fruit of God working in and through me.

“All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, ‘You must do this. I can’t.'” C. S. Lewis, (_Mere Christianity_)

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Filed under culture, seeking understanding, the self, Uncategorized

what are you afraid of?

I asked the crowd at church “what are you afraid of” Yesterday was a great first full day, I taught at one of my favorite churches on the planet (admittedly, there are several of them) at South Budapest (click here to see their website) and had some good catch up conversations with folks there after which, Will and Joanna took me out to lunch and then a quiet afternoon. At 17:00, the whole northern Hungary gang gathered for pizza where I asked Laci to brief us on his trip to Bosnia. This made me pretty excited about my trip there in a couple of weeks and hopeful for deeper partnership there… even English teachers??? We’ll see. Now there’s a place where you might ought to fear talking about the Gospel out loud, but they are not. So the answer to our fear about “gospeling” (proclaiming the news about Jesus as coined by Scot McKnight in King Jesus Gospel.

This is a talk I am taking around with me that is a reminder about what the Gospel actually is and what we are to do with it, why we don’t and how to fix the why. So there is the question… as far as proclaiming the news about Jesus, what are you afraid of?

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Filed under definitions, experience, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, the self

living to serve among Muslims

“Communicating the truth to Muslims for understanding.”

A guy who lives in the Middle East spoke in chapel today. I am not identifying him for security reasons… he spoke about connecting with Muslims. These are the notes I took, they sound exactly like connecting with PMs

You need to be sure that the words are understood.
The speaker must understand what the listener is hearing.

To Muslims the deed weighs as much as the word.

Historical context is important to understanding and communicating the truth.
Collective identity, not individuality is important in understanding context.

Job, life choices and activities are our idenity in the West
family, family heritage and relating to Muhammed in the muslim world.

In the West – choice
In the East – history

Religion is a birth thing not a personal choice.

Muslims are taught that the decline of the islamic empire was the result of straying from correct teaching… [Compare to modern jihadist teachings that are dividing muslim generations in west
how to reach? I need to blog about this]

some steps
1) understand identity
2) importance of language – live in the language
3) respect Islamic culture and history

living in a middle eastern ctiy
1) provide a safe and familiar environmment… Be aware of what is happening around us
2) permanance
3) community – being in community
4) orient our lives toward culture
5) relationships in the language and culture

I think there are amazing parallels to working among PMs

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Filed under experience, the self

the self: another shift

“Sartre said, ‘Existence precedes essence.’ We make ourselves by what we choose to do. “

“For Nietzsche the only self worth living was the self of the …Overman, the one who has risen above the conventional herd and has fashioned himself.”

a shift:

premodern” theistic notion that human beings are dignified
by being created in the image of God
“modern” notion that human beings are the product of their DNA template, which itself is the result of unplanned evolution based on change mutations and the survival of the fittest
“postmodern” notion of an insubstantial self constructed by the language it uses
to describe itself
Sire – p. 181-2

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Filed under shifts, the self