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Someone consulting a map

In Uncharted Territory, Adaptation is Everything

According to historical geographer John Logan Allen, the moment Meriwether Lewis and his scouting party from the Corps of Discovery crested the Lemhi Pass looking for the Columbia River and found only miles and miles of snow capped peaks, was when his “geography of hope” gave way to the “geography of reality.” And a disappointing reality it must have been.

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A dog resting, but attentive

Should I Try to Keep the Sabbath?

For centuries, Christians have debated the question of Sabbath-keeping, proposing a wide range of answers, often with more heat than light. Thus, it seems almost foolish for me to think that I can responsibly address the question “Should I keep the Sabbath?” in one short devotional. Nevertheless, I want to offer some basic parameters that might help guide our thinking and practice.

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A family on vacation together

Won’t Keeping the Sabbath Make Me Less Productive?

What a well-rested person produces seems, in fact, to exceed in quality if not quantity what a harried, tired, over-worked person produces.

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Pillows made on a bed

The Creation of the Sabbath

In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we focused on Jesus’ statement in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for humans; humans weren’t created for the Sabbath” (CEB). Today, I want to look back at the creation of the Sabbath, focusing on a short passage from Genesis 2.

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Relaxing outside with your feet propped up.

Receiving God’s Gift of Rest

God did not set apart one day a week for rest for the sake of the day itself. Nor did God create human beings so that the Sabbath might be honored. Rather, according to Jesus, the Sabbath is something for human beings. It is a provision of God for us and our benefit. The Sabbath is, indeed, a gift from God.

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A forest with some of the trees are not straight, but have curved trunks.

Are You Ready for the New Wine?

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will…

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Long distance runners in a race

Running Your Race

“Why did I sign up for this? How in the world will I ever finish? What was I thinking? Look at all of these people running so much better than I’m running this race!”

Isn’t that the way it goes?

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A puppy unhappily sprawled on the floor.

Wake Up, God!

Psalm 44:23-24 comes in the context of an extended lament, in which the psalmist accuses God of mistreating his people, even though they have not broken his covenant (44:17). The lament concludes with this gripping verse: “Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered” (v. 22).

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Drinking coffee with someone who has dirty hands and fingernails.

Eating with “Scum”

This story challenges me to consider my own attitudes and behavior. Am I more concerned about what people think of me than I am about people in need? Am I willing to “get my hands dirty” by entering into relationship with people who aren’t so neat and tidy? Am I willing to be like Jesus? Or am I more like the Pharisees?

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Person long distance running with persistence.

The Charge: Endure Hardship

Through his own hardships and times of affliction, Paul experienced the most maturity and growth. Why? Because the apostle learned to trust in the sovereignty of God and view affliction through that lens. By putting his trust in God, Paul was able to understand that affliction is allowed by God to sharpen us and strengthen our leadership abilities. Think about it for a moment. When you are being persecuted you pray more, you hear God better, and you are more yielded to God than at any other point in your Christian walk. These qualities then lead to stronger acts of leadership. This only works if you remain committed to the process . . . if you endure hardship.

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Rocky Mountain Range

Leading into Uncharted Territory

This story of Lewis and Clark illustrates the moment that the Christian Church finds itself in today… and frankly, not unlike the moment that the disciples found themselves in on another mountain in Galilee.

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Rublev’s Trinity icon

A New Way of Leadership: Instructions to Lead Servants, Part 5

Why is humility central to the Christian vision of leadership? In today’s text, Peter finishes his instructions to early followers of Jesus who were in leadership roles. His teaching is crystal clear: everyone – inexperienced and veteran leaders alike – must embrace humility as the essential quality that defines his or her leadership. But, why is this so?

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