In the first century A.D., slavery was everywhere. According to estimates, 30-40 percent of the population of Italy were slaves.
Slaves did not have relationships with their masters. No master ever let a slave know his business. Slaves were considered living tools for the master. Slaves obeyed their masters or faced the lash.
It is important to realize Jesus did not want slaves. He told his disciples everything they needed to know to discharge their responsibility to preach the gospel to the world. He made his disciples partners in helping others find salvation. Continue reading “A son or daughter; not a slave”
We can master the technique the first time. We complain about how busy we are, while smiling on the inside how important this makes us feel. Unfortunately, such a self-esteem quick fix comes at a price. Continue reading “Take a break”
Weekends, holidays, vacation time — we want rest! Today we have more time off than people of any age. But some still think that the time they have for rest is little for so much work and responsibility.
Our problem is that the rest we need is for the soul.
In the greater context of chapters 11-12 of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus condemns the Jews for not accepting God’s emissaries (John the Immerser and himself) and for creating and imposing upon others their religious rules. To those willing to accept it, Jesus offers rest for the soul, with these conditions: Continue reading “Rest for your souls”
“And Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor at the command of the LORD and died there, in the fortieth year after the people of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month. And Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor” (Numbers 33:38-39 ESV).
The Israelites had been without a home for years. Forty years earlier, on the fifteenth day of the first month (Numbers 33:3), they had left Egypt after the ten plagues had culminated with the Passover. They had been “on the road” since that time, in essence “living out of suitcases.” They had no home of their own and were living in tents. They were now into the fortieth year since leaving Egypt. Continue reading “The land of rest”
Perhaps one of the greatest disparities between Jesus’ lifestyle and that of his disciples today in developed countries, might be his willingness to withdraw from the hustle and bustle to rest and pray. Do we not recognize a certain badge of honor and pride in explaining to others how busy we are?
On the other hand, we’ve heard his stories. “Jesus often withdrew to deserted places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Why did Jesus make the time while we can be tempted to believe we can not afford to take a break? What does this reveal about Christ and ourselves? Continue reading “Got Rest?”
Chamomile. Valerian. Hops. Monarda.
These are a few herbs that promote rest and relaxation when taken internally in the form of a tea or even in capsule form. In my opinion, they are restful and relaxing in visual form, too!
Flowers have a calming effect just by growing there and being pretty. It is serendipitous that they also can work medicinally for that purpose as well. Continue reading “I will give you rest”
It’s quiet now in the garden. All that remains to be done to end the year is to tuck in a few stray narcissus bulbs, and cover the remaining beds with a cozy blanket of mulch.
Gone is the buzzing of the pollinators and the endless motion of the supple flower stems nodding with each gentle breeze. The vibrant colors are long gone. The grey and brown remnants of the garden’s bounty rattle harshly as they rustle their crisp, dead leaves against brittle stalks.
But no; the plants are not really dead. They sleep. Continue reading “While you were sleeping”
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10, NASB). What happens if you start watering but never … Continue reading All your might
The editor shares sundry thoughts and meditations, both personal and biblical. Continue reading Born for the jump to eternity
Winter nights were often cold in the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. The house in which I spent several of my early years was heated by a coal furnace. We treasured the warm air that came out of the ducts, but that warmth came with a price. Continue reading Stoking The Fires