Diligent Sabbath: Lessons in Going Deeper as We Go Wider

I continue to be grateful for the ways in which readers are using For Sabbath’s Sake as a return to and re-envisioning of modern sabbath-keeping.

In her recent piece for Mennonite World Review, my friend and Christian Century editor, Celeste Kennel-Shank, describes what we—and the church—must embrace in order to be diligent in our sabbath practices.

In “Going Deeper as We Go Wider,”  from the Discipleship Ministries Blog, Dr. Doug Ruffle explores three key takeaways from For Sabbath’s Sake for church planters.

I’m grateful for both of these scholars and their incorporation of rest, worship, and community into their ministries.

Please read and share Celeste’s and Doug’s work.

To learn more about For Sabbath’s Sake, click here.

Gimme Sabbath: How an Ancient Practice Heals Modern Woes

Pensive Student in ClassroomThis article preview comes from a piece I wrote for the October editor of devozine. Click here to read the full piece.

When autumn sets in I am confronted with a new reality. Gone are the long days of summer with their permission for sun lounging and twilight porch gazing. In their place arrives a full calendar; playtime quickly yields to shorter days and more homework.

Once the semester’s deluge sets in, we start counting the weeks until final exams. At the start of each class, I ask my students to check in quickly with themselves: How am I coping with the endless to-do lists?— and with one another: “How are you doing?”

“Raise your hand if you need a break,” I ask. I don’t want my students living in a world of countdowns. I want them to take time to refuel and refresh now. I want them to embrace hours for play, quiet time, and rest.

Though students typically don’t work demanding full-time jobs, they do live their lives feeling as if they work all the time. According to research, many students are online about 10 hours a day, often using multiple devices to do school work and homework, watch videos, and connect on social media.

While most young people view this time online as a break, media, whether for work or play, stimulates our brains. The result? We feel “on” 24/7, even if we think we are using our devices to unwind. We remain plugged in, unable to unplug for reflection, reconnecting, and renewing.

But there is an alternative. Sabbath, the ancient practice of ceasing from work, is both countercultural and counterintuitive: How do we gain something by doing nothing? How do we refill ourselves by emptying our schedules?

Continue reading at devozine.

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Interested in learning more about sabbath tools? Save 20 percent off your purchase on For Sabbath’s Sake at the Upper Room Bookstore with the promo code WOMEN2018 at checkout. 

Want more spirituality tools? Click here.

When Your Dreams Do Come True: Reflections on Five Years as an Author

I’m speechless.

Well, sort of. Y’all know that can’t be totally true, because it’s hard to get me to shut up.

But today, October 1, 2018, five years after the release of my interfaith memoir Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of a How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk, I don’t have words to adequately convey how I feel.

I can try—clumsily—to tell you how much my life has changed with this book (it has). I can try—without clarity—to explain the mysticism of what it means to achieve the dream of signing a traditional publishing book contract (four-fold!) and seeing your family and friends literally hold your life’s work in their hands. I can try—bashfully—to share with you that For Sabbath’s Sake has just won a 2018 Evergreen Award for spiritual leadership, beating out the New York Times best-selling Jesus Calling in its category.

But my words can’t and don’t do it justice.

Gratitude.

That’s all I got.

My heart explodes with gratitude today–for my loved ones, Upper Room Books, Chalice Press, family, faith communities, and all the angels (seen and unseen) who have believe in me and guided me during these five years as I waded into the waters of “author.”

Author.

It’s still crazy.

Thanks to y’all—you who endorsed my books, read their words, believed their messages, who pray prayers, and cheer cheers. You—who bought books and felt so much moved by God’s work in our ordinary lives that you gifted and shared them. You–who joined me on this journey, invite me to your universities, churches, faith communities, homes, and gatherings to talk about how we are all in this together.  

YOU. Thank you.

Fred, Ron, and Mom the week Saffron Cross debuted (October 1, 2013).

We’re celebrating YOU and five years of Saffron Cross and the 1st book birthday of For Sabbath’s Sake by inviting you to use the promo code WOMEN2018 at the Upper Room Books check-out to save 20% off one or both!