Monday, May 25, 2015

Sabbatical Update - Week One

A View from the Bluffs of Southeast Minnesota
By God's grace, I've been on sabbatical for one week now, and it's been a good week. I've been camping in southeast Minnesota, settling into the sabbatical, working on a book, riding my bike, and enjoying the Lord. 

As for my times with Jesus, I've been reading John, Psalms, and Proverbs, and day by day he's been revealing to me his glory. Perhaps the verse of the week is John 6:57 which reads, "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me." And the word for "feeds" in the Greek language is written in such a way to mean "feeds and keeps on feeding." As I meditated upon this I came to see that, when we feed on Christ, we are always satisfied and yet never full because the more we feed on Christ the more our capacity to feed grows. Always satisfied, never full--that saying has meant a lot to me this week. 

As for writing, I'm working on a book entitled, Meditations on Hebrews which I hope to have done by the end of June. It's a compilation of my 49 sermons on Hebrews, edited a bit for this format, but still in the style of sermons. Writing project aside, the real deal for me is that I've had the privilege of diving into the deep-end of the glory of Christ without having to come out for a meeting or a teaching or some other obligation. Normally, such things are not so much a burden as a privilege, but for this season of life, the greater privilege is being with Christ uninterrupted. It's been glorious, and I'm truly in awe of Christ. 

As for cycling, I've taken some smaller rides, and been in the gym just about every day, but the main ride I took this week was a 65.3 mile loop from Winona through Lewiston, Utica, Saint Charles, Whitewater State Park, Elba, Altura, Rollingstone (surely named by hippies), and back to Winona. It was an awesome ride about which I blogged yesterday. I'm very grateful to God to have extra time for exercise. I've let myself go in recent months and I really need to get back in shape, and praise be to God, that's happening. 

As I look to the week ahead, I would ask you to pray the following for me: 

1. Please continue to pray the exact words of Ephesians 3:14-21, the theme verses for my sabbatical. I have so enjoyed the glory of Christ this week, but I long for more. Pray that I will be sensitive and obedient to the Spirit. 

2. Please continue to pray for my work on Meditations on Hebrews. I so long to write prayer-saturated words, and to bear fruit for the glory of Jesus and the good of others. 

3. Please pray for my physical health as I continue to recalibrate habits of diet and exercise. I plan to take an 85 mile ride this week, probably Wednesday, exploring the Root River Trail near Lanesboro, Minnesota (one of my favorite cities in the state). 

4. Please pray for Kim and Rachel as they spend a second week without me. Pray for their relationships with God and each other, and for our times of talking by phone. 

Thank you so much for praying, Beloved. May the Lord glorify himself as we seek his face and do his will. 

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