Since I didn't give any kind of a status update in the past week or so, some of you may have been wondering what happened to me. Well, to quote Mark Twain, rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Karen and I had the blessing and privilege of spending the last week (Sunday night thru Friday morning) at Cedarly Retreat in Delafield, Wisconsin and after a week of no cell phones, no TV, and no computers, I am only just now getting back to my regularly scheduled life. It was simply way too relaxing to go on Sabbatical for a week, and I wasn't quite ready to "break the spell" until today.
Anyway, we spent the week simply being refreshed. The Cedarly folks took care of all of our physical needs so that we could take full care of our spiritual ones. So we slept (a lot! I finally got rid of the dark circles under my eyes), swam in the lake, went kayaking and walking and biking, studied the Bible together, prayed a lot, read, played Baggo, hearts, and Scrabble, and hung out our hosts and the other 5 pastoral couples who were staying at Cedarly with us. God met with us there in a special way, and showed me several areas that I need to address in my spiritual life and I gained a lot of encouragement for my ministry here at Chilli Bible. One of the areas I need to address is my practice of Sabbath. I know that since I am not under the Law, I don't have to keep the Sabbath, but it has become clear to me that I need to, lest my life and ministry break down utterly.
So, one of the things I am recommitting myself to is taking the Sabbath days the Elders have graciously given me and taking Sunday afternoon through Monday morning as a Sabbath. While I know I will sometimes have hospital visits or other ministry requirements then, I still can plan to rest, study, pray, and play during those hours, normally speaking. I've got to do this, so that I can serve God and His people out of the overflow from my life with God, rather than out of the substance of it (Don't know if that makes sense or not, but I hope so). Anyway, I am coming back encouraged, revitalized and recharged, and grateful to my congregation for letting me get away.