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Attached to Jesus

Attached to Jesus

WHY IS OUR EXPERIENCE OF JESUS, AND CHURCH, SO DIFFERENT FROM WHAT WE TYPICALLY SEE IN THE BIBLE? Take, for instance, the second chapter of Acts. Today, it seems like the best we can do is market a biblical brand of Jesus and Christianity – but when it comes to making...
Why I Went to See KISS

Why I Went to See KISS

IF THE TITLE OF THIS POST CAUGHT YOUR EYE, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO SEE — BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU MAY NOT HAVE A SERIOUS VISION PROBLEM.  I was there, in Portland, Oregon, for the “farewell tour” of the (in)famous rock band, KISS.[1] If you’ve never seen KISS,...
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An Open Letter To The Church in America: Is God Is Giving Us What We Want?

An Open Letter To The Church in America: Is God Is Giving Us What We Want?

I THINK WE MAY HAVE PASSED THE TIPPING POINT. At best, we’re willing to tolerate God, but not hungry enough to dig into Him. We seem more enthusiastic about chicken and ribs at a summer barbecue. Even a casual look at America reveals this truth. If you’re a Christian, you know it’s true because it’s most likely true in your own life. It’s something I wrestle with as well. A great many of us seem to be rowing the same boat in the same direction, and it’s killing our nation. It’s time to stop the boat, get out, and seek another means of transportation. Christians, we’re in a very dangerous place. It’s time to head for safe harbor.

“When Moses watched the burning bush, I’m fairly certain he wasn’t thinking, ‘Dark Roast or House Blend?'”

I think God may be giving us what we want. It’s not what we need, but the reason we don’t have what we need is because we’ve convinced ourselves that our wants are more important than our needs.

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We are the ones who are largely to blame for the absence of God in our society, and have the nerve to express our anger at the world when the anger should be focused upon our own luke-warmth. Yes, we talk about God and we let everyone know the moment we’re against something. But are we really for God? Need I suggest the answer that you already find resonating within?

COULD YOU PLEASE PASS ME SOME JESUS?

It should be obvious that the American brand of “Christianity” and “church” is so heavily syncretized that it’s nothing at all like the distilled faith found in the Bible. So many of us are so adept at syncretism, “the combination of different forms of belief or practice, the fusion of two or more originally different inflectional forms,”[1] that we don’t realize “syncretism” is a synonym for the nuclear bomb mother of all sins: idolatry.

HAS SOMETHING OTHER THAN GOD BECOME YOUR “CONSUMING FIRE”?

We’re famished, but we keep feasting on anything other than Jesus. We love our smart phones, our computers, our television programs, our food, cars, houses, clothes, toys, sports, schedules and our reputations. It all amounts to our love for comfort and convenience more than the power and presence of God. Our love for God. And we’re okay with it. This is our problem.

All we’ve done is sprinkle a little Jesus onto the rest of our lives, a dose of spiritual, feel-good, hocus pocus in our efforts to get the best life we possibly can. We love the idea of Jesus dying for us – but hate the idea of dying to ourselves so that the life of Christ can flow through us. In the end, we aren’t at all living our best life possible. We’re settling for a mere shadow of what could be.

THE SIXTY-MINUTE MYTH

This week, I learned of yet another large church elsewhere in America that guarantees their services will be only sixty minutes long, that they offer contemporary music and a “fun” time for children. Brothers and sisters, are these really the things for which a churches should be known? Are we branding and marketing our music and lengths of services, primarily dispensing donuts and coffee, or don’t we have Someone far better to offer? When Moses watched the burning bush, I’m fairly certain he wasn’t thinking “Dark Roast or House Blend?” Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with great music (I play guitar), fun (I love to laugh) and a rich cup of coffee — unless we are more excited about those things than we are Jesus.

“. . . at the end of our days, we’re not willing to adjust our lives to the movement of God the way biblical characters did. No wonder we don’t have what they had.”

If a church is to be engaged in any “business” at all, it is to be engaged in the business of giving people the opportunity to meet the Maker of their Souls, the Creator of the Universe, the One Whose love is so potent it led Him to be beaten, spit on, and spiked to a tree. We’ve forgotten that the greatest need of the day is to give people the chance to be blown away by God so He becomes the all-consuming love of their life.

Believe me, as a pastor, I get it. If we don’t give the people what they “want,” we will never get around to giving them what they need. And what they need (what we all need) is Jesus, unfiltered. 2 Corinthians 3:16 says,whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” But we want to keep Jesus veiled, as if unveiling Him will drive people away. Our insanity is ironic, systemic and pathetic. I’m not saying that in a condescending way. I’m saying it with tears that don’t do justice to the way God must feel about our apologizing for His Son. God put His Son on display for all to see, but we think the better approach is to introduce Him in increments? Who is playing God in the American Church equation?

OUR PROBLEM IS OUR SOLUTION: WE ARE APOLOGIZING FOR JESUS WHEN WE SHOULD BE UNVEILING HIM.

OUR SOLUTION IS OUR PROBLEM

Our problem is our solution. We Christian leaders aren’t getting around to giving people environments where they can encounter Christ head-on in life-changing ways that will leave our syncretistic sweet tooth in the dust. Our approach isn’t helping people. It’s hindering them, significantly. If you’re a church leader, be careful you’re not just giving people what they want. Give them what they need, and what people need most these days is a soaring ascent into the presence of God.

If you’re just a Christian, and not a church leader, help your leaders break the cycle we all need broken. Help your church, and all her ministries, become environments where God can move with increasing freedom, power and purpose. Stop settling for mere donuts, coffee, hip music and fun activities. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with those things, they are, alone, no substitute for the presence of God.

FILLING UP ON GOD

We love the stories about Moses and the burning bush, David and Goliath, and all the other accounts where God showed up and saved the day – but at the end of our days, we’re not willing to adjust our lives to the movement of God the way biblical characters did. We want God to move in our timetable, at the flick of a switch we get to pull, having forgotten that God transcends time and our methods. And we wonder why we don’t experience the joy, deep sense of awe, and deeper movement of God like the people in the Bible? No wonder we don’t have what they had.

God is a great initiator, but eventually He needs us to respond. I think that time has come.

SYNCRETISM STINKS: IT’S TIME TO FILL UP ON JESUS – AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.

We can have as much God as we are willing to tolerate. I think it’s time we stop tolerating Him and begin calling out to Him to completely interrupt us so that we learn, once again (or perhaps for the very first time) what it is to love Him with all our heart, mind, strength and soul – and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

It’s time our lives underwent an extreme make-over that dealt syncretism a death blow. That make-over must be revisited moment by moment, day-by-day, on a personal level, to ensure it does not again creep in and take away holy ground once given to God. Then, when we come together in our churches, we may very well find the God who created the Church in the first place.

NEVER MIND OTHER PEOPLE. IS YOUR HUNGER FOR GOD WORTH A FOLLOW?

[1] Dictionary.com

Michael Anthony Blog - Godfactor.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March, 2018. For more about me, click on the image or here. If you’d like to request an interview, or explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.

Life is School: Pay Attention To Your Child Because Your Child Is Paying Attention To You

Life is School: Pay Attention To Your Child Because Your Child Is Paying Attention To You

LIFE IS SCHOOL, and if you have a child, you are their primary teacher, like it or not.The truth is that your children are watching you, and paying attention to you even if you are not watching and paying attention to them. Most lessons a child learns are not learned within the walls of a classroom, but from you, in the daily grind of life. This is the real classroom. Parenting is the most awesome responsibility this side of Eden. When you make the most of who you are, you improve the odds that your child will positively follow in your footsteps.

The public vs. homeschool debate is, in some ways, a mute point because every child is being homeschooled. Children watch how you interact with people – and from your interactions they will develop their own approach to mingling, conflict resolution, how to have a conversation and more. Your child watches how you handle stress – and by watching you they will develop their stress management (or mismanagement) skills. Your child observes how you use your time, money, and every other resource God puts into your hands. In other words, you are teaching your child how to live, for better or worse.

The fundamental question in child-rearing is this: Are you paying attention to your child, being intentional about how you are living so that what they learn by observing you is worthwhile and God-glorifying? If it isn’t, don’t blame your child. Start making changes with yourself, and you must may find that your child follows your lead.

YOUR CHILD IS FOLLOWING YOU — AND LEARNING FROM YOU — ALL THE TIME. IS HOW YOU’RE LIVING WORTH A FOLLOW?

You have already begun to teach your child about the following, and so much more:
  • The importance of the virtual world compared to the real world right before their eyes. How is your use of your smart phone, tablet, computer and television influencing your child? Do you look your child in the eye when talking, and when he/she is talking to you, or are you distracted by something else?
  • The value of money. Do you save, invest, spend carelessly? In watching you, what is your child learning about money? Does it grow on trees or come as a result of hard work? What are you teaching them about debt and freedom?
  • The irreplaceable value of time. What are you teaching your child about the most precious resource they will have, their time? Do you waste it or value it? Do you plan for meaningful times together, use a calendar and show them that time, once it is gone, never comes back?
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation. One of the biggest obstacles in all of life is created when we refuse to forgive people and pursue reconciliation. Are you a forgiving person, or given to bitterness? This one thing will be responsible for much of their happiness, or grief, in all of life. Do you want your child to be happy or miserable? Carefully consider, then, what you are modeling for your child about forgiveness and reconciliation.

The truth is that you child is watching you all the time. What are they learning? Even when you don’t realize it, they are watching you, developing their outlook on life, communication skills, financial strategy and just about everything — by watching you. Are you giving them good things to watch, so that you set your child up for success?

WHAT ONE OR TWO THINGS CAN YOU SIT DOWN AND FOCUS ON THIS WEEK IN YOUR OWN LIFE, START GETTING IN ORDER, AND IMPROVING? DOING THIS WILL NOT ONLY HELP YOUR OWN LIFE – IT MAY VERY WELL SAVE YOUR CHILD FROM A LIFETIME OF HARDSHIP. Remember, your child is watching you, and learning.

Michael Anthony Blog - Godfactor.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March, 2018. For more about me, click on the image or here. If you’d like to request an interview, or explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.

 

Secret Weapon: Charged, Fired Up, Fearless & Fruitful

Secret Weapon: Charged, Fired Up, Fearless & Fruitful

LIKE YOU, I LEAK. In fact, I’m so good at leaking that if I could patent the process I’d be a millionaire capable of turning my profits into one charitable success story after another. I’d have money to feed the poor, clothe the needy, fight human trafficking and more. My problem is that I seem to be wired with an autopilot feature that steers me toward embracing a life of comfort and convenience more than anything else – including the glory of God and His agenda above all else. What’s the cure? The filling with the Holy Spirit. When you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, you’ll be charged, fired up, fearless and fruitful. We need the power of God coursing through our lives. In fact, it is only when we depend upon the Holy Spirit that we can truly live for Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit is God’s not so secret “secret weapon.” He transforms us from being walking contradictions into living sacrifices, people on fire for Jesus Christ, unafraid to stand up and speak out in a day of hate and fear. I’ve found that the real challenge begins with me, not what’s happening in the world. I need the Spirit of God to do a mighty work in me each day – moment by moment – so that sin in my own life is pushed back, and the agenda of God is somehow advanced through the most unlikely conduit – me.

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PEER PRESSURE PETER
The same is true for you. It’s true for everyone. One of the things all humans tend to do is think we are unique, but we aren’t. We all face the same problems, though to different degrees. The solutions, therefore, often have similar ingredients. When it comes to overcoming sin in my life, the same solution is effective in your life: the Holy Spirit. He is one of the greatest gifts God gives the believer. Are you enjoying that gift?

Like you and me, Peter the Apostle had a propensity to give in to peer pressure — and peer pressure hinders the flow of God’s Spirit. He denied Jesus three times because he was afraid of people. But Acts 4:8 is a testimony of his transformation, courtesy of the Holy Spirit. It says, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!” He went on to testify fearlessly for Christ.

Peter’s transformation is striking, because he was already filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit …”

WHEN GOD LEADS, HE EMPOWERS. Why not let the Holy Spirit lead you in every area of life?

SPIRITUAL AMNESIA
How quickly we forget what the first believers understood: the filling with the Holy Spirit is not something that happens once and for all. It’s something that must happen perpetually if we expect to be charged, fired up and fruitful for Jesus.

So, how are we filled with the Holy Spirit? One of the lessons I’ve learned from my own failures is that I not only leak, but I’m also a magnet that attracts other things to take the place of what only God can satisfy. I not only leak, but I also get filled up on things I need to resist – because those things take up space that is best taken only by the presence and power of God. I’ve found that I leak less when I guard myself against things that don’t align with honoring God.

HERE’S WHAT WE CAN DO
I need to watch what I watch. This is true not only for the internet and television, but also for what I allow to play in the theater of my mind. The Bible says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). If this is true of my thought life, how much more true is it about what I allow my eyes and ears to feast upon?

Common sense tells us that garbage in will lead to garbage throughout. Do you allow yourself to watch, listen to, and think things that you wouldn’t if everything were out in the open before Jesus? Guess what? It already is. The good news is that the Holy Spirit can clean up our lives if we let Him.

In the end, we leak because we allow ourselves to fill up on things that don’t honor God. These are the things that end up coming our of us. The first step to being filled – perpetually – with the Holy Spirit, is to get into the daily and moment-by-moment practice of emptying ourselves of what dishonors God. When that happens, the leaks begin to take care of themselves.

IS THERE ANYTHING MORE I COULD SHARE THAT MIGHT HELP YOU IN YOUR JOURNEY? WHAT STRUCK YOU AS YOU READ? WE’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS . . .

Michael Anthony Blog - Godfactor.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I share them happily because doing so may spare you from making the same mistakes. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March, 2018. For more about me, click on the image or here. If you’d like to request an interview, or to explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.

Attached to Jesus

Attached to Jesus

WHY IS OUR EXPERIENCE OF JESUS, AND CHURCH, SO DIFFERENT FROM WHAT WE TYPICALLY SEE IN THE BIBLE? Take, for instance, the second chapter of Acts. Today, it seems like the best we can do is market a biblical brand of Jesus and Christianity – but when it comes to making good on the promise, we struggle with the delivery. I think it boils down to the fact that the first believers understood what it meant to be attached to Jesus. Today, we seem clueless.

 

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Find it here, or by typing “Attached to Jesus” in our search bar.

 

Acts 2:42 says,

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” — ESV

The Greek word translated as “devoted” has lost so much of its meaning today, in our individualistic, segregated, divorce-ridden world. We think we know what it means, but the truth is that we all need a refresher. The Greek word for “devoted,” could easily be translated as any of the following:

  • To wait on
  • To be faithful to
  • To busy oneself with
  • To hold fast to
  • To persevere in
  • To spend much time in
  • To give constant attention to
  • To attach oneself to

The phrase I love the most is that last one. Don’t you? When inserted, Acts 2:42 is resurrected with magnificent practicality:

They attached themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

I think a main reason we don’t experience Jesus the way the early believers did is because we’re not attaching ourselves to Him. Instead, we are attached to so many other things. What are you attached to more than Jesus?

We expect God to move in power on Sunday when we haven’t been attached to Him all week long. It’s time to take a second look at Acts 2:42-47 and land the plane. What I mean is that it’s easy to look at that passage as it applies to church life – but we have to remember that church life is a reflection of each of our lives. We need to look at Acts 2:42-47, not from the 50,000 foot view, but from the landing strip of our own lives:

They attached themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” — NIV

We want God to show up in power in our churches on Sunday – and that can happen, but only if we refuse to live lives that are detached from Him throughout the week. I think we need to be discontent with God’s absence in our personal lives and families the other six days of the week. If you and I became attached to apostolic teaching (putting the Bible into practice), spending quality time with our family and friends, and drawing near to God in prayer, I think we’d see Jesus in our midst much more when we all gather together. It’s not magic. When individuals become attached to Jesus, and those individuals come together, the group is attached to Jesus, too. Jesus shows up.

Acts 2:42-47 isn’t socialism. It’s real, biblical Christianity. Socialism is merely Christianity stripped of the Holy Spirit’s power, without the presence of Jesus or His Kingdom agenda. If we want the impact of our money reduced to pennies on the dollar, we ask (and even welcome) the government to take and redistribute it. But government redistribution of money is no substitute for what God alone can do through people who are truly attached to Jesus. If we want the power of God manifest in ways that lead people to the feet of Jesus, we need to be attached to Jesus – individually and in our families. When that happens, the discrepancy between our experience of Jesus and church, and what we read in the pages of the Bible, will disappear.

I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry for the kind of Christianity that shaped history.

What about you, your family, and your church? Isn’t it time that you became attached to Jesus in the same ways the first believers were? Is there anything you or your family is attached to more than Jesus?


Michael Anthony Blog - Godfactor.comABOUT ME:
Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March, 2018. For more about me, click on the image or here. If you’d like to request an interview, or to explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.

Why I Went to See KISS

Why I Went to See KISS

IF THE TITLE OF THIS POST CAUGHT YOUR EYE, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO SEE — BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU MAY NOT HAVE A SERIOUS VISION PROBLEM.  I was there, in Portland, Oregon, for the “farewell tour” of the (in)famous rock band, KISS.[1] If you’ve never seen KISS, and you claim to be a Christ-follower, I’m pretty sure you’re not as motivated for Jesus as you would be if you went to a show. Surprised? I bet you are, and that’s part of the problem.

You may be wondering why I, a pastor committed to accurate and practical Bible teaching and complete surrender to Jesus Christ, with a well-read blog, radio program, forthcoming book, and a large church (which I love), would dare attend (let alone brazenly admit) that I attended a KISS concert. Couldn’t such behavior and openness be undermining to my ministry? Not at all. In fact, attending that concert was one of the most devil-stomping things I’ve ever done in my life, for reasons that may surprise you. You see, I went to the show not because I’m a KISS fan, but exactly because I’m not. I wanted to learn a thing or two about success and motivation from four guys who were, arguably, among the most successful and motivated people in history.

WHAT KISS CAN TEACH US CHRISTIANS ABOUT VISION, PASSION AND BEING SOLD OUT FOR JESUS CHRIST:
  1. MONEY, SEX AND FAME ARE HUGE MOTIVATORS – BUT THERE IS AN EVEN BIGGER ONE YOU SHOULD EMBRACE. When KISS first formed, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons knew they were not stellar musicians, and that they needed something to make them stand out from the crowded pack of rock ‘n roll wannabes.KISS took “whatever it takes” to an entirely new level – and we Christians can learn a thing or two about commitment to Christ by considering the commitment of KISS to sex, money and fame.If money, fame and sex can motivate people to dress up in crazy costumes and make-up, what’s our hang-up with doing whatever it takes to really live for God and reach people for Christ? The God of creation is the greatest of all motivators to live right, righteously, and with the greatest of all passions.
  2. IF PEOPLE WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN WRITE HISTORY, WHAT’S OUR EXCUSE? We Christians have been washed in Christ’s blood, fully forgiven and given the gift of the same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the dead. Through Christ, we have access to more power than the members of KISS did at the height of their career – but we often behave as if we’re powerless.
  3. VISION EVENTUALLY DETERMINES REALITY. The members of KISS had a vision to be superheroes, not simply rock stars. Knowing they were not the best of musicians, they set out to create an unforgettable live experience. KISS began with this vision and sustained it, letting it shape every album, every concert, and every single decision they made as a band. Their vision fueled their success.If you’re a parent, do you know where you want your children to arrive when they are done with the eighteen or so years they will have under your authority? If you’re a pastor or church leader, do you know what you want your church to look like 5, 10, 20 years from now?What’s your vision for your life, your career and your ministry – and does it truly glorify God?
  4. STOP STOOPING FOR LOW-HANGING FRUIT. KISS reached for the moon, and they became stars. Too often, we Christians settle for the bare minimum when it comes to God’s glory and living in line with His agenda. Of all people, we should be more motivated and committed to our God and our mission than anyone else for any other cause. Have you settled for far less than God’s best, or is your life a shining example to others of giving 110% to Jesus Christ?
  5. IF HANDLED PROPERLY, SETBACKS ARE ACTUALLY OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMEBACKS. KISS had many setbacks through the years, including the eventual loss of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss due to their abuse of drugs and alcohol. But Paul and Gene kept rocking. What setbacks have you allowed to hold you back, when, instead, they should be propelling you forward, enabling your comeback?

NOW IT’S TIME TO HEAR FROM YOU. HAVE YOU SETTLED FOR LESS THAN GOD’S BEST?

Michael Anthony Blog - Godfactor.comABOUT ME: I hope my blogs give you a solid truth or two that encourage, challenge and inspire you to squeeze the most out of the only life you’ll ever have this side of eternity. I typically publish my blogs from Tuesday through Friday. Your comments are always appreciated because they not only encourage my family and me, but most likely others, too. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

For more about me, click on the image or here. If you’d like to request an interview, or explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.

[1] The tour was the last to feature the original line-up of Paul, Gene, Ace and Peter. Clearly, while the original lineup never toured again, it was not at all the “farewell” to KISS. Yup, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are master marketers.

 

Never Mind Sushi. Have You Heard of Karoshi? 4 Tips To Prevent Burnout In Your Own Life

Never Mind Sushi. Have You Heard of Karoshi? 4 Tips To Prevent Burnout In Your Own Life

THIS WEEKEND WILL ONLY LAST 48 HOURS, AND THEN IT WILL BE PART OF YOUR PAST. Here are 5 things you can do this weekend to spare you from burnout and enrich your life:

I. EASE OFF THE GAS AND SPARE YOURSELF FROM “KAROSHI.” The Japanese have a word for burnout called “karoshi.” A recent study in Japan revealed that rest is vital to every area of life. It even revealed that “sleep is a life and death matter.” When we don’t rest, we don’t work well — and every area of life begins to suffer. When it comes to the weekend, work is over rated. If God rested on one day out of the week, you’d be wise to do the same. If you don’t have time to rest this weekend, it’s most likely because you didn’t plan the past week as well as you could.

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II. SPEND SOME TIME LISTENING, FEELING, REFLECTING.
Art, music and literature are great ways to develop all your senses and connect with real life. Our virtual world has become over-rated, and people are more disconnected than ever. Is there a book you’ve wanted to read, an album you want to listen to, or art you could feast your eyes upon? Art, music and literature stir both the heart and mind, and are great ways to develop the inner you so that you become a better person all-around.

III. BE WISE: PUT DOWN YOUR SMART PHONE AND INTERACT WITH PEOPLE FACE-TO-FACE. Smart phones have dumbed many of us down. The virtual world is over-rated. This weekend, you’ll have a chance or two to encourage someone, to laugh, to listen or to share your heart. Life is happening — don’t miss it because you’re glued to a screen. Americans spend more time in front of smartphones, computers, televisions and tablets than they do sleep – and it’s negatively affecting us. The virtual world is no substitute for the real one — unless you’ve believed the lie. Be wise: put down your smartphone and engage with real people, face-to-face.

IV. SET YOUR WEEKEND PRIORITIES IN LIGHT OF ETERNITY.  Come Monday morning, this weekend will take its place as a tile in the mosaic of your life. What kind of mosaic do you want to create? Come Monday morning, what do you want to have done over the weekend so that when it’s over you can say, “I did that this weekend, and am so glad I did!”? Take five minutes before you kick off your weekend, and determine what you can prioritize so that when it’s over, you’ll be glad you did what you did.

I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS. ARE YOU AT RISK OF KAROSHI? KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS, WHO NEEDS TO READ AND HEED THIS?

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