What Sabbath Has Taught Me
It’s rare that I push so hard I have nothing left for my wife at the end of the day and I never do that when she may need my help or support. Because we are both calmer and less busy, we are less prone to getting snippy and we enjoy our marriage more. Stress, tiredness, and busyness are marriage killers, and Sabbath helps prevent those things.
Specifically “above average sexual satisfaction” was the number one predictor of being very happy in marriage – 38 percentage points higher for men and 39 percentage points higher for women compared to those who were “below average sexual sanctification”. Additionally, high sexual satisfaction was the number two predictor of not being prone to separation or divorce, for both men and women. For husbands and wives, a good sex life means a happier marriage and a very low chance of divorce.
Waldinger says that while social connections are good for us, loneliness kills. Those who are connected are happier, physically healthier, and live longer. Lonely folks are less happy, their health and brain function declines earlyier in life, and they die younger. He goes on to say it’s not the number of friends you have, but the quality of your relationships. While a good marriage protects us, a bad one is harmful.
"The message is we're not making the right risk calculus. Saying, 'I'm not going to go to hospital and die, I'll be fine,' is not the right away to think about it if we don't understand the magnitude of long COVID," Kathryn Bach, the report's author, told CBS MoneyWatch.
What about our marriage? Do we really want to excel? Do we want to have the best, most fulfilling marriage possible? Or, do we settle for “okay”, or “pretty good”? Each of us knows full well, that we will get out of something what we put into it. We will truly reap what we sow.
When we treat ethnicity as irrelevant, we are not honoring God’s plan for diversity. When we treat ethnicity as an effect of the fall to be done away with in glory, we are being more Gnositc than Christian. While we may not make ethnicity ultimate, we must not ignore it, either.
Over the past year and a half, I have conducted more than 150 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of internal government documents, some of which were turned over to me only after a multiyear lawsuit. These records show that as officials were developing the policy that would ultimately tear thousands of families apart, they minimized its implications so as to obscure what they were doing. Many of these officials now insist that there had been no way to foresee all that would go wrong. But this is not true. The policy’s worst outcomes were all anticipated, and repeated internal and external warnings were ignored. Indeed, the records show that almost no logistical planning took place before the policy was initiated.
Hopefully, you can use the benefits that I outlined in this post to help your customer understand how Agile benefits them. When you find yourself pitching against competitors who offer precise estimates in return for a certain set of requirements, you can use the questions in this post to help your customer see how Agile benefits them more compared to the illusion of certainty that your competitors try to sell them.
User Stories were never intended to be requirements, but rather a placeholder for a conversation with the development team. Let’s do better.
I try to pick artists who are both musically interesting and unapologetic about their faith—whose music is not ambiguously Christian but explicitly and sincerely so, in authentic yet non-cheesy ways.
In making these lists I try to focus on artists in a diverse array of genres who are newer and under the radar, and who have released new music in the last year.
Jesus saw women who were often overlooked, marginalized, scorned, or regarded as “dangerous” (Luke 7:36–50; John 4:7–30; 8:2–11). He saw far more of their character than the men who objectified them. In a safe, nonsexual way, Jesus respected and paid attention to the women around him. He treated them with compassion, respect, and dignity. Our own pursuit of purity must not just be about looking away; it must be about learning to see as Jesus sees.
When a Hindu repents and believes the gospel, she may burn her idols and relinquish her religious identity. Yet when a Russian nationalist believes the gospel, he usually retains his Russian identity. The task then is to disciple him—or any new follower of Jesus—to count his national identity as loss because of the surpassing worth of Christ (Phil. 3:8). For new disciples of Christ, idolatrous devotion to the nation must be transformed into a modest love of country and an appropriate gratitude for national kin.
It’s a human instinct to revert to what is comfortable and familiar. White Christians have a stunning number of theological resources at our disposal that don’t require us to stray from our cultural happy place. But we go a step too far to assume that our theology is the only good theology or that we have the market cornered on truth.
God is not shy about sex. He encourages us to enjoy it fully and He uses graphic sexual analogies to explain following other gods. Our sexual uptightness is not of God and is actually contrary to what God does and calls us to do.
The internet, Christian Twitter, meditation apps, podcasts, websites like TGC—these can all be helpful as part of our Christian lives. But they can also be unhelpful if they replace or take precedence over the local church. Without a solid rooting and deep embedding in a local church and specific Christian community, one’s faith can become chaotic and scatterbrained, abstract and untethered, tossed about by the all-over-the-place whims of whatever this or that website, tweet, or YouTube video declares. Far from a constricting burden, the local church is profound gift from God. It frees us by limiting us, situating us in a tangible place, with real people we can know and be known by, with real neighbors we can love and serve.
But tension isn’t always a warning light to indicate something’s malfunctioning一it can be useful, even beautiful. Power lines utilize tension to stay safely hoisted above pedestrians. Cello strings appropriately tuned produce breathtaking music. Similarly, the more we’re stretched by God, the more he can use us.
What would be healthier for our politics is for Congress to ask the extremes to accept something they don’t like, as a change from the current tact of asking the majority in the middle to choose between two extremes.
God loves women who’ve had or considered abortions and so do we. Christianity is more than just a list of prohibitions; our faith also affirmatively commands us to love others with compassion and self-sacrifice. Our conviction to help suffering women and children should match our convictions regarding the unborn.
The author of the Second Amendment drafted statewide legislation that was effectively a forerunner to the New York state law that the Supreme Court just struck down. The bill, which was really aimed at regulating deer hunting, did not pass. But it clearly demonstrated that Madison viewed individual gun ownership as well within the state’s regulatory prerogative.
In 1986 virtually all of the Protestant, Catholic, and Greek Orthodox churches in Modesto California, along with the only Jewish temple in the city, agreed to not marry any couple who did not wait at least four months and go through mandatory premarital counselling. You could get a justice of the peace to marry you, but if you wanted a church wedding you pretty much had to get premarital counselling. This resulted in some couples deciding not to marry, fewer calls for help shortly after marriage, and a drop in divorces.
Often the first one speaking into something comes with a lot of conviction. They come with a lot of Bible. They come with a lot of authority. But then someone else comes along. This person also brings their Bible. This person is more nuanced. This person has firsthand knowledge of the situation. This person might even be an expert in her field.
Jesus’s and the apostles’ new regulations for fleshing out love for God and neighbor day by day—though fairly familiar to avid Bible readers—receive short shrift in all too many congregations. One reason for this, perhaps, is because the commands stress sacrificial work on behalf of those in need—whether or not we’re personally connected to them.
Blessed walks through Revelation verse by verse, skipping a few short passages, with the goal to “cut through the confusion and help you to see the beauty, the hope and help, that is uniquely presented in this book” (23). Each chapter’s commentary concludes with practical answers to the question of what it means to “hear” and “keep” what’s written in the passages and so experience the promised blessing.
I’ve learned a lot in the last few years, and it’s transformed the way I do ministry. I’d like to share with you what my entrance into the world of neurodiversity has taught me about discipleship.
My wife has developed the habit of saying “Where am I doing that?” when she sees someone doing something wrong. It’s an excellent biblical habit to have. If we all did more of that, we would have a lot fewer bad marriages.
Learning Hebrew and Greek seems like a task for those who are more “academically minded.” The average church member doesn’t see the return on investment. There are at least three reasons for this mentality, but I believe each can be overcome.
Our theological convictions about the dignity of all people made in God’s image, our understanding of the Bible’s standards for Christian character, and its demands for how we care for the vulnerable must lead to changes in the way we view abuse prevention and child protection.
Before God we are all culpable for our unrighteousness and capable of injustice. And while our unrighteousness alone makes us deserving of eternal damnation, God seems to have a unique fierceness against injustice.
Web dev as a field doesn’t have a common research methodology or standard tactics for keeping up with change. That’s why we’re all overwhelmed. Not because it’s uniquely fast-paced but because it’s unique in how it doesn’t invest in people, training or methodology.
Christians should be the first to decry the racism and xenophobia of the theory, along with condemning the violence it has perpetuated.
These arguments are powerful, and to take them seriously is to be overwhelmed by the responsibility we each have to respond to the claims appropriately and justly. It is a studied sobriety that is anathema in our politics, where the weight of decisions is so often evaded, and responsibility for one’s choices and positions is redirected.
While I do not believe our politics right now is likely to accommodate pivoting from this moment to one focused on the well-being of women, children and families, I do think this could be the aim of Christians. Our politics is likely to devolve deeper and deeper into zero-sum reactions, but Christians should seek to address persons and their needs. The Child Tax Credit expansion should be brought back. Pregnancy discrimination combated with ferocity. Maternal health and child nutrition support expanded. Adoption strengthened and supports for birth mothers established.
“Doesn’t the church also need mothers, mature women with a godly perspective?”
It does, and I believe wise elders recognize this.
Children who receive ongoing age-appropriate information about sex are less likely to be molested. Girls are less likely to be raped or coerced into sex by a partner as they grow up. Teens who get proper information start having sex later and if they do have sex, they are less likely to experience pregnancy or disease. And when they grow up and get married, those with good sex education have fewer sexual problems and better sex lives. So as I see it, good sex education is one of the more important things we do as parents.
Being human can be a heavy burden for any of us to carry alone, but it’s easy for our personal conversations with God to center on what feels urgent to us. Daily, I feel my prayers drift back to myself. However, remembering each other as we talk with God not only helps us “keep our arrows outward” (as my mama used to say), but also eases the load as we learn to walk better beside each other.
As it turns out, there are bad and good things about virtue signalling – but probably not for the reasons you think.
In many churches, it seems, it’s OK to be a jerk if you’re a jerk to the right people. Personal unkindness toward political or theological opponents can be seen as bravery or championing orthodoxy.
The shame that you are responsible for your child’s choices is a lie from hell and could drown you. To the spirit of shame that falsely tells you that you are responsible, we announce:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus…
Who holds the power of discipline in an independent, elder-ruled church like Mars Hill? The elders. They are the highest authority. Indeed, they are the only authority.
Not so in congregational, presbyterian, or episcopalian-structured churches
When we confront difficult texts, therefore, we must be careful not to cross-examine the witness of God. We are ultimately the ones in need of scrutiny, not the other way around.
People often assume kids who join your family through adoption should adjust to you—your family, your family culture, your rules, etc. But when you have a biological child, when you bring that baby into your home, you as the parents do all the adjusting around what your child needs.
This is no different. When you adopt an older child from foster care, you should expect that you will change. Your family will change. Your life will change.
When kids are nurtured from birth into thinking “it’s all about you,” “follow your heart,” and “you do you,” it should come as no surprise that we now have a generation of young people who are increasingly de-coupled from and ignorant of authoritative truth-claims about God and the universe in general and orthodox Christianity in particular.
So the question isn’t just how much education, but what kind. Is it quaint, or utopian, to talk about teaching our children to be capable of governing themselves? Possibly, but I doubt it’s ever been more necessary.
Rightly construed, there is no such thing as one’s “private political views”: politics is inherently social, always contextual; never individual and never ultimate. Our political views are our views about what is appropriate and best for our politics as it is. Government does not act in the abstract, but in particular circumstances, with and on particular people.
Most legacy systems have 'bloated' over time, with many features unused by users (50% according to a 2014 Standish Group report) as new features have been added without the old ones being removed. Workarounds for past bugs and limitations have become 'must have' requirements for current business processes, with the way users work defined as much by the limitations of legacy as anything else. Rebuilding these features is not only waste it also represents a missed opportunity to build what is actually needed today. These systems were often defined 10 or 20 years ago within the constraints of previous generations of technology, it very rarely makes sense to replicate them 'as is'.
In the immortal words of Rita Mae Brown: “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
No matter how often training is scheduled or how well lessons are delivered, if an officer does not embrace the importance of training and take responsibility for their own learning, it will not lead to the development of a high level of confidence or competence. The attitude of opting out of things we aren’t good at deflates the argument that policing is a profession. Professionals work hard to become proficient at the skills they need to do the job they have chosen.
Is the Bible just a random, albeit interesting, product of history? It does seem disjointed or even contradictory at times (e.g. Prov. 26:4-5). And if it took thousands of years to write and had many authors and editors, how could it be anything but random?
“ ‘Mother Earth never attempts to farm without livestock; she always raises mixed crops; great pains are taken to preserve the soil and to prevent erosion; the mixed vegetable and animal wastes are converted into humus; there is no waste.’ ” Berry closed the book. “That’s it,” he said. “That’s the pinch of the hourglass.”