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Time to Heal and Chill

Should you be hauled off to an institution for the clinically busy?

My work periodically requires successive days of ludicrously long hours that far exceed the labor schedule authorized by the demented Pharaoh, who once enslaved the Israelites. After the most recent string of such days, I staggered home to be greeted by my wife, Dale, who was dressed in a toga and proclaimed, "Let my people go!" Fifteen years ago, it didn't really bother me to work three, 16-hour days in a row. I could bound out of bed the next morning and be ready to hit the new day with vim and vigor.

These days, I don't so much bound out of bed as ooze from the mattress and leach slowly into my pants, so I can claw at the new day with anti-vim and a massive dose of caffeine.

Although my boss has explicitly and repeatedly authorized me to take some time off after a brutal few days, I am cursed with a twisted Protestant work ethic DNA that renders me genetically incapable of taking a day off unless I have contracted some kind of incapacitating medical condition, such as scurvy, rickets or the loss of a couple limbs.

So as I reached for the alarm one morning, my wife said: "If you even think about going into work this morning, I will have you hauled off to an institution for the clinically busy. You have worked more than 48 hours in the last three days, your eyes are bloodshot and you are drooling."

"But I'm not technically dead yet," I protested.

"That can be remedied," she said. "Get back in bed. Just because you don't show up at the office it does not mean that islands will plunge into the sea and thousands of little lambs will be lost in the wilderness."

I rolled my eyes to convey my disagreement.

"Well, perhaps I can take just the morning off," I said, as my 250-pound solid granite head slammed back into the pillow and crushed all the feathers into tiny little puffs of goose-down dust.

It was not because of noise, but due to my coffee-bloated bladder that I finally awoke and tottered into the bathroom. The act of standing up forced me to quickly conclude that my wife was right. I was in no shape to go to work.

But I couldn't quite manage to cut myself completely off from the office, so I snuck a quick peek at my BlackBerry wireless e-mail device. My wife calls it a "CrackBerry" because she says I am addicted to it. But for the record I can often go two or even three minutes without looking at it.

The first e-mail sent chills down my groggy spine. My colleague had called in sick. The office was entirely unmanned. This was a crisis of global proportions, cosmic even. In a horrifying moment, dozens of unread memos and unstapled documents passed before my bloodshot eyes. I could hear the islands gurgling in dismay as they sank into the watery abyss, and the lost little lambs were filing a class-action lawsuit against me for negligence.

I threw on my clothes and drove to work. Moments after I sent my first urgent e-mail, my boss called me from our main office 75 miles away.

"I got your e-mail. Why are you at work? Go Home!"

Curiously, the earth didn't collide with the moon while I took a day off. Apparently, the only truly indispensable person is God, and He tells us to rest. Sometimes when we don't listen to Him, He tells us through our wives.

Dave Meurer is an award-winning humorist and the author of Mistake It Like a ManNew Man e-magazine.  For more great articles like this one, sign up here. (Multnomah). This article originally appeared in read more

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The Real Meaning of Blessing and Prosperity

God is not a slot machine, nor are His blessings just about money.

The subject of blessing and prosperity has become very controversial among those in the church. We want to be blessed and live the abundant life Christ died to give us, yet we don’t want to approach God as if He is a lottery or a slot machine—if you put in the right amount of prayer, praise, worship, faith and good works, out comes your blessing. But for some, that is all they see God as, and they get beside themselves when He doesn’t come through the way they wanted Him to.

Blessing and prosperity are more than money. According to Strong’s Complete Concordance of the Bible, one Hebrew word for prosperity is shalom. We often associate the word shalom with peace, but the peace that Christ went to war for on the cross is a complete, whole kind of peace. Also according to Strong’s, shalom is “completeness, soundness, welfare and peace.” It represents completeness in number and safety and soundness in your physical body. Shalom also covers relationships with God and with people. read more

Effective Discipleship

Find helpful discipleship tips.  
  • Practice spiritual disciplines. Read the Bible daily, confess and repent of your sins and pray for the lost. Your relationship with Christ is a priority and the key to effectively discipling others.
  • Remain conservative in your ethics. Remember that pride can be dangerous. Pride may imply that you are judging others falsely, and is said to be the mother of all sins, because pride resides in each one of us.
  • Lead by example. "Do as I say, not as I do" is not an effective way to disciple someone. Make sure your life is worthy of emulating. read more

Start to Do Good

Where there is no opposition to evil, evil will multiply.

Famed philosopher and orator Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s true. Doing nothing is easy, but it’s also dangerous. Where there is no opposition to evil, evil will multiply.

We all fall into the trap of complaining about the things that are wrong. But complaining does nothing except discourage us even more. It changes nothing because there is no positive power in it. read more

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The Four Spiritual Food Groups

Even in the midst of difficult challenges, busy schedules and awkward moments, God wants us to enjoy our time on earth. He promised that His joy would be our strength (see Neh. 8:10); He personally participates in our lives, eager to see us face each day with grace and confidence, holding us up when the hard places on our journey threaten our ability to stand. The good news of Christ is that God has not left us alone.

Neither has He left us to figure out life on our own. Scripture provides signposts for the journey, helping us live active and balanced lives in Christ, keeping us from falling along the way and enabling us to partake of the feast of life as He intended. Just as the four basic food groups help us live a healthy physical life, so the four spiritual food groups God has defined produce an energetic, balanced faith that helps us live a vibrant spiritual life. read more

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How You Can Help Fight the War on Malaria

Want to be part of saving the world from a preventable disease? Here are some practical ways to support this effort:

1) Pray. Too many have suffered, died or lost loved ones because of malaria, and it doesn’t have to be this way. Intercede for those suffering from the disease and the families mourning the loss of loved ones. Pray that God would stir people’s hearts to help put an end to this disease. With your help, malaria can be eradicated by 2015. Is God leading you to be a part of this war? If so, prayer is the first line of defense.· read more

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