Eric Metaxas

by Richard Rose 10. July 2012 06:10

Eric Mataxas wrote a very interesting column on today's Breakpoint. Here it is. Let me know what you think. 

 

We Could Use Some Rest
Busyness and Angst

July 10, 2012

For the past few months, the New York Times has been running a series on anxiety at its “Opinionator” blog. According to the Times, “for many,” anxiety “is not a disorder, but a part of the human condition.” The series’ stated goal is to explore “how we navigate the worried mind, through essay, art and memoir.”

Reading the contributions, I’m struck by two things: first, the worries and anxieties being discussed are, for the most part, the epitome of what has been dubbed “first world problems.” What’s being explored isn’t the struggle to make ends meet, much less the hand-to-mouth existence that billions around the planet struggle with.

Nor is it the stuff of mood disorders that require medical help. Instead, it’s the stuff of “angst,” a kind of dread that comes from the suspicion that life, as we presently live it, doesn’t make sense.

Well, it doesn’t, which makes the conspicuous absence of faith in the discussion — my second observation — all the more, well, conspicuous.

A telling example is a recent entry entitled “The Busyness Trap” by Tim Kreider. Kreider points out that when most people say that they’re “busy,” they aren’t talking about working multiple jobs to put food on the table or “pulling back-to-back shifts in the ICU.”

No, the busyness being complained about is “almost always...self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve ‘encouraged’ their kids to participate in.” It’s the busyness of people who “feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work.”

According to Kreider, what lies behind this busyness isn’t simply ambition and drive; it’s also a “dread [of] what they might have to face in its absence.” That’s because “busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, [and] a hedge against emptiness.”

It’s our way of telling ourselves that our lives “cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless” if we are “in demand every hour of the day.”

Reading Kreider’s words, Jesus’ invitation to the crowd in Matthew 11 came to mind, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” One of the reasons the Gospel is good news is that it says something we desperately need to hear: “You don’t have to try so hard. You are loved and valued beyond imagination. Nothing you do can possibly make that more true.”

The flipside of the good news is that the rejection of Jesus’ invitation to put on His yoke makes us vulnerable to the kind of ceaseless and pointless striving that Kreider describes. As St. Augustine famously wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

While it’s easy to find examples of this restlessness here in New York and in Washington where my BreakPoint colleagues live, it’s by no means limited to these places, and if we’re honest, not limited to non-Christians.

That raises the disturbing possibility that one of the reasons faith is conspicuously absent from the Times’ discussion of anxiety is that there aren’t enough examples of faith making a difference, that we Christians are as busy as everybody else. And that should leave all of us, if not anxious, at least a tad bit concerned.

Come to BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary. We’ll have some articles — and even a free, downloadable study by one of Chuck Colson’s favorite theologians, T. M. Moore — that will give you some food for thought and help you fight the busyness trap.


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Living Life

by Richard Rose 6. July 2012 01:27

I think at times, speaking for myself, I forget that I am God's and He is my Master. I plan ahead only to be reminded that He wants to direct my life if I will let Him. Listen to this.

The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don’t lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.

Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.



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Sobering Thoughts from Oswald Chambers

by Richard Rose 5. July 2012 05:44

July 5th

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5.

Don’t calculate without God.

God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the things we have calculated on without taking Him into account. We get into circumstances which were not chosen by God, and suddenly we find we have been calculating without God; He has not entered in as a living factor. The one thing that keeps us from the possibility of worrying is bringing God in as the greatest factor in all our calculations.

In our religion it is customary to put God first, but we are apt to think it is an impertinence to put Him first in the practical issues of our lives. If we imagine we have to put on our Sunday moods before we come near to God, we will never come near Him. We must come as we are.

Don’t calculate with the evil in view.

Does God really mean us to take no account of the evil? “Love … taketh no account of the evil.” Love is not ignorant of the existence of the evil, but it does not take it in as a calculating factor. Apart from God, we do reckon with evil; we calculate with it in view and work all reasonings from that standpoint.

Don’t calculate with the rainy day in view.

You cannot lay up for a rainy day if you are trusting Jesus Christ. Jesus said—“Let not your heart be troubled.” God will not keep your heart from being troubled. It is a command—“Let not …” Haul yourself up a hundred and one times a day in order to do it, until you get into the habit of putting God first and calculating with Him in view.

Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.



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Happy Independence Day

by Richard Rose 4. July 2012 00:36

May you experience the joy of true freedom  today through the love of Jesus Christ. Enjoy the holiday and keep Him in you heart and celebration. 

But we must remember that in celebrating our freedom, it came with a price. A.W. Tozer commenting on the church notes that God's blessing seems most present when the "Church" is wild about obeying Him. Listen to this thought: The only way to power for such a church is to come out of hiding and once more take the danger-encircled path of obedience. Its security is its deadliest foe. The church that fears the plow writes its own epitaph: the church that uses the plow walks in the way of revival.

Tozer, A. W. (2007). The Best of A.W. Tozer Book One (243). Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread.



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Who rules?

by Richard Rose 3. July 2012 08:09

As I was in W.Va. Friday evening with my family, we experienced the severe weather that impacted the area. When the wind hit, we saw branches breaking off of trees and going straight up in the air. I had never seen that before. That storm knocked out power throughout the southern part of Ohio, much of W.Va., Va., and other areas. One minute it was sunny and 90+ degrees, within 10 minutes things changed for millions of people. We saw that again to a lesser degree Sunday evening when another storm came through and the wind ruined docks at Tappan Lake marina. We sometimes think that things are under control, but God steps in to remind us that He still is on His thrown and quite capable of changing our world without warning.



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News from Washington

by Richard Rose 29. June 2012 00:02

I found Joel Rosenberg's post very interested and wanted to share it with you in light of the Supreme Court Ruling yesterday. Let me know what you think.

 

SUPREME COURT DECISION MAKES IMPLOSION MORE LIKELY

Health law to add $1.15 trillion to national debt.

Joel C. Rosenberg

(Washington, D.C., June 28, 2012) -- A disastrous, appalling decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court today. The Court upheld the individual mandate and socialized medicine, saying both are constitutional, despite the fact that a recent poll found 68% of Americans want all or part of the law repealed.

The federal government can now force us to buy what we don't want. Washington politicians and bureaucrats will become the final arbiter of our most personal medical decisions, rationing care for many and denying care to some who are not deemed worthy of receiving it, especially if the care is expensive. The "Affordable Care Act" (nicknamed "Obamacare") nationalizes 1/7th of our economy, imposes one of the largest tax increases in American history on an economy already struggling, massively increases government spending, and will increase the national debt by $1.15 trillion, according to a recent study.

This, despite the fact that we already have a crushing federal debt of more than $15 trillion, and another $65 trillion in unfunded liabilities related to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid coming at us with breakneck speed. Our ship of state is hurtling towards massive debt icebergs, yet rather than slow down or change direction, we are accelerating our deficit spending.

Bottom line: the implosion of the American economy has just become more likely.

Consider the facts (links to all these facts are on the blog):

* Congressional Budget Office report says "Affordable Care Act" could cost 20 million private sector employees to lose their health care coverage

* Full CBO report (PDF)

* Study finds "Affordable Care Act" will impose more than $500 billion in tax increases on U.S. private sector

* Study finds "Affordable Care Act" will increase budget deficit by more than $1.15 trillion

* Full study (PDF)

* Top doctor's chilling claim: British National Health System kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year

* "Up to 20,000 people have died needlessly early after being denied cancer drugs on the NHS"

[To read these stories in full -- and/or to read excerpts from IMPLOSION, and/or to find links to the latest news and analysis of events and trends in the U.S., Israel, Russia, and the Middle East -- please go to: http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/.]



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Facebook Presence

by Richard Rose 27. June 2012 06:19

As I mentioned on our Facebook page, it will be my intent to write regularly on this blog. This is just a test to make sure it is working correctly. If you would like to make a comment that would help me to know that the comment section is also working.

Pastor Rick



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