Monthly Archives: August, 2016

Reading Reflections: Rework

A friend recently recommended that I read Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (37signals, LLC.,2010).  Here are some of the quotes which really stood out to me.

“Our culture celebrates the idea of the workaholic. We hear about people burning the midnight oil. They pull all-nighters and sleep at the office. It’s considered a badge of honor to kill yourself over a project. No amount of work is too much work.  Not only is this workaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more…If all you do is work, you’re unlikely to have sound judgments. Your values and decision-making wind up skewed. You stop being able to decide what’s worth extra effort and what’s not. And you wind up just plain tired…Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up (p.25-26).”

“To do great work, you need to feel that you’re making a difference. That you’re putting a meaningful dent in the universe. That you’re part of something important. This doesn’t mean you need to find the cure for cancer. It’s just that your efforts need to feel valuable. You want your customers to say, ‘This makes my life better.’ You want to feel that if you stopped doing what you do, people would notice. You should feel an urgency about this too. You don’t have forever. This is your life’s work…What you do is your legacy. Don’t sit around and wait for someone else to make the change you want to see (p.31).”

Good stuff.

 

Now This Righteousness

“For if we seek salvation, that is, life with God, righteousness must be first sought, by which being reconciled to Him, we may, through Him being propitious to us, obtain that life which consists only in His favour; for, in order to be loved by God, we must first become righteous, since He regards unrighteousness with hatred. He therefore intimates, that we cannot obtain salvation otherwise than from the gospel, since no-where else does God reveal to us His righteousness, which alone delivers us from perdition. Now this righteousness, which is the groundwork of our salvation, is revealed in the gospel: hence the gospel is said to be the power of God unto salvation.”

John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, Eerdmans, 1948, p.63-64

So, did you have the patience to read that paragraph with a genuine desire to understand what Calvin was communicating?  Without a doubt, it is packed with great theological truths!  Mind if I ask you to read it again?  Do so more slowly this time.

Anything you don’t understand?  Google any word which requires a definition.  If you still find yourself struggling to comprehend Calvin’s sentiments, let me know.  Since I love the truth of justification by faith, I wouldn’t mind putting the paragraph in more modern lingo!

Another reason that section from Calvin’s commentary on Romans stood out to me is that I am currently teaching a class on the book of Romans.  I began a semester-long survey of Paul’s great letter last Sunday.  Each week, I’ll be covering a chapter, hitting the hi-lights and helping my “students” grasp both the theology and application (explicit or implicit).  I hope they will be as blessed as I will be on our journey!

In the morning, we’ll pause to consider our powerful (1:16, 17) and wrathful (1:18-27) God!  My hope is that we will exit the classroom in the morning with a greater appreciation for God’s amazing grace!

Learning the Discipline of Doing Nothing

I am a doer.  I enjoy doing and seeing what I have accomplished.  I’d rather cut the grass than play games or stream videos on the internet.

You probably knew I was weird before that admission!

As I write this, I am concluding a Sunday afternoon in which I did very little.  Other than ensuring the kids were happy, safe and well-fed, all I did was watch the summer Olympics.   For some, relaxing is easy.  Their conscience doesn’t bother them if they do little-to-nothing over the span of an entire weekend.  A weekend like that creates chaos inside of me (maybe guilt is a better word).

I need to do!  I need to do something!

What I am coming to realize, however, is that sometimes doing nothing is actually doing something.  And isn’t that why the Lord gave us the gift of the Sabbath?  I think it is.  He didn’t need to rest, but He chose to do so as an example for us.  The concept in Scripture is clear:  We are to be very productive for six consecutive days and then rest in order to fill our energy tanks for another week of faithful living.

So, I am not sinning today by refusing to create a list and striving to accomplish as many of the tasks that I can (a practice I have on Saturday’s at home and Monday through Friday at the office).

I am also not sinning by refusing to fill my Lord’s Day with Christian activities.  That concept is foreign to the Scriptures.  You will look in vain for either the Sabbath or Lord’s Day being a 24-hour period of religious meetings and tasks.

Years ago, I flirted with sabbatarianism.  Rather  than finding myself closer to the Lord, I ended up feeling more guilty than anything.  My current practice, I feel, expresses the “Sabbath principle” delineated in God’s Word.  Yes, I attend church (and Sunday School much of the year).  The rest of my day includes watching sports, seeing a movie or spending time with my family.  Some Sunday’s I go to the walk track.  Other days I swim with the kids.  I guess it’s an afternoon in which I do what I want instead of what I have to do.

I have a lot to do on Monday.  I have to arrive early at the office and I will need to work on a college class I am teaching Tuesday evening.  Monday night will also find me helping with the kids and the house.  And another productive week will begin.

But not quite yet.