DEVOTION God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation. Genesis 2:3 O ne of the restaurants we go to has a section on its menu called &quot;Guilt-Free Desserts&quot; designed to appeal to all of us who worry about our weight and cholesterol. great to think that there is a dessert you can eat and enjoy without feeling guilty. But I've never heard of anything called guilt-free resting. If anything, busyness is increasingly becoming a badge of honor Christian leaders are among the best at claiming that badge of honor Imagine a scenario of four Christian leaders trying to establish a time to meet. Three of them whip out Day-Timers and electronic organizers, shake their heads, and confess that the best time to meet would be in about seventeen months. Then the fourth person says, &quot;Schedule it anytime. I'm not real busy&quot;—and the other three stare in amazement. &quot;Not real busy?&quot; they echo incredulously, believing that all Christian leaders who serve devoutly take pride in their busyness. Yet I think the world could use some unbusy Christian leaders who would testify to the truth that the world is in God's hands, not our own. Nothing is wrong with hard work—with pouring ourselves wholeheartedly into what we are doing in the service of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we need to rest. Even God rested, and the Old Testament is forthright about keeping the Sabbath as a day of rest. As Christian leaders we have the responsibility of building time into our own schedules to rest and be refreshed. If God could look back at six days of creative work and call it good, then maybe we as Christian leaders should do the same. Reflection Am I keeping the Sabbath by planning a time in my schedule for adequate rest? Prayer Lord of the Sabbath, help me to make rest and refreshment a priority, and free me from the need to be indispensable
1. Every day I get one day closer to who I will ultimately be. Am I satisfied with who this will be? We must be sure our profession does not consume our person. It's important that we be more than we do or have . Too often I have seen people leave their title and power and have nothing to fill the vacuum. In power, we hold the offensive, while in wisdom we are the consultant—those who want our help come to us; we don't go to them. So I ask myself: Am I moving from power and becoming a person of wisdom? 2. The Pharisees were religious; Christ is spiritual. Much tradition is religious, while relation in Christ is spiritual. 3. They see me whole. I would like to believe—and must believe—that if I am growing spiritually, my family will recognize it. 4. Scripture says, &quot;He that believeth in me, out of his innermost parts will flow rivers of living water.&quot; The freshness is in the flow. Some of us want to be a lake, not a river. We want to accumulate before we let too much flow through. when we dam the blessings in our life, we become stagnant, cynical, mean-spirited. We must break the dam and let blessings flow 5. Francois Fenelon, who walked with God three hundred years ago, said, &quot;Peace is what God wants for you no matter what is happening.“ There is an important difference between the fast track and the frantic track. It is not God's will for me that I be frantic. Peace is the evidence of God. 6. Do I know what I can do effectively? The need is always bigger than any person can satisfy, and so my call is simply to handle the part of the need that is mine to do. Defining your unique ministry is important because so many requests are made that take time and energy. Unless you know the things you can do uniquely well, you end up doing many mediocre things just to please others. Definition and discipline are essential.
7. Oswald Chambers's little book, Prayer, the Holy Occupation . In this he defines the essence of prayer as &quot;finding the mind of Christ.&quot; One test of positive prayer life is this: Do my decisions have prayer as an integral part, or do I make decisions out of my desires and then immerse them in a sanctimonious sauce I call prayer? 8. Awe inspires, it overwhelms, it intimidates our humanness, it inspires worship. Awe isn't learned; it is realized. 9. &quot;Humility is not denying the power that you have but admitting that the power comes through you, not from you.&quot; We are not to pray to be given humility; that prayer would have to be answered with tribulation. We are told to humble ourselves. Am I doing it? 10. We can't all wear the same glasses, nor can we take the same medicine. Just so, we have different personality and character traits that need developing or dwarfing. That means we must find the spiritual feeding that is right for us. 11. Do I try to bargain with God or rationalize with him? Obedience largely determines my relation with Christ following new birth. He says I am his friend if I obey him. Therefore I must check my obedience. My good intentions count for little. Also, how do you handle disobediences? Do you give excuses or confessions? Do you either carry guilt or try to punish myself for what God alone can forgive—and will? 12. Joy is promised. Do you have it? If the relationship with Christ is right, you do. To me, joy is perfected in the full belief in the total sovereignty of God. Doubt dilutes joy. Does my joy extend into my suffering? My suffering is my maturation. Even my dry periods produce perseverance, which is pleasing to God. Therefore, I can be joyful in the adequacy of God.
I've learned something about doing laundry . . . when you put the clothes in the washer it is important that you spread them out evenly in the basket . . . if you don't, the washer will make a terrible racket. If it does, it means the load is unbalanced and you need to reorganize the clothes. Let me ask you: Is your Christian life in-balance or out of balance? Are you banging around and making a lot of noise or are things running smoothly in your life?
Fun Are we still having fun at work? Interests Do we have the time and the resources to entertain and travel? What places do we want to visit in the next two to three years? Physical Health How can we maintain our health? Relationship with each other Are we continually developing and improving our relationship? Society Are we giving back to our community?
Warning signals in key medical conditions High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and allergies topped the list of medical conditions reported by Episcopal clergy . More than 24% were at risk for high cholesterol, and 20.7% were at risk for high blood pressure. More stress reported The only major lifestyle factor for which Episcopal clergy were at greater risk than the larger population was stress, posing an emotional health risk for 72.9% of the Episcopal clergy sample (16.7% higher for males and 13.3% higher for females than the benchmark for each gender). Significant prevalence of depression Depression was the medical condition for which Episcopal clergy exceeded the benchmark population by the highest percentage difference (12.4%) and was reported more often by females (27%) than males (15%).
Core values What's most important to us? Steven Covey says, “How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to know what really matters most.” We gain real clarity about who we are and what we stand for-- make better choices about where we spend our time and who we spend it with -- see why and how your values affect our bottom line -- have more passion in our purpose & purpose in our passion -- our core values drive and direct our purpose and allow us to stay inspired and motivated; overcome discouragement. A person will never feel balanced if they don’t have a personal vision of what a balanced life looks like. So we begin by trying to identify the most deeply held values and then clarifying the vision that arises from them. Dreams What do we dream about? What do we want to splurge on? This study shows the importance of dreaming and its role in our well-being and health. Some researchers believe that dreams help us tackle stress. It is clear that dreaming help recharge the mind and revitalize the body. Dreaming is a necessity. The content in our daydreams are helpful in the understanding of your true feelings and help in fulfilling your goals. Where there is no vision, the people parish. Family Is the “business” allowing us time with our family? Family is important. Here are 10 reasons why 1. Children learn valuable life skills and lessons from family interactions. 2. Taking a relaxing, unstructured break from a stressful life style is good for mental health. 3. Children feel valued, important and worthy when family time is a priority. 4. Family members have time to freely express their thoughts, concerns and issues. 5. For Parents and for spouses it’s time to informally share their experiences, views and feelings. 6. The time is set aside for positive reasons and not to deal with problems or a need for discipline. 7. Many experts think children who have consistent family time are less likely to have alcohol or drug problems. 8. Family time may counteract negative peer pressure and media messages directed at children and show family they are as important as the congregation. 9. It’s fun -- a way to enjoy and appreciate one another. 10. It strengthens marital relationships. Exit plan What do you do? What is the plan? How do you prepare? It’s never too late to make a plan. Consider all your options. Consider an investment company which deals specifically with churches. Find a good tax person who understands clergy nuiances. Review documents which will help you and the congregation understand your retirement plans. (See the following attachments as examples only: Attachment 1, A-G Financial How much money do we want to make? Can the church support our income goals? What do we need to do to meet our goals? How much do we need to save for our later years?
Friendships Are we spending enough time with people who are important to us? One of most important things about them--though you may not have thought about it--is to help us learn more about ourselves. Friends can tell you many things about yourself that you may overlook. Understanding what it means to be a good friend will help you form treasured friendships. &quot;Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.&quot; --Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt Friends are, or can become, a big part of your life. Special friendships will bring you rewards throughout life. Fun Are we still having fun? at play and at work? Play is a key ingredient in a well-balanced life. Play will be different for different people, but play is definitely not “vegging out” and doing nothing. As with worship and work, true play requires concentrated time and effort. Whether it’s playing on the church ball team, exercising, horseback riding, doing a hobby, playing an instrument, reading a book, going on a date with your spouse or significant other, or playing a game with your kids, play requires something of you and it gives something back. True fun may cause you to work up a sweat, invest in lessons, spend money others might consider “wasteful,” or spend time others consider “unproductive,” but true fun will always feed your soul. Interests Do we have the time and the resources to do things that we enjoy or to develop God-given talent? There’s an old saying that states, “Most people kill themselves trying to make a living, and die never having lived.” Now look at the Balance triangle with the arrows. In most people’s lives, especially in Western culture, we “worship” our work. That’s what we sacrifice to and make the focus of our lives. It’s where we derive our sense of security and our sense of worth. Work becomes our object of worship instead of God. Christians are supposed to get their sense of security and worth from Him. We’re supposed to sacrifice to Him. And as we do so, He pours into our spirits what we really need. But instead, too often, we worship our work. Location Where do we want to live? Physical Health How can we maintain our health? Pastors who spend time ministering to other peoples health and wellbeing are facing a health care crisis of their own. Some churches say clergy medical costs are rising so fast, it is straining their organizations budgets. From the discussion of the results from the Mayo Clinic on the Episcopal church clergy, we can see that our physical health is a strategic issue. We are literally stressing ourselves into oblivion. Besides taking heed to the factors mentioned in this workshop; getting regular physicals and listening to our bodies, I believe there are some things our denomination should look at: Develop a process whereby pastors and families could establish a “wellness baseline“ in domains of personal stewardship: vocational, spiritual, physical, emotional, educational, financial, and recreational. Develop processes and resources for discernment, assessment and evaluation – a wellness composite – for multiple levels, from the local level to the connectional level of the church. Develop an online Episcopal “Wellness Hub,“ complete with links, self-assessments, and resources. Develop a best practices guide for Episcopal districts regarding wellness. Best practices could be shared among conferences. Develop or find an accessible system of life coaching. Create a confidential “depression and stress hot line,“ a safe place to access resources. See Attachment H – Four Areas of Concern Society Are we giving back to our community?
Imbalance occurs when... We simply become driven by circumstances. We pursue someone else’s vision for us, or we chase after what the world says we should value. When we deal with the urgent rather than the important...We aren’t purpose-driven. Purpose Driven People change their lifestyles to accommodate that area, and then close out that season when it’s over. They know what the purpose of that season is for them. They don’t try to do several different major things in the same season, continually adding more and more on to the pile of their lives. Balance comes from knowing why you’re doing something, doing it, and then being done with it. Know when to say no, so you can say yes to the things that matter most.
First Things First Keepin It Real
Keepin’ It Real... Balancing Life and My Ministry Presented to the Los Angeles/San Diego/Las Vegas District Ministers’ and Minister’s Spouses Retreat Janet Gloyd Presenter "I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
Devotion <ul><li>God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation. Genesis 2:3 </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Am I keeping the Sabbath by planning a time in my schedule for adequate rest? </li></ul><ul><li>Prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Lord of the Sabbath, help me to make rest and refreshment a priority, and free me from the need to be indispensable. </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
My Spiritual Audit <ul><li>The most important element to the spiritual audit is ones desire to want one. Our lives are a mixed bag in need of regular review to sort out those things which put us off balance. </li></ul><ul><li>An audit is more than a statement of condition . It is also an indication of spiritual potential for balanced living and for our mission. </li></ul><ul><li>You cannot put a number on the audit as with a manufacturing plant, where an actual weekly figure can be placed on employees' morale. This is much more subjective. Prayerfully, this is always a work in progress. Coming to balance and maturity is such a slow progress. </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
<ul><li>Answer the following questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Am I content with who I am becoming? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Am I becoming less religious and more spiritual? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Does my family recognize the authenticity of my spirituality? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Do I have a flow-through philosophy? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5. Do I have a quiet center to my life? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6. Have I defined my unique ministry? </li></ul></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
<ul><ul><li>7. Is my prayer life improving? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8. Have I maintained a genuine awe of God? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9. Is my humility genuine? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10. Is my "spiritual feeding" the right diet for me? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11. Is obedience in small matters built into my reflexes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12. Do I have joy? </li></ul></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
Benefits of Work Life Balance <ul><li>Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. – III John 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Wellness, wholeness, abundant life is the will of God for all God’s people. </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
Is your Christian life in-balance or out of balance? Are you banging around and making a lot of noise or are things running smoothly in your life? "I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
Let Us Review Some Things I See As Necessary for Balance and Peace of Mind <ul><li>Core values </li></ul><ul><li>Dreams </li></ul><ul><li>Family </li></ul><ul><li>Exit plan </li></ul><ul><li>Financial </li></ul><ul><li>Friendships </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
<ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><li>Interests </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Health </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships with others </li></ul><ul><li>Society </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
Health data on a sample of Episcopal clergy compiled by the Mayo Clinic cover a wide range of health assessments, including psychological and physical indicators. Data from the Episcopal clergy sample of 646 respondents were compared to a much larger “benchmark” sample of individuals from all organizations that use the Mayo Clinic Health Risk Assessment (HRA) online service. An analysis of the data identifies striking difference between the two groups in key health risk areas. <ul><li>Warning signals in key medical conditions </li></ul><ul><li>More stress reported </li></ul><ul><li>Significant prevalence of depression </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
Analyzing and Taking Control of the Balancing Factors <ul><li>Core Values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s most important to us? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By living Your Core Values , not only are you more successful you enjoy your success more. You also achieve your outcomes with less effort and conflict. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dreams </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do we dream about? What do we want to splurge on? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Family </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the “business” allowing us time with family? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Exit Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Retirement – Now at a mandatory age. What do you want to do? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Financial Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How much do we make? How much should we save? </li></ul></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
<ul><li>Friendships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we spending enough time with people who are important to us? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we still having fun at work? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do we have the time and resources to do things we enjoy or to develop God-given talent? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Physical Health </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we maintain our health? Do we have all our business in order? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we giving back to our community? </li></ul></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
Finally... <ul><li>Imbalance occurs when we don’t examine our most deeply held values, when we have no clear vision for our lives, and when we don’t live our lives according to seasons. </li></ul><ul><li>People who are purpose-driven know that some seasons of life will require huge amounts of energy in one area. </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist
Balance Triangle <ul><li>Each piece is part of the balanced life. With all other factors fitting within the equal sides. </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist Work Spirituality Play
Closing Prayer <ul><li>Holy God, be in my mind, </li></ul><ul><li>that I might let go of all that diminishes </li></ul><ul><li>the movement of Your Spirit within me. </li></ul><ul><li>Discerning God, be in my eyes, </li></ul><ul><li>that I might see You in the midst </li></ul><ul><li>of all the business that fills my life. </li></ul><ul><li>Loving God, be in my heart, </li></ul><ul><li>that I can be open to those I love, </li></ul><ul><li>to those with whom I share </li></ul><ul><li>ministry and to the whole human family. </li></ul><ul><li>Gracious God, be in that grace-filled silence </li></ul><ul><li>that lies deep within me, that I might live in Christ </li></ul><ul><li>as Christ lives in me. </li></ul><ul><li>Amen. </li></ul>"I am not the Christ."-- John the Baptist