Last Post on darrelharvey.com

This will be my last entry on DarrelHarvey.com however it will still be live. You will continue to be able to access and search it and I will link back to it at times.

Why?
I’m shifting my focus to Everyday-Pilgrim.com which is one of the tools I will use to build my spiritual direction, retreat facilitation, and mentoring practice.

What are you up to?
While I have been blessed with a great job in Bentonville that provides a generous income and great benefits I still want to walk intentionally with people on their spiritual journey.

What does that look like?
There are more details at Everyday-Pilgrim.com but in general it involves 3 things:
1. Offering spiritual direction to people in person or via Skype.
2. Promoting and scheduling speaking engagements such as camps, retreats, and leadership events
3. Mentoring people in ministry whether individually or in small cohorts, grouped together by season of ministry or stage of life.

Will you still be writing?
Yes, I will continue to write and pledge to be more consistent. Topics will be a variety of observations, questions, and insights concerning Christian spirituality, leadership, followership, family, and relationships. I hope to carry on the trajectory of mindful steps of spiritual discovery and divine surprise established at DarrelHarvey.com. My goal is to post three times a week and include guest posts by other pilgrims, the first being my son Tyler.

How can I help? (I’m really glad you asked)
Subscribe/Like/Follow/Share – Please go to Everyday-Pilgrim.com and you will see floating social media icons on the right side of the page.
Like my facebook page
Follow me on twitter and pinterest, and connect with me on google+.
Share – If you read something that you find helpful, please share it by posting a link on your social media outlets. And if you know someone who you think might benefit from my ministry refer them.

Thank you for the encouragement you have given over the years. I am very excited abou this next season of life and ministry.

When Sabbath Doesn’t Include Church

This week I had one of the best Sabbaths I’ve experienced in a long time. We slept, went out for breakfast, wandered around, rested, had conversations, admired the fall colors, walked hand in hand…it was great. I was able to spend some time writing and there was nothing on our agenda…not even church. 
 
In some people’s mind (and I used to be one of them) that cannot be. For them, Sabbath = church attendance. 

 
Sabbath is a gift from God to humanity. It is such a valuable gift the One who never gets tired created it, modeled it, and commanded it. Sabbath was given as the 24 hour period from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. It reminded Israel their value did not come from what they could produce. It was time set aside every week for them to remember they were beloved children of God who ultimately provides for them. Sabbath was given so that they may focus their attention and express their gratitude to him.
 
Historically, Sabbath set the rhythm of life for God’s people. They would observe Sabbath, spend the next several days reflecting on it and the last half of the week preparing for it. Sabbath was more than a day off. It was the metronome of their existence; celebrate, reflect, prepare, celebrate, reflect, prepare, celebrate, reflect, prepare, celebrate. 
 
The Jewish people celebrated it on the seventh day, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. 
 
Christians moved their celebration to Sunday in honor of the resurrection. 
 
Unfortunately many have reduced Sabbath to going to church and Sunday’s have become anything but a day of rest and reflection. There are pitfalls in equating Sabbath with church attendance. First, many churches stack the day with meetings, rehearsals, and classes. “We’ll just have this or that on Sunday since the people will already be here.” [May I remind you convenience was never a guiding value of the Kingdom] Second, when we slot Jesus in from 10-noon we start to believe the rest of the day is ours. Third, we get it backwards. The focus of Sabbath is not family, or fun, or recreation. The focal point of Sabbath is God and yet family, fun, and recreation can be wonderful instruments pointing us toward him. Sometimes I get it backwards. I bet sometimes you do too.
 
I believe God created us to live in community and walk with others on our journey of faith. But I also believe we, like the Pharisees, can be so busy doing religious things we miss him.

Bonus Question

The question that I didn’t post yesterday was, “What truth can we help you remember?” Think about that for a while. What do you know to be true but when difficulty, stress, loneliness, etc comes you default to a lie?

The most common response to that at our family weekend was some form of, “I need help remembering God will show up or come through at the right moment.”

At the heart of our worry that God won’t show up or come through is the fear that he either untrustworthy, he has lost track of us, or he just doesn’t care.

Even in spite of marrying my best friend and favorite person in the world, the move to Bentonville has been challenging. My first job was at the Parks & Recreation Dept. I liked it but it was only part time. As savings dwindled, and I mean really dwindled, I was stressed and wasn’t sure what to do vocationally.

For the last 3-4 years my ultimate desire has been to work with pastors and leaders. Most of the coaching out there is church growth driven. There is a need for that but I’m more suited for and passionate about spiritual direction and developing the heart within the leader. So Krista and I began to pray, “Is this the time to keep the part time parks job and launch out into consulting adventure by faith? Or is this a season when I do something completely different? You have to make this clear!”

That sounds good and was the right way to pray, but honestly, I was also saying, “God, I feel like Joseph. Everybody has forgotten me and so have you!” Basically saying, “You’ve lost track of me.”  After a couple weeks of praying together specifically and systematically about this, Krista got a text from someone in town about my interest in a job. That was on a Friday. Saturday I reviewed my resume. Sunday I emailed it. Monday I interviewed. Tuesday I was offered the job. Just like we’d asked, God made it clear that for now ministry would look different. Weekend retreats, a handful of spiritual direction/consulting clients, and one camp next summer is about all I can handle.

Please don’t hear me saying that if you just pray correctly, with the right words, in a certain way everything will turn out rosey. If you know me at all you know I’ve had very non-rosey periods of life. What I am saying is God is trustworthy, he knows where you are, and he does care.

Isaiah said it much better:
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “ God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:27-31 MSG)

Suggestions for fighting the “Where are You” fight:

  • Tell God exactly what you think and how you feel about his silence, he can take it
  • Put his assurances from scripture (like the one above) back on him
  • Find ways to remind yourself that God is trustworthy he knows where you are, and he does care (post-it notes are underrated)

Monday Questions

My kids have taught me that we have to do important things on purpose. One of those things is talking about heart issues. They were all in Bentonville with us a couple months ago for Labor Day weekend. I asked them the questions below and I think they would be good for all of us to ponder on this week:

If you could pray only one prayer this year, what would it be?

Where do you sense God delighting in you?
– What makes Him smile when he thinks of you?

Where is God gently (or maybe not so gently) calling you to change?
– Is there something He seems to be asking you put down, stop?
– Is there something He seems to be asking you to pick up, start?

What are you relying on only God for in this season of life?

What might God be relying on you for in this season?

Good Friday – The Forgiveness of Jesus

A few weeks ago I got to spend some time with, Ian Cron, an author that I really admire. It was nice to discover how normal he is. I read his most recent book, Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me, often through tears. It was really enjoyable to talk with him about the theology behind his thoughts, words, stories, and memories. It doesn’t give anything away for me to tell you that his writing spurred a thought I had never had: forgiving Jesus.

Take a breath before you stop reading.

I believe Jesus is the perfect and divine Son of God in whom the fullness of God resides. I affirm the Apostles’ Creed, “Jesus Christ, [is God’s] only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.” I acknowledge He lived a sinless life. I am grateful that today we celebrate and remember his loving sacrifice.

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So why on earth would he need my forgiveness? (Jesus being in a place of need is another conversation)

Forgiveness isn’t always about what someone really did to us. It’s about what we perceived they did to us. The wounds we carry are real. Some have been inflicted upon us intentionally. But some of the pain we carry comes from the unintentional actions of the frail humans we live among. I suspect if you are like me there are a few people we’ve assigned blame to that haven’t done anything to injure us…like Jesus.

Maybe you grew up in a family or tradition where this kind of thinking was not acceptable. Prayers were nice not gritty, more rehearsed than raw. You just didn’t address God when you were angry, hurt, or frustrated…so the angst gets pressed down. When that happens it doesn’t take long before the unsaid and unacknowledged becomes toxic. A low-grade anger smolders beneath the surface. Once in a while it finds a fault line in the crust and erupts but never in the direction of the One you’re really mad at, Jesus.

As I read Cron’s book I had several things I needed to revisit with Jesus. I had to forgive him for cancer that took my parents. I had to forgive him for some of the losses in my life. I had to forgive him for personal and vocational failures that I had long blamed him for. But he didn’t do any of these things to me. I had assigned the blame to him and treated him like he did.

So on this Good Friday, as we remember his offer of forgiveness to us, might you need to extend the same to him?

Is your unforgiveness of Jesus derailing your life?