Situational Sabbaths

If you work, you need to know about Situational Sabbaths. They aren't the same as traditional Sabbaths. Even if you know about them already, here's a teaser and article link to offer a little reminder. I certainly need it.

I work for a nonprofit organization and have spent many years of my adult life hovering around the U.S. poverty level. Despite the apparent hardship for a family of four, we are wealthy enough that we don’t feel the financial threat of a day off each week.

The Sabbath provides a break from necessary labor and offers a weekly chance to rest, play, garden, read, visit with friends, and worship with a community of believers. More importantly, perhaps, it’s supposed to teach us that we’re not entirely self-sufficient, that God cares and is in control, and that God will provide, just as Moses and the people of Israel learned during their exodus from Egypt.

I do a lot of the resting and visiting sort of Sabbath activities, but sacrificing one day of work per week doesn’t intimidate my independence. Rather, I stand with the visitor from a developing country who remarked, “It is amazing to me how much can be accomplished in this nation without God!”

This is a problem.

Richard Foster wrote, “More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.” Keeping the Sabbath is a form of fasting, which, like all fasting, has the potential of alerting us of unhealthy degrees of autonomy. Unfortunately, when NFL games and family picnics and overall abundance distract me from felt dependence on Sunday afternoons, I need something more than just a day off.

I need to observe Situational Sabbaths...

Read the rest of this article at The High Calling website.

The High Calling is a site about work and God.


Strongbow and the Church: Celebrating pork pie fillers of Melton Mowbray

Strongbow's alcoholic cider commercial made me wonder again why more churches don't have commissioning services and guest Sundays for average workers like they do for missionaries. Let's imagine how a commission might go for a recent advertising major and then I'll show you the ad:

Pastor: "Johnny, tell us a bit about this new position in Chicago. What will you be doing?"

(Johnny shares his job description)

Pastor: "Sounds interesting. When did you first know God was calling you into copywriting?"

(Short story about a favorite professor and Johnny's campus minister)

Pastor: "We're very excited for you and we'd like to pray for you. Lord, thank you for the way you call us into service. We know the ad world has its issues. Will you go before Johnny and prepare his path? Will you equip him with wisdom to know what to do and courage to do it? Please surround him with godly mentors and a healthy community of believers and may his work bring light and truth to our consumeristic society. We pray that he'll return to us with reports that bring honor to you. Help us to stand behind Johnny as he loves you and his fellow neighbor with all his heart, mind, soul and strength. Amen."

I suppose there are churches that do this. Strongbow, the UK's drink for hard workers (men only?), took a shot at it in an ad called "Honours." It takes place in a cathedral and borrows heavily from the trinitarian theme. We could use more of this kind of heralding and celebrating.

Strongbow: Honours


Land Rover on the other side of life

Getting out and away is essential human behavior. I know it every time I'm there and yet my day-timer says I could take it or leave it. What interests me about the following Land Rover ads is that I feel the need to get away from the full life they depict even though I've chosen to have the full life they depict.

That's the kicker. I like my life and nearly everything in it. So what causes me to fantasize about being in that vehicle on the other side of the planet?

Hat tip to Amy Corr of MediaPost's Out to Launch.


Fresh Step Cat Gallery -or- Without TV I'm Struggling for Material

It's Good Friday and only two days remain till I could potentially give up giving up TV. Life has been so busy that I'm not sure how much I would've watched anyway.

While I missed the Winter Olympics - every single moment of them - I did see 15 minutes of the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony in a China Buffet in southern Georgia. After nine days of backpacking and driving and being completely unplugged from the media, the students and I couldn't look away from all of the pretty colors and choreography on the screen. We were, General Tso's all about us, glued to the set.

Fresh Step
I have not, however, been unplugged from magazines during Lent, which is where I found PAM and the gallery of fine art below. Honestly, I'm not a cat fan or collector of kitsch, but as I said the first time I mentioned Fresh Step's ad campaign, if I had a cat this is the litter I'd buy. There may be ten brands with better absorbency and odor elimination, but these shots convince me. Enjoy my collection.

"It's hard to smell your litter box if you can't smell it."


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