Tuesday, August 01, 2006

From the Archives: Don't forget your soul!

Originally posted June 16, 2005, this entry reminds of the need for summer soul care:

Five Ways to Nurture Your Soul This Summer

By now, most of us who were leading spring Bible studies or classes have wrapped up our semesters and are looking forward to a few weeks or months off from regular lesson preparation.

Downtime, recreation, junk reads, lazy beach days--these are some of the things we equate with our summers off. But don't forget to feed your soul.

Here are five things you can do this summer to foster some soul time:

1. Take a personal mini-retreat. By that I mean, take a day, or a block of six hours, or a two-hour chunk of time, and set it aside for prayer, reflection, stillness, and meditation on God's word. You don't have to have a big agenda, nor do you have to go away, to experience an effective mini-retreat. Try going to your local library or coffee shop. Or, better yet, go to the home of a vacationing friend or to a local park where you can find alone time. Then commit to spending the time you alotted in prayer and in God's word.

2. Try recording your thoughts on faith, God, the Bible, prayer--just some aspect of your spiritual life (in a journal or notebook or on tape). Set aside an hour each Sunday for processing your thoughts.

3. Read a short, classic Christian work. Try Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God, or A.W. Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy, or Ole Hallesby's Prayer, or Andrew Murray's The Deeper Christian Life. Try journaling about what you read. (For free classics, check out the Christian Classics Ethereal Library on-line.)

4. Write a psalm or hymn.

5. Watch a sunrise from a hilltop and worship our Creator God.

Summers can be busy times filled with fun, travel, and activity, but if we plan for it we can include "still" time for our souls.

'Til next time,

From the Archives: Take Time for Fun

This entry was originally posted in June, 2005, but seems apropos for Summer 2006:

"For those of us who maintain heavy teaching or ministry schedules from September to June, summer provides the opportunity to "catch up" on all those things we set aside during the academic year. House projects, filing, crafts, gardens, reading, letter writing, and other tasks eat up our discretionary time, and before we know it September is here again.

This summer, don't forget to guard time for relaxation and play. God did, after all, create a weekly day of rest and recreation; he also provided a year of Jubilee. We weren't created to carry continual, on-going stressors or demands without reprieve; and when we do, our health and functioning suffer.

What one thing can you do for 'play' this summer? What one thing can you participate in just for fun?

Take time to giggle and laugh and enjoy the life you've been given, no matter what your circumstances. Your soul will thank you for it; you'll be glad you did.

'Til next time,