Parenting by the Book

Book Review: The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring the Sabbath

Do you have to be Jewish to reclaim the Sabbath? Pastor Mark Buchanan of the New Life Community Baptist Church in British Columbia is very clear in his understanding that you do not. Add to this the fact that the various trappings of the Sabbath are not nearly as important as the heart of the matter, and you can quickly see how the timeless truth of God’s early ordinance makes sense even today!

Between the Blackberry, text messaging, voice mail, email alerts that automatically roll over to cell phones, and in-car contraptions with voice command, it is virtually impossible to be unplugged and unavailable. As a matter of fact, in the average American’s life there is nary a minute that she or he is not plugged in, wired tight, and just a few button punches away from being accessed by someone.

If you make the time to review your week, you will most likely find that you have barely enjoyed any one activity but instead have moved frantically from one event to another, hopped from activity to activity, and even if you are taking time off, you most likely have a list of tasks so long that you will need a vacation from your vacation!

Mark Buchanan very accurately and very appropriately points out that God asks us to “be still” and “know that I am God.” Sadly, with the vast majority having lost the ability to be still, God is being further and further relegated into the background, and before long he is no longer at the center of the Christian lifestyle but instead an appointment that is penciled in and squeezed between soccer practice and dinner at the in-laws’.

The choice is obvious: continue on the harried path of never accomplishing quite all, a heart attack away from enforced bed rest, and your children’s childhood gone by in the blink of an eye while you were not watching OR enforce God’s version of a time out and realize that a mandatory day of rest is one that is filled with relaxation, laughter, enjoyment of one another, and memory building which ultimately gives meaning and a doable structure to the other six days.

Following Jesus example, it is a day to be free to serve one another, to feel free to relax at the park, to feel empowered to visit friends without having an appointment to keep, or to be free to just – be. So go ahead and tune out, unplug yourself for a day, and do not be so busy with the accessories of life that life itself passes you by.

Christian parents in particular will find this a worthwhile and much needed read and reminder that their children will not stay young forever. Instead, take time out to parent them – in the here and now – and do not plan on parenting them someday; someday usually never comes.

Book Review

by Mark Buchanan
Published by Thomas Nelson
Christian Living
ISBN: 0849918480

Sylvia Cochran

Sylvia is a writer, born and raised in Germany. Having been exposed to a variety of religions and traditions due to travel and study, Sylvia has been a student of the Bible for more than ten years and has for the last four years taught in small groups about Biblical principles, practical Christianity, Christian parenting, as well as the spiritual use of money.

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