10 Sabbaths: Days 1-13

Run. Read. Write. Day 1.

Ok. I started.

I’m out of the gate.

Here we go.

I’m attempting to run, read and write every day for 70 days (with the exception of weekly Sabbaths)…with some relatively intense goals (at least for my norm)…namely:

(1) Run (or cardio of some kind) every day

(2) Read the entire Bible

(3) Write an initial draft of a book

Before getting started, I actually set a schedule, developed a daily plan in order to accomplish what I’m set out to do. I won’t bore you with those details.

I exercised. I read. I wrote. The first day.


Run. Read. Write. Day 2.

Work.

I’ve learned so much from my friends about work/commitment/drive.

Work can feel like work at times. Do you know what I mean?

Other times it feels like rest.

Creating can have that same tension. I love that tension.

Running, reading, and writing can feel like work and/or rest. What an amazing dualism.

Rest.

Rest can feel like work at times. Funny, isn’t it?

A constant balance of work and rest. Work. Rest. It’s like breathing. It’s like…living.

Day Two of this Run Read Write endeavor: Check. 

Ran. Read. Wrote. (As I get further in, I plan to share more about the writing status in particular).

Day Three will be the 1st of the 10 Sabbaths included in the 70 days.


Mapping. Day 4.

I have been writing.

I have to admit that much of the writing seems disjointed. But I’m doing it.

I have been exercising.

I have to admit that much of the exercising seems disjointed. But I’m doing it.

I have been reading.

It’s been quite refreshing.

One thing that has helped in the book writing = mapping.

I’m creating an outline….truly attempting to chart the direction.

I look forward to posting some excerpts this coming week.


Scribes. Day 5. 

First of all, I don’t understand why Isaac (in the Bible) did the same exact thing as his father, Abraham. (They both misled people and pretended that their wives were their sisters). As a matter of fact, sons were constantly reproducing the mistakes of their fathers.

The encouraging thing is that sons were also reproducing the faithfulness of their fathers. And that is what the story is actually focused on.

Anyway, I’ve been reading (Genesis, obviously).

I’ve been running (slowly, obviously).

I’ve been writing.

I tried to focus on Scribes today. What a curious bunch.

Faithful. Meticulous. Legalistic…Literal…..Legalistic Literally. Lawyers.

To the letter.

We may not have the truth of the Scriptures without them

and

some of them may have been missing the point while they were pointing people to the point.

Question: Is it strange to have a Chapter 0 in a book?


Brokenness or Wholeness. Day 6. 

Ok…a reminder of where I’m headed. In some ways, it feels as if the initial draft of a book is what these 70 days are centered around. That’s not the case. It’s threefold: Run. Read. Write. (with 10 Sabbaths).

Exercising every day is feeling good.

Reading through the entire Bible in 70 days is a wild ride. I’m loving it. I’ve read the Bible a lot over the past 20 years. I have analyzed, prayed through, studied, and taught the Bible for about 17 years. When I read the Bible, I usually read it with a pen and highlighter and notebook. This time feels so different. The purpose has been to soak it up in a fresh way.

I’m attempting to read the whole thing while I write “The Whole Thing.”

If I’m going to write a book that is an attempt to describe the entire Bible using 6 simple images, I really want to take a step back and let it wash over me (relatively) quickly.

Reading has felt like receiving new words. These words are ancient words. And somehow they feel brand new. New angles. Old, old stories of heroes of the faith are coming alive. The mistakes of those heroes are being revealed to be interesting cultural context to the story, as opposed to the point of the story.

Because [SPOILER ALERT]: The story is not about our brokenness. The story is about our wholeness. That’s what the whole thing is about.

While mapping out the book has been helpful, what’s been equally helpful is….

giving myself

permission

to sometimes        be                  sporadic.

Some of my favorite moments so far have been….while typing something…….a completely new thought comes to mind. A thought that is coming out as I’m typing it.


Books. Day 7. 

Typing. Thinking. Flowing. Some moments seem structured….trying to determine the flow and order of the book. Other moments are big picture, like thinking through a Chapter Zero, or more specifically, “Image 0.”

Still other moments involve research. There are so many nuggets of historical information that have seeped into my brain over the years. Books have been highlighted, scribbled on, scribbled about a journal, dog-eared, etc…….

It’s time to re/find them. It’s time to re/read them. Re/digest them.

Daily exercise update: Yep. Everyday (except Sabbath).

Daily reading update: Slowly, but wonderfully.

Daily writing update: Reviewing and typing through the topic of: the range of human emotions as they pertain to the Writings section of the Bible (Psalms, Proverbs, Lamentations, and more).

It is interesting that some of the most beautiful songs ever written, we created in tension.

It is so wonderfully complex to note that, often times, won’t say how we feel, but we’ll DO something to somehow poetically show how we feel.

What amazing creatures we are.


Vic. Day 8.

I used to play shortstop.

I distinctly remember this one ground ball that came my way. The guy that hit the ground ball was lightning fast. I knew I had to field the ball cleanly. I knew I had to release the ball quickly. I knew I had to throw the ball hard. I knew I had to throw the ball with accuracy.

This meant perfect form in the receiving of the ball, the hope of no bad (inconsistent) hop, good footwork to prepare to throw, and proper form in the throw…somehow completely focusing on the target (the first baseman)….without concentrating too much, as to tighten up the muscles.

Nice and loose. Nice and easy….all while a super fast guy is running as fast as he can to be safe at first.

I’ll never forget what the third baseman, Vic, yelled at me as the ball came my way:

“You’ve got plenty of time, if you hurry!”

What a phrase. It totally made sense, somehow.

As I attempt to write an initial draft of a book, the feeling is back.

The ball is heading my way. Vic is yelling.

I exercised well today, despite my little desire to do so. That being said, my desire to exercise has increased from zero to little over these 8 days.

I researched some history of synagogues in Hebrew culture. I typed thoughts on the role of Rabbis.

I also read.

Focus. Form. Nice and loose. Nice and easy. 


And Another. Day 9.

I exercised harder today.

I wrote more about poetry, and hopped over to ancient near eastern views of gods.

Oh, and I thought through another book idea…or I should say, a spin-off (additional angle) of The Whole Thing.

In addition to The Whole Thing book, a daily devotional of sorts…..although I’d really like to come up with a fresher phrase.

Daily, one minute reads that walk through the narrative of the whole thing (The Bible). Basically, short lessons that highlight people, places, and themes. This would allow for 5 or 6 days per book of the Bible (while acknowledging that some books will have more than this number, and some would have less). I would continue to filter it through the 6 images that simplify the overall story.

Thoughts?

Quick thought: Moses spoke the language of Egypt (in addition to Hebrew and Aramaic).

The Hebrew people viewed Moses as an Egyptian.

The Egyptian people viewed Moses as a Hebrew.

An intercessor.

He acknowledged his inability to deliver.

He asked God: “What makes you think I could ever……..”?

God’s response: “I’ll be with you.”

…………

Speaking of……….

Sabbath.


Most Accurately Through Art. Day 11.

I’ve been asked to teach a public speaking course at Appalachian State University. One course. Two minute walk from my office downtown. I’m really looking forward to the challenge, as well as connecting with university students in a way that goes beyond predictable church.

The daily reading is picking up speed.

The daily exercising is steady.

The daily writing has been exciting. Still working on poetry section. The endless ways that faith, doubt, joy, longing, expectation, fulfillment, sadness, disappointment, epic happiness, overcoming of fear…etc etc etc are often times expressed most accurately through art.

Also,

The presence of God manifested as cloud and fire. He led the people. He went before them, except for the time He went behind them…in order to protect them.

So good.

That’s all for today.


Dear Pastors, Day 12.

Dear Pastors,

You’re not Moses.

You’re not even supposed to be.

The new covenant ministry model is not designed for Pastors to have the authority of Moses.

The people had to stay at a distance, at the bottom of the mountain, while only Moses ascended to be with God.

Dear Pastors, this is not the Way of the fulfilled covenant. That was the way of Sinai.

We are not standing at the base of Sinai.

We are at Zion.

We are people of Zion, not Sinai.

Dear Pastors, you are not higher.

You are most certainly                    set apart, but you are set apart to the side, for a specific purpose.

You are not set apart on the mountain             alone.

Those days are over.

Dear Pastors, your call in leadership is to join the assembly in the awesome, fearful, fearless ascension up to Mount Zion. Together.

Together.

In, through, and to…Jesus (The Messiah; The High Priest).

Dear Everyone: Let’s go up the mountain together.


Get It. Day 13. 

Ok. The Bible.

I study it everyday. I study about it everyday.

I study the cultural and geographical context surrounding it a lot.

I love zooming in and out of the language. The Hebrew. The Aramaic. The Greek.

I have for years.

 

 

And,

I don’t get it.

 

 

I don’t mean that I don’t comprehend anything. I simply mean that reading and studying eternal words cannot be fully contained.

 

And,

I love it.

I love that I cannot fully contain what God says. Wow. If I could fully comprehend every word…what a limited Word that would be.

 

And,

I press on.

Instead of not studying, due to not being able to fully comprehend…

I faithfully and actively study

while I

faithfully and actively

receive.

 

Even if I can’t contain it all, bring it all on, Lord.

Bring the eternalness of Your truth into my limited understanding. Bring it.

 

May Your Eternal Words Speak in, to, and through my temporary brain.

Because,

made in His image,

my truest self (as opposed to this temporary body) is being made new.

 

And,

somehow,

just like deep calls to deep,

and spirit connects with Spirit,

I get it.