Episode 1
|
10 August 2022

Unhurried | Slow Down

We run from one thing to another. It may seem like we have no choice but to live at a frantic pace. Yet Jesus taught and modeled a life of peace. Let’s follow Him!

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a242 my name is tony i'm one of the
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pastors around here just so excited to
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be with you today today we we do
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something a little bit different we
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gather together as all of our campuses
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so saginaw monroe livonia taylor ann
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arbor lansing brighton all come together
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to
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really just slow down your experience
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that in your life like i'm sure at some
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point in time you've you've driven down
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the road and you saw what we've all seen
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a police officer sitting on the side of
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the road what do you do you pump those
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brakes don't you because you
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you're probably going a little bit too
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fast
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we have moments in our lives that we
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just our pace of life is a little bit
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dare i say crazy
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uh years ago my family was involved in a
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church plant and what was a great season
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of our lives when we came out of that
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season we
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realized the level of stress and anxiety
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that our family was experiencing because
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we were in such a hurry it was go
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go go what we needed to learn was to
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man just slow down
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in life
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i remember wondering during that church
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plant season is
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is this what ministry is like
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i mean more importantly
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is this the way of jesus
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running myself ragged always being in a
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hurry
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and i spent those years constantly in a
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hurry
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and what i learned during that time well
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well after that time honestly
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when we're constantly in a hurry we have
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no time to self-reflect on who we're
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becoming
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this series that we start today as we
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enter into the final stretch of summer
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rapidly approaching fall you know that
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time when kids go back to school and
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their activities ramp back up
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time of year that ushers us into the
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holiday season filled with family
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gatherings parties and a million other
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things on our calendars
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this series
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is all about slowing
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down
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i i mean like
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like way
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down
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this series is about changing the pace
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of our lives
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in order to be
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better connected with god
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for those of you who are weary
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for those of you who are burdened for
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those of you who are tired of
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a life of hurry
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if you think
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there must be a better way to live
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you're going to love this series
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we're going to look at things like
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silence
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solitude
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sabbath
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and simplicity
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and if you lean into all the things that
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we're talking about over the next few
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weeks you're going to discover a model
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in jesus that's not a life of hurry but
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but rather an easier life
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because jesus promises his way of life
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is unhurried
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if you have your bibles with you today
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which i encourage you to do so would you
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go ahead and flip to matthew chapter 11.
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we're going to find ourselves there here
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in just a few minutes so keep your
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finger there we're going to look at a
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really important passage about living an
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unhurried life
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because friends we are we are busy
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people
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and we love being busy in fact i would
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say it's a it's a cultural value in a
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way
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when you ask someone how they are one of
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the common responses we get is oh i'm
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good just busy
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it's as if being busy has become a badge
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of honor
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if you're busy you're important
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if you're busy you're successful
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all remember the beginning of the
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pandemic when things shut down and we
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were all forced to
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slow down
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i mean some of us we had to slow way
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down
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we just couldn't be as busy as we were
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before and our lives became
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well it became unhurried
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some of y'all freaked out
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because being in a hurry was who you are
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and your identity
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was challenged
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i mean tucked away deep in the recesses
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of all that happened during that time
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god gave us all an amazing gift
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he gave us our time back
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and an opportunity to control our
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calendars
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rather than the other way around
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to re-prioritize things to adjust the
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pace of our lives
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yet for many of us what's happened
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we were right back when we started
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busier than ever more hurried than than
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ever before
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but it's understandable right we just
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gravitate toward being busy
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i mean even when we're not busy we busy
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ourselves with binge watching tv
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scrolling social media playing whatever
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new game craze is on our phones
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being still and unhurried has become a
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lost art
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this hurried life is has been increasing
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for centuries get this in 1370 way back
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then the first public clock tower was
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built in germany
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before that the days were well they were
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natural i mean summer days were longer
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and busier winter days were shorter and
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slower
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everyone went to bed with the moon and
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woke up with the sun there was a there
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was a rhythm to life that was natural
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the clock created artificial time
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the nine to five year round schedule
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came into play
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in 1879 the average american slept 11
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hours per night
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now the average is down to about seven
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hours
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in the 1960s and 1970s digital
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technology took off and we wondered what
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would happen when robots and machines
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did all the work
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in fact in 1967 a senate subcommittee
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estimated that by 1985 the average
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american would work hear this 22 hours
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per week in 27 weeks a year
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the concern
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was that we'd have too much leisure time
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on our hands
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leisure used to be a sign of wealth but
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now i mean ads are different ads used to
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show rich people relaxing on beaches now
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rich people are shown in fancy meeting
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rooms with expensive suits and haircuts
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relaxation actually
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hurts your status in american
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society and with the rise of the
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internet and smartphones our attention
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span has dropped to eight seconds so
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listen up those of you who lost
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attention already
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advertisers are spending billions
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to get you to give them those eight
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seconds of attention
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but guess what
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you don't need any of those stats to
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tell you that we have a problem
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because you feel it
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you feel it in your uneasiness of your
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spirit
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you are tired
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you're worn out
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you're stressed
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you're irritable you're anxious
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you're busy
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and life is passing you by
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you don't need these stats because you
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know there's a problem
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we are in a hurry
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so how do we eliminate it
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how do we eliminate hurry from our lives
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how do we in a world that is not slowing
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down
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just simply
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slow
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down
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the solution to your problem you're
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ready for it take notes write it down
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follow jesus
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i know a shocking thing to hear in
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church and honestly maybe a bit cliche
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but throughout the new testament jesus
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modeled and taught a way of life without
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hurry
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a life full of
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peace and love and he invites you
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to follow him in that
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in fact hear these words in john chapter
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16 verse 33
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jesus says i have told you these things
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so that in me
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you may have peace
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in this world you will have trouble but
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take heart i have overcome
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the world. okay so so i resonate with
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the whole this world will have trouble
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lying i mean i seem to have no trouble
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experiencing that with little effort
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but that peace thing that jesus talks
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about
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not as easy to come by
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i want to know
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i want to know how to find that
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i mean it's easy to read right past it
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but jesus makes two important statements
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about where to find that peace
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for starters he says the words in
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me
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you will have peace
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peace in this world friends is not
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achieved by accomplishing more or going
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faster
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some of us that's been our mo in life
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striving to find peace and are
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overworking stressed out anxious lives
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but jesus says
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peace is found in him
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if you want to experience peace
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you will put your trust in jesus
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and follow his way
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and then jesus says
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take heart
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i have overcome
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the world
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we don't have to stress about it
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we don't have to worry
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how does that sound in your life
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a life of no worry
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when we place our trust in him we
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we find peace because the victory is his
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we can rest in him
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despite our troubles
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but i think for jesus the unhurried life
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wasn't just about the things we do it
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was
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also about our hearts
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and and how we feel
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check this out when jesus says this and
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in chapter 13 of the gospel of john
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verse 34
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he says a new command i give you
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love one another as i have loved you
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so you must love one another
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jesus unhurried life by loving people
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and friends loving others
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it takes time
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i mean think about it whenever you feel
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like you aren't loving people
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it's usually because you
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don't have time
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when you're pressed for time and running
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late maybe trying to get to church on
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time
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you walked in like everything was fine
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but you know the argument you and your
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spouse had this morning
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and how you yelled at the kids because
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they weren't ready in time
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i mean i always personally know how the
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morning at home went based on what time
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my family arrives at church
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because we
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we're in a frantic panic anxious
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short
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harsh when we feel those things
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how can we possibly demonstrate love
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that is patient
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kind and
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as the bible says not easily angered
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we have to slow
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down
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the solution to hurry
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maybe following jesus's way of peace and
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love but how do we do this in a
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in the fast-paced world in which we live
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this may feel too simplistic to be right
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but but it's not are you ready come to
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jesus
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come fully present to him
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again i know sunday school answer right
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this is what we would expect but in the
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gospel of matthew we hear these these
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amazingly powerful words in the 28th
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verse of chapter 11
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he says come to me all of you who are
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weary and burdened
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and i will give you rest
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take my yoke upon you and learn from me
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for i am gentle and humbled in heart
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and you will find rest for your souls
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for my yoke is easy and my burden
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is
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light
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if jesus showed up to your house
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tomorrow morning
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how much attention would you give him
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would you let your phone distract you
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every time it dings with that random
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message
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would you tell him that he can only have
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10 minutes because you had meetings on
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your calendar
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many of us have no problem coming to
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jesus in faith
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but you come to him
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by faith
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here's what i mean by that
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do you physically bring yourself to him
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i'm talking
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slow down
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sit
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stop
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and be with jesus
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the very act of slowing down trains our
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souls to resist hurry and
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and it increases our capacity to be
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present with god and and for that matter
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with others
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paul tells us in romans chapter 12 he
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says to offer your bodies as a living
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sacrifice holy and pleasing to god this
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is your true and proper
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worship
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your body is not some lame vehicle for
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our souls to endure this life and then
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escape into heaven
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your body is a part of how god made you
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it's how he sees you and a part of how
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we worship him
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what we must learn to do is to to bring
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all of us to him
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not just our minds as we race from one
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calendar item to another but actually
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bring ourselves our
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full selves to him
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when we think of spiritual disciplines
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we often think of things like
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fasting
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worship
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scripture reading you know the the big
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ones
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but as weird as it sounds
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at times slowing down is actually a
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spiritual discipline
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and in this world
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the age of distraction self-absorption
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the the pursuit of the american dream
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it's a much needed spiritual discipline
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one that all of us need
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in that world
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let's make sure we don't neglect the
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most important thing
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coming to jesus
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and that really is the first step
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slowing down enough to come fully
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present
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to jesus
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and once you've done that next step
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the next step
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is to take on the yoke of jesus
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it's one thing to believe in jesus or
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agree that what jesus said
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it's an entirely different thing another
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thing
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to do what jesus did
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notice again how jesus says this we'll
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read this passage again he says come to
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me
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all of you who are weary and burdened
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and i'll give you rest
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take my yoke upon you and learn from me
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for i am gentle and humble in heart and
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you will find rest for your souls for my
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yoke is easy and my burden is
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light
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a yolk is a it's a farming tool
13:56
they use it to tie animals together so
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that they could like pull a cart and
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shoulder a load together it kind of kind
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of balances the load so it was easier
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for the animals
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during the first century it was also a
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common idiom for a rabbi's way of life
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it was his way he taught people to
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shoulder the weight of life
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jesus says when you tie yourself to his
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way of life you you get rest for your
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soul and you know
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it makes sense
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because jesus was busy
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but he was never in a hurry
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he spent time in solitude he took time
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to pray and get away from the noise
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he spent time with a few friends that
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that impacted many he was busy but
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present
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he was busy but rested he was busy but
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attuned to god's
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will
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you want an unhurried life
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come to jesus
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take his yoke upon you
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and finally here's the last step
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lighten up
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one of my favorite thing
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to grow in the garden if i did a garden
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i'm a horrible gardener is cucumbers
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i even found a very specific seed that
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in my opinion produces the best
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cucumbers and they get even better when
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you put them on a trellis
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see cucumber plants are if you don't
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know vines that like to to grab a hold
15:16
of things and spread out or if given the
15:18
chance climb
15:20
not only does it maximize your garden
15:22
space but it also allows you to grow
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better fruit
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vegetables
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or fruit whatever they are
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cucumbers
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are not in direct contact with the
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ground they're better
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but they aren't the only plant like this
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i remember our very first garden that we
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had as a family
15:38
was our first house as a family out of
15:40
seminary and we had this raised garden
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and we we planted these tomato plants
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and those things grew like trees and
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when i say trees i mean they were
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gigantic plants and we had them in in a
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tomato cage is basically like like a
15:53
trellis right and and they were so heavy
15:56
and so big that they tipped the whole
15:57
thing over and they just fell over
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because some plants are weird like they
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can produce more fruit than they're
16:04
capable of supporting
16:06
it's weird because it seems well seems
16:08
counterproductive doesn't it
16:10
and that my friends is why you use
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trellises
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the cucumbers can hang without
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destroying the plant or overburdening
16:15
the vine and the tomatoes can grow large
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and healthy without crashing the plant
16:19
to the ground
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because tomatoes on the ground
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they're not good
16:24
when jesus invites us to yoke ourselves
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to him what he's saying is our
16:28
relationship with him is like building
16:30
up a trellis for our life
16:32
when we follow jesus we find rest that
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keeps us from overboard burdening or
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damaging and destroying our lives
16:40
so in a way
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jesus is telling us to lighten up
16:45
rest in him
16:47
yoke ourselves to him and we will find
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that the troubles and stress of this
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life which will happen
16:52
will not weigh us down
16:55
we're going to talk more about this in
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the coming weeks but god actually
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designed us
16:59
to depend on him for rest
17:02
it was written into the code when you
17:03
were created
17:05
when we rely on our relationship with
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god to bring us rest
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it lightens up our life it slows us down
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it reminds us that god created all of
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this
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and he holds the universe in his hands
17:19
i love how eugene peterson paraphrased
17:22
this matthew passage these verses in the
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message bible
17:26
he says it this way says are you tired
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worn out burned out on religion
17:34
come to me
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get away with me and you'll recover your
17:37
life
17:39
i'll show you how to take a real rest
17:42
walk with me and work with me
17:45
watch how i do it
17:47
learn the unforced rhythms of grace i
17:49
love that learn the unforced rhythms of
17:52
grace
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i won't lay anything heavy or
17:55
ill-fitting on you
17:57
keep company with me and you'll learn to
18:00
live freely
18:02
and lightly
18:05
friends this is an invitation from jesus
18:08
for all the tired
18:10
and burned out
18:12
for those reaching for another cup of
18:13
coffee just to get through the day
18:17
maybe you can relate
18:19
jesus's invitation is to travel through
18:21
life at his side to step out of the
18:24
burnout culture and into a
18:27
life of soul rest
18:30
are you ready to unburden your life
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no no stop for a moment this isn't just
18:35
some rhetorical question the preacher's
18:37
asking i'm seriously think about your
18:39
life
18:40
the anxiety the stress the chaos the the
18:43
lack of time the burden that you carry
18:47
now think about it
18:49
aren't you ready to unburden your life
18:52
don't you want a life that is
18:55
unhurried
18:58
can i share with you a couple simple
18:59
next steps that you can take to become
19:01
unhurried
19:03
okay
19:04
ready practice number one
19:07
slow
19:08
down
19:09
practice
19:10
the speed limit
19:12
get in the the longest line at the
19:14
checkout like take necessary steps that
19:16
force you to actually slow down in your
19:19
life and i know these might be really
19:20
hard for you like driving 55 and a 55
19:23
might be hard or getting the long line
19:25
at checkout when you have other things
19:26
to do might be difficult
19:28
but practice putting yourself in
19:30
situations that actually force you to
19:32
slow down
19:35
maybe those are too painful for you to
19:36
try try this
19:39
cut something out of your calendar
19:41
like remove things
19:44
out of your schedule to free up your
19:46
time
19:47
bob goff who's a christian author
19:49
said that he had the practice of cutting
19:51
something out of his calendar every
19:54
thursday so every thursday he sat down
19:55
and began to cut something out and
19:57
eventually that calendar begins to get
19:59
pretty trim
20:00
and it focuses on the really important
20:02
things but it frees up your time so that
20:04
you can slow down
20:07
practices that slow us down they're
20:09
they're like a trellis for our life
20:11
they're simple
20:13
but they have powerful impact and make
20:15
your fruit better
20:16
these are just a couple ways that you
20:18
can unhurry your life and and i'm sure
20:20
you can come up with many more
20:23
when we unhurry our lives we're we're
20:25
able to come fully to jesus
20:28
we don't just get
20:29
less hurry or more sleep
20:32
he promises that we get rest for our
20:34
souls
20:35
and we find peace the peace that
20:38
the peace that you've been looking for
20:42
friends jesus demonstrated in
20:44
an unhurried life
20:46
where space for god and love for people
20:48
were the top priorities he lived freely
20:51
and lightly
20:53
free from the the discontent and the
20:54
distraction that comes from too much
20:56
money and and stuff we don't need
21:00
jesus first said yes to the father into
21:02
his kingdom
21:03
and that opened the door for him to say
21:05
no to so many things that were less
21:07
important ultimately jesus said yes to
21:09
the cross
21:11
and paying the ultimate sacrifice so
21:13
that you may be forgiven and you may be
21:15
set free
21:17
when we acknowledge that when when we
21:19
rest in what jesus accomplished on the
21:21
cross we enter into a relationship with
21:23
our heavenly father
21:25
and in that jesus says
21:27
come to
21:28
me my yoke
21:31
is easy
21:32
my burden
21:34
is light
21:36
friends
21:37
you've been looking for peace
21:40
dare i say
21:42
you've been longing for peace in your
21:44
life
21:46
meanwhile
21:47
life is flying by
21:50
you are hurried you are burdened you are
21:53
anxious
21:54
and you're stressed
21:56
what you really want
21:58
is an unhurried life
22:01
well
22:02
it's yours to have
22:04
but to have that unhurried life you must
22:06
respond to the call of jesus
22:09
and that call is simple
22:11
yet life-changing
22:14
come to me jesus says
22:16
and i
22:17
will give you
22:19
rest
22:21
the rest you were created for
22:25
the rest you were meant for
22:27
the rest friends
22:28
that you've been longing for

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