Tag Archives: spirituality

Sabbatical: The Missing Link for Churches and Pastors

Part 1 of 4

Has anyone noticed the toll that modern ministry is taking on our pastors? Pastoral fatigue and burn out is costing the church more than money; it’s costing lives. More pastors and leaders are leaving ministry today than in the history of the Christian Church. I know because I almost became one of the statistics.

About two years ago, I began to experience depression for no particular reason. I felt discouraged, defeated, depressed, and doubtful things could get much better. I began to withdraw from people. Small tasks seemed huge. Everything took so much mental and physical energy that I didn’t know how I could continue in the ministry.

Follow that with a TIA (mini-stroke). Add to that my wife’s cancer. Then imagine the church beginning to decline. If anything negative could happen, it did.

Fortunately, at the recommendation of my doctor and in response to my health needs church elders granted me a 6-month Sabbatical.

My story has a happy ending. Our sabbatical did great things for Marcy and me. We returned to ministry refreshed, re-inspired, ready to serve as though we had just begun ministry. I recovered the strength and stamina to re-enter with new priorities in place and a replenished store of serotonin.

Read carefully the following text:

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:29–31, ESV)

The Holy Spirit through the Prophet Isaiah said that even the youths and young men will be weary and fall. How much more the older men and women? Notice the answer? They who WAIT upon the Lord. Linger with the Lord. Take time to be with Him. They shall renew, mount up, run, and walk unhindered. That’s the kind of pastor or leader I would want to lead me, to model life for me.

Most churches don’t have any idea what’s happening to their pastors as years of people-ministry and spiritual warfare take their toll. So when their shepherds “burn out,” many churches simply replace the pastor with another pastor and before long find that he too needs replacing. Is that God’s plan for those gifted people He gives to the body of Christ to build it up? Is that the future He has ordained for churches—a constant stream of committees on the search to replace tired and hurt servants?

Let’s take a closer look in Part 2.

©2012, David C Alves  All rights reserved.

First published by permission in The Witness, Winter 2012 by Advent Christian General Conference USA.

Her Real Need, His Real Need

Many men and women today have traded their real need for a false need. We get all upset when people cram religion down our throats, and rightly so. But we didn’t get upset at all when Hollywood crammed phony fulfillment and hedonism down our throats.

We have to take a backward glance at classic needs as expressed in the great literature of history in order to reclaim our rightful heritage and inheritance.

Guys, do you know what her greatest need is? No, it’s not security. She just thinks it is. Many women are unable to recognize their real need until they hear it expressed and take the time to reflect on it and reconnect with it. If she hasn’t gotten so far away from her own pneumatic core (her spiritual core-source), then when she does really hear her real need verbalized, she’s immediately able to say “Yes, that’s it!”

Ladies, do you know his? No, it’s not sex. He just thinks so. He’s also unable to recognize his real need until he hears it again and considers how truly accurate the ancients were with regard to it.

How did you lose touch with your real needs? Hundreds, no thousands, of hours of television and movies. Which all were written by people who have lost touch with classic thought and humanity. Many of those who write have even lost touch with their own pneumatic core. As a result, they channel spiritless relationships and cold, modern and post-modern solipsism.

Well, that’s my opinion anyhow.

So let’s cut to the chase and answer our two questions

What’s HER greatest need?

What’s HIS greatest need?

By the way, what I’m about to share is not opinion . . . it is FACT!

Her greatest need is: TO BE TREASURED–loved devotedly and totally. Loved in such a way that she knows you understand her and treasure her. She’s first . . . before work, before football, before your own comfort. You lay down your life, your goals, your ambitions for her. Only one relationship should be ahead of her . . . your relationship to God. When it is, she’ll be assured that you will be devoted and true to her. And, get this . . . when you treasure her, she’ll naturally be ready to meet your greatest need guys . . .

His greatest need is: TO BE RESPECTED–to be held in high esteem. Respected in front of others. Respected when he speaks what is true and right. Respected when he is wise. Respected when he is treasuring you.

Ladies, want to be treasured? Respect him. He’ll actually live up to the respect you’re giving him. He’ll grow. He’ll improve to be what you’re calling him up to be.

Men, want to be respected . . . treasure her and make sure you’re being a man, not a little boy in men’s clothing. Lay down your self-centeredness for her. Make sure you know the difference between LUST and LOVE. You might want to read my posts if you don’t have this clear in your head.

Lust, Love, or TRUE love?

Lust, Love, or TRUE love – Pt. 2

Of course, all this only works if you chose somebody worthy of treasuring, respecting. Some women and some men are so self-centered and so far from their pneumatic core that they don’t know who they are or what they truly need. You can tell them by their love of “things.” They replace relationships with material things or wealth. They are shallow, thin, ghosts in people clothing–lost in this realm having forgotten their missing core.

Their only hope is to turn to Christ. He will become their core and restore their sanity. Then they’ll be renewed, reborn, and made capable to love and respect someone beside themselves.

This counsel has helped many over the decades of my sharing it. Let me know how it works out for you.

We’re the ‘sons of God’ So What? Kindle Version Now $4.99

The Kindle version of We’re the “sons of God” . . . So What?  Is FREE for “Amazon Prime members” to borrow for 80-days.

Now also discounted for purchase. You can purchase this life changing book for your Kindle for $4.99. Snap it up!

What’s the book about?

This is a word to the body of Christ primarily, but others can also benefit. God longs for us to get our understanding of who we are from him, not from the surrounding culture or from those who have believed man’s view of who we are. The book leans heavily on Scripture because the views I’m sharing are biblical but not popular. This is meat, not milk.

We’re told to believe that we’re “sinners saved by grace” and we WERE. We’re told that we’re beggars who have found bread, now leading others to that bread, but neither of those are biblical images for our identity. We’re the ‘sons of God’ . . . So What? presents the neglected view of God’s perspective on who we truly are–the “sons of God.” Women, too, find out how sonship applies to you. How it elevates you. Men discover a sense of your role as a man in this world and the next.

To really get hold of this truth and apply the practical suggestions for your spiritual formation, can break you free of strongholds and generational sin, including alcoholism, drug addictions, sexual addictions, and other bondages that keep us earth-bound. You will be filled with Christ’s humility as you consider the scope of the Good News of the Royal Reign of God the Father and your role in his Kingdom.

Want to know God’s will for your life? Want to know your inheritance and begin living in it? See what follows our light and momentary season of suffering.

Unconvinced? See what others have to say about We’re the ‘sons of God’ . . . So What?

Contents Includes

Know God

  • In My Father’s House
  • What kind of Father?
  • A Heart at the Head of the Family
  • God’s Authority and Order
  • Behind the Veil: God’s Council and the ha Bene Elohim

Know the Problem

  • The Great Rebellion
  • On Earth As It Is In Heaven
  • Wounded Earth
  • Kingdoms at War
  • Cultures at War
  • The “god” of This World

Know the Solution—the Beautiful News!

  • Turning Hearts: A Restoration of Legitimate Authority
  • The Son of God: All Authority
  • Godly Leaders
  • Authority of Love
  • Promoted Down  

Know Who YOU Really Are

  • Jesus’ and Paul’s Vision
    • What did Paul see? Why could it have caused him to be so “lifted up” that he needed a thorn in the flesh to keep him from harm? Who are we? What was “the joy” set before Jesus? What did he understand that gave him a sense of what lay ahead? What did Paul see in the “third heaven?”
  • A New Age—The Royal Reign of God
  • sons of God
  • A New Family—joined in heaven and earth
  • Firstfruits of the Kingdom

Bear the Likeness

  • We Shall Be Like Him
  • Glory
  • The promises of “glory” are promises to bear the likeness of Christ or of God, depending upon the context in which it’s used.
  • Walk As Jesus Walked

Stay Focused

  • Fixed On Jesus – author & perfector
  • Ministry in the 21st Century
  • Useful to the King—Rev. 3:14ff
  • Our Choices

Prepare to Rule

  • The real Return of the King
  • The Revealing of the “sons of God”
  • Raised and Reunited
  • Our Fatherland
    • The New Heavens and the New Earth
  • Our Father’s City
    • “The New Jerusalem”
  • The End of Evil
  • The End is the Beginning – Back Where We Belong

So What?

  • Believe INTO Who God Says You Really Are?

Check it out. You’ll be encouraged. Then spend 4.99 to change your life.

Or join Amazon Prime and borrow it for free. But after you read it you’ll not only want your own Kindle version, you’ll want either a softcover or hardcover version. (which I prefer, because I use it so much and it holds up  under continued study). Let me know what you think.

QUESTION: Are you living the abundant life Jesus won for you? Are you riding the heights of the earth yet?

©2012, David C Alves

Just Reviewed: Sabbath Keeping

Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of RestSabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest by Lynne M. Baab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sabbath Keeping is a fresh look at an important antidote to our chronic busyness.

I love it that Lynne Baab does not approach the topic from the vantage-point of “law.” Rather, she comes at it through a seasonal metaphor. Life is full of seasons. Sabbath rest is an organic, season in our week. It is a rhythm of life. Those who participate in this special gift of God–one day out of seven–experience a harvest of peace and joy in the midst of their lives.

She also gives practical helps for those interested in going deeper or launching into a Sabbath. She gives multiple solutions for those who want to move out of the cultural torrent, to the still waters of a deeper spirituality.

Since I have been keeping a Sabbath with my wife for two years now, I find her suggestions and conclusions to be right on target. I highly recommend this book to veterans or those just thinking about the need for a quiet space in their week.

View all my reviews

What if You’re Not Who You Think You Are?

Ever wonder why the western church lacks such power and presence? Ever wonder why your life seems to be missing something that would take you over the top in your spiritual growth? Do you want to be more like Jesus?

This word is to those who consider themselves disciples of Jesus Christ. This word is to those who have experienced supernatural regeneration and are “born-from-above.” This word is for those in that group who want to go deeper into the mysteries of Christ.

This word is for those who do not think that they already know all there is to know about being a child of the King. This word is for those who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good and want to know Him better. You’re disatisfied with the status quo. Tired of fighting the church wars. Underwhelmed by the crowds of professing believers who are more about appearances, perfomance-based-easy-believism, and simple platitudes. You are more interested in relationship than a pursuit of knowledge for knowledge-sake. You beleive the Scripture that says knowledge “puffs up” but that love “builds up.” So you want to know the deep love of Chirst and of the Father.

What if you’re not who you think you are?

What if you’re who God thinks you are? What if you’re not merely a servant of God, or a disciple, or even a friend of God. What if you’re who the Father says you are . . . a “son”?

I believe that He has illumined His intent for the church at this season of our journey? I believe that our understanding of who God says we are is an essential prerequisite to the Second Reformation–God’s recapturing of Family, of relationship in His image.

What difference would it make to KNOW that you are loved deeply and have an identity that you may have heard of, but not yet discovered in experience? What if entering into who God says you are were to transform not only your thinking but your everyday decisions and activities? What if the truth about you placed you squarely in the family that God is Father of?

I believe that the Father wants us to know this important truth:

“All who are led by the Spirit are the ‘sons of God.'” (Romans 8.14)

Are you born-from-above? Then you have “the right to become [one of the] ‘sons of God.’ (John 1.12)

Are you “led by the Spirit” of the living God? Then you are one of the “sons of God.” When’s the last time you heard a message on “sonship”? And if you did hear one (and I’d stand amazed, because in 40 years as a Christian, I’ve never heard ONE–not once) did you understand how important it is to God that you understand that identity? Why did He make sure that Scripture preserved and outlined our sonship?

This is an important word for the church today. Sonship is the key to you living into the fullness of what Jesus did in His Atonement. His sacrifice accomplished more than simply forgiving your sins so that you could fly off to heaven [which is an unbiblical image anyhow].

Your identity as one of the ‘sons of God’ is the word for His Family today.

We’re the ‘sons of God’ . . . So What?: Believe God About Who He Says You Really Are!


My book explains from the Word of God why the biblical doctrine of sonship is so important to God the Father, and thus needs to be important to me and you. Perhaps understanding sonship is the next step in your walk with Christ and your fellowship with the Father. I wrote this book to help those who have responsibility in spiritual formation or who are mentors. I also wrote it for anyone who is willing to go deeper. WSOGSW is not an easy read. You may find that you read some and then put it aside for awhile because you have to ponder or dig into the Word. But you receive what you’re willing to give. If you study and meditate upon these truths, you will be amazed at the result.

What others are saying:

Believe Who You Are, Do What You Must,” @ Lay It Down | Carl Simmons

Five-star Amazon Reviews by church leaders

QUESTION: How do you view yourself in light of the fact that God has made you a “son.” (yes, ladies too).

©2012, David C Alves

Follow @davidcalves

The Real Book Spy

Full coverage of all your favorite thriller authors, and their characters, unlike anywhere else on the web! 

WordPress.com Apps

Apps for any screen

CA Feeney

Random reflections, wanderings, and ponderings..

Christian House Sitters

Posts about House Sitting, Our charity work and general articles of interest. Lots of variety.

jeannie's Cross Road

Stuck in the Muck of life? Be “Free to Walk” God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life! www.crossroadschristianlifecoaching.com

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: