Garden City - Literature Notes


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  • Work is a core part of our human identity.

    Because when we stop working, we lose a part of who we are.

    In Genesis ’s vision of humanness, we don’t work to live; we live to work . It flat out says we were created to rule — to make something of God’s world.

    your work is a core part of your humanness. You are made in the image of a work- ing God. God is king over the world, and you’re a king, a queen — royalty — ruling on his behalf. Gathering up the creation’s praise and somehow pushing it back to God himself.

  • All of life is ==spiritual.==

    But in a Genesis -shaped worldview — all of life is worship.

    Because in a Hebrew worldview, all of life is spiritual.

    All the word ministry means is “service.” ⁸ Your ministry is your service — it’s the part you play, the slot you fill, the place you do your thing to work for a Garden-like world.

  • As Christians, ==our job is to make God visible.== This manifests in how we make the world a more Eden-like place. This is how we serve and worship God.

    work is “rearranging the raw material of God’s cre- ation in such a way that it helps the world in general, and people in particular, thrive and flourish.”

    Good culture is the result of even better people hard at work, rearranging the raw stuff of Planet Earth into a place of delight.

    You are a modern day Adam or Eve. This world is what’s left of the Garden. And your job is to take all the raw materials that are spread out in front of you, to work it , to take care of it , to rule , to subdue , to wrestle, to fight, to explore, and to take the creation project forward as an act of service and worship to the God who made you.

    Our job is to make the invisible God visible — to mirror and mimic what he is like to the world. We can glorify God by doing our work in such a way that we make the invisible God visible by what we do and how we do it.

    When we see the world in the shape that God intended, the way it’s supposed to be, God gets glory, without a word .

  • Your vocation is your ==voice.==

    The word vocatio can also be translated voice . Man, that says a lot. Your vocation is your voice. LOCATION: Page 52

  • Calling isn’t chosen; it’s discovered.

    Calling isn’t something you choose , like who you marry or what house you buy or what car you buy; it’s something you unearth. You excavate. You dig out. And you discover.

  • God’s glory is about ==presence and beauty.==

    The idea behind kavod is God’s significance . He’s weighty, as in important . There’s something about this God that we need to stand in awe of. And all through the Scriptures, God’s glory is about two things: Presence and beauty.

    God’s kavod here isn’t his fame; it’s his presence — the fact that he was there , not far away, but close. Heav- en and earth were wed, if only for a moment. And it’s his beauty — this staggering sense of how good he really is.

  • God is an artist.

    God is a lavish, opulent, extravagant artist , and creation is his beauty on display.

    As people made in his image — all work is artistic. All work is inherently creative. All work — from painting to parenting — is reshaping the raw materials of Planet Earth in such a way that it’s how God intended, how it’s supposed to be, all so humans can thrive as they see God’s glory.

  • ==We are God’s partners in creation.==

    As people made in God’s image, we can join him in this ongoing creative work. As his partners, we can re- shape the raw materials of his world in such a way that people see the beauty behind the beauty.

    “Good design is putting our best forward; it is working hard to bring beauty into the world. When I see something that is brilliant it wrecks me in the best sort of way. I am also constantly returning to this idea that we were created with the ability to create and that makes our God the most generous of all. I’m humbled after I complete every new project, and as I stand there with a big silly grin on my face, I feel his presence and approval.”

  • ADHD, stress, etc. are just ==symptoms of an unraveling world/culture.==

    We are fractured and pulled in a thousand different directions. ADHD, stress, workaholism, burnout, connectivity — these are just words we come up with to name a world that is unraveling at the seams.

    These are the signs of a life without rest.

  • To be a ==disciple== is to be a ==good person.==

    Discipleship is about learning how to become a good human being. And how to live into both your callings, to make disciples and to create culture.

    Do your work as an expression of love and service, ultimately to God, and then to your neighbor.

  • Focus requires ==awareness of what we are called to== and NOT called to.

    To focus, we need to know what we’re called by God to do, and what we’re not called to do.

    To borrow from the language of Jesus, you gotta figure what the “work the Father gave you to do” is. And then you need to learn the art of saying no. To good things . A smart man once said, “Good is the enemy of best.”

    So we all have gifts, but we don’t all have the same dosage of grace. Some of us have more; others have less. And that’s okay. Your job isn’t to be the best in your field, just the best version of yourself.

  • The best way to serve others with our work is to serve the work.

    A genuine, authentic love of excellence isn’t rooted in greed or narcissism or materialism — that’s dualism talking. It’s rooted in love , for God and others. A desire to serve God and his world well.

    Dorothy Sayers, this spunky, rebellious British writer from half a century ago, said that the best way to serve others with our work is to “serve the work.”

    Do one thing. And do one thing well . And do that one thing well as an act of service and love for the world and to the glory of God.

    If you’re really good at whatever it is you do, you don’t need to tell the rest of us. We’ll know. Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.

  • Work can become a god in and of itself.

    My point is that as human beings, we have this slant to look to our work for significance we can only find in God. When we uncouple our work from God, work becomes a sort of god in and of itself.

    Because the curse drives us to God. If it weren’t for the curses — on both the family and the field — we would look to whatever it is we do for work or rest, and we would find it . And nothing could be more disastrous for the world than God’s image bear- ers finding identity and belonging and even satisfaction apart from him.

  • Sabbath isn’t just a day of rest; it’s a ==day to delight in our work.==

    Sabbath isn’t just a day to not work ; it’s a day to delight in what one Hebrew poet called “the work of our hands.” ³ To delight in the life you’ve carved out in partnership with God, to delight in the world around you, and to delight in God himself. Sabbath is a day to pull up a chair, sink into it, look back over the work of the last six days, and just enjoy.

  • Sabbath gives us ==life.==

    The Sabbath has a life-giving ability to procreate — to fill the world up with life.

    But rest refills us — with energy, creativity, vision, strength, optimism, buoy- ancy, clarity, and hope. Rest is life-giving.

    It’s a day for rest, and it’s a day for worship. When I Sabbath, I run everything through this grid — is this rest? Is this worship? If the answer to both questions is yes, then I delight in it; if the answer is no, then I hold off until the next day. Because the Sabbath is not the same thing as a day off.

    The point is that there is a way the Creator set the creation up to thrive. A way that God set you up to thrive. And when we Sabbath, we tap into God’s rhythm for human flourishing.

    The Sabbath is a day to embrace this reality, to let it sink in, to own it, to celebrate it. To celebrate our weak- ness, our mortality, our limits . To celebrate our God of strength and immortality and limitless power. To rest with him and to rest in him.

  • Everything has a cost.

    Everything we enjoy costs something. And if it doesn’t cost us, it costs someone else.

  • The Sabbath is ==freeing.==

    The Sabbath is about leaving Egypt behind. About emancipation from Pharaoh’s suffocating rule. It’s about freedom.

    It’s a way to remember and never forget that what we’re craving, and even coveting, isn’t found in the world of space, but in the world of time — in God himself.

    The Sabbath is more of an art form than a list of dos and don’ts.

    the Sabbath is a day for healing.

  • Jesus is the ==embodiment== of the Sabbath.

    Jesus is the embodiment of the Sabbath. He’s the seventh day in flesh and blood. We can come to him and find rest , not just on the Sabbath, but all week long.

  • The Sabbath gives us a chance to ==reset and realign.==

    Sabbath isn’t just a Pause button — it’s a full, complete, total system restart.

    Sabbath is a chance to take a long, hard look at our lives and to retune them to the right key. To make sure that our life is shaped around what really matters. And when we see stuff in our life that is out of whack, then we turn to Jesus, and he comes and does his healing Sabbath work.

  • Our ==eschatology== shapes our ==ethics.==
  • Our work in this life is ==practice for our work in the coming life.==

    Work isn’t a means to an end; it is an end.

    Our work in this life is practice for our work in the coming life.

    Some of the good work we do will actually last into God’s new world.

    So we work in the present world — right in the middle of all the chaos and entropy and suffering and pain — for a glimpse of the future world, set free from evil and death itself.

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