Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, by Dr. Seuss

The Byrdhouse loves Dr. Seuss.  As I was tucking my 6-year-old son into bed last night, I read him this book.  We giggled at all of the different sorts of people Dr. Seuss reminds us to be lucky we’re not.  For example,

 Poor Ali Sard has to mow grass in his uncle’s back yard and it’s quick growing grass and it grows as he mows it.  The faster he mows it, the faster he grows it…

We are certainly thankful we are not poor Ali Sard.  But the best part was our bedtime prayer afterward.  I thanked the Lord for our family, that we are who we are, but best of all, it has nothing to do with luck.  He has blessed us with much, but immeasurably so in that we are not given what we really deserve.  Even though we deserve his wrath for our sin, we are blessed in our unity with Christ.  And this should encourage us not to compare our fortune with others, as we know that by grace we are given entrance into the kingdom of God.

Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

I’m not the best small-talker.  For me, the function of small talk is a warm-up for deeper conversation.  I’m comfortable with that.  First you have to serve the ping-pong ball back and forth a couple of times before settling on a shared topic of interest.  But these days, small talk has become the so-called conversation.  At parties, people become uncomfortable when you actually want to talk.  Serious conversation is almost looked at as work, as social emphasis is placed on being entertaining and, well, shallow.  I come home from my day of interacting feeling frustrated that I’ve been caught up in a bunch of words with no value.

My friend, Dana, warned me as a freshman on the Facebook scene not to be discouraged if my posts don’t generate many replies.  Apparently, people love to talk about the weather and what you’re cooking for dinner.  Really?  People are logging into the cyber-world for small talk?  Tim Challies argues that “We live in an age in which words have become a cheap commodity, and much of our communication has become unbearably light, frustratingly anti-intellectual, and devoid of substance” (The Next Story, p. 76).  This, he views as a negative consequence of the digital explosion.  I also see it as a side-effect of hurried, busy lives.  Between running from school, to preparing a quick meal, to baseball, my thoughts are fragmented and my time with the people I encounter is brief (except in sitting through a game of little league kid pitch!).

Even when I do try to bring up a thoughtful topic, or ask a deeper question, I’m often given the cricket serenade.  Reflective thought these days comes off as smarmy, or a bit weird (that’s why we become bloggers).  But think about it.  Social critics lament on the fact that the average US home has their TV on for at least 7 hours a day.  If we do the math, that’s at least 49 hours a week and 2,555 hours a year.  I wonder how our small talk time would add up?  Maybe we’re just putting out what we’re taking in.

Small talk isn’t always a bad thing.  It is a good warm-up to find a conversation topic.  And there are definitely transitional times in our day when small talk is the appropriate talk.  There’s nothing wrong with being entertaining and light—sometimes we just need to get together and take a load off.  And lately, the weather has been an interesting topic for conversation.  Light talk is handy when we are amongst new acquaintances.  There are plenty of appropriate uses for small talk.  But are we using them appropriately, or are we just talking small? 

Moving Forward

Do you want some more meaningful conversation?  Me too!  Here are a few tips that may get us moving in the right direction:

  • What are you taking in?  Is that TV on for 7 hours?  How much time are you spending keeping up on your friend’s latest status updates?  What was the last good book you read?  How is your time in God’s word?  If we feed ourselves with knowledge, we may have more worthy things to talk about.
  • Be prepared to ask good questions.  Since we are busy, and our interactions may be brief, think of some questions that you could ask to help you learn from the person you may be engaging.  You could even brainstorm on the car ride there. 
  • Remove some of that veneer.  Many times that smile on our face doesn’t express joy.  Rather, it’s pasted on there to portray an image—I’m fantastic! Now leave me alone.  We have to be willing to notice some our own off-putting, intimidating non-verbal gestures if we want to be approachable.
  • Always have the gospel in mind.  As I find myself going way off-track in gossip, or meaningless chatter, I need to be reminded of the gospel—and place it back in the center of my thoughts.  This is our conversation filter.  I need to get better at reminding myself before my mouth opens.
  • Schedule some get-togethers with purpose.  Sure, it’s great to have evenings out just to be light and have fun, but make sure you also plan for enriching dates .  For example, invite someone over for coffee-talk to discuss the biggest challenges they faced this semester in college, or to talk about the latest books you have read.  Stating a purpose of conversation before the visit can help keep you focused on quality time.

Now, talk amongst yourselves…

Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

The Prodigal God, by Timothy Keller (Dutton, 2008)

When it comes to identifying idols and applying the gospel, Keller is so convicting for me.  This book goes through the parable of the prodigal son, showing the idolatry of self-righteousness in the older son, and the Father as the One who has spent everything.  Here’s a quote near the end that I believe convicts us all:

We habitually and instinctively look to other things besides God and his grace as our justification, hope, significance, and security.  We believe the gospel at one level, but at deeper levels, we do not.  Human approval, professional success, power and influence, family and clan identity—all these things serve as our heart’s “functional trust” rather than what Christ has done, and as a result we continue to be driven to a great degree by fear, anger, and a lack of self-control.  You cannot change such things through mere will power, through learning Bible principles and trying to carry them out.  We can only change permanently as we take the gospel more deeply into our understanding and into our hearts.  We must feed on the gospel, as it were, digesting it and making it a part of ourselves. That is how we grow. (115)

I’m not a Christian because I’m a good, moral person.  I am a Christian because I am a depraved, selfish person who has been pursued by irresistible grace.  My redeemer, Jesus Christ, is sufficient to clothe me in His righteousness and transform me into His image.  He is where I find my value, meaningfulness, and success.  Why do I keep turning to my own ways of achievement?  Whether the doors of opportunity have been open or shut for me, my Lord has never let me down.  Even when I get caught up in looking to something else for fulfillment, He is gracious to reveal to me my idols, and even remove them from me if need be.  Thank you, Lord, for pursuing Your people at all cost, and not allowing one of us to escape Your love.

Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

On our way to church last week, we stopped behind a car with this bumper-sticker:

God recycles.  He made man out of the dust.

Really?  That’s our witness?  A cheesy idiom that will win over the environmentalists?  Will it? Maybe they were environmentalist, chastising wastefulness.  If this was the case, I think it would have been better to say, “God cares about the earth, He created it.”  God is a creator, not merely a recycler.  Everything He creates has a purpose, and the manner in which He creates has a message.  I don’t think the message of creating man from the ground was merely to promote recycling.  Let’s look at the text:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Gen. 2:7).

Wow!  There are so many theological happenings going on in that verse; I only endeavor to mention a few.  Most commentaries on this verse mention the Hebrew wordplay between Adam (‘adam) and ground (‘adamah).  This implies a connection between man and the earth.  Adam and Eve are given the Cultural Mandate (Gen. 1:28), in which they are told of their responsible dominion over the earth and all the living things on it.  Earth was their home and their natural bodies pointed to that.  After they sinned in the Fall, earth is where they will be buried.  Paul explains to us in 1 Corinthians; There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  And it is so written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.  As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.  And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man (15:44b-49). 

The fact that Adam was made from the ground points to our utter dependence on God.  He is the potter, we are the clay (Isaiah 29:16, Rom. 9: 20-21).  God created Adam to have a goal: to earn for his progeny that day of rest, ruling at the right hand of God.  Where Adam failed, Christ was victorious (Heb. 2:5-9).  We need something more than our natural bodies to reach that goal.  Our own righteousness will not do, it leads to death.  By our unity with Christ, the life-giving Spirit, we may gain entrance into the new heavens and new earth that is being prepared for us.  Our natural bodies will be transformed into heavenly bodies.

It is also worth noting that man did not become a living being until God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.  It is God’s breath, God’s word that creates life.  There is meaningful theology saturating this account of the creation of man.  Sure, we can see by the process recorded that man possesses a higher dignity than the animals and the rest of creation; but this description teaches about God more than it teaches about man.  He created the heavens and the earth by His word and He gave life to man by His breath.  Again, this points to the regenerating, life-giving power of the Logos, Jesus Christ.  We know that our salvation involves rebirth.  But just as with the account of the creation of man, the Bible tells us a bit of the process of that rebirth.  We are saved by grace through faith, which comes through the preached word of the gospel.  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher (Rom. 10:14)?  God’s word is living and active (Heb. 4:12, Isaiah 55:11), accomplishing His purposes.

This verse of creation reveals many things about God and man.  I could never dare to know God’s thoughts in creation, except for what He has revealed to us in Scripture.  But I will be so bold to say that He wasn’t thinking, “What else can I do with this dirt?”  His agenda was not to conserve, but to create.  This is not an article against recycling and its benefits.  This is an article against cheesy bumper-sticker witnessing that reduces God’s work to an ideological cliché.

Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

I like fun words.  I love learning new words or rediscovering old ones to use in my vocabulary.  So every Wednesday I will be posting a new word of the week, along with its definition.  I challenge you to use it in conversation throughout the week so that it can sink into your normal rhetoric.  It might be cool to involve the kids as well!  Also, if you would like to submit a word you can email me at mail@housewifetheologian.com and if I decide to post it, I will give you the credit.  Why don’t you have a crack at using our word in a sentence in the comment section…could be interesting.

This week’s word is:

Cacophony--You know, that edacious noise your kids are making in the back of the car when you're trying to drive (or, any other disagreeably discordant sounds)!

Posted on Sunday, May 08, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

Marriage To a Difficult Man, by Elisabeth D. Dodds (Audubon Press, 2004)

My husband was a bit troubled when my friend, Dana, gave me this book along with Journey to Hell for my 30th birthday.  Despite the tricky title, this book recounts the wonderful marriage of Sarah and Jonathan Edwards.  I love reading about the wives of such great men!  Sarah Edwards went through a time of mental anguish (January of 1742) that Dodds delicately recounts in chapter eight.  I’m so glad she did, because it is a picture of God’s magnificent grace that can be very much applied to women today.   Here are some of the changes that came out of it:

Sarah Edwards stopped straining to please God and began to live in the assurance of a salvation she didn’t have to try to deserve.  She stopped pushing herself to be worthy of Edward’s love and from then on had his unreserved admiration.  Before, onlookers had considered her a saint but her husband knew she wasn’t.  Afterward, Edward’s marveled at her “constant sweet peace, calm and serenity of soul”…

…so we still cannot be sure whether she had a religious transport, a nervous breakdown, or whether the two were mingled.  But the evidence is clear that after whatever it was, Sarah picked up life again, and went on as before, but in a new dimension of joy.  Her own words may explain it.  She said it left her with “the riches of full assurance.”  She recalled how, midway in that peculiar week, she awoke and “…was lead to reflect on God’s mercy to me in giving me, for many years, a willingness to die, and after that…in making me willing to live.”

The neurotic martyr is ready to die.  The greater valor is to be willing to live. (108-109)

I don’t need to have suffered a mental break (but my husband may argue it’s already happened on several occasions) to fully relate to Sarah’s reflection.  I find myself suffering all the time from “martyr syndrome.”  I could not imagine what being the wife of Jonathan Edward’s and mother of eleven children would demand of me.  My reading reflection theme seems to be self-righteousness lately, but I believe women can fall into that trap so easily.  We become proud and smarmy in our so-called self-giving.  And when we see its ugliness, it is too much to bear.  But the gospel revives us into a knowledge of the One who truly did give all of Himself, for smarmy ol’ me.  How can I not be filled with joy as I glorify the Giver of all that I need?  Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

On my Confessions page, I mentioned that I finally broke down and joined Facebook at the same time I started my blog.  It seemed pretty necessary for sharing my articles with friends and hoping they would share with their other friends.  Also, the whole like button was such a mystery to me, but was seemingly an important element for bloggers to have.  After all my curious investigating and weighing the different like options to incorporate on my site, I’ve decided I just don’t like the like button.  I think it’s tacky.  I’ll tell you why.

First of all, what if the like button was used in actual conversation?  How offensive would that be?  After a friend or acquaintance shares about their weekend, bar fight, or actual deep thought, the popularity police decide whether they will cast their vote.  Is this what democracy has come to?  You don’t have to comment on the truth or value of what is said, just say like.  And of course there’s no dislike button, because that would be pernicious.  All I’m saying is just because it’s a positive word, doesn’t really make it a positive action.

Speaking of truth, that appears to be completely irrelevant.  As we become more and more accustomed to the like culture, we begin to forget to ask important, discerning questions in our so-called conversations.  The value is in the entertaining and accomplishing while meaningfulness is cavalierly tossed out the window.  Instead of standing for truth, we are feeding into our sinful tendency to compare ourselves with others.  How many people like what I just said?  Sassy Susie gets liked up and down, but Sassy Susie maybe just talks a lot about nothing.  We begin to calculate the value of what we say by the number of likes we receive, rather than the actual content.

Additionally, the more we push that like button, the more we may feed our own illusion of power.  Immediately published on Sassy Susie’s post: “Aimee likes this, along with 13 other people.”  Well, if Aimee likes it, it must be good.  I’ve just endorsed someone else’s published material.  I am actually creating my own amateur Facebook status on what is cool to like.  Really, what’s going on beneath all our playful, self-indulgent, liking banter ruse is the fact that it’s all a marketing ploy.  Is it a coincidence that I liked a fitness website and now I get ads run on my page for losing weight and breast implants?  I don’t know, maybe some exercising comments I made contributed.  But the point is, advertisers are trying to customize to our liking.  Every commercial on TV now wants us to like them on Facebook.  Their crazy computer spiders (how creepy is that?) skulk on our every cyber-move and pounce in with the customized add.  Liking a website is their free ticket to advertise their latest sell.

For a while I was getting sucked in.  Many websites have a Facebook Social Plugin in their sidebar showing the number of people who like them, along with nine or so smiling, rotating profile faces of their so-called fan club.  This is beneficial for traffic, because a new viewer will see how happening your site is and want to join the inside circle.  It feeds a temptation we all have to want to be part of some elite group.  Plus, one day your profile pic will be on that rotating display.  And I can publish my own popularity as a blogger: this many people like me, you should too!  Well, I’ve decided against it.  I’ve always believed smart people don’t have to tell others they’re smart, and beautiful people don’t need to advertise.  They just are.  Exploitation is ugly, and usually used by those lacking in the very thing they are trying to sell.  Well liked people don’t need to brag about how many friends they have, and besides, it’s not always a good thing to be well liked.  So, like me or not, I’m going to say what I say.  I might not attract a bunch of followers, but I encourage the readers I do have to leave thoughtful comments, be more engaging, and even dislike in your feedback if you think I need some sharpening.  And if you really do like what I have to say, please use the share button, which I think is much more helpful.

Am I saying it’s bad to just simply like things? No.  Am I saying the like button is evil and we should all boycott it?  No.  There’s no command in the Bible on like buttons.  I am challenging you to think a bit deeper on your liking motives, as well as urging you to ask yourself: can I be more engaging in this conversation?  Am I just being lazy in my relationships?  Is this statement true?  And I’m not saying that it’s wrong for websites and bloggers to promote themselves.  We need to if we want to bring people to our site.  But I do think that sometimes we sacrifice our own classiness by feeding this whole celebrity-obsessed cultural hunger.  There has to be some better ways.

Meditation: 1 Thess. 2:4

Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

This is a book that I was eager to read.  I’ve had a very critical attitude about where technology is going, and how it is shaping us before I curmudgeonly surrendered to blogging and all (well, really only some of) its associated networking.   Now that I confess to its necessities and benefits, I still hold dear all my original reservations.  Timely entering the scene—Tim Challies’ new book with the subtitle Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion.  For those of you Christians on the internet who may be living under a rock, Challies has one of the most read Christian blogs in the cyber-hood.  So I was looking forward to gleaning some wisdom from a Christian who is seasoned and well-experienced in digital explosions.  Although, the title had me a little scared.  The next story?  I haven’t even jumped on the happy wagon with the right now story.  I was afraid that Challies might be a little too gung-ho in his technological prowess.

As I began reading, it was relieving to notice Challies held many of the same concerns.  I was very encouraged to see someone whose whole career is based on media devices (web design, two blogs, publisher, and author) to be discerning about how they impact his life as a Christian.  Instead of giving us a moralistic mandate, Challies offers up riveting questions for reflection, and later honestly relates how these thoughts have challenged his own relationship with technology.  The purpose of his book is stated in a question: How has the digital explosion reshaped our understanding of ourselves, our world, and most importantly, our knowledge of God?  And what is “the next story” that will form and direct the way we live (12)? He gives us historical background of the different technological ages we have lived in and their effect on culture.  There’s no calling technology evil or acting like everyone better get with the program and update to all the latest digital toys.  Rather, we are challenged to find the “sweet spot” where experience, theory, and theology overlap in our technological lives.  He explains that technology is actually mandated by God in the sense that we create tools in order to fulfill the cultural mandate.   It’s always refreshing to read a book that causes us to meditate further and challenge ourselves on the matter at hand, rather than offering a marketable formula.  Challies aims at the heart, rather than just the outward behavior.

If I were to draw you an infographic book review, I would have an image symbolizing our technological age that passes through a strainer, symbolizing the gospel.  The Next Story takes us on that journey.  Challies book strains out many gritty subtleties that we may have missed if the gospel light hasn’t been shining.  He addresses some of the cultural idols in our lives such as productivity, significance, and desire for information by asking the question, Is it possible that constantly communicating with others is not always good (74)In this, he pushes us to look at the quality and motivations of our immediate accesses in communication.  Now that we do have direct access at our fingertips, are we using it to serve God better, or do we in turn end up serving the devices to feed our own idols?

 Later in the book, Challies warns us against recreating ourselves in the images of our own devices.  Have we confused our tools of technology and their functions with our own calling and capabilities?  Christians are called to be a covenant community, worshipping together, and serving their neighbor throughout the week.  Instead, many are falling into what Challies calls networked individualism, communicating primarily through mediated devices, and even trying to have virtual church.   And now that we have computers to store all of our information for us, we think of our own minds in the same manner—information holders.  He reminds us that collecting mass quantities of data is not the same as gaining knowledge.  And if we continue in our habits of scanning for information, we abandon the qualities to actually learn, such as reflection and meditation.  As we are gorging ourselves on information, we lose true wisdom.  Also associated with networked individualism is the authority of truth.  Challies demonstrates how the wiki model of research has fashioned us to hold the idea of truth as a democracy.  Truth in this model is nearly indistinguishable from consensus (166).

This book challenged me as the reader to meditate on the world’s progress—which seems to be defined as mediation through disembodied technology, and God’s progress—through the True mediator Jesus Christ.  God’s purpose is to make us become like our Mediator, which truly is glorious.  We need to be watchful that we are not becoming like the world’s mediators.  As we use these tools, Christians need to be constantly aware of the idolatrous allure of our devices.  Our goal is not to be disembodied, data exchangers.  Jesus Christ’s resurrection secured for us new, glorified bodies on a new earth.  Our hope in communication is nothing less than a face-to-face relationship with the One who made us.  Let us treat those made in His image with the same standard.

The Next Story is a great, discerning book that I would recommend to any friend.  It even serves as an apologetic to an unbeliever for what challenges a person made in the image of God has to face in their ever-changing technological cultures.  Maybe Tim will write about this in his next book, but I was hoping to see a chapter that dealt more specifically with how this digital age has affected the actual worship service, particularly a pastor’s delivery of his sermon and the congregation’s ability to focus on it.  Pastors have new challenges with the short attention spans they are preaching to, and many have turned to entertaining, digital aids.  What does this say about the authority of truth?  What does it have to say about our True Helper, the Holy Spirit? I realize this would be speaking more about the spiritual kingdom, rather than the common kingdom, so a separate book may be appropriate.

*Disclaimer: Zondervan sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review on my blog.

Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

I like fun words.  I love learning new words or rediscovering old ones to use in my vocabulary.  So every Wednesday I will be posting a new word of the week, along with its definition.  I challenge you to use it in conversation throughout the week so that it can sink into your normal rhetoric.  It might be cool to involve the kids as well!  Also, if you would like to submit a word you can email me at mail@housewifetheologian.com and if I decide to post it, I will give you the credit.  Why don’t you have a crack at using our word in a sentence in the comment section…could be interesting.

This week’s word is:

Ubiquitous:  Do you know someone who just seems to be everywhere?  Well, they're ubiquitous!  Maybe they really are everywhere.  God is ubiquitous because He really is omnipresent.  But we mainly use the word as hyperbole (I know, another fun word).  Like, how certain people ubiquitously keep showing up on reality TV shows...

Posted on Monday, May 02, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, approximately 60% of well-meaning people who begin a workout routine give up.  And then there’s a small percentage out of the 40% left, who encounter overtraining syndrome.  Martha Pyron, Md., wrote an article about it for ACSM’s quarterly publication.  According to Martha,

The normal effective cycle of training involves an increase in training, which tires the athlete, but also stimulates improvements in fitness.  The vast majority of this improvement occurs during the rest and recovery period after an intense training bout.  The rest and recovery period is therefore extremely important for the training athlete to make improvements in fitness.

Interesting.  To improve our fitness level, we need to increase our training to fatigue, and then incorporate a proper rest and recovery period.  As it turns out, proper rest and recovery might not be exactly what you think.  In the fitness world, I have picked up on the benefits of active rest.  During my day off regular exercise routines, engaging in light, low stress activity can be more beneficial than say, bonding with my couch.  Slightly increasing blood flow on my rest day speeds muscle recovery by flushing out lactate and other toxins faster from my body.  For me, this is the joy and reward of fitness.  I train hard (well, only for an hour) six days a week so that I can enjoy regular life with ease.  Things like taking a walk in the neighborhood, playing with the kids, or digging out my garden may raise my heart rate a little, but they are light exercise.  For me, the goal of training and conditioning is active rest.

So what’s the theological connection?  Sunday and eternity.  At the beginning of the week, Christians are given a day for rest and worship as a covenant community.  Also known as Resurrection Day, Sunday is given to us as a foretaste of our future eschatological hope.  It is modeled after creation.  The original day of rest was a symbol to Adam of what he was working for, that is a place of eternal rest with the Father.  It was on Saturday, the last day of the work week.  We all know how that went.  But what the first Adam failed to accomplish for his progeny, the second Adam, Jesus Christ secured.  Now our Sabbath Day is in the beginning of the week.  First we rest in Christ before we are called out to labor in our secular vocations.

What is this eternal rest to which we anticipate?  Is it merely inactivity?  As we learn about the Sabbath, we see that Christ is our rest.  In one sense rest is a place.  Verses like Heb. 4:1 and 8-10 use the Greek word that can be translated abode, or to colonize.  On Sunday, Christ’s covenant community meets together for worship.  Michael Horton calls it holy people and holy space.  Here we are given Christ and all His benefits.  In another use, rest is a sort of status.  Revelation 14:13 speaks of our future, eternal rest, contrasted to 14:11—the condemned’s endless, restless state.  The condemned will forever be tormented by their sin. The redeemed will be delivered from suffering.  My concordance translates the Greek rest from this passage: to repose [be exempt], remain, to refresh, take ease.  Why is this so?  Because unlike Adam, Jesus Christ won for us the new creation and all of its blessings—by His efforts—apart from our efforts.  We will be freely active to worship the Lord and serve Him, safe in His truth and goodness.

Until then, we are called to suffer in this world.  We live between the already of Christ’s victory, and the not yet of its full consummation.  In this tension, the believer goes through intense training bouts as they take up their cross and follow Christ.  We may have already been qualified by the work of Christ, but we are being conditioned (a.k.a. sanctified) for holiness.  All the while, we look forward to that day of final jubilee.  We will be given our new land where we rest in the efforts of the One who has prepared it for us.  There will be jobs for us in our new home—I’m not going to be hanging out on a cloud all day with my formerly deceased pets.  But finally I will be able to serve God free from all the constraints from the curse.  Active rest is freedom in our full recovery to holiness--freedom to fulfill our purpose to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.