April Yamasaki is lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Her most recent book is Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal (Herald, 2013). Her blog is part of the CCblogs network.
When my first book proposal was turned down, I submitted it to another publisher, and another, and another, until eight publishers later, my manuscript finally found a home. That’s when I decided to re-read my manuscript, and felt immediately dismayed.
When Martin Luther wrote, "I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer," I don't imagine that he meant to squeeze another three hours of work and relationships into the hours that remained.
In my Bible, this week's reading from Ephesians bears the title, "Rules for the New Life." The text reads like a laundry list of more or less unrelated instructions. Put away falsehood. Speak the truth, be angry but don't sin, and do not make room for the devil. Give up stealing and work honestly. Speak only what is useful for building up; do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Put away bitterness, anger, slander, and malice.