68: Doug Gamble | Learning to Rest

Doug Gamble | Learning to Rest

Rev. N. Doug Gamble is the Pastor of Mission Partnerships at Crossroads Fellowship Church in Raleigh, NC. Doug has been pastoring since 1978 and has been in his current role since 1992.

Doug is married to Kathy Sue Gamble and has two married children and three grandchildren.

Doug is a graduate Indiana State University and Asbury Theological Seminary.

Doug is a ‘missional catalyst’ making Great Commission living a ‘doable’ experience for anyone at Crossroads Fellowship. 

Pastor Doug and I chat about the heart attack that changed his life.  He began the journey out of workaholism toward healthy boundaries and consistent practice of Sabbath rest.

The Heart Attack that Saved My Life by Doug Gamble

6:08 Share a little of your faith journey with us.  How did you come to know Jesus?

“I love the church. I’m quite familiar with all of its flaws and faults, because we’re not perfect people. But I do love the church, what it can do what it has done, I still think it’s God’s best plan on earth.”

10:45 There was a point in your pastoral life years ago, where you were just burning it at both ends. Share with us a little bit about what happened during that season in your life?

“Religious addiction is not like drugs or alcohol…you know, people like when you’re doing good and yet it has the same toxic effect. Workaholism, like most other things, involves lying and stealing. In this case, you’re lying and stealing time that should be spent with God, with your wife, with your kids, and you’re not practicing good boundaries, like we’ve learned are so important.”

“I had a Christian cardiologist, so I went back to him… [he said,] ‘I’m going to help fix your heart, but you and your elders are going to have to totally change your life. You can’t be coming in here to my office at 49 as a missions pastor with a heart problem, you’re not living right’.”

“The reason Sabbath has become so meaningful to me is it’s really not well understood in the Protestant world. We think Sabbath as you go to church on Sunday, then you watch football or you go out to the beach or you do whatever you do in the summer or in the winter. [But] discovering the Sabbath is as Jesus said in one of his parables, man wasn’t made for the Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for man. And what that means is we need it more than we realize. We tend to think it’s a duty. It’s not a duty. It’s a one day in seven to live differently, so that you can be different the other six days of the week.”

Tim Keller’s Sabbath Sermon: Work and Rest

Sabbath: The Ancient Practices by Dan Allender

“The Lord built self restraint into us as a way to release some of the better part of us…What [people] miss from Sabbath is this renewal that can only happen in the presence of God, in the presence of family and friends, or whoever you Sabbath with. There’s something that’s let loose from the well of God’s spiritual resources that will not come to a busy Christian who refuses to sit still, and be quiet.”

22:39 Something you said during a sermon that really impacted me was how you first felt like you were missing out, but as you continued to intentionally rest, you began to look around and feel sad for your brothers and sisters in Christ who were just going 110 miles per hour all the time.  Share with our listeners what have you found to be true personally as you’ve committed to the practice of Sabbath?

“What God gives me on my Sabbath is so much better than what I could do by working another 12 hours”

“One of the things I know when I’m having a good Sabbath is there’s time during the day when I’m tempted to feel like I’m wasting it.”

“It does sort of gear me down, so the other six days I’m much more present to people.”

Invitation to Silence and Solitude by Ruth Haley Barton

“I don’t do nothing in the typical way [on Sabbath]. What I do is allow myself to do things that are life giving. For instance, if I was a full time fisherman, I wouldn’t want to fish on my Sabbath. Well, I have a pond behind me and on my Sabbath fishing might be a very transformative recharging thing.”

“When you begin to Sabbath, prepare for a test of your wills, to lean into some things you haven’t done and to give your soul time to thaw out and arise and awaken to a spiritual formative space.”

24/6: A Prescription for A Happier, Healthier Life By Dr. Matthew Sleeth

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