For the busy person who wants to stay connected to God throughout the week!

Archive for May, 2013

Sabbath Moment Feast

Summer Time and the Living is Easy

Summer Time and the Living is Easy

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

This week feast your eyes on this picture or any picture…maybe even a special place in nature you love.  Spend time just looking, reflecting and being grateful.  Let the Sabbath essence fill your hearts, minds and sight and ease into a time of restful relaxation.

“Sabbath is a day we walk in the forest, walk among the first fruits of our harvest and the ruins of our desperations, and see what lives.  On the Sabbath, we rest.  And see that it is good.”  Wayne Muller

“Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”  Genesis 2.9

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments And Compassion

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Once again we are reeling from a tragedy that tears our hearts open as we think of the children who were in the path of that EF5 tornado on Monday.  The devastation is beyond comprehension as is the power of a storm two miles wide with two hundred mile an hour winds pounding a community for almost 40 minutes.  I cannot wrap my head around it.

From Aurora to Sandy Hook to Boston to Moore and a number of other horrendous events that took innocent lives, we wonder why is this happening?  Discussion and debate has concentrated on everything from gun control to mental health care to climate change to terrorism and immigration.  And although these are all issues that need our attention, I wonder if there isn’t a bigger issue and learning in all these events.

Each of these events has brought about untold stories of heroism and compassion, of sacrifice and sharing, of kindness and doing the next right thing.  We are better people in a crisis.  We respond without asking about income levels, immigration status, color of skin or gender.  We respond to the employed and unemployed the same way.  We act whether the person is on food stamps or not.  We care about the loss of a child despite ethnic background.  In our hearts we care and we act because it is the right thing to do.

I can’t help but wonder how much of our current national crises would be alleviated if we lived out of a sense of compassion, care and concern to do the next right thing for others.  So much of our current divisiveness stems from a “what’s in it for me attitude”, “my rights”, “my money”, “my neighborhood”,”my language”, “my country”.  There are a lot of “my’s” that seem to stir up constant debate and argument and only tend to exacerbate the problem rather than finding solutions.

And, yet, in a crisis like the one in Moore, OK, the “my’s” leave our vocabulary and “we” and “us” and “in this together” replace the “my’s”.  What would happen if we started from the point of we or us or in this together on each issue?  What would happen if we actually took literally the biblical commandments to love one another, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to give of ourselves and the extreme biblical statement of to share all things in common so no one goes without?

God never promised us ease or wealth.  God never commanded us to ignore the needs of those around us unless there was a tragedy.  God never suggested we were in this life for ourselves.    And sometimes we act as if these are the only things that really matter

There is a possibility that spending time in Sabbath Moments can lull us into thinking that the focus is on us, our needs and how God responds to us.  However, there is more to Sabbath Moments than just our feeling good that God loves us.  They also have the potential of showing us that God has been trying to teach us for thousands of years how to be in community and what is the next right thing to do for our neighbor.  Every day.  Not just in a crisis. 

As you spend time in Sabbath Moments this week, explore with God and through God’s word what it means to live in community and be partners in this life with those around us.

“Their eyes are blinded, their hearts are hardened, So that they wouldn’t see with their eyes and perceive with their hearts, And turn to me, God, so I could heal them.  John 12.40-41 The Message

All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had.  They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it.  Acts 2.44-45 CEV

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments Moment

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Driving home the other day I found myself feeling lousy – that’s a medical term, you know!  My head was little achy, my back was a lot achy, my pulse seemed to be a bit faster than usual, my mood was borderline ornery and there were tears just behind my eyes.  And I had no idea why.  Ever feel like this?

It’s not my favorite feeling and usually I try to ignore it by keeping busy.  How about you?  However, as I walked through the door I realized that I had no excuse not to take a moment to settle my unsettling condition.  I had no other responsibilities vying for my time.  Supper was mine to make or not.    No one was there to ask questions about my day.  I was alone. 

And yet, old habits are hard to break because I jumped right in to making my supper so I could move to some other things I wanted to get done that night.  Keep moving seems to my default mode and it takes a lot for me to override that code etched in my brain.

Surprisingly, I took a step to break that habit.  I pushed the override button, stopped what I was doing, grabbed a cold glass of water (yes, it really was water) and went and sat on the porch.   The birds were singing, there was a gentle breeze blowing and I just sat there and soaked it up.  After some deep breaths, a few sips of water and a silent prayer of thanks for the beauty around me, began to feel my pulse rate slow down, my back relaxed and the headache began to ease.  I felt better.

As this sense of well-being began to wash over me I realized I had just taken a Sabbath Moment where the peace, calm and grace of God could restore my soul.  It was a moment when I realized how a spontaneous decision to relax can be as full of God as a planned Sabbath moment complete with Bible, journal, devotional and prayer beads! 

God is good in every moment and taking time to breathe in the breath of God is a most excellent way to take that goodness into your busy life.

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Don’t be afraid to take advantage of spontaneous Sabbath Moments and let God surprise you with a soul refreshment.

“Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up on wings as eagles.  They will run and not be weary.  They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40.31

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moment Bright Spot

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

The other day I was in a less than perky mood.  You know what I mean?  It was just one of those days when I felt a bit off my game. If I were to pick a color to describe how I felt, it would be blah beige with an emphasis on blah.  Maybe it was because I had to go to physical therapy and I knew I would come out feeling worse than when I went in.  Or, maybe there was no reason and I just felt low.

As I was doing my exercises flat on my back stretching my quads or ham strings or some muscle that didn’t like it very much, I heard a voice calling out, “Hi Princess, how ya doin’ today, Beautiful?”  I turned to see a short, stout woman hugging my physical therapist.  She saw me look and said, “She’s my princess.  Isn’t she beautiful?”  Before I could answer her she was off to another office spreading her own type of healing as she mewed over an outfit or a hairdo or a smile.  She made the rounds greeting every one with a squeal of delight.

In spite of my foul mood, I found myself smiling as I felt the energy in the room increase.  Laughter escaped from my pursed lips as I listened to her chat with everyone.   Now, that would have been enough to lift my spirits at that moment, but as I stood up to finish my routine she said to my therapist “Isn’t she a pretty one? I couldn’t see her face before but now I think I’m looking at, oh what’s her name…that movie star who is blonde  now and looks so much better as a blonde.  You know who I mean?”

Ok, so now I am smiling wide and laughing.  (For all I know she could have meant Phyllis Diller but I chose not to go there). Turns out she meant Meryl Streep…what a hoot!  Who cares about her looks I just wish I had her talent.

At just the right time she came into my life and made me forget my ornery-ness. I breathed a silent prayer of thanksgiving for this angel in her Notre Dame baseball cap and sneakers stiff and limping through her exercises and exercising the joy of her heart which obviously was in great shape.   It was in a strange sort of way a Sabbath Moment moment.

Just like this woman with her perky perspective, Sabbath Moments also can lift me out of a foul mood and make me see what is around me in new ways.  Sabbath moments can leave me breathing a prayer of thanksgiving and send me on my way with a smile on my face and a new perspective to guide my thoughts.

How about you?  Does spending time with God improve your outlook on life?  Take time this week to find the joy in the moments as God comes to you in unexpected ways.  And, maybe, even spread a little joy yourself to the next person you meet along the way.

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  Hebrews 12.14-15

Blessings,

Nancy

 

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