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

Archive for June, 2013

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Sabbath Moments and The Sabbath Habit

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

IMG_1861  Doesn’t this sculpture remind you of summer and being a kid?  I love this sculpture.  How wonderful to have nothing to do but to explore, discover and to ride on the back of a turtle!

Summer may be the best time to get into the Sabbath habit because the weather lulls us into a more leisurely way of living.  If we are smart, we take time to smell the roses, drink the iced tea and walk the beach before the season leaves us for another year. 

Sabbath is also a time, if we are smart, when we take time to refresh ourselves from a week of work and rest from our labors.  And Sabbath Moments are those little breaks in the day that we can call upon God and rest our stress, weariness or worries in God’s arms. 

Last week I wrote about how crazy busy I was and that my Sabbath Moments came on the run or not at all relying only on what spiritual energy I had stored up from other Sabbath Moments.  This week I found that no matter how hard I tried to get back into the routine and less than crazy busyness of my life, I could not. 

I was exhausted and my spirit and my body were not willing to go any further until I rested.  Of course, being the slow learner that I am I ignored what my body and spirit were telling me and tried to catch up on everything I let go last week.  That little voice in my head kept telling me to keep going, push on and get something done.  

And nothing happened.  I was unproductive on a large-scale. 

Now, this made me frustrated so instead of resting I tried harder.  (You know I write this stuff for my own sake and not because I have it mastered, don’t you?)  Finally, on Wednesday I listened to my body and spirit and shut the mind down.     I took many, many Sabbath Moments on Thursday and I found my energy restored and my rhythm came back to me. 

Listening to my body and spirit is something that I must continually remind myself to do.   Our bodies give us wonderful signals that we are in need of rest. We all listen when we get sick but why does it take that to get our attention? I should have known something was up with my body when my chiropractor suggested I return to see him again on Friday after my Wednesday visit!    Our spirits sigh in exasperation as we ignore the nudges and signs that are anything but subtle.  Those dreams of getting massages and having my hair done were not just wishful thinking.  They were my spirit telling me to take some time to reconnect with my deepest self. 

And God, well God, must be so incredibly patient as I too often ignore the call and command to drink deeply from God’s word and keep the Sabbath.

How about you?  Are you Sabbath-challenged like I am from time to time?  I do know I am learning, if slowly, and rest does a body and soul good.     And the most amazing thing is that God is there waiting for me when I stop and seek out the One who breathes life into my weary bones. 

“I’ll breathe my life into you and you’ll live.  Then I’ll lead you straight back to your land and you’ll realize that I am God.” Ezekiel 357.14  (The Message)

Blessings,

Nancy

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Sabbath Moment Support

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

This has been a whirlwind week for me, and I must confess that my God time was spent while I was traveling to or from someplace.

I received a phone call on Sunday night that a dear friend had died and he had asked that I do his service.  By Monday afternoon I was on a plane and from the moment I touched the ground, I was going in several directions at the same time!  Add to that getting a house ready to sell, a husband who is unable to move well due to sciatica and you get the picture that I didn’t have a minute to spare. 

And, although, I did not find solid chunks of time to stop and rest in God, I certainly found the Sabbath moments on the go to be ones that centered, focused and reminded me that God’s grace and strength is sufficient in all things.  What I learned is that when regular time with God becomes a habit, it gets into my bones and when there is a crisis of circumstances and time the stored up power and energy from those regular times sustains me when I can only manage a quick “God, I need you now!” 

It’s been a long, difficult week on many levels and yet, with God all things truly are possible.  God’s grace was truly sufficient for all things, and I am looking forward to a long, quiet time talking to God about all that has happened, all the blessings that occurred, and all the wonderful people who came my way this past week.

How do you cope when things get out of hand and you cannot find a moment for yourself and God?  Have you found that, like me, you have an abundance of God’s love flowing through you when you most need it?

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads beside the still waters, He restores my soul” Psalm 23.2-3

IMG_1878

 

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments in the Storm

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Well, last night we had another blinger of a thunderstorm complete with a tornado warning here in Woodstock, GA.  It came on fast and furious.  From the time of the TV warning to the time our sirens went off was about 3 seconds.  There was no time to get to the designated shelter for my apartment complex.  Fortunately, all we had was a wild and wooly thunderstorm and no tornado.  As I considered hunkering down in my inside closet and was looking around for something to put over my head to keep all those books and boxes from clunking me on the noggin, I caught sight of something flapping at the edge of my living room window.

Forgetting my mission to cower in the corner of the closet, I stepped closer to my window.  There clinging to the wooden frame was a huge luna moth.  It was folded up and it swayed back and forth like a door on a hinge.  I was certain that the wind would rip it from its perch and launch it into the stratosphere.

But it hung on.  Back and forth it swung all the while its little legs clung to the frame.  It had to be 7-10 minutes before the winds and rain calmed down; and yet, the luna moth was still there.  This little insect had ridden out the storm and was now fanning its wings out to dry them off.

I marveled at its strength in the storm and at how tenacious it had been in hanging on and not being swept up in the chaos of leaves, debris and falling limbs.  This was no small storm.  There were at least 2 trees that came down on the property and branches were everywhere this morning when I went outside.  And yet that moth wasn’t moved an inch.

Oh, how I wish I could be like that moth when the storms of body, mind or spirit hit.  Hanging on, not being moved, clinging with strength to the frames around me would certainly be my hope and wish.  Too often, however,  I’m like those limbs and maybe even whole trees that come crashing down when a wind blows through my life disrupting my plans. 

This is why I need Sabbath Moments.  They hold me steadier than I could be without them when the storms unexpectedly arise.   When I am grounded in faith, living hope and trusting in God’s grace, I am anchored and well protected when the storm warnings go off. 

What storms have you weathered better because of your time with God?  The luna moth is my new visual for strength in a storm and come to think of it, the way it was positioned on the window frame made it look like it was praying.  Not a bad visual at all, not bad at all. 

“As they sailed, he fell asleep.  A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”  He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm.  “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this?  He commands even the winds and the water,and they obey him.”   Luke 8:23-25

“The Lord is my light and salvation – whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27.1

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moment Verses

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

My husband was recently asked what his favorite scripture verse was and he said he couldn’t pick just one.   I imagine this is true of a lot of people who have come to love the voice, nuance and passion of the Word of God.  We have all turned to scripture at various moments in our lives in order to find peace, wisdom, discernment or prove a point. 

There are those passages that we hear oft-repeated at rituals and rites of passage that take us right back to the time and place where we heard them.   Most of us who have been to a memorial service have heard Psalm 23 offered as a scripture of comfort and 1 Corinthians 13.4-7 is a staple in many wedding ceremonies.  Some people create their own version of a red-letter Bible by underlining passages that have a deep meaning for them.

Without getting into the inerrancy argument, there is a dynamic quality to the Bible that speaks to each generation with truths and certainties that leave no doubt in the reader’s mind. 

I have my favorite verses and have to agree with my husband that it is hard to pick just one.  I love Psalm 23 not so much as a psalm about death but a psalm about life and God’s abiding presence.  Reading 2 Timothy 1.7 gives me courage and strength to carry on.  Philippians 4.4-9 are verses that inspire me and make me want to live a better life.  Luke 24.32 about hearts burning within when Jesus revealed the scriptures to the grieving men on the road to Emmaus reminds me how much I love the scriptures and how many heart burns within, too.  And Deuteronomy 30.19 describes God as a life-giving God calling me to choose life each day.  And Jeremiah 31.31, Ecclesiastes 3.1ff, John 3.16, Luke 2.19, 1 John 4.7 and, and, and…well you get the point. There are so many key verses in my life that I turn to over and over.

What about you?   Do you have a favorite? Or, are you like me with many favorites? 

This week for your Sabbath Moments spend time reading and reflecting on a favorite verse or passage of your own.  Let God speak to you through the Word, or let the Word take you to the time and place you need to revisit, or find a new verse that lights up your heart and makes it burn within you with love and joy.

“Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life”  Philip P. Bliss

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”  Isaiah 40.8

Happy Reading,

Nancy

 

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