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

Archive for July, 2013

Sabbath Moments and Pleasure

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

The other day my daughter was out to lunch with a friend.  Arianna, her five-year old daughter, was there as was Ari’s six-week old brother and the friend’s 8 month old.  They went to a Chik-Fil-A or a Mickey D’s that had a playground so Ari wouldn’t be too bored by the whole thing.  On the way home my daughter thanked Ari for being such a good girl.  To which Arianna replied, “My pleasure, Mom!”  My daughter had to stifle her laughter at such a response from a 5-year-old.

My pleasure!  What a great phrase.  How often do you employ this phrase when you engage in your moments with God?  So many people see time spent with God or taking time for a Sabbath as a duty, an obligation that has nothing whatsoever to do with pleasure.  However, I cannot accept that our time with God and the command to take a Sabbath were meant to be anything but pleasurable. 

Imagine, if you will, ending your time with your God with a thank you from God for taking a moment to be together.  How would you respond?  Would you, like Arianna, simply say, “My pleasure, Lord”?  And would it, in fact, be a pleasure? 

Pleasure is not an oxymoron in the Christian faith.  Joy, comfort, laughter, dance and song are all part of the biblical tradition.  The pleasure of our senses, bodies, and souls are all lifted up in the scripture and sometimes vividly…ever read Song of Solomon? 

Sabbath was meant to be a day of pleasure.  Pleasure in the bounty of the table, the love of God, the blessing of family and friends and the joy of life. 

I’m going to spend more time thinking about pleasure in my time with God, relishing the sharing I do with my God, and feeling the pleasure of a relationship that is grounded in love, mercy, grace and forgiveness. 

For the sheer pleasure of it I will spend time with my God. 

The Lord takes pleasure in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.  Let the saints rejoice in his honor and sing for joy on their beds.  Psalm 149.4-5 

Blessings,

Nancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sabbath Moments and Peace

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

It’s good to be back on-line with you.  My time in Puerto Rico performing the wedding of a darling couple was great despite my itchy legs.  BTW I have a solid diagnosis now, I hope.  My dermatologist says it was poison ivy on a steroid rebound.  It seems the Urgent Care Dr. missed the diagnosis and then ‘woefully’ under treated it.  As a result the lower dose of steroid caused it to get worse.  It seems to be on the mend now and I credit the salty water of the Atlantic Ocean for a lot of that healing…thank you all for your concerns, comments and prayers. 

This week I am back home in Western New York.  It has been a bittersweet time.  We have put our house on the market and hope to find a maintenance free condo in Rochester.  Moving out of a home after 20 years conjures up memories and begins the goodbye process to a home that has been good to us.  And the memories go with us. 

A far harder goodbye took place yesterday when I said goodbye and God speed to a dear friend who is dying of cancer.  She is at peace and looking forward to her new adventure as she transitions from this life to the next.  I, on the other hand, am selfishly sad to be losing a friend who has brought me joy, grace, love, laughter and a great deal of wisdom through her keen mind and deep faith.  The world needs more people like her not less. 

I share all these tidbits from my life this week because there is a Sabbath Moment thread that runs through all of it. 

Time, sharing, and relationships are the essence of Sabbath Moments.  The time we spend with God in sharing our lives, fears, joys, sorrows and confusion brings us into a closer relationship with God that in turn brings us a peace that passes all understanding in the midst of life’s ups and downs. 

My relationship to the bride in Puerto Rico began when she was a member of my church as a little girl.  Our journey together was one of discovering who God was in her life and that discovery forms who she is today.  Your prayers and concern for my strange outbreak is a result of our time together sharing these moments and a love of a God we know and trust.  Leaving our home to establish a new one reminds me that things are always changing but through it all God is with us.  And my dear friend’s last few days are filled with a sacredness and peace that comes only from spending intentional time with a God of love, mercy, compassion and justice.  (Her favorite words). 

Life can be a series of Sabbath Moments that bring us a deep and abiding peace so we can say “all is well with my soul.”

Treasure, guard, and be intentional with your time with God this week.  You never know when you will need to draw on that assurance of God’s presence, love and truth.

“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”  Horatio Spafford

“And a storm and wind came down the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in danger.  And they went and woke him saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”  And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; and they ceased, and there was a calm.  He said to them “Where is your faith?”  And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even wind and water and they obey him.”  Luke 8.23-25

Blessings and peace,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments Lock Down

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Well, I find myself on my quarantine or lock down for the week-end.  Seems that I have been bitten by some little eight legged creature or one of his/her cousins and my body is not happy.  After a steroid injection and 4 prescriptions for more steroids and antibiotics, I was also told not to be around people who had compromised immune systems or infants because it might be staph or worse MRSA.  Oh joy!  And, of course, both groups of people were on my social calendar this weekend.  So, I’m in my apartment with lots of time on my hands.

Perhaps that is the good news.  I have no major distractions or things I have to do drawing me away from good quality time with myself or with God.  The steroids have given me an incredible burst of energy so I am a bit like the energizer bunny not content to just sit and waste time on the TV or computer games. 

Today is a day to reflect, write, pray, talk to God and just be.  I plan to start with some scripture delving into what it is saying to me at this moment in my life.  I want to listen for what God is telling me through this scripture and how I can apply it to my life.  There are several ways to find a scripture – just open the Bible and point (always tried and true), use the daily reading from any number of websites (Bible Gateway is good), read the devotion for the day from your devotional book, or pick your favorite Psalm or story…you get the idea.  Using a different translation from the one you usually read is another good way to hear the scripture in a new voice and listen for new insights. 

So that is my intention for my Sabbath time with God, and now that I have let you know I have some accountability partners.  Often my good intentions never come to fruition because the accountability factor isn’t there.  Do you find that is true for you?  You intend to do something like prayer, quiet time, devotions or Bible study and then before you know it the day has gone by and your intentions went with it. 

Thanks for being my accountability partners.  I hope you have someone in your life to whom you can turn for encouragement and support to carry out your intentions.  If not, ask someone you trust and offer to be his/her partner. 

Here’s to a ‘be-ing’ kind of day and, although I wouldn’t wish the reason for one on you,  I hope you can carve one out this week too.  And next week as well…I’ll be away next weekend, hopefully!  So I won’t be publishing a Sabbath Moment.  Two weeks of ‘be-ing’ is a good thing.  Enjoy and be blessed.

“Be still and know I am God.”  Psalm 46.10.

And, friends, here is the passage I opened to when I began my Sabbath moment….God is good, all the time!

“May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.  May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.  May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.  May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.  May the Lord grant all your requests.”  Psalm 20.1-5

Peace and Joy,

Nancy

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