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

Archive for November, 2013

Sabbath Moments and Feasting

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I truly hope your thanksgiving was a blessed day of family, friends and food. 

As we were gathered around the table sharing stories, laughter, conversation and way too much food, I realized it that this is what Shabbat meals are all about.  In celebration and remembering their Sabbath blessings, the Hebrews of early days, and many of today, gathered on Friday nights for a feast of food, family and friends.  (And this year our Jewish brothers and sisters in this country had the added celebration of Hanukkah.) 

It was/is a time of gratitude and reflection on all that God has done and provided for them.  Isn’t that what we are doing at Thanksgiving at its heart? 

It makes me wonder why we only do it once a year???

Perhaps adding a Shabbat meal at least once a quarter or even once a month will help us remember how blessed we are.   We don’t have to have family every time but we certainly need to share meals with those who touch our lives and gave us a chance to be in the presence of something bigger than we are.

“At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here; have some bread and dip it in the wine. Ruth 2.14

Blessings,

Nancy

 

 

 

Sabbath Moments

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I just read a blog written for pastors where the pastor was admitting that he felt guilty when he wasn’t being productive , and that he was so wrong in thinking that.  Bless his heart! 

It’s not just pastors who feel guilty when they are not producing or achieving something or making something happen.  From my experience many busy people do feel that way and they wish they didn’t. 

What this pastor and many pastors and many busy people, myself included, seem to forget is that God required us to rest, commanded us to rest…that Jesus regularly withdrew to pray and recharge his spiritual batteries.  Sabbath was created just for us busy folks.  It gives us permission to rest, to be non-productive in a non-lazy sense.  It is a time for us to ground our being in the ground of all being.  It is a time for us to stop producing with our hands and start rejoicing in what the creator’s hands have produced.

This week just STOP and BE.  No agenda, nothing to do but just BE and rejoice in the world that God created.  We can miss so much when we are trying to do too much.  Take time, make time, for you to just breathe in the Spirit of God that surrounds you.

“Step out of the traffic!  Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”  Psalm 46.10 The Message

Breath Blessings,

Nancy

 

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I don’t know about you but I tend to get caught up in whatever I am doing and whatever is going on around me. 

For example, when I watch the news I can be in tears watching the horror of a typhoon unfold before my eyes and become incensed at the shenanigans of our elected officials.   And I can let those feelings stay with me for hours sometimes days and even years filling myself with despair and/or anger.   At the same time I can get so engrossed in my own life and its ups and downs that I can lose sight of others and their needs.  It is a tension that confounds me. 

It seems that the only times when I gain a healthy perspective is when I take a Sabbath or break for some attitude adjusting Sabbath moments.  It is then that I realize I am part of something so much bigger than me that my mind switches from despair to awe and wonder.

As much as I would like to be the center of the universe and as often as I act like I am, I am reminded in those moments with God that God is in control, always has been and always will be.  My role in this big universe is to serve God, listen to God and to use what God has given me to live out God’s will not mine. 

And just to be clear it is also my job to take my despair and my anger to God so I can find that perspective that moves me forward and gets me unstuck. 

Without my regular Sabbath breaks I do begin to believe that my problems, my agendas, my opinions are the end all, be all of life.  When I allow that to happen I can become petty, mean-spirited and arrogant.  All things that I dislike in others.  However, in my Sabbath moments I can let go of my self-centeredness and become a centered self whose eyes and ears are opened to a fresh perspective.

“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?…Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me if you understand.  Who marked off its dimensions?  Sure you know!…Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place…? Job 38 selected verses

Oconee Station Falls

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments and Ancestors

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

On All Saints Eve and Day I like to spend time remembering and being grateful to my ancestors.  And I’m not talking just about the ones I knew. 

Many years ago I did a genealogy of my mother’s side of the family.  It was interesting to see the names and dates from over 200 years ago.  Many of the current names in our family were derivatives of older names and some names died off, thank you very much, with the person.  Imagining all the people who comprise my family and wondering about the details of their lives boggles my mind.  

How did they think, what did they do, who were their friends, why did they settle where they did, what made them laugh or cry, and what did they believe are all questions I ponder when I get in this All Saints Day reflective mode. 

And then, yesterday, I came across this quote and it made me think of my ancestors in a whole new way: 

“Suddenly, all of my ancestors are behind me. ‘Be still’ they say.  Watch and listen, you are the result of the love of thousands.” Unknown

Whoever they were and whatever they did I am the result of their love. 

As I thought about that I realized that I am part of another family – the family of God.  Many times I wonder about the details of the lives of some of the people in that family.  What did Mary think when she was carrying Jesus and watching him grow into a man of God?  What did Joseph think about the same things? 

But the same is true for my biblical ancestors as for my family’s, I am here today, who I am today and what I believe today because of the love of thousands.

And that love all began and will continue because of the love of God. 

God’s love gave me life, gave me ancestors, gave me a present and a future.  God’s love gave me a context and a content for my life  God’s love gave me a gift of life eternal.  And through it all I am part of a network of love that is unending.

Taking Sabbath moments allows me to pause and remember not only the source of love but all the love that has come before me that makes my life real and fully connected to something bigger than myself.

And that is something worth being still over and pondering. 

What do you think?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12.1

Blessings,

Nancy

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