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

Archive for January, 2014

Sabbath Mode

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I just learned that observant Jews can purchase appliances that have a special control called Sabbath Mode on them.  The primary function of Sabbath Mode is to override any automatic shut offs so the oven can stay on more than 24 hours to keep food warm.  Observant Jews cannot light a fire during Sabbath and turning on an oven is the same as lighting a fire.

I’d like a Sabbath Mode switch for my life; however, instead of keeping everything going, it would automatically shut  things down for 24 hours.  I have to admit I have not done very well with Sabbath keeping or Sabbath moments in the last few weeks.  And the ironic, or insane, part of that is that my body was very definitely on Sabbath mode but for some reason my brain was in overdrive.  

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that taming my overactive gray matter and what I think I should be doing is a major undertaking for me.  When I can’t get around like I want, I see all kinds of things that need to be done.  When I can get around, it’s funny how those same tasks don’t even register on my radar screen.  I think I want to be the one who decides what I will and won’t do and don’t want it imposed on me.  Silly me.  The next few months are definitely going to be challenging as I rethink how I want to spend my energy.  (Two herniated discs, a hip bursitis and bad knee are going to really test my adaptability to a new way of being). 

silent, pause or break time hand gestureAnd that is why Sabbath is such an important commandment to keep.   A 24-hour rest gives the body the time it needs to recover from the six days of work and have the energy needed to move into the next six-day period.  Instead of getting totally exhausted and run down from no real break, the body gets a breather and the brain can attend to the really important stuff of life rather than just the chronically urgent stuff that never goes away. 

Our God is really very good to us and the gift of Sabbath is a good example. 

Are you better at rest and recovery than I am?  Do you cherish and treasure a 24-hour period of Sabbath to renew your spirit and refresh your body?  Can you go into shut down mode and be at peace?  The Sabbath moments certainly help me tap into moments of peace and rest; however, I think I am going to kick it up a notch and challenge myself to Sabbath hours for the next month.  Would you like to join me?

“Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.”   Ezekiel 20:12

Blessings,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments and the Twenty Third Psalm

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

the buck garden in new jersay

I came across this version of the Twenty Third Psalm from Japan and want to share it with you as our Sabbath Moment for this week.  Keep it close by, read it every day or more often and let the words flow through you and over you creating Sabbath Moments in their wake.

The Lord is my pace setter…I shall not rush

He makes me stop for quiet intervals

He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity.

He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind and his guidance is peace.

Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret, for his presence is here

His timelessness, his all importance will keep me in balance

He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity by anointing my mind with his oils of tranquility

My cup of joyous energy overflows

Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours for I shall walk in the Pace of the Lord and dwell in his house for ever.

Be blessed this week by these words,

Nancy

Sabbath Moments and Intentions

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Happy New Year.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that you are greeting each new day with joy and peace.  That is my intention for the year. I want to be as precise as I can be in setting my intentions for each day.   Setting intentions also means that I do everything in my power to be what I want in my life.  Jesus said “Do onto others as you would have them do unto you.” and Gandhi said it a little differently but with the same result… “Become the change you wish to see”. 

If I want peace and joy in my life, then I must offer peace and joy to others and choose to be filled with peace and joy in my day-to-day interactions.  And so I have my work cut out for me because far too often I worry and fret leaving me irritable and sad and anything but peace and joy filled. 

Many of us begin the New Year with resolutions or intentions and often see them disappear from our lives before the end of the month.  We fail to keep them alive because they take too much work or time and we aren’t willing to give up, let go of or rethink our choices and our way of doing things.  

A fairly common resolution for people of faith is to spend more time with God this year.  And by mid month we are back to busy schedules, skipping church, and forgetting about our resolution.

However, if we  truly want to deepen our spiritual life and become closer to God, then we must choose to do the things that will deepen our relationship with and bring us closer to God every day. 

My granddaughter became very excited a few nights before Christmas when she saw a star in the sky.  She asked her mother about the star that shone so brightly over the manger of the baby Jesus and then concluded that they had better abandon their plans to go to dance lessons that night and instead follow that star.  iStock_000027543299XSmall

Her 5-year-old choice made me think about what I need to let go of in my life if I truly want to follow God. How about you?

  • Where do you need to abandon a plan or course of action in order to be closer to God, to follow Jesus? 
  • What do you need to let go of in order to spend the time intentionally deepening your faith? 
  • What is the change you want to see? 
  • What actions need to be intentionally started in order to achieve that change? 

Here’s to an intentional New Year filled with peace, joy and a deepening sense of God’s love and grace.

“When they saw the star they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.  Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.  And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”  Matthew 2.10-12

Blessings,

Nancy

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