Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sabbath Part 1

 Michael's many expressions ;).  He is a riot!  And of course very cute! 
 Today's photos brought to you by Animal Kingdom (mostly) where we went yesterday. 
 This past Sunday our guest speaker Tom Lane from The Gateway church.  He was speaking on the Sabbath!
 A great start is to look at the scriptures to see what they say about the Sabbath.  So I will start with God's 10 Commandments since that is a good place of reference! 

Exodus 20:8-11

New International Version (NIV)
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
 Why would we need a Sabbath?  I mean the more we work the more we earn, the more secure our future is, the more we accomplish.  Right?  That is when we got hit with truth!  To reflect rest that our Father took on the 7th day.  Also to reflect OUR DEPENDENCE on God! 

Remember the days before we as a society worked 7 days a week.  All stores were closed on Sundays, late evening shopping didn't exist, and the Black Friday actually started on Friday.  In a time when we didn't feel the need from our boss or ourselves to work 80+ hour weeks.  In a time when we loved to recreate.  A time when it wasn't a competition of who could go the longest without a break! 
 I know there has always been those who felt the need to work all the time well before our society started to really encourage it.  I know there has always been those who pushed themselves really hard- too hard.  Isn't that where Mr. Scrooge came from?  I just noticed so much as I got into the work force myself those who seemed consumed! 

Funny part was it mostly started when we got into the camp ministry!  Yep, the ministry!!!  My fellow camp directors would brag about how long it had been since the last day off they had.  That they did camp "errands" on their day off.  That they rarely ever took a day off- EVER!  That was a "normal" thing for them.  It broke my heart because I loved my coworkers!  We all loved the ministry, and yet there was almost a "shame" in taking time off.  WHY??  That just seemed crazy to me. 
 Now I will admit we all get caught up now and again.  It's true.  That's fine because it happens.  There is never condemnation from me over it.  I remember one time Jason held up a picture of me  when our kiddos were little and said do you just want me to show the kids this, or are you coming home?  Ummm....YEP- Got the point!  On my way NOW! 
 The thing is.....that whole reliance thing.  The whole - trust God with your work, with your life, and WITH YOUR TIME TO REST.  Somehow we get the other parts better than we get the need to rest?  I guess we all think we are super heroes deep down.  Or maybe we love feeling needed!  I know I do! 
 BUT GOD created us for sooo much more!  He created us for relationships, for loving, for caring.... and we can't do that well for our family, for our community, or for our churches if we are so burned out!  If we lead a ministry, or educate our children, or work as a nurse- who will benefit from us taking care of ourselves?  EVERY SINGLE PERSON!!!! 

I have seen it way too often.  Those who look at me sideways when I show them a picture of our children.  Those who tell we are crazy.  While I agree with that I also think Jason and I have done our best (not the greatest and we make mistakes ALL the time) to guard our time. 
 If we had worked all weekend with a retreat group we took time off.  Did we get flack about it- YES!  People said we called you on Monday and no one answered?  Ummm...yep because all 3 of us on staff my husband, myself, and our assistant just got done working 60+ hours this weekend.  We needed down time. 

Do there have to be regulations and rules - yes, but first let's look at more scripture because God never gets things wrong- only us :).
 Isaiah 58:11-14
11 The Lord will always guide you
and provide good things to eat
    when you are in the desert.
He will make you healthy.
You will be like a garden
    that has plenty of water
or like a stream
    that never runs dry.
12 You will rebuild those houses
    left in ruins for years;
you will be known
as a builder and repairer
    of city walls and streets.
13 But first, you must start
respecting the Sabbath
    as a joyful day of worship.
You must stop doing and saying
whatever you please
    on this special day.
14 Then you will truly enjoy
    knowing the Lord.
He will let you rule
    from the highest mountains
and bless you with the land
of your ancestor Jacob.
    The Lord has spoken!
 They were in the midst of rebuilding!  Rebuilding, and God was saying things about establishing a true fast, give to the poor, honor those who need help, give generously, and TAKE A SABBATH!  What in the world....but God we are working to rebuild.  How can we rebuild if you want us taking breaks? 
 Come to ME!  COME to ME!  Please because I AM ALL YOU NEED!  Those Sabbath days are for you to COME........ 
 If you need to rebuild your life, work on your marriage, reestablish a relationship, need guidance on some big decisions, feel like your world is falling apart- that is the perfect time to seek Sabbath!!!  Once you have established this COMMANDMENT because it is that important then continue keeping the Sabbath because then you will ALWAYS have that lifeline established with God. 
 Oh and the wonderful promises God includes- I LOVE THEM.  Stop saying and doing whatever you please on this special day.  Why?  Because it is dedicated to HIM!  Ohhh...and I love this part too- You will truly enjoy knowing the Lord.  This is my goal!  He will bless you with the land.  The LORD has spoken.  That gets me every time.  In my head I can hear my dad's serious voice (which he rarely used).  Deep voice saying- remember this because it is really important! 

 There is so much more to say....... 

 And so many fun pictures to enjoy, but for now......

 Just enjoy.......

 And I will continue this post.......


 Ewww....this is creepy......

This needs to be spread out.  There is just too much to say, and for now I want to just focus on what I already wrote because if you are a blogger you know that sometimes you are preaching to yourself too!  ;)

Good questions to think about- what does Sabbath look like to you? 
What do you enjoy doing on your Sabbath?
What is it about your Sabbath, day/time that makes it special to God and to you? 


  1. Lovely post! I relish my Sabbath (even though it frequently doesn't look like my mental picture. :-) ) We typically go to church in the evening and relax the rest of the day. We don't go shopping (except in emergencies or on vacation) or out to eat (although lots of Christians do so as part of not working...which I understand too...as long as you tip well!) We relax, spend time with each other, extended family, friends. My favorite is to sit outside around a campfire. As a child my family would often go hiking or something. My husband & oldest son are into biking and frequently take a nice long bike ride. Nothing is rigid, but generally we don't do laundry or clean. And I LOVE it...because it's the one day of the week that I can sit down and read a magazine or do nothing and not feel guilty because of all that needs done! I read a book about the Sabbath that mentioned that we need to plan for the Sabbath...being relaxed and joyful and enjoying God doesn't happen without some prior planning to keep from being pulled into the busyness of life...and that really seems to be pretty accurate for me...

    1. Love this!!!! So true! If we don't plan then we get sucked into everything we don't want to be into to......