Mission Statement

Cyber Sabbath's goal is to begin to mend the division between Christ and the world (society) that Church has created through reflections, sermons and devotionals

Cyber Sabbath is a place for the stifled Christian voice to be heard. Media gives way to much time to the extremist - over looking the theologically educated and/or the moderates in favor of what sells their view point. Here, politics aside, a pastor reflects on God's voice in every day life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

repost on compassion

This time of year is always hectic, with birthdays and smashing everything into the end of the summer.  I didn't have time to write the last few days.  So while asking for compassion I am reposting something I put up in July 2013.  It is now 2016 and these words still hold true.  The difference between having true Christian compassion for someone and pity is great.  We truly need to dig deep and find when we ourselves are offering compassionate help or pity help.  We also must realize the true problems that our nation faces.  ... so here you go...

Stepping over the threshold of the tattered screen door and into the entry way of the soup kitchen my nose recoiled; this didn't smell like a nice clean food panty that I had helped out with before.  Instead it was a rodent, roach and who knows what else infested hole in the wall.  A place I couldn't imagine the health department keeping open let alone eating from.
As I began to give my help, I couldn't help but worry about my own health as I touched and moved the expired food.  I soon met and learned that most of the people volunteering where people who received food from their hot meal program and often bags of food from the food pantry.  As the day continued and I got to meet those that ran the program, fill the bags of food for those coming and stand in the 95+ heat of the day in the kitchen sweating like a pig, I realized that although this was sub-par by my standards it was for these people an amazing gift.

Finding compassion for this people and this food pantry might seem like an easy task for anyone who read above...but for me I felt pity.  I felt sad.  I felt terribly lost because I couldn't imagine eating or needing to eat this.  I find compassion for those who go to a food pantry in the white - middle class churches that give out food like mac and cheese and cereal.  I can put myself in their place and I can sympathize, understand to their level, where they are coming from and have always longed to change their situation.  But when it comes to the poorer then poor - that is where I find myself allowing pity and sadness to over shadow the love and compassion that Jesus and my faith is asking of me.

I think that it is this pity and sadness that continues to allow the truly poor to exist.  Because even those of us who struggle to pay our bills can't imagine eating day old food that may have had the maggots on top scraped off -- because no one should.

And if you don't think that there is true poor in your own country, neighborhood or town then you need to open yourself up and find compassion for those living around you who are struggling.

The country is not in a good place.  When I was in high school I was making $9.10 an hour at a retail store and paying less then $1.00 for gas.  Only 13 years later, the minimum wage is only $7.25 and gas is over $3.00 a gallon.  That math just doesn't add up.  Even with a decent job, people are struggling.

The government, big business, everyone in fact needs to stop pitying each other, pitying the poor and giving over a few pieces of stake every once and awhile but instead needs to find room for compassion and love.  Only then, would we see changes like fair wages and CEO who took realistic incomes.  Only then would we see the Kingdom on Earth.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Spirit Works Within and Through...

...sometimes without us knowing.

That is for sure.  When you are working and living in the world connected to God, it is truly amazing to see and feel how the Spirit may be working within the world and yes, even within you, before anyone realizes.  Recently I met a women whose husband had passed away only a few hours before.  My encounter with this stranger was brief and she stated at least twice how she was a strong woman and that was one thing her husband admired; yet at the end I knew I had to give her a hug.  The push to hug this woman was so powerful, I was overcome by it and further I knew that I would regret it if I did not.  After I hugged this woman she told me that her husband, who had pre-written his obituary, had told people in lieu of flowers give someone a hug.  Yup, that hug was the Spirit moving through me!

Every time we walk into our YMCA there is a greeter, usually these are people with some form of handicap.  One of these greeters is a younger man who has difficultly with speech and so they have a computer generated voice for him and he pressed buttons to talk.  I have noticed many people walking past him without giving him time to greet them, for there is a slight delay.  My children stop wait for him to press his button and say hello.  One day my oldest told him that his "computer voice was cool."  The smile on this young man's face lit up the room, but the best one was when my middle child ask his name.  He told us his name and now when they go in and see him, they remember his name.  This is surely the Spirit working in them to show God's love! 

Once my mom and step-dad were heading to a dog park, completely frustrated with their puppy and beginning to believe that they just "couldn't do it."  It was a difficult conversation on the way to the park.  When they arrived there was a woman there with several of the same bread dogs as theirs - a bread known to be wonderful but needs a dominate owners.  This woman showed them some tricks, gave them advice and encouraged them.  They walked away from that park feeling confident and several years later wouldn't imagine life without that dog.  They are frequent dog-park goers and although that woman helped them that day they have never seen her again.   That was the Spirit moving through that woman.
I was praying for a woman who was going to be transferred to her home for at-home hospice that her journey home be without care or worries.  I meant to her physical house that the transfer ambulance was going to take her too; she interpreted that as "home" to God.  That last was the pray she needed and God made sure that she got it.

 These might all seem like crazy examples or examples of just "decent people" or "small things" but I want to point out that our life isn't always full of extreme moments in which we need God.  Our life isn't all about the very low - but mostly life is about the every day.  Life is about the ordinary days that we live striving each day to accomplish what needs to get done.  Life is about the same-day to day unless we open ourselves to the Creator and the beauty around us.  Unless we open ourselves up to see how even in the small details, the Spirit can move and work! 

My middle child, who is my oldest son, told me while painting that my painting "wasn't beautiful" while comparing mine to his sister's whose was "sooo beautiful."  My painting was a realist example while hers was a modern abstract piece.  Mine looked like a bird, hers had all the right "colors" for that bird not all the right lines.  Beauty, especially God's beauty, is found all around us in life.  If we only look for it in the box we have created called "God" then we may miss out on the true beauty of the Spirit that is whirling around us