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.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Becoming a once-a-week blogger

I told myself that when I had a blog, I wasn't going to be one of those people who posts for a while and then forgets they have one...and yet it feels like I have.  Part of that is because our computer at home was effected by a lighting strike and doesn't quite work like it used to and well, we are trying to save our money so we haven't bought a lap-top yet.  And well part of it is that life just sometimes gets soooooo busy!

With that said. Life has been busy.  I am struck with how easy it is to forget about God when life is so busy - especially when it is full of happy things: friends, graduations, Baptisms, BBQ, ect... But what is really bothersome to me is that I am in the God business - so if it is so easy for me to forget about God what about those who don't even have God in their every day life - their job...

It is funny that in church on Sunday we spoke about the relationship change between God and God's chosen people through the sacrifice of Issac by Abraham.  And further how the relationship with the Holy and us changed through the death of Jesus on the Cross.  I can't help but also think that in our own lives, the relationship between us and God continues to grow and change.  Through life's trails, our understanding of God hopefully deepens and our love widens.  As we continue to be changed and shaped by life's events, so too is our relationship with divine. It is sad to think that we would put that relationship on hold, just because life is too busy.  So I am challenging myself and whoever reads this to not let this summer be one of spiritual limbo - but one of spiritual prosperity.  One in which you have continued your relationship with the Holy and been able to grow and develop in faith.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baptism

So, I am going to come right out and admit that I thought for a very long time and truly debated about getting my child baptized.  I thought for a while that I would wait and let her choose for herself as an older child - especially since as a PK (pastors kid) she wouldn't have a lot of choices when it came to religion until then. 
I also fought it because as Presbyterians, a big part of the baptism is a the community aspect - the welcome the child into community and the pledge of the community to help nourish and raise this child.  Since her parents aren't actual members of the church but in fact employees, I struggled with if this was right - if this was truly her "Church community." 
Although this isn't the same "Church community" as it would be if we were members and not their pastors this is still the community of church people in which she belongs and who adore and love her! 
As a Presbyterian, I do so love the sentence in our Book of Order that says that God can work within and through people without them even knowing or without their knowledge.  I think this is the very reason why I choose to have her baptized.  For through her baptism, I believe, the Holy Spirit was awakened.  I believe that the Holy Spirit is within all of us and that it takes the recognition of that by others and later by ourselves for the spirit to be nurtured.  Through the holy waters of baptism, we are reminded of the Spirit that flows within us and we acknowledge the essence of the Divine in each of us.  "Whatever we do to the least of these, you do to me" for the Spirit dwells within all God's people. 

L was so cute on her day.  She was dressed pretty, she was happy and ready to speak and let her voice be heard.  She was so precious as we standing there answering questions about our faith and agreeing to raise her to be a faithful follower of Christ.  But the moment of truth came with the waters of the Baptism and the amazed, quizzical and yet holy look on her face. I say Holy because she got quiet and still and claps her hands together and seemed in that moment a bit changed - like she felt the Holy Spirit running through her empowering her. WOW what a moment.

And so, I am truly happy that we made the decision to have her baptized.  For through the waters of her baptism, she is now a child of God and the Holy Spirit has been stirred within her - awakening to do amazing things throughout her life.  With God and through God we are able to do amazing things - even when we don't always know or have the understanding.

Glory be to God and the Baptism of all God's people! AMEN!

Thank God for FAMILY

BIG shout out to my family who helped me pull off this wonderful BBQ and still have a clean house! LOVE YA

Insane Weekend

Whenever family visits things are hectic!  The hour drive to the airport and then the hour drive back home makes it a very big deal just to pick people up.  But it is usually worth it!
Wednesday: Met water man at old house to replace part / picked up sister at airport / brought sister to friends house for a quick visit and then headed home.  Made dinner and then went to meeting!
Thursday: cleaned house for the BIG day coming up, baked for strawberry festival / finished the details for the wedding on Saturday / had two more meetings at the church / had an unexpected death
Friday: woke up early to bake more / drove 2 1/2 hours to dansville and another 2 hours home again (got lost the way down), spent time with family.  Came home, had dinner then a youth group lock-in.
Satuday: 4:15 call from sister - baby is awake. Headed home from lock-in / then worked at strawberry festival / wedding / more festival (some of that clean up) / dinner and finally a moment to relax with a movie
Sunday: up early for Church - L was baptized :)  / BBQ after church at my house :/ / then spent afternoon cleaning up from that with family / then hubby had to go to baccalaureate for graduating seniors (baby was CRAZY and wouldn't let me go) / then dinner and then early bed!
Today: Drove sister to airport and tried to recover

Throughout this my mom arrived as well!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Things I never thought I would do...

There are a few things I true believe that I will never do before I die, and most of them I am OK with.  I really don't want to go to Africa and risk diseases - although I will support and pray for you should you feel called to do so.  I really don't think I'll ever rock climb out on a real rock cliff - although I do enjoy the rock walls.
Well, when I got married, I truly believed I would never have to mow a lawn. I had gotten away with not doing so as a kid and well I was hopeful that as an adult I could get away with it as well. For you see, I am truly truly freaked out about lawn mowers and in an irrational way.  I pray for people when I see them mowing and even when I only hear a mower going.  I am just as freaked out of the push mowers as well as the riding. 


This utter fear comes from a combination of my great grandfather's lie and a summer hospital internship and perhaps my mother. My great grandfather who I called grand dad he was a WWI vet who lost his two middle fingers on his righ hand in war but as a young child he would point his stubs at me and tell me it was due to a horrible lawn mower accident.  I am sure the trauma was more in the way he would point the fingerless knuckles right into my eyes and tell me to watch out for mowers! Well watch out I did.  Then one summer I had a hospital internship and a woman came in who had been mangled by a lawn mower when she fell off a riding mower and it ran her over. It was awful!  Thus my mower fear only grew.  My mother who is a perfectionist of sorts, only enhanced this avoidance by not allowing me to mow the lawn in fear that I wouldn't do it right.

Thus, my phobia of lawn mowers began.  I happily married a man who didn't mind mowing the lawn and my problems seemed solved.  Until I began reading and leading a new Spiritual study group at church.  This weeks challenge was in trying new things and getting outside our comfort zone - of course this really meant how we talk to / share our faith with others, but it got me thinking...So when we needed our lawn mowed and my husband also needed to get several things done in the house.  I decided to attempt to mow the lawn!

IT WAS A SUCCESS (If I do say so myself!) Granted I only did like 4/5th of the yard and left the scary dangerous slopes to my husband - I did indeed take my life in my own hands and drive myself around on the riding mower.  Luckily it was the kind that if you stood up it stopped (and I tested it twice just to make sure).

So, today, I did something I thought (and maybe hoped) I would never have to do and tonight I met a lady who is in her 70s who has officially never mowed a lawn!  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Social Media

I really set out to post something about Pentecost and the amazing church experience I had this AM, or about my family BBQ and my insights about how important family is and how blessed I am to be in mine - even if it is dysfunctional...
But I felt called to write on social media.  I am very concerned about the current generation - my generation? maybe? Is being so connected actually leading us to live more lonely lives?
I know that it has been my move to a smaller town, where I see my friends less and interact with fewer people, that has led to my desire to want to blog, even if no one is reading it.  Just putting my thoughts out there allows me to feel connected some how to the world. So for me, social media has indeed helped to me.
However, I do know that social media doesn't always act positively - especially when it comes to isolation.  I read some where that reading the happenings of others can cause depression.  I also know that once you put something out there - it is out there and as many congress-people and high power officials have found out that isn't always good. For all of us "regular" people that can be just as bad if you offend someone (even if only accidentally).  

So, I guess the purpose of this is to remind each of us that social media does not have to run or ruin our lives.  And that if we are feeling lonely, instead of turning to FB or Tweeter, call a friend up and talk.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Living in Sin?

I am struck by the number of people that are living together and not married - both those who may be engaged for several years or those who just don't and won't get married.  And I am shocked that it is still a "big deal" or seen as something so wrong.
First, in the Bible it doesn't say anywhere that a marriage is this big ceremony that it is today. Nor does it say you must go down to your local government office and get a piece of paper to be official. In fact, the Bible only takes about the agreement or the commitment when it comes to marriage.  So if that is the case isn't committing to live with one another and to be only with that one person enough?
I don't know how to answer that...part of me says there is something about the actual wedding ceremony that allows this new step - this commitment - to be recognized by God. But the other part of me knows that many weddings happen in Churches and in front of God just for the pictures and there is no real meaning behind it. And plenty of couples committing to live together have a spiritual bond that involves the Godly.
What I do know is that it seems a bit crazy to me that our divorce rate is so high.  That people are getting married more and more times.  That when the going gets tough the commitment gets gone and this is not acceptable.  I would rather marry a couple who has been together, living together, and has survived some pretty difficult times - for then I know the commitment is true.

finding common ground

So this week is Pentecost and the Biblical passage of Pentecost is the account of when all of a sudden people of different backgrounds, languages and lands could all understand each other - no they were not speaking in a new language but indeed each speaking in their own language - the miracle was that each person's ears were opened so that they could understand languages that they couldn't speak...

With this in mind, I have been thinking about how we as Christians - no matter where we lie on the spectrum of theology can still find common ground, common language to work together and spread God's message.  I am very excited that some of the other pastors in town are going to be working with me and R and together working on bringing Christ's message to the world. I realize that we don't all stand on the same theologically understanding - in fact I am sure that some of us are REALLY far apart.  But I do think that the Spirit can still work within us to respect each other and to love each other enough to work together.

I have always felt as a pastor - or maybe even just as a Christian - was to be able to discern what God looks like for the person I am speaking with. And meet them where they are at - for Jesus always met his disciples wherever they were at.  To find a common ground and use language they are comfortable with.  For God is so vast.  And I think that is what we can take away from this today.  That although we might not be blessed with understanding each other when we speak a native language.  We can find understanding as Christians - as faithful followers.  Together with each other, we can find common ground to stand on, to build on and to work together. 

I do believe that we can, with the right attitudes, love and respect each other (our brothers and sisters) in Christ. And begin to spread the Gospel (the Good News) knowing that we can find common ground - common langauge through our faith and knowledge of Christ.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mommy Lessons

So first the mommy lesson - I thought I would bath L and then let her run around a little without a diaper.  It is so hot and she has been having a small heat rash around her legs and tummy where the diapers fit.  So, I believed that she would run naked for a little while and I would put a diaper on her - I figured there may be a mess to clean up but we have hard woods and I thought that was worst case - best case would be she would be able to roam free for a little and I would have the diaper on her before anything happened! BOY WAS I WRONG - the minute I put her down to play she stood up and started peeing!  And it wasn't just a small amount of baby pee it was in fact a waterfall of mega proportions.  And before I could stop her, she sat down in the mess and began to play - :/ UGH!  So we want back up to the tub to wash up and then mommy quickly put a diaper on - lesson learned!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The NEVER ending ding dong ditch...

so the one true negative to our house?? Our wireless doorbell is some how tapped into something else (I suspect the middle school across the street) and during school days the doorbell can go off as many as 12 times! Luckily usually only 3-4 times. 
Why this is horrible:
1. We have dogs
2. We have an infant
3. WE have dogs
4. often it is really EARLY in the morning

This morning was a perfect example.  We finally had a morning when our baby was sleeping in - miracle if I do say so.  But instead of having a blissful morning of an extra 1/2 hour of sleep at 6:50 in the morning the doorbell had to wake us from our slumber...and send the dogs racing down the stairs barking as if we were under attack - I wonder which one realized it was nobody first?  Either way...the baby woke up shortly after this wonderful example our canine defense system (which by the way doesn't bark when someone enters our house without knocking or ringing the doorbell). 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Theologically Rant

Maybe it is my youth, maybe it is my up bringing (spending time in both the north and the south) or maybe it is just the Spirit boiling the waters of baptism but I am ready for a change in the establishment of church!!
Now, I consider my theologically views to be somewhere in the middle but primarily pointing towards Jesus and not society.  I completely agree with the thought that if you truly are a faithful follower of Christ then you are not living within the bounds of what is consider socially acceptable but in fact you are often challenging the very foundations that the secular world stands on. 
I believe that, church has done a lot of hurt - in fact I know that church has done a lot of hurting.  In the name of Christ more un-Christ-like things happen then I would like.  In the last several decades in fact, this has come under the microscope of society.  This has to stop - Jesus didn't act like this.  There might be a lot of inconsistencies in the Bible but the one thing that is pretty clear (not only by Jesus but many of the OT prophets) is that it is not US but GOD who judges in the end.  In fact, Jesus calls out his disciples time and time again for making rash judgments!  And yet, people continue to make judgment calls in the name of Christ?! What gives??
Humanity is full of sin; humanity although made in the image of God does not have the many attributes of God and thus we need to stop living like we do. We are not more worthy then anyone else.
Jesus sat with those who were deemed unworthy and made them worthy! Therefore as Christians we need to put aside the desire to judge - we need to admit that it is not our job. For we do not know the whole picture.  Our job is to spread love - to teach and to preach.  To love our neighbors as our selves - to do to the least knowing that God works within all!
I am not a Christian who claims to know all the answers. I am a human who struggles every day with understanding the Word of God and the will of the Divine. 
I do know that the divine is far more vast then my mind can even imagine. For God is beyond all the words in all the human languages.  I do know that Jesus preached about love - a love that I can only hope to spread.  I do believe that the Spirit works within all people - often when we don't even know it or realize it. And I do not believe that religion is dead - I just believe that religion is in need of transformation.
So lets be real: church has hurt a lot of people in the name of Christ.  But I believe that through Christ's love and the determination of pastors and churches around the globe we can begin to rebuild those bridges that have been burnt.  One step at a time, one prayer at a time we can reclaim the name of Christ!

Classic Life

So,  I thought about starting out serious since I have several very serious things on my mind, but I thought I would start out funny - so here is what happen to me on Friday afternoon:
R (husband) was out doing Home Communion and L (daughter) was really fuzzy.  We are getting a few teeth in and we just couldn't let go of mommy.  So I sat down to nurse her and then I was hopeful that she would go into her own crib for a nap and I could work on my Festival of Faith (since the ad off to the side).  Of course, that wasn't going to happen.  We just fell asleep when I see someone pulling up the drive way :/ Oh-no I thought and sure enough before I could do/say anything the doggies were a barking, the door bell was a ringing and the little girl was UP.  Took care of that and sat back down and after a lot of crying, screaming and head butting (sleep is after all for wusses) L finally feel fast asleep.  I, as any mother has figured out, began to work on the computer with my child draped across me - praying that she slept for at least an hour. 
About 45 minutes later, my bladder was a wishing I hadn't downed two cups of water! So I carefully stood up and tried to lay her in her crib - NOT going to happen.  So I draped L a little further up my shoulder and successfully used the toilet with a sleeping child!  Proud of myself, I was washing my hands (one hand at a time) hopeful to get at least 15 more minutes of work in when...the cat came racing into the bathroom with both dogs hot on his trail and between the laundry detergent he knocked down and the barking and me trying to yell, quietly of course, at the animals I found myself with a screaming child who wasn't interesting in napping anymore!