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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kitty is now a cat?

So this morning we awoke to a dead mouse just outside our bedroom door.  Luckily it was my husband and not I that discovered that pretty prize. So our kitty of two years who up until now has been anything but a hunter has finally mastered the skills.  A part of me is horrified that he would do that and a part of me is glad that there is now one less mouse in my house!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Living WORD

One of the things that makes John my favorite Gospel is the wonderful language that John uses.  His language reminds me of the poetic verses found in much of the Old Testament but especially the psalms.  And as a true fan of the psalms it is no wonder, that I enjoy reading John.  

But John’s language can be deceiving.  For there a many levels to Johns writings - and John begins with a creation story.  All of the Gospel begin by telling about Jesus and how he came to be on earth.  But the other three Gospel tell the story of how Jesus the human was born into existence.  John however, beings his differently - and poetically.  He begins by bringing in two concepts - not necessary new but concepts non-the-less that needed to be stated.

The first concept is the “Word of God”
    Now, John means Jesus when he is referring to the Word.  John is saying that the WORD is God’s manifestation on Earth.  God’s manifestation on Earth.  John is also giving authority to Jesus by saying that he is the WORD.   For words have power - during this time, leaders - kings, people of power and importance would set decrees - laws that must be followed and they would inscribe their laws and have their laws read out loud.  Those who control the written word - the scribes - had much more power and influence then the average Joe who couldn’t read or write.  So by saying that Jesus is THE WORD - he was making a statement about God’s law, God’s rule, God’s way being above all else, especially above the Earthly laws set in place.  Jesus’ teachings thus are of a higher power then any other’s.

The second, and important concept is that Jesus was around at the beginning of Creation
    This might seem like a duh moment to us, but this was a huge controversy and revelation for those during this time.  The connectional relationship between God, Jesus and the Spirit was just beginning to be understood.  The divinity of Jesus now fully being understand would mean that Jesus was with God in the beginning and be of God.  So John is expressing this new understanding that the early Christians were developing.  

You see, although Jesus taught much of this, although Jesus told his disciples time and time again about things - these were such new concepts a took awhile for some of them to sink in - for people to get it.

Today the Bible is the Word of God.  Why? Because the Bible is the manifestation of God on Earth.  For it is through the Bible that our relationship with the Holy can be developed, unpacked and strengthened.  Today, this is a very controversial subject, some believe that the Word is complete and flawless and should be followed to the T; while others believe the WORD was inspired by God but ultimately it was a human with free will who wrote it.  Today, I am not going into that controversy not because I am afraid of offending people or causing a stir but because to me that isn’t the true question behind the WORD of God - we shouldn’t be asking if it is literal or through the spirit what we should be asking is how is the WORD is living and working within our lives - and how do we approach the Bible willing and able coming into conversation with that WORD.

And this is where the idea of the Living WORD comes into play.  But what is this idea?  Living WORD? No, I don’t actually believe that the Bible eats and breaths - and I do hope you don’t either.  No, I don’t believe that the Bible is in fact alive - but what I mean, what John means, what the Christian community general means by Living WORD is that as it is the manifestation of God here on Earth, it is not only still relevant but that it invites us into conversation.  We say that the word is living because the Word is still acting in our lives and in the world today.  It is living because of our interaction with it and the fact that God’s will can still be understood through the Words.  More amazingly is that God’s self can be manifested through the reading of the Bible and presence felt.

Yup, the Bible invites us into conversation.  The Bible invites us to NOT just read it’s passages, NOT to just memorize a saying here or there, NOT just to quote the 23 palms.  The Bible invites each of us into conversation so that God’s will can be understood and felt.

The WORD is living - so long as we continue to enter into conversation - a two sided conversation of not just reading and memorizing but of study, of interpretation and most importantly of listening to God’s response.  

But the WORD is dying...the WORD is dying... Wait?! What?  I say this because today, too many people are failing the integrity of the Bible - failing the authenticity of God. Let me explain...

When the different books of the Bible were written and eventually put together, they were not read and/or understood by all.  You see for the Hebrews Rabbis - the Priestly people were the only ones who read the Bible and understood it.  In fact, today, the Jewish faith continues to keep the scared books in the Hebrew language and it is through education that the Jewish people can learn to read this scared text.  When the New Testament was put together, it was done in Greek and only the Church leaders, or well educated people, had access to be able to read the Bible.  During the reformation, Calvin and Luther pushed for the Bible to be written in common languages and be available to all God’s people - the idea of the Priesthood of all Believers.  And thus began a mad dash to translate.  Some translators were better then others and years later we still have thousands of different translations of God’s word today.  
   But the Word was written within a context - the Word was written to people with a certain understanding of every day cultural norms.  And this context has changed - this context is in no way the same today as it was.  And this is were the Word’s relevance gets mucky.  
    For you see - for the Word to truly be relevant we need to be able to have a conversation with that Word - we need to understand completely what that Word is telling us - not just in today’s context but in it’s own context.  For there might be more revelation there.  Studying the Bible is more then just reading and being able to quote it.  It is truly looking at the WHOLE picture and coming out with a new understanding. And when the WORD is read with authenticity in sight then our eyes are opened to the amazing understanding of God - but when we read the bible for our own gain and with the self centered idea that context doesn’t matter then the revelations we glean are not of God’s will but of humans.  
  I am not saying that one has to be a Biblical scholar to read the bible and I am grateful to our forefathers who paved the way to make God’s word available to all.  But today, we have lost sight of what true Biblical study means and this has lead to a great corruption in our religious community.  One is which the will of God is being mangled with the will of people.  One in which more evil then love is being spread in God’s name.  One is which many people don’t want to be a part of, heck the Campus Crusaders of Christ just took Christ out of their name for fearing that the name of Christ prevented them from being able to spread his message!


Many people of Jesus’ time thought he was just another crazy man going around preaching about things - until they met Jesus - until the witnessed Jesus in action and felt his Spirit.  People thought he wasn’t much - until his death and resurrection!  Until he fulfilled the Old Testament.
And that is the same with the WORD of God - you have to get to know it.  Not just the words, not just memorizing the lines or what the English translator decided to use...but you need to study the bible...study the context, question the word choice, look up words - investigate common items Jesus time.  What did an actual shepherd do?  What did a mustard seed turn into?  what was a lepar?
The other day I was listening to a Christian Radio station and the DJ asked people if you were stuck in an elevator for 1 hour with Jesus what would you ask him?  He wanted real and honest answers.  Someone called in and said that he would ask Jesus if he was upholding his message.  That like a child seeks assurance from their parents he would seek assurance from Jesus that he is indeed teaching Jesus’ way and spreading God’s message.  
I enjoyed this person honesty for this is my own struggle.  Am I upholding Jesus’ message? Am I doing right by God - isn’t that all of our struggle?  But I do know that when we enter into conversation, willing and able to listen to God’s response.  We are coming with integrity.  
But too many are coming with agendas.  Too many are using Christ’s name to puff up their own ego.  And this is all over - it is on both sides of the theological spectrum and more shameful is throughout our political world.  The media coverage is bias towards radical theological perceptives.  There are several seminaries throughout the US with Biblical scholars still writing great books on the character of God and the manifestation of God in our lives and YET when the media need to have a special guest to talk about the Christan perspective, they don’t ask one of them...
Calvin and Luther didn’t bring the WORD of God to the common people so that the WORD would become a dead grouping of verses but instead brought it to the common people so that the conversation with God could expand and the Spirit could move even further, reaching more people and allowing God’s salvation to come to all.  
Let us break the cycle.  Let us begin to truly enter into conversation with God through the Word. For only when you are truly in conversation with the text - understanding and studying the historical, contextual, translational aspects - then God’s revelation happen.  Only then can the Word become living and relevant.  

cloth diapers

Well, I am writing a blog on cloth diapers - there are tons of blog topics out there on this subject but I am writing because I truly feel that they are the way to go.  I know that this might mean that you get closer to some of those nasty diapers then you would like (and believe me I KNOW this).  But the reality is diapers not only spend WAY too much time decomposing, they also take up a TON of our garbage space.  I don't know if you took a hard look at how many diapers you personal use each day and then multiplied by how many children their are in diapers across the country (or world)! 
Not only that look at the money you spend...cloth is a savings.  Yes, they cost a bit more up front but in the end they not only save you thousands but they help save the planet.

If you have questions or need more information - especially on washing I would be willing to post again!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Festival of FAITH

This Saturday we are coming together for a FESTIVAL OF FAITH

July 23, 2011

I do believe that all those who are suppose to be there will be there!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spiritually Healthy

What does this mean? More importantly what does it mean to be Spiritual but not religious?  For how can you fill your Spirit without being religious? 

I have been thinking and pondering about this lately.  When Jesus is tempted after his 40 day fast in the wilderness (or during it, depending on how you translate the Greek), the first temptation is to make food.  Satan tells Jesus to make rocks into bread so that Jesus would have something to eat.  Throughout the Bible there are references to times when food (real food) through prayer feed everyone.  There are instances of manna during the exodus led by Moses; there is the famous or infamous feeding of the 10,000 with the bread and fishes.  And yet, Jesus hungry from not eating doesn't break down to Satan's temptation.  In fact, we have quite a few mystics 1500-1600s who use fasting as a way to get in touch with their Spiritual side.  Even today, during lent many Christians "give up something" in order to "get closer" to God.  So what does this ramble mean?  Satan wasn't tempting Jesus to make bread out of the rocks to feed Jesus actual hungry - Satan was trying to break down the relationship Jesus had to God (the Spiritual).  Satan was trying to break down Jesus' Spiritual health.  Jesus went into the wilderness to be with God - to take a break and refresh his own Spirit and soul. 

I know that this is such an important lesson.  As we are all crazy busy this summer and running around trying to get family day trips packed into busy work weeks it is easy to let ourselves and especially our relationship with God get put on the back burner.  It is easier to turn the rocks into bread then to spend time sitting and listening to God's word for us in our lives.  But if we aren't in balance - if your whole being isn't in balance then we aren't our best. We just ARE NOT.  We would not expect an star runner to run a race with oout stretching their  hamstring or a pulled muscle yet we don't take care of our Spiritual health.

And to all of you who are Spiritual but not religious - if you believe in God then you are religious even if you belong to the non-religious aspect of religion.  For religion is how we act on our Spiritualism.  You might be practicing a mesh of religious practices, you might be denying all together the practice of any but the reality is, even if it is atheism, we are all practicing something.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Love the country living

So this week has been yet another exciting reminder of the fact that we live in the country.  On Tuesday morning, I came down stairs just in time to watch my cat leaping and running wildly after something which about 4 sec. after I registered that he was indeed catching something, I heard the horrible cries of said creature.  The loud screams were high pitched they sounded like a large animal and I will admit I was very worried about what I was going to find as I approached my kitchen.  I signed with relief as I realized it was a mole (or a vole? I don't know the difference).  Anyway, I screamed for Russ twice, but of course this big old house is way to sound proof for him to hear a thing.  The cat was now at this point a little freaked by the little creature - for he was close but jumped back each time the scream of terror came from it's little vocal cords.  So with cat in tote, I sought Russ.  We were able to catch him and release him back out into the world, in hopes that he will stay there!

Later that day, we headed for a hike.  This has become our Tuesday afternoon routine.  We were following the path for awhile and knew that soon there would be the turn of the path to loop around.  We took what we thought was that turn...but it turned out it wasn't right (although it did bring us back to our car!).  The bad thing was there were tons of little yellow flies (horse or sweat flies) which began attacking and stinging us.  Luckily they weren't going after Livia...but me OMG they loved me!  I have over a dozen bites in my head, plus three on one arm, two on another and two on one leg! AWFUL!

Was that enough for the week? One would think so but nope!  Our cat, who is an indoor cat, has been spending time on our enclosed porch...he loves our fresh air and the great breeze...but did I think? NOPE.  He is spending all this time in limbo between the outside and the inside world and I didn't even think that I should be treating him for fleas (or putting the flea collar back on him)....and so of course, those flies, in search for fresh blood found the fur of Mr. Leo Kitty to be a warm, welcoming and inviting home. 
UGH!  One flea path, 4 carpets treated in precaution, 2 couches treated just in case and several loads of laundry later - I hope my house is flea free!  I do believe we caught them early.  We sprayed down the porch and allowed him back out today.  I have never before had a flea problem and I hope we caught it early.

Moles (Voles?), Flies and Fleas O My!
We can't have these, Bye Bye

Friday, July 8, 2011

family

So, one thing about me is that I have a pretty huge family that is spread throughout the US but due to tons of family dynamics, I only see and have a close relationship with a dozen or so of them.  It really is unfortunate. Thanks to facebook, I have been able to begin to make connections with many more but there are still some I couldn't pick out of a line up. 
Last night, I was able to make one more connection.  It was great! One of my cousins who I haven't seen in about 8 years and before that it had been 4 years and before that about 10....you get the picture. 

He reminded me about my family tree project.  I have been working on for some time and hopefully at some point can have a website established just for my family tree.  

Mommy Confession

So lately Livia has been making bath time a little more difficult - don't get me wrong she loves the tub.  She has graduated to the 'real' tub and is having so much fun splashing around.  But she doesn't like getting any business done she just wants to play.  So she fights getting wash and especially fights the shampoo.  Recently I noticed what I thought was a small spot of skin peeling on the top of her head at the bridge of her forehead.  I figured she had a little dry skin from the shampoo I can't always get off as I think I should there...well I was half right.  The other day, I decided to investigate what it was, so I slowly took my finger nail and tried to scrap a piece off.  Turns out it isn't skin peeling at all - it is in fact shampoo that is stuck to her forehead - slimy and a bit sticky. 

So, yup.  There you have it, lesson learned and I will get all the shampoo out. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

going, going, gone to number 28

So this is how an auction made me a Swedish Red-neck

Last night my husband saw that there was an estate auction not too far away.  Seeing as we do indeed like auctions and you never know what you are going to get we decided to check it out. Some day there is going to be a sermon on stuff and estate auctions.  But more to the point this women happened to have been married to a funeral director so this was not just any estate auction this house was once a funeral home. The auction included an autopsy table and everything! What a conversation piece.  RW wouldn't let me buy it. So when we arrived we noticed these two very nice couches and in fact this one I fell in love with.  We decided to stick around and see what they went for. 

Wow did the whole thing take FOR-EVER! With that, we decided it was going on too long and we had to get our volvo if we were going to get the couch home (we only had my small toyota at that moment.)  So RW went home, dropped off L with a babysitter (how could we get the couch in the back of the wagon other wise? and left me at the auction.


This wasn't my first attend auction but it was my first bidding auction - wow do things go fast.  All of a sudden the couches were up - the auctioneer said and now on to the lot of couches - Buyers Choice - is what I thought I heard and boy did I want the white one.  So, he started the bidding - rather high,  I figured I would wait until someone bid and then I would go - $35 was the first bid and I fought my way winning at $50.00 - and then the bomb shell! I bought BOTH couches Buyers lot - paying 50 dollars a piece! I said I don't think my husband is going to be happy about that - but I had already won - I was locked into both couches.  Next thing I know they are trying to throw in a third for free - NO! I said and so there I was with a volvo wagon on it's way and two couches in my number.

Now these couches are nice - the are real Victorian couches both re-done in the late 80s.  Gorgeous couches that you would see in a number of funeral parlors. And RW arrived with me sitting upon one couch hopeful that we could get the second home.  And so one couch went into the back of the wagon and the other couch went on the roof rake.  The one sticking out of the back and the other just barely legal.

Did we lose our minds? Maybe but the couches look GREAT!  Do we have a new story to tell yes.  Will our children one day be horrible embarrassed of us - yup!