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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

With the Power to READ

"SOUP - ER" "SOUP-ER" "SOUP-ER" my wonderful 2 year old is screaming at the top of her lungs this morning...I knew what she wanted.  She was waiting impatiently for me to turn on PBS and her one of her favorite shows "Super Why"
I don't mind this show, in fact I kind of like it and often have its theme song stuck in my head for the whole day.  The idea behind the show is solving our problems by looking in a book for the answer and always after jumping into a book looking for the answer the same thing happens...at some point they have to CHANGE the book in order to help out or in order to solve the problem.  They book characters are in a pattern of unhealthy behavior or behavior that isn't going to get them anywhere until the SUPER group helps them and changes the story.

I have been thinking a lot about churches lately and the patterns of destructive behaviors that continue to lead them.  So far in my short career of ministry, I haven't met many churches which are truly healthy - sitting on a committee that deals with all the Presbyterian churches in one area has only solidified this belief - that most churches are not truly healthy and those that think themselves to be are usually the most unhealthy.

At the end of the day, Super Why is a great example of how our churches work.  First, each person in our church continues the same behavior that they always have and thus often remains in a destructive pattern.  We see this when we look at the history of the churches.  In Judges there is a constant cycle of the people retreating to bad behavior and God letting them be conquered then, a Judge/ Prophet comes up from the Hebrews, they defeat the conquerors and then there is a period of peace.  And then the pattern repeats.  For the program Super Why it takes just the power to READ and the Dictionary power to change the pattern and change the super story.  For the Hebrews it took the appointing of a Judge and usually some sort of bloody battle.

The second lesson that we can glean from Super why - is the power of words.  And the reality that people use words for their own purpose and often to hurt people.  Usually one of the choices for you to change the words to is a "silly" choice. Often this silly choice would lead to a worse outcome.
Just as we often fail to read the whole of the Bible or we pick and choose pieces that we want to use for our own good.  So too do we do that to everything else we read, including blogs, Facebook posts and emails.  Unless we get to know the person writing or we read the whole of the story, we fall into the trap of reading more in to it then we are suppose to.  You see, as Christians, we do this to the Bible all the time and as Christians we do this to each other.

This is especially true when we don't get to know or care about the person behind the words.  When we read the Bible without knowing the cultural behind the words we aren't entering into the full conversation.  When we read people's words out of context then we aren't giving the all to those words.

It deeply saddens me that I have had this blog for several years now, sharing in full honesty the truth as I see it and have shared the link with people to read.  And yet, many people haven't taken the time to read. I have taken lengths to make sure that my full identity is not known to all who read this blog, in order to give some separation from my church ministry.  But at the end, if you have read all my blogs and if you know me outside of the world wide web, you know me to be a deeply honest person who stands up for justice and follows God with all my heart.  I have shared several personal stories on here about my convictions and my life.   I don't take back anything that I have written, I am however, deeply sadden that people haven't taken the time to actually know the whole of the story - before jumping to conclusions.  If you pick the words, then like the Super Why you are going to have a Super Big Problem.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

crucifixion, beheading, oh how?!

The sun was shining that day and as it sparkled through the window it lite up the old piney desk that I was sitting at exposing in great detail all its blemishes.  I was feeling just as sunny as that sun, with a tune in my head I had entered that classroom with a lot of expectation, enthusiasms and as always optimism.  I was ready to start this next chapter of my life and the shinning light that morning was like a sign from God that indeed this was going to be a good day, a good start to college.  My first class was a sociology class and from that first bright day I was hooked.  I remember being so enthralled reading about Stanley Milgram and his multiple experiments, so much so that later in life I bought and read his biography.  The man was brilliant.   

One particular experiment of his has always stuck out and struck me: the question he was trying to answer: How did Hitler happen?  How did seemingly good people allow Hitler to take over and how were the Nazis born?  His experiment? Get people to electrocute others  because someone in authority is asking, even if they are visible hurting.

His results?: It worked. People actually did just that.  And it proved a good point...people are willing to blindly follow leaders / people of authority and that most people, despite what they think, go along with the status quo.  I have said in post past that most "good" people actually usually do nothing and continue along trying to "keep peace" or be politically correct.  It actually takes an extraordinary person to stand up and actually state the truths ... it takes a person to be bold. 

And yet that is what Christ is asking us to do!  Jesus' life would have been meaningless if he didn't break out of the norms, stand up to those of authority and push for justice.  Jesus' life would have been meaningless if he did what was politically correct, if he only found ways to keep the peace or worse if stood back and did nothing.

I have asked in several blogs and in several sermons, where would you be during Jesus' crucifixion?  Would you be staying at the foot of the cross, offering to share Jesus burden or would you have been like many of those who welcomed him into Jerusalem on Psalm Sunday who were nowhere to be found.

It hasn't been many years since Hitler, it is still in our collective memory and the horrors of what happen to the Jews and any others that Hitler deemed unworthy should be an all to real and painful reminder of what happens when we stop thinking for ourselves, when we stop questions and most importantly we put aside our beliefs aside to keep the status quo.

The light that shines for me is that of Jesus.  I find hope in the Word of God and in the fact that as a true and faithful follower, I am called to question and to seek justice.  I am called to stand up even if that means I might lose my job, in order to follow God's will and not the will that fills pocket books.  I am called to demand that we as Christians live into a higher faithful following and to treat each other better. 

I am not ashamed to put into writing my beliefs.  I am not ashamed to call out those who willingly deceive nor am I going to hide the truth when asked.  Because I am a BOLD woman of God...and IF you get to know me, then you would know that. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

the sower

The pick was heavy and with each swing I could feel it slipping with sweat and rubbing against my skin, I knew that tomorrow I was going to have blisters but in that moment I didn't care - I was on a mission.  I was on a mission to build myself a vegetable garden. My husband and I marked out the corner of our small city lot that we would deem our garden. Russ moved several 2x4 in preparation for creating our space.  We were so excited to be bringing from seed food that we would eat.  We had no idea what was to come and what this small garden would bring to our community.  People started coming from all over the neighborhood to see our garden and to taste the fresh and often forgotten fruits of its harvest.  We feed everyone who walked past our rusty fence in order to view what we were growing.  It was amazing.  We learned a lot after our first year - that corn doesn't do so well in our soil and that we have rocky soil.  We spent a good portion of both the first two years pulling and digging up rocks.  We also spent a good amount of time those two years trying to keep the animals from eating the seeds before they grew into whatever it was that they were suppose to be.

And today, as I look out on what is left of the garden that has been abandoned and left for 2 years, I can't help but think of the parable of the Sower.  Jesus gives this parable in Matt 13: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

This is us - God has planted the Spirit in all of us!  Are we going to let the Spirit thrive in us growing and influencing others?  Or are we going to let the seeds get wasted - being eaten, scorched or choked? 

For Christians, it is really easy for us to declare ourselves Christians or to think that we are because we live descent lives that don't stir boats.  We can say that being a Christian is in general about being nice - but is it really??

It takes a lot of work to create a beautiful garden - I had blisters and a few buckets full of rocks to prove it!  It also, takes a discerning heart to know when to pick what you are growing - pick too soon and they won't ripen up and pick to late and they will be spoiled.   In our lives, we need to strive to be the seeds that not only produce good fruit but with strong roots and on good soil; sometimes this means that we need to change our direction or try something new.  Sometimes this means we have to move on - we cannot continue to plant seeds where their are rocks or weeds: we have to either remove them or move on.  And isn't that something we should be thinking about in our churches today...
  
Why do we as a denomination continue to spread our seeds sparsely (cause we are losing them fast!) upon soil an churches in which we know rocks, weeds and critters are lying in wait to suck our efforts away?  It is time for us to stand up and call out that we will only be planting our seeds on the rich soil - that we will HELP weed or pull rocks but until we stand as Christians willing to put a stop to the evil that comes from the critters (the birds) stealing away at our seeds we are not going to be doing anything to strengthen the Kingdom of God.