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.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Security

"OH NO!" my sister screamed in a panic voiced, we were traveling on a road trip and in a frantic panic she was searching the middle section of our mini van for her "puffy."  Puffy was her favorite stuffed animal that she slept with every night. In a second panic attack the whole car was searching for the animal.  My parents had gotten off the highway and there we all were in a gas station parking lot tearing the car apart..to no avail.  We ended up turning around and driving back to the hotel in search for her puffy, not finding it there - as the room had already been cleaned.  My parents bought her a new "puffy" and we went on our way.  Although my mind is fuzzy now, somehow or other we did end up finding her original puffy.

I am sure everyone has a story like this.  My daughter wore the same shirt for 41 days straight when she was 2.  We washed it at night and in the morning she stood by the dryer waiting for it to be done. I thought we would never transition beyond that shirt.  But we did.

Shirts, blankets, stuff animals, whatever it is we all have our own security system.  As Christians we find that security in our faith in God.  We tactfully touch that security system through the Bible - especially favorite passages or two.  But I would like to boldly proclaim that no passage does this better then Psalm 23.  The Lord is My Shepherd.  A powerful security for all of us. For those who have faith and follow in God's will prosperity and safety are ours.  God isn't promising in this Psalm the Disney fairytale life - but is instead promising protection and love.  God's staff with protect and comfort me ... all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!  Powerful words of comfort and peace. 

Psalm 23 reminds us that life is well life and we will walk into the valley of death a time or three, but with our faith intake we will be able to walk out stronger and better.  With Christ all things are possible.  With God all things can be accomplished. 

Let us use this Psalm as our own Security - security in faith - go to bed with the words and arise to the words and believe in them - knowing and trusting that the Lord is Your Shepherd. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Lenten Sabbath

So as you may notice I had a large gap of Lent and then Easter without posts.  I am happy to say that was a joyful and sleepless time of welcoming a new baby into our household.  I love babies and love being a mom. 

Calvin always suggested that Lent was a time to add a spiritual practice to our life and not just about taking away some thing.  He was encouraging us to think about our life and not just give up something that we would once again allow to consume us after Lent but instead try to add a Spiritual practice to our life that would perhaps stay with us beyond Lent.  Maybe he had seen / experienced the understanding that one needs 6 weeks before something new becomes a habit; and Lent as it turns out is 5 + Holy Week = 6 weeks, that magic number :)

So this Lent we added a baby to our life.  And through the feedings, the sleepless nights, the changing of diapers and the everyday chaos of a family of four already it was hard to find the time to sit with the Spirit.  I joked before hand that Calvin probably never thought adding a baby would be a good Lenten practice.  And it wasn't!

Although I guess we are now in the routine of life with the new addition.  Adding anything else Spiritually during that time was impossible.  And yet, I felt the call and the struggle of the Lenten session to think and respond to this irony.  As our lives get busier and we accept just one more thing on our plates; as we challenge ourselves at our workplaces or in the gym how do we make room for the Spirit?

It isn't that we are becoming less religious, it is that people are seeking religious outside of the church walls and often on ones own.  But how do we remain open to those spiritual disciplines when we busy people.  When our lives are full or when we are engulfed with the everyday chaos?

My challenge for myself and others is to, even in the chaos, invite a conversation with the Holy.  Look into where we leave the Divine out and where we can invite the Divine in.  Look at our relationship with the Creator not as a chore or one more thing on our plates, but instead as a relationship with a good friend, or family member, one that needs to be maintained.  


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sometimes we fail boys

"Here brother, let me help you with that."
"ok, thanks sissy."
"You welcome! You make such a pretty princess"
"oh OK"
"Wait you need hair!....here you go."

As I glance into the playroom, my son is once again dressed as Rapunzel, equipped with long hair, ready to climb up our "tower" and play with his sister who is also dressed as Rapunzel because she is of course the coolest.  Some days however he is dressed as Anna while my daughter is Elsa.  And there are of course days were he is proudly Batman - today happens to be one of those days.

But I am shocked at the double standard that even plays out in my own head when I see this.  I always come to the conclusion that there should be nothing wrong with allowing my son to play princess or with dolls or love Dora.  And yet, society says that those things are wrong.  I have had several family members question his wearing of mommy heels and yet when my daughter does it is OK? 

In our strive to say that girls can do anything that boys can do, we have failed our boys.  Why can't boys do anything girls can do?  Or the bigger question why can't we say that?

The state of boys in America is bad.  Although boys still slightly out number girls, I have read several articles which state that boys are not graduating high school at the same rate and what saddens me more is that College Campus have more female attendance.  Now the feminist in me is happy that girls are there.  And the female minister in me knows that girls still have some fighting to do.  But the mom-of-a-boy in me says society has to change to help our sons.

Our sons need to be taught to be compassionate and nurturing which happens when they play with dolls.  Dress-up play allows them to use their imagination which in turns helps their intelligence.  But most importantly, our sons need to know that we love them no matter who or what they are or do. 

Let us be the generation of parents and child who can break this cycle of holding down one gender or the other instead of uplifting every child and helping them reach the adult they were born to be.  Let us show our children love - unconditionally, joy, support and more importantly encouragement so that our world tomorrow will have better adults and leaders who accepting who they are can lead us to a better tomorrow.  Let us not leave our boys behind while at the same time still putting ceilings up for our daughters or we will end up with a very sad looking tomorrow. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Darkness into the Light

Wrapping my coat around my shivering shoulders, I began the long descent into the darkness and the damp.  I was entering a cavern, taking a step below ground into the earth.  It was cool wet air; there was very little light; the spaces were tight and the ceilings were low; but more importantly there were bats!
Every Easter I recall the memories I have as a child going to caverns, which are many.  Is it the darkness of them, perhaps.  Probably, however, it is the tomb like feeling I give to these caverns.  When I hear the Passion story and the tall of Jesus being put into a tomb and a large rock rolled over it.  I can't help but think of the tombs carved into mountains and the cold damp shiver of caverns.  Stone is not a giving substance - lay on it for too long and the back will confirm that!  Stone is often cold and without light to reflect on the stone service, stone is dark.
Although we celebrate with light dress and Easter egg hunts; although we celebrate the joy of salvation on Easter, Easter is in many ways a holiday surround by darkness.  Unlike Jesus' birth on Christmas, on Easter we are celebrating his death.  All-be-it a death that brought salvation to us, the passages of celebration soon turn to passage of fear darkness.

The Sunday after Easter we are reminded of this as we recall the disciples sitting in a dark and locked upper room, most probably in mourning of the loss of Jesus (although not complete loss).  And yet another miracle happened!  Jesus appeared.  Jesus their friend and teacher, Jesus the miracle maker, stood in front of them.  And into that darkness brought the true joy and light of Easter.

It is easy to come to church once a year, or perhaps twice, and celebrate the joy of Easter - the joy of Jesus.  It is another thing to in the midst of your darkest times find and see the God who dwells within even the darkness.  Jesus entered the locked room of the disciples and found them.  We too can find Jesus standing in our darkness and our own locked rooms, we just need open our eyes. 

Jesus did not come to redeemer those who find themselves righteous but instead came to offer grace, forgiveness and thus salvation to those in the darkness seeking the light.  Peter denied Christ, Thomas questioned and all proved to have doubts either in themselves or in the resurrection of Christ.  Yet God did not give up on them or turn from them.  Jesus did not go out and find another group of 12 to send out and spread his message now that he rose from the dead - finding their behavior to be unacceptable.  Instead Jesus entered the locked room of his disciples and gifted them with the Holy Spirit - gifted them with the Divine! 

Let us realize the power and redemption that is found in Christ for all of us who believe!  Let that power sink in, even into the darkest of our thoughts and unbelief.