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.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Breaking Out

We have a cat, Leo.  He is an orange tabby and well he has a very bold personality.  He is also a love.  After tangling, and winning I might add, with a squirrel who dropped out of a drop ceiling in a house he has been an indoor /outdoor cat.  He longs for the outside and even though I worry ever minute he is outside, he is a survivor. Besides the squirrel time, he has come home with various dislocated joints from jumping, a puncture wound from a fight and somehow made it back home around encountering an unknown creature tearing a bunny limp to limp in our back yard. 

Often I think I am the revolving door man for our cat as he pops in and out throughout the day on his unknown adventures.  So you could imagine then that when we go on vacation it is very difficult for this cat. We have people come and feed the cat but he is forced to stay inside.  The minute we arrive home he greets us and darts out to his favorite stomping grounds.  Each time he returns with a present for us, recently he was not gone 5 minutes before returning home with a mouse.  Is he really glad to see us? Happy we returned? Or horrified that he had to live on only dry cat food and fancy feast for 4 days? 

Breaking out of the routine of life is good for us.  Be it vacation, time off or simply a missed turned. It always for us to look over what we have and we return with a different perspective.  Sometimes when we coop ourselves up too long we can't wait to break out.  This is how our gifts from God feel when we fail to use them - like Leo when we are on vacation.  This is what it can feel like when we don't exercise our faith or when we don't look to expand and challenge our faith. 

Wecan't fall into the trap of living our life in such a routine that we don't allow for the Spirit to work in us.  We can't allow the gifts God has given us to go unused.  Break outside the box you are in and find the adventure in life that awaits.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

POWER of Prayer

The power of prayer is real.  There have been several studies that prove that people who believe and people who pray can and do recover.  I have heard countless stories about people who were encouraged by those who prayed for them.  I know this woman who during her stay in the hospital battling an illness a friend of a friend, someone she hardly knew, told her that every day she would stop at 3:00 and pray for her.  No matter what the woman in the hospital was feeling, coming 3:00 a peace would hit her, before she noticed the clock!

I wanted to blog about the power of pray today because I am a little worried about said power.  Lately I hear or see (on social media) a lot of people asking for prayer requests or more like "please pray, cross your fingers or whatever you do..." Or I will see a ton of responses that say "prayers"

If we are going to say that we will pray for someone then we need to accept the power we have in that and we need to actually pray for them.  It is one thing for people to be on the church prayer list, it is another to look at that list each day and pray.  But we hold that power!

Every time I read a post on social media and see the exchange of the word 'prayer' I am hopeful that we are in a world that hasn't given up on God but has instead only given up on religion.  When I see the exchanges of people I know who don't go to church - I hope (and perhaps pray) that these exchanges are done with good intentions.  Intentions to actually pray. 

The power of pray is real.  Not just for people who are sick to recover or find healing.  The power of pray is the real way into which we engage a relationship with the Holy.  Prayer is the real way in which we invoke the Holy Spirit not only in our life but in the lives of others.  Prayer is the gateway to God. 

Prayers don't have to sound great, prayers don't have to use big words and even be all that "good."  Prayers only need to engage God and be from the heart.  Prayers don't have to be about saving physical lives, prayers can be to save your life though.  Prayers don't have to be savvy or even be able to quote scripture.  Prayers will however bring you closer to God.

I simply encourage you to pray.  Pray for others, pray for yourself...just pray.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day

In the beginning God created the Earth and all that is in it.  God saw all that was created and said "it was good."  And God created man and woman charging them to care for the world. 

This is such a nice thought.  But instead of caring for the Earth for the most part we have acted like the Earth was a possession to be used but the problem is when the Earth is used, there isn't going to be something new to replace it with.  We need to step up and CARE.  Unless we start caring our children's children will end up living in a world that we wouldn't recognize; eating manufactured food. 

Recently in trying to teach my children about limited resources I told them this parable:  It is like us going to a party that has a total of 20 guests.  But the host only made 30 cookies.  Every guest can have 1 cookie but not every guest can have 2 cookies.  The host explains that some of the cookies should be left for those who might arrive late.  What do you do?  Eat 1 cookie or 2.  The answer seems pretty easy - 1 cookie.  Yet we have been living in a country of greed.  A country of people who would eat 2 or perhaps even 3 cookies looking out for only themselves.  I may have scared my children...

But the state of our plant should be a thought that frightens us into action.  If we change now, if we take only what we actually need, if we take charge of actually caring for the earth instead of thinking of it as disposable we have the ability to make this a better place for all the next generations. 

It is our duty as Christians to care and think about sustainable living. Although I would love to advocate extremes, we don't have to live in the extreme to be doing good things for the earth.  Reusable coffee cups, recycling things and not wasting are simple ways we can start taking care of our corners of the Earth.  Buying locally, driving less (or a more efficient car) and turning off lights are simple ways we can make a more global impact on the Earth. 

On this Earth day, think about and pledge to God a way that you will personally start caring for the Earth instead of allowing the earth to care for you.  We are the ones that God charged with this great task why should we fail at it?   If we are allowing the materials of the world cloud our ability to care for the earth then we are not living into the call from the Holy.  Let us take this charge from God seriously and allow ourselves to not only see the beauty and all that is good from our Creator but live into our Creator's dream but caring for this beautiful planet.  Let us live into the beauty instead of living in the material world.  Let us live into the good instead of allowing the goods of human creation rule our lives.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Life is an Adventure

Early on in our marriage, we ended up going for 8 weeks to Cyprus for an archeological dig.  It was a fun time and yet at the same time challenging.  We worked hard, getting up early and working in the sun all day long.  We were given a mid-afternoon break but then worked into the evening.  It was laborious but rewarding.  It was fun.  At the end we came home exhausted, with the best tan of my life (I wore sunscreen all day every day and long linen shirts to keep my skin safe) and of course with tons of stories. 

Since that very fun moment of travel we have continued to talk about traveling aboard and yet haven't had time.  With school and then kids traveling far becomes more and more difficult - and money isn't the only factor. 

Yet I've learned that you don't have to go to some place far away or even unknown to have an adventure.  Each day we are given the opportunity to grab hold of life and go.  Each day we are given a new chance to take the adventure of a lifetime - life. 

We are blessed each day with a new day - and a new adventure.  Some adventures are less exciting like work or school.  Some adventures we rather not have, like dentists and doctors.  Yet if we look at each day as an adventure life becomes exciting.

The psalmist remind us over and over that "this is the day the Lord has made."  So let us see what God has in store this day and rejoice!  Let us take each day one adventure and a time.  Even when the adventure isn't to a foreign land but is instead taking us down the same path as yesterday.  When we give life a chance, surprises come our way.  Maybe today, my adventure will change my life.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Humor of Life

 Becoming a Pastor isn't just about a person deciding one day to just "do it." Instead it involves a process from God calling one, to responding to God, to sharing a journey with a denomination (and everything they ask) and also sharing the journey with a school.  While in seminary the school has several moments when they judge someone's readiness. 

Part of me has always disliked this process, who it is for us to judge who God is calling?  Part of me has always seen the true need for this process as I have met some people who were better serving God in other ways.  (yup, I judge too).  During the school part of this process some professors who didn't really know my husband and his journey to ministry were pretty judgmental.  In fact they put in road blocks.  Luckily for him he had a supportive denomination and God's favor (but that's a different story).  One of the meetings that was held during the mess, the professor said "when you look back on this in years to come, you will see we were right and you will laugh about this."  I told her  I would never laugh about this.   This was the least pastoral thing she could have said!

I am not laughing about it today.  However, I do believe that what happened to him had to.  Not because he wasn't meant for the ministry, but because without them doing what they did he wouldn't have had to fight for it and find his own call separate from mine.  They didn't know this at the time, we didn't know this but God did.  Because of their actions he ended up doing an extended internship with a church and a pastor that took a chance on having him when the school said no.  This internship shaped his ministry immensely.

There is a lot of life that is worth laughing about.  There is a lot of humor in both good and bad times.  But there is also a lot of our past that can be hurtful or painful to think about.  To brush away the bad in the past with humor doesn't live into how the past shaped who you are today.  Everything that has happened to us helped to shape who we are at this moment and at this time.  It brought us to this place and this moment; and God has been there the whole time. 

Although life can knock us down and people can misjudge our actions, if we have a relationship with God in which we trust, life can and will surprise us.  The school, representing God could have lead to anger at God - so many people confuse church actions with godly actions.  Yet it didn't lead to that instead it brought greater trust in God's plan. 

There are moments when the Bible, when church, when the authority of God can and should judge the actions of the people.  But there are plenty more times when people are allowing their own judgments to interfere with the will of God.  In those moments we cannot confuse the judge.  The only thing that is worth laughing at in hind-sight is that God has a plan for our lives - plans to uplift and prosper (Jer. 29) - plans that will and can supersede the intervention of well meaning humans.

Whatever path God has laid out for you - trust in it.  Even when others put blocks in your path; even when others change your course of direction; even when others invoke the authority of God,  put your trust in GOD. For the Divine Creator has a plan for you.  Don't allow those critics to define the Divine you know.  Don't allow others to put brackets around the Holy that you trust.  Don't allow others to define your worthiness in the sight of God.  For then and only then do you have the last laugh.  Not because of what happen, but because even they couldn't stop God. 

But most importantly, don't allow anger to help you walk away from God when your bone isn't really with the Holy but is instead with humans.  Jesus said come to me as little children, not because of how little their faith is but because of how deep their Spirit is.  They see and acknowledge the grandeur of God.  It is with age that we put restrictions around who God is or could be.  It is with age that we let anger for human actions to cloud the will of God.  It is with age that we let hypocrites define God instead of allowing our trust in the Holy to rise above. 

Allow your relationship with the Creator to rise above the world around you.  Allow your own faith to set you free to follow the Divine path set out for you - walking where God is calling you to.  Allow the "bad moments" to only define humans and steer yourself around the blocks that humans set before you.  Staying and believing in your relationship with the Divine will and does bring more blessings to your life.  It also shows you the humor in life is God always has a plan!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

GPS

Long gone are the days that before we jump into a car to take a road trip does my husband "look up" where we are going on any form of a map.  Instead we jump into the car, turn on the GPS and go.  This still bothers me.  I look up before we leave and I always feel uneasy when the GPS is taking us in a different direction then the "map" did.  I have yet to embrace this technology, especially since it has taken us on some interesting roads and once on a restricted road in Florida.  I dread the voice saying "re-routing" when you missed a turn! 

Yet for the disciples of Christ, after Jesus' death they needed a GPS.  Their leader and friend was killed.  They were lost.  We have all been there.  We have all lost someone and felt that emptiness that coexists inside us the days and perhaps even months after they have left this world.  The days after Jesus death they are in a daze I'm sure.  Not just of the fact that he has died but now in trying to understand what it means that he rose.  What does it mean for them?  For us?

In John there are only 56 verses from the moment that the woman find the tomb empty to the end of the book.  56 verses that concern Jesus' resurrection.  John has a total of 21 chapters.  Only around 6% of John is the story AFTER Jesus' death and yet it is because of Christ's resurrection that we are here today calling ourselves Christians.  It is because his disciples carried Jesus' teachings onward it is because the story still hasn't ended!

In the last chapter of John, 21, Jesus meets his disciples at the seashore.  The disciples are fishing and Jesus is at the seashore with a prepared meal.  They have been working long into the night and day and they are not catching anything.  Jesus tells them to cast their nets on the other side and in doing so they fill their nets with more then they could have hoped.  This is such a wonderful image for us today.  This is such a great passage for us and how Jesus' resurrection should inform us.

1. Jesus is on the shore.  Jesus representing the Kingdom of God is on the shore and those in the boat, his disciples, had to look towards it.

2. Jesus disciples had to change their way and listen to their Lord for their abundance

3. Peter may have zealously jumped into the water realizing it was Christ, but the others who stayed in the boat got their too, without rebuke.

4.  Jesus feed his people.

When we keep our lives pointing in the direction of the Kingdom, letting God into our lives.  When we continue to listen to God and to let down our own wills to follow God's  We will receive abundance.  No matter how we get to the shore or display our faith - for those who continue in the faith all will receive the same banquet.  For all who believe are not only welcome at the Table but more importantly are feed by God.

Listen to what God is asking of you.  Allow yourself to be transformed by the power of God in your life.  Turn to God's way and not only experience the abundance that Christ has to offer but feel the power of God filling you up!

Allow God to be your GPS and point your course towards the Kingdom of Heaven.  Let the Holy Spirit be the voice that guides you and trust that along your path you will be filled with all you need and then some.  Trust God for the GPS in your life and watch as your worlds transforms!!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Juice, blood and bones

So recently I had a profound conversation with my five year old about Jesus.  Once again the curse of being a PK (pastor kid, in her case pastors kid) she is forced to attend lots of religious days at church that don't always have childcare, so there she was on Good Friday listening to the passion story being read.  She had some profound thoughts on it...

1.  Some very bad people wanted to put Jesus to death on a cross.  And so they did.  It wasn't very nice of them and the crowd yelled for his death.  But then a guy stab Jesus and blood and juice, which they call wine, came out. 

2.  We eat Jesus bones on communion Sundays.  When I suggested that the juice and bread are suppose to make us remember Jesus and his death she proclaimed "Yes but you say "this is..."" so I guess she got me there.

Back to communion.  I have written about communion before and the profound meaning.  I am always amazed at the power of communion.  I am awestruck each Sunday when I offer communion at the nursing home to people who have forgotten so much and yet the act of communion breaks through the fog of dementia and transforms that moment into something they know.  I have witnessed as a someone simply held communion for they no longer could eat and watched as the power of God in their hands gave them strength and comfort.  I have listened as person upon person has expressed the power of sitting in a pew, consuming communion and feeling connected to all those who come before and will come after.  Communion is powerful.  Communion is a sacrament for in this moment we are connected, for real, with God.  God is in communion.  In most churches, an Ordained person has the right and ability to offer communion - to invoke and invite the Holy and Divine presence into the moment.   For most Protestants we have only 2 sacraments, Communion and Baptism.  What makes them sacred is our acknowledgment of the Holy grandness that embodies the elements - water, bread and wine (or juice). 

And so, back to my conversation with my daughter.  Here we are in the car talking about blood, juice, bones and bread.  She clearly marked the idea that the wine is from the blood of Christ's womb, collected in a cup.  And she won't let me get off the hook of the words she hears each communion Sunday "this is my body broken for you" and "this is the cup of the new covenant, Christ blood shed for you."  And here she is trying to figure this out.  Jesus said, come to me as little children not because of how little their faith is but because of how profound there faith can be.  Children aren't afraid to ask questions, aren't afraid to explore their faith and most importantly are trying to reconcile the faith the feel and the religion they see.  When we don't let children or ourselves explore or examine these questions and feelings we do God and our church a huge injustice. 

As we explored Jesus death and thus the gift of love and grace and of course the one day inherited kingdom.  She asked why we don't celebrate communion every Sunday.  I reminded her that I do, where I work/ celebrate church but that Daddy's church serves only once a month.  She asked why we all wait and eat the bread and drink the juice together.  She explored what it means to feel Jesus.  I told her that when we share in communion we invite Jesus to be with us and in those moments Jesus is.  She asked "Isn't Jesus in my heart always?" Of course!  How simple it truly is!

We celebrate communion to be in community with each other and Christ.  We celebrate to be in real presence of our Savior who suffered death on the cross.  Holy week is a week full of scary and bad things.  Full of bad people and death.  Full of anger and evil.  Holy week should besides making us sad, scare us all into realizing the true evils that mankind is capable of.  It reminds us that the ideas of a few can play out into allowing for evil to sweep into the majority. 

But it should also remind us that despite the evils and the bad things happening Jesus' teaching and miracles remained.  Jesus' didn't change that week.  Jesus taught told his disciples this would happen.  Jesus washed their feet and told them he came to serve.  Jesus while dying on the cross shed blood and water.  Jesus wasn't in the tomb for he defeated death and ascended to heaven. 

Through communion we are nourished in our faith.  We are brought into community with Christ and every Christian of time and place.  It is this sacred nourishment that feeds us and our Spirit so that Jesus is always in our hearts.  It is this moment each week, each month, whenever possible that connects us with the greater Divine and fill us.  However we experience communion as we literally or symbolically eat the bread and wine we are reminded of the blood shed and the body broken so that we might be offered new life.  We are assured that our sins are forgiven and that in Jesus there is new light.  Each time we take the elements we are offered a greater relationship with the Divine. 

Despite the laugh that might come when we heard her words about Jesus bones or the juice.  Communion is a truly divine and special moment.  It is not to be taken lightly.  Her concerns and her thoughts were coming from her heart and the next time she accepts communion, she will do so knowing she is filling up on Jesus.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I'm an author




So I went out and did it, published a book!  It weaves stories from wonderful inspirational people I've met along my ministry journey along with the Book of Ruth.  Learn about the Book of Ruth from inspiring people!  Check out my page "Books" for updates on where / how to purchase.  Right now you can purchase a hard copy at the link below.  Soon it will be on amazon and kindle!

You can purchase my first book at:

https://www.createspace.com/6134362

Sunday, April 3, 2016

And just like that...

...it all changes!

I can't imagine the emotional roller coaster Jesus' disciples have been on. Jesus death, the fear of their own lives and then Jesus' resurrection and commission to go out and spread the news.  Wow!

This truly proves that in an instant life can change and it is in this instants of change that we need to turn to God for strength.

No matter how much we prepare, we are never prepared for those moments.  Jesus prepared  his disciples for his death.  He spoke about how he must die and yet when it happened they didn't know what to do.  No matter how plainly he said it, when it happened they acted just as anyone of us would have - not sure what to do next.  We see this in all the Gospels - weather they don't believe the woman, the woman are afraid to tell people about the empty tomb, Jesus finds his disciples in a locked room or it takes weeks for them to begin spreading the Word.  The disciples just didn't know how to respond to the death and resurrection of Christ.

In an instant their life changed.  They went from following Christ, to fearing their life, to watching him die, to learning he rose.   Our life can often change.  We spend much of our life living ordinary lives and living into routines and when that is challenged or changed we often find ourselves in the same state of lost.  But we are called to look upon our faith. We are called to look to our God for strength and we are reminded of the grace of Christ.

Look to God this day for strength.  Look to God in prayer and allow the grace of God to give you hope and light in all situations.

Life might be full of uncertainty but if you keep your faith and place God as your center then you don't need a life full of certainty for you have a God that anchors you, encourages you and most of all fills you with hope!  Let that shine in your hearts today!