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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Advent

This Advent I will be offering two different podcasts:

1. Blue Advent: finding Hope, Peace, Joy and Love in a season of longing.
     In today's world we may not know what will come, we may never know peace in the here and now.  We may realize that our days are filled with suffering, longing and grieving with only bursts of joy.  Our dreams and hopes may never come to reality and our loved ones may never give to us the love we need back.  In today's world, Christmas begins as early as Halloween and so do the feelings of isolation, loneliness and even failure.  Yet the time before Christmas (which is actually the 12 days from Christmas to January 6th (Epiphany) is Advent and Advent is actually a time of anticipation.  It is a time in which we wait, we will and we listen.  It is a time for us to reflect on the hope, peace, joy and love that can be found in God.  It is a time to realize that the hope in Christ is one not of this world but the hope found in the Kingdom of God.  It is a time to understand that the peace of Christ does not mean that the world has no wars but that each of us in our hearts can find peace of forgiveness, grace to give others love instead of hate and an inner peace of knowing the Holy Spirit.  It is a time to know that joy can be found when we open our hearts to the world and acknowledge the little joyful moments of our days.  It is a time to feel the love of God that showed this love to the world through a humble infant baby that didn't come in splendor and wasn't revealed to the king but came into the world to ordinary people to save the lowly.   This love transcends the love of those around us.  This Advent is a season to remember that when we find what we need in a relationship with God, then no matter how much the world and our life seems to be difficult we will and can find and give more in the relationships we do have.  Join me.

2. Star Wars an Advent Journey
     Join me, my husband and a few special guest as we embark on the journey of Advent.  So much of our personality and/or spiritual journey comes not only from what we know of church but from what we watch and see on television.  The media in all its forms both informs our spirit and is informed by religious ideals.  And so, here we are.  Two pastors speaking and talking about the pop culture around us and how that is both informed and shaped by religion and how our own spirituality is informed and shaped by what we watch.  Star Wars plays nicely into the themes of waiting and advent.  There is much waiting, there is much anticipation.  There is the flight of one figure from good to evil back to good.  There is a journey of isolation and redemption offered to another figure.  We have much to discuss and more excitement to bring you...so join us.

Starting next week I will offer you links to these sites. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving woes

As we head out for our Thanksgiving shenanigans I am always reminded of the Thanksgivings of my childhood.  My grandmother would host, her kitchen would be covered with food prep and her eat-in kitchen table would be filled with snack foods to keep us from touching her main dishes.   The back counter in her kitchen would be filled with pies, she always made a mincemeat even though no one eat it.  She had cranberry sauce, even though more than half would be left.  And she had a house full of people.  Sometimes I reflect that I am not sure how we all fit in there, but we did.  The kids often had their own table simply because they didn't fit at the grown up tables, I remember when a few of us graduated to the grown-up table which happened because one of my uncles and his family moved out of town.  He was the first but slowly and surely the dynamics of our family changed.  Divorces, moves, remarriages, and jobs complicated things; of course death did too.
The Thanksgiving table, the meal and the people have changed drastically in my lifetime.  We had years when it was just my mom, my sister, me and "random guests" who had nowhere else to go.  They were fun times when we shared in a meal and an experience with those just as familiness as us at those moments.  We had many a Thanksgiving with friends.   As I aged, I have opened my home to thanksgiving and have spent plenty of them with my in-laws. 
Families are not the sizes they once were and my Thanksgiving table may never be as filled as my grandmothers.   However, Thanksgiving isn't a time to be dwelling in what you don't have or whom you miss.  Sure, especially those who are heading into your first holiday without a loved one there will be sadness.  But we don't live in a world in which we cannot be both sad and happy.  A world in which we cannot long for the past and be excited about the future.  A world in which we can be thankful for our memories of Thanksgiving past and willing to make new memories of this Thanksgiving. 
I want my children to remember Thanksgiving with the same longing happiness that I have for my childhood Thanksgiving.  I want my children to grow up knowing that memories, good times, can be made even when life is complicated and family isn't perfect.  I want my children to continue on celebrating this tradition not because they have the day off or because it is the only time of the year they cook turkey but because the very act of sitting down at a table surrounded by the familiar foods of Thanksgiving flush them with a lifetime of happy memories and fill their hearts with the comfort that they were loved.  That they were blessed in life.  That despite what our Thanksgiving looked like, where we were or who we were with that on that day we could surround ourselves in thankfulness for the abundance of our life and make memories that will and do last a lifetime.
So this week, no matter where you are or who you will be with (or who you will not be with) take some time to give thanks.  To lift up in longing all those celebrations of past and remember to make a new memory, one of joy and thankfulness.  No matter how lonely, lost or sad this Thanksgiving may be for you; trust in the joy that once was and the hope of the future that will be. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Blessings Abound

It is that time of the year, Thanksgiving countdown!  Facebook is full of "thankful" challenges; people are posting pictures and comments.  When you are on social media it looks like Christmas hasn't taken over or ruined the Thanksgiving holiday as it does in the stores.  Psychological studies prove that by intentionally writing down what you are thankful for it helps you become more thankful.  And so this month we are reminded that blessings abound!

But I am also reminded that negativity abounds; angry fills and sadness consumes.  I am also reminded that it takes only one bad moment to ruin a day.  It takes only one bad experience to ruin more.

Yet, when we are in a relationship with God; negativity should not fill, angry should not overwhelm, sadness should not consume and bad moments should not take away from God's grace.  Instead, in those moments we should search for the Spirit; allow grace to fill us, be overcome by forgiveness, and let joy find a way to brighten the moment.   We should allow God's love to overwhelm and let the Spirit speak to the abundance around us. 

However we can only do this when and if we train ourselves to notice, see, exclaim and rejoice in the true blessings that do surround us.  The only way we train to live into the thankfulness and have joyful hearts is if we actually practice this.  If it takes us one time a year, a day that is dedicated to this then so be it.  But really, truly, thanksgiving should remind us that we should be doing this every day of the year.  And not just for ourselves and our lives but we should be rejoicing in those around us and the blessings that abound in their lives.

This thanksgiving, challenge yourself to keep a thankful journal and keep a list of the wonderful things that abound in your life; fill your world and make your life worth living.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Where is God?

Recently I read from Boyd* that in this highly social world we live in it is better that we respond when there is something going in the world and that response matters over content of that response.  To respond and not react each a difficult line to walk and yet in today's world we are told that people value reaction over response.   I am here to CALL us into a different way of being, one in which looks for responsible response over reaction.  

In our passage from Kings below, we meet Elijah after he reacted and fled.  After he asked to die in a cave and yet was offered nourishment by God.  After he realized that God was not in the earthquake or the fire but that God was in the gentle whisper.  God is in the response not the reaction.  

Today, we awake to more news about a Mass shooting in a Texas Church just after a recent attack in Manhattan.  We are losing lives across this country due to violence, mental illness and extreme views.  God's voice can be found in the aftermath of these events but if God's people, God's mouth pieces and hands and feet, are being silent then God's presence is lost to the world.  If we Christians continue to live our lives as these events don't need anything more than simply our prayers than God becomes nothing but a distant, absent and worst unreliable worthless God.  That isn't who my God is.  My God is a God who loves us.  Who offer a Prince of Peace to live among us and humbly offer forgiveness to those who believe.  

We cannot be silent.  For in this Kings passage Elijah was told to go back and proclaim.  In the whisper Elijah was told to go and be the voice of God.  And Elijah did so with gusto.   Notice who God was a gentle whisper not a silent voice.  We are called to stand not just for those who died due to unnecessary violence but for all those in the future who will be victims if we do nothing.   

I am not calling for us to go gun free.   I am not calling for us to send immigrants out of this country.  I am calling us to look at our society and to question, if we call ourselves a Christian, is this a reflection of the Kingdom?  Surely it isn't.  Surely our call is to truly bring the Kingdom of God around us - where there is no Jew or Gentile, free or slave, woman or man but instead a place where all can be uplifted for their gifts from God.  I strongly encourage you to think about the voice of God.  Where is God in the world around us?  God is in all of us.  God is in you and me.  God's voice is our voice when we call each other out and encourage one another to live into the Kingdom - offering more than basic needs but instead moving aside greed for love and engulfing one another in the grace of the Kingdom.  Let's begin to build the Kingdom in the here and now.  Speak God's voice and don't let the voice of violence, the voice of hate, the voice of war become the only voice people turn to. 


1 Kings 19: 11
 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 
13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 


https://www.amazon.com/Its-Complicated-Social-Lives-Networked-ebook/dp/B00HUYT8TS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509800172&sr=8-1&keywords=its+complicated+the+social+lives+of+networked+teens