Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Keeping the Sabbath holy

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…” Exodus 20:8-11

Is it okay…
…to eat at a restaurant after church on Sunday? Should the waitress be required to serve us on the Sabbath?
…to go shopping on Sunday?  Is it right for us to make someone else work on the Sabbath by patronizing these businesses?

(As a Christian, I recognize Sunday as the Lord’s Day, rather than the traditional Jewish Saturday because Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, and Luke 24:1).

After reading Isaiah 56:1-8, a search of the scriptures ensued.

What is lawful to do on the Sabbath?
Matthew 12:1-8, 9-13
The Pharisees condemned Christ and His disciples for picking heads of grain and eating them on the Sabbath because they were hungry. Jesus then went into the synagogue where a man with a withered hand became the object of contention concerning what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath.

As for the grain, Jesus refers them back to a time when David was hungry and ate the consecrated bread meant for the priests. (1 Samuel 21:1-6) He then speaks of His desire for His follows to show compassion and mercy rather than sacrifice on the Sabbath.

When questioned about the man’s hand, Jesus used the example of how if a sheep fell into a pit on the Sabbath the shepherd would rescue it to explain the value of "doing good" on the Sabbath.

What is unlawful to do on the Sabbath? Exodus 20:8-11
According to the original commandment, God spoke of rest versus work on the Sabbath. He reminds us that He worked six days to make all of creation and then rested on the seventh. (Genesis 2:1-3)

It sounds to me like we are to work six days and not to work on the seventh or the Sabbath! And, that we are allowed to eat when hungry and to show compassion to others. It is also my great pleasure to attend church on Sunday mornings, the Lord’s Day, to worship Him with fellow believers.

There’s a fine line between legalism and obedience, and I want to be on the right side. I don’t want to live as the Pharisees with legalism as my motivation, yet I want to be in line with God’s desire for us to keep the Sabbath holy.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and how you keep the Sabbath or Lord’s Day holy.

Additional Holy Sabbath scriptures:
Exodus 16:4-5; 16:22-26; 31:12-18; Nehemiah 10:31; Isaiah 58:13; Jeremiah 17:19-27; Mark 2:27-28

By Merrie Hansen, Christian Author

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Turning my Doubt into Determination

-          Stay teachable, humble, & grow*
-          Write what I know…walk in my own shoes
-          The only time you fail is if you quit*
-          How do you eat an elephant?* How do you write a book?
-          Throw the net out a little deeper in the water…submit, submit, submit
-          Celebrate the successes, big or small; Toughen up for the letdowns*
-          Finish the race

I feel as though I’ve been on my writing journey for forever; but it actually only began five-and-half years ago, in June 2006. Along the way, some dreaded “D” words like disappointment, doubt, and discouragement pulled me down or made me drag my feet.

My disappointments don’t come because of rejected submissions, but rather because I fail to submit for publication often enough. My doubts spring up when I step out of my writing comfort zone even though that’s where I’m drawn. Discouragement is simply the result of an undisciplined life. Together, they cause the ugliest “D” word of all: depression.

These words are not just troublemakers for my writing journey, but to life itself. They plague me as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. In those roles, I set my own flexible or rigid schedule. Generally speaking, I answer to no one expect the One who placed me in those positions. The encouragement phrases from above apply to every area of life and help to move me toward the ultimate goal in all my roles.

Today, I am changing my dreaded “D” words to determination, definition, and discipline. I’m determined to finish projects in a timely matter. At this juncture in my writing journey, success will not be defined by being published, but by the number of submissions I make. It's time to discipline my flexible schedule for a more rigid one.

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
Psalm 94:19 nlt

*some phrases are direct quotes from (“Albert Einstein, Wet Noodles, and Kick Butt Advice”), others are paraphrased, & some are just my thoughts