Sleep

Sleep… This word has been on my mind this weekend. During this time of “unrest” and “pause” (although the pause seems to be ending), I actually had trouble sleeping at times. So much to process, so much to consider…

And yet, sleep is important to our bodies. I was reminded of this after a sleep over my girls hosted this past weekend. I remember the days of being able to stay up until 3 am… This time it affected me. I felt slow and groggy in the morning.

Sleep. We all need it. God commands us to take a day of rest. He may not slumber or sleep, but our physical bodies require it.

There are many verses about sleep. Here are a few:

Proverbs 3:24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

One of my favorites is Psalm 127:2 In vain do you get up early and put off going to bed, working hard to earn a living; for he provides for his beloved, even when they sleep.

A Promise that HE never sleeps…

Psalm 121:3-4 He will not let your foot slip —your guardian is not asleep. No, the guardian of Isra’el never slumbers or sleeps.

Do you put off going to bed? Do you get up early thinking it will “bring you wealth?” Getting up early is okay, but when we do it for the wrong reasons and with the wrong understanding about WHO is providing for us, than why rise early? The verse in Psalms tells us that HE provides even when we sleep!

I truly believe that if we are TRUSTING Him, than HE does provide! HE takes care of those who follow Him. I’m not saying, “Don’t work.” The Word of God is clear that we are not to be lazy. However, too much work is also unhealthy. Too much activity, and constantly being on the go, takes a toll on our bodies.

As we prepare to enter another Shabbat, remind yourself that YOU are important and that your body NEEDS rest. Don’t try to “plow through” another event or crazy schedule because you think you have to be a part of ALL that is out there.

The “quarantine” happened for a reason. It should show us that we don’t HAVE to participate in everything. It should show us that we can have time for “us.” You don’t have to be involved in everything around you. You need time for YOU!

Shabbat Shalom…

Enjoy some sleep!

Rose Horton

Sabbath Rest

Sabbath… What comes to your mind when I mention this word? I’m sure most people think of rest. Some might consider that it is a “law.” Some might recognize Jesus commented that He was “Lord of the Sabbath.” Whatever it is that came to your mind, believe it or not, God has placed you in a Shabbat REST.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Mark 2:27 “Then he said to them, “ Shabbat was made for mankind, not mankind for Shabbat;

As I said last week, I don’t know if this is God placing discipline because of the evil in the world, or is He just stopping everyone to wake them up to WHO He is and what He wants from us. Either way, we need to take time to LISTEN to Him once again. We need to be intentional about LISTENING.

The question now is, what are you going to do since you have been placed in this “time of rest?”

The world has walked away from a “time of rest.” Attending church does not mean you experienced true rest. The Jews around the world come the closest to stopping on Shabbat (Saturday), but even they often do things from a form of legalism, not truly stopping to rest. They hurry to get to their prayers. They follow the prayers that “must be prayed.” Too often, in both worlds, rest gets shoved aside because of all the “requirements” we have placed on ourselves.

Most of us, whatever religion we are, place our belief in having to do something, not wanting to do something. God, by forcing us to stop, is taking us back and asking us to LISTEN to Him and to prepare ourselves for whatever it is that HE WANTS us to do. By strengthening our relationship with Him, we return to a place of WANTING to do something, not being forced to.

Do we WANT to worship Him even if we are not in a building with others? Do we WANT to spend time in His Word even if we don’t have a preacher to teach it to us? Do we WANT to respond differently to the chaos that is happening around us so we can protect ourselves in the shelter of His wings?

Remember – HE WANTS YOU! He desires to spend time with YOU and you alone. So, by forcing you to stop, He is teaching you how to spend time with Him. Just you and Him.

While we were in Israel, we learned a lot about Shabbat. One was the thought that the 4th commandment was the one most easily broken. What is God doing to get our attention? Forcing us to have an extended Shabbat.

It has already been noted that the world is becoming a cleaner place because of the world “stopping.” Families are playing together, reading together, hanging out together. I realize that it can also be stressful. 24/7 togetherness when you are not used to it can be a struggle. All of it should show us that GOD wants us to be with HIM. When we are right with Him vertically, than our horizontal relationships line up too!

THAT, my friends, is the purpose of Shabbat. Being WITH HIM is why He stopped on the 7th day. Having RELATIONSHIP with Him is why He asked us to “remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.” We have lost that… We walked away from time with Him. The world got too busy. He has now forced us to REST, REFRESH and RESTORE ourselves so we can BE ALL HE WANTS us to be.

Worship Him. Read His Word. Be quiet with Him. He has given you this HUGE opportunity to change your LIFE and find HIS LIFE filled with Love and Joy and Peace. ENJOY IT, than share it with others.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton

Sabbath Rest

Photo by Angelina Kichukova on Unsplash

True Rest

Jesus knew that he came from God, was going to God, and that everything had been delivered into his hands. So, he took off his good clothes, put on his work clothes, and began to serve his disciples—quite the opposite mentality of many earthly rulers who revel in their exalted status and have many who serve them.

We are to emulate Christ, not worldly rulers. Christ promises that, if we will do as he does and serve each other, we will be blessed.

Isn’t blessing what everybody wants, what everybody is working so hard for, and what everybody can’t seem to find?

We are to “labor to enter into his rest,” to “cease from our own labors.” Maybe that means that if we will give up our own ambitions, we will find true rest in knowing and imitating Christ. Maybe that means that we will find our life’s meaning and purpose only if we give up everything for Jesus.  

Like the old saying goes, “You always find what you’re looking for in the last place you look.”

~ Brad Heilhecker

The Linchpin

Christ is the Cornerstone of the church.

Our day of rest is the linchpin of our ministry to him.  If we try and work and serve him seven days a week, we will find out very quickly just how weak our supposed strength really is.

We are absolutely dependent on Christ and his ministry in and through us during this limited time we have on terra firma, and this dependency is best realized and appreciated when we take regular time to stop and wait on him.

Don’t get me wrong.

Hard work is valuable and essential to a successful and prosperous life.

Even our spiritual ministries demand strict discipline and great effort.

It is for these very reasons that periodic seasons of rest are indispensable.

Our bodies, minds, and spirits are finely tuned creations that must not be driven like pack mules.

They must be nurtured, cherished, and regularly maintained, if they are to last on this arduous trek to our homeland.

When we rest, we don’t stop living.  

We continue to eat, sleep, take walks, read the Bible, pray, watch television, and check our email—like Marvin Zindler used to say to close the news, “Whatever makes you happy!”

Maybe that is it; we need to take time to be happy.

Many times in life, our job is to make someone else happy, like our boss, our spouse, our friends, or our children. We must serve and fulfill our responsibilities in this life. However, if we don’t take time to be happy ourselves, we will ultimately fail in all of our other missions in life.

When we take time to stop and rest and wait on the Lord, we make God happy.

And when he is happy, all will be well with us!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Peace And Rest

We know the classic epitaph phrase, “Rest in Peace.”  We may never appreciate this blessing until we have been through the fire and the water, until we have faced down hell and it’s minions, until we have lived through the war.

Peace and rest are only valuable to those who have fought the good fight of faith, have overcome restlessness and strife, and have triumphed over the enemy.

As it is written, “They overcame him by the word of their testimony, the blood of the lamb, and they did not love their lives unto death.”

Why does it have to be this way?

Why can’t life be restful and peaceful always?

I suppose we must all learn the art of war in order to appreciate the ways of peace.

Those who go AWOL in order to find peace are often disappointed.  We must stay with the troops, we must make our stand, we must fight, and we must win.

It is the inevitable consequence of living in a fallen world.  God writes through Isaiah, “If only you had paid attention, your peace would have been like a river.”  Earlier, he wrote about Jesus, calling him, “The Prince of Peace.”

Lord, help us to learn how closely you want us to walk with you,  how safe we are in your presence, and how much peace and rest we will enjoy forever as we learn to overcome all temptations and trials by your mercy and grace.  Amen.

~ Brad Heilhecker

Balance 


WORTHY THOUGHT: Does our busyness keep us off balance and deteriorate our spiritual life?

Do not tell yourself that you have too much to do to spend time with the Lord each day. 

His Word promises that when you draw closer to God, He will draw closer to you. -James 4:8. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30

The rest Jesus promises is peace we find with God, not the end of all effort.

When we open our hearts and ears and listen to His counsel only He knows how to balance us.

                ~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

Look Through The Wave 

Remember that Peter wanted Jesus to prove that it was indeed He walking on the water by allowing him (Peter) to come to him by also walking on the water. Peter was able to do just that UNTIL he took his eyes off Jesus which caused him to begin to sink, right?

I was thinking about that event, and the Lord placed a wave in front of my eyes, and I heard Jesus say, “Look through the wave,” and that’s when I saw Him.  

When I think about this, He shows me that it’s not just the “big wave” that comes to block our view of Him but also the very thought of one coming that causes us to sink. There is no question that these waves come and will continue to come throughout our lives. Instead of thinking about them, though, we must reframe our thinking to how muddled we will allow them to be. 

 Yes, they’re big waves – often HUGE! Yes, they are ugly, dark, and capable of filling our lungs to prevent air of life! BUT GOD! 

 Allow not the gulps of water! Allow not a drop to be consumed! Keep your eyes open to SEE through each wave, and you will see Him!

He wants us to walk on the water as victors of our circumstances- no matter the size of the storm- and when the waves seem too big, it doesn’t mean we are sinking, for we are already overcomers, it simply means that we must look THROUGH those waves to see Him.

I receive this as a word to NOT be thinking of the “what ifs” of the future and to just keep our eyes on Him. The waves come, but when we are STILL, our vision is clear, and we can SEE through them…to SEE HIM.  

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
~ Stephanie Gable