We all know that it's important to have a Sabbath, a time of rest, a break from our regular insanely busy schedules, a time set aside to be with the Lord, but boy, is it hard to do! Here are five simple steps to get started in establishing your Sabbath.
1-Find a place (or places). Sitting in your kitchen and letting your dirty dishes taunt you is probably not the best place. If you love your home or can't get away, is there a clean room or mostly clean room that you love? Or do you have a comfy chair that you can just sit and be with the Lord? If you don't want to be home, maybe you live near a park or beach, and that can be your special place away.
2-Grab a devotional or journal. If you know you're the type of person who needs guidance, grab a devotional or journal. (And While We Wait has plenty of options!) Or maybe your time with the Lord is taking walks or gardening. You may just want to have your Notes app ready on your phone in case you want to write any thoughts down.
3-Plan ahead. If it's hard for you to rest and spend time with God when you have to do laundry, clean, or get something else done, then get it done first! Plan ahead so you're not distracted. Use your time wisely on the other days of the week.
4-Put it on your calendar. Open up your agenda or Calendar app and make an appointment for yourself just like you'd do for anything else. Be intentional about setting that time aside. If someone asks you to do something or something comes up, your answer is you're busy! Protect this time or you will constantly be giving it away.
5-Start small. You may have noticed that I keep using the word time instead of day. I want to encourage you to start small in establishing your Sabbath. Don't put too much pressure on yourself and set too great of goals and then get frustrated and give up. Start with a few hours and build on that.
I pray that these tips help you establish a time or day of Sabbath. Be proactive in spending time with the Lord and protect that time!
One year ago, my husband sent out the first of many letters to our church regarding how we would respond to COVID-19. In the past year, we've met online, drive-in via FM transmitter, in-person in separate rooms, and now in-person with cleaning in between.
If nothing else, I hope we've learned in this past year that it doesn't matter where/how we meet. God is still God no matter what, and we are still the Church, no matter what!
This verse in Matthew struck me in a new way as I read it. The Pharisees were whining to Jesus about how he healed in the temple on the Sabbath, and His response: "I tell you that something GREATER than the temple is here."
What a great reminder for us today! Venues may change, but meeting together, with Jesus at the center, is the most important thing. Let's not take for granted this great gift of the local church that He has given us. Things may not be the same, but let that be a challenge to you to cling tight to Jesus and spur one another toward love and good deeds.
Go and Be Reconciled
rI have said it many times, but people are not perfect, and they can make you frustrated and angry. I know in my life I've been hurt, and it's really hard not to be angry.
There were friends and family who didn't come to our wedding, I've overhead people gossip about me, and I've even had phone calls with someone yelling at me, gaslighting the situation as if I was at fault. I know how it feels to be angry. So angry. And yet, people hurting us is inevitable, so what happens next?
In Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus puts anger in the same category as murder. Ugh, makes you think a little more about being angry, doesn't it?
Before moving on, let me caution you in saying that nowhere in this passage does He say to allow people to treat you terribly or completely put your trust in them again if they have deeply hurt you. You need to take care of yourself, and the steps He gives should help you do just that.
Moving on. First, in verses 23-24, Jesus says to stop before you give your offering and go be reconciled beforehand. He says this because he wants you to come before his throne clean, empty-handed, and not holding on to that sin.
Next, in vase 25, He says to settle matters quickly. In other words, don't let your anger fester and grow. Remember, this is to help you. Holding on to anger for an extended amount of time will just cause you more pain.
These seem like simple steps, but they are easier said than done. Every situation is different so you may find that talking in person helps to solve one issue while writing a letter is better for another. No matter how you approach the person, the bottom line is that you need to let go of anger to avoid judgment and ongoing turmoil in your heart.
If you don't know where to start or don't feel brave, take some time to pray. You don't have to do it alone! Ask God for help. Ask Him to be your strength. Go and be reconciled.
FREE Matthew Phone Wallpapers
Here is a fun resource for you as we begin our reading in Matthew! Simply save any of the following images to your phone and follow your phone's instructions to set as your wallpaper. Then, you can remind yourself daily of these simple truths we will discover in the book of Matthew.
Welcome to Matthew!
Thanks for joining, or even thinking of joining, our reading through the book of Mathew this month! There are a few Growth Track options for you depending on your schedule, budget, and level of commitment. Everyone's needs and lives are different so bottom line is that we should be reading God's Word; everything is else is just extra!
Growth Track #1: Read the book of Matthew this month, one chapter per day. That's it and that is a great step! You can even use YouVersion on your phone or tablet and get a reminder each day and check each chapter off as you read it. Here's a great plan to join: YouVersion Matthew Reading Plan
Growth Track #2: Read the book of Matthew this month, one chapter per day, stay accountable with our Facebook group, and check this blog often for resources and insights to dive a little deeper into Matthew! Join the Let's Read Matthew! Group on Facebook.
Growth Track #3: Read the book of Matthew this month, one chapter per day, stay accountable with our Facebook group, and check the blog for resources and insights into Matthew, and...purchase the My Matthew Prayer Journal on Amazon. This journal will be a place to write down verses that stick out to you, personal notes, and a place to journal your prayers.
No matter which Growth Track you choose, I pray that above all, you choose to be in God'w Word and growing closer to Him each day!