Week 65 – Thanksgiving

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I would love for you to take a minute to look at what the Scriptures say about Thanksgiving!

God’s Word on Thanksgiving
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (Psalms 95:2 KJV)

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:11 KJV)

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Psalms 100:4 KJV)

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalms 69:30 KJV)

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 136:1 KJV)

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. (Psalms 75:1 KJV)

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)

Give thanks unto the Lord , call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. (1 Chronicles 16:8 KJV)

Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence. (Psalms 140:13 KJV)

At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. (Psalms 119:62 KJV)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6 KJV)

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord , and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, Lord , hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord , how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. (Psalms 92:1-5 KJV)

Rejoice!
As far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday. It has been hard to explain why until I read all of these Scriptures! Yes, it falls during my favorite time of year and I do love the yummy food and fun time with family, but it truly wouldn’t be “Thanksgiving” if I didn’t stop to give thanks. I can’t help but smile and realize that when I give thanks it fills me up inside and makes me rejoice! How can I read these Scriptures and not get excited?!

I know that not all of my readers live in America and may not celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. But the great thing is we don’t have to wait for a special holiday. God says we are to give thanks in all things! He is always worthy!

I encourage you to meditate on these Scriptures this week and share them with your family and friends during your Thanksgiving celebrations! Think of all of the reasons to give thanks to our wonderful Lord!

I would be encouraged to hear you share one thing you are thankful for this week!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Weekly Blog

Week 64 – Privilege of Sabbath

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How many times have you heard someone say, “I wish I had time to stop and rest and spend time with my family, but with our busy schedules we just never seem to find the time.”? I hear this often.

Another statement I hear is, “I just don’t seem to be able to connect on a deep level with God. I try to read my Bible and pray every morning for 15-30 minutes, but my day gets so busy after that and I lose sight of God’s Word.”

The Normal
We all have commitments and responsibilities that take time. Business is easy. It has become second nature. If you’re not busy, someone might wonder what is wrong with you. Even vacations are filled with an abundance of activities. When you get home you say, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”

It’s normal to have the music on, the television on, be checking our Facebook, email, and text messaging at all times. I wonder if we keep our minds distracted so we don’t have to stop and listen to God’s voice in the quiet?

The New Normal
I have said both of the statements above in the past. Misplaced priorities and overcommitments were big reasons. It was also a desire for control and a lack of letting God work in my life.

But then God prompted me to start keeping the Sabbath. It was such a foreign concept! And hard! I struggled the first few weeks to just STOP. I was nervous and fidgety. Thankfully, I pressed on and got used to the quiet. Then I found myself looking forward to the quiet.

The Privilege
As this Sabbath began, I thought about what a privilege it is to have permission from God to set aside my work for a day to rest and spend time with Him! He asks me to do this!

It is very true that I can connect with God everyday at any time. He is always waiting and ready. But God, in His perfection, knew that a day of rest would be a helpful blessing! It provides me with quality time to reconnect with Him and my family and lets my body recharge so it is ready to jump back into the work cycle again.

I know Sabbath is coming and I think, “Oh, I can’t wait for that nap!” or “I wonder what God has to show me today!” I look forward to my husband being at home all day with us and the playtime we have together with our girls.

For people who think that Sabbath is a burden or who have experienced it as a burden, I am certain they don’t have an understanding of God’s Sabbath at all. It is meant to be a blessing, not something to earn. It is meant to edify, not bring us down. I’m not saying that it’s always easy and convenient, but being in step with God always brings peace in my life.

I really do need the rest. I really do need to connect with God. So I can’t help but say, “What a privilege! What a blessing! Thank you, God!”

I would love to hear how you describe the privilege of Sabbath!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Weekly Blog

Week 63 – Never Forget

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Is it easy to recall the great things God has done? Is it possible to forget them?

This Sabbath I heard a pastor share about the importance of having memorials and monuments that represent what God has done in our lives. When we forget who God is, we forget to trust Him and wait patiently for Him to work in our lives. Memorials create an opportunity to remember.

What is a Memorial/Monument?
A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person or an event.

A monument is a type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage.

All through Scripture, we see God’s children establishing memorials or monuments to remember what mighty things God did for them and to make sure their children and grandchildren would know about them in the future. Memorials provide opportunities to pass along God’s triumphs to others. You know how good it feels when you are recognized for a great accomplishment? I think God, in the same way, longs to be recognized by us for His greatness.

Attitude of Ingratitude
Taking for granted what someone does for us leads us to expect things of them, devalue them and even take credit at times for their actions. In terms of God, I can become so focused on what I want Him to do for me NOW that I forget what He has already done. God is patient, but He has His limits. At some point I will be held accountable for my indifference. And it can cost me everything, like the wayward Israelites who missed out on the promised land. They had seen God work miracles time and time again, yet found themselves turning their back on Him in the desert.

I couldn’t help thinking about how I feel sometimes at my house. Some days, my young daughters shout, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! I need this! Please get me that!” Then I find that my husband has left his stuff strewn all over the bedroom and bathroom, not to mention leaving all the lights on. At those times I wish for some appreciation. But I can understand how everyday tasks can be overlooked. It’s hard for me to realize, though, that the amazing grace and miracles of God can be forgotten.

A great Bible example of ingratitude is the story of the ten lepers. Jesus healed all ten, but only ONE came back to say thank you. “Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine-where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:17-19 NASB)

Establish the Memorials
It’s a trend to be thankful during the holiday season of Thanksgiving, but what about the rest of the year? I probably won’t set up a pile of rocks in my living room to remind me of something incredible that I witnessed God do in my life, but I can think of some practical ways I can remember and share.

Keeping Sabbath holy is one way I can honor God each week and say “thank you” for all He has given me. Through establishing Sabbath in my family, my children learn to remember and hopefully will continue to honor God when they become adults. Celebrating Sabbath also opens up opportunities to share God’s goodness with others.

I can begin each prayer time with thankfulness for what God is doing in my life. This can help me stay humble and keep those things on the forefront of my mind. It also keeps me from coming to God with a “to do” list. I can focus on the reality of what He desires instead of what I desire.

I also need to be willing to talk about God’s triumphs with others, whether by spoken word or written word. Often, this is neither popular nor comfortable to do. I can talk all day about my children, recipes, trips, etc. But it feels unusual to say, “Hey! Guess what awesome thing God has been doing in my life!” That shouldn’t be the case. I shouldn’t care about the response I will get as long as I share the joy I have received.

God deserves our praise and thanks. He is a mighty and powerful God. And He cares enough to love us!

What kind of memorials do you establish to remember what God has done for you?

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Weekly Blog

Week 62 – Fellowship

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I had the opportunity to go to a ladies Bible conference at my church this weekend. I was hesitant to go because I knew I would miss my Sabbath rest, but I also knew I would get a chance to get into God’s Word with my sister believers. So I went and found that it was just what I needed!

With two small daughters (soon to be three!), I don’t get a lot of time to spend with adults, much less just ladies. During this season of my life, adult fellowship is precious! So this conference turned out to be nourishing to my mind and spirit.

What’s the Purpose of Fellowship?
I learned that fellowship is an essential part of our Christian walk. God created me to have a relationship with Him and with others. Interacting with someone allows me to create a stronger bond with them. And a strong bond means I am more likely to support them and vice versa.

Jesus makes it clear that loyalty and commitment to others is a command. “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:12-14 NASB)

Lack of Fellowship
When I close myself off from relationships, I find it easier to believe lies from the evil one. I begin to feel like no one else experiences what I am going through. I get depressed and lonely. I get worn out trying to do everything on my own. I also lose sight of who God is and how He wants me to share His love with others.

God’s Example
I picture God walking in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. I imagine that they all enjoyed that time together. I think of God dwelling among His people in the ark of the covenant and the comfort and awe that His presence brought to their lives. I also think of Jesus spending time with His disciples. They truly got to “experience God” as they traveled with Him, ate with Him, learned from Him and watched Him lay down His life for them.

The Benefits of Fellowship
Sharing my life with others means I will have people there for me when I face trials. Someone to cry with me and pray for me. I will have someone who will come to me in love when I am wrong and let me know that I need to make some changes. I will also have others to laugh with and share the special moments of my life. Most importantly, I will have support and examples to help me live for God.

When Jesus was about to be arrested and then crucified, he went to Gethsemane to pray. He asked Peter, James and John to stay close by Him and keep watch. He wanted their support and comfort in His darkest hour and knew that they needed His help to make it through this confusing time. Matthew 26:36-38

Just Do It!
Through my experience this weekend and through God’s Word, I was pleasantly reminded of the importance of fellowship, especially with fellow believers. I can work to make it a priority to reach out and make those connections instead of waiting for others to reach out to me.

What have been some of the benefits of fellowship in your life?

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Weekly Blog

Week 61 – Lukewarm

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‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.’ (Revelation 3:15-16 NASB)

Do you ever think of yourself as a Lukewarm Christian?
I was thinking about being lukewarm this Sabbath. I certainly didn’t want to consider that I might be lukewarm, but when I got honest I had to say that I am sometimes. The thought that I can make God want to spit me out is disturbing.

Why would I even lose my fire for God?
Walking in step with God gives me a peace like nothing else can. Seeing God work in my life and others’ lives is so exciting! It’s hard to believe that I would trade this in for temporary, selfish pleasure that leaves me empty. Yet, I am completely capable of doing just that.

How do I let it happen?
I can surround myself with people, media, and messages that encourage me to focus on myself and my family, don’t get involved, think it’s not my responsibility to do what’s right. I don’t have to look hard to observe these ideas. And the scary thing is that I don’t have to try hard to accept them.

What is the price for being on fire?
Being on fire for God comes with a price from society. Sometimes reproof, rejection, ostracism, persecution, or death. Play by the rules by keeping Christianity low-key and non-offensive and I don’t have to worry about any consequences. For a person like me who doesn’t like confrontation, this can be tempting.

What does it take to be on fire?
COURAGE and SELFLESSNESS.
I realized that a lukewarm Christian is a selfish coward. Courage and selflessness are choices I have to make each day. They also require supernatural strength. I can say I love God, but He doesn’t believe it (nor does anyone else) until I DO something to show that love. He says He knows our deeds. In other words, talk is cheap and meaningless.

So what is the price for being lukewarm?
If I am truly God’s child, I can expect discipline from God when I am lukewarm in my faith. Being His child, I should hear Him calling me back. But it is always my choice whether I will listen and obey. When I do obey, it is incredibly worth it!

‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.’ (Revelation 3:19-21 NASB)

What keeps you on fire for God?

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Weekly Blog

Week 60 – Two Endeavors

This week I wanted to fill you in on two things going on in my life- 1. The baby 2. The book.

The Baby
I asked for prayers a few months ago for my unborn baby and for myself.  We are both doing well now.  It is finally feeling more like a normal pregnancy and the baby has been growing right on schedule.  The doctor said that some women’s immune systems almost shut down when they get pregnant.  It’s funny because I rarely get sick when I’m not pregnant!  But I have been sick from the start of the pregnancy and it has taken awhile to get everything under control.

I want to say a big thank you to all who prayed for me and the baby!  I have been on the road to recovery for the past month and feeling very hopeful that I will continue to stay well.  I know that God is taking care of my family no matter what happens!
The Book
Writing this blog has been a fun challenge for me.  More than that, it has been an encouragement that I love to share with others.  So I have been thinking for awhile about compiling the first year of the blog into a book.  It would be an even greater challenge and allow me to review back over what I have learned and experienced from the beginning of keeping Sabbath.
The book wouldn’t be accurate, though, if I didn’t include some of the reader’s comments from each week.  They have been such a blessing to me and others and also make the blog so much better!  Your stories are as important as mine.  So I am asking for permission to include any comments that I have received.  If you do not want to be included, please send me a personal message or comment here below.
The book has gotten underway and I hope to have a rough draft put together sometime after the beginning of the year.  Thank you again for the encouragement and support you have been to me throughout this blog! Walking with God is even better with fellow believers at my side!
Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Baby, Book, Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 59 – What Does Submission Look Like?

Servant Of God
What Does Submission Look Like?

This Sabbath I studied a story that I was unfamiliar with in 1 Samuel 25:2-42. It’s the story of how a woman named Abigail saved her husband, Nabal, from being killed by David. Nabal means folly, and he certainly was a reckless and foolish man. David’s anger toward Nabal was justified, but his intended actions were not. It’s not just impressive that Abigail stepped in and solved the situation, it amazes me that she was willing to love and submit to a husband who didn’t deserve it.

Definition of Submission-
Humble obedience to yield to one who has authority over you or the agreement to be humble or compliant towards someone in power.

My definition of submission usually looks like this:
When a person does what I think they ought, then I will submit to them.

What Does the Bible Say About Submission?
1 Peter 2:13-20 says:
Submission can put foolish men in their place and gives you favor with God.

1 Peter 3:1-6 says:
Be submissive as an example of godliness to win over those who are disobedient.

Luke 22:42 says:
Jesus submitted to God, even unto death.

Abigail’s Example-
Looking back at Abigail, I think that she truly understood submission. Everyone knew that her husband was an idiot. One of the servants described Nabal as “a worthless man that no one can speak to.” Abigail says this to David of her husband, “Do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him.”

Everyone agreed that Nabal was a selfish and foolish person. Yet, Abigail was willing to save his life. She could have hung him out to dry with David, but she acted in his best interest. She honored him when he didn’t deserve it. She respected him when she didn’t receive love from him. She never got a thank you for her actions, but God did find favor with her.

Upon hearing of Nabal’s death, David asked Abigail to be his wife and she accepted. This may seem like a fairy tale ending for Abigail, but we know that David was not a perfect husband, either. He certainly made mistakes and caused his family a lot of heartache. I have the feeling, though, that Abigail chose to submit to David just as she had done with Nabal.

What Can This Look Like in My Life?
I am thrilled to say that my husband is not a foolish man like Nabal. He is loving, well-respected and hard working. He is not perfect, though, and I have a tendency to rebel against total submission. This can be true with my husband or with anyone in authority over me. It is simply me acting in the flesh.

Instead of trying to control who others are and how they act, I should chose to act in their best interest. It can speak volumes to them (although they may not chose to hear it), it is a great way to be a godly example to others, and most importantly it pleases God. Finding favor with God should be my highest goal.

This is certainly an area I need to work on. I would love to be pleasing in God’s site in the area of submission!

What are some positive experiences of submission in your life?

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 58 – What’s to Come, about the end times.

Looking At The End Of Time
Do you ever wonder about the end times?  What does God have planned for believers and non-believers?  Should we even care?
Millions of people avoid thinking about this because they feel it is just too deep and hard to understand.  But I have been studying about the end times the last several Sabbaths and wanted to share some of my discoveries.

Why I Share This With You
I thought about the people who read this blog.  If you are a reader, then most likely you are a Sabbath keeper.  Being a Sabbath keeper in our world means that you fall in a small minority of Christians and/or Jews.  It also means that you live differently than most and probably have faced rejection, persecution, or being misunderstood at some point.  If God has revealed the truth of keeping Sabbath to you and you are willing to obey Him in this area, I find it likely that you would also be open to seeking God’s truths in all areas (including being ready for His return).

End Times With New Eyes
Just as God called me to read the Bible as a whole concerning Sabbath, I was challenged to do the same concerning end times.  I found that I was reading scripture with new eyes.  Things that were foggy before became clear.  Things I was taught all my life did not add up with what God openly shares in His Word.

I have been through several studies on the end times led by well-known and well-respected people who have spent years studying this subject.  They have either given me a clear picture of what they say I should expect (using a few verses here and there to support their point) or they have said that we just aren’t suppose to understand everything that God shared with us in His Word.

After reading ALL scripture concerning end times and putting them in a timeline, I was astonished to find that the message was not hidden.  God spent a lot of time making us aware what His plans are so that we could be ready and be a part of His winning team.

It’s true that I couldn’t envision all that I read because I just haven’t experienced anything like the end times before.  But I was able to see a timeline of what’s to come and have confidence in God and the outcome.

Why This is Important
God gives us commands to follow.  Just as we are to keep Sabbath, He also tells us to share His message with others and to anticipate and be ready for His return.  If we don’t understand the events of the end times, I believe we cannot be used as effectively by God to accomplish His purposes.  It personally helps me to stay on the right track in my Christian walk and keeps me focused on the prize at the end of the race.  It makes all of the sacrifice and suffering completely worth it!

Are You Ready to Dig Deeper?
If you haven’t done an end times study for yourself, I encourage you to start.  I will give a list of verses that you can use (below the blog), but suggest that you are thorough and keep in mind which events you are reading about as you go along so you can make a timeline in your mind.  Most importantly, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal TRUTH to you and give you understanding.

In Response
I would love to hear how an understanding of the end times has made a positive difference in your life!  I do ask that you refrain from sharing about studies from people or websites, as I am trying to encourage seeking truth from God’s Word.  I’m not saying that no one out there teaches God’s truth, but I would rather people discover for themselves rather than take someone’s word for it.

Until next week,
Lisa G.

End Times Verses:
Matthew 24-25
Mark 13
Luke 21
John 5:25-31
1 Cor. 15:20-58
1 Thess. 4:13-5:11
2 Thess. 2:1-12
Revelation-Entire Book (Chapter 20 is a clear summary that you might use to start your study)
Posted in Weekly Blog

Week 57 – Sabbath 101

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Do you have people ask you to explain Sabbath?
Most people that I know are unfamiliar with the term or meaning.  When they stop to give it some thought, they usually respond that Sunday is the modern Sabbath after Jesus’ death.  They assure me that Sabbath is outdated and was done away with on the cross.  Many are sure that keeping the Sabbath now would be acting against God and trying to keep laws to get into Heaven.

 How would you respond?

I am not an expert in answering this question, but God has given me the words when I have had opportunity to talk with others.  The method of answering that I love the best is my personal example.  When I share what God spoke and revealed to my family and the difference it has made for us, it makes it harder to offend the listener.  It is not accusing and they can simply chose to believe me or not.

I share that God encouraged my husband and I to read the entire Bible completely, with fresh eyes, and see how it all ties together (like a circle that connects together in every way).  When we did this, we saw that God never did away with keeping Sabbath.  It is a day of blessing He established from the beginning of our world and it will continue forever.  Since choosing to keep the Sabbath, my family has received the blessing of rest in our lives as we had never known it before.

What about the details?
We started with the Bible and let God lead from there.  It can be easy to look at a list of “do’s and don’ts” and get hung up on achieving a goal or looking like others who keep the Sabbath.  When that happened to me in the beginning, I totally missed the point of Sabbath.  I eventually learned that when I prepare for the special day, look forward to it, and treat it as a blessing, everything else just falls into place.

My family begins Sabbath at sundown on Friday evening and ends it at sundown on Saturday.  We concentrate on spending time with God (so many ways to do that!) and resting our bodies.  If a need or opportunity comes along to show God’s love to others on Sabbath, Jesus made it clear that we should take that opportunity.

What is the purpose?

I celebrate Sabbath because it is a command from God.  I trust that He knows what is best for me and He proves this through the rest and blessing He provides through Sabbath.  Keeping Sabbath doesn’t get me into Heaven. That is not the purpose.  But it is a command that should be kept to honor and obey God.

Will you take the time to share about Sabbath?
I encourage everyone to take the opportunities that God puts in front of you to share about Sabbath with others.  There is a strong veil over most peoples’ eyes and few will have that veil lifted.  Sharing a positive Sabbath experience with someone might make a difference in their life and encourage them to start asking questions that will lead them closer to God.

I would love to hear how you share about Sabbath with others!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in New To Sabbath!, Weekly Blog

Week 56 – Is Seeing Believing?

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Have you heard the saying, “I have to see it to believe it!”?

This Sabbath, I thought about how often I live my life based on sight.  Do I miss a lot of what God says to me because I am not listening or living by faith?

My oldest daughter was learning about her five senses this week.  I blindfolded her and let her listen to different sounds, feel different textures, smell different scents, and taste different types of flavors.  She got so aggravated with each of these things because I wouldn’t let her use her eyes to help her identify the items.  I quickly discovered that she uses her eyes for everything.  So much that she doesn’t trust her other senses without sight.

Someone who is born blind or who loses their sight has to train their other senses to tell them what they need to know.  They train their ears to hear things most people don’t notice.  Their nose recognizes the smells of their surroundings.  Their hands touch surfaces to guide them.  And they might even enjoy tasting their food a little more than the average seeing person!

I think that God wants to train me to rely on Him rather than my own sight. As I look back over my life, many of the things God asked me to do were based on faith.  In fact, a lot of things were scary, new, and uncertain.  I had to rely heavily on God to show me how to accomplish the tasks He set before me.  That’s probably the point.  God wants to give me opportunities to learn how to rely on Him.

Just like I need to train my sense of hearing, smelling, feeling, and tasting to be more comfortable without sight, I need to work hard to train my faith in God.  Faith gets stronger through experience.  So the less I rely on me, the more I can rely on Him!

I would love to hear some of your “walking by faith” stories!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog