Thursday, September 02, 2010

Enjoying the Sabbath

I return to Sabbath by Dan Allender today. This was a great read this summer. More than anything it gave me new ideas about how to make celebrating the sabbath fun and refreshing for the whole family. Here's some review of chapter 7.

Chapter 7 focuses on abundance (previous chapters can be found below). There are a couple things around us that keep us from entering abundance.

1. Emptiness of an uncertain future.
2. Emptiness of an unrealized present.

Allender sees these as problems because, he says, “we are a nation that lives beyond its means, doesn’t provide for its future, and banks on its past to live excessively in the present.” True statement and why we live with uncertainty. We also feel like we are not living out the American dream, maybe we think we don’t even have the freedom to dream anything other than the American dream, so all that leads to an unrealized present. Together these two breed the trinity of envy, striving, slavery. This trinity leads us to, “envy them (those who have what we want), strive after our version of success, and slavery to the system that debases us.” Is there hope? Yes, the Sabbath can help free us from these.

This chapter is about abundance and abundance is about gratitude. God is sovereign and the giver of good gifts. Our good fortune is from Him. Are we grateful? Do we see the things we have been given as gifts from Him? One way Allender suggests that we can bring gratitude into our Sabbath is by writing or calling those who we have gratitude for and thanking them. Another idea to celebrate gratitude is to hear what your spouse or children have been reading in scripture the previous week. Ask them and allow them to share it with you. You can also show gratitude by preparing a meal as a family the night before the Sabbath and using the leftovers for your meals on that special day. The key is to be grateful for the gifts of food, friendship, and conversation. This chapter closes with Jesus’ words in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

I don’t know about you, but I have so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for:
- the world around me
- the trees
- the air
- the stars
- the sun
- animals
- the variety of life around me.
- my family
- my wife
- daughters
- mom and dad
- my wife’s family.

All of this is such a gift! I need to enter the Sabbath with this kind of gratitude. I have been given so much by God. I really liked the idea of writing/calling someone you are grateful for. I was thinking I could rally the entire family together on the Sabbath and we could make a special card for a family member or friend we want to show gratitude to. A great time together and a great way to reach out as a family in gratitude.

Previous Chapters
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6

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