Sabbath observance isn't just about physical rest; it's a time to reconnect with God, strengthening our spiritual bond. We share personal practices that help us mentally and emotionally, focusing on activities that bring us closer to God and bring joy into our lives. Discover how you too can make the most of your Sabbath by avoiding certain distractions like social media, and engaging in uplifting activities like spending quality time with family, outdoor adventures and more.
However, we understand that there can be obstacles to observing the Sabbath, from work pressures to family commitments. But fear not! We discuss how you can overcome these challenges and put God at the center, ensuring that your connection to Him remains unbroken. Remember, the rest, rejuvenation and blessings of the Sabbath are well worth it. So, listen in as we continue this enlightening discussion on how to keep the Sabbath holy and reap its abundant rewards.
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Hi and welcome to the Cheer Up Podcast. I am your host, kara R Hunt, and with me is a beautiful Sherry Swalwell, beautiful in appearance, beautiful in spirit, beautiful in personality. How are you doing today, beautiful Sherry?Speaker 2:
I am doing fantastic and you, my dear, are just as beautiful. I treasure your friendship and you know what I love letting the Cheer Up Podcast. People know that we share a sisterhood and you are invaluable in my life and I just want to take this moment to honor you and let you know that because, yeah, you are amazing and God is doing great things through you, so I'm just glad I get to be a witness to it.Speaker 1:
You are okay. See, ladies, this is what happens, because Sherry is going to make me cry the things that she just said. So I echo every single sentiment she said in regards to her. It has been just an amazing sisterhood journey with her that started, oh my gosh, over a decade ago but feels like technically, it started in. Well, I don't want to say the year of her birth, but it just started a long time ago. Since I'm older than her, I can't use my year of birth, so I'm going to have to use her, since I was here just a couple of years before her. But thank you so much, dear one. Thank you so much, and thank you to all of our Cheer Up Podcast listeners, sherry, and I cannot thank you enough for those of you who are very loyal and commitment and who let us know sometimes if it happened a couple of weeks ago with Sherry, where the wrong episode was uploaded Right. So it's amazing. I love how people reach out and they go oops, I think you know, a mistake was made. Last week's episode was re-uploaded, and we love when you reach out to us, those who are our faithful listeners and just love the Cheer Up Podcast and who recognize and give us a heads up to those type of things and for those of you who just enjoy listening and who reached out to us and say that you have, that you really enjoy the podcast. So thank you so much and if you're a new listener, welcome. Thank you for joining us on the Cheer Up Podcast. You can find, like, subscribe and download the Cheer Up Podcast from almost any major podcasting platform. So if you want to go ahead and listen to some previous we're in Season 3 right now listen to previous episodes feel free to do so. You can just look us up and just go back and listen to your hearts content. And thank you for joining us. This month we are continuing. We are in week 2 of our discussion on the Sabbath S-A-B-B-A-T-H and I think the Jewish spelling of it is S-H-A-B-B-A-T-H. I think there's an extra H in there with the Jewish spelling. So I probably, sheryl, you probably can correct me on that, but and I only want to attempt to pronounce that I think it's one way. It could be something completely different. But we are continuing our discussion on the Sabbath, the importance of it, the benefits of it, how to observe it, the distractions to it and everything else, and today is part 2 of that. Last week was part 1, if everyone, if you would like to go back and listen to it and today is part 2 of it. This is an exciting topic, isn't it, sheryl?Speaker 2:
I love this topic and I hate to admit it. I truly hate to admit it, but I think I used to be one of those people who considered the Sabbath a punishment. And why, like I swear I was so stupid when I was younger about so many different things. Like isn't it true where they say wisdom I don't know what the, I don't even know if there's a phrase out there but basically, the older you get, the smarter you are, so just bear with yourself. But yeah, I was so dumb. Like why in the heck did I consider the Sabbath punishment? I love maps. Like why would I not want a whole day where God's just saying I'll work harder for you. You don't got to do the working hard, you get to just relax? Like I was so dumb, tara, so dumb.Speaker 1:
Well, you know again we don't know what we don't know, you know, and it's but boy, once you do know and your eyes have been opened and you, you start listening to the Lord and you start doing it. What a blessing right.Speaker 2:
Yes, yes, and I think that's why I'm so enthusiastic about this topic, because, like, I'm one of those hardheaded people that have to learn the hard way, although I'm getting better at that as I get older. But, yeah, like, yeah, I don't want people to waste their Sundays or their Saturdays the way that I did. Like, I want to share with people. Trust me, this is something that you're going to want to do. This is a good thing. This is not a punishment. This is not evil. This is not any of the above. That is like a bonus vacation day every single day of the week. It is. It's like you're getting paid to relax.Speaker 1:
Oh yeah, paid in more ways than what.Speaker 2:
Exactly. Exactly, because you don't just get the financial blessing, which Vess there too, but you get the health benefits and you get the emotional benefits, the spiritual benefits and the mental benefits. Like, what more could you ask for? And I know that we're not talking about the tithe, and I know that the tithe is the only command in the Bible that God gave, that he said test me on this and see that I will open up the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing to you. I know that, but I do believe that there is an element of that, and I don't think that I'm being sacrilegious and I don't think that I'm contradicting the Bible, but I do think that there is an element to that in a lot of the different principles that God gives us. He doesn't say test me on it, but I think that when we take that step of faith and we say, okay, god, I trust you with my seven days by giving you this one day, I trust you with my finances, I trust you with my time, I trust you that I'll be able to get everything done. And did you see the workloads that my boss gave me? I am now doing two jobs and getting paid for one. Do you see what he's giving to me, what she's giving to me? And God says, yes, I do see that, but this is what I can offer you, this is what I'm going to give you. I think that when we take that step of faith and we put that trust in God, he supernaturally shows us, just like he does with our tithe. When we give God the first 10% back, because it's always his, it's not ours when we give him the first 10% of our tithe back, then he supernaturally expands the 90% that we have left. When we give God the first 10% of our time, he supernaturally expands the 90% of our time that we have left. I truly, truly believe that, because I have seen that happen in my own life over and over and over again. Absolutely.Speaker 1:
Have you ever had someone give you a gift? It was quite, if not, a fancy gift. You know it cost them something. Maybe you know that they've been financially struggling, but yet they seem to get you this really nice gift, maybe for no reason, just because they were thinking of you. You're like, oh, my goodness, you shouldn't have done that. This had to cost a small fortune or you must have spent months working on this. You're like I can't take that. Then you're like, but no, I worked hard because I want to give it to you. We're just like, no, I don't want to take it. But then they feel like you're not accepting their blessing. That's kind of how it is with the Sabbath right. It's like, yeah, I worked for this, I paid the price for this. I knew it was going to be a sacrifice, but I wanted to do it anyway because that's how much you mean to me. So please accept this gift. And of course, we would accept it from a friend, family member, loved one. But yeah, it seems like a little different how we don't want to accept that from God, right. And he's saying, hey, I paid the price for this and it's yours. Use it, utilize it. It's a benefit of walking with me and a lot of times we make up excuses oh, I can't accept that gift, my boss won't allow it, my spouse won't allow it, oh, my kids won't allow it, they want me to do this, and you know, and everything else, or whatever other excuses it may be, or my new business won't allow it. I'm a business owner and you know, lord, I can't do this. You know that it's like we make up all these excuses, but just imagine and look on his face after someone has really gave everything they have to do and or make that gift for you. It would break our hearts, right, you know, and I think we just need to kind of have that same view of it. When it comes to the Lord, you know, it's like not necessarily that we will break his heart, but just that how this gift he's already worked hard for, bled for and it's something that we just we need to just take with Thanksgiving and be like thank you, lord, thank you for this day, because the Sabbath is a benefit, it's a treat to us, right? When we were little, you know, I know a lot of times parents maybe not so much nowadays, but back when I was little, when children did something that their parents were pleased with. They give them like something like a piece of candy, you know, and it can be so exciting, like yeah, I got a, I got a piece of candy, got my favorite sweet, or something like that, and they would just be so happy. I think, actually, that's how we ought to accept the gift of the Sabbath, don't you, sherry?Speaker 2:
Oh, absolutely, and that goes right into what we're going to be talking about today, and that is how do you differentiate the Sabbath versus just a vacation day? Because, well, actually, to be honest with you, my, my viewpoint and my opinion is that what you do on the Sabbath, you should also be doing on your vacation days. Like you shouldn't take a vacation from honoring God, you shouldn't take a vacation from focusing on God, you shouldn't take a vacation from focusing on where it tells us in Philippians 4, 8, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are good reports, if there's any virtue and if there's anything crazy, meditate on these things. So I don't think you should take a vacation from that type of a focus and that kind of a mindset. But what makes the Sabbath day different than just going on a vacation or just whatever? So, first off, the benefits of the Sabbath are four. So you're filling four tanks regularly. You have your spiritual tanks, your physical tanks, your mental tanks and your emotional tanks, and when those are filled and when those are working well, then you're in good health mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. So what does it mean, or how can you fill all four of those tanks on the Sabbath each and every week? So, spiritually, if most of you take your Sabbath on a Sunday, then hopefully you're starting your day at church, hopefully you're starting your morning at church and starting your mindset at church. But you know, if you're somebody who is a pastor and you work on Sundays then and you often take a different day, a Monday or a Friday or a. Wednesday or, like you said, if you're a nurse, if you're, you know, if you're somebody who has to work on Sundays, then you could start it with an extra long devotional time. Grab your favorite cup of coffee, cup of tea, whatever it is that you like, and spend the time in God's Word. Put praise and worship music on in the background, whatever. Whatever fills you up spiritually. But that's a great. A great way to start is to focus on the spiritual love tank or emotional tank, or whatever you want to call it, your spiritual tank. Physically, that can look different depending upon the different seasons that you're in. So some seasons we would take hikes every Sunday after church. We would go, I think we would eat lunch first and then go for a hike I can't remember, but I think so and we would hike for like one or two hours every Sunday, somewhere different, easily, and we loved it as a family, absolutely loved it. This particular season that we're in is a tougher season and I find myself we're in a season of grief, we're in a season of transition, we're in a season of very busy, physically demanding, emotionally demanding, mentally demanding, and so I'm finding that I'm taking naps on Sundays, which I used to feel guilty about because I'm like I'm wasting like three hours of my Sabbath by sleeping. But it's not really a waste, because if that's what God is telling me I need to do to stay healthy and to get healthy, then by all means that's what I should do. I have this rule with myself and it's kind of weird, but I, if I think that I'm supposed to take a nap, or if I'm tired and I'm not sure if I'm really supposed to lay down or if I'm just being lazy, I give myself a 10 minute rule so I'll lay down and if I'm asleep within 10 minutes, then I know I really needed it. If I'm still laying there coughing and turning after 10 minutes, then I get up. Then I'm like, eh, I'm just being lazy, there's a better use of my time. So but I have found sorry, I have found in this season that I pretty much lay down and once my head hits the pillow I'm out for a good hour and a half to two hours. So I've learned to stop feeling guilty about that and just thanking God for the blessing of the time to take that nap that I need in order to do what needs to be done the rest of the week. Mentally, this could be lots of different things. So I love to read and one of the things that I do for one of my jobs is I read books. I vet books for potential guests for a podcast not our podcast, but a different podcast. It's a great job, I love it, and sometimes on Sundays I will quote unquote work, because I'll be reading the nonfiction devotional Christian devotional for my work on Sunday, and at first I was like, oh, I'm working, but it all goes back to that heart. It's a state of your heart, it's a heart matter. It's not a legalistic go by the rule, because God doesn't want us to be super legalistic either. He wants us to be. He wanted to be from our heart. He wants our decisions to be from our heart. So because those books show me up, because those books are keeping me focused on God, because those books are teaching me things or reinforcing things whether it's topics like the Sabbath, whether it's topics like self-care, whether it's topics about all the different things that we even talked about here on our podcast I find that sometimes I'll read those and then other times I'll read fiction Christian fiction that I absolutely love. So sometimes it's more carefree, sometimes it's more learning and teaching. But both, I find, help me mentally, because and usually what I'll do is I'll go sit out on our deck, unless it's knowing we're super, super cold, because that fills me up emotionally and mentally, because I love being out there, unless it's like super, super hot or super super cold, like that's my go-to favorite place of our house. It's just, I don't know, it's my happy place. I just feel closer to God out there because I'm outside, I'm getting the fresh air and I just feel close to God there. So I choose to do that. And then, emotionally, for us it's spending time with family, it's just being together, whether we're watching a movie, whether we're playing a board game, whether we're hiking, whether we're sharing a good meal, whether we're just sitting around talking, whatever it is. It's that one day when all of us choose not to work and just enjoy being together. Now, does that mean that it's always Hunky Dory, p-q-teen, everybody's happy? No, I mean some, some status. We've got crab meatness going on, we've got people upset with each other. We've got, you know, it's life. It's just called real life. But overall it's a chance for us to bond. It's a chance for us to work through some of the tough stuff sometimes, because that's just what real life is about. But I think the main focus is that our focus needs to be on God. So when for me, this is just for me, when I'm scrolling through Facebook, that is not my focus, is not on God, my focus I end up upset. I can feel it in my body. I'm not relaxing mentally or emotionally, I'm just upset Like I get I don't know. I mean, studies show that when you're on social media, it can cause depression and it can cause, you know, not the supermost positive feeling in the world, always and for some reason, I don't know. So, like I don't have TikTok, I have those Facebook Reels and it must be that I clicked on one too many really sad ones, because I get like all sad ones. I end up like crying. I don't even know these people. Either there's a dog that's been hurt or somebody that died. I don't know these people and I'm crying because I'm emotionally invested and my heart hurts for them. So, yeah, so that's not the best way for me to spend my Saturday or my Sunday it's my Sabbath by being all depressed because then my husband's like what's wrong with you? I'm like Kim's dead, who nagged him, I don't know. And they haven't been married for very long and he has this really sweet montage thing and it's just awful. They have three young kids built. This is terrible. And so I mean that is not helpful or beneficial for me. I'm not following the Philippians 4-8. Another area I used to watch a show on TV. It was probably not the best of shows. It was one of those real life shoot. I can't even think like true, true life drama type things about couples and I found, while I don't necessarily know if the show itself was one that I shouldn't be watching or should be watching, it was more tame than some of the others, but I found that my mindset was not in a good place when I was finished watching it and we would binge watch it like three hours on Sunday nights, and it used to be what I really looked forward to watching, and I have found also another one that I can't watch is Kate Plus 8. Kate Plus 8 used to be on a long time ago and then it turned to me, or no, it was John and Kate Plus 8. And then it was Kate Plus 8. Well, I couldn't watch John and Kate Plus 8 either, because I started to act like Kate, and Kate was a mean, mean wife. She was terrible to him, absolutely terrible, and I would find myself getting that critical spirit and pour my heart out. He didn't do anything and yeah, so he was getting blamed for stuff that John was doing. So for me, I have to stay away from those types of shows, because it doesn't do me any good. It is not helping me focus on God and it is not recharging me mentally or emotionally. So for me, I have to stay away from that. Instead, found this show, kara. I love it. It's interesting and scary all at the same time. It's called Customer Wars. It's on A&E. Oh, yeah, and now there's another one out there. So you know how when they get a hit, they have to, like you know, piggyback it to others. Now there's one called Neighbor Wars. We were watching that the other day. I'm like, oh my word, the things that people do very entertaining. It does not make me feel depressed or down or have a weird mindset afterwards. Instead, I just shake my head and go, oh my word, did that person really do that? But so for me, those are the kind of things that I need to do to fill me up and to keep my focus on God. So what about you?Speaker 1:
A lot of those things that you mentioned do as well with as far as shows go, or, yeah, same thing with Facebook. I have filtered a lot of my social media to just be those people I want to hear from. Basically, it's time consuming, but I do it for each one that I'm on and whether that's my Instagram or my Facebook or my Twitter and even those that I follow. It's like and because I am a political junkie and I have to be careful who I follow and listen to, because sometimes all you got to do is open it up and then you're blasted with something that could have your heat boiling internally. You're just like what? I can't believe that this person did that and this person did this, and so I have to be. I have filtered those to where I just get those that I want to get and, like you, sherry, I and this goes for TV commercials too and I want to preface this by saying I love animals. I love, love, love, love, love them, but I cannot watch the commercials where they talk about abused animals, and I can't watch the the reels, either Because I cannot and I either fast forward or because we have had a risk, and when I just can't. I just it's not something that's mentally good for me because, like you said, it takes you to a different place, right, and I'm ready to go and to our neighborhood animal rescue and take every last one of them, okay, and or send a mean letter to someone who's abusing their animals, you know, and it's like, or well, I just leave it at that. So, yes, I try not to click on those things because that's part of the algorithm, right? Oh, she clicked on it, so she must like it, and so I don't do that anymore, because a lot of that stuff will pop up. So I try to manage it that way. Tv wise, I am a I used to love medical dramas. The older I get, not so much anymore, you know. It's not that I won't watch them, I just don't binge them as much as I, as I used to. Now my passion, and what's always been a passion, is it's just that I because I don't do medical dramas anymore documentaries I love anything legal, legal, and it's like I love legal dramas, not necessarily crime or true crime, but either legal dramas or like court TV or something like that, and it's I don't know why, but I just have gotten this thing where I immensely. I'm comparing the lawyers and like I'll be listening to the case and I'm sitting there going dude. You need to fire that lawyer. They're like bad you know it's like you need to fire them because you're going to spend the rest of your life in jail and you didn't even do it. You know, I like seeing the, the defense and a prosecuting attorney, you know things like that, just the whole legal aspect of it. However, that doesn't give me upset at night, so I can watch illegal dramas or just watch legal cases. It doesn't involve anything like too graphic and everything like that, and I can do that. But I want to add something. When you were talking about the four things about the Sabbath contains mental, physical, spiritual and, I think, emotional. You believe you added. You said I just want to add financial, and I know a lot of people are probably saying, kara, how does that even work? I'm taking off work, you know, and everything else. So how could that be? Or taking off work or not working when I could be working, rather, and so how does that benefit you? How would that benefit me financially? And I just want to say I really think when you truly start observing the Sabbath, not only are you blessed with peace, you're also blessed with clarity of mind, and I think when you just sit back and you just enjoy the Sabbath and you rest, your mind also rests and with that comes clarity of mind. So if there was something on your job or in your business that you possibly were struggling with, or something like that, all of a sudden you get clarity on how to fix that situation, because you're not thinking on it, you're focusing on God, and God is a rewarder of those who seek Him. And you could just be laying back in a hammock, for instance, and just enjoying a beautiful Sunday or Sabbath day and all of a sudden it hit you like I know the answer, I know what I need to do, you know, and it is because your mind is clear and it's not competing with anything, and God can download so many things into our mind and spirit that he knows will bless us. But sometimes he can't do it because we're not listening, because our mind is so bogged up with so many other things, with family, with relationships, with job, with coworkers, with all the other, with work related things. But when you just kind of relax your mind and it's like you're not even thinking about it, and then your eyes pop open and all of a sudden you get the answer, and not only that, spiritually, when we're fully rested and everything else, I just think God just really speaks to us in ways regarding all of that stuff, but our mind and bodies need to be at rest, and when that's at rest, then he's able to. It helps us not just the way, the four ways, the sharing bench, but it also helps us financially, because sometimes you may get a brand new idea. You know, sherry and I are both nowalists. We may get a brand new book idea for those who are thinking about starting a business and you're like well, should it be this, this, this or that? And all of a sudden it comes to you, you know, or you're like oh, college semester starting soon, I have no idea how to pay for it. Then all of a sudden something comes up, so it could be a blessing as well, simply because we are focusing on the giver of all things, the giver of creation, the giver of all things, and when we seek Him first, all those other answers will come to us. Has that happened to you, sherry?Speaker 2:
Well, I'm so glad that you brought that up, Kara, because that is the one thing that I didn't even, that I failed to mention, and that is taking time to just be still and just be with.Speaker 1:
We can hear. We can't hear God in the noise, we can hear God in the quiet, and if we don't give Him that opportunity and we don't give Him that quiet, then he can't speak to us. So I'm so glad that you brought that up, because that is so important. It's probably one of the most important parts of the Sabbath and that is to just take that time to be quiet with Him, whether that's worship, music, quietly in the background whether that, just sitting, like you said, in the hammock with nothing. I think that that's golden. You hit the nail on the head and I think that's the perfect way to end the podcast today is a challenge to our listeners. What if you spent 15 minutes of quiet with God? Start out with five, increase it to 10, increase it to 15. And what if you made that a part of your daily habit, not just on the Sabbath, but five minutes of quiet every day, or 10 minutes of quiet every day, so that you could have that opportunity, or give God that opportunity, to speak to you? Think of the benefits that you would have mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually and financially. As you said, if you enjoyed today's podcast, if you would email us at cheeruppodcastcom if you have a prayer request or need encouragement, we would love for you to reach out to us either at cheeruppodcastgmailcom or over on our Facebook group, the cheerup podcast on Facebook. Join our community there. We love interacting with our listeners. We love interacting with new listeners, old listeners, every listener in between. Head over to Cara's website, caraarhuntcom or SherrySwallwellcom. We have tools that, if you are interested in becoming a Christ follower and surrendering your heart to God, we have resources over there on both of our websites. If you want to grow your relationship with God, you can check out the monthly membership over on my website. And we just finished up last month, a four-month series of a book series. We went through the Screwtape letters by CS. If you enjoyed that, let us know. Is that something that you would like us to consider doing a new book next summer? And you have a suggestion of a book for us to do? Let us know that as well, so that we can either read it, if we haven't read it, so that we can consider it. So you can either email those suggestions or you can put them on the Facebook page and just let us know if that's something that you want to see us do again next summer. So, having said all that, we really have enjoyed talking today about the different benefits. Why don't you head over to the community or to the Facebook community group and let us know different ways that you observe the Sabbath? Maybe you can give us some new ideas of ways that we can incorporate into our Sabbath rest. Next week we're going to come back and we're going to talk about the hindrances to observing the Sabbath, and Kara so nicely said and she put it so well at the beginning of this podcast today this is a blessing that God gives us, but what if our family resists observing the Sabbath? What if our boss demands that we work on our Sabbath? What if, what if, what, if, what do we do? How do we handle it? How do we honor God and put Him first and disobey others, at the risk, possibly, of losing our jobs? Hopefully, it wouldn't get to be that, but what if that's the real possibility that we're dealing with? So come back next week and we're going to talk about that. Have a great rest of your day, have a great rest of your week, and we will talk to you next week. Thank you.