Distractions, especially those orchestrated by Satan, can deter us from observing God's edicts, including the Sabbath. This discussion paves the way for us to delve into the rich concept of non-legalistic Sabbath observance, throwing light on ways to serve others and practice self-care while keeping God's wishes at heart.
Ever wondered how to initiate a chat with God? Let's demystify that for you! A significant part of our conversation centers around how to foster your bond with God, at a pace that's comfortable for you. We share insights on starting dialogues with Him, allowing His guidance, and provide valuable resources to augment your Sabbath experience. Let us also remind you that even mundane tasks like painting, or house cleaning, can lead to spiritual upliftment and a unique opportunity to connect with God. So, tune in and join us on this enlightening journey. We promise, you'll walk away with a richer understanding of celebrating life, the Sabbath, and most importantly, nurturing your relationship with God.
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Hi and welcome to the Cheer Up Podcast. I am your host, kara R Hunt, and with me is the very talented Sherry Swawa. How are you?Speaker 2:
today. Sherry, I am fantastic. Well, first off, I can't believe that it's already the middle of October, but it is almost my favorite holiday. I have to say I did not realize that this is a Midwest Michigan holiday. I thought it was like a everybody holiday, but I love Swedish day. Swedish day is probably by far one of my favorite holidays, besides Christmas. Christmas and Easter are right up there before Swedish day. I love Swedish day more than Valentine's Day, probably because it's been my favorite season, which is fall versus winter-ish. I don't know, there's just something about it that just makes it that much more special to me. Do you guys celebrate Swedish day? Is that just seriously a Michigan thing?Speaker 1:
I have heard of it. No, we've never observed it. I honestly couldn't even tell you what day it's on.Speaker 2:
I don't know the day itself either, necessarily, I'll have to look that up myself but you and your husband should celebrate it, kara. It is like one of the most fun days when we were younger, or when our kids were younger, I should say it is. Oh, actually it's Saturday, october 21st, so it is, it's the Saturday coming up. I knew it was coming up soon, but when our kids were younger, in order to make it fun for everybody, we would always, on Swedish day, only have dessert for dinner. So whether that's a banana split, whether that meant brownies, it didn't really matter, but we would only have dessert for dinner. And our kids still remember that and they still ask us to this day. So are we having just dessert tonight, or do we get more food? So I think you and your husband should start celebrating it. I mean, why not Like? We're on an adventure, we're living life? Life is good. Why not enjoy it? Right? Add one more? Oh, absolutely, absolutely.Speaker 1:
And actually, to be honest, I think we ought to have an unofficial Swedish date one day, at least a month, okay.Speaker 2:
On every month.Speaker 1:
For every couple. Yeah, let's just say the first Saturday or last Friday of every month should be a couple of sweetest days, like that's the day you set aside, you don't work overtime, you don't take on extra shifts, you don't take on extra projects, and it's just something that you do. Money doesn't have to be involved because, like Sherry said, you could just decide to have pancakes for dinner that day, absolutely, and you could just have someone, absolutely yeah, and just focus on your loved ones. So yeah, I think definitely. I kind of like that.Speaker 2:
You know, now you've got me thinking. I think, in addition to that, we need to do a series all about minimizing and how to have fun without spending a lot of money, because we have, I mean, the economy. We're not even going to go into that, because that's a whole another episode, but the economy is definitely challenging lately. So why do I think we should have a series? Let's get out there. If you guys want us to do a series about how to have fun on a limited budget, I think we should do one. I think because you know, it's all about the mindset and it's all about your heart and you can make it as fun as you want to. So, just like you said once a month first day to say, celebrating it, you don't have to spend a lot of money. Well, maybe that's why it's better than Valentine's Day, because Valentine's Day comes with so much pressure. But we never really do that in our family anyway, and not the type that wants a dozen roses and to go out to dinner. We usually just stuff at home, nice and casual anyway, but I think that would be really fun. Yeah, I do.Speaker 1:
And you know, it could be a day where you just send your loved one cute little romantic texts all throughout the day.Speaker 2:
Those are so much fun. That cost nothing, but man does.Speaker 1:
it fill me up, Right, it's just like you could just be texting back and forth, no one knows what you got, but all of a sudden you're smiling right and your coworkers and everybody's like. Are you okay?Speaker 2:
Well, I completely agree, kara. I think that that is Definitely something that we need to do. So, speaking about that, today we are still talking about the Sabbath, we are talking about what our series is this month, and today we are going to be talking about the hindrances that come with the Sabbath. So what kind of things do our obstacles that come in the way? We have talked many times in the past about how Satan is. Anytime you are doing something for God, anytime that you are advancing the kingdom or just sharing God's love with other people, the enemy is going to have a temper tantrum because he is not happy with you making a statement or just bringing to light things that God wants brought to light and not stayed hidden. So there are going to be instances where Satan is going to. So if you are doing something good for God, if you are observing the Sabbath, which is a command that he gives to us, if you are tiding, if you are turning the other cheek, if you are forgiving any of those things that you are doing, satan is going to have a temper tantrum, because he is not going to want to distract you. He is going to want to make you think that his way is better. He is going to make you or he is going to bring instances, choices, where you can either choose to continue to obey God or you can choose to do it his way. So that is kind of what we are talking about today. So do you have? Are there different hindrances that you have found in your life, tara, or different hindrances that you just know of in general, that people have shared with you that have made it so that observing the Sabbath is kind of a challenge?Speaker 1:
Yes, you know, family can be one, and just to unpack that one a little bit is you may be all for wanting to relax and connect with God on your Sabbath, but, for instance, your spouse may be let's go swimming, you know what I am saying. Or how can you take today off Like don't we need the money? Aren't you trying to get that promotion? Don't you want your business to succeed? You know things like that. Kids, right, and they are. Oh, mom, I need you to go here and go there because I need this and I need that. Family can definitely be one that can be very hard to be able to if they are not all on board. Family can be very much of a hindrance, you know. But in reality, though, a lot of us already have boundaries around things around the time, block around things that we like, and I'm probably going to get ready to out a family member here, because if they ever heard this podcast, they're going to know exactly what I'm talking about. You know that I'm talking about them, but I had an older family member one time, and at this time it may have changed now, but if I ever called her around between four and five o'clock on a weekday. If she answered, it was a very quick answer and it would be. You know better than to call me when Young and the Restless is on, okay. So it's like she had already set a boundary for that one hour, for instance, because that was like her favorite soap opera, soap drama or whatnot. And I think a lot of times we already set those up. But then, when it comes to setting that time aside for us to just reconnect with God, to just listen to Him and to seek His face and to let Him talk to us, clear out all the other stuff that he could talk to us, we're hesitant. You know that is the greatest benefit you know of all. And again, I think another one is you know a schedule. Like I said, you know, if you work on Sunday, a lot of people think they can't thoroughly or truthfully observe the Sabbath if it's not like on Friday, saturday or Sunday, depending on where you are. But again, it's a heart issue. It's that day that you set aside to say this is the day that I just want to focus on the Lord, I want to really get into my Bible study, whichever one you're doing. I really just want to talk to the Lord, just pray with the Lord, just clear my mind, not focus on those other things. Another is financial, because you could just be. You can say, wow, I really cannot afford to take this day off. And, sherry, like you mentioned in previous podcasts, it's about trust. The God will provide all of your needs, you know. Again, the scripture just talks about how he is a rewarder of those who seek him and a lot of times we just have to say you know what, I'm going to do it anyway. Another one is guilt, because you could just sit back and you could. You feel guilty because you're not doing anything. And culture has told us that you can't just sit back and relax and just focus on God. There's things to do, chop, chop. You know you need to cross every T and you need to dot every I and you don't have time to waste. And my answer to that is say not today to the enemy. You know it's like nope. Guess what I am going to? Focus on me. Excuse me, my relationship with the Lord, but him, talk to me, I talk to him and all of that other stuff is going to align because it's just the way it works. It's just the way it's going to work, and I am not going to do that. And I also think we need to in quotation marks fight for our time, just like we don't want anybody bothering us before we have our coffee in the morning, or something like that, we need to say, hey, you know, I, this is the day that I am setting apart, and please respect that. And if there's anything else that you feel like you may need to do on that day, can you tell me now so that I can work, I can plan my schedule around it? But not only does it we're doing that benefit you, it will benefit your spouse, your children, your employer, your employees, your business, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally and, like we discussed, financially. It all will be a blessing because you're no longer just driving, striving, striving to get all of those things that are, you know, on your little shoulder, just constantly saying you have to do, you have to do, you have to do. Instead, you'll be thriving because you're doing and you're following God's lead in it instead of trying to do it your way which, by the way, you may have to end up redoing anyway, because God probably was like did you ask me before you did that? You know and everything else, and so a lot of times it's just best to just sit back, take that time and just reflect and ask for guidance and wisdom. Did any of that make sense, Sherry? Oh, absolutely.Speaker 2:
And you know, originally, when I thought about hindrances and so forth, I would think about family and I thought about bosses and I thought about yes. And in fact, one. I am a people pleaser and I am a recovering people pleaser because I am trying to not be a people pleaser. God has been working with me on boundaries. He's been working with me on so many different things and the thing is is that when you truly care about somebody, whether it's your boss, whether it's your family, whether it's your children, you want to help them and you want to not make them upset with you. And I have had to have the stance sometimes of you know what, if I end up getting fired because I'm putting up a boundary to keep my sad as holy, then God's going to take care of me because I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm not. I'm not sinning, I'm not committing a crime, I'm not doing something that would normally not require I'm trying to think of the right word that would normally warrant getting fired. I am upholding what God wants me to uphold. So I have the assurance and I have the trust that if it were to come to that, if I were to get fired, god's got a better job for me, god's got a different avenue for me and he's got one that is will be more rewarding than the rest. I'm not going to tuck that in the back of your head because people, please, are like me, but other people I mean. But the other issue that you kind of touched on that I didn't even really think about is just self-sabotage. We sabotage ourselves so often because, like you said, for so many different reasons. And then, in addition to all of that this might sound contradictory to what we just talked about, but bear with me because it all kind of flows together and that is, we're not supposed to observe the Sabbath legalistically. So, in other words, god, jesus, used to get so irritated with the Pharisees because they wouldn't let. Well, they stated that on the Sabbath you weren't supposed to do any work. So that included if somebody was hurt or something you weren't allowed to feel. You weren't allowed to pick the grain on the side of the road when you were hungry and you were walking by. All those different things like that. All it stems back to what we were talking about, that it's a position of the heart. So say, for instance, modern day issues you take care of your parents, not on a regular basis, like they don't live with you, but in our instance, or in our case my in-laws was next door to us and for some reason it seemed like every, not every, but it seemed like most of the time that there were issues or emergencies, it would be Saturday night, early Sunday morning. I mean there was no way that we were not going to help them, even though it was on a Sunday, and I don't mean it like. That sounds so cold and harsh and I don't mean it that way, but I just mean we need to be non legalistic about it. If you're, my pastor described the Shabbos and Shabbos activities as something that you don't normally do to make a paycheck. So if you want to paint, like, say, you're painting the outside of your house and you want to paint. Sunday. If you love it, go for it, Like it's not, as long as you're not a professional painter and you're getting paid for it, even if you're going over to somebody's house and helping them paint on a Sunday.Speaker 1:
Or helping them move, yeah.Speaker 2:
Yeah, or helping them move. That is something that fills you up and something that you want to do, then go for it. If your parents need help, if your kids need help, if somebody stranded on the side of the road, one of your relatives, by all means go and help them, Like that's the essence of being a Christ follower. So I guess one of our kids, when they were younger, would procrastinate and they would not do what they were supposed to do their chores during the week. And then they would wait, and when we told them that they had to do it on Sunday before they were allowed to do anything else, we would get the. But this is the Sabbath. We're not supposed to work on the Sabbath. We're supposed to do the Sabbath earlier this week when you refused to do your work. So you already had your Sabbath to get busy. So you know, the whole point is not to make it legalistic but to keep it a heart issue. What helps you focus the most on God? What helps you focus on growing closer to Him and filling up your batteries and filling up in those four areas that we talked about? And sometimes, tara, sometimes the filling up is by doing things for others, whether it's visiting your sudden relative, whether it's whatever. Sometimes filling up and focusing on God is giving to others. Sometimes that's the greatest blessing. So don't underestimate and don't pigeonhole what a Sabbath activity can look like, because if God puts it in your heart and you feel peace about it and it's nothing that's illegal, immoral or unbiblical, then more than likely God's saying go for it, do it.Speaker 1:
Absolutely. And, like you mentioned, if you want to paint your house or something like that, god can be talking to you with each and every stroke, and if that's the way you relax and you can still hear God, go for it. Some people are like that with house cleaning. They put on praise music or what not, or worship music and they start cleaning their house. And because doing something routine like that that doesn't require a lot of thought can leave your mind open and your spirit open to hear things right, and that's basically what it is. It's just doing whatever helps clear your mind. But, sherry, I did want to add something to this before we wrapped up. At first, if any of my listeners heard Fourth of July music or fireworks, I apologize. That was just my our monitoring system letting me know that someone was in the shed. It's all good. There's no intruder. It was my husband and I think I fixed that now, so just ignore that. But regarding one more thing, I think it's very important to add. To add, as we talk about things like me, hindrances, or and or not pigeon, put yourself in a pigeon hole. One of the things is that I think a lot of people, when they come to set when it comes to the Sabbath, will also say well, isn't that the same as meditation? And I want to say uh, equivocally, no, meditation and observing the Sabbath are not the same thing, and of course it depends on what type of medic meditation you're doing, but it is not the same thing as observing the Sabbath. And the Sabbath is strictly observing a biblical mandate, a command, a commandment to do as the Lord describes, you know, in the scriptures. And the Lord should be your focus, no one or nobody and or nothing else. And, um, because I know a lot of people say, oh, what meditate in the morning and that's fine. Well, no no, not necessarily, Um, because, again, depending on the source of your meditation, that's something completely different. And meditating is mediate, meditating on one particular thing or topic, or like erasing your mind but then filling it, filling it with a whole bunch of other stuff. That's ungodly most of the time. I'm not saying all of the time, I'm saying most of the time. That is not the same as observing the Sabbath. The Sabbath is something that you're going to set apart, constant, concentrate, pretty much make it a holy time between you and the Lord. Have you had experience of meditation, sherry, or known people who have and maybe have confused it with, like, observing the Sabbath, or resting or or something like that?Speaker 2:
Um, I've had people that talked about, like, doing daily meditation. I don't necessarily talk to them about it, more simply because it's not something that I agree with or believe in or practice myself. Um, not that I'm opposed to having a conversation with anybody, but I don't have um, I don't have a lot of of experience with that, but I completely won a wholeheartedly, 100% agree with you. I'm so glad that you brought that up because it is so very, very different.Speaker 1:
It's, it's the and it could be deceptive.Speaker 2:
Um, right, and observing the Sabbath is intentional and purposeful and focused. It's not, um, it's not freeing your mind from, from every thought. It's purposefully focusing your mind on God and allowing him just being quiet. Not not and emptying your mind of everything, but just being quiet, not having those outside influences and outside noises, distractions getting in the way. That's, that's the difference.Speaker 1:
And it's a huge one, you're right, right Um and. I think you just put that perfectly. Yes, it's not um emptying your mind, Cause then when you do that, anything can fill it.Speaker 2:
Exactly, and that's not you have to be careful yeah. Yeah.Speaker 1:
Yeah, so you have to be careful. So pass on the meditation and focus on this happens. So okay, I'm done.Speaker 2:
Well, I think that that is a great place to end today. Next week we I can't believe it, but we're already at the last episode of this series. So next week we're going to talk about how to find our pace with the Sabbath because, like any good thing in life, any good habit that we get into, any good discipline that we get into, it works so much better if you prepare ahead of time.Speaker 1:
Oh yes.Speaker 2:
I can say it goes so much easier if you prepare ahead of time. So we're going to talk next week about one of the easy ways that you can prepare ahead of time so that when you go to observe the Sabbath, it goes smoother for you, it's more relaxing and it's not there's no pressure to it and no, yeah, it just flows so much better. So we're going to talk about that because we want, more than anything else, to give you the tools that we can to encourage you and to make your life as a Christ follower that much easier. So, having said that, if you need encouragement, if you need prayer, head on over to the Cheer Up podcast at gmailcom. Send us stop with an email, let us know and we'll be happy to pray with you, encourage you, talk to you, get to know you all of the above. Join our community Facebook group at Cheer Up Podcast. Head over to Cara's website, caraarhuntcom, or head over to SherrySwawellcom. Like I said, january, we have some awesome things happening, not talking about them yet, but I can't wait until you guys join us so that you can hear more about Cara's Habactics series and if you do want to learn how to grow your relationship or maybe not even learn how to grow your relationship, but you just want accountability to grow your relationship with God, jesus in every day. Monthly membership was created for people like you, like that people with that goal in mind. It's just a way to help you jumpstart your relationship with God, grow it in your own pace, talk about different topics kind of like we do here on the podcast and just kind of help start those conversations with God and then let Him take it where he wants to take it and you take it where you want to take it. So if you're interested in the monthly membership, head over to SherrySwawellcom and it's called Jesus in the Everyday. You'll see the tab, click on it and learn more about it. That way, we are so glad that you're here. I'm really kind of sad that we're almost done talking about the Sabbath, but, as always, we just like to give you enough so that you can then go on your own and hear what God wants you to say and I mean hear what God wants to tell you and continue the conversation with Him afterwards. So come back next week. We're going to talk about finding your pace and give you some tips and tools to help make your Sabbath experience the best that it can be. Have a great rest of your day and we will talk to you next week.