Week 54 – Shout it Out!

“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Mark 16:15

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

How do you share God’s love and truth with others?

I thought I was suppose to be a full-time overseas missionary when I was in my early twenties.  I decided this without really asking God what He wanted for me.  Thankfully, God closed doors in that area and opened doors in other areas.  But I was devastated at the time!  From that experience, I slowly learned that God’s idea of sharing His love and salvation with others is much broader than mine.

I have a passion for missions and have had the privilege of teaching missions to children for over ten years.  I tell the kids that missions is sharing God’s love and truth wherever we go.  If we are a Christian, it is a command- not an option.  A mission field can be our neighborhood, school, workplace, city, or any place around the world.

I see so many people leaving mission work to the “missionaries.”  We are the “church” and it falls to us to tell others the good news.  If it seems boring, time-consuming, uncomfortable or scary then we need to ask God to change our perspective.  If God is filling my life with joy and peace, why wouldn’t I want to share that with others?

In our old neighborhood, my husband and I got to know some kids around our area and invited them over on the weekends for Biblestudy time, games and snacks.   A lot of the kids didn’t have adults watching them when they were at home and they longed for adult attention.  Most hadn’t been to church and one girl told us she had never heard of Jesus.

Later, we started a Tuesday prayer night for the families on our block.  We met at the house of a lady who had lived in the neighborhood for over 30 years.  Most people knew her and felt more comfortable at her house.  Although not everyone came to the prayer time, most would share their concerns with us and appreciated the prayers for their families as we went from house to house beforehand.

Our current neighborhood is full of “churched” people who are not as open to getting outside their homes and sharing with one another.  So we’ve had to find different ways to do missions in this area.  I encourage my church kids to really look for ways to reach out and share God with our community.  Children’s Shelters, Food Banks, Clothing Banks, and Prison Ministries are just a few places where people can jump in and help meet important needs of those who are hurting and need God’s help to make a difference in their lives.

My point is that people EVERYWHERE need God’s love and truth.  Don’t wait around for an opportunity- go looking for one.  Whether in your neighborhood, in another state or halfway around the world, the needs are great!  Jump in and be a part of what God is doing!

Earlier this summer, I asked you to pray for Pastor Steven James, who has been following this blog since the start.  He is the pastor of Verona 7th Day Baptist Church in New York.  He had an opportunity to go to Kenya during the month of June.  While there, he was able to see the needs of the people, connect with them on a personal level and walk away with the knowledge of how his church can continue to minister to the people there.  If you didn’t follow along with his blog during his trip, you can read a few highlights by clicking on the two links below.

Meeting First with the First!


Snapshots of SDB Kenyan Churches


I still believe that going to another country to share God’s truth can be an eye-opening experience that will change your perspective on the world forever!  If God ever opens the doors for you to take such a trip, don’t hesitate!  But I have also come to firmly believe that we are all missionaries ever day wherever we find ourselves!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

*By the way, I wanted to tell everyone thank you for all the prayers concerning the health of me and the baby!  I saw a different doctor last week and am praying right now for wisdom concerning what type of care and treatment to proceed with.  The great news is that I got to see the baby and he/she is doing well!

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 55 – Refreshing Change

What a beautiful Sabbath!  Refreshing to my soul and spirit!  It makes me so thankful to God for creating the seasons!Sometimes the week can go by and feel long, tiring, and wearisome.  I especially have this problem throughout the summertime.  Many scheduled activities come to a halt, but I’m stuck inside with scorching heat.  We’ve had a drought in our area most of the summer and only got a handful of rain.  The average heat was 100-115 degrees.

But this Sabbath evening (Friday sundown) brought with it some cool weather.  A small storm rolled in and the wind was marvelous!  It rained over night and we woke to temperatures in the 70s!  This may not seem like a big deal, but I can tell you we really needed the break here!

I took my girls outside to play about mid morning.  After a few minutes, I ran back inside to tell my husband that he had to come out and join us- he just couldn’t miss this day!  Instead of a furnace searing into my skin, the sun felt like comforting warmth that I wanted to soak up.  The sky was crystal clear blue and all the colors seemed so vivid.  It couldn’t have been more relaxing!

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year.  It may be because I’ve always lived in places with very hot summers!  Whatever the reason, it seems like the earth breaths a refreshing sigh of relief.  A coolness sets in and revitalizes my mind.  The heavy heat dissipates and lifts my spirit.

Sabbath is just like Autumn for me.  I deal with the pressures and stress of the week, day in and day out.  Work continues whether I feel like it or not.  But Sabbath is that day of refreshment when the weight lifts and the coolness of God breaths on me to refresh my body and spirit!  I anticipate it each week because of the joy it brings!

I realize that our heat is not completely gone, but Autumn is drawing near.  It won’t last forever because Winter cold will follow on its heels.  But I take comfort in the fact that Sabbath is there every week to bring the necessary rest and refreshment that I need, no matter what the weather is outside!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 53 – Quick Note

Hello to everyone!  I’d like to thank all of you who celebrated with me last week on my one year anniversary of keeping Sabbath!  Your comments, likes, and shares were wonderful!

Some of you asked if I would be continuing this blog after the one year mark.  I honestly had been thinking of stopping it soon, but realized that I need to pray and ask God whether I should continue.  If He keeps supplying the words and time, then I will keep writing.

I have struggled a bit the past two and a half months to get the blog done because of a physical illness.  The illness was brought on by something wonderful, though, . . . I am unexpectedly pregnant with my third child!  We are very excited, but it has been a rough beginning.

So no deep thoughts this time.  In fact, Sabbath rest was just what my family needed this weekend!  We rested and rested all day long (and stayed in our pj’s!).  I am so grateful to God for creating the day of rest!

We have hope that doctors can figure out this illness and get it under control before it affects the baby.  My husband and I are 100% certain that God is in control and will bring the solution that will give Him glory.  I just pray for the strength to handle whatever comes our way!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 52 – Blessing Of The Sabbath Celebration!

It has officially been a year since I started keeping Sabbath!  I am so excited that God revealed this blessing to my family and that we have been able to take part in it this past year!

If you have been with me from the beginning, you will remember that I didn’t know anything about Sabbath when I started.  I had no idea what the Sabbath really was or how to go about keeping it.  My husband and I had been prompted by God through His Word to keep Sabbath, so we just began and trusted that God would direct us.

Being directed by God, and not people, has been the key for my Sabbath journey.  The Bible is my tool and the Holy Spirit leads me.  I have researched many groups, churches, organizations, and individuals who practice Sabbath and have found some Biblically solid teaching to encourage me in my walk.

It has been the desire of my family to be around others who keep the Sabbath.  We found few options where we live, but have joined in with a Messianic Jewish home group for Bible study on some Sabbath afternoons.  This has been encouraging and helpful in our journey.  My husband has also had the opportunity to work long-distance with a Hebrew Roots Ministry who has a great online service on Sabbath evenings.

The prayer of my family this past year has been for my husband’s income to be replaced elsewhere, so we could be released from our Southern Baptist church.  My husband works full-time for them as the Media minister and has to work every service on Sunday.  We fully expected God to lead us away from this church quickly.  But to our surprise, He has kept us there and continues to open doors for us to share with others what God has been showing us in His Word.  I don’t know how much longer we will be there, but it is great to know that we are ready to leave when God calls us.  We have been a part of this congregation for over a decade and we love them dearly and care about their spiritual direction.  We pray that God would reveal His truth to many there.

Way back in December of last year, I came to an understanding about the purpose of Sabbath.  It was very freeing to let go of “expectations” and embrace what God intended for this special day.  I looked back at a few phrases from my blog during that time that convey what I learned.

“When the HOW of keeping Sabbath overpowers the WHY of keeping Sabbath, everything seems to go out the door.  On the other hand, when the focus is on the WHY everything else seems to fall into place on its own.”

“If I keep the Sabbath because I have to, there is nothing gained.  If I do it because I want to, then my blessings overflow!  My heart wanders and is not always faithful.  But oh the joy when it finds its’ rest in the Lord!”

This blog, of course, has been a key element for keeping me on track and accountable for what I have learned about Sabbath.  You readers have given me countless words of wisdom and encouragement and prompted me to go further in my studies.  I am indebted to all of you and can’t thank you enough for being a part of my journey this past year!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 51 – Do You Love To Encourage Others?

Do we love to encourage others?

Some people have the gift of encouragement.  I think of Barnabas in the Bible.  But others, like myself, have to work at it.  Encouragement takes effort and thought about another person.  Criticism, on the other hand, takes little thought and usually rolls right off the tongue.

This Sabbath, I felt challenged to work on my encouragement skills and less on my criticizing.  As I weighed the pros and cons (as I like to do!), I discovered some things.

(Godly) Encouragement:

1. Builds others up
2. Motivates others in the right direction
3. Shows others they are loved and important
4. Can be just the thing to stop someone from self-destructive behavior
5. Reflects our Lord to others
6. Builds our own character to be more Christ-like
7. Can allow us to speak the truth in love in a way that is helpful to others
8. Forces you to put yourself in another’s shoes
9. Forces a vertical point of view
10. Forces us to place a trust on a better future created by our God

1. Takes time to think about
2. Takes more effort than criticism

3. Requires a higher level of maturity
4. Can make us uncomfortable if we discover it is hard for us

(Unconstructive) Criticism:

1. We briefly feel better
2. We get to release some pressure immediately
3. We sometimes identify a real problem
4. We don’t have to think hard about a solution because we have dumped that responsibility on the hearer
5. God is able to use anything to bring about His glory, despite the intention of others

1. Tears others down
2. Turns others off from anything you have to say
3. Shows others you think little of them
4. Vents your dislike of others’ words or actions through a personal attack
5. Can push someone to destructive behavior
6. Reflects our selfish, imperfect nature
7. Puts a bad light on Christians-hypocrisy
8. Tears down our own character

It is obvious to me that encouragement is the way to go.  I just need God’s help to make it my more natural response to others.  So often, when I disagree with someone’s words or behavior, I am quick to criticize.  “What were they thinking?”  “Don’t they know better?”  “I thought they were smarter than that!”  “I bet I could set them straight!”

I really don’t want to be a part of the problem.  God must get SO frustrated as He works to move in people’s lives to speak truth to them in a way that is helpful and then I come in and tear the person back down and turn them away from Him!

How can I be a part of the solution?  I choose to start by making myself aware of my actions.  I can evaluate at the end of the day whether I was an encourager or a criticizer.  As I get more familiar with my actions, I can recognize which path I am taking “in the moment” and ask God for His help to encourage.

I know that I LOVE when others take time to encourage me!  It’s crazy for me to be unwilling to do the same!  I am reminded of some weeks during my Sabbath Challenge when negative and argumentative comments were a discouragement.  Then one person would speak some heart-felt encouragement and truly lift my spirits!

Can you share a moment when someone’s encouragement had a positive,  life-changing effect on you?

Until next week,

Lisa G.
Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog


I recently discovered that I have been emailing my blog to Posterous, but it has not been posting.  Most of my readers see my posts on Facebook, but I like to post them here for those who do not use Facebook.

This site is eight weeks behind, so I will try and manually post them to catch everyone up.

Sorry I didn’t catch it sooner!

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 50 – Just for Fun


Whether you are interested in celebrating the Biblical feasts or not,
and whether you believe them to still be kept or not, there are some
videos that are fun to watch. They give me a quick glance of some
feasts and peak my interest in learning more.

These are strictly for fun! No deep meaning here. But they are
uplifting! The group that performs is called The Fountainheads. They
sing and dance to share about some of the Biblical celebrations. I
came across them back when I was looking up information about Passover
(the only feast day my family has participated in).

Some videos are obviously better than others. I think they improved
as they went along! I am sharing my personal favorite with you- Rosh
Hashanah. It is the Jewish New Year celebration. While I have not
been a part of Rosh Hashanah before, I always think that I would love
to join this group in celebration when I watch the video! It gets my
whole family dancing and singing!

I read that three of the tunes used in the videos were based off of
some American secular songs, so I want to make it clear that neither
The Fountainheads nor I support the songs of those secular artists. I
think the idea is to draw in people who might not normally consider
the Biblical feasts because they view them as boring or strictly
Jewish holidays. By putting in familiar things from our culture, it
serves as a bridge to connect the younger generations and show them
that these feasts can be celebrated by everyone.

My family and I enjoyed watching these videos again this Sabbath. I
hope that you will enjoy them as well! And for those of you who have
celebrated Rosh Hashanah, please let me know if it is as exciting as
it looks!

I would love to hear about your favorite Biblical feast/celebration
and why you enjoy celebrating!

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Songs by the Fountainheads:
Dip Your Apple- Rosh Hashanah
Breakin’ Free- Passover
Light Up the Night- Hanukkah
Dayenu, Coming Home- Passover Song
Raise Your Mask- Purim
I Gotta Feeling- Hanukkah

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 48 – Working it Out


Is there a separation between being justified/saved and living a Christian walk?

One of the biggest arguments I hear from people who believe in God is,
“Works don’t save you, so you shouldn’t bother with them. They
produce bondage and distance you from God’s love.”

I wanted to find some answers, so I started with the definition of
works to have a better grasp on the meaning.
1. the physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the
production or accomplishment of something.
2. the part of a day devoted to an occupation or undertaking.

As far as the first part of the argument above – works alone don’t
save you – I wholeheartedly agree. “For God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not
perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NASB). It is belief that
grants me the gift of eternal life with God. But I couldn’t stop

The second part of the argument is that works should not be bothered
with or they will produce bondage and distance to God. Paul wrote,
“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of
the Law. Do we then nullify the Law through faith?” ……..Listen to
his answer: “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never
be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” (Romans 3:28, 31 NASB)

I looked at this from a parental point of view. When I establish
guidelines for my kids, I expect them to follow them. I set them up
because I love them, want to keep them safe, and want their life to be
full and successful. When they follow these guidelines, I feel like
they trust my judgment and know that I love them. When they don’t
follow the guidelines, I don’t stop loving them, but consequences have
to follow so they can learn to make good choices.

Am I in bondage? In a way, a Christian is in bondage to Christ. I
have to die to myself daily and obey God. My obedience shows God that
I love and trust Him. My disobedience shows my lack of faith and
results in consequences to help me learn to make the right choices.

I then looked at how James ties faith and works together:
“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has
no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without
clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go
in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what
is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it
has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You
have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and
I will show you my faith by my works.”
So faith without works is useless.

James goes on to say:
“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe,
and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow,
that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father
justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You
see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the
works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which
RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a
man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was
not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the
messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body
without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”
(James 2:14-26 NASB)
Faith without works is also dead.

What I DO shows what I BELIEVE. I can hear the Word of God and say
that I believe it, but if I never have Christ-like actions to back
that up, I would be a hypocrite.

Works are the result of my faith. They go hand in hand. Works alone
are useless. Faith alone is useless. When the Holy Spirit is truly
inside of me, I am guided to become like Christ (“Christian” or
literally “little Christ”). If I have real faith in Jesus Christ,
there will be real works that follow. Works don’t save me, but they
certainly show that I’ve been saved.

It is absurd for me to think that reflecting God could distance me
from Him. James shares: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and
not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of
the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural
face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he
has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who
looks intently at the perfect LAW, the LAW of liberty, and abides by
it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this
man will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25 NASB)

So, I find that there is no separation between faith and works. Works
can’t save you and faith alone is dead, but real faith will always be
followed by real works.

What role does the LAW play in your Christian walk?

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 49 – Claiming Victory


Do you claim victory in God’s promises for your life?

This past month, a plethora of out-of-the-ordinary expenses set my
family back from reaching some of our financial goals. These goals
have helped us stay in line with God’s plans for us, so I felt a bit
discouraged to be farther from success. Then, over Sabbath, God
reminded me that some victories are a choice that I need to claim.

Many Bible stories illustrate claiming victory through obedience.
This Sabbath I looked at Numbers 13:25-14:45. It is the story of
Moses sending out spies into the land of Canaan to see what the land
was like which God promised them. Most of the spies reported back
that the odds were too insurmountable and they shouldn’t even try to
take the land. But Caleb said, “We should by all means go up and take
possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.”

The majority of spies reported with human eyes and understanding.
Caleb reported from God’s perspective. If God said “go conquer,” then
surely they should go conquer! Nothing is too difficult for God. He
had proven that over and over.

Unfortunately, the Israelites listened to the majority and immediately
claimed defeat. Not only defeat, but despair. And in their despair
they said they were better off dead than just outside of God’s
promised land. They went so far as to gather stones to stone Moses
for bringing them there!

At this moment, God intervened and spoke to Moses. He shared that the
people’s rebellion would cost everyone but Caleb and Joshua the
victory of claiming the land of Canaan. Only the Israelites’
descendants would enter into the promised land. The people were so
grieved to hear this, they apologized then went to try to take the
land after all. But God was not with them and they were defeated.

Too often than I’d like to admit, I have acted like the Israelites.
But when God asks me to do something that I don’t feel like or don’t
understand how I will accomplish, I need to make the choice to do it
anyway through God’s power. When I believe, I obey. Whether
commandments, promises, or a personal Word from Him to me, I should
wholeheartedly obey with confidence. I can claim victory before I
start because He will make it happen, not me. He goes before me and
takes care of everything. It doesn’t mean that things are always easy
or go the way I think they should. But victory will happen in God’s
timing and power and for His glory.

God really brought this home to me today when our insurance company
called and told us we had been overpaying for awhile and they owed us
a large sum of money. It was just what we had spent this month on all
of those out-of-the-ordinary expenses! God knew what we needed and He
provided! I just need to keep claiming victory in His promises!

How have you claimed victory in God’s promises for your life?

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Blog

Week 47 – Label Me


Do labels control me? As I considered this, I thought about how I get
labels, how they affect my life, and what God thinks about them.

I’ve gotten a lot of labels- wife, mother, Christian, Sabbath keeper,
etc. I received most labels by choice. My parents were Christians
when I was born, but that didn’t make me a Christian. I had to choose
for myself to accept God’s gift of forgiveness through His Son, Jesus.
Some of my readers have told me that they have been a part of a
Sabbath-keeping family all of their life. But when they became an
adult and left their parents’ home, they had to make a choice whether
they would keep Sabbath on their own.

Labels can define how I act. I am a mother, but if I don’t take care
of my kids, most people wouldn’t consider me a “mom.” I can call
myself a wife, but if I never put my husband first or try to meet his
needs, then I am not really qualified to hold that title. Sometimes I
wonder if I fully live up to my labels.

Labels can define how I am treated. Whether I like it or not, people
will judge me and size me up according to the labels I have chosen.
Some labels bring respect from others. Labels that connect a person
with God can bring rejection and persecution. If I am a hypocrite,
people will know. If I’m not willing to suffer for what I believe in,
I can’t really claim the label of Christian.

Labels can be helpful guidelines to remember my goals and keep my
focus and direction in life. The choices that I make reflect my heart
to myself and others. It’s not enough to want to be a Sabbath keeper
or to say I am a Sabbath keeper. I have to put Sabbath keeping into

I think God takes labels very seriously. He gives His followers many
labels: servants, children, friends of God, sons of God, etc. When I
take on His label, I should reflect Him. I am tempted at times,
though, to give labels more control than God. I want to be the
perfect wife, mom, Christian, or Sabbath keeper. This desire for
perfection can lead me to try to be the best in my own power (and for
my own glory). I can get consumed, hung up, and eventually burnt out.
A label becomes invalid if I forget it’s true meaning.

To keep labels from controlling me, I need to remember to bring glory
to God and NOT myself. With God’s help, I can learn how to reflect
Him in all areas of my life!

What is something God has taught you about the label of Sabbath keeper?

Until next week,
Lisa G.

Posted in Weekly Blog
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