"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

June 26, 2019


We all know how to work, and spend all of our lives doing so. We work at jobs so that we can get paychecks, which pays for groceries, homes, cars, utilities, clothes, and all the numerous other things that we need to buy. It takes work for parents to raise their children, care for them, as well as to train and teach them how to do things so that they can grow up to be productive adults. It involves work for students to study and learn throughout their years of schooling. We work to be good caretakers of our home and what we own by ongoing maintenance, yard work, cleaning, and all the little details involved in being a homeowner -- or a renter. Work is required in doing laundry, taking out the trash, cooking, washing dishes, shopping for groceries and other necessities, keeping our cars serviced, paying bills, etc. When involved in a church, many times we work by teaching and studying for lessons, cleaning or mowing, building maintenance and projects, leading worship, running the sound system, and all the numerous things involved in the various ministries and keeping a church maintained. We may work by babysitting the children of others. The list could go on and on........ There are many, many activities that keep us busy!

The bottom line is, we know how to work and stay busy! That's not a problem for most people. The problem is knowing how to rest and relax; which is a subject that God has been speaking very strongly to me about.

The definition of rest is: cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength; allow to be inactive in order to regain strength, health, or energy; not moving or exerting oneself; not agitated or troubled -- tranquil; stop moving; settle.

Did you know that rest for His children is very important to God, and there are several scriptures in the Bible regarding this topic? He doesn't want us to be exhausted, weak, run-down, and weary! So our Father's plan has always been for us to take time to rest, so that we could enjoy life more fully and be more effective when we are working.

Genesis 2:2-3 "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."

Exodus 20:8-10 "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day He rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy."

Mark 2:27 "Then he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.'"

Exodus 31:17 "It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed."

Mark 6:31 "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'"

Exodus 23:12 "Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed."

Hebrews 4:9-11 "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience."

In our society today, taking time to relax or rest is considered "lazy". And being lazy has a negative connotation linked to it. Lazy means to be "unwilling to work or use energy, characterized by lack of effort or activity; showing a lack of effort or care." Words often interchanged with lazy are: slothful, work-shy, shiftless, sluggish, negligent, lax, lackadaisical, lethargic, remiss.

When people do decide to sit, relax and do nothing or take a day off or take a nap, they often say, "I'm being lazy!" Then they feel as if they need to add an apology or explanation regarding why they chose to not be doing something. We often feel guilty for propping our feet up and reading a book, sitting out on the back porch and watching the birds, sewing, painting pictures, making crafts, playing games, playing an instrument for our own entertainment, or whatever it is that brings us joy and relaxes our body and mind. Why? Really, why do we feel like we are being lazy or non-productive or have to apologize for doing things just for the fun of it or because it gives us pleasure? Why do we feel like we have to apologize if we are tired and take a nap in the middle of the day (when not at your workplace, of course!)?

I've heard people, often teasingly, say, "You lazy thing! You should be up helping.... or you need to be doing....", to someone who is sitting or lying around. (Maybe that's a phrase more commonly used where I grew up in the country!) Or they are referred to as being a "lazybones". Perhaps that is why we often fear that someone may think that we are lazy and we need to explain ourselves when we choose to rest.

It's not being lazy when we do things for enjoyment, it's resting our body and mind. It's enjoying life and finding joy in those things which bring us pleasure. It's finding rest in the middle of our busyness, so that our strength can be restored. It's beneficial for our health; more so than many of us truly realize.

Why would God give people the ability to write great books that are purely for entertainment, then place within individuals a love for reading, if He thought that it was a waste of time? Why would God place within people a love for making crafts, knitting, crocheting, sewing, needlepoint, quilting and a talent for doing so, if they weren't to be enjoyed? My point is, there are activities that we can find pleasure in that is purely for fun and relaxation; and I believe that those activities are ordained and blessed by God. I believe that He takes delight in seeing His children laugh and play and relax and nap and do things just for the fun of it. He finds joy in our rest.

I love watching kids play! I love hearing their laughter, seeing them use their imagination and pretend, and seeing them do things just because it's fun. They know how to live in the moment and make the most of it. We could learn a lot from children!

I've watched my great-nieces and great-nephews make up games, play make-believe and pretend, act silly, and they don't care who is watching!

But then we mature and become adults and "put away childish things" and become serious and focused on the important things in life. We become busy and don't have time to be silly or do things simply because they're fun or because we find enjoyment in them. Yes, we do have responsibilities and important things to tend to; but that shouldn't consume so much of our time that we fail to balance our lives with moments of rest and relaxation.

Don't you think that our Father finds pleasure in watching His children take time to rest and play? He delights in seeing us read a book, fish, take nature walks, play games with family or friends, sit on our back porch, crochet, or whatever it is that He has placed within each of us to enjoy.

Psalm 23:1-2 says, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul."

It's difficult to lie in green pastures and be led beside still waters when we are constantly running and busy every moment of every day. But that is where our soul is restored! So if we're not taking the time to rest with our Shepherd, then perhaps that's why our soul is often stressed, distraught, worried, over-worked, fearful, and depressed.

I am consciously making an effort to stop using the word "lazy" regarding myself. I'm not lazy! So when I choose to take a nap, read a book, sew, play piano for my own enjoyment, watch Gunsmoke while I eat lunch, sit on the back porch, do a word puzzle, visit, or whatever I find that brings me pleasure, I no longer saying, "I was lazy today". Instead I have begun saying things like, "I relaxed today by reading," or "I rested this afternoon and napped," or "I enjoyed sitting on the back porch watching the birds," or "I had so much fun spending the afternoon with [whoever it may be] and visiting"..... or whatever it may be.

Each of us are different and take pleasure in doing various things, so what one person finds to be relaxing and restful may not be something that appeals to another. Some men find fishing, hunting, or watching sports relaxing. Jon doesn't! He likes to watch sci-fi's or piddle around on electronics. When we have gone to our family place in the country, I like to sit out in the yard and look around, think, read..... do nothing. Jon will do that for a short time, then he likes to be up working on our property. I once asked him why he wanted to be working the entire time we were there. His reply was that he found that relaxing! It was a different kind of work than he normally does, and he loved working on the land and it refreshed him. To me, that just looked like a lot of hard work that made you stinky and sweaty and tired! But to Jon, it was his "green pasture and still water" experience that restored and refreshed his soul. But we also have things that we enjoy doing together as our rest.

I believe that God wants us to enjoy the years that we have on earth. Yes, there are jobs and plans and ministries and divine purposes that He has equipped us for; and we need to walk in continual obedience to whatever that may be. But I also truly believe that we will be more productive, healthier, happier, peaceful, and content if we will rest and relax and do things that gives us pleasure.

From the very beginning of creation, God created rest! He, Himself, rested on the seventh day after creating the heavens, earth, and man. Scripture says that God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He ceased from all His work. God's plan was for mankind to take one day a week and do nothing but rest. Why? So that we can be refreshed. This was not just His plan for Old Testament people; but this is still His plan for us today. He sees the need for His children to have one day a week to not work, but to rest and be refreshed.

We read that and think, "There is no way I can do that! I have way too much to do and am much too busy!" Perhaps that type of thinking is why we see so many people with health issues today... on medications... stressed... overworked... and in a continual state of feeling exhausted and weary. Perhaps it's because we are living in disobedience to God's command to have a Sabbath day of rest once a week.

Do you realize to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy is one of the ten commandments? It's right between the commandment to not take the name of the Lord God in vain and to honor your father and mother.

Exodus 20:8-10 "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day He rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy."

We say that it's important to honor the ten commandments; yet we somehow disregard this one. I believe that it is as important to God as all of the others. If we don't obey this one and consider it as being unimportant, then how can we say that the others need to be heeded? We can't pick and choose which commandments of God that we obey or which ones to toss aside as being unimportant. If we truly want to live in obedience to the Word of God, then we need to take heed to this commandment, and begin to honor the Sabbath and have a day of rest once a week. No working, no cooking, no chores, no errands! But a day of complete rest. It will take pre-planning, so we have food and don't have to cook and make sure that other chores are done on other days and not left to the day which we choose to be our Sabbath. Sunday doesn't have to be our Sabbath, but it can be whichever day we can set aside a 24-hour period of time to set aside for rest. The Bible doesn't necessarily say that it has to be a particular day; but we need to set aside one day a week as being our Sabbath.

Perhaps we all need to begin honoring this commandment, me included, and see how it changes our health, family relationships, energy, and see how much more refreshed we will feel!


I'm not scared of taking a break, resting, or even relaxing. I enjoy sitting and simply absorbing the sun for a few minutes. My difficulty is that I can only manage to keep it up for a few minutes, or sometimes even an hour or two. Before long, I start thinking more about what I'd like to get done someday or even that day. Even if I'm not really working, my mind is on working, and it ruins my great rest.

Last week, I did very little for the entire week. The fact is, I was too sore to do much. So I slept a lot. And it really helped. But I highly recommend getting that rest once a week instead of waiting till you have to. It isn't worth waiting for a heart attack.


Tuna Melt

2 (5- oz) cans tuna, drained

Onion, chopped

1/2 stalk celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1/3 cup mozzarella, shredded


Butter, softened

Drain water from the tuna, then put the tuna into a medium bowl. Chop onion, celery, and parsley; mince garlic; add ingredients to tuna. Add mayonnaise, half of the olive oil, and mozzarella cheese. Combine all ingredients until well mixed.

Place a non-stick skillet on the stove and add remaining olive oil. When the skillet is hot, take a slice of bread and generously spread butter on one side. Place the buttered side down in the hot skillet. Using a scoop, scoop about 2 tablespoons of tuna salad on bread while it is browning. Butter another slice of bread and place non-buttered side on top of tuna. Using a spatula, check to see if the bread is toasted brown. If so, turn the tuna melt over and grill the other side until golden brown.


I will be celebrating my 54th birthday next Monday! Woo-hoo!! I try to drag out the celebration for as many days as I can get by with.... "Sorry, honey, I can't cook -- it's my birthday week!" "I need to go get a pedicure -- it's my birthday week!" "I'm going to read instead of cleaning today -- it's my birthday week!" Sometime years can squeeze out more days, than I can others. My thinking is, I'm going to have a birthday whether I want to or not, so I might as well get as much fun and mileage out of it as possible!

Growing up, we always had cake (and probably ice cream) for our birthday. There were gifts and we were made to feel special. I think everyone needs to be made to feel special at least once a year; even when they are going to be 54!


Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire? - Corrie ten Boom


We love you!

Loretta & Jon