Thursday, January 8, 2009

Birthday Bash Prize Four - REST

Prior to reading Keri Wyatt Kent's latest book, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity, my Sabbath day included many must do's...but rest never made the cut. Instead, bickering and panic were part of my Sunday morning routine as I crammed too many activities into the early hours of the day and then rushed to get everyone to church. I also used the Sabbath day as my day to prepare for the coming week...to try to do things to make my life easier for the next six days.

Through her tenderhearted and well researched writing, Keri encourages her readers to view the Sabbath as both God's gift to them and as an opportunity to reconnect with the Creator and those we love. She explains not only why it is an important commandment to keep in our fast-paced society, but that it is also one that is not as difficult to respect as we sometimes think it is.

I appreciated that this book did not contain a list of do's and don'ts and instead offered helpful suggestions to use the Sabbath as a time to refresh, refuel, and rejuvenate.

Rest:Living in Sabbath Simplicity, was indeed a life-changing read...for me and my family.

Keri Wyatt Kent graciously answered many questions from curious readers about Rest. Here are two questions that I thought you would like answered. You can read the entire Q&A here.

Q: What is Sabbath, and what is its purpose? What do you mean by Sabbath Simplicity?

A: Sabbath, first and foremost, is a gift from our loving God. He invites us to take a day to rest from our labor, so that we might engage in relationship with him and with others. Its purpose is to refresh us physically and spiritually, to celebrate our freedom, to draw us close to God, and yet to remind us that we are not God. God commanded us to Sabbath, to stop. But Sabbath-keeping is also a spiritual practice or discipline. All disciplines, (like prayer, solitude, etc.) create some space for God in our lives. Just as we have a lot of latitude in other practices (we can pray any number of ways, for example), we have freedom in how we practice Sabbath. My book offers a lot of ideas, and real-life examples, of how to approach this life-giving practice.

Sabbath Simplicity is a sanely-paced, God-focused life. It’s a lifestyle that includes the practice of Sabbath-keeping, but goes beyond just taking a day off. IN a way, it’s living out what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 6:33: See first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Sabbath Simplicity seeks God first.

Q: What are some simple steps anyone can take to seek Sabbath Simplicity in their own lives?

A: The first step is to assess the current pace of your life—what activities have you and the people you live with said yes too. How hurried are you? You can’t figure out your next step, really, until you know where you are starting from. You may have to get very concrete and write down your schedule and look at it. Because your activity level during the week is going to affect your Sabbath.

Second, choose a day that you will keep Sabbath. I recommend Saturday or Sunday, and go from sunset to sunset. The Old Testament Sabbath was from sunset on the 6th day of the week to sunset on the 7th day—although as I explain in detail in the book, their ancient calendars were different from ours.

Third, choose one thing to refrain from, one thing to engage in. For example, refrain from housework or running errands, and engage in reading a spiritually challenging book, or playing with your kids. Start with small steps, and think about building your Sabbath Simplicity life a little at a time, gradually. After a few weeks, add another thing you will refrain from, and another thing you’ll engage in. Pray and listen, let God shape your Sabbath practice. Make your relationship with him the focus. Allow yourself flexibility.

Today, two of you have a chance to win a copy of this book. Just leave a comment at the end of this post. If you do not win a book here, you can order a copy at Amazon.com or Christianbook.com.
It's also available everywhere and at other online venues.

The contest is open to all US and Canadian residents and closes tonight at 9 p.m.

Congratulations to Karen, a non-blogger who won yesterday's prize.




40 comments:

Too Many Hats said...

Interesting, I always thought of the refrain part of the Sabbath, but never about perhaps taking something up. I like that idea.

Liz said...

This sounds like an inspiring book.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Inned a book such as that one...
I never rest and need to learn to do so at least on just one day.
Sounds like a great and inspiring book.

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a great book! A new way to look at the Sabbath.....

LaskiGal said...

I just wanted to stop by and wish you a happy birthday!

This is so great that you are doing this. How very sweet . . .

Tiff said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, please count me in and good luck to everyone!

Joyfulsister said...

Happy Birthday My Dear Sistah!!!
I am a January babe as well Jan 10. yay!!! *smiles* I would love to sign up for your giveaway, I think that book of rest would go quite well with the stillness I am pursing..

Hugz Lorie

Tara said...

Very interesting! That is a topic I have had in the back of my mind to read and research more about at some point. Looks like a really fascinating book!

Beth in NC said...

That actually seems doable! Thank you for sharing this.

Love!
Beth

luelue1971 said...

Sounds like a great book.

Amy said...

Sounds like a very helpful book, and I could use all the help available.;)

More than Survival said...

Wow, this sounds like just what I NEED!!! I try hard to "rest", but it is hard when the demands of life never stop. I need to do a better job of preparing for the Sabbath... get food ready, have the housework caught up, laundry done, etc.... either that or I just need some PB&Js and a blindfold!! LOL!!
Heather

Ruth A Stiles said...

this book looks like a great read!

He And Me + 3 said...

Would love to read it.

Mindy said...

Looks like a great book!

Cindy said...

Rest - It sounds wonderful after the busyness of the Holidays.

Wifey said...

Sounds right on time to me! Hope you're enjoying your birthday week - smiles!

Becky Welch said...

Oh I would love this book at this point in my life! You are being WAY too kind!

bp said...

This sounds like a good book.

Krystal said...

Oh I would love to read this book!

Ellen G said...

Thanks for reviewing the book and posting the interview. It really looks interesting and I am looking forward to reading the book.

Classic MaMa said...

I the idea of Sabbath resting. We may just try to do that.

Mel said...

This is a book I could use at this time. It sounds terrific.

Tanya said...

I just found out about this new book! I've been reading her book "Breathe" and loving it!

Gretchen said...

What a lovely book; I'd lurve to win. Thanks for the birthday chance, birthday girl.

graceunbound said...

That sounds like a great book. Put the word 'simplicity' in a title and I'm automatically hooked!

(I'd write more, but I've got someone here BEGGING me to make 'panpakes'.)

TCKK said...

Funny, but we just talked about the Sabbath and rest at church last night.

Jenn said...

It sounds like a great book. Sundays at our house leave me frazzled at times.

Tabby ~ Godzchyld said...

this book sounds spiritually phenomenal. Our home is quiet and peaceful every Sunday, but more tips are always welcomed.

Sheryl said...

Thank you for the reminder, we all need to be reminded of getting back to the basics. I believe that Satan uses business to distract us from spending time with God.

Also, thank you for having these give a ways and allowing us to celebrate your birthday with you.

Stacie said...

Please count me in :)

Karen said...

Girl, can I tell you how many times God has brought the Sabbath to my attention since New Years Day? At least once a day. So, how appropriate that you are talking about it as well.

Colored With Memories said...

this post, much less the book, serve as great reminders for the true meaning behind the sabbath. i am so guilty of never using it appropriately.

thanks for reminding us all!

Jeni said...

Have you read Marva Dawn's book on Sabbath? It's a good one, too.

Happy coming Birthday, Angela!

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

looks good :)

Mary Moss said...

This sounds likes a remarkable book. What a valuable exercise this would be for everyone:-)

Alana said...

I absolutely loved her book, Breathe. Hope you are having a fabulous birthday week!

Slowly Dying.. said...

This is great. I am going to let my husband read this because he has been telling me for a while, LONG WHILE, to take a day off. After my not taking his advice he put his foot down and said whatever we do not get done by Saturday sundown, has to wait for completion until Sunday sundown. I tell ya, it sure makes me re-evaluate what I want to do on Saturday to ensure that I do not leave anything undone, especially not our meal for the next day! Yes, to express his passion for this we did not have a "complete" meal after worship service the next day because I took on too many other tasks and did not complete the meal. Tee-hee

smooches,
Larie

judybrittle said...

Sounds very interesting. I would love the chance to read it. Thank you so much!

photomama said...

Our sunday school class has really been talking about solitude and what that truly means and I think it's kind of a bad habit many of us have to use the sabbath as a catch up free day.

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