Month: September 2008

  • Sabbath: Part 2, Resting

    There is this really fascinating concept in medicine. It is called circaseptan bioperiodicity. The human body seems to have seven-day rhythms in its healing.

    There are actually advantages to timing and dosing of treatments in seven-day periods. For example, if recipients of organ transplants are going to reject an organ, it is often on the 7th or 14th day. Also, human breast milk spikes certain hormones on seven-day cycles.

    This circaseptan (seven-day) rhythm is related to ourcircadian rhythm—the approximate 24-hour rhythm our bodies have. Studies have shown that disruption of our circadian and circaseptan rhythms have adverse effects on our health: frontal lobe damage in our brains, cancerous growths, and psychiatric disorders. There are advantages to having hospitals follow seven-day routines. Here is one example.

    One researcher pointed out that France experimented with a ten-day (metric) week during the time of the French revolution with disastrous results. “The mental institutions filled rather quickly to capacity and then some.” (Life laboratory)

    Some might attribute these rhythms to the rhythms of sunlight and earth rotations, but I believe that even these rhythms are Creator designed.

    My son, T, has done on-the-street surveys with passersby about the 10 commandments. One of the least known commandments is the one about keeping the Sabbath. People just don’t know about it. (The most common one that people know is not to kill other people…but still that is only less than 70% of those he surveys.)

    The commandment actually says that the reason that we should keep the Sabbath holy is that the Creator made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. (Exodus 20) So, the raison d’etre is Creation, which means—like the rest of the 10 commandments, it applies to us, not just pre-Jesus Christ people.

    Jesus said that the Sabbath was “made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). This is a radical concept to us, as it was for the religious leaders of Jesus’ time: the Sabbath is made for us. There are blessings associated with it.

    Some people have jobs of mercy and necessity that require working on Sunday. One can’t always rest on Sunday if he or she is a firefighter, physician, or prime minister. And that is OK. Jesus said we would need to get some “oxen out of our ditches” on the Sabbath. One pastor that I knew said that because he had to consistently work on Sunday (in a demanding way often), he claimed Mondays as his Sabbath. He rested that day instead. He found it a blessing to himself, his marriage, and his family.

    Could it be that putting aside our work on the Sabbath will benefit our health? Could it be that a concept of Sabbath helps us maximize our circaseptan rhythms?

    Could it be that the day was made for me?

    |||||| lynard

  • Sabbath: Part 1, The Marketplace

    In our family, we celebrate Sunday as the Christian Sabbath. For us, that means putting aside our six days’ labor. We make it a priority to attend worship with other believers, to spend time with others, to do acts of mercy, and to get rest. Our goal is to celebrate the Sabbath out of love for God and out of our desire for His best for us. Personally, I have found it a blessing to my health—spiritual, mental, and physical.

    Getting legalistic about the Sabbath is not the point. Different families use their six days differently, so when it comes to their Sabbaths, rest, hows and whys, and spiritual pursuits are going to differ. Our circumstances will create different boundaries. We know that Jesus rocked the Sabbath boat on more than one occasion, particularly for reasons of mercy or necessity. The question for us is what does it mean to make the day “holy”?

    Sabbath and the Marketplace
    When I was a teen, I had a few jobs in fast food. Asking off for the Sabbath was always difficult. Managers were quick to offer some flexibility so I could attend church, but they were cynical about my request to have the whole day off. One manager had all the employees vote (in front of me) whether they would be willing to cover me so that I would never have to work on Sunday. They all voted yes!

    After going to all this embarrassment and trouble, I realized that it would not be cool to show up at these restaurants and have fellow employees wait on me. If I didn’t believe in working on Sunday, it would be hypocritical for me to patronize that place and require others to serve me.

    This was not a big issue because, at that time, my parents would not normally buy anything, let alone convenience food, on their Sabbath. But it became a small issue because I had a Sunday school teacher who liked to walk down with our class to meet over a coke while we discussed our lessons. Ironically, one of the places our class liked to go to was the place where I got my first job. This situation made me check my convictions and my pride.

    The longer I worked, the more I began to think past the embarrassment. I began to realize that part of the problem was that it was human nature to be greedy to make money all seven days. The Blue Laws of yesteryear had made recreational shopping and dining on Sunday a non-issue—but now, who would want to miss the income and good customer service reputation of being open for business all seven days?

    This realization took away my desire to even be part of the system. Besides needing a rest from my own consumerism, I no longer wanted to be part of the reason for businesses staying open on Sundays. It became easy for me not to shop or dine out unnecessarily.

    Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel, who wrote The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man referred to the Jewish Sabbath as “a palace in time.” I like this image for the Christian Sabbath, too. It’s a special place I can enter at the beginning of the week, ideally in a state of awe, to rest, refuel, and admire the Creator. (OK, the awe doesn’t always work; sometimes I just crawl into the palace…)

    Do you view Sunday ( or another day) as your Sabbath? If so, how do you celebrate it, guard it, and observe it?

    ||||||   lynard

  • They Are Not All Teens

    My first baby turns 20 today, but I let Hubby chat about it.

    ||||||  lynard

  • Congrats Danielle and John!

    Today was a special day. A friend who has faced many adversities got married. We had to shoehorn people into our church. There was hardly a seat or dry eye in the house. Her story is a testimony to how to live a life in God’s grace, and I get the idea that their story together will be one as well.

    Oh yeah, I danced with my boyfriend, and the bride’s brother wore a kilt.

    ||||||  lynard

  • Pam Baker’s Photography


    I was impressed with the photographer at the recent wedding of my nephew.  If you live near Rochester, NY, and need a competent photographer, check out

    If you’ll click on weddings, you’ll see some of Pam’s more creative work. And you might see more peeps that you know! 

    ||||||  lynard

  • After over six months, our hibiscus decided to pop a bloom today. The cell phone pic does not do it justice.

     The plant started from a clipping from my dad’s hibiscus, which has taken over half of his livingroom. You can’t even sit on his couch anymore, because the hibiscus vines reach out and grab your face from the coffee table.  Our plant hasn’t been as prolific or as colorful. His blooms in abundance. But when ours blooms it is a natural anti-depressant. *snoopy happy dance*

    ||||||  lynard

  • Salad in the Backyard

    I thought we might not get tomatoes, but there they are. We were worried because yellow leaves appeared at the base of our plants a few weeks back. Some had brown dots. The vines are still not lush but the tomato crop looks decent for gardeners who don’t weed or water. (We mulch a LOT with newspaper and seedless hay. Well, one year it wasn’t seedless, but that is a scary bedtime story.)

    The jalapeños are gorgeous, but the jury is still out on the bell peppers. I never get a big crop of bells, which is a bummer because I adore stuffed peppers and you need a crowd of peppers for those. Maybe it is the anti-watering thing. We need to get our rain barrel hooked up to the hose; it is not as easy as it sounds. The dryness probably killed the cukes in July while we were out of town. Happily, the lettuce and zucchini are still producing. (Does anything kill zucchini?)

    By the way, this year, I bought the five-variety lettuce seed pack. You have to find them early because they sell out on the internet. These packs make a beautiful salad—light green, curly, dark green, red, and yum—all in one little sowing and harvest. Then when you add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar,  you have an elegant feast. Alas, it only last a few weeks a year.

    ||||||  lynard