Refreshed, invigorated, ready to roll. These words sum up how I feel after taking a sabbatical over this last year. While still speaking in churches and serving in the community, a much needed break has allowed me to refocus on potential avenues of service.
One such opportunity has presented itself just recently. Berean Bible Baptist in Binalbagan, Philippines has invited me to come and speak at a youth event in April of 2017. This is a great opportunity for Ta Ethne. I have been friends with Pastor Janel Vergara Nemeno for 5 years now and he is doing a fantastic job in Binalbagan.
In keeping with the mission to provide teaching and discipleship resources at little or no cost to churches worldwide, we will be going free of charge to this event, God willing. Because of the sabbatical, I have started a Go Fund Me account to help offset the cost of the trip. Normal channels of funding will take time to re-establish due to the long period of relative inactivity from this site, but I believe that God will provide.
Should you desire to help fund this trip, there is a paypal button on our site or you can go to .gofundme.com/th-mission-trip-to-the-philippines and donate through there.
Keep us in your prayers and know that 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting chapter in the history of Ta Ethne.
Recently our old refrigerator bit the dust, forcing us to shop for a new one. The most interesting thing about the new model we purchased was a function called “Sabbath mode.” Sabbath mode apparently turns off the interior lights, temperature control and advanced features. The compressor runs only on a timed defrost as well when in this mode. This unique feature got me thinking — do we have a Sabbath mode?
I understand that we are no longer under the Law of Moses. In fact, as Gentiles we never were. The Sabbath, though, was a gift of God to mankind. The Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around. It was a day to cease from ordinary labor and use the time to ponder, reflect and communicate with our Creator. It allows us to become refreshed in both spirit and body, giving us much needed rest and strength to handle an increasingly busy life.
If my refrigerator can have a Sabbath mode — why can’t I? Why can’t I take a day and cease from all the ordinary busyness of my life to focus on my relationship with my Savior? I know, I know, we have church on Sundays, our “day of rest.” Except it isn’t for far too many of us, especially those of us in full time ministry or who are leaders in our church. Sunday for us is the busiest day of the week. We need a real Sabbath. Maybe even a Sabbatical, which I would encourage all churches to give to their pastors.
Some years ago I read a wonderful pamphlet called, “The Tyranny of the Urgent by IVP.” You can read it online at https://bible.org/seriespage/appendix-tyranny-urgent. I would encourage you to take the time to read this and to begin to institute a Sabbath mode into your own life. Not out of duty, guilt or to try and keep the Mosaic Law. I would love to see you enter a Sabbath mode just because you desire to spend time with your Lord Jesus Christ. Let Him refresh you, let Him restore you in both body and soul.