Welcome to Dawn's New Day, an inspirational blog of an ordinary woman who's encountered an extraordinary Savior. May these words penned in prayer wash over you like a cool spring and be used to make you thirst for the One who created you.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On Sabbath Rest and the Pope


We knew it was Sunday when…

            …the scent of bacon, eggs and coffee wafted upstairs
            …Mom awoke us by singing, “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!”
            …we slipped into our best clothes and spit-polished shoes
            …all roads led to church
            …we broke bread with friends between services
            …all commerce stopped

Sundays slowed us down and refocused our attention away from our busyness and onto family, friends and God. Sundays reordered our lives with the gift of time. Time to nourish our relationships and enjoy life.

For believers, we called this slowing our Sabbath—a day of rest from creating, working, and doing— as God ordered from the beginning of time:

The God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creation that he had done. Genesis 2:3 NIV

The whole Puritan movement created Blue Laws (or Sunday Laws) attempting to legislate morality by restricting certain “immoral” practices on Sundays, such as gambling, selling alcohol, etc. 

But try as they did, humanity proved (and still proves) that you can’t legislate morality. 

Recently, our local newspaper ran an article that headlined this: Pope: No-work Sundays good, not just for faithful. Pope Francis was “lamenting the abandoning of the traditionally Christian practice of not working on Sundays, saying it has a negative impact on families and friendships…He added, ‘Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves if working on Sundays is true freedom.’”

While I understand and agree that constant work hurts our relationships, I think he missed one important point: freedom comes not by adhering to the Sabbath, but by focusing our heart on our Creator. When we stop and rest we give our minds and hearts room to hear from God and move into the places he wants us to move.

God tried legislating morality and relationship with him through all the Levitical laws. It didn't work. Morality and right relationships could not be controlled by restrictions because God gifted us with free will in a sinful world. Free will + sin = law breakers. 

So why did Jesus, who was sinless, break the Sabbath law by healing a woman? (see Luke 13:14-16)

Because he knew you can’t legislate morality. 

Morality was a heart condition not a condition of forced choices. To him it was more immoral to ignore this woman’s needs and  keeping her bound by the Enemy than healing her and releasing her into whom God created her to be.

While my my childhood memories of Sabbath warm my heart I have to constantly check my motives. Am I keeping the Sabbath out of religious obligation or am I truly resting in order to worship and enjoy my Creator God? And what if part of worshiping God involves unrest—physically working to bring God’s kingdom into a needy situation?

Slowing and worship—a heartfelt refocusing away from busyness and onto God—can happen any day of the week.  And, while I sometimes long for those Blue Laws that "forced" the less hectic pace, I realize that I can’t legislate morality for the masses. I am only responsible for my own heart, my own motives and my own relationship with God, my family and my friends.

How do you feel about taking a regular Sabbath? What does it look like for you? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Are We There Yet?


“I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into…a land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:17
  
Our kids were decent travelers and made road trips pretty pleasant for the most part. Buckled into the backseat of our Subaru with their pillows, blankets, Teddy and Bunny and a stockpile of juice boxes and snacks between them, we were good to go.
Excitement ran high for at least the first hour in anticipation for our destination. Then, after we’d played all the travel games in my mental library, their patience ran thin and inevitably they asked, “Are we there yet?” or “How much longer?” And our answer was always the same, “About an hour.” (The first time they asked that, we truly were one hour from our destination so it became our ‘pat answer’ and eventually our inside family joke).
So there we were, stuck in the middle of NOW–our view muddled with fatigue and impatience for the road ahead–hanging onto the vision of our promised destination. 

(Pssst! Pull over and take a break as I tell you the rest of the story over at {re}fresh)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

God Can't Resist Blowing Bubbles: Glorious Joy


"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." 
1Peter 1:8 NIV

Perch a kid above a tall glass of cold milk with a straw and what happens? An irresistible urge to blow bubbles!

He heaves a tiny breath and blows. Blub.

Again. Blub, blub. He giggles, blows harder. Blub, blub, blub. Joy overwhelms!

He can't resist those rising bubbles so, he blows harder. Blub, blub, blub, blub, blub, blub, blub.

Bubbles rise and fill and spill, filling him with uncontrollable laughter, until Mom walks in and says, "Mop up that mess!"

He sucks down those milk-fed bubbles and sops up all the joy he can—still giggling—savoring the fullness that carries him through his day.

Entering God's presence is like that... {Grab a straw and a tall glass of milk and join me over at Encouragement Cafe and share in God's joy?}

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Rhythm of Transformation: The Art of Waiting



"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 NIV

It stood up to infant artwork, toddler hand prints, foot scrapes, furniture nicks and vacuum mishaps. Armed with a scraper in one hand and a potent vinegar and water mixture in the other, I felt invincible. The rhythm of transformation began.

Spritz, spritz, scrape, peel. Spritz, spritz, scrape, peel.

It wasn't quite the waltz I imagined. Instead of long, graceful lengths of wallpaper falling effortlessly off the walls and dancing my way down the hallway, only minute slivers gave way with great effort and force. After day one, only two small walls stood bare. Exhausted, I left the dance floor and soaked in a hot bath hoping for a more successful day.

The rhythm of day two felt more like a waltz.

Spritz, spritz, wait. Scrape, peel. Spritz, spritz, wait. Scrape, peel.

Oh, the magic of waiting

(Pssst! Join me at Encouragement Cafe for the rest of the story.)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Driving Miss Daisy: Hope That Transforms


"But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." Psalm 33:18

Driving Miss Daisy (my Aunt) isn't always pleasant. She's stubborn and selfish, ornery and opinionated, just like Jessica Tandy's character in the 1989 movie by the same name. Driving her to doctor appointments and to Wal-Mart for her monthly shopping tries my patience every time.

I temper my conversation after Morgan Freeman's character by keeping my mouth shut and agreeing with a "Yes Ma'am" and "Mm mm hmmm." 

(Grab a glass of some sweet tea and join me for the rest of the story at Encouragement Cafe or Crosswalk. Feel free to share your own stories in the comments below or on the website. I'd love to hear from you).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When We Forget Who We Really Are

Because our souls need reminding...Here's a re-post from 2011:

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite
my verses for the king.
Psalm 45:1a



They charge through the back door wearing their toothy smiles and holding out their arms, ready for great big hugs from this Grams. 


For a moment, while I inhale their youth, I catch a glimpse of their father - a slight resemblance - in the shape of her face and in his silly, boyish smile. How marvelous!

 Wriggling out of my arms they dive into the toy box and Sister quickly emerges with a noble theme. She proudly dons a princess crown, happily announcing her royal presence throughout the kingdom. Suddenly, Brother yanks the sparkling royalty from her head. Arms flail, tears flow, and the little prince and princess misplace their own identities.

There are times we misplace our identities, too. Maybe someone yanks our rightful place out from under us or someone steels our innocence and then walks away. Sometimes though, we're our own worst enemy - adopting those labels others slap on our backs - until we forget who we are and whose we are.

We need reminding that we are sons and daughters of the King in need of a great rescue.

The King rescues his children
 In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Ephesians 1:5

            Throwing colored paper, stickers, and magic markers on the table, Mother and I rescue the moment by transforming the dining room into the Royal Crown Factory. Their eyes fix on my hands as I trace and cut out two pointy, cut-out paper crowns. Busy hands and active imaginations quickly transform these plain shapes into sparkling creations. Smiles reappear across their little royal faces as they once again crown themselves prince and princess.

Restoring our identity as sons and daughters of [God] the King takes more effort than simply donning a cut-out paper crown. But, when we allow God healing access to our hearts, he restores completely.  

(Join me for the rest of the story over at {re}fresh? Meet you there? Just click here.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I Got This: A Book & A Giveaway:

Do you ever struggle with finances? What about giving and generosity? Yeah, me too, until my pastor's teaching changed my entire perspective. It wasn't the normal give-your-10%-sermon, but rather a revelation of God's love and generosity towards his children. 

Today, I'm privileged to share with you the Lead Pastor at Wellspring Church, Wesley Zinn, and his incredible perspective on "living in heaven's flow" of generosity in his new book, I Got This:Living in the Flow of God's Kingdom Economy

Psst: Wesley is so generous...he's giving away a signed copy of his new book, I Got This, right here on my blog, today! Encourage Wes with a comment and share this interview on Facebook and/or Twitter and we'll pick a random winner at the end of the day. Easy-peasey!

Now, here's Wesley: 

What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration for writing this book has come from my audiences. When I have spoken on giving and generosity, people have requested more teaching and an opportunity to go deeper into the topic. I trust this book will give my readers the opportunity to do just that. 
 How do you define God’s Kingdom Economy and how does it differ from the world’s economy?Jesus teaches to pray, "may your kingdom come." With God’s kingdom comes a unique economy as well.  This world economy is centered on how much we can get and hold onto.  We often think that God's economy is about how much we can give away. Yet, my perspective is that God's economy is more completely understood as a flow.  When we measure how much we have or how much we can give, we are still at the center.  When we allow ourselves to be a channel of heaven's flow, we remove ourselves from the center of the equation and open the storehouses of the Lord. 
Why don’t Christians experience real financial freedom?
Christians often struggle with financial freedom because we don't consider money a spiritual matter. We feel we have to manage it out of our own ability and strength. In addition, when we try to apply biblical principles we often attempt to layer on top of the world. God's financial principles must be applied within his economy. 
How can our generosity lead to financial freedom?
Generosity is an expression of concern for others, which is God's heart too. When we are generous we align ourselves with God heart. This opens a flow of his resources to us and through us. The alternative is to cling to what we have, which is a concern for ourselves. God invites us to trust him to provide for us and to align our heart with his to care for others. 
What is one thing Christians can do immediately to make a chance in their financial situation?
 Keep our eyes on our Provider (God) and off our circumstances.  Our circumstances may tell us to worry, but our Provider is more than capable of accomplishing His desire to provide for his children, whom he loves. 

Where can readers purchase your book?
Readers can visit my website, http://wesleyzinn.comwhich offers links to all the major providers, both paperback copies and various e-books.
 What is up next for you?The next biggest thing is the official book launch on Saturday, May 17th at the conference called: Living in theFlow of God's Kingdom Economy.
I am also considering writing a book which will apply these same principles of heaven's flow to all areas of life.  The principles are universal and not limited to finances, and the available freedom awaits us. 

9.      Do you have anything to add?
I encourage everyone to enjoy the flow!

Remember to leave a comment below, share on FB and Twitter for an opportunity to win a free signed copy of I Got This!




Following a successful business career, Wesley Zinn joined the pastoral staff of Wellspring Church in Berlin, CT where he presently serves as Lead Pastor. His vision is to equip and release the church and individuals to take hold of the fullness of life and the destiny that God intends. Wesley has taught on the topics of generosity and giving in numerous churches and in many settings both stateside and abroad. He and his wife, Pam, carry a special grace for understanding and living in God’s kingdom economy.