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Personal Testimonies


“To Love and Love Again” – Sandra from Minnesota

I was born a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist, and cannot remember a time when I didn’t love Sabbath (especially Friday evening). As a child, the sights, sounds, smells, and anticipation of Sabbath always fascinated me. I loved my Savior. I was baptized when I was ten yeas old and experienced a very personal love for Christ. I found communion services so special, adding a total cleansing, forgiveness, and public declaration of my acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for me. I enjoyed growing up a Christian.

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I married and we had three children. Sabbath was so special. When my children were small, we used to end Sabbath with a song, prayer and short story and take a blanket into the yard (on warm evenings) and lie down to watch for three stars to come out. According to Jewish tradition, Sabbath officially begins 18 minutes before actual sundown and ends Saturday night when three stars appear in the sky. I know that is not taught in Scripture. Yet, we found this patient setting was filled with wonder. It gave us a relaxed sense of awe and worship to gaze into the night sky and see the work of our Creator’s power and love. It was a reverent way to say goodbye to our holy time with our Lord.

Unfortunately, at the age of 42, my life changed dramatically. I will not share this painful story here but sadly, I left my Lord, my church and my family. I left for 15 years. In 2002, I moved to Minnesota. I lived in a city but would visit “up north”. On one “up north” visit I became ill and had to have medical care. When I learned the physician was an Adventist., I mentioned, “I used to be one, too”. He asked why I left. I had no excuse. He invited me and my friend Jeff to visit their little church the next time we came to visit and “that would be payment for the office call”. I agreed.

In 2002, we moved “up north” to the same area and kept my promise. We began attending church regularly. We were married in May of 2004 and baptized in October of that same year. I am humbled as my Savior has called me again to follow. And together Jeff and I have chosen Christ’s way. I feel reborn. Free again!.

What is so real to me now is that my Lord has restored the sweet joy of my salvation! I can only praise God that He has made it possible for me to “Love Again”! If I close my eyes and let my mind take me back to my childhood, to my earliest memories of Sabbath, it almost seems more vivid now, I smell freshly baked bread, shoe polish, clean sheets, shampoo and vegetable soup. I remember quiet times, music and last minute-preparation. There were Sabbath dresses, and little black patent leather shoes, new white socks, gloves and pretty handkerchiefs. I have always loved Friday evenings, sunset and the beginning of the Sabbath hours. The Sabbath day was filled with worship, fellowship, singing and activities. Years of observing these special times have left me with wonderful memories and blessings.

Jeff and I are so grateful for the church that loved us back to Christ. Today, as I write, we are now in a new evangelistic ministry in a nearby smaller town. We cannot believe how small town living, new friends, close family, a new church family and most of all a renewed relationship with God have filled anew the gaping hole of emptiness sin left. Though life has changed a lot, we are now finding in our new love and maturity, that Sabbaths are even more cherished.

Jeff and I have a special candelabra that we light every Friday at sunset. In the fall and winter with early sunsets, we often have guests for Friday evening worship in our home. The children always want to “light the lights”. I have a collection of oil lamps and on many Friday evenings, we have no other lighting than the lamps, candles and fireplace. Our Friday Sabbath evening worship and fellowships have become a wonderful time of bonding with our church families as well as guest families.

We have come to deeply value our Sabbath time with Jesus. Living so far north, we “adjust” our time to make summer Sabbath evenings special. We set a time to stop our work so that we don’t have that feeling of run, run, and run – then drop! If we keep going up until actual sundown, there is no feeling of relaxation and enjoyment. So we often begin Sabbath early.

On Sabbaths, we choose as many outdoor activities as we can. We live in the country, and Jeff’s parents live on a small lake. We are surrounded by the most beautiful scenery, wildlife preserves, parks and trails. We spend as much time out in nature with our Lord as possible. We try to have as many church services out in nature or lakeside as possible too! These are awesome Sabbaths when we can observe loons and their babies on the lake or watch eagles soaring or nesting. We seem drawn near to our Creator on His Sabbaths, because our nature seems so much like Eden. We usually close our summer Sabbaths with a fire down and light supper by the lake. The sights, sounds and smells of nature make me long for eternity where we will be able to enjoy the fellowship of Christ among us in a whole new way!

Several years ago, I saw a boy of about eight putting stick pins in a VBS poster of Jesus. When I spoke to him, he said, “It’s okay, it’s only a picture, He’s not real.” I realized then that we must wake up and speak and live and show that He is indeed real! Our observance of Sabbath is one of the ways that we live, speak and show His reality! Our experience with our new found faith and fellowship with a church family have strengthened our bond with our Savior and best friend. We have learned to put conviction behind that reality. It is time now to express what we really believe.

Last year Jeff’s nephews were with us on some warm summer Sabbaths. When we closed Sabbath, my heart was touched again, as I then saw the kids sit out on the dock and watch for three stars. Indeed, what a precious way to close the day with our Creator. Friends, I know my Savior and His Sabbath have become my joy “to love and love again”!

Sandra and Jeff run a business and are very active in a branch Sabbath School outreach. She is especially gifted in creative Sabbath activity ideas. Go to our Sabbath resource link to see some of her ideas.

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“The darker our world grows, the sweeter will be our Sabbaths with Jesus.