Say No to This

There are plenty of summer traditions that people look forward to with great anticipation. One that enthralls sports enthusiasts worldwide is the Wimbledon Grand Slam. Especially in this first year following the intense happenings of 2020, during which the Championships had no audience, people are now particularly excited. But there are a few disappointments. Fan favorite Serena Williams suffered a devastating injury that forced her to withdraw in the first round. And even prior to the Tourney, the biggest buzz was Naomi Osaka’s announcement to sit out the competition. This is of course the second Grand Slam in which she’s prioritized her mental health. Previously, she dropped out of the French Open for the same reasons.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thank-you! We all need to recognize and take care of our mental health.

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Thank you for this well-thought-out article. I have struggled with this all my life. Which comes first family or church (the Lord’s work it’s called)? I am also something of introvert, and I have limitations. One is being married to someone with no interest in church (and not a member) other than attendance to hear a favorite speaker or on the TV. Yet he is generous and caring. Meanwhile I have a great interest in theology.
I know persons who give up the church because pastor fathers spent so much time putting church first.

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You said it, Dr. Ray.

Jesus invited his weary disciples "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while.” Mark 6:31 NASB

I have often wondered why the rest day of the Sabbath can prove to be for many Seventh-day Adventists the most hectic day of the week.

In fact right in our name we loudly proclaim REST! And Hebrews 4 links that to the rest we inherit through faith in Christ’s merit, and to the heavenly rest lent after Christ’s next advent.

Our denomination then practically shouts it out: REST. Why don’t we?

The respect that I see you treat your husband with is a telling witness of your faith. He is your first personal relationship concern after God, and you are being an effective evangelist by taking his need for you on the Sabbath into consideration.

In relation to undertaking obligations imposed by others, or even “the Lord’s work,” there is an EGW quote that gives me rest just to think of it! Somewhere she states thusly, perhaps even somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that God can show us individually our duty just as readily as He can the next person. That should give everyone pause, in my opinion.

I have been having a struggle over this issue with a Christian sister whom I cherish, who is sure that God is calling me to perform a service in the church and feels that I could offload the responsibility I gladly feel for a ninety-year-old friend that can sometimes take up to a considerable share of my time; and thus she thinks I could free up time to devote to serving in this other capacity in the church. (Being single and retired allows me the flexibility in my schedule to engage in helping my friend and to devote to my other ministry that I feel called to, that is, writing.)

My 90-year-old friend lives alone and has no family. She is an atheist, yet I feel that I can minister to her better than anyone else, she is dear to me, and I find a lot of satisfaction in it.

We have known each other about 25 years by now. What I do in ministering to her is not religious, nor am I qualified medically, but I help in a lot of ways, and I am devoted to her care and to our friendship. I consider that the personal and practical good that I do her renders me more important to her than to those who might benefit from the religious service I would give at church.

Does this make sense to anyone?:blush:


this reminds me of a Desire of Ages quote:

“As Christ lived the law in humanity, so we may do if we will take hold of the Strong for strength. But we are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally.” DA:668.

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Yes, I love that passage! It has been my practice since I was in my twenties to consult God’s guidance in the Bible in this way, particularly whenever I am in need of direction, and He has spoken His mysteries to me personally, just as Ellen White said. Listening to the Holy Spirit speaking through the Bible when I need counsel, actually daily, has brought me to this point on my Christian journey…

I have to admit that I have made some grave mistakes when I haven’t prayed, looked, and listened; or whenever others have influenced me unduly; or if I have trusted too much to myself in making decisions about my way. Thank God for His grace, especially at such times. It never pays to go against His advice, or ignore it, either. Sticking close to our trustworthy Shepherd is the safest and happiest path.

He does reveal Himself to the one who seeks him, and that is so wonderful!

I read what you said somewhere recently, and I thought, here is someone who reads the Bible to follow it in much the way I do. The more you read and put it into practice, the more you understand. In Isaiah it says that God meets the one who joyfully works righteousness, who remembers Him in his way. I have found such comfort and truth in this fact and in the experience of it.

I commend you for your faithfulness and application to God’s word, Jeremy.


this is so true…this is one of several distinct egw principles that i think many of us can verify in our personal lives…

and this reminds me of a text in John:

“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine.” Jn 7:17.

doing what we know is absolutely the key to knowing and understanding spiritual things…it’s a complete feedback loop: the more we do, the more we’ll know, and be able to know…and the more we know, the more we’re able to effectively do…the rich just get richer…:slight_smile:

on the other hand, the less we do, the less we’ll know, and be able to know…it’s possible to get to a point where we just can’t get it, even when we want to…at this point, what to do, or how to go about doing it, and even whether there’s any point in doing or trying to do anything, become questions we can’t answer, and can’t feel any motivation to answer…

our whole spiritual capacity becomes smothered, and suffocated…and all because we shrank from doing something we just couldn’t and wouldn’t bring ourselves to do… :sleepy:

sometimes the surest diagnosis for why we can’t get into spiritual things is there’s something we’re not doing, or have allowed to let slide…

Most Adventists take the position that almost all of the sabbaths in the Bible DO NOT APPPLY TO US.

Why do we think this one does?

Yes, the Christian walk is dynamic.
If Bible knowledge were only for the experts, then who could be saved except scholars? But Tyndale translated the Bible with the intent that even the ploughboy should read and comprehend what is essential.

This is not to underestimate the value of scholarship. Obviously Tyndale was qualified in ancient languages and in Bible literature, as other translators or groups engaged in translation have been, and we are indebted to them. And the rich resources that experts can bring to bear on Biblical understanding from research into the peoples, cultures, history, and literature of those times and the regions in question, as well as the contribution of archeology, can help us immensely in our grasp of Biblical themes and ideas.

I applaud any effort to “approfondir” Bible study.(Sorry, I don’t know of any word in English that says it so well.) Ellen G White, moreover, encourages us to be intellectual Christians, and not to rest content with previous understanding when there is new light. Truth can bear examination, and our knowledge expands as our experience grows.

It is best when one takes a holistic approach, and one endeavors to “walk the walk,” as well as “talk the talk,” thus avoiding the cognitive dissonance that follows when thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are at odds with one another.
I was thinking, after I wrote what I did earlier, of the John 7 text you quoted too. If we do His will, we will know of the teaching, whether it is from God. Building on the Rock (and not on uncertain foundations, as may have been the case at Surfside), but acting on our learning.

i think this french word means to deepen, or make more profound…

i disagree with you a little on this point…i don’t think more and more academic tools can make bible study more profound…the only thing that changes the dynamic is direct connection to christ through the HS…when this aspect of the science of salvation is reliably achieved, academic tools become a bit secondary…what knowledge they bring to the table is quite beside the point…

sadly, though, most seminaries, SS’s, and bible classes have specialized more and more in the academic side of things…it’s quite common to see people debating theological points who have no connection with god…there’s nothing in their aura that indicates familiarity with the workings of the HS…their lives are as far from him as if he didn’t exist…

what we really need are spiritual retreat centres that specialize in teaching people how to connect with the HS, how to pray in a way that brings results, how to recognize and resist temptation, and how to separate from the world and advance tangibly in the path of holiness…

these retreat centres don’t need to be denominational, or in any way sponsored by the conferences…instead they can be run by private individuals through private funds…

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