Being a M.D., and understanding the pressures and difficulties of the medical field, Matthew loves to share the Sabbath vision with those working in medicine. Recently, Matthew and Nancy had the opportunity to meet with and encourage a group of medical chaplains at the UMC Health System in Lubbock, Texas. The Sleeths were able to share their Sabbath story and walk with the chaplains through a Sabbath workshop. The chaplains read 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier Life as part of the workshop. Jerry Hatfield, a UMC chaplain, passed along his favorite quotes. We hope they encourage you as well.
“People don’t save the Sabbath; it saves us.” (p. 58)
“Now there is certainly nothing wrong with work, and most work is good work…But biblically speaking, work should not define our lives.” (pp. 63-64)
“…the purpose of work is not more work. The purpose of work is to live and glorify God.” (p. 66)
“Resting is even more necessary in uncertain times. It helps us remember that God is in control and that our identity is not dependent on the work we do.” (p. 81)
“In Sabbath keeping, we rest from more than our labors. We rest from the tyranny of the urgent, the staggering precipice of eternity, and the mundane workweek. In the Sabbath’s renewal, we catch a glimpse of the divine. And our response to the divine is reverence.” (p. 101)
“Observing the Sabbath ensures that at the very worst, we are never more than six days away from a holy perspective. Sabbath keeping gives us the time to set priorities—for a day, for a week, and for generations.” (p. 102)
“The Bible commends industry and work, but it also warns of their getting in the way of spiritual vision.” (p. 118)
“Sabbath is not one day of vacation a week. It is part of the most solid and tangible time of life. The Sabbath balances the active parts of life with the holy parts. Jesus needed both to be fully human, and so do we.” (p. 119)
“No one ever found the Lord on the day they won the lottery. Faith is more likely to blossom on the day we lose our job.” (p. 124)
“Sabbath reminds me that God is the source of my life. When we go 24/7, we get to thinking that our well-being results from our own efforts.” (pp. 124-5)
“But something even more intimate happens on Stop Day. There is time for just being with the Lord.” (p. 125)
“People in our culture do not need more. We need to recognize how much we have. The Sabbath is a reality check. It says you have enough. Try to get more, and your manna will turn to maggots.” (p. 127)
“For a believer, there is no separating the Sabbath and giving. They are conjoined twins that share the same heart.” (p. 134)
“Sabbath keeping allows church leaders to recall why they are called.” (p. 137)
“In a world of specialization and compartmentalization, the Sabbath is a freeing oasis with a gushing spring. It allows God to flow into all of my work week.” (p. 140)
“Stopping one day a week allows my hearing to improve. I pick up the subtle chorus of heaven here on earth.” (p. 156)
“Sabbath is a time to transition from human doings to human beings. It is a day to celebrate a God who makes time for us to be with him.” (p. 157)
“In adopting a 24/6 life, we put God back into the equation…We recharge our batteries with the energy that comes only through stopping, and we become more generous with the gifts God has given us.” (p. 172)
Jerry Hatfield was born in Olney, Maryland, but grew up around Westminster, Maryland where he graduated from high school in 1980. Several years later, Jerry graduated with a B.S. in Bible and Pastoral Ministry from Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA. Following several youth pastorate tenures, Jerry went on to pursue graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, where he graduated in 1994 with an M.A. in Semitic Languages and Literature, and an M.Div. Following seminary, Jerry spent a year teaching in Jerusalem, Israel. Several years later, Jerry was awarded a Doctor of Literature for a Hebrew workbook he wrote for a seminary in Louisiana.
Jerry received ministerial credentials in 1992 with the Assemblies of God, but transferred later to the Association of Evangelical Gospel Assemblies of Monroe, LA. He has now been an ordained minister with AEGA since 1999. Jerry attends Trinity Church of Lubbock, where he has taught Bible and Hebrew language classes as well as participating in various music ministry opportunities since early 2001. Jerry is married to Melinda Grace (Pena) Hatfield who is a choir teacher at Terra Vista Middle School in Lubbock. Jerry’s other interests are astronomy and dragonfly photography. He also enjoys reading, writing, and any chance he gets to go with his wife to the Texas Hill Country for shopping and enjoying the beautiful scenery.