I was born a Seventh-day Adventist, raised in a devoted SDA family, and attended Adventist schools in all levels of my education.  I would say that all the SDA principles had been firmly planted and embedded in my brain, veins, and bones, and so I could be considered as a 'pure-genuine' SDA. During my childhood days, SDAs were identified as 'Sabbath keepers,' those who OBSERVE Saturday as Sabbath.  So, Sabbath was a very significant day for SDA followers in those days.  My parents were quite conservative in keeping the Sabbath.  I remember when Fridays came along, and Sabbath was coming in, my dad said that all things associated with Sabbath should be in place. Shoes should already be shone up, church attire ironed, and cooking finished before sundown. My dad required his children to anticipate the coming of Sabbath correctly and appropriately and keep it holy for twenty-four hours from sunset to sunset.

I asked my dad, 'Why do you OBSERVE the Sabbath so strictly", a question I should haven't asked because of my being a 'pure-genuine' SDA.  I should have known the reason. My dad took his Bible and asked me to read Exodus 6:23. I read, "He said to them, "This is what the Lord commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So, bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.'  "(NIV) After I finished reading this Bible text, he said, "That is why your mother cooked our meals for Sabbath on Friday and didn't cook anything else on Sabbath. Also, the reason why I asked you to get your shoes and shirt ready on Friday because Exodus 31:13 says, "Say to the Israelites, 'You must OBSERVE my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy." (NIV) So Sabbath should be appropriately OBSERVED because it is holy, and if you OBSERVE the Sabbath, it is a sign between God and us that we recognize Him as Lord and our Creator.

Reflecting on my dad's dedication and commitment to keeping the Sabbath holy for the entire twenty-four hours, I wish I would follow his footsteps in full.  Nowadays, in many parts of the world, unfortunately, sometimes we neglect the holiness of Sabbath. We don't OBSERVE the Sabbath as we should; after church service, we do our usual business - not waiting until the Sabbath is over.

In "I PROMISE' card to make God First, number 5 promise read, "To KEEP the SABBATH, preparing for it accordingly on Friday, keeping its limits, right thoughts and activities." I desire that we go 'back to basics' - just like in my childhood days - in OBSERVING and keeping the Sabbath holy.  Exodus 6:24-25 says, (24) "The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness." (NIV)

Do we want to prosper and be kept alive? OBSERVE the Sabbath and keep it holy!

Hiskia Missah