Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

He who has ears, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daniel Fast - a Day of Celebration and Feasting

Psalm 97:11-12  Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.  Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name. 

Yesterday I completed my 21 day fast, along with my family, so early this morning we went out for breakfast, yum.  We gave thanks to the Lord for all He is, all He has done, and He will do in our lives.  This evening we will meet with others, who also fasted, to rejoice in the LORD and to feast on the fatted calf (it's just a brisket, ya'll). 

For those of you who are done with your fast, let's rejoice together in spirit.  Those who are not yet done, I will continue to pray for you... stay strong.  And for those who's spirits are being prompted to fast, I pray you be courageous to take that 1st step!  May the Lord bless you all. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You Are Holy

Daniel Fast - Day 21

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 

This is the final day of my 21 day fast and 2 Chronicles 7:14 sums it all up.  Imagine the multitude of people fasting across this nation and planet, praying either at the same time or through out a 24 hour period.  I pray the Lord heals our land, our hearts, our relationships, and anything else that is on your heart and mine.   I close out this fast with a song in my heart:
You are holy
"I saw the Lord, sitting on His throne; clothed in glory and exalted high.  And the train of His robe, it filled the temple; I see angels gather 'round Him and cry:  'You are Holy, oh so Holy, You are Holy Lord of All'".

There is more to this very powerful song and it almost always brings me to tears just imagining the angels singing with me as I worship the Lord singing "You are Holy, Oh so Holy".  And on a larger scale all the people around the world worshiping the Lord while the heavens cry out,  "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."   

Thank You Father for saving my life by sending Your Son to die for me so that I may live with You in heaven for all eternity!! 

(For your ease and for you to worship with me I placed the song 'You are Holy' on the blog.  Enjoy!!) 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 20

Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Daniel 21 day fast; it has been amazing and wonderful.  I've spoken to several "fast-onians" who said that tomorrow is all they are fasting for this year while others said they are going to continue for another 19 more days, a total of 40 days.  I have decided that tomorrow will be my last day but I am going to fast one week in the spring, summer, and fall for a total of 40 days. 

There are so many ways we can offer up a sacrifice to the Lord; what's important is what and how the Lord has called us.  Sometimes we find ourselves judging others for not doing the Lord's will just like we "think" it should be done.  But we gotta wash those thoughts right out of our heads and pray for each other.  Pray for each persons needs and success in the things that the Lord has entrusted to them. 

Have a wonderful day and stay strong... I'm praying for you and may your hearts and ears be open to hear the Lords will.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 19

Matthew 4:2-4  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."  Jesus answered, "It is written:  'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

I LOVE coffee... I love it in the morning, in the noontime and before bed.  I especially LOVE having a little "coffe-sito" from Starbucks... it's very heart warming.  So coffee is one of the items on my list of things to fast.  I pass Starbucks several times a day taking my kids to and from school and it is usually no big deal.  But today I was tested... the tempter came and said to me, "It's so close to the end of the fast; you could say you're just about done.  Why don't you go ahead and get a little coffee from Starbucks.  No one would know and as long as you don't tell them it won't mess up their fast."  I sorta freaked and the thought screamed out in my head, "Get behind me satan!"  The "coffee thought" fled from my head and all was back to normal.  Thank you God for Your Word and Your faithfulness and thank you Jesus, because You were tempted You are able to help me when I am tempted. (according to Hebrews 2:18)

I pray that you stay strong, even in your trials.  May the Lord bless you and help you through to the end of this fast!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 18

James 1:2-3  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Yesterday my daughter went on an 11 hour round trip outing with her school to tour a couple of colleges.  Because she is also fasting during this time, she packed herself several fasting friendly snacks.  For lunch, the students were told they would be stopping at a fast food restaurant so my daughter figured she would purchase a salad.  What she didn't count on was the "change of plan".  After touring the 1st college the tour guide escorted them to a waiting area with 10 boxes of pizza... the college decided to feed the students before continuing on with their journey.  This was hard for her but the "cherry on top" was that it was from her favorite pizza place, Double Dave's.  She knew she had to be strong so she tried to stay as far away from the pizza as possible.  The teachers were going from student to student making sure everyone had a chance to eat.  One student, my daughter told me about, said he didn't want to eat due to nausea.  Well, this caused the 1st aid kit to be pulled out and the student was asked a series of questions about his health.  The teachers and administrators surrounded him trying to get to the bottom of his nausea.  My daughter, seeing all the commotion,  decided it would be easier to hide from the teachers who were going student to student, ducking behind different friends.  When it was finally time to board the bus and head to their next destination she breathed a sigh of relief and pressed on the remainder of the day.  They arrived back home and one of the first things she said was, "It was hard but I did it.  I passed up the pizza."

Every time we face a trial we should remember to consider it pure joy.  I'm sure she wasn't "feeling the joy" while she was going through her "pizza trial" but the huge smile on her face at the end of the day was a definite sign of her faith producing perseverance.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 17

A living Sacrifice:  Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

This is what the Lord asks of us... and what better time to begin (if we haven't already) than now during this fast.  Romans 12:1 says to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is our true and proper worship.  Romans 12:3 says not to think of ourselves as more highly than we ought.  What am I getting at with all this?  It's this... Forgiveness; It all starts with this one word.  When we came to Christ we asked Him to forgive us... and it's a daily process (at least for me anyway).  So as He forgave us we too must forgive so we my do His will. 

Let this fast be a sweet aroma in the nostrils of God and that He may accept this fast as sacrifice unto Him.  But first we must begin by not thinking highly of ourselves and forgive those around us. 

Have a blessed day! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 16

I pray that you have been strong over the long weekend.  For some of us, this is our last week and for others you might have another week to go.  Where ever you are in this Fast don't give up.  Remember it is the Lord we are honoring with this fast so whenever the boredom or hunger wants to overtake you... lean on Him.  

The Bible verse that has been on my heart today is James 1:6-7  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. During this fast many of us may be seeking out the Lord for finances, relationships, health, etc.  Sometimes, when the answer isn't clear or doesn't come right away, we may tend to give up and think nothing will happen.  But we have to remind ourselves that it is in the Lord's timing and not our own.  We must pray without doubt and expect to receive.  Forgive me Lord for the thing I've made it 'cause it's all about You!

Keep up the good fight and finish the race... the end is near!   

Friday, January 14, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 12

Self-worth... funny how these words control my life.  It has such a simple definition:  respect for or a favorable opinion of oneself.  If my self-worth is good then I can conquer the world and do all things through Christ who strengthens me; my relationships with those around me are wonderful.  But if my self -worth stinks the opposite happens, nothing seems to be possible and I go into a sort of reclusive state.

Why is my self-worth attacked?  Satan knows that if he can keep me tucked away in the "safety" of my home then I will not do what the Lord has asked.  Moses' self-worth was attacked when he was asked by the Lord to go up against Pharaoh.  He was so concerned about the way he spoke that he ended up using Aaron to do the talking for him.  Even though (according to Acts 7:22) he was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech,  he was still paralyzed by his self-worth.  He tells the Lord that he is slow of speech and tongue (Exodus 4:10).  But I love how the Lord replies in the next verse; Exodus 4:11  The LORD said to him, "Who gave human beings their mouths?  Who makes them deaf or mute?  Who gives them sight or makes them blind?  Is it not I, the LORD?

For me, having anything worth saying or worth contributing to the kingdom of God is usually what gets attacked... thus I tend to fall into my comfortable reclusive state.  Satan didn't pick something uncomfortable for me to fall into... reclusive-ness is very familiar to me and somewhat comforting; a safety net that has been built by me.  But I know this safety net is false and I find myself, once again, giving this "self-worth" issue over to the Lord.

This is what I lean on and this is what I believe:  Psalm 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;..."

May you have a wonderful self-worth! Remember Who's you are and Who created you... you are a child of the King! The Lord bless you and if you are fasting continue to stay strong... I'm still praying for you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 11

It is officially past the half-way mark of this 21 day fast.  Although cravings may still pop up now and again, it is going well.  The feeling that seems to want to take over is the feeling of "boredom" or "I don't wanna".  As I stated in a previous blog, I started out excited and full of expectation; but as the days go by I find myself fighting off the "boredom-ness".

Aside from praying for you, my family, and our country I have also been praying for myself... that I would be who He wants and to do as He says.  He has given me a glimpse of what I am... I don't think I could handle more than a glimpse... scary!  This boredom problem is something that I deal with in my life.  I start something with excitement then get bored and sometimes leave it undone.

I know I will finish this fast... that's not even an issue.  But I wonder, what is the Lord preparing me for and what will He ask me to do that might take time and effort?  It's in those things that I know I must press on, not get bored, or give up.  Because when it is all said and done, I want to proclaim:  2 Timothy 4:7-8  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Stay strong my friends... the end is near!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 10

Today is a day of thankfulness for the people in my life and my relationship with them.  Just a few minutes ago the Lord reminded me of the "Banana Story".  You may have heard it before but I'm gonna tell it anyway because it's such a good story.  As far as I know this is a true story.

The Banana Story
A pastor had it in his mind that he wanted to run the Boston Marathon so two weeks before the race he began to train.  He trained the best he could and on the day of the race he ate a hearty breakfast since he would need to keep up his energy for this long race.  "On your mark... Get set... GO!"  Off he went down the course of the race.  Everything seemed to go according to plan but about 1/4th of the way into the race he felt his breakfast begin to stir within his intestines.  He knew he would not be able to complete the race with out taking care of this very inconvenient necessity of life.  Around the half way mark he remembered that one of his congregants lived not to far off the race course, so there he went... trying to stay calm so as to not initiate any launch sequences.  He could see the house not too far off and prayed that his church member would be at home.  He saw the car in the driveway and the screen door was open.  He felt his sweat begin to bead up around his forehead and down his back... not from the race but because his body new relief was on its way and the count down had begun.  The pastor, in a panic, knocked on the door, explained his dilemma, and then sprinted for the bathroom.  After several long minutes, and feeling very relieved, he noticed that he couldn't feel his legs.  He tried to stand up but his legs felt like mush and his muscles began to cramp.  Needless to say he was not able to finish the race.  

After a few weeks a young lady walked up to him at church and asked about the race.  He told her that he was unable to finish the race and was very disappointed.  She asked various questions dealing with his training and diet then asked if he would like her to train him.  She had run the race several times and was not going to participate the next year but would like to help him if he would allow her; he jumped at the opportunity.  Many months before the race she contacted him to begin the training... he was surprised because he thought it would only take a few weeks.  He followed everything she said for him to do including his diet.  She told him that a runner needs to have the proper diet or he will not be able to finish the race because his intestines would end up taking over. 
The day of the race came and the pastor ate accordingly, just as he had been instructed.  "On your mark (he was nervous thinking of the previous year)... Get set (what if it happened all over again)... GO!   And off he went down he went the course of the race.  He was able to shake off his nerves as ran the course and became more confident when he breezed by the area of defeat the year before.  But about 3/4th of the way into the race he felt his muscles tire and his body weaken.  This concerned him so much that he wasn't paying attention to his form or his pace and so the feeling of giving up began to consume him.  A crowd of people had already gathered to cheer on all the runners and as he looked at the screaming crowd he saw his friend's smiling face (the trainer) and heard her cheering for him.  As he got closer to where she was standing he saw her holding out a banana and yelling , "Eat the banana so you can finish the race!!"  He ate the banana and was amazed that his energy level perked right back up.  He fixed his form and focused his thoughts on finishing the race.  A few miles before the finish line he began to weaken again and wished he had another banana so he scanned the crowd of cheering people, that had multiplied tremendously, for his friend but... no banana.  Instead what he saw up ahead was his friend in her racing attire.  As he met her on the road she said, "I will run the remainder of the race with you so that you will not lose heart."  And together they crossed the finished line.

Who is the banana in your life; the person who will help you fight the good fight so that you can finish "The Race"?  I have a "bunch" of bananas in mine... my husband, family, pastor, and friends.  At one time or another they have been a banana.  Today, my  B-F-F (and daughter-in-law) was my banana.  This blog is  something the Lord has asked me to do but today I felt I had nothing.  She handed me a banana, walked with me awhile, and voila... here's today's posting.  Thank you God for all the bananas in my life.  I pray that I too may be a banana in someones life!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 9

We're right in the middle of this 21 day fast.  The 1st week was embarked with excitement and expectation.  This 2nd week has been much more of a struggle... feelings, thoughts, and not to mention cravings.  I thought I was alone in this difficultly but as the reports have been coming in from those that are also fasting I realize that I am definitely not alone.  Each one of us has had a major craving or a weak emotional moment.  My cravings began yesterday even though I made the most delicious pot of vegetable soup ever created on this earth (at least that's what my husband said).  And it didn't help one bit that a child I watch over ate pork chops and cheesy macaroni for lunch... help!   I know the end is near so I shall stay strong and wait upon the Lord... He is my everything.  I am still praying for you... that you too may stay strong!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Daniel fast - Day 8

This past weekend my prayer to have the courage He gave David as he fought Goliath and the wisdom He gave Solomon kept stirring within my heart. Going on about my weekend, my family and I went to see the movie 'True Grit'.  After the movie I kept thinking about how much courage it took those people to do the things they did.  And that's when it happened... a feeling of a warm gush of water that had been poured over me...I couldn't contain my tears.

The Lord at that moment showed me that as those people portrayed in the movie had "true grit" or "courage", so did I and many others that I have known personally... 

This is "true grit": 
  • The Pastor whose wife has left him yet continues on with the Lords work
  • The Pastor who did not waiver while at the pulpit when a man tried to shoot him point blank (every bullet missed him)  
  • The woman who forgives her husband for infedelity
  • The mom who has no job and decides to leave an abusive husband to save her life and the lives of her children
  • The person who's self-esteem has been shattered yet continues to press on
  • The person who continues to serve the Lord even though "the church" family he has always known turned its back on him for financial gain
  • The family from the city who moved to the country into a home with no heat except for the room they all shared; so when they awoke in the morning the toilet water was frozen solid.  The mom and child had to make their way to the neighbors house to borrow the bathroom... true story
These are all real people who live real lives and this list, that the Lord gave me, could go on and on.  Let me say at this time that I am not one to "spiritual-ize" every movie I see and I don't go around trying to see the portrait of Jesus in my tortilla or oatmeal.  But this movie did open my eyes to the strength and courage that is all around me and within me.  So the next time I feel weak or "yellow-bellied" I will try, with all my heart, not to give up but prevail in the name of Jesus because He is the One who has given me "True Grit"!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 6

The weather today has been beautiful; the sun is shining and a cool breeze is blowing throughout the house.  This is the kind of day that make me breathe in deep and enjoy whatever is planned, even if it's nothing.  But today, as beautiful as it has been, I found myself struggling to be happy.  I read my Bible and prayed (by the way... yes I have been praying for you too) but still sadness wanted to come over me. 

My phone rang and I saw it was one of my family members who is also fasting at this time.  As we began to speak she told me of the beautiful morning she spent with the Lord.  She read some words that the Lord put in her heart and spoke with such a joy in her voice.  Her excitement spread over me and I too began sharing the things that the Lord has done.  Before I knew it all sadness was gone.  She had no idea that I was struggling, nor did I tell her, but the Lord sent to me an angel with manna. 

After that phone call I hopped in the kitchen to fix up some fresh broccoli, straight out of my garden; I took it outside and enjoyed every little tender broccoli bud with my husband.  Today is a beautiful day and I will rejoice and be glad in it!! Praise You Jesus!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 5

This is the 5th day of my fast and the Lord has been hard at work within my heart.  This morning I knew that I had a lot of work to do and so my mind was upon those things.  During my prayer and Bible reading time I found my mind was on my day and not on the Lord.  I asked the Lord to forgive me and turned to the place in the Bible from where I have been reading.  And guess what tasty little morsel He had in store for me today... well I'll tell you.  1 Peter 4:7  The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.  Well, that's pretty clear of what I needed to do. Thank you Father in heaven for allowing me to be in Your presence! 

Later on in the day I read some more and wouldn't you just know it... another tasty treat!  This time it was:
1 Peter 5:8-9  Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  These verses caused me to think about all the people around the world who are fasting at this time.  I was having a struggle this morning with staying focused upon the Lord but I wonder what other people might be struggling with.  Maybe their strength to continue on with this fast is wavering or possibly sin is knocking at their door.  So throughout today and the rest of this fast I shall pray for you my brothers and sisters... that you may stay strong; resisting the devil and that you may stand firm in your faith!  Remember... the end is near.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 4

After starting my day off with prayer and reading my Bible I looked over my list of many errands.  One of those errands consisted of taking our 'beater' car to get a tire check.  Let me mention at this time that I do not like driving this vehicle.  The car rattles so bad that even after I've gotten out of the car my insides are still shaking plus the thingy that makes the seat slide back-and-forth broke and stuck on the furthest setting; I'm only 4'11 1/2 (that 1/2 inch is very important to me).  So needless to say I have to drive with my tippy-toes. 

I arrived at the tire shop and was informed that it would be a 45 minute wait.  Making the best of it I decided to walk to a near by store to knock-out another errand on my 'to do' list.  While walking, I began going down 'memory lane' and remembered when my husband and I were first married.  We didn't have a whole lot of money and could only afford one car.  So when it broke we were stuck and it liked to brake a lot.  We would either have to take public transportation (not that there's anything wrong with that) or walk.  We usually chose to walk if our destination was within a few miles.  During these walks we had plenty of time to talk and enjoy each others company.  Sometimes, because my husband is adventurous, we would walk through wooded areas or down a train track or two looking for treasure of any sort... an Indian arrowhead, oddly shaped rocks, a wild animal skeleton (gross), or a campsite belonging to a few hobo's (scary).

By the time I knew it my walk to-and-from the store was finished in less that 30 minutes and I was back at the tire shop.  As I walk up to the shop my car rolled out of one of the bays.  The gentleman driving the car asked , "Is this your car?"  I happily nodded my head yes since it was such perfect timing.  As I drove away the Lord reminded me of one of my prayers during this fast and this scripture:  
1 Peter 1:6-7  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  I admit we were not rejoicing while going through those financial trials but we definitely grew closer and stronger. 

One of my prayers during this fast...?  It's for my marriage; that we would be strong through all our trials.  Today I find myself praising the Lord for those days; it was those times that have made my marriage what it is today.   Thank You God!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daniel Fast - Day 3

On this 3rd day of my Daniel Fast, I thought I would get up extra early to bake some flour-less oatmeal muffins.  The recipe seemed delicious when I read it... how can anything go wrong when you blend together oatmeal, bananas, fresh blueberries, and cinnamon?  I'll tell you what can go wrong!  What the recipe didn't mention was that, although it was toasty on the outside, the inside would be MUSH and the flavor was GAG ME!  (that's if 'gag me' had a flavor) I'm not too particular about food texture but this little muffin wanna-be was rejected  by the inner-most part of my body.  My family also tried to eat these little impostors; mostly because it's "Mama's cooking" and they didn't want to offend.  But since this was 'Fail Blog' at its finest they could not continue with their charade. Bananas and granola to the rescue!

On a different note:  My prayer this morning (before I opened my Bible) was to give me the courage that He gave David when he fought Goliath and the wisdom that He gave Solomon.  To know when the 'battle is the Lord's' and when it's my own flesh. I opened my Bible to James 3, where I've been reading, and James 3:13-18 is what the Lord showed me.   It's sorta too long to blog but I'll tell you the last part of it... James 3:17 -18:  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.  

Thank You God for being real to me... You are my King! 

If you're fasting at this time I want to encourage you to stay strong.  If you're thinking about doing it; don't delay... It's an amazing experience that is between you and the Lord. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Daniel Fast Begins

Yesterday my family and I began our yearly Daniel Fast.  We've done this for the past couple of years and have seen God move in so many amazing ways; we look forward to it every year.  The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast, eating fruits, veggies, and whole grain.  I have run into a few people who have snickered and said, "a fast is eating nothing at all", or "a 21 day fast is for baby Christians".  I say, "Oh yea, tell that to Daniel and his friends!"  Granted a full fast would be difficult for me but this one has its difficulties as well. 

Yesterday I passed by a Little Caesar's pizza place... twice.  No big deal, I pass it all the time. But the third time  passing this little enticing restaurant got me thinking about the melted cheese oozing off the crust as it is lifted away from its steamy companions.  I had to shake it off and think on "Holy" things.  I'm guessing that's what the tree in the Garden of Eden was like for Adam and Eve...  bless their little hearts.

If the Lord is prompting you to fast then I invite you to join me.  I HIGHLY recommend reading the book, Fasting by Jentezen Franklin; it will definitely give you an insight to fasting that every person should have!! 

Have a blessed and prosperous day!!