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I have been participating in a *modified Daniel Fast as part of a commitment I made with our church for 21 days of prayer and fasting.

Although it has been only 5 days that I have been fasting, it has already been rewarding. Each morning I have read through a Daniel Fast devotional that is available on the You Version Bible app, and I have prayed about some specific areas where I want to grow in my relationship with the Lord, and I have prayed specifically for my family and others who I care about.

Two observations I have during this fast:

 

1. I don’t really pray without ceasing

Obviously. How hard would that be anyway? But I have often thought: “oh yeah, I observe and think about the Lord’s blessings and praise Him throughout the day.” False. Every time I turn down a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and resist the urge to drink a Diet Coke I am reminded of how often I don’t think about the Lord. Each time I say no, I am reminded of why I am doing this fast, my prayers, God’s faithfulness, and it allows me to be aware of God’s presence in my life all over again.

2. It has become easier to deny the flesh

As I have been consistently telling myself “No, you can’t eat that. No, don’t grab a handful of marshmallows. No, Chickfila, and no Chickfila cookies,” it has become easier to say no to other things that my flesh desires. I have been able to process thoughts and habits differently now that I am in the routine of saying no. I don’t love saying no, and it reminds me of Paul denying the flesh and doing what he hates in Romans 7:15. My hope and prayer in now that I can break these old habits and take on new ones.

lion

“Sometimes we need to say no to
something in order to say yes to God.”

From what I have experienced so far, I would encourage you to a similar fast. It has been a very positive experience so far. If you have fasted, have you had similar thoughts or any additional observations?

 

*My “modified” plan includes brown rice, beans, nuts, seeds, some grains, dried and fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit juices, water, and coffee. I am avoiding everything else, including meats, dairy, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Diet Coke, cheese, candy, and chicken being the hardest to fast from.

Here is more information on what we are doing as a church.

 

There are a lot of ways to dishonor someone, but I am guilty of participating in one of the greatest. The problem is that it’s too easy to do, even when I try to avoid it.

 A gossip causes division. Proverbs 16:28

I’m guilty of sitting down with my popcorn and listening to the gossip. jacksonIf I’m in a disagreement with someone, it feels good to gossip or hear gossip about someone. It doesn’t make me very honorable. And what’s worse, someone who gossips to you is probably going to gossip about you. Not the company I want to be around.

“Jesus was willing to believe in people, confront them, and give them a second chance.” – Perry Noble

I want to be the person who confronts disagreements. One who doesn’t procrastinate, but communicates and is compassionate. 

davis-and-jilly-kappys

(pictured: Davis and Jilly honoring their mother and father by being polite. Nah… just waiting patiently for their milkshake at Kappy’s in Maitland.)

This is from a series of posts I made on Facebook during the summer of 2016.

 

Love is not PROUD.

Davis, proud of his organized collection of stuff

It is hard to not be prideful of success and accomplishments. Pride can easily overstep its welcome in my life. I will even seek compliments when I think that I have done a good job. I often feel defeated when I don’t receive affirmation when I think I did a good job. It’s a constant battle. I’ve heard it said before that the greatest enemy of success in our future, is the success we are experiencing right now.

My favorite verse in scripture attacks pride and promotes humility. John 3:30 points out that Jesus is always greater. In order to attack pride, I want to make much of Jesus.

Brag on Him

I’ve discovered that it is hard to learn when I think I have it all figured out. When I admit that I don’t have it all figured out, I tend to learn bigger lessons. And that is a whole lot better than learning a hard lesson after a fall from pride.

Loving this statement that I read today: “Don’t let your pride keep you from learning from people who are smarter than you.” – Perry Noble

I want to surround myself with people who are smarter than me. ⚓️

This is from a series of posts I made on Facebook during the summer of 2016.

 

A couple weeks ago, I was driving through a neighborhood with my family near where we live, and I saw an elderly woman standing at the edge of a street taking a picture of a house. Her car was parked out front, door open with a few boxes sitting in the front seat.

She was capturing one last memory
of her house before moving on.

I was captivated by this moment. I placed myself in her shoes and imagined what must be running through her mind. All the memories. I’m a sucker for nostalgia.

“Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. In Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again.”

– Don Draper, Mad Men

I had to talk to her. I stopped and asked if she lived here. She said, “Not anymore, but I did for over 40 years.” I commented on how beautiful the home was and how it must be filled with great memories. It was.

Within minutes, 83-year-old Marianna was walking my family and I through a time capsule of memories, her home.

We learned about why an extra bathroom was added, what her children loved to do, and how wonderful her neighborhood carpenter (now long gone) was. We learned about her life changes and how just recently her husband had passed away.

I stopped my car that day to help her capture one last memory, but what she gave me was far more valuable. She gave me perspective. This life is only but a vapor and before I know it, this moment will be a memory.