Consider the Lilies..: January 2013   

Jan 31, 2013

What I learned through my 10 day fast..

My 10 day fast ended yesterday.. The corporate church fast doesn't end until Friday but I started early..

Some things I learned:
I learned that I don't watch much television so fasting it didn't really make a lot of difference.. I don't have Facebook or Pinterest, so the only Internet I really fasted was my blog.. Not really much of a big deal there.. I read and study the Bible for a few hours every day anyway, and I have made it a point to spend more time in prayer every day before I started the fast..
I have already quit smoking and drinking Redbull, I very rarely eat meat anymore, I don't drink soda, hardly ever eat anything fried, and I go to the gym almost every day..
Oh, and I have been fasting one day a week, every week for the last year..

So, what I learned was pretty simple.. Just because the pastors and a bunch of people in your church start a fast, doesn't mean that you need to jump in and do it too..
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that no one should fast.. I have heard stories from my friends of amazing revelation from this fast.. I myself have received revelation through fasting.. But I'm saying that starting a fast when you don't even know why your doing it is just stupid..

I was excited about this fast.. I had decided to fast media and food.. So just juice, broth, and books for me.. I didn't struggle, it wasn't difficult, I didn't feel deprived, or weakened.. So by the fourth day I had decided to give up more.. I gave up coffee and the broth.. Just juice..
Still, no problem..
I read more, I prayed longer..

On the eighth day I realized something.. I never asked God; what should I fast? What should I fast for? Should I fast?
Nope, I just did it because the church was doing it..

So my real lesson was simple.. Just because a wagon goes by, it doesn't mean you have to jump on it..

Jan 20, 2013

Offline..

Our church fast starts on Wednesday, but starting in the middle of the week just feels weird to me so I am starting tomorrow..
I'll be off line for a while.. Won't be blogging or checking email..

See ya in a couple weeks!

Jan 16, 2013

Happy Wednesday!

On the 23rd my church will be starting a 10-day fast..  We usually do a 21 day fast but this year it's only 10 days..  I'm not sure why exactly..  I know our senior pastor explained why last Sunday but I wasn't paying attention..

Oh wait, I found it on the website..  Okay, THIS is what we are doing..  Anyway, I am looking forward to this fast..  My doctors said I could fast more this year as long as I prepare myself first, so I have been making gradual changes every day and will be ready by Monday..

I will absolutely be doing a media fast like I do every year..  I kind of wish that I could include my phone in the fast too..  I turn the phone off on Sunday's and I really enjoy the peace and quiet..  But with Sky driving, I don't like to be away from my phone..  Plus, if there was an emergency with my family I wouldn't know about it unless my sister knocked on my door..  And what is the emergency was my sister?
Yeah, so no phone fasting..  But laptop, Ipad, television  and everything else..  Totally..

I probably won't write any more on this blog until the fast is over..  I might still blog in my personal blog until the 23rd, but it's a pretty boring blog..  Just normal everyday stuff to keep my family updated..
I may do the media fast for the full 21 days anyway, I'm not sure yet..

I'll be fasting other stuff too and plan on approaching this fast differently than all the others..  Sort of like my goals for 2013 (which are going fabulously by the way)..  I'm telling you, amazing things are happening!  I am simply awestruck by God's faithfulness and I am learning trust and growing in my faith in ways I never imagined..  I won't elaborate too much just yet but I do plan on giving a full report when the year is over..  What my goals were, how I did, changes that were made, all that jazz..  I am keeping a record in my journal so I'll have plenty to talk about next year..  :)

Well, that's about all I have to talk about..  Have a great day!  I'll be back when the fast is over :)

Jan 11, 2013

God's plan for a man..

This is a really good sermon about God's plan for husbands..
Give it a look.. Or maybe show it to your husband..
CLICK HERE

Jan 7, 2013

Weird weeks..

It's been a strange couple of weeks for me..  On one hand, it has been the most stressful two weeks I can remember..  So stressful that I am breaking out in hives and not sleeping more than 3 hours a night..  On the other hand I have been incredibly happy too..  It's just really, well..  Weird..

The stress is easy to figure out..  Ever since Clay told me that he was not going to Australia but to a different, more dangerous location, it's been a little stressful..  As I said before, it's not because the country is dangerous, he has worked in dangerous places and situations since we have been married..  But this is the first time he will be in a location where Christians aren't exactly welcome..  In fact, they are sort of despised there..  I am in total support of him and what he wants to do but the what-if's have been going through my head almost non-stop..
What if they find his Bible in his baggage?  What if they see his tattoo?  Will they ask him if he's a Christian?  And what will happen if they do?  Will he be arrested?  Tortured?  Shot?  Will we ever see him again?  Hear from him again?  What if he's locked up and he is unable to contact me?
These are the thoughts that have been going through my head..  So yesterday we spoke to the pastor who is the head of global outreach and asked her what this location was really like for Christians..  Basically, if he does what he is going there to do which is work and not to minister or convert, he will be fine..  She told him that they will just consider his Bible a personal possession at customs and probably not say anything..  It's not being Christian that they punish, it's trying to to preach to and convert that they have a problem with..
I gotta tell ya, that's a load off my mind!

The happy is easy to figure out too..  I have been really digging in to the Bible..  More than usual..  I am working on the Chronological One Year Bible, as well as a Bible in 90 days plan..  I have been listening to the audio Bible while I do my housework every day too..  I write in my prayer journal every day and spend more time in prayer than before..  Funny thing, the more I do it, the more I want to..
About a year ago I was part of a book club, we were reading a book about prayer and the leader of the club suggested that we all make it a point to pray for two minutes every morning before we get out of bed..  I did it a couple times but it didn't stick (it's difficult to focus on prayer when you have a 120 pound dog on top of you begging for his breakfast)..  On New Years day I happened to spot that same book on the bookshelf in my room and I thought "why not try it again?"..
I did that morning, and every morning since..  Wow, what a difference!
So it may be a little late in coming, but thanks 'T' for the suggestion..

So, life is great and a bit scary too..  But it's also full of blessings..  Money has been tight since Clay was laid off, but every time something has come up that has required money, it has come from unexpected places..  Just yesterday I found a gift card in my purse that had been slipped in there, then some guy walked up to Clay at church and handed him a check..  Last month right before Sky's appointment to have the bands changed on her braces someone handed me the exact amount of money it would take to make the payment..  And then something even more awesome happened..  Clay has been looking for a part time job to tide us over until he goes back to work..  Just 20 minutes ago our church called and offered him a part time job!

Seriously, God is amazing!!

Jan 6, 2013

The Gospel Message...

We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him
- 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

Here is the gospel in a nutshell.. First, God made Jesus sin itself -- Jesus who had never sinned in his life..

On the cross, Jesus took our sins on himself, and God treated Jesus as if he had lived your life! All the sinful thoughts, dishonest deeds, and selfish ways that have characterized your life were put upon Christ and he was punished as if they were his own thoughts and deeds and ways..
Jesus was your substitute; he took your place -- and the penalty you deserved -- on the cross.. But more than that, he gave you his righteousness; in Christ, you have the very righteousness, the perfect record and holy character, of God himself..

So because God punished Jesus for your sins on the cross, he now treats you as if you had lived Jesus' life! The slate is perpetually clean, the record is permanently expunged, the rap sheet is forever removed..
On behalf of Christ then, Paul says, we beg you to be reconciled to God.. The impossible has occurred and a way has been made for you -- corrupt and faulty sinner that you are -- to have complete, unhindered access to and communion with the holy God..

The wrath of God against your sin was spent on Christ; Christ has reconciled you to God by his death. Will you not then be reconciled in your own heart and mind to God, trusting in and submitting to his sovereign grace in your life?