Howdy! I apologize that it has been a long time since I posted anything. In the middle of my ADVENT series, our family got sick. We licked it in two days, only to have another sickness come back with a vengeance after our kids returned to school. We spent the whole Christmas Holiday sick, hence so few posts. I think I will complete the ADVENT posts at a later date, in anticipation of next Christmas and re-post them at that time, with some editing. (When I’m tired I tend to type too much! I think I embody the term “ruminative writing”…I can hear my Written and Oral Communications prof shout “Cut the fluff!” Ah, editing, how I love thee…)
I hope you had a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. This is the time of the year when we set goals and resolutions; this is all very well and good. However, unless we were given superpowers as a gift at Christmas (!) few of us have acquired the necessary character and ability to keep our resolutions! We know where we’d like to go this year, but we don’t have the steam to get there. This Word-UP Wednesday is about a little-used practice that helps us not only set our compass in the right direction, but receive the God-power we need to get there: fasting!
Our first outside source is an interesting site called daniel-fast.com (which also has a blog on wordpress) According to author Susan Gregory, the Daniel Fast is a restricted vegan diet practiced for up to three weeks. It is based on Daniel chapters 1 and 10 where the prophet-statesman Daniel fasted from meat, bread, and wine and focused on eating vegetables and drinking water to humble himself before God as he prayed (presumably, three times a day as was his custom). The word vegetables in Hebrew has been expounded to define anything growing from a seed–including seeds themselves–so that fruit, whole grains, legumes, and nuts are included. Because this is a fast that includes solid foods, it can be maintained for an extended period of time: traditionally, for three weeks, the time it took for Daniel to receive an answer to prayer when he fasted as recorded in the book of Daniel, chapter 10.
Susan Gregory has developed recipe books on her website so give you ideas how to fast. Recipes can be made for the whole family, adding meat and dairy for children or making modifications for family members with health concerns. Here are some free recipes that should be easy to make. I came up with a few of my own, which I hope will make it into a Recipe thuRsday post this week (like the Salsa-Stuffed Peppers above).
Our second outside source is a local area church (Bethany Assembly) who is doing the 21-day fast as part of its series on gaining Momentum in the New Year. If you’d like to join in, here are short, daily devotionals–statements of faith and prayers based on Scripture–that accompany each of the 21 days.
Our third outside source (Jentezen Franklin Media Ministries) is a short outline of a Daniel Fast used to ask God for healing. The website also has fasting contracts that responsible family members can sign and keep each other accountable to.
Explanations of the spiritual benefits and reasons for the fast are given at the above sites. I hope you will use them to celebrate the New Year in a way that keeps you running strong in Hope until the next year (and beyond). God really does speak to us when we seek Him with diligence!
Helping of Hope. Right Choice: Use Daniel-Fasting to ask God FIRST what He may accomplish through you this year; humble yourself (through denying certain foods and acknowledging your dependence on Him) to bring yourself in agreement with His much better plan for you. Bright Future: a greater power at work in your life to transform you into someone God can use to defeat giants, move mountains, and minister to hurting people!
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