Wednesday, May 25, 2011

disciplining your spoiled child

Hi friends!
Happy wednesday! Today is a sad day...Oprah's last show. NO!!!!!! I cant handle that. Too sad. Love love love her. The girls and I will be watching and crying!

I am excited to blog today and tell you about what is going on today. My Bible study that I am in has been reading a great book called "celebration of discipline" by Richard Foster. It is all about Christian disciplines. I love it because I have really been revived by how honest and forward he is. It is very refreshing. Well, this weeks chapter is on fasting. So as a bible study we are all fasting today and breaking it together tonight (over mexican food :). I have definitely fasted before, but it has been a while. The best experience I had while fasting was when I went on a mission trip to China. We fasted for 3 days while praying for a specific meeting the team was having with local government officials. Our whole team did it together and it was just an amazing experience. I remember just being so mindful of praying and seeking the Lord. I have not fasted since then. As I was reading the chapter this morning about why we fast and how we fast a few things really stuck out to me....
1. Fasting happened all throughout the Bible and is practiced by so many in our biblical history. It is a time to set aside the indulgences of the world and to have an open heart and spirit with God.
2. It is also a way for us to clear out distractions. Honestly, I probably think about food more than most people. I love food and have a constant appetite for all things food. BUT, even when I am doing well with eating, I am still thinking about it all the time. Counting points, planning meals, logging it into my food journal. It is a big deal for me. This is a chance for me to find freedom from that. To just let go and feast on the Lord.
3. It is not ok to fast for weight loss purposes. Our goal in fasting should always be in worship to the Lord. As a rule, fasting is something that is private. It is not something to boast about. But, since this is something I am doing with a group, i decided to share it. But, I like the idea of sharing it so I don't abuse it. So I don't use it for any other purpose other than to worship and spend time with Him.
4. As Richard Foster is talking about what to expect when fasting, he talks about how in your first time fasting, even if its just for 2 meals, you will experience hunger pangs. Here is what he says about it...."You will probably feel some hunger pangs or discomfort before the time is up. This is not real hunger;you stomach has been trained through years of conditioning to give signals of hunger at certain hours. In many ways the stomach is like a spoiled child, and a spoiled child does not need indulgence, but discipline...You must not give into this "grumbling". Ignore the signals or even tell your "spoiled child" to calm down, and in a brief time, the hunger pangs will pass. " Obviously I know that if I'm not fasting, I should not ignore hunger and eat when I'm hungry. But I just really like that analogy.

I am excited to fast today. Honestly, I am already feeling "hungry" but just have to remember to seek the Lord. To see what he may be teaching me. I look forward to giving a full report of my day tomorrow.

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