Fasting isn’t what I expected.

Today I am fasting.  It’s quite amazing to see the thoughts my mind has focused on today.   It’s definitely not what I expected.  I thought I would be hungry, cranky, complaining, and waiting for tomorrow to hurry up and come so that I could eat.  Those thoughts entered my mind sometimes, but were quickly dismissed.  It made me realize how fortunate I was to be able to eat, and eat a lot.  I drove by so many tempting restaurants, but instead of wishing to go in, I actually felt so spoiled.  I felt bad for having so much more than I deserve.  

It was also just good to have the feeling of needing God.  I felt like I prayed a lot more simply because I knew I was going through something hard and God was the best solution.  I think that discovered the parallels between food and other earthly temptations.  I can’t just give up food on my own.  I know that the only way to keep my stomach from growling is to pray.  I ask the Lord for help, for strength, to occupy my mind so I don’t think about the hunger.  It helps me reverse the perspective of being hungry and instead start to be thankful.  It got me thinking that if this works with food, why wouldn’t it work with any other type of earthly desire.  Sex? Money? Power?  All of those things are something that very easy take hold of my heart and steer it.  Instead of giving in or feeling like it’s too hard, all I have to do is exactly what I did today.  Just ask for help.  It’s so stupidly simple, but it has to be genuine and it isn’t easy to give those things up.  God will bring you through it, not you.  Not your will power, not your self-control, God will empower you.  Have faith and try for yourself!

10 Chapters a Day.

Today I begin a   l  o  n  g  (or not really that long) process of reading the Bible.  I was challenged to read it cover to cover by reading 10 chapters everyday.  I hope that by the end of reading it I will be a totally changed person and completely without sin.  Just kidding.  I’m sure it will change me, but I don’t expect all my problems to be solved.  The main part of doing this that I’m most looking forward to is having a true conviction for knowing what is right.  So many times I find myself questioning my decisions when asking what God would have me do.  Hopefully, I can learn about his character and be able to see my life better through a filter of God’s truth.

  The New Testament has 260 chapters and the Old Testament has 929 chapters.  I figure at this pace I can finish the New Testament in just under a month!  Crazy right?  I’m going to start at the end and work backwards.  It makes it a much smaller beginner goal and a shorter win than starting with 50 chapters in Genesis.  Plus, just like with any goal I am trying to reach, having little victories early on will build confidence and keep me motivated until it becomes a habit.  I also want to try to journal about what I read each day.  I will shoot for 100-200 words for now as I want to just get in the habit first.  Each entry should include a quick summary, characteristic of God, and maybe an insight I gained.  I want to keep it concise and well thought out in a way that helps me remember it.  I feel that keeping it shorter for now will do just that.  Feel free to join me, comment on what I write, correct me, challenge me, or just read along. You can also help me by asking if I’ve done my reading or texting me to keep me on track! So here we go! 

[Just a side note: I probably won’t post this everyday, so don’t get too excited.]

Revelation 1-10

These chapters are about John’s vision of Jesus coming to him and laying out exactly what will happen when justice comes to earth.  Each prophesy is full of serious emotion.  There’s definitely no gray area when Jesus talks about how it’s going to be.  Our God is consistent even with his punishments.  The time for grace will have passed when that reckoning day comes and those who are evil will be punished.  It’s definitely scary to see that side of God.  We often portray him as a gentle lamb, and so caring and loving.  Which he is, but I think it’s good to be reminded that God also stands by his word and has a zero-tolerance policy for sin.  There can be no room for it when you’re in a relationship with him. 

Nothing can happen to us that God cannot redeem.

The happiness which God designs for his higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.
Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis