Friday, August 27, 2010

Me, A Treasure?

Thank you everyone for participating in the prize package giveaway! The winner was randomly selected, and the winner is Rachel Hausam! Rachel will soon receive a $10 Starbucks card, an audio CD of Empowered By A Whisper, and a $25 gift certificate to give to her to church to use towards bringing me to a future event. Congrats Rachel!

I am going to kick off the day with a confession.

One of my biggest pet peeves in life, is reality shows. I despise reality shows. Of any kind. Of any subject. On any channel. Ill just leave it at that.

A couple nights ago, after everyone had gone to sleep and the house was quiet, I flopped down in my bed and began some mindless channel surfing to help me settle down after a busy day.

It is always amazing to me how there are hundreds of channels, but I can never find anything decent to watch! But in my channel surfing, I came across a show that was so bizarre, it caught my attention. I hate to admit that I watched it, but I did.

Then, it broke my heart.

On this particular show, young men and women meet for the first time - in pitch black dark. Then they spend a couple days together in a room - in pitch black dark. They talk and get to know each other - in pitch black dark.

Maybe Im old fashioned, but I just think that is weird - but that wasnt the worst part.

After a few days of hanging out in the dark together, the time would come when the couples would meet - in the light.

These poor women were beside themselves with anxiety as they prepared for their revealing, wondering if the man would like their look, not just their personality.

(Please know that I am NOT man bashing at all - I know that there are many countless men who are wonderful and love the women in their lives for who they are - I am merely repeating what happened on this particular show as a reference point.)

The defining moment came, and each couple stood face to face, in the pitch black dark. Then a spot light appeared on each of them for a few brief seconds, giving them a glimpse of this mystery person they had come to know and adore, in the dark. Afterwards, they would proceed back to the main room, and give their opinion about the other person to their fellow reality show members.

These three ladies on this show were beautiful. Not perfect, but beautiful. Not flawless, but beautiful. Regarding their personalities and values, I only know what they shared during the show, but they seemed to be beautiful on the inside as well.

But all that mattered at this stage of the game - was their physical appearance. Their entire self confidence could be lifted up, or shattered, by the opinions and responses of these men.

After seeing the ladies, the men got back together and proceeded to talk about each of the women... and how they were not what they expected.

According to these men, the women were not as in shape as the women they normally dated. They were not as fashionable as they had hoped. They were not as pretty as the women they usually sought after. They were not as tall, or short, or voluptuous, or whatever physical attribute they felt most important.

Simply put, these ladies were less than perfect. Emphasis on "less than".

Although these men pointed out their imperfections, they did say that they might be able to overlook them, since they had liked them, before they saw what they looked like.

I cannot imagine the feelings of inadequacy that each of them must have been felt as they stood there in silence, knowing they were being judged.

But more importantly, I cannot fathom the overwhelming insecurities that surely swelled in their hearts and minds as they stood there in the spotlight, hoping that someone would see their value.

You could see the worry in their eyes, despite their painted on smiles, as their minds were surely filled with thoughts such as: Will he still like me, now that he knows what I look like? Did he like what he saw? Am I pretty? Will he want me? Am I good enough?

Deuteronomy 26:18 And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands.

In Hebrew, the word “POSSESSION” is a highly significant word. It describes the treasures of kings such as in 1 Chronicles 29:3, Ecclesiastes 2:8. These treasures were the kings most valued possessions.

So in this passage in Deuteronomy, the Lord is telling Israel that it will become His most valued possession upon accepting his proposal to believe.

The Lord is telling Israel that it is His treasure chest - his special treasure, and that upon acceptance of Him as Savior, Israel will be what He values most.

God CHOSE them, from among all people, because of their value to Him. He loved them, despite their history of idolatry, unbelief, betrayal, and yes, even imperfections.

He hand picked Israel, His jewels, for His treasure chest, simply because He loved them and knew their value.

Friends - we are now Gods Israel. You. Me. The ladies on that show, who were hanging their self worth and value and confidence on the words of a seemingly total stranger.

I wish I could call each lady that was on that reality show, and tell her that the criticism and judgement she received, was not reality, but merely biased opinions based on self centeredness and shallowness. Biases founded on earthly standards and unrealistic expectations for perfection - by people who are themselves, imperfect.

But if we are honest with ourselves, we are all much like those show guests, at times - hanging our value on the strings attached to someones elses opinion.

Why do we allow others to judge us, and then base our own self worth and value on those opinions?

Why do we play the comparison game, comparing ourselves to others, when we know it only leads to disappointment, causing us to feel as if we are "less than" in some way?

Why do we allow criticism to creep into the deepest most sensitive parts of our hearts, instead of remembering that we are beautiful because of WHOSE we are, not who we are, or what we see in the mirror?


Because we are human. Because we are broken. Because we know we are imperfect.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of the dark world and the spiritual forces of evil.

Emphasis here, on "dark".

The enemy, who lurks in the dark, would love to destroy us through the tearing down of our self esteem. He knows that if he can weaken our self esteem through lies and hurtful words of others, that our faith may become weak as well.

In the dark, and behind the scenes, he works against us, hoping that we will succumb to insecurities; and that we will not believe in our value through Christ; that we will begin to feel "less than".

Sweet friends, today is a new day. A day to stand proud. A day to love yourself.

A day to love whose you are, not just who you are.

A day to see yourself through His eyes, and not your own, or the eyes of someone else.

A day to remember that you are a special treasure, held by God in His holy treasure chest; one unique jewel, precious, and full of luster and beauty in every way.

A day to remember that you are adored - imperfections and all - and that God loves you in the dark, and in the light, with no strings attached.

Me, A Treasure?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Enjoying All The "Firsts"

Heavy sigh.

Today, is the first day of school.

For many parents, the beginning of school is a day to rejoice - freedom has returned!

Less entertaining and trying to keep the kids occupied all day, and more time to get stuff done.

Less sibling rivalry (at least until after 4pm) and more peace and quiet.

Less dirty dishes around the house, and more time to keep up with chores.

Less summer camps to transport to and from, and more gas that stays in the car.

Less money spent when you are out and have to grab a quick bite to eat (since there is one mom, instead of one mom and many kids), and more money to spend on other necessities.

Regardless of how much we love our kids, we all have differing feelings about when school starts back, and as for me, I feel a little sad.

Even though I might have less of some things that I didnt enjoy, I also have less of many things that I adored, and then I miss them.

I miss lazy mornings in bed, days at the pool, and visits to the beach. I miss the endless movies watched time and time again; my kids friends hanging out at our house; shopping on a whim; and summer nights on the deck.

I miss lots of time to talk and laugh, and even argue, but in the end, time that was well spent together.

I miss annoying pleas to play Monopoly, for the hundredth time.

I miss whines of boredom, although they are not my favorite, that drown out empty sounds of a silent house.

In fact, I think I might even miss the daily routine wakeup question in my house - "mom, what are we doing today?"

But even though there are things I will miss, the school year always brings new "firsts", and this year I seem to have more than my fair share.

Morgan is a Junior this year, already a pro at the trying years of high school. But she has taken on a new sport this year for the first time, and is ready for an exciting year as she grows up.

But my other two "firsts" are disturbing me even more - Kaitlyn will be a Freshman in high school, and my baby - little Michael as we call him - will be a 6th grader in middle school (a middle school Freshman, per se).

To top that off - Morgan has a new drivers license and a new car, so she will be driving herself, and Kaitlyn, to school. Yikes. Be still my beating heart. I had to say a little prayer as I watched them drive out of the driveway this morning. (Note to self: fight off all overwhelming urges to call yourself old and ancient.)

I dont know about you other moms and dads out there, but that is way too many "firsts" in one day in my opinion! Maybe you are better at handling "firsts" than I am, but for some reason, each and every one brings tears to my eyes, and the reality that my babies are growing up.

My heart skips a beat as I realize what wonderful children they have become, and I await a lot of skipped beats which will occur as I witness their new "firsts" in the coming years.

But thankfully, I know that all the "firsts" to come, may sometimes bring tears, and sometimes bring great joy, but that I will trust that God will be right in the middle of each and every one of them. It may seem like a "first" for us, but God is a pro at them all.

If any of you have kids starting school this week, or "firsts" of your own that are tearing at your heart strings, let us know about them so we can all pray for each other!

I pray you have a wonderful week of "firsts"!

(Above is a picture of my 3 precious ones on their first day of school today - all of whom thought picture taking was completely unnecessary. But thats okay. Smiles.)

Enjoying All The "Firsts"SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, August 23, 2010

Turning Life's Disappointments Into God's Appointments

Hi friends! If you are stopping by today from the Proverbs 31 devotion, then welcome! You picked a great day to visit, because today I am excited to reveal my new blog design!

To celebrate my new look, I will be giving away a special prize package which includes a $10 Starbucks gift card, an audio CD of my session called Empowered By A Whisper, and a $25 gift certificate which can be used towards a future booking to bring me to your churchs next womens event!

If you would like to be in the drawing for this cool prize package, then just sign up to receive my blog posts and quarterly newsletters via email this week! Simply enter your email address in the subscription box on the sidebar, and in the newsletter pop form when you see it in just a second! Check back on Friday to find out if you are the winner.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.......

In todays P31 devotion, I discussed a recent disappointment I experienced, which led to my feeling rejected, depressed, and unworthy. These feelings fueled my desire to throw in the towel and surrender to defeat, instead of trusting Gods will in this situation.

In the midst of that disappointment, negative feelings and emotions were strong, temporarily blinding me to the fact that God could use that disappointment to His glory.... until I came across the passages in Psalm 25 about trusting God and finding hope in Him alone.

I found myself faced with a choice.... I could either allow the devil to use this disappointment to make me stumble in my faith, or I could allow God to use it as a divine appointment to trust Him and glorify Him through it.

When we think of the word "appointment", several things may come to mind - doctors appointments, hair salon appointments, or business meeting appointments, but regardless of the reason, appointments have a purpose. A desired outcome. An expectation.

Whether for something trivial like a haircut, or serious like an MRI scan or a job interview, we typically put the appointment on our calendar and hold ourselves accountable for meeting it. We await the day when the appointment is to take place, we make appropriate plans, we prepare as needed, and we make it a priority.

God longs for us to prioritize our appointments with Him with the same importance. He knows life is busy, and life is hard. In fact, He tells us many times in His Word, that life will be tough, and full of trials and disappointments... but that He is tougher.

As I think back about various difficult and heartbreaking times in my life, I can already see how God has used many of them for good. It has sparked my faith, and allowed me to trust with my whole heart, that He truly can use all things for good eventually.

When I see how God took what the devil meant for evil in my life, and used it for His glory, I can do nothing but praise Him, and get excited about future appointments He may have in store for me.

I have come to understand that sometimes it takes doing an inventory of our past disappointments, even if it brings back some painful memories, to begin seeing the divine appointments God has set for our future, and our faith. What better way to see how far we have come, than by looking at where we started?

In Genesis 50:20 we read about how Josephs eyes are finally opened to Gods plan, as he catches a glimpse of how God orchestrated all the difficult events in his life, for the sole purpose of impacting other peoples hearts for God. That verse says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people."

We are no different than Joseph. A person with troubles, who brought glory to God, simply because He trusted in God to be in charge of the appointments in his life.

Maybe you have had gone through some difficult life experiences, and still struggle with seeing how God could bring good out of it.

Maybe you are still in the midst of a major disappointment or difficulty, or in the aftermath of one, and cannot even fathom how God could use that situation for His glory.

Maybe you realize today, that you have simply never asked God how He could use your disappointments for His glory.

Or maybe you have just never given Him permission to do so.

Regardless of the place we may find ourselves in, it is never too late to set an appointment with God. An appointment to meet with Him each and every day, where we can look forward to hearing His voice, and embracing the opportunity to gain a glimpse of the divine appointments He has in store for us. His appointments have more purpose than any we could set on our own.

If God has used a disappointment in your life, as a divine appointment to impact the hearts of others or increase your faith, will you encourage us with your story? Nothing is more motivating than to see and hear how God is using evil for good in the lives of His children. Lets share life together this week. Smiles.

Turning Life's Disappointments Into God's AppointmentsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When Silence Is Golden

I am a woman - thus I like to talk.

I am a mom - thus I like to talk.

I am a speaker - thus further proving, that I like to talk.

And when I talk, I want people to listen. But more importantly, I want people to talk back. After all, who wants to talk to themselves? I honestly believe that communication is the backbone of every relationship.

I have a dear loved one in my life, who will listen, but will not talk, if a conversation is not one that they are interested in having.

No matter how much I say, how many different things I want to talk about, feelings I share, thoughts I express, hurts I discuss - silence. If this person does not want to talk about something, then they simply dont. And I dont like it.

The other day, I was feeling very frustrated about yet another one-way-conversation that had occurred, and the term "drowning in silence" popped into my mind. I have no idea where it came from, but there it was. Hanging in my thoughts. I couldnt seem to get it out of my head.

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. In more ways than one.

You see, sometimes when I am trying to have a conversation with someone, and they are not reciprocating, it seems that the silence is heavier than if I were submerged at the bottom of a pool, weighted down by the water overhead, and engulfed by the deafening silence that surrounds me. There is a desperate longing for conversation and reassurance that becomes so overwhelming, it almost feels like drowning.

But instead of gasping for air, it is like gasping for two-way communication. Desperate for words to be spoken and thoughts to be shared. Just like air is a necessity for living, so is mutual communication.

Lately I have been talking to my heavenly Daddy - a lot - not just about this, but various things. I have shared with Him many thoughts, asked Him lots of questions, inquired for answers, pleaded for clarity, and reached out, and up, for assistance and direction. Yet what I felt I was hearing...... was silence. One-way communication. And I didnt like it.

Do you ever wonder why God seems to be silent? Why it seems that the communication is only coming from you, and one-way conversations seem to describe your prayer life? Do you ever find yourself wondering if He is really even listening? As if your words were just bouncing off the ceiling, and nobody was listening, much less God?

I think it would be so awesome if God would just send a big huge truck to cross my path, carrying blinking neon signs in all different colors that point in a specific direction and say "this way Tracie!"......or maybe just one carrying signs with one-word statements as answers to my prayers, such as "yes", or "no", "wait", or "trust". Geesh, I really want that truck.

But I began to wonder if maybe something was blocking my ability to hear from God - maybe something was standing in the way of that truck and it couldnt get through to me. Maybe it was sin. Maybe it was unworthiness. Maybe it was unimportance.

When people dont care enough to talk back to us, we may begin to feel unworthy or unimportant. As if our feelings dont matter at all. But those types of lies are exactly what the enemy would like for us to think about God.

Satan wants us to believe that it is ridiculous to think that the God of the universe would care about talking to us; that we dont deserve to hear Him speak; that we are not worthy of two-way conversations with Him; that He gave up on us a long time ago.

But I know that Gods promises tell us otherwise. And His Word far outweighs the lies of the enemy.

John 3:16 tells us that God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. If we were important enough to die over, I think we are important enough to be talked to! Now, I do like that.

As I said above, communication is the backbone of any relationship, including our relationship with God. Prayer should not be a Christian duty, but a Christian delight. Delightful conversation where we can openly share our innermost feelings and thoughts, and know that He is listening and responding and caring.

You know, once I sat down and thought about the past few weeks - various little things that had happened, how I had seen Him at work, situations where I felt His presence, bible verses that comforted me just when I needed them, little miracles that I know only He could have orchestrated, and things made my heart swell with love - I realized that God had not been silent at all.

God had been talking, a lot. It was I who had not been listening. God loves us and wants to communicate with us, just as we desire to communicate with the people we love.

So yes, I like to talk. What a blessing it is to know that God likes it too!

When we feel desperate for conversation, His ears are open.

When we need support and comfort, He will provide it.

When we are drowning in silence, He will break that silence with love.

We talk - He listens - and in His way, according to His perfect timing, He will respond.

Drowning in silence is no fun, but sometimes Gods silence could be an invitation to stop focusing on our circumstances, and focus on Jesus. It could be an opportunity for trusting God, and embracing His promises of faithfulness, in every situation.

I suppose there are times, when silence truly can be golden.

When Silence Is GoldenSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Less Worry, More Wonder

This has been a full fledged mommy-emotional-roller-coaster month so far. In fact, I think I may have hit the mother load of parenthood this week.

I attended She Speaks last week and was gone from my family for five days. After a few days of recuperating and taking it easy, I sent my daughter off to camp for four days, and the very day she returned, I left within an hour to drive to Virginia to speak at a conference, returning the following day at nearly 10pm. Being away from the family, although it is for wonderful reasons, always pulls at my heart strings.

Each day since I returned on Monday, we have been run ragged with tennis practices, cheerleading camps, and football practices... and busy social lives, of course. But thats not all....

My oldest daughter went on her very first car date, with a new boyfriend. I prayed.

That same said daughter was awarded a real live drivers license yesterday from our friendly local Division of Motor Vehicles. I prayed more.

My middle daughter turned fourteen years old today, going on at least twenty three it seems. And today, her boyfriend surprised her with a visit, pink roses and some shiny balloons. I prayed lots. Have mercy.

Being the mother of teenagers seems to have crept up and slapped me in the face.

Where did my little girls go? What happened to pony tails with ribbons, frilly dresses, babydolls, afternoons in the park and mommy/daughter nights out?

That old cliche' that 'they grow up so fast' has now become reality in my life.

Heavy sigh.

But as I pondered the times that are gone, and as my heart secretly longed for little tiny arms wrapped around my neck, bedtime stories, and snuggling in the bed together on Saturday mornings, I also cant help but wonder about all the sweet times to come.

I must admit, that when it comes to my kids, I am often times a wonderer, or shall I say, worrier.... but it compels me to be a pray-er as well.

I wonder how their school year will be, and pray that friends stay close, and enemies keep their distance.

I wonder about their feelings getting hurt and the hurtful things that teens often do and say to others, and pray their hearts can take the heat no matter what happens.

I wonder about situations that are so unfair and undeserved, and pray that they can understand that rejection is often Gods protection, and grow stronger as a result.

I wonder about their self confidence, and pray that they will see their beauty from the eyes of Christ, and not only what they see in the mirror, or what others say about them.

I wonder about peer pressure, and pray that they will stand strong in their faith and not be swayed into doing or saying things that 'everybody else is doing'.

I wonder about mistakes they will make and times they will let me down, and pray that when that happens, I will extend patience understanding, grace and mercy.

There are lots of things I worry about, but as I cover them in prayer, I am able to refocus on my wonder about the joyful things that will come as I watch them grow, instead of only worrying about the present challenges and future heartaches that they might face.

In prayer, I can feel God reassuring me that He has an army of angels protecting them, at school, at home, on the road, and all the places where they will be, that I will not. He reassures me that He is there, when I cannot be.

I know I cant keep them in my house forever, although I would love that, but I also know that God will always keep them in His hands.

So today, Im going to start spending more time wondering, instead of worrying, and enjoy each season of life that my children experience. I am going to pray even harder that I will trust God to watch over them, and allow Him to release me from fears that hold my heart captive - instead I want to be filled with peace, that can only come from Him, each and every time they venture out on their own.

I wonder, about their futures, and I smile. I cant even imagine the blessing of seeing Gods plans and purposes become a reality in their lives.

That will most definitely be the day that I really hit the mommy motherload. Smiles.

Less Worry, More WonderSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Day God Filled In The Blank

As some of my P31 sisters have said, I have been experiencing some 'holy exhaustion' this week! The She Speaks Conference last weekend was amazing, as always, and God showed up in powerful ways.

Yesterday morning, I was up early reading my Bible, as the sunlight crept through my bedroom windows. I sat on my bed, and before I began, I prayed for God to speak to me through His Word.

As I was reading Isaiah 58. The Lord answered that prayer.

Isaiah 58:1-3
1 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins!

2 Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf,pretending they want to be near me.

3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. 'Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’

I noticed here how the people think they are doing good work, worshipping the Lord, and living their lives in a testament to Him. But how quickly the Lord rebukes them, and lets them know, that their worship had become a ritual, instead of a relationship. This is evident to me through their words in verse 3 - "why aren't you impressed?".

Their goal was to impress God, not love God. They were worried about pleasing Him with their works, instead of adoring Him with their hearts.

In Isaiah 58:3b-5, the Lord tells the people why their rituals were meaningless to Him, and this is where God pricked my heart with a truth that He had been wanting me to know:

3b “I will tell you why!” I respond.“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.

4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.

5 You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?

I began to wonder - do I things, even with the right intention, but then wonder if it impressed the Lord? Do I ever serve Jesus in a particular way, and then hope that He noticed?

As a woman who loves the Lord, I do want to please God. I do want to live life in such a way that brings glory to Him. I do want to spend time bowing my head and worshipping Him, and I want Him to do good things in me, so that He will desire to do good things through me.

So in a way, I suppose I am more like these Israelites than I would want to admit. However, the way that I am different than them, is that I always try focus on my relationship with Christ, not my responsibilities of faith.

I do want to serve God out of delight, not duty.

Out of love, and not merely a desire for approval from God.

In Isaiah 58:6-9, the Lord goes on to say this:

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.

7 Share your food with the hungry,and give shelter to the homeless.Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

The word 'fasting' seemed to jump off the page, and right into the pit of my heart. For a moment, I did not understand why, and to be honest, the word 'fasting' has always intimidated me a bit.

I have always considered fasting to be a time of no-food. Or a time to deprive yourself of something that you like or need, and fasting is considered to be a sacrifice, so that your heart can focus on the Lord.

I am going to be honest here, and admit that I have never 'fasted' before, simply out of fear that I would fail; that I would give in to temptation to eat or do the thing that I promised God to refrain from - so to avoid failure or disappointment in myself, I have always just avoided fasting altogether. Have mercy.

As I sat there on my bed, looking at these words in the Bible and pondering the act of "fasting", I noticed a little slip of creme paper sticking out of my Bible. I pulled it out to see what it was, and my heart skipped a beat.

This piece of paper was from a powerful message that I had heard my sweet P31 sister Karen Ehman give at the general session on Sunday morning at She Speaks. She blessed us with a powerful message about returning to our First Love, Jesus Christ, and to remember the passion we once felt for Him when we first came to know Him, and to not allow life to cause us to lose that passion.

After she had finished giving her message that morning, Karen had asked that we take one of these little slips of paper off of the table, and fill it out with our own personal and honest answers about how we felt at the time of our salvation or re commitment to Christ; how we feel now in our faith; what we need to fast from; and what we need to feast on. It was to serve as a quick self-check on our passion meter.

Here is a picture of that little piece of paper, that I had hastily tucked into my Bible after the session, and temporarily forgotten:

As you can see on my paper, I had written that when I came to truly know Christ as my Savior, I had felt "healing, powerful (God's power), and transformed". Beside how I feel "now", I had written "inadequate, growing, loving Him more". Beside "feast on", I had written scripture.

But beside the words "Fast from", I had merely written a question mark. You can see that I outlined and scribbled on the words "Fast from", as my mind wandered about what I should be fasting from.

And yesterday morning, God filled in that blank. He gently whispered to my ears, what the missing answer was for me.

You see, I realized through reading this passage in Isaiah, that fasting is not always about physical sacrifice or denial of ones needs or desires.

It is not always about being emptied of something... but instead, being filled to the brim with God.

Not about being denied of something, but about privileged to receive something holy.

We read in verses 6-8 above, that the type of fasting that the Lord desires, is simply a heart that is so sold out for Him, that nothing else matters. And as a result of that passion for Him, we will free the wrongly imprisoned, lighten other peoples burdens by helping them, helping people find freedom in Christ, feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the homeless, clothing the unclothed, and helping friends and relatives.

His idea of fasting, was putting aside everything, except being His hands and feet to those around us. Denying ourselves the opportunities to be self-focused, and making His love, His power, His Face, and His will, be the reason for our living.

And that is the type of fasting that He will reward and treasure.

Isaiah 58:8-9 says,
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.

9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

One little piece of creme paper that seemed like just a scribbled note at first, has now become a keepsake that I will keep forever... as a reminder, that the only thing God really wants from me, is my true devotion - but that out of that devotion, I am to allow Him to use me.

To allow Him to use me, to glorify Him, not myself.

To allow Him to use me, through my passino and devotion for who He is to me.

And to allow Him to keep me so filled with thoughts of Him and His ways, that the thought of 'fasting' would never again seem like a sacrifice.

The Day God Filled In The BlankSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend