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Archive for July, 2011

Today (July 4th) is Day #8 of my 3 week fast.

Ever since day #3 I have felt like I have no strength in my arms and legs. Yesterday and today I experienced extreme shortness of breath. If I stood I was not able to talk at the same time. Taking deep breaths and sitting down helped. I was worried about going to church. I didn’t want people to notice. I didn’t want to have to sit down durring worship service, or even worse – pass out! I took a shower and put on extra make up Sunday morning because it’s biblical to be clean while you’re fasting. Mostly, I assume, so no one will notice and it can just be between you and God.

I was able to stand durring the whole worship service and sing! I don’t know how I was doing it. That could only be God giving me strength. Durring the worship service, right before starting another song, the worship leader introduced the song (something she doesn’t usually do). The song was about Moses’ experience with God out of Exodus 3. That touched my heart because that passage had been on my mind since Apirl. I finally posted it (God’s Name). Then in the middle of the song she read another scripture passage:

 Isaiah 58:6-10
Is not this the kind of fasting that I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wandrer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear gaurd. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say, here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfied the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

After that Tim leaned over and said to me, “If that doesn’t tell you anything, I don’t know what will!” I took that precious moment to my heart like a heirloom treasure. It did tell me something. I was doing the right thing – that God sees me and is pleased.

Tim and I have taken the time to search the internet to see what kind of information there was about fasting. We discovered this site and found it to be helpful and all-in-all VERY INTERESTING!

http://chestofbooks.com/health/Isabelle-A-Moser/How-and-When-to-Be-Your-Own-Doctor/The-Stages-Of-Fasting.html

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I am curious about people who do not believe in God. Or at least the ones that say they do, but it is apparent from their way of life that they don’t.

Today I came across a Facebook post by a friend of a friend. She asked a very simple but heartbreaking question.  “I want to ask all my friends out there what they think Gods name is.” She wrote, “Please respond. Be nice as HE is listening”

I interpret this to mean she does not know, but believes there is a God who is omnipresent. I would love to comment on this.

There are so many names that we have labeled God with based on what we have seen from His sparkling personality. But as far as I know, there is only one place in the bible where God is asked His name. This account is found in Exodus 3:1-15  Moses sees a wonderous sight and is drawn away from his daily life of tending someone else’s sheep. A bush, on fire but not burning. He is drawn away. The place where he comes to a stand still is called, by God, holy ground. A place to remove your shoes. Comfort in an uncomfortable way. “Do not come closer,” God said. Why not? Danger? Probably. But what I see here is comfort. Comfort like you would want after a hot day out with whiney, stinky, sheep and now night has begun in the desert with it’s freezing cold wind biting your back with every step home. Coming to a stand still in front of a fire is the best place to take off your shoes and relax. When God holds Moses back at this point, it reminds me of a scene in a movie I’ve seen where a very rich businessman is offering a job, while sitting in a black limousine, to a jobless intelligent scientist who is standing out in the rain looking through the window. Any idiot would take the job. But Moses here wants to know the name behind it. Afterall signs and wonders are a day-to-day occurrences for Moses, right? Probably not, but you aren’t going to get into a car with a stranger no matter what kind of candy he’s offering… unless you know who he is, or, in this case, his name!  Perhaps Moses was taught not to talk to strangers and NEVER EVER get on a camel with a stranger. God knows this, so to ease Moses’ conscience a little, He tells him how He knows him. “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

I see that up until this point Moses was not afraid. He was curious. He probably would have come closer, maybe even to touch the fire, unless God stopped him. I don’t know what would have happened, but I suppose when you’re unholy (which Moses was) and are in the presence of Holy God (which Moses was close to being) you die…  Back to God introducing Himself to Moses! He said, “I am the God of your father,” I will assume that Moses knew his father was not the pharaoh and, at this point, was face to face with the truth (that being, his father was a Hebrew).  Okay, so this deity knows Daddy and He knows where Daddy came from. That is still no reason to get on the camel with Him. God goes on to say (just in case Moses was confused) “…the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”  Not only does this God know Daddy, He’s Daddy’s God. Not only was this Daddy’s God, this was the God of Moses’ forefathers!  THEN Moses was afraid to look!

I’m sure Moses looked down at the shepherds clothes he was wearing and began to realize just who he wasn’t. He wasn’t a prince. Not anymore. He wasn’t a leader. Nope, sorry. That had to be a major blow to his self-esteem. He took up a servants job after running away from his life as a prince of Egypt because he killed an Egyptian man. He now smelled similar to a fearful, powder-puff like, mammal. He was just a man trying to live a normal life. He wasn’t good enough for this. But, he was still curious! So he says to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt.” That wasn’t a question.

God does not seem too disturbed by this and answers, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Moses gives me the feeling that he is trying to be sly with God and get information from him without really committing to anything. He says, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God says to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

God also says to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation…”

The story goes on, but this is my point right here. If the Great I AM said this is the name by which He is to be remembered from generation to generation how does He have any other name? Yes, we call Him other names to describe what little that has been revealed to us about Him but those are, in a sense, only nicknames. Why not use His real name?

The quotes I used were taken from NKJV and NIV versions of the Bible.

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This is day number 5. Only 16 more days to go on this water only fast. It’s more difficult than I imagined it would be. I am telling myself that someday I will look back on this and it will just be a memory. I felt the Lord ask me to fast for three weeks. I am not sure why, and at the time I was like, “UH! NO WAY!” After several months and the gnawing in my heart didn’t disappear I decided it would be best to have a go at it. My first attempt I fasted only food and allowed myself hot cocoa. I lasted 2 days. I tried again. Still never making it to the finish line…not even close, at 3 days. After that I gave up. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t do it.
One day, my husband, Tim, came to me with a proposition. “Let’s fast. For your dad.” My dad had several strokes in December of 2009. At that moment a very unpleasant scenario unfolded before our eyes. He was visiting family in a remote part of Alaska when the first one struck him. Loss of eyesight to one eye. No one knew what it was. He thought he’d over exerted himself that day and he just needed some rest. After the second one he needed help to get down the stairs. Loss of limb control in his left side. They were then certain going to the doctor to find out what was happening was a good idea. While waiting in a small room at a clinic where no one has clearance to do ANYTHING, he had his third stroke. He was unresponsive and when he came too he could no longer speak or move his right side. At the time he was 68 years old and very fit for his age. His irregular heart beat, so they say, is what caused it… plus he didn’t take his BP meds. He didn’t want to have to rely on them to keep his health.
After many months of tears and therapy he is in his own house with his own wife taking care of him. He hates it. But it’s better than a nursing home. He can walk with a cane but has to be watched constantly because falling is a giant concern.
Thankfully he didn’t lose any memories, just speech. He talks to us but it comes out in a jumble and we have to make sense of it. “What.” seems to be his favorite word for everything. The name for this is Expressive Aphasia.  My youngest daughter is turning 2 the end of August and she talks better than him. It breaks my heart to see that and I think it disturbs my dad too.
When Tim came to me with this request, I was certain it was from God because of what I had felt earlier. I said, “Yes. Till he’s healed and restored or we die.” We started on a Monday. Tim went to work (construction work – in the hot sun) with nothing but water. By the second day he was feeling too weak to do much but sleep. I felt uncomfortable but fine. I was not in the hot sun. I was home taking care of our five children. On the third day Tim was reporting seeing stars and extreme pain in his legs. I couldn’t watch it happen any longer. I made him dinner that night and we both broke our fast. Three stinkin’ days. I was ready to give up for good. I couldn’t make it past three days. That Sunday we went to church and our pastor preached on “The Heroes of the Bible”. He started this Sunday with Abraham and Isaac. To come to the point, Isaac didn’t even know he was the sacrifice until the last moment and he could have fought off his father when it came time to tie him up and lay him on the alter, BUT HE DIDN’T. He trusted. That is were I felt the most conviction that I’ve ever felt in a long time. I was whipping out my Kung Fu when God was asking to tie me up and lay me on the alter. I had said, “NO WAY!” I had fought him. But now… Now it is time to trust. Like Isaac. I repented of my struggling. After all didn’t Jesus DIE for me? What is giving up three weeks of food compared to that?
I started again. Monday I gave up food cold turkey (I’m a food junkie). I am on a water diet for three weeks. Water has a very unpleasant taste now. I had mentioned to Tim that I just couldn’t drink our water because it smelled like a wet dog! He suggested a case of bottled water. I bought Aquafina. (If you ever try fasting on a water diet only, please check your water bottle brand. Aquafina doesn’t have any minerals or salts in it and by drinking only that, I washed all the electrolytes out of my body with nothing to replace it – dehydrated myself with water) The first day it was good. Actually just better than our tap water. Now that that’s all I’ve had for five days I want variety! My close family that know about this have suggested a little lemon in the water. What could be so bad about that, right? I can’t. I have to do this. I have to pass this test. There will be no lemon in my water. NO herbal teas. No matter what. I can’t do that. This is serious to me. No more,
“Oh, well, hot cocoa is okay.”
Or, “It’s just tea! You HAVE to keep up your strength!”
No. I’ve done it that way and have given up before a week has gone by. That is not a route I’ll take again. At least, not for this fast. This is a reason too important for me to screw it up by being weak.
My vision is to see my dad restored. Walking and talking as before. Coming to my house to “visit” and just “happening” to notice my garbage needs to be taken out, and well, he might as well do it!! Because he loves me. I see him feeling like he was twenty again. A miracle taking place in my very own life. And in his.

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119:71

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