Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do Not Be Overcome! The Power of Surrender

Thomaseagle at
Get out a pencil and a clean piece of paper. This is a pop quiz. We have reached weapon number seven! But let's see if you remember the first six weapons. This quiz will be fill-in-the-blank. Please don't look at your neighbor's answers. Ready?

1. Weapon #1 is Receiving _____. (hint: it's what the world needs more of according to Jackie DeShannon)
2. Weapon #2 is For____ness. (are you sweating?)
3. Weapon #3 is T___________ (hint: it rhymes with yanksliving)
4. Weapon #4 is H_m_l_ty (I know this is tough. Hang on, you're almost there!)
5. Weapon #5 is The ______ Word. (hint: it rhymes with pokin', as in "Don't go pokin' your nose in."
6. Weapon #6 is F______ (hint: it rhymes with zasting)
Bonus question: What is my favorite food?

By: doctor_bob at
Time's up. Put your pencils down. How'd you do? Let's all trade papers and we'll grade them now.
1. Receiving Love
2. Forgiveness
3. Thanksgiving
4. Humility
5. The Spoken Word
6. Fasting
Bonus question: My favorite food is the always versatile potato, and if you don't know that, then you have probably never read this blog before today. I'm glad I wasn't around during the potato famine.

Good job on your quiz! Pat yourself on the back, and get ready for weapon seven. It's a doozy. Actually, I saved this one for last, because it's not so much a weapon as it is a lifestyle. Living a life of surrender to Jesus is what I'm aiming for. Because being fully surrendered to Him is the ONLY way I can be happy in this life. Let me tell you what I mean.

I remember standing in my kitchen shortly after Bob was held up at gunpoint. I was feeling many things, but high on my list was surprise. I was surprised that yet another bad thing had happened to us after the things we had just been through. I guess I thought that there was some kind of limit. Like, you get only x amount of bad things in a twelve month period, or something like that. 

When I started getting serious about God changing me instead of my circumstances, He showed me pretty plainly what was really behind my surprise. 

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
1 Peter 4:12

I know this verse is specifically referring to suffering for being a Christian, but I think I could ask myself this same question about the difficult things that happen in my life. I'm not necessarily suffering for being a Christian, but I'm living in a broken, sinful world. Bad things just...happen. Why should I be surprised? After all, Jesus told us it would be this way.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

I remember very clearly the moment the Lord showed me that disappointment in life is directly related to feeling that I am entitled to better. And behind it all is offense. Ugly, but true. I felt I did not deserve the things I got, and I was offended. I was offended by the people who hurt me and my family. And I was offended by the very circumstances that in the end, helped me grow in ways I never would have if my life was just a day at the park. 

I know so many people disagree with this, but I'm not entitled to anything. I don't deserve anything. This is completely opposite to what the world tells me every day. It seems backwards. Aren't I supposed to be looking out for myself, putting myself first, taking care of myself? Aren't I supposed to be demanding my rights, fair treatment in everything, and the best that life can offer? Aren't I supposed to be grabbing and fighting for happiness? These ideas are so ingrained in us, but in God's world, they are dead wrong. 

My heart is so full of love for the one Man who really does deserve everything: the best treatment, the most respect, the greatest honor. And yet He came down to this broken world and showed us a different way: the backward but better way. He had every reason to demand proper treatment, but He did not.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant...  Philippians 2:5-7

By: xandert at
Jesus took His servant heart all the way to death on a cross. And I must do the same. My self must die up on that cross with Jesus.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,...

If this is true, then I am dead. I heard someone say once that dead people can't be offended. How true! I think of this often. If I have truly died to myself, I won't be offended by the things that might otherwise offend me. But...

...Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

This, for me, is where the surrendering comes in. It is so easy to cling to the many feel-good verses in the Bible, but I know I must take these tougher verses, too. You know-- the having trouble in the world and crucifying yourself kind. Part of surrendering to Him is believing and obeying everything He says, not just the warm, fuzzy stuff. 

The funny thing is, that as I learn to do this, life actually seems better to me. I am happy and free when I live with the knowledge that life is hard, but God is good to me. I have no false expectations. I am not sitting around waiting for bad things to happen, but I'm not surprised anymore when they do. What I do expect and trust is that God's love and His grace are more than enough for me. In His great mercy, He has given me so many wonderful things I don't deserve! Every good thing I have is a free gift from Him.

And the growth that comes out of the trials we face is a gift, too. Just yesterday, we found out that Bob has been the victim of identity theft. Now, in times past, this would have really upset me. I would have stewed over this, worried about the outcome, wondered how anyone could do such a thing, been outraged by the work we have to do to try and undo the damage. But yesterday, my very first thoughts were, "Well, this is not surprising. This world is full of dishonest people, but I'm not even afraid, because I know the Lord will defend us. He's got our back, and it's going to be okay." I thank the Lord for bringing me to a place of deeper trust in Him. 

When I think of surrender to God and His ways, I think of my kids and the way they play "Surrender." For me, it paints a lovely picture of what happens to us when we completely surrender to the Lord. I have a video to illustrate this point. It was taken last summer in a hotel room.

Speaking of being offended, I realize that I may offend some of you with  this little video clip. If small children shooting pop-guns offends you, then I suppose you'd better not watch my 30 second wild west movie.

Okay, the gun part does not fit my illustration. God never forces us into surrender. It is completely voluntary. It's what happens next that I love. When we lift our hands to Heaven and say, "I surrender to You, Lord," we can fall. We can completely free-fall, knowing that we will have a soft landing, right in the hands of God. Surrendering may seem scary, but it's really the safest place to be.

I pray that like my little Ben, you will be able to raise your hands and free-fall into the safety of the Father. I have written a prayer of surrender, because for me this is a daily event. Sometimes, uhh..more like oftentimes, my self tries to raise from the dead! It's like the bad guy in the movies that you think is dead but keeps scaring the living daylights out of you.

So, I'm kind of shyly sharing this prayer with you, in the hope that maybe you will pray it with me, or that it will inspire you to pray your own prayer of surrender to the King of our hearts.

Prayer of Surrender
Lord, You are my strength every morning. You are worthy of all I have to give You. I give you all my trust, my love, my worship. I raise my hands and surrender to you my very life. I fall into Your faithful hands. I surrender my heart to You and all my desires. Forgive me for the times I have taken offense and held on to disappointment, hurt, or anger. I let those things go now, and surrender myself to Your ways. I will live today as one crucified with Christ. Jesus, be alive in me today! I will live by faith in You and You alone. When trouble comes, I will not be surprised, but I will take heart, because I know, Jesus, that You have overcome this world! I will not be afraid, but I will trust in You, because I know You love me and care for me. Lord, put in me a servant's heart, so I can walk as Jesus did. When people hurt or disappoint me, I will choose to love and forgive. With the grace you poured out on me, I will extend grace to others. Lord, You are my shield, my defender, my salvation, my song, my strength, my safe place, and my desire, and it is my joy to surrender to You. Teach me. Change me. Grow me.
In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just When I Thought They Must Never Hear A Single Word I Say

Do you have kids? Little, noisy, crazy kids? Do you ever have days when you wonder why you even attempt communication with the small jumping-bean-like creatures? Have you ever tried to impart serious parental wisdom to them, only to have them fall on the floor laughing? Or even worse, they begin to discuss something completely off the subject as if you weren't even there? Have you ever witnessed your words going in one little pudding-smudged ear and out the other? 

Well, I sure have. But those days are over forever! I'm excited to introduce you to my brand new, patented remedy called Respect-O-Matic. This little purple wonder pill magically transforms children into the docile, obedient lambs that you've been dreaming of!

Insert the screechy I-just-woke-up-from-that-fantasy sound effect here.

No, there is no magic pill, but there is hope! I caught a little glimmer of it yesterday:

Scene: Sam's room

Players: Sam(8) and Sara(7)

Action: Listening to music and playing castle or something

Overheard: Song lyrics: "Fill me, fill me to overflowing, yeah, yeah, yeah..." (or something like that)

Sara: giggles followed by more giggles

Sam: (reading her thoughts) "No, Sara. This song isn't talking about filling up with water 'till you pee in your pants. This is a WORSHUP song. It's talking about God filling you up with stuff like obedience and the fruit of the Spirit."

Sara: "Oh, yeah. Like God fills you with love until it overflows out of you and you love other people."

Sam: "Yeah. Okay Sara, you be the princess and I'll be Dash and Snowball..."

Okay, I think I get it now. They do listen to me, they just don't want me to find out. They've been having these secret conversations in which they discuss all the wisdom they are gleaning from their parents. Yeah, I'll keep dreaming. But this one little thing is enough to keep me going for at least another week or two...maybe three.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What's a Girl (Or Guy) to Do?

I only have one weapon left to share. Wow, that's seven weapons in...15 or 16 weeks. Well, I was about to make fun of myself, but actually that's not too bad for someone like me who is so easily distracted by pretty much everything else.

Today is not the day for weapon seven. I'm distracted by something else right now. Recent conversations have me thinking about life's decisions. Making choices is part of life, and I have made some good ones, but I have also made some mistakes. We've all made bad decisions, haven't we?

Here is an example from my very unfortunate high school days. Lots of bad decisions here: big hair, heavy make-up, loud blazer. Why was I even wearing a blazer? I was eighteen, for crying out loud. I can laugh about this. But that's because I didn't really hurt myself or anyone else with this fashion disaster. The mistakes I have made that have hurt others and myself are not so easily laughed away. And for some people, I know that past failures can be a major stumbling block to making good decisions in the present.

 I was reminded this morning just how good it is to "inquire of the Lord." That's what the wise guys in the Bible did. Take David, for example. In I Samuel chapter 30, when God's people were raided by the Amalekites, David inquired of the Lord. Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them? And the Lord answered David. Pursue them. You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue. And again in II Samuel chapter 5, when the Philistines made ready to attack, David inquired of the Lord. Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me? And the Lord answered David. Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you.

Is it okay to ask God questions? Yes! Will He answer us? Yes, He will! I have been guilty so often of praying that God will bless me in this or that endeavor without first asking Him if I should even be doing it at all! Instead, I want it to be said of me that I was a woman who inquired of the Lord.

But what about when we don't ask the Lord? As I was thinking about my own bad decisions this morning, I realized that I had made each one without asking God about it. So, what can we do when we've tried to do something on our own and made a mess of everything? Even for the person who has changed the course of her entire life due to bad decisions, all is not lost! God has, for reasons I cannot comprehend, made it His business to redeem us. If we will humble ourselves before Him, He will bless us in spite of ourselves.

David forgot to inquire of the Lord, too. I'm sure you remember the story of Bathsheba in II Samuel chapters 11 and 12. At this point, David had a bunch of victories under his belt. Did he become prideful? Did he think he could start making decisions on his own? Or did he already know what God's answer would be and he didn't like to hear it? Whatever his reason, he saw another man's wife and took her to be his own. She became pregnant, and after some failed attempts to cover it up, David had Bathsheba's husband killed. 

I'm sure that if he had inquired of the Lord, the answer would have been do not do this detestable thing! But it was done. David made a mess of things, and he suffered severely when the baby born through that union became sick and died. This very well could have been a deal breaker for David. He might have hardened his heart completely against God, and declared that all was lost. He might have lost all hope that he could ever again be a man after God's own heart.

But he did not! And we can follow his example. David was cut to the heart by his sin. He humbled himself before the Lord. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me...You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise. (from Psalm 51)

Indeed, God did not despise David's contrite heart. He offered forgiveness and brought about good for David in spite of himself. David and Bathsheba's next child was Solomon, who only became the wisest king in all the land and just so happens to be in the lineage of Jesus Christ Himself! 

No mess you have made is too bad for God to clean up. He will not take away consequences for our actions, but He will certainly shower us with His forgiveness, mercy, and love. I think He must surely delight in bringing beautiful things up out of the dirty messes that we make. 

Here is a challenge for you (and for me, too!) : if you are facing a decision right now, do not let your past failures make you unable to move in any direction. Seek forgiveness, and then start fresh by asking Him what you should do.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

1250 Fake Points is Such an Awesome Prize

You played my game! You people are fun. I will now officially distribute the fake points. The 1250 fake points will go to the first person who answered most accurately. But I have other points to hand out today! You see, I have fake points saved up from 1983. I was nine then, and big into fake points.

CONGRATULATIONS, JULES! You are now the proud owner of 1250 shiny fake points! You were the first to answer correctly and specifically enough to please me. It was indeed chocolate cake on lips.

But whose lips? Thank you Jill, for asking that very pertinent question. Although you did not wager a guess, you now have 345 sparkly fake points for asking good questions.

Next up, Pagereader, you were not only very creative and disgusting with your raw chicken guess, you were also VERY specific in your second guess which pleases me greatly. You were wrong about the owner of the lips, but very right about the cake being Sara's leftover chocolate birthday cupcakes. You now own 1015 glittery fake points.

Now, Jessica, you put forth an excellent guess. I understand why you were thinking Oreos. And here is why: I baked my cupcakes with DARK chocolate cocoa, therefore they turned out very black-- as black, in fact, as Oreos. Also playing into your points consideration is the fact that you only very recently became a comment leaver on this here blog. In all seriousness, your first comment was so sweet, it is a treasure to me! Therefore, you are now the happy owner of 1080 bright fake points!

Kris, you also were on the right track with brownies. Close, but not quite. Understandable. You normally wouldn't earn many points for this, but today is your birthday! And you are soon to be a new mommy. You NEED fake points! Well, you've got 'em baby. 975 brand spankin' new ones.

Amber, you were completely and totally wrong! BUT, you also were so creative. And not only that, but last night, I was reading to the children the animal book you gave me. It just so happens that last night we learned that pigs are unfairly judged in this world. They are clean, smart, and make good pets. This sparked a discussion as to whether or not we should own a pig. So, because you are so in tune with us, you now own 625 pink-as-pigs fake points! 

And now, here is the big picture:
The lips (and the nostrils) belong to none other than my Ben.

I MUST find a way to keep him three forever!

This game was way too easy for you smarties. Just wait 'till next time. I'm totally going to stump you!

Monday, March 7, 2011

What in the World?

What in the world is this? I took this picture today. I do not know what it is. Please help me. Tell me what it is.
(I know what it is. But I feel like playing a guessing game with you, okay?)

Please be very specific when you tell me what it is, because I need specifics. Thank you.

(It is Monday. I have a very busy week ahead. I have much to do. This right here is exactly what I do sometimes when I have much to do--the opposite of what I should be doing. But play my game anyway. Thanks.) 

P.S. The winner gets 1250 fake points from me!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Letting Go and Holding On

By terri_bell3

Speaking of fasting, a few days ago when I was writing my fasting story, I remembered that at the conclusion of that particular fast I wrote a poem. Today I went on a little search for the notebook that I used to jot down notes and Scriptures during that time, and sure enough, there was the poem. When I read it I smiled, partly because it was kind of cheesy, and partly because it made me remember something I had forgotten.

By kebanks

The Lord had given me a beautiful picture while I was praying one day. As I mentioned before, I had quite a few things I was struggling with at the time. I was hanging on to grief, unforgiveness, and resentment with both hands. In this picture, the Lord showed me that I was holding those things as tightly as one would a gold or silver treasure. But what I was holding was as worthless as dry sand.

He then showed me this beautiful image of my open hands. That was my part--I needed to open my hands. Then I saw Jesus blowing on them until every grain of sand was gone.

I'll let you read the poem if you promise not to laugh. Or at least, if you do laugh, don't tell me about it!

Letting Go and Holding On

My hands were clenched, my fists were tight,
Full of things that were not right,
Of hurt and fear and doubt and pride,
And other things I tried to hide.

And then You came and said, Let Go.
I looked at You and now I know,
My foolishness had pushed and pressed,
Until my soul was not at rest.

I watched my hands release their grip,
And saw those things begin to sift,
Between my fingers like dry sand,
As Your Spirit blew upon my hands.

You filled my heart with Truth like gold,
But my hands had nothing left to hold.
You turned, and I saw Your hem so white,
So I reached and held with all my might.

Your healing flowed into my soul,
And I will never let You go.

Jesus is near you! If you are reading this and are sick in body, mind, or soul, He has healing for you today! Open your hands. Reach out and touch Him, and don't let go.

The Lord loves you so much. I love you, too, and I'm praying for you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Eleven Reflections on Fasting

Reflections on fasting? Am I seriously writing about this? That sounds about as exciting as a marble shooting competition. Loving Jesus sure makes me do weird stuff--like writing down my thoughts on voluntary self-denial. I must be in love. Only love could make me pass up chocolate cake at my daughter's birthday party. On first impressions, fasting does seem a rather dull topic. But when you get right down to it, I think it's really exciting! Exciting things happen when people fast and pray. I don't want to just know this is true from the stories I've read in my Bible. I want to know it is true because I've experienced it myself. How about you?

Here is my list of thoughts and impressions on the subject:

1. Fasting doesn't have many rules. There are only a few guidelines found in the Bible. Maybe this is why it seems so mysterious to me. I tend to prefer rules and steps and simple equations. But it would appear that God doesn't care so much what kind of fast I do or for how long. He cares about my heart, my intentions, and my attitude when I fast. He didn't like the way the Israelites were fasting in the days of the prophet Isaiah (see Isaiah 58.) During their fasts, they were continuing in their quarreling and cruel treatment of others. Their hearts were not soft toward God. The one guideline given to us in the New Testament is about intent (see Matthew 6.) I am not to fast for the purpose of displaying my piety to those around me. Fasting should be between me and God and not about what everyone else thinks.

2. Fasting does not change God or change His mind about me or my situation. I the Lord do not change. (Malachi 3:6) God has already made up His mind about me. He loves me, He is for me, and He has good things to give me. Fasting really changes me. It puts me in position to better receive from Him, and to hear Him more clearly. My spirit, I'm sorry to say, often gets plain run over by my physical being. I get so busy in this physical world feeding and tending to my physical needs that my body thinks it's running the show around here. Fasting is a great opportunity to say no to my body and let my spirit, which is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, take the lead. This is so important! My spirit is what is eternal and what needs most to be strengthened in the Lord. When my spirit is strengthened, my soul and body benefit.

3. Fasting breaks things! It breaks chains of oppression, addiction, and all manner of evil. If you are struggling with something that has a powerful hold on you, fasting will break that power. I have personally experienced this more than once! Is this not the kind of fasting 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? Isaiah 58:6

4. Fasting does not always make me feel super-spiritual. Maybe it does for other people, but honestly, many times during a fast I actually feel less spiritual. This happens when as much as I'd like to, I cannot completely ignore the physical. I can't actually leave my body. When I fast, I feel weak, hungry, irritable, and tired. And I often get a headache. I do not dance around singing about the fruit of the Spirit and thinking about how gloriously patient, kind, and loving I'm becoming. But I must remind myself that I cannot count on my feelings to match up with reality. The truth is, when I fast, I am accomplishing much in the spiritual realm even if I don't see the results right away! Fasting breaks down walls between me and God and much is accomplished when I am in step with Him. And that's all there is to it! The devil cannot convince me otherwise.

5. There are different kinds of fasts, but fasting is always about food. I did not understand this before. I have "fasted" from other things in the past when I was pregnant or nursing and didn't feel safe abstaining from food. But there are no mentions of this kind of fasting in the Bible. The Hebrew word for fast in the Old Testament means to cover over the mouth and is always in reference to food and/or drink. So, to say for example, that you are fasting from television, would be like saying you are covering over your mouth from television. This really makes no sense at all, unless of course, watching television makes you shout obscenities or something. I understand now, that what I'm actually doing is refraining from watching television in order to seek God, which is good! But it's not fasting.

Some people in the Bible, like Daniel, went on partial fasts, restricting the foods that they ate without completely abstaining. I wish I had thought to do this kind of fasting when I was pregnant or nursing. I could have, for example, fasted from all sugar. Not only would that have been safe, but it would have been beneficial as well. I went on my first Daniel fast in January of this year. While doing that, I discovered a very nice website dedicated to this particular type of fast. The woman who runs the site has a good article about why she believes fasting is only about food, if you are interested in reading more about it.

6. Fasting helps me build my personal history with God. Because fasting is not a daily practice for me, when I do it, there is a special sacredness about it. I can look back over the years and point to times past when the Lord has spoken to me or given me dreams or healed me during times of fasting. It feels very similar to sitting down on the couch and going through the family photo album. Trips taken together or special family events are the things that give us a past full of memories to build on with our spouses and family members. Those special times together give us strength and hope and inside jokes that help us through the rough times. In the same way, fasting gives me points in time to mark and remember what the Lord has done and solidifies my relationship with Him.

7. Fasting makes me think about Jesus. Every time. I can't help it. I may be feeling weak and hungry and a little like crying after my paltry 24 hours, but my mind always goes to Jesus and His forty days. No food. No water. That was a supernatural fast, and it fascinates me. He was a man with a physical body like ours, and he did that. It just amazes me, and usually helps me push through any temptations I might be having to quit a fast sooner than I had intended. Thinking about Jesus is never a bad thing. He is without a doubt my greatest inspiration.
8. I am learning not to be surprised by temptation during and after a fast. At times I have been confused by what happens to me after fasting. I may have had a fantastic breakthrough in my life, but afterward feel an irritating blah settle over me. Sometimes it's an overwhelming desire to satisfy all the cravings of my flesh--to eat whatever I want, buy anything I want, or do any old fun thing I want to just for kicks. Rather than be confused by this extreme contrast, I think I'm beginning to get wise to Satan and his wily schemes. Distracting with worldly or fleshly desires is exactly what he tried to do to Jesus after His forty day fast in the desert. 

Jesus may have been physically weak and hungry, but His spirit had been strengthened during His fast. He was prepared for ministry. He went straight from the desert to healing people all over town. I think He would have lost His edge if He had decided He deserved to prop up His feet, eat salmon cakes, drink tall lemonades, and read the latest "Nazareth News" all day. How tempting that could have been after forty grueling days in the desert, though! Without a doubt, Satan would have me focus on my flesh. But the Lord only wants me to go deeper with Him spiritually. Going deeper doesn't have to stop when my fast is over! This is something I'm wanting to get a good grasp on. Lord, help me with this!

9. The Holy Spirit prompts me to fast. I did not realize this! I guess I always thought I was the one calling the shots and deciding when to fast. But why would He not be the one to urge me? He does. I just haven't always given Him the credit for it. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into His desert experience. And when I say to myself, "I better fast about this," or "I'm feeling junky. I need to fast," that's the Holy Spirit urging me. I like that. I like Him. He's a good one. He's leading me, and I can trust Him.

10. Can fasting speed up Christ's return? I'm just thinking out loud here. Or blogging out loud. Something like that. I noticed that a great part of the Old Testament fasting was in response to a death. When someone died, the people would tear their clothes, fast, and wail. This explains the response of Jesus in Mark chapter 2 when asked why His disciples didn't fast like the Pharisees or John's disciples. Jesus responded by asking how they could fast while He was still with them. He said that when He was taken away, then they would fast. How often do I grieve or long for His return? Not enough, I think. Yes, we have the Holy Spirit here with us and have free access to our Lord Jesus always. But He has not yet come and established His kingdom here on earth. Satan is still ruling the air down here. Ephesians 2:2 says that Satan is the ruler of the kingdom of the air. Does this grieve me as much as it should? Probably not. What if more of us would fast and pray? Would we not be hearing from Heaven and directed and strengthened to be doing the work He has called us to do? And would this not speed His return? I really want to know! Anybody? (hint, hint, Phil LePage!)

11. Reading about other people's fasting experiences is inspiring. I love the stories of Esther, and Daniel, and of course, Jesus. It's also nice to read present day testimonies! I highly recommend this book for an inspiring read. It's a short little book, but full of great teaching and insight. This helped clear up some cobwebs for me. Oh, and if you haven't read my personal fasting testimony yet, click here!

So, there you have it! That's my list and I'm stickin' to it. God is so deep, though, I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. I think I'll make another list when I'm ninety...

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