I was alone in the dining room. This is a long room – the length of the church building – and I was at the end, near the kitchen, well away from the only entrance to the room. As I was sorting bread, I turned around and a man was standing right next to me, his arms outstretched as if he was coming in for a hug. He was tall, unkempt, unshaven, sweaty, filthy, and he smelled really bad. I’d never seen him before. But I hugged him anyway. It felt wrong not to. He slapped me on the back and said, “I’ve just been telling people about Jesus!”
Category: Devotional Writings
I suffer from this on an extreme. It just is how my brain works. I’m not sure what triggers it — maybe it’s a subconscious reminder of a series of bad decisions through my teen and young adult years or maybe it’s just how I’m wired — but the entire time I’m writing, teaching, speaking, or just interacting with people in my day-to-day life, in the back of my mind I’m waiting for someone to expose me as a fraud. To claim and make sure everyone knows and understands that I don’t have the right to my authority, to my words, to my talents.
When Christ was on the cross, he said these words, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
Notice the ellipsis at the end of that verse. It is only half the sentence. Beyond “don’t do this thing that is in human nature and do this thing that you have to consciously do all the time thanksgiving in your heart even if times are really super hard,” there is the promise of a beautiful gift.
Starting January 2, my husband and I will begin a 21-day observance of “The Daniel Fast”. I want to detox my body and focus on God. I’m using the fast to strengthen both my body and my spirit.
In observing the diet we will eat only vegetables, fruits, and unleavened bread that does not contain any ingredient that is not made directly from a vegetable or fruit. For instance, I am going to make tortillas out of fresh ground flour and olive oil (instead of shortening or beef tallow). When I make a salad, I’ll flavor it with olive oil (cold pressed) and lemon juice. We will eat only whole grains (brown rice vs. white rice). We will only drink water. We call it “vegan extreme”.
We do this fast annually, and it is so rejuvenating to both my body and spirit that I start looking forward to it weeks in advance. This year, I feel led to share with you my menus for the fast as well as recipes, hints, tricks, and insights I receive as I fast and pray.