What Are You Hungry For?

Our Church does a corporate fast every January. A time of pressing in to the Father, praying, and reading our Bibles. This is a spiritual fast, not a diet. Some opt to skip a meal and spend the time in prayer, others do a “Daniel Fast” eating only fruits and vegetables, quite a few do an “African Fast” where they eat only one small evening meal daily, and others choose to drink fresh fruit juice and veggie soup. A few choose to do a water fast where the only thing that passes their mouths is water. We are encouraged to at least do three days of the water fast. I have tried each of the above types of fasting and usually do a couple over the month of January.

I am now on my second day of a three day water fast. The first day, I literally thought I was starving. I even dreamed of food that night as I slept. When you are trying to fast, or even diet for physical reasons, it seems like every commercial is about food, every pin on your Pinterest page is some new wonderful recipe to try. You get hungry…for anything.

When I am not fasting, I may feel hungry, but not be really sure what I am hungry for. You may find me standing in front of the fridge looking at what is available. Or I might think I am hungry for something sweet, only to be looking for something salty right after I eat that cookie. We have all experienced physical hunger. However, there is another type of hunger. It was placed in each one of us. Sometimes we mistake it for a physical hunger, which probably explains standing in front of the fridge looking for some elusive fix.

Matthew 5:6 (ISV), “”How blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because it is they who will be satisfied!”

This verse makes me ask the question, “Where is my appetite?” Is it for entertainment, for sports, for crafting, for anything to keep me busy, or is an unnatural appetite for food?

Jesus said that His “food” was to do the will of the Father and to finish His work.

What are you hungry for?

Book Review for “Mud, Rock, and Trees”- Christian Fantasy

What the books are about: “”An epic journey of a lifetime.” That’s what three young individuals from three different corners of the world have dreamed about. They were destined for greatness since the moment they were born. But what if they don’t want it? What if they’re not ready? What if their desires no longer align with the prophecy?
The problem is, they have no choice. The star has appeared. Their destiny has already begun to unfold.
It’s not the send-off that they’ve been dreaming of. Forced out. Banished. Raided. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Now they must discover who they really are while embarking on the most exciting journey of their lives. One star. One impossible task. One chance to save the world they love. “

My Review:

This is one of my favorite fantasy series. It has a very imaginative storyline. I have enjoyed each of the six books and am a bit sorry to say goodbye to the characters.
I found book one in this series as a freebie on Amazon. I loved it! So when the author saw my review and offered to let me read the remaining books in the series, of course I said yes. This one just kept getting better with each book. The characters are fleshed out, flawed, and feel like friends and family. The author has created a world where several races of people struggle to survive. “Deliverers” is the final book in the series and was just as good as all of the other five. There is a Christian viewpoint in these books, but they don’t come across as cheesy or preachy. I give it five stars. Wonderful epic fantasy. I can recommend for teens and up.

Get it Here

Book Review for “A Heart Like His”- Christian Non-Fiction

What the book is about: “We all go through times when we feel insignificant or times when we feel certain that we have experienced a degree of failure from which there is no return. This is not a reality we experience alone, but is one that a man after God’s heart experienced as well. From shepherd, to refugee, to king of Israel, David exhibited the purest virtues and the most heinous sinfulness, but through it all his relationship with the Lord continued to grow.

A Heart Like His looks at this bond of mutual love and admiration between a man who was not unlike any of us and the one true God who is all good and all powerful. Beth Moore walks us through an exploration of David’s incredible life, drawing spiritual insights from a man who boldly fulfilled his divine destiny not merely by what he did, but who he loved and served. Bringing lessons from David’s life to bear on your own, this picture of a man who loved and followed God will help you to serve with a heart focused on Him no matter the circumstance.”

My Review: This is a great book on the life of David. His faith, his love for God, his sins, and his redemption. We all go through some stuff on our path. If you need some encouragement this is a good book for you. Beth Moore is an inspiring author. I can recommend for teens and up. I give it five stars.

Get it here.

 

Forget About It!

Forget About It!

I love Psalm 103 (well I love a lot of scriptures), however this one has so much to say about what God has already done for us. Some of these things are: “His lovingkindness is forever to those who fear Him,” He knows we are dust so He doesn’t flip out when we mess up, He has the compassion of a Father towards us, “He is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness,” He renews my strength like the eagle, performs righteous deeds, “He has redeemed your life from the pit,” “Pardons all my iniquities and heals all my diseases,” and here is the verse we are talking about today:

Psalm 103:12 (NASB), “As far as the east is from the west,  So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

East will never meet West. So apparently our sins are gone, gone, gone. He says so. If we have truly repented, turned from our wicked ways, He removes that sin. Again, it’s gone.

Isaiah43:25 (NIV), “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Our sin is gone, it’s blotted out, removed, gone, and here’s the important part, He remembers them no more. Did you get that? He chooses to forget about them all. Anytime you try to remind Him of how ugly you used to be, His answer is, “I don’t remember that.”

A great man said it this way,

“Until God can change or lie, he never will bring to mind again the sin of that man whom he hath pardoned.” Charles Spurgeon

So…

Quit holding your past mistakes over your head, quit holding others sin over theirs. You need to do what God did/does. I have heard people say, “I forgave, but I just can’t forget about it.” Well, that’s what the Holy Spirit is for. He’ll help you forget and whenever you think about that sin, yours or theirs, rebuke that memory, and choose to think of something else. Remind yourself of these scriptures.

And…

Forget about it!

Trust

Jeremiah 17:7 (NLT), “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.”

Blessed is the one who trusts in Him. Period. This isn’t rocket science. If we trust Him, we are blessed.

It all boils down to this: How much does He love me? When we are sure He loves us we stop questioning Him and just do what He tells us to do. This is putting our faith on Him and Him alone.

I have been struggling with some trust issues the past few days, feeling like I have bitten off more than I could chew and felt like I didn’t have it in me to do what I had purposed in my heart to do. An old enemy, anxiety, came creeping back, and I am ashamed to say I didn’t toss him out as quickly as I should. After a wonderful encouraging Sunday morning message, and some lengthy prayer, I finally realized that my lack of trust wasn’t in myself, that unwelcome anxiety was the result of placing my trust in ME instead of in Him.

Simply put, it was sin. So, what does a person do when they realize they have misplaced their trust? Repent! I told God I was sorry, thanked my Pastor for the message, and changed what I was thinking.

This morning during my quiet time with the Lord, He spoke these words into my heart, “I LOVE you, let that be your strength today.”

Do I trust Him! You bet I do. Do I sometimes forget He is trustworthy, sadly yes, yet, He is faithful to remind me of His love. And because He loves me, I can put my trust in Him.

Amen!

What Is Your Bait?

Romans 4:2 (BSB), “Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?”

Matthew 4:19 (NIV), “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

If we look at these two scriptures it is clear that Jesus want us to be a witness to people. He wants out lives to be a shining example of the Father’s love and goodness. Why? Because people will see how kind and caring He is and want what we have… the love of a Father.

If we think a minute about fishing in the natural. We find out what fish like to eat and then we “bait” our hook or traps with it.

We don’t fish with a frying pan.

Neither can we “catch” converts by telling them they are sinners and treating them like they are sub-par to us (Christians).

The end of that fish may very well be the frying pan, yet we don’t show them one and expect them to want to get on the end of that hook. They are gonna run from us.

If we spout hell and damnation to the lost… yep, they’ll run.

The goodness of God turns hearts to Him. Is He good? You bet. Has He been good to you? Tell someone.

That folks is our bait.

Come Home

Art work by Charlie Mackesy

Luke 15:20 (Berean Study Bible), “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still in the distance, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”

In Luke 15 we can read about a man that had two sons. The younger wanted his share of the inheritance before his father had passed. This can tell us a lot about this young man. Normally an inheritance isn’t given until there is a death. In those days the oldest son got a double portion and it is possible he resented this. People who dream of getting their inheritance early usually dream about losing the person early. But this man begs his dad to give it to him now. He was tired of working his father’s land, he was tired of being the second son, and he obviously didn’t respect his father.

The father, in his love, gives the son all that is due him. What does this selfish son do? He leaves everything behind, the work, the family, his social standing, his home. Then he proceeds to fulfill every lust of his flesh. When you have a lot of money, people suddenly want to be your friend. When you are “paying for the next round” or drive the fancy car with all the bells and whistles, when you throw your money around like it will never run out, people use you.

Before long, this young man who was always provided for, who had a family and a home, had an inheritance waiting, had absolutely nothing, and because he had run so far from it all, he found himself alone and starving.

Good thing he finally “came to his senses”. He remembers how good it was back home, he thinks about how his father even treated the servants pretty darn good. It took all of this for him to realize dad wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and his life was a whole lot better than it was at the end of the rope. He began to miss his old life and says to himself:

I will get up and go back to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ (Luke 15:18-19)

Then while he was way down the driveway his father sees him. That means dad’s been watching and he can recognize this son he loves from even very far away. Does he wait for the prodigal to come to him with his tail between his legs, rehearsing the “did you learn your lesson” speech? Nope, he runs to his son and kisses his neck. To this father, it’s like his son had returned from the dead.

What a love. I want that kind of father, don’t you? Well, it’s time we “came to our senses” as well. We have that Father. He recognizes us better than anyone, He is looking for us to come up the drive, He is ready to give us a party in Heaven. He loves us no matter how we have behaved, disrespected, and squandered what He has already given us. He loves you!

Won’t you come home?