Monday, August 25, 2008

40-day Fast

As Arlen and I have been talking lately and realizing our need for simplification, we have also realized how confused we really are. We read books and listen to sermons. It seems like everyone has a message, but they don't always agree.

Who is right? What should we believe? We can't even explain some of the truths we hold dear.

In his first letter, Peter says this:

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." ~ 1 Peter 3:15

It seems like I constantly have so many questions, and rather than taking the time required to seek out God's truths in His word I look for an easier answer. This is not what God has called us to. So often He speaks of persistence in coming to Him.

Arlen and I have decided to take a 40 day fast. We are not fasting from food. Rather we are taking 40 days apart when our only guide, the only influence we seek, is that of God's Word and the Holy Spirit. We will not read anything other than the Bible for 40 days.

For Arlen, this means searching God's word for business advice and principles. For me, it means going to God for answers on parenting and what it means to be a woman. For both of us, we must face God and discover how to truly draw near to Him.

We picked 40 days because that is the amount of time Jesus spent in the desert before His public ministry. We thought we would start by following Christ's example from the beginning.

Why am I telling you all this? First of all, I want to share with you the lessons I am learning as I drink deeply from the words of life. Secondly, because I want you to join us on this journey. Put away watching TV or reading books, blogs, or magazines that are a substitute for real spiritual meat, and take all the time you would be putting into those things to turn to the Bible.

If you want to take this challenge, feel free to leave a comment below along with the date you are starting the challenge, and we will pray for you as you embark on your journey.

May God bless you.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's Like Cancer

I have been wanting to post for quite some time now, but have not been able to because things have been so busy and haywire. It's nice to have a little spare time to sit and write.

As you know from an earlier post, Arlen and I recently took a trip to Maryland for a wedding. It was a great trip, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. There is one thing in particular, however, that really sticks out in my mind.

When we went to church on Sabbath, we ran into Arlen's aunt and uncle. Before I go on, I need to give you a little background. A while back, Arlen's aunt was diagnosed with stage four cancer - I think it was ovarian cancer. This was bad news. The Lord has really blessed though, and against all odds, she is now cancer free.

As I sat beside her at church, an announcement was made about a church member who was diagnosed with cancer. Immediately Arlen's aunt leaned over and began to tell me about her cancer experience. Then she told me about a supplament she began taking early on in her diagnosis. She told me how the supplement greatly reduced the side effects of the chemotherapy. She explained how the doctors were completely amazed at the positive results of her condition and they could not figure it out. She was sure God had given her this supplement and that it made all the difference.

She then went on to explain how saddened she was by others she had seen suffering who weren't even willing to try the very thing that healed her. She explained that it is safe - it is a whole food supplement. She even told me that if someone who takes this miracle cure sees no improvement in six months, their money is completely refunded. She had given people tubs of this stuff, and when they died from cancer and their homes were cleaned out, the containers were completely unopened. She just couldn't understand how someone facing death couldn't try it - what did they have to lose? She knew it wouldn't work for everyone, but wasn't it worth a try?

Before the day was over, she gave me a book explaining the science behind this supplement. Then she gave me more books to give to people I knew who might benefit from it. This product saved her life, and she knew it could save more - she was going to do everything in her power to see that it would save more.

Wow! This all struck me. This is the situation our world is in! We are all sick with the most deadly disease: sin. But Jesus is THE cure. He's far better than the cure Arlen's aunt found because He CAN save everyone from sin - no exceptions. Yet how often do we get excited about this cure? How often are we eager to share it with those around us?

When we share Jesus with others, it's true, some people will put Him on a shelf and leave Him there unopened. We can't let that discourage us. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Why don't we urge people to give Him a try, to let Him into their hearts? What do they have to loose? What do we have to loose?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Writer's Block

Why is it that I have a steady stream of things to write and share, yet when I sit in front of the computer, it's like my brain has a traffic jam?

Is that what writer's block is all about?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Going on a Road Trip . . . Sort of

That's right in just a few hours (hopefully fewer), Arlen and I are headed out for a trip to Maryland. His best childhood friend is getting married, and we want to be there for the big event.

Of course, a road trip to Maryland means nine hours in the car today, and nine hours in the car on Sunday. And you know what - we can't wait!

Pray that God will bless this time as an opportunity to lay aside all of our usual distractions so that we can spend time in prayer and reflection and ultimately focus on Him.

Here we go, 18 hours of quality time with my husband and my Lord, what could be better than that?!

Image by: Ian Britton at