we have winners! (and a deep question)

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered his/her favorite missions organization in the give-away! I seriously LOVED reading about all the folks that are telling people about Jesus around the globe. So, so cool!

And the winners (according to random.org) are…

26–Rachelle for Amazima Ministries International.

1–Rachel for International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES).

18–Susan for I never win, and my baby is screaming. If I do happen to win. Iโ€™ll come up with something, and hopefully heโ€™ll be done screaming at me! (I had never heard of this organization before. It sounds like they do great work for the kingdom!)

2–Holly for Child Evangelism Fellowship.

27–Stonefox for The International Mission Board (IMB).

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners!! Contact me, girls, and we’ll get checks written and/or online donations made. (I’m probably going to be offline from Thursday to Monday, so it may be next week before I get back to you. I’ll at least try to get you your link to your FREE e-BOOK!)

(And while we’re drawing winners, this is embarrassing, but Beth in the City? If you’re in the building, you won a Living Proof Ministries Planner about a month ago, and I FORGOT TO TELL YOU. Oh well, it’s only March, right? You’ll get a good solid 9 months out of the thing.)

For those of you who didn’t win, I’d encourage you to make a donation to that missions organization anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ AND to go buy a copy of Worlds Apart. We’ve raised $40 for missions so far (10 books sold), and I’d love to get to $100 soon. As soon as I do, I’m going to send $50 each to Jen in Cambodia and Janelle for Kenya. I’d love your help, friends!

Speaking of people around the world who need prayer and financial support, I did something Sunday that I haven’t done in a very long time. And actually, I don’t know that I’d ever really done it all the way before. Sara inspired me to fast all day Sunday and pray for some kiddos with cancer, some kiddos being trafficked, orphans, and lots of other people in need.

Of all the spiritual disciplines (praying, reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture…), fasting is my least favorite. Because most of the others? Are right up my alley. Denying myself food when I’m hungry? HA! No thank you.

I think I’d like to talk more about my experience, but I’m still processing some stuff. So, I’m going to turn it over to you while I ruminate (and pack for New Jersey).

What is your personal experience with (or your general thoughts on) the practice of fasting?

17 thoughts on “we have winners! (and a deep question)

  1. Gabe Taviano

    I’ve fasted once in my life (last year). For the 40 days before remembering the cross I drank only water. That was the hardest thing I could think of, and there were countless times when my mind immediately went to the cross and the suffering that required.

    The physical part of it became easier after a few weeks, but fasting is much more mental than physical when the object of the fast (water for me) served as a gentle reminder pretty frequently. I’m certain that time and those moments remembering brought my life closer to the path God has for me. That alone was worth it.

    Fasting isn’t something I could have (seriously) attempted 10 years ago. My mind and soul weren’t ready for it. I would discourage it from being something people “just try”.

  2. Tiffani

    i just posted at Gretch’s too…

    to me, fasting is so very personal…I think you can fast one day a week, one meal for one week, the Daniel fast..I think there are several choices without feeling overwhelmed by what fasting is b/c it can be so overwhelming, the idea of it, that it discourages us from fasting a meal, or for day or the third Friday of the month..whatever!

    But i do think amazing clarity and intimacy can come from doing it…

    looks like some great ministries up there!

  3. Amber

    I was just over at Gretchen’s place commenting on her fasting post….and I told her that fasting scares the bajeebies out of me. And it is SO easy for me to just avoid the discussion because it really does terrify me. I don’t like to be uncomfy…and that is all fasting signals to me: UNCOMFORTABLE in flashing neon. All the more reason to dive in and put my big girl britches on, I guess.

    xoxoxoxoxo

  4. Cassie

    I must admit, I’m a wimp when it comes to the idea of fasting. However, my very wonderful husband fasted for a week, trying to raise funds for Haiti, right after the earthquake. You can read about it at http://www.philhull.com

  5. Sara

    This is so fun to read peoples thoughts. I think the thing to keep in mind for people who can’t fast due to health issues, giving something up can be a fast as well. Not watching TV, not drinking that diet coke…(gasp I know), and the idea especially when you’re so hungry is the hunger reminds you to pray. When we fasted and I was overcome with hunger, i would immediately start praying for all the people who came to mind and have open conversation with our Father about it.

    All I’m saying is it shouldn’t be feared! Love the conversation! I’ll keep reading.

  6. Cheryl

    fasting -eek! for many years i attended a church that held required fast times. it left a bad taste in my mouth. however my aunt and her married daughters have been having a “family fast” the past week that made me rethink it. there are days they fast completely (only water) and other days they fast at certain times. i think there is a family bible study going along with it. this doesn’t seems so rigorous, nor so compulsary. more voluntary. not sure if i can get over my past to do it in the right spirit.

  7. Rachelle

    AHH! I NEVER win anything!! I am so THRILLED!

    What a huge blessing. In Uganda, Katie, founder of Amazima, can feed 3 children for the cost of a postage stamp, so you can imagine what $20 will do! Praise the Lord!

  8. Stephanie your sister

    I always did the 30 Hr Famine throughout high school, but I think that was more of a social thing than a “fasting to focus more on God” thing. Our church has done it a few times as a body when we’re praying about a specific issue, but it’s not for a long period of time or anything. One time we had everyone fast during the day and then come together for dinner and prayer time together. However, I was in my first trimester at the time and couldn’t fast because it made me super nauseous and dizzy. I still came for the prayer time though. I think fasting can be an awesome thing (especially for those of us who can become obsessed with food) as long as you feel a conviction to do it and your heart is in the right place.

  9. Gretchen

    So far, being really honest, I’ve only fasted through a meal or 2. Excited to see how God will combat some of my near-hoardish nature regarding food. I know some of it is because I grew up poor. Ironic, b/c those are often the folks for which God has us fasting.

  10. Missy

    I have fasted on and off for many years…however about a year and a half ago while dealing with an extremely personal and serious situation I first began to fast with focus. Every Sunday I would abstain from food, tv and computer time (these are things which often steal my focus). I really like the description above about “Spiritual Antennae” being up! That’s what is was for me. I had no instant miracles, no swift changes to my circumstances, but my heart was more focused on eternity and God’s provision for me.

    To note: I fasted from sunset to sunset, Saturday night – Sunday night – and found that physically easier than morning to morning fasts because I could have a “feast” at sunset to celebrate my time with the Lord. This really worked for me.

    I no longer fast every week, but do turn off the tv and computer on Sundays – too much of a distraction!

    Missy

  11. Valerie

    I think that fasting can be an incredible and very enlightening experience from a religious perspective or for other reasons. It can also be a very powerful tool in understanding the concept of humility and the suffering of others.

    I started fasting with my grandmother (the one who’s passed on now) when I was about seven or eight. She fasted every Friday-Sunday and I began doing the same to remind ourselves of how lucky we are and to help understand and be reminded of the suffering of others. We continued doing this together every weekend until she passed away; and I continued to do so until we began trying for a baby….following the advice of my doctors.

    Since I am no longer medically allowed to fast; I still take time to reflect on those less fortunate and I try to find other ways to help out. One of the ways I help out is that we (Mike and I) donate the amount we spend on groceries/household items for one week to a local shelter that helps women and children get out of domestic violence situations; we make this donation monthly. I also volunteer my time there helping counsel women and children. For them even just having someone who’s “nonthreatening” to open up to is a very big step in the healing process.

  12. Ali

    Fasting, yikes. In some ways it was easier than I thought and in some ways it was harder.

    Matt and I fasted together, praying for our marriage and our children. One of the coolest parts about the fast was that the morning after the fast we both woke up early, and of course, we were starving. Together we made breakfast, working next to each other in the kitchen. Normally we do not all eat together on a weekday, but it just so happened that our kids were also up early so we all sat down and ate together (bacon, eggs, toast, pancakes!)

    I truly believe that was God’s way of telling us, “I will bless your marriage and family. Keep coming together like this. Savor these precious moments, eating breakfast together on a random Wednesday morning.”

    I look forward to my next fast. It was truly a blessing.

  13. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    I have major blood sugar issues. Because of this, I’ve never fasted from food and drink. I know many, many people have been deeply rewarded and blessed by something that is definitely a Biblical practice. I’ve just never felt a freedom to be able to do it, and I haven’t felt convicted over it either. I have practiced fasting from other things, just not food.

    I would love to hear more thoughts from you on this, Marla!

  14. Krysten

    Our church did fasting a few years ago and I found myself so focused on food that it took away from the meaning. If I was going to “fast” again I think I would give up tv which would provide more time for prayer and reading.

  15. janelle ( Cridersville, Ohio )

    I started fasting about 7- 8 yrs. ago….the intensity of it all is incredible….someone once said, “it is like your spiritual antenas go up”…many times the depth of what God tells me…but also, the intensity of satan also increases…sometimes a breakthrough or answer comes in the fast or months later…but clarity is a major. The Bible on days becomes 3-D. 40 days is my longest…and most intense…it is a spiritual marathon…that you hate to quit running near the end…the whole ” somethings do not come without fasting and prayer”….and yet it should not be seen on your face when you fast. To me it is like grabbing your own face and turning it to GOD. Speak to me….I need to hear from You now …. I need to hear from the LORD…it is like working your spiritual muscles until they hurt. It is the intensity that you are asking, begging The Holy God, to come into that area of someone’s life. It is like a slow dance with our LORD, that you want no one to “cut in”.

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