Day 10 — 21 Day Fast

shepherd

Wow it’s day 10 already – we are half way through this fast. I am doing well with the fast I’m on but I must admit it is very difficult while at work. I’m feeling weak and tired and just want to get off work while I’m there, I KNOW this is not good as I need to make money but even deeper than that is I need to be a good employee, honor God and not whine, make excuses etc. A couple people know I’m on the fast but that’s it and that is how it should be. I let them know for support and prayers. Yesterday everyone was eating some fantastic looking nacho’s and it was killing me. LOL that really only makes me stronger. Ok enough about the struggle, today I’m in John chapter 10.

It’s all about the “Good Shepherd” and his sheep. This story and the even the picture above that I posted just reminds me of being a little boy, it reminds me of such “old school” church and I really don’t like the feeling it gives me. I for the most part I just skip over this section of Scripture, I know it, I know what it means and I just don’t feel “good” reading it, writing about it or preaching it.

The ONLY memory I have of any church as a child was one that my mom sent us to, she would get us up early on Sunday morning and we would walk a couple miles to this church. It was a little church (I think it was Baptist) and we would go to Sunday School then church service. Now it was just us kids going not my mom or my dad. I’m not sure how long this lasted but I didn’t enjoy it one bit. I remember near the end of this time in church we would take the .50 cents our mother gave us for offering and go to the soda shop and have a milk shake with it and then walk home saying we went to church. This is my entire memory of church as a child. THIS story and THIS picture reminds me of those days!!

So today this is where I am in scripture, my first thought was to just skip over it and move on but the Lord said “no, I want you to read it” — I am not sure how to express this, how to word this without sounding cold. But as I was reading this I kept seeing myself and the place I was 20 years ago, 10 years ago and 5 years ago. The Lord was speaking to me about my progression downhill as a shepherd. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that the Lord called me to ministry, to preach, to pastor and the feed the sheep. My life was all about the sheep, all about finding the lost, keeping the sheep fed and protected. I LOVED what I did, I LOVED being a pastor and I LOVE the flock that the Lord had given me over the years.

I was not a perfect pastor and I had things in my life I kept buried praying they would go away one day. As the years passed by things got worse and worse for me. My finances were a mess and hidden, my private life was kept under control most of the time, my marriage was not good, I did not honor my wife. When it came to church as time went on I expect more and more, I need more money, better living conditions and blah blah blah…then one day I became the “bad shepherd” that Jesus is teaching about in this Scripture. It happened and I didn’t even realize it. I have to say GOD was so faithful and true and He never gave up on me… but for me, I let go of Him and didn’t even know it.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. ~John 1-:11-13~

Verse 13 hit me like a ton of bricks — the hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep – This is what I had become!!!

Well, praise be to God I am no longer that man and God still loves me and God will still use me. It has been a long road but on this road, I DIED — any part of me that is raised up it is by God and GOD ALONE!!!

For me today was a tough one but I’m SO thankful for this day and the Love God has for me to even reveal this to me in this way.

Stay strong on the fast friends — God will show you things that will change your life

Advertisements

Day 7 — 21 Day Fast

follow

Finally a day off but not much time this morning to write. We have our Liam and Kayson with us for a couple days (man they are funny) and we have to get to church this morning to dig into Mission 101 with some great people. Not to mention I have to make pancakes for the boys!!!

So this morning I’m in John 7 – it’s all about Jesus and the Jewish leaders along with the people who are divided about who he is. You can really feel the tension and the fear in this chapter. A couple things really stick out to me today…

  1. The Jewish leaders want him arrested, Jesus is speaking in the Temple and he is teaching on the will of God and the Law of Moses, he ends his talk with “Moses gave the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.” Now that is the way to end a sermon lol. The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” Jesus tells them about how he healed a man on the Sabbath and compared it to Moses Law of circumcising a son if falls on the Sabbath. Then asked the question “So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath?” and then ends the entire thing with this one little statement that I LOVE — “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly” Not only a fantastic word for the crowd but for you and ME!!! No matter what we say you do, most of us judge by appearance first….even when we try not to…we do! When is comes to spiritual things, teachers, preachers, and when it comes to everyday life as we interact with people, from your family to the guy or girl who ask you for money at the gas station…. we do not know everyone’s story.
  2. The second thing shows me how they were all so worried about Jesus because they knew where he came from and he had no training. I believe in training and school, I went to school to learn about the Bible… but WITH THAT SAID.. it is the Holy Spirit that teaches, trains and gives revelation, gives us a deeper understanding and reveals the Scriptures to us. I know men and women who have degree’s under their belts, great knowledge of the Word of God, but they are dead to the Spirit of the Word of God. Give me a man who devotes his life to study of the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit any day!! Near the end of Chapter 7 the people was saying “We have never heard anyone speak like this!!”

Have a fantastic day today — if you need encouragement or if you have a victory please share it on the FB page MCC 21 Day Fast

Day 6 — 21 Day Fast

God-Restores-when-we-repent-Web2

Yesterday on the way home from work I had some deep worship on and was talking to God as I’m driving along. The fast is going well but I struggle while working, it’s hard to keep the focus spiritual while working and everything around you is flesh. Don’t get me wrong I work with great people but the hunger pains are a reminder to feed on His Word and to worship. Can’t always do that when you are working and running around. So, my drive home is a fantastic time to connect back with the Lord.

I have a few things that I am seeking from him during this fast, most are pretty personal and others are about ministry. One is this: I wonder how I can love Him so much, praise so hard, go so deep and the next minute when something shakes me I can be angry, say things I should not say about someone. For example road rage 🙂 you know when someone does something really stupid on the road, cuts you off or drives super slow in front of you when you can’t pass…. MAN I say things that are not Godly at all sometimes. It really bothers me how I can be this way….

Back to my drive home…. I am asking the Lord why? how? And I say out loud to Him you need to show me, tell me and help me with this. Not 2 minutes later I’m on highway 88 and I’m driving about 50 or 60 miles an hour when a car going the opposite way of me puts his blinker on to turn left, there is me and about 6 cars behind me so he can’t turn, so he pulls into my lane like it’s a left turning lane and stops, just sits there waiting for us to pass so he can turn….. I am approaching him quickly and I lay on my horn, yelling at him and calling him names, saying how stupid he is with some choice words in the middle of it all. I have to swerve into the oncoming traffic lane to avoid hitting him… to say the least I was not happy. As I passed him it was like in slow motion, I look over at him in anger and when I saw him everything changed. It was a little very old man that probably shouldn’t have been driving, but he had no clue what he had done. As I got back in my lane all of a sudden a wave of compassion swept over me, to the point where I teared up….I said a quick prayer for him and I understood how sad this was and how he must feel in his life.

As I am driving I HEARD…. HEARD the Lord say “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” — I kind of ignored it and then it hit me like a ton of bricks!!! HE SPOKE TO ME, HE ANSWERED MY PRAYER that I PRAYED just minutes before when I cried out to him for help on this issue during this fast.

The truth is there are area’s in my life that I am still double minded… I thought I was way past that but I’m not…. there is no such thing as “parts of our lives that are double minded” we are either double minded or we are not!!! BUT he showed me, now it’s up to me to focus my life on “ONE THING” — All in, all the way!! No turning back.

I’m am thankful that He loves me enough to show me. Pressing in hard.

James 1:8 “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways”

Day 5 — 21 Day Fast

mat

After last night’s worship and prayer service I woke up excited to see what the Lord has for me today. First I want to say what an awesome job my wife did last night speaking to the church about fasting, it was well put together, spoken clear and full of Holy Spirit. I also want to thank Pastor Doug and Connie for supporting her and passing out so many of her books this week. We LOVE our church!!!

So, day 5 brings me to chapter 5 in the book of John. I am reading this book and asking God for new eyes, to see it in a new way, new depth. I have read, studied, preached, wrote about, and re-read this book hundreds of times over the last 30 years. Today I am reading about the sick man at the pool of Bethesda — a place where people were healed in the pool when the pool bubbles. This man was sitting there 38 years waiting to be healed. He had no one to put him in the pool…. 38 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jesus comes along and says “stand up, pick up your mat, and walk” and he is healed, just like that… just a word and BAM it’s done.

Now, there are hundreds of sermons in this little part of scripture but today this is what the Lord showed me….

If you walk into Barnes and Noble or any other book store, or if you google “healing” there are thousands of books, thousands of pages on google of ways to be healed. There are formula’s, there are meds, there are ….. well just about anything you can think of or NOT think of ways to be healed. This man was convinced and knew that the first one in the pool was healed… why? Who knows? But that was the formula and the way it worked. Then Jesus comes along and speaks a word and he is healed.

What we need is JESUS! He is the healer, He is the one that touches and restores. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying not to use Dr’s or medicine but what I am saying if we spend as much time seeking Him as we do “fixes” — this guy spent 38 years laying by a pool hoping.

On a side note later in the chapter Jesus meets up with this guy again and says to him.. “Now you are well; stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you” I want to know what this man was doing that he was sinning. 🙂

Bottom line, SEEK HIM WITH ALL YOU HAVE!!! It’s a win win situation…..

Day 4 — 21 Day Fast

word

Day 4 and I’m excited — I know that day 4 usually starts bringing the breakthroughs. Breakthrough the hunger barrier, breakthrough in the Word, revelation, restoration, repentance …..

Today as I’m reading John chapter 4 it’s the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. We all know this story pretty well, the disciples went into town to buy food and Jesus stayed back, he was sitting at Jacobs well and have an encounter with this woman… it’s a fantastic story about HIM being the Messiah and salvation.

When the disciples get back with the food they find him energized and having this encounter with this woman. Makes me laugh none of the disciples had the guts to say what they were feeling… WHY IS HE WITH A SAMARITAN???? Any way they come back with food and tell Jesus  “Rabbi, eat something” and Jesus response to them is basically no, I’m good…. they talk to each other asking “did someone bring him food while we were gone?” and Jesus explained:

“My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work….”

THERE IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As humans we eat, most of us eat when we do not even need to eat and for the most part most of us are all over weight and in not such good health from it. We eat to satisfy, to fulfill, to try and bring some type of satisfaction or happiness. Jesus said….

1. Nourishment comes for doing the will of God. The will of God as we all know is to love him with all we have, allowing Him to love us, and telling the world about it. SO, seek nourishment with Him. Know, live and walk out this in our lives daily. FEED YOUR SPIRIT-MAN, not your stomach. We will be healthy, have strength and probably eat right for the rest of our lives.

2. And finishing his work. Don’t check out, finish the work that you start with him, listen to his voice, his calling and GET out there. You will be nourished by finishing the work he has giving you!!!!

Such a good word today!!!!

Day 3 — 21 Day Fast

fasting-dinner

Today I do not have much to write, I do want to encourage anyone on the fast today.

Today is day 3, I have found that this is the most difficult day. Our bodies are accustom to eating whatever we want, whenever we want. And like most American’s we do not eat very well, lot’s of fast food, lots of sugar, lot’s of JUNK. So these first three days our body is craving these things. Use this as a reminder how much God desires us to crave Him, crave time with him, crave deep worship, intercession, prayer, quiet time and just time in his presence.

I find for myself that the intense hunger I’m feeling is very humbling, my focus is on me right now as I’m call out to God….. I want to say STAY STRONG and when breakthrough happens it will be AMAZING!!!

It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. ~John 3:29-30~

This was part of my reading today as I’m going through a chapter a day in the book of John… this was one of me goals in this fast. To be a humble man with the focus ALWAYS on HIM and never on ME!!! In my flesh I crave the attention and I can tell you first hand that is NOT a good thing at all.

Have a very blessed 3rd day of this amazing FAST

Day 2 — 21 Day Fast

Today begins day 2 of the 21 day fast. Day one went well, I was home and able to just do a whole lot of nothing. We went shopping and bought all our fruits and veggies for juicing, so we are set for about a week or so. Today will be the test, going to work, although I will be a meeting from 9-5 it will be easy BUT I’m sure they will have donuts, snacks and lunch served all day.

When I get hungry I pray, read the word, and tell myself why I’m doing this. I’m not doing this so I can whine while I’m hungry, complain how hungry I am, but I am doing this to SEEK God, find clear direction in my life, looking for some victories in my personal life, I’m looking for direction in my spiritual life in church, with my family and personally.

I am going through the book of John, today I finished chapter 2 — lol I just realized that there are 21 chapters in this book PERFECT!!! Today a section stood out to me that I want to dig into a little deeper…..

John 2:23-25 —

23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.

I want to capture the thought of “Jesus did not trust them…” so off I go to study — I will write tomorrow about it.