The first time I ever attempted to fast was in high school at a lock-in my church held.  We were supposed to go 48 hours without eating and just have water and juice.  Let's just say I found a bag of Oreo's on Saturday and things went down hill from there.  I love food.  I live for desert.  My mouth waters when I see a piece of steak.  I eat a turkey sandwich every single day for lunch (not kidding!).  I love to eat, and I get mighty cranky if I don't. Needless to say, when my pastor called for our church to participate in a 21 day fast, I was not the least bit excited.  Sitting in my chair, I couldn't believe my ears...a FAST for 21 DAYS????  Seriously?  Who does that???????  Lester, our pastor, challenged us to follow the Daniel Fast which is to not eat meats, sweets, breads, dairy, sweeteners, refined/processed foods, deep-fried foods, solid fats and any drink, except water.  This fast is from Daniel 10:2-3, "At that time, I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks.  I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over."

So, I had a week to process this challenge before it started.  My small group has decided to participate in the fast together, so we began to find different websites (which I will post at the bottom) that could help us with our menus.  After reading, I began to realize that we can still eat, there are just certain foods we have to stay away from.  The food we can eat are:

All Fruits

All Vegetables

All Whole Grains

All Nuts & Seeds

All Legumes

All Quality Oils, Condiments & Cooking Ingredients

Today, is the third day for me to fast.  So far, I have eaten lots of peanuts, salads, and soups.  I made a great vegetarian chili and I didn't miss the meat.  The hardest for me so far is not having a piece of chocolate after meals.  It is also hard not adding cheese because over half of my recipes involve cheese.  But, I'm not being deprived of food and I am beginning to see that it is not all about the food.  Fasting is something we are all called to do, along with prayer and reading God's Word - these three things go hand in hand in strengthening our relationship with Christ.  Fasting is a time to rely on God's strength, and to feed my spirit with the Lord instead of food.  In one of our handouts about fasting it says, "Fasting is a way to conquer the physical and open the door to the supernatural in your life."  Fasting is a spiritual commitment and I am praying for certain things to become stronger in my walk with Christ during this time.  I am praying for certain people to have their hearts changed and I am also praying for encouragement with my own personal goals for living a life for Christ.  When I read that fasting, praying, and reading God's Word are one in the same, I realized that I had to participate in the fast.  I am diligent about reading God's Word and I am constantly working on my prayer life, but I have never been serious about fasting.  This is an opportunity for me to grow closer to Christ and I don't want to miss out on this chance to deepen my spiritual walk with him.

So, I know some of you probably think I am crazy, but what about you?  Have you ever participated in a fast?  We are all called to do it and I would like to challenge all of you to consider fasting yourself.  You can do the Daniel Fast with us, or you can do a private fast for whatever amount of time you choose.  Regardless of what fast you do, it is all about drawing closer to God and recognizing that He can get you through anything.  Please share in the comments section if you are wanting to fast or the results you gained from fasting.

Below are the helpful websites about fasting if you are interested:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/24869666/Daniel-Fast-Recipes-2010

http://chrisgoins.blogspot.com/2009/01/daniel-fast-friendly-recipes.html

http://danielfast.wordpress.com/daniel-fast-food-list/

http://www.daniel-fast.com/recipes.html

http://www.christ-web.com/missions/farho/daniel-fast-recipes

http://www.caringcarrot.com/

http://muffintop.typepad.com/muffintop/2008/08/taste-bud-tuesd.html

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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