The Discipline of Fasting

The Discipline of Fasting

I am so thankful for this feature in this Today’s Christian Woman article titled, “A Christian’s Guide to Fasting.” Fasting is a spiritual discipline that I practice when I feel the Lord’s prompting, and it is one that I have learned from a mentor. In troubling times like these, I do believe it is a powerful and humbling practices for sisters and brothers in Christ, and for communal worship.

A Christian’s Guide to Fasting

Get the skinny on this spiritual discipline.

 

“Lose 30 pounds to look like this celebrity!”

“Go out for dinner and buy this mouth-watering salad!”

“Eat vegetarian!”

“Drink this green beverage—all vegetables, no carbs!”

“Try this new diet fad!”

From SlimFast to protein shakes, fat-free to no meat, dietary fasts are certainly not dying in popularity. But a trimmer waistline or smaller pants size weren’t the outcomes Jesus had in mind when he instructed his followers on how to act “when you fast” (Matthew 6:16–18). In fact, Christians are called to fast not to feel better but, oddly, to feel worse.

Ultimately, the discipline of fasting is about diminishing the focus on ourselves in order to intensify our focus on God.

Emptying Ourselves

Continue reading at Today’s Christian Woman.

Fasting for Biblical Justice

In his book titled Fasting, Scot McKnight writes that a grievous sacred moment is what prompts us to fast and that moment is often caused by severe pain, suffering, or sorrow, which often includes the oppression of the innocent. This sorrow prompts us to focused prayer and fasting.

I entered a sun-up-to-sundown, water-only fast as part of the National Call to #Fast4Families on Dec. 3.

I fasted because of a strong conviction concerning the broken and unjust realities of the American immigration system. For our generation, immigration reform is a biblical justice issue.

God started working on my heart concerning immigration at the beginning of last year.

Continue reading at Sojourners.

#RacialRec: Sound the Alarm – Our Symbol, Our Prayers

One thing evident to me as I lead and minister is this, “Actions speak louder than words.” As a young leader, I have been drawn to the wise counsel the Apostle Paul provided to his protégé Timothy. Paul wrote to Timothy about the qualifications of leadership, the importance of having a good reputation, living with integrity, and training “yourself to be godly (1 Tim. 4:7b).”

Paul provides important leadership lessons to Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:13-16. These lessons apply to all “Do the Right Thing Leaders.” Paul basically teaches Timothy to, “Remain focused on the things I have taught and modeled for you. Uplift God’s Word, proclaim the good news through preaching and teaching. Hone your spiritual gifts. Do all of this because people are watching. Since people are watching you, be careful to watch your life and doctrine closely. When you are a faithful leader in this way, you not only grow in maturity yourself, but you also influence those who are watching to see your progress.”

This is the reality, as Christians and leaders, people are always watching. We should therefore constantly challenge ourselves about the messages we send into the world. Do our words, beliefs, and actions display the same symbol, heart, and ministry of Jesus Christ? This week, I have already shared Jesus’ John 17:20-23 prayer for unity, and how that unity when properly displayed is a symbol to the rest of the world that Jesus was sent to change us and to change the world.

Continue reading “#RacialRec: Sound the Alarm – Our Symbol, Our Prayers”