Diary of a Fast

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5 AM  Remember, no food today. If I can fast for blood work, I can fast for God.

6 AM  I’m starving!

7 AM How am I ever going to get through this day?

8 AM He said no food. Grocery stores with only food are still grocery stores. Grocery stores with only liquids are not grocery stores. Therefore liquids are not food. Juice is not food. I can take Advil with OJ.

10 AM  Only 10 AM? Oh, boy, this is going to be a long day.

11 AM That popcorn is calling me!

12 PM I want to eat, but I want God more.

1 PM God, help me!

2 PM Hangry is a real thing.

3 PM What am I supposed to do while I fast? I’m just wasting my time.

4 PM I am not hungry. I am not hungry. I am…

5 PM Is it bed time yet?

6 PM That chicken looks so good. People who are fasting should not have to feed toddlers.

7 PM I don’t feel any closer to God.

8 PM Iced Coffee with my meds – only enough to take the them

9 PM Hmmm… this is not so bad, although my rumbling stomach seems to disagree.

10 PM I did it!

 

God: Well done!

An Amusement Park?

“Do you want to go for a walk?” Confused, she watched him walk towards the door.

Frequently, when she came to visit, they spent some time together before going somewhere else. But this time, as soon as he saw her, he just headed to the door. He hadn’t said anything, but maybe he had assumed she would just follow him.

So she did.

She expected to see a field when she went through the doorway. That’s where he usually took her. A green grassy field full of colorful flowers, bordered on one side by a flowing river. But that’s not what she saw.

Instead, she saw a large canopy, set up in the middle of nothing. It was colorful, and0225201830 (3) formed a kind of entrance way. Into what she had no idea. He took her hand and pulled her towards it. He still had not said anything, but he was almost dancing as he guided her. Clearly he was excited about bringing her to this place.

Once inside, she was able to glimpse the other side.

“An amusement park?” She shook her head. What was this doing here, in her field of flowers? She liked the field and the river where they usually spent time. Both were peaceful places where she could relax with him. But an amusement park was anything but peaceful. The blaring music of the rides, the constant need to weave through the crowds, the barking of the game attendants, and the smell of greasy foods – of which she could do without.  He wanted to bring her here? Why?

As they exited the canopy, she noticed right away that there was something different about this park. She saw the typical rides found at most amusement parks, such as a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, and a roller coaster. In the distance she could see a variety of other rides, booths, and pavilions, also found in most amusement parks. So what made this one different?

Then she got it. This one was pretty quiet.  Not too much movement. No people screaming. No loud music. It seemed… almost gentle. Still, an amusement park?

“You want me to go to an amusement park with you?”

“Yes.”

“But, why?”

“Because walking with me should be fun!”

He didn’t say any more, but she knew what he meant. She tended to be way too serious most of the time. She stressed over getting things right. And worked hard to do everything she could for him. That must be why he took her to quiet, peaceful places when she visited his home. She needed the time with him to relax.

But now he was showing her a different way to live.  Life didn’t have to be so serious. She didn’t have to worry about doing everything just right. With him by her side, she could enjoy the thrill of the rides, knowing he would be with her. She could let herself enjoy the wind in her face as she roared around the tracks of a roller coaster, knowing he would keep her from flying out to her death. She could enjoy both the heights and the depths of a giant Ferris wheel, even when she couldn’t see where she was going, because somehow he could. She could enjoy riding around in circles on the merry-go-round, even when she thought she was going nowhere and that it would never end, because it was time spent with him. She could even enjoy playing the rigged games people played, hoping she’d win but knowing she probably wouldn’t, because he was there to replace what she lost.

An amusement park? Could she really have fun? Could she let go enough to actually enjoy the rides with him? She wasn’t very confident in herself. But she had learned to trust him. And the park did appear to have been made specifically for her. So, she turned to him with a tentative smile.

“An amusement park? Sure, let’s go.”

Dear Little Seeker (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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Dear Little Seeker,

Are you looking for a message from me? This is a good place to look. And you know what? There’s an even faster place. I can send you a message right through the air! And it’s so fast you will get it as soon as I send it! Did you know that I’ve written a book with you in mind? That book has a message in it, too. I love you so much that I’m always thinking of other ways to send messages to you. And you know what would make me really happy? If you would send me a message, too!

Always,

Someone Who Loves You

 

Matthew 4:4  But he answered, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

Dear Little Traveler (from Someone Who Loves You series)

 

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Dear Little Traveler,

Where are you going? Can I come, too? There are so many places I want to show you. But you will need help getting there. I can be the power that keeps you moving. You can sit in the driver’s seat, and turn the wheel. You can think that you are in control, but what you don’t know is that my hand, the one that is pushing you, is actually the one guiding you. I push you where I want you to go. And I push you how fast or slow I want you to go. That way you will stay safe. And together, we will go to many fascinating places. Ready? Let’s go!

Powerfully,

Someone Who Loves You

 

 

Psalm 139:10  Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

Dear Little Dancer (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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Dear Little Dancer,

You don’t look so sure about this new thing you’re expected to do. Dance? What is that? It seems there’s always something new to learn. But, don’t worry. I can help you learn. With me holding your hand, you’ll soon be able to twirl and jump and even flip! You’re going to have so much fun dancing with me – and I’m going to have even more fun dancing with you! Trust me, take my hand, and let’s dance all night!

Playfully,

Someone Who Loves You

 

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

 

Offering It Back to God

You asked for something from God. And He gave it to you.

Or He gave you something to do for Him.

You are thankful.

You love it.

You want to enjoy it.

You want to play with it.

And He wants you to.

But what if…

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What if you asked Him to use it for His glory?

What could God do with it?

Is it possible that not only would you get to enjoy it, but so would a multitude of other people?

And that God’s amazing goodness would be seen by many?

The boy with the bread and fish found out the day he offered God’s provision back to Him.

And so could you.

If you dared.

So the question comes down to…

When God gives you something, what will YOU do with it?

Fear Buster

Remember Ghost Busters? “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!”

Well, I am. If a ghost appeared to me, I would most definitely be afraid. And that’s not the only thing I’m afraid of.

I’m afraid of being criticized.

I’m afraid of small talk.

I’m afraid of extensive dental work.

I’m afraid of hearing God wrong.

I’m afraid of my house never getting fixed.

I’m afraid of running out of money.

I’m afraid of taking chances.

I’m afraid of making wrong decisions.

I’m afraid of growing really old.

I’m afraid of making phone calls.

I’m afraid of alligators.

I’m afraid of disappointing God.

I’m afraid of confrontation.

I’m afraid of letting go of my fears.

I could go on – the list is endless.

But God’s list for overcoming fear is short. Very short. There’s only two things on His list.

Fear is not of God.

Perfect love casts out fear.

 

I didn’t used to understand that, because I didn’t understand love. Or God. But I’m learning.

He taught me how to use His list as a Fear Buster whenever a fear appeared.

This is how it works:

(name your fear) I’m afraid of making wrong decisions.

(remind yourself) Fear is not of God.

(personalize applicable scriptures) Romans 8:28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good. Psalm 48:14 That this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever. God promises to guide me and to make all things work in my favor. I do not have to worry about which decision I make. Even if I make the wrong one, God will take care of me. He loves me, and is bigger than any mistake I make. He has promised to make everything, even my mistakes, work out in my favor.

(replace the fear with His love) Perfect love casts out fear.

Good-bye fear! I am no longer afraid because I’m trusting God’s Word, and not what I can see, reason, or imagine.

 

Now THAT’S the real, and amazing, Ghost Buster FEAR BUSTER!

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Dear Little Generous One (From Someone Who Loves You series)

 

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Dear Little Generous One,

You make me so proud when I see you trying to share your things with others. You have such a kind heart. There will be people who will look at you with distrust. They might even reject you. But it’s not important how they react to your offer. What’s important is what I think of your offer. And I think it’s awesome! Keep on giving, my small one! You delight me each time!

Proudly,

Someone Who Loves You

 

Hebrews 13:16  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

Bear Attack (short story based on a dream I had)

“There’s a bear coming!”

I barely looked up from my sketch pad to the man that was careening towards us.

“Yeah, right,” I muttered. “Like there’re any bears around here.”

“A bear?” came high squeaky voice.

“Shh.” I shook my head at the small girl next to me. “It’s okay. Which color should we paint the flowers?”

The man was almost on us. “Run! Hide!”

“Aw, quit trying to scare us. We know there are no bears anywhere around here.”

“It’s a bear, I tell you!”

“I doubt it. Maybe you saw a bush. It is a bit windy today.” I studied my drawing.

“Believe what you want. I know what I saw.” He reached out and grabbed me.

“Ow, let go! You’re going to pull my arm right off!”

“Better your arm than your head if you’re still here when the bear gets here. And think of your little girl!”

The man’s eyes were wide open with eyebrows almost reaching his hairline, and his face was as white as the pages in my sketch pad.  Um… even if he didn’t see a bear, he definitely saw something. But grabbing me?

“Let go!”

“Suit yourself! Hide or don’t hide. Your choice,” he called over his shoulder as he ran towards the trees on the opposite side of the clearing from where he entered.

I looked around the campsite. A few tents scattered here and there, hiking gear set out on picnic tables, and a gazebo. If I wanted to hide from a bear, where would I go? I couldn’t just run into the woods after that man. My daughter wouldn’t be able to keep up, and I couldn’t carry her very far. The trees wouldn’t be any better. Even if I could get my daughter up one, bears can climb, too. The tents offered no protection should the bear follow its nose instead of its eyes. The only thing left was the gazebo – a wooden structure with three steps leading up…wait!

“Come on! I know where we can hide!”

I grabbed my daughter and ran to the gazebo. Yes, just what I hoped for!

“Quick, in there.” I pushed my daughter into the opening of the crawl space under the gazebo. Trying to hurry her, I backed in so I could watch for whatever the man had seen. And then I saw it.

Not only was it a bear, it was a very large grizzly bear. It was carrying a rifle and coming straight towards me. Dang, that bear moved fast! I grabbed a long branch that was lying nearby and held it out as if it were a spear. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.

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As I waited, I had time for two thoughts. Would the gazebo have really offered safety? Couldn’t the bear just reach right through the holes in the boards? And where did it get the rifle? Maybe from a ranger?

Just as the bear reached me, it slowly toppled until it lay still on the ground. Dead.

What? How?

Then the pieces came together – that bear must have taken the rifle from the ranger it attacked, but not before the ranger got a few rounds into the bear. The bear was so big; it took a while for the rest of the body to know it was dead.

Isn’t that just like our problems? We see disaster coming. Fear rises up in us and we run or hide without realizing that our Father has already shot the beast. Even if that beast continues towards us, it will topple over before it reaches us. We are safe.

Dear Little Oops, (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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Dear Little Oops,

I see you trying so hard. You worked at getting the oatmeal on the spoon, and then to get it to your mouth – just to have it fall off at the last minute. You look at where it landed and wonder if you will ever get it right. And you may even feel bad about yourself. But don’t you see? You already have mastered it in my eyes! You may not be able to see it, but I can. I KNOW you will get this, in time. Look how far you have progressed! Look at all that you CAN do! Don’t compare yourself to those you see around you. Enjoy where you are and don’t worry about the messes. Sometimes the oatmeal just fall offs of the spoon. And it’s okay. I can and will clean you up every time.

Love,

Someone Who Loves You

 

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.