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I Tell YOU the Truth |Tues. @ 10


Happy Tuesday … Where we, a growing group of creatives get a prompt word meant to spark creativity in the heart of the writer, or the photographer, or artist, in them. Just about a week is given for the creator to create from this word and all that is asked is that you share and check out what your neighbor in the link up list did with the prompt. You’ll be surprised at how often we are all led on the same path!

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

 

Today’s Tuesday Prompt is …. Truth.

“I tell you the truth …”

Jesus is quoted as saying that phrase 78 times in the New Testament! 78 … that’s a lot of truth, but that is part of why he came to earth as a man. To testify to the Truth of God. More interesting: 30 of those truths were recorded just in the book of Matthew.

To tell you the truth, we need healing in our house. A lot of healing. And today I am having a very hard time with the information we got from the doctors at The Hubs’ last two visits. In  my head, and usually in my heart, I know and cannot be moved away from the knowledge that we WERE healed by Jesus’ sacrifice, for US, on the cross. This is knowledge in our home.

It is Truth in our home.

Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:24 (my prayer, taken from the same story but in the book of Mark.)

Matthew 17:14-23

The Healing of a Boy with a demon: also — Mk 9:14-28; Lk 9:37-42

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.
*****
 This causes me concern about my faith. And if I’m having a crisis of faith right now, it’s not my faith in God’s promise of healing! It’s about my level of faith being hammered at almost daily for over a year. I thank God that it is His faith that works in and through me and not a faith that I must maintain on my own!
I said to my husband last night, in heartbroken, absolute truth, that it is so hard to hear these things and look at him vibrantly himself. It rocks me that he can be virtually well yet this thing can be inside of him trying to kill him! I told him that I wouldn’t be having such a hard time with his decision to NOT do anything about what they were telling us (he’s decided to refuse anymore chemo; but is willing to consider clinical trials for experimental drugs.) if he were ill and suffering. Somehow it would be easier to just quietly sit back in my sorrow about his refusal.
But, like he says, the chemo doesn’t seem to be doing anything (reminder to self: chemo is poison, not medicine!) can doing nothing really be worse?
And my wife/mother screams in my head … WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! Yet, the truthful questions is: Do we? or Does God?
The amazing truth is he looks great! He feels and functions almost at his norm, except for some fatigue.
It’s amazing, as much as the schedule and the chemo stressed him and fatigued him, I’ll say it again, he did not experience what we all hear about and see on TV, or what others seem to have experienced with their loved ones.
No days of pain and suffering. No horrible, wasting illness. No vomiting and not being able to eat. None of that.
And it is for those very “NOs” that we remain faithful to God’s assurances of The Hubs’ healing.
And then the doctors tell us “their” truth. So when we were told what we were told yesterday their truth rocked my truth. So to decided to do nothing is beyond my scope right now.
The truth is, though, that it is ultimately my husband’s, and God’s, decision. Though I did honestly tell him that while I support his decision he needs to keep in mind that he [they] is making life altering decisions for both our lives.
Truthfully. I believe God. The Hubs looks and feels great, though right now, today, he is angry and frustrated that all this year’s work and treatments seem to have been for naught. We believe, we know, that God has healed him. That God is bigger than the doctors reports and tests and protocols.
Yet today’s Truth is that I am spent. I posted for all our loved ones and friends in the faith and prayer that we were home and were moving forward for the possibility of the clinical trial, and most took that as the good news that it is. But like the chemo (which isn’t curative or even really a medicine) the trial medications are unproved and may be non-curative either. It’s a clinical trial. The doctors and manufacturers have high hopes and so do we.
The truth is …. I am ready for the manifestation of healing in Hutchland. I am ready to stop feeling like I have to be waiting for the next report.
I am ready for the doctors and the world to understand the Truth, that …
Only God heals. Jesus is the only cure.
Like The Hubs says and stands by: The doctors are not curing him, God is. The doctors cannot heal him, only God can.
So today I will continue to recite that … Only God. Only Jesus. He is our cure. He is our doctor. He is our healer.
Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart I’m going to add here today’s attempt at my memorization of Psalm 27: 1 & 2 … here goes!
1. The Lord is my light and my strength; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
2.When the wicked came against me The to eat up my flesh, My enemies all fell  and foes, they stumbled and fell.
Not too bad for the second day of adding verse two!
I thought that Psalm 27 fit this post, truthfully. These two verses are a big part of what I am and will be focusing on in regard to our current circumstances here in Hutchland.
I refuse to allow the enemy to kill my two men (the second being my youngest. I wrote a post on Sunday about my son’s struggle here.)
Quite frankly it’s been a very trying couple of weeks for this wife and mother.
Thanks for reading. Blessings to you, all.
ASignature


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So Be It. | 31Days:15 ~ Share with me today … I would love to pray with you!


Courageous & Dangerous Prayer

Courageous & Dangerous Prayer

This 31 day challenge has been just that, a challenge, on many levels.

  1. The Challenge to Write.
  2. The Challenge to eek out time to write.
  3. The Challenge to see if I can get people interested and directed to my blog.
  4. The Challenge to get healing scriptures into my heart, permanently.

That 4th challenge was the original challenge and should have been the focus. But that focus changed from getting God in to getting ME out there.

NOT.GOOD.

Social Media, whether it’s Facebook, Tumblr, Google or even WordPress and other blog venues can take over. Often times they cause us to focus on us essentially distracting us from what’s important around us!

Social Media overload! So I decided a few days ago to Slow Down … being that I do most of my work online a total disconnect is not an option … however a conscious slow down is.

So I set about, today, looking to refocus my sights on the original challenge. To get HEALING scriptures into my HEART; for my HEART and for my family. And I visited an old page of mine: A Very Courageous Prayer; Dangerous Even!

I originally saw this prayer on Ann Kroeker’s blog. She is awesome and so is her blog. Go check it out!

It contains a very significant prayer by John Wesley. Shared on the page. This prayer:

Dear God
I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt; Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low by thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen. 

This prayer is a dedication to and a surrendering to God the Almighty. A prayer which allows the prayer to enter into total and intimate communion with the Father. I continue to see this prayer as courageous and dangerous to the prayer.

Why?

Because, have you, even you Christians, truly, honestly and transparently, REALLY, surrendered all to God? Do you, do I, even know what that complete surrender means? Have we counted the cost of this surrender, or the surrender that Jesus gave on the cross for us?

I know I must not have, because I still suffer illness and doubt in my body and mind. Only my Spirit is truly and completely surrendered because that happened instantly upon my asking for and receiving my salvation through Jesus Christ.

It’s a courageous prayer because it means giving up EVERYTHING. to God … and if you say the prayer and your heart is pure God will, instantly, make clear to you what you must give up, sacrifice, for this intimate communion with the Father.

It’s a dangerous prayer because it means giving up EVERYTHING. to God … and if you say the prayer and your heart is set and pure on this commitment He will require that you give to Him those things  that you are comfortable, happy, connected, with and to. And those things that you believe you need to survive; to serve Him and become who He intended you to be in His kindom.

Let’s face it anything we do that is dangerous takes courage. Living in this fallen world committed to Christ is courageous and dangerous. And it stands that anything we do that is courageous is dangerous to who we are right now, because it will ultimately change who we are and what we believe.

We ALL were born with a purpose, for the purpose of serving the Kingdom of God; and the Kingdom of God is in US. So why is this surrender so seemingly hard and sacrificial for us?

I don’t have that answer, yet.

In that post, written just over 3 years ago, I vowed to pray this daily. I don’t know when I stopped. I used to have a paper copy of it just under my laptop for praying each day. But I did stop praying it.

Well today, in the interest of zooming my focus for this life of mine, and this challenge, on God and healing, I am going to attempt to use this prayer and more prayer, to strengthen that vow I gave to God and myself so many years ago. I honestly believe that I must offer myself more to God to receive this Manifest Healing I seek.

So tell me, Sweet Reader, what prayer are you saying today. What areas do you need to surrender to God to truly be healed today? Share with me, I would love to pray with you.

Thank You for Reading. Andrea

Thank You for Reading.
Andrea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

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31 Days!

31 Days!

31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please Pray…


Team Ewan needs prayer…We are storming the gates for this little fighter!

Blessings Loves


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My Quest for Flavor! a food on friday carnival post “)


 

Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

My Quest for Flavor

 Psalm 22:26 “The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him— may your hearts live forever!”Since June 2, 2010, when doctors pronounced that there were dire heart issues to contend with I have been on a quest for Whole wellness. This quest has led to some severe dietary and lifestyle changes. As if that were not difficult and frustrating enough, I had to remove salt from my diet. That was the instruction from the first cardiologist at the first hospital.Since going to Deborah there has been a bit of improvement on the seasoning side of my diet! Dr. Ambrose, a fellow cardiologist at Deborah Heart and Lung Center, told me I could have 2,000 milligrams or 2 grams of sodium a day. Just under the RDA guidelines by 4,000 milligrams. This means about 3/4 of a teaspoon of table salt, a day, give or take a granule! S, I continue to not use the salt while cooking or added at meal times.This allows me two things, as I see them, and ALLOWED, is a great thing!1. It gives me a way to find healthier salt in natural foods, like parmesan cheese, and other cheeses to flavor my meals, (in moderation of course).  

2. When I eat out or at a friend’s home, they nor I must worry about how to season a meal.  

With that said, with the help of my Chef, Cook and Foodie friends, here and abroad, thanks to FaceBook, I have found some very interesting ways to take my meals from Beige to Bright!

  

The Flavor Beige

 Thanks to Laureen, Claudia, Dorothy, Valeen and Brenda…and all my other girls, who support and encourage me too! Ladies you are the bomb!     

…Much Love to you all!      

 I went shopping just yesterday, buying an array of different foods than has been the norm in the past. My youngest, adult son, came out from putting away the last of the food complaining in a 16-year-old fashion, “…there’s nothing to eat!”. As much as some things stay the same, you would hope that a young adult would be a little less childish in this area, by 23! :D…”all you bought was meat, fruit and 2% milk! What happened to the whole milk?” 

 
His complaint was really that everything had to be cooked. There was no processed foods or “microwavables” in the house! Oh well, he has a job!  
 
I have successfully found that seasoning foods to have a salt like bite is quite easy.See what rising above the frustration can do!
 Lemon is great for a salad, fish, chicken and even a new thing I found called Citrus Rice. I also, at a birthday party for a friend last weekend, got a quick recipe for Cold Corn Salad, apparently it’s great on hot dogs? I don’t know because I no longer eat hotdogs. Didn’t really eat them before, either, but for some reason I  began a new “wanting of things” that I  didn’t want even when there were no restrictions. Anyway,  made with sweet corn, sweet red bell peppers, white or vadalia onion and Hellman’s Mayonaise Lite, cold corn salad begs for  a bit of salty, to it. What to do? What to do?
LIME! The juice of one small lime gives this salad just enough bite and the latin feel this salad begs for! Delicious. Thanks for that recipe from Jen’s step-mom, Maria.
 
Then  there is my Greek Yogurt fetish! More protein than conventional American yogurt, less salt and full of flavor this treat is a filling and delicious breakfast choice. Having tried all the varieties, Oikos, Chobani and even Yoplait’s newest version. My grocer finally stocked Fage (FA-yea) Total. This is the greek style yogurt that the Greeks stock in their fridges!
 
With the texture of cheese cake and a good fruit compote greek yogurt is decadence without the dietary problems!  Better yet, I found quite on accident, that the plain with a table-spoon of Polaner All Fruit is even better than some of the flavors! Right there I control the fat, calories and sugar intake in my breakfast! And I actually like the sugar-free all fruit. 🙂
 
A small modicum of control over my diet at last! ((((Yay!!!)))) for me!
 
Then there is the first suggestion I received from my friend Dorothy, from Ireland, finely minced garlic! This gem of a trick (and why I didn’t know, this I don’t know) adds a nice salt like bite to eggs, sauces and soups! Having a family recipe for Spaghetti Sauce, or gravy if you prefer, I always followed the smidge here and 2 cloves there direction, which is now just a knowing. Well,  about 3 finely minced cloves gives the salty bite, while the 2 sliced, added as well, provides the proper balance of garlic flavor, basil and oregano and you are good to go. Italian style!
 
Dorothy and Laureen also gave me the Hot Sauce suggestion, and at about the same time I was considering it. On eggs and in rice or soups just a few drops will do you! Add while cooking is the trick to avoiding the really hot sensation of using hot sause as a topical seasoning;  your eggs and soup will have the flavor you desire without the excess sodium. Finding the balance, may be a bit tricky if you don’t like spicy hot. FYI: some believe that hot sauce and hot peppers kick start one’s metabolism! Good to know if you like spicy foods.
 
  

Vibrant Flavor

 
There it is. My diet rescue! All it took was putting an end to my pity party and some experimentation in the kitchen, which I enjoy, because I like to cook. Here I thought my Joy of Cooking was over. Not so.
Brown rice and grains are my next venture.
 
Wild Rice is what I am in search of. I should say, inexpensive wild rice. At my local grocer (Shop Rite) a box, for a single meal is $8.95! Out of my range, for sure. My husband’s  response when I teared up at the grocery store was, “Wow! That wild rice must be really hard to catch!” Poor guy! At the time the humor didn’t work, but it’s funny now. 🙂  All of the processed rice that contain wild rice are incredibly high in sodium, too.
 
I really wish we had a Whole Foods store here in Central New Jersey!
 
A new friend, Brenda, brought me a grain called Teff, from Ethiopia, the tiniest grain on earth. The word “teff” is derived from the *Amharic “teffa” which translates as lost. Due to its tiny size, teff can easily be lost if dropped!
*Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia.
 
One of my dearest friends, Valeen, a former vegetarian who still strives for healthy eating, suggested Barley as a change-up for cereal and side dishes that were healthier. Made with sauted garden tomatoes, garlic, onions and mushrooms cooked into a rice or couscous consistency, topped with good shaved parmesan cheese, the barley was a hit. Next I am going to add it to fresh made soup tomorrow.

Whole Grain Goodness

 
So lunch today, I now eat 4 to six smaller meals a day, was European style. Now these Europeans are lean and healthy, at least on tv, right. 3 Wasa crackers (low cal. and low sodium), with cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, peach all fruit and a medium bunch of grapes, and a half cup of coffee. Delicioso!
 
You would be surprised at the satisfaction of flavor in this small meal. As well as how surprisingly good cheddar and peach preserves taste together, another wonderful accident!
 
So far I’ve lost 48 pounds in 4 months and still losing. I hit a  plateau, at 46 pounds, about two weeks ago, so I removed another white food from my diet; white potatoes. Dorothy says they are poison! 😀 I don’t know about that, but removing them from my diet jump started my weight loss again. I lose, on average, 1.6 pound a week now and my goal is 2 pounds a week.
 
At this rate of loss I can lose 100 pounds or more by the start of next summer, Praise God! Really, Praise God, because obedience and the Word of God have made much of this much easier to accomplish. All of my success has come from God honoring my obedience and faith in Him to finish what He began in me!
 
My next venture is the health food stores! On goes my quest!
 
Stick with me girls (and guys) we gonna be getting healthy!
 
Blessings Loves!…
 
 
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Adversity~What am I facing today?…


 My Morning with God…

This morning I woke up feeling down. When I think about it, this downward feeling began sometime yesterday. With many things going on physically, emotionally and of course just the day to day things, I can lose track of my joy. I imagine many of you know what I mean.

All of Easter week joy built up and it’s tide rose within me right on through Resurrection Sunday. I was joyful, excited and strong. Yes, I felt an immense sense of strength. All things were well, better than well, joyful.

I was ending my beverage fast; which I did successfully. Even now 2 days later I have only had 1 cup of coffee.  🙂  I must admit it was wonderful, but I desire tea now, not coffee. A fast 21 days or longer will change you lifestyle in regard to your fast choices, that is proved here. I was writing, even though it was/is primarily poetry, which doesn’t happen to be as lucrative. However, each poetry form I learned, yes learned, was inspired by the Spirit of God. Each poem was powerful, pointed out by my writing peers, and I trust them.

So the joy of the LORD most definitely delivered strength.

Now, back to the day to day, I must be mindful of my emotions and words.

As I pointed out, we have had the reinforcement of what our words effect in our lives taught @ the River. I have had friends point out that this is old teachings; for me it was a good review and there was new revelation, as well. I got much out of the teaching/preaching. Of course I am obedient that even if I find these teachings tedious there must be something in them the Lord requires me to hear.

This morning’s tea with God was quiet and not as exciting as I would have liked. Obediently, I went into yesterday’s devotions and last Wednesday’s sermon to find something to go on today. As easy as God makes my time with Him, and his tone for the day, sometimes my flesh doesn’t find the ease in His presence. These are odd times, now, and I must admit that I don’t like them.

I do not like when my flesh takes over. It has a defined heaviness to it, a sense of malaise. Blessedly I now feel it instantly and wonder how I ever carried that for almost 40 years! Think about it; before you learned to hand the day to day stressers and the full on crisis’ to God; you carried that weight. Is it any wonder I am obese?

April 7, 2010

I have returned. I had to leave for work yesterday morning before I completed this. I had every intention of finishing when I returned home, alas I could not. The day to day took hold and ran away with my day…and my good intentions!  🙂

I find myself, again, in this sense of unease. Much of it is physical, however, much of it feels like a roadblock, spiritually. I desire forward movement in this transition our church is going through. My human nature wants answers, solutions and the plan. Yet the powers that be are not being forthcoming as yet. So I sit quietly, pondering the possibilities, knowing that I will be moved forward in God’s time.

I am going on the teachings of late. Minding what comes out of my mouth. Taking each thought captive and that is tedious as I am one to attempt to analyze all possibilities in a situation. Fully knowing that I am imagining far worse than could occur.  So I reign in and capture these thoughts to give to God.

So I continue today to tap into the strength that God provides for me. I will trust God. This is His church, and His children, and His plan for us is Hope, Prosperity and Unity. He does not forsake us, even when we feel that He is far away.

I pray as David prayed; and when I am unable I pray in the Spirit. He takes my petitions and concerns straight to Father, explaining me, my condition perfectly to Father.

I am reminded of the scripture from a day or so ago. Romans 8:38

Nothing can seperate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life; neither angels or demons; not our fears for today or our worries about tomorrow. Not even the powers of Hell can seperate us from God’s love.

So no matter my current mood or condition God remains here with me. Waiting for me to stop letting the day to day and the unknown distract me from His plan.

I leave you, now, with this post completed. Hoping it is cohesive enough to minister to someone. Let me know how you deal with the day to day and your distractions. What tools do you use to return to the path God has for you. Lets get to know each other. This journey home is more enjoyable when we go together.

David prayed: “Grant me Your strength” Ps 86:16 and “God arms me with strength” Ps 18:32

I leave you to go to prayer with my focus for today:   ” I love You O’LORD, my strength. O’ my strength, I will sing praises to You, for God, You are my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.” Ps 18:1 & 59:17

Blessings Loves…enjoy the taste of summer we are having here at the Jersey Shore….☼

† ♥

A.


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A Personal Wilderness


My Personal Wilderness

I’ve been in my own personal wilderness for awhile now. In January God began putting the idea of fasting in my path. I struggled, as things in my life continued to get complicated. I became interested in the idea of Lent. Of older more traditional practices of a religion I have never practiced. I find it interesting the way I began to be interested in the Lenten Season.

 
Matthew 4:4  4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” resonates in all of this for me. Fasting, Lent and pressing into God…
 
It began with devotions and articles I would come across about fasting. Again, an obvious sign God was speaking to me. The consistant coming around to the same subject matter in different places; articles, tv news programs, sermon messages, even daily devotionals on the subject. I heard God loud and clear, and knew He was focused on my desire to be healthy. I had talked to Him about it, a lot. Yet I hesitated, procrastinated, ran on an alternate path called avoidance.
 
Of course I did other things. Subsequently while I avoided God’s urgings, my life got bogged down with complications. Nothing God did, just life doing what life does. I had a lot on my mind. Honestly things were not all bad, although some were. I know, even knew, that to be obedient to God’s direction would have made my day to day journey easier to deal with. It could have even seen to it that some did not occur at all, but my humanity took over and I pursued other avenues that were not quite obedience.
 
 I wrote an article on the Daniel Fast. It formed itself out of the research I did so I could do the fast properly. I was seeking a fast that would help me to get well. I had over the holidays begun to feel not well, again. My left leg was swelling up again, and I had leg tensions at night, again. I had begun experiencing monthly migraines, again. Two or three a month, usually attributable to a rise in hormones. Illness symptoms that had gone by the wayside since the summer. It dawns on me that all of these things were at some point gone, all of them.
 
Then it dawned on me that I had begun a quest to wellness in the spring of 2009. I had entered a contest on the Helium site where I wrote on the subject of teas. Earlier in 2009 I had begun to be interested in researching teas, as each time I wasn’t feeling well my grandmother would tell me what teas would help me. Over the 4o some years of loving this woman, it took those 4o years to hear her. So I researched and found the medical wonders of tea, and implemented them in my life. It worked, on my asthma and leg issues and my weight.
 
At the same time I was pursuing God with a vengence. To finish what I had begun years ago. My friends and loved ones were not always happy with the changes in me. I was. My quiet startled and left them unsettled, but I was renouncing sarcasm and negativity in my life. Our personal changes force others to change, at least how they are around the person changing, and sometimes they reject it. Sometimes they reject you, whether the changes are bad or good. Odd, but in our twisted world personal improvement is not always celebrated, even by those who love us.
 
So Lenten. In my search for a fast, I discovered that the Daniel Fast, which I had done incorrectly a few years ago for 21 days, was considered a suitable Lenten fast. Well, now my quest to be obedient became wrapped up in Lent! And there were articles to be written, for yet another contest. God is funny and persistent! I didn’t write those articles, but I did research them.
 
On Clean or Shrove Monday I began my fast. I am fasting beverages. I planned, and have been successful, thus far, in drinking only water and tea, for 40 days. You see the Daniel Fast allows one to consume only things that originate from the seed and water. Tea comes from the Camellia Plant, essentially from a seed, so it works! I am now combining the fast with Lent, how odd of God!  🙂   He led me straight to what, I believe, He intended for me to find.
 
Then I found HighCallingBlogs.com, you can hit the link on this page. And what was some of their articles about? Lent.
 
As I said, I feel as though I have been in my own personal wilderness for quite a while now. Refusing to listen to anyone but God, alone, in all areas of my life. And again, family and friends do not necessarily take well to this. I have stood firm though. Taking every suggestion and piece of advise to God.
 
The reward for this has been amazing. Illness and the shadow of death has been looming over my immediate family for months, possibly years now. Right now we are contending with the possibility that my uncle is dying. The Uncle who may have been the closest thing to a father in my childhood. During all of this I pressed into God like never before, resulting in a heightened experience with God.
 
Focus! Lent! 
 
I found in my research and on the blogs on HighCallingBlogs.com was many things. In an effort to glorify God, since the dawn of Christianity until now,  people and religions, observed periods of fasting for cleansing and repentence. Being born again, I know that I should only fast when led by the Holy Spirit. I know, as well,  that I only need to repent once for my sins, God does not find it necessary for me to live in my sinful nature by reliving it at the beginning of each spring.
 
However, the traditions of old still have purpose. Fasting gives a body a good healthy cleaning while reminding to focus on God. I wanted healing, I asked God for healing, and I found:
 
 
I got an e-mail from HighCallingBlogs.com that I, now, cannot find. However, it said that Lent is about being in touch with our humanity. A place I have been forever, it seems. Being in touch with one’s humanity means many things. For me it means that I realize that God chose me with ALL of my imperfections, as if they didn’t exist. Therefore I have to trust God, that those imperfections do not exist.
 
Through the Atonement we are cleansed, freed from our sin mentality. It is our job to rid these things, these imperfections, generational curses from ourselves. God will assist and support us in all manners of this, but it is our job to get it done. To determindedly rid ourselves of what is contrary to God within us. Because when we indulge in these memories, these family lies about health and religion, we stop in our forward movement. When we stop God continues on, and we can miss blessings and miracles that are planned for our lives.
 
Lent and the practices within the observances give us a vital way to press into a loving and forgiving God. A Father who will gently guide us through the processes of seeing ourselves as He sees us. Perfect and free. It is our inheritance, we are the children of the King of Kings. All of this, from Clean Monday to Resurrection Sunday was about us. About God’s desire to be reconciled to His children.
 
The practices of Lent transcend any specific religious belief. They are simply a vehicle for each of us to realize that regardless of what we have done or will do, our humanity makes us the apple of God’s eye.We have been redeemed.
 
Lent and fasting is allowing me to find a closeness to my God that I didn’t have even 2 weeks ago!
 
You see, in my obedience to fast, when it was necessary to press into God for real answers a few nights ago the experience stepped up several notches. Honestly in the early hours of February 15th, God forever changed they way we communicate, the experience of His presence when I press in and the way I pray. Past that,  I cannot seem to articulate the experience effectively yet. I simply know that it is all wrapped up in the observances of Lent and the practices of fasting.
 
Blessings Friends.   🙂
 

Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker


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Fasting for Healing…What Daniel Did.


Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

I have been moving toward going on a fast. Let me be clearer. I have been hearing God tell me to fast and I have been avoiding it. Instead I wrote an article on Helium.com about the Daniel Fast, while attempting to have enough will power to begin the fast. While I have begun to change my eating habits of late, I have not gone on a true Daniel Fast.

The Daniel Fast is a fast geared toward healing and prevention. Actually several years ago I completed an adapted 40 day Daniel Fast. Adapted in that I drank protein drinks to sustain when I felt it necessary. Also, it wasn’t a true Daniel fast in that it was the first real fast I ever attempted for more than a day and I was not aware of all of it’s restrictions.

The Daniel Fast is what the secular world knows as the Raw Foods Fast or a Vegan Fast. Only fruits, vegetables and water, completely cleansing the body in 10 to 21 days. And most everyone knows that anything successfully changed in a 21 day period can very likely become permanent.

I researched the Daniel or Raw Foods Fast and found it quite interesting. The body requires Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats to survive. Infact the body requires these nutrients to lose weight!  My question was just what fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains contained all of these nutrients? The answers were vast:

Nutrition: The Benefits of the Daniel Fast by Andrea D. Hutchinson

  Biblically, the Daniel Fast was a refusal by Daniel, while under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, to defile himself with the rich and unhealthy diet of the royal table. The king told the head of his palace staff to get young men, from the Israelite royal and noble families, who were healthy, handsome, intelligent and well educated for leadership training in the royal court. In other words boys who were “perfect specimens”. They were to be taught and indoctrinated in the language of Babylon, and the lore of magic and fortunetelling.

The king ordered that these boys be served from the same menu as would be served at the royal table. The best foods and the finest wines of the royal court. After three years of this indoctrination they would be given positions in the king’s court.

Daniel, refused to be defiled by the rich and luxurious foods and beverages of the king’s table. Daniel believed that he was called by God to do this, to glorify Him and that it would protect him. In the end it did just that.

Determined, he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. Afraid of the king, the steward was reluctant because he believed that they would not be nourished well enough and that the king would notice. Daniel appealed to the steward, “Try us out for ten days with a simple diet of vegetables and water, then compare us with the other young men who are eating from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see.” Agreeing, the steward allowed them their simple vegetable and water diet for ten days. At the end of those ten days the four young men looked better and more robust than the others. So the steward allowed them their raw food and water diet for the remainder of their training period. Daniel 1 ~ the Message Bible.

In the King James version of these scriptures David asks the steward, ” Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and give us pulse to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1:12

The proof at the end of the ten day fast would be the first documentation of the benefits of the Daniel Fast, also called the Raw Food or Vegan Fast. The health benefits were evident, as described in the Book of Daniel. After ten days the boys appeared healthier and were more robust, or energetic, than the boys who had indulged in the rich foods and wines of the royal table.

Daniel’s intent was to remain physically and spiritually clean for God, while he was being trained in things contrary to what they believed to be God’s will for His people at the time. Thus, fasting was a means to cleanse oneself, glorifying God.

Fasting in these modern days is utilized for the same purpose, cleaning out one’s physical system. As well as, for some, it continues to be a way to worship and glorify God. It has become popular, once again, to fast for spiritual cleansing.

Whatever the reason for one’s fast, the Daniel Fast is a good fast to begin with. In general fasting cleanses the body of the toxins one has attained consuming a modern diet. Fasting removes all of those chemicals and preservatives that our body retains after we have eaten processed and pesticide laden foods. Cleansing one’s body allows one to, technically, start over with a healthier diet. Removing toxins and the remnants of chemicals that have built up in one’s system, is a definite benefit. Typically today, one enters into the Daniel Fast for two physical reasons: (1) when we are ill and require healing, or (2) the prevention of illness or disease.

The Daniel Fast, or the Raw Food Fast, does this most effectively. The Daniel Fast is limited to vegetables, fruits and water for a 10, 21 or 40 day period of time. The Daniel fast mimics many of the restrictions of the Lenten Fast, in that it restricts all animal related foods; meat, eggs, milk, and butter, or anything that is processed or made with animal products. As well as ‘rich’ foods such as cakes. Basically desserts of all kinds, sweets.

Again, like the Lenten fast, it restricts all refined sugars and caffeine products, as well as any additives, chemicals or dyes. It is a completely natural diet. Therefore all refined sugars; corn syrup and white sugar, as well as any artificial sweeteners and flavors are restricted. No foods that are chemically processed are allowed either.

In Proverbs 23:3 it says, “be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat”.

The ‘dainties’ in one’s diet today look good, taste and smell good, but are definitely not good for the body. The same was true in biblical times. Often our ‘dainties’ are processed to remove calories and fats (both essential to the body, by the way), and then after removal by chemical processes like hydrogenation and other equally dangerous processes, what is left is returned to the product changed irrevocably, and not for the better. Both the American Heart and Diabetes Associations recommend that these products be reduced or removed from one’s diet.

So in the Daniel fast, the ‘Pulse” Daniel refers to is described as being foods grown up, naturally, from a seed. Barnes Notes defines pulse as that which grows up from seeds, such as would be sown in a garden. It also defines pulse as a vegetable or raw.

The Daniel fast will adequately cleanse one’s body within ten days. The down fall to this fast is that you will experience hunger, longer than say in a simple juice fast, as the body does not shut down it’s digestive processes. Having to digest the vegetables and grains, the digestive process will continue to tell the brain that it is hungry. The benefits outweigh the lengthened hunger pangs, however, while one’s body becomes accustomed to the new diet.

From a nutritional aspect, many feel the Daniel or Raw Food fast to be unbalanced. They report that it does not meet the carbohydrate needs of the body and that it could cause a lack of vitamin B12 (found ONLY in animal foods such as milk and eggs). They also report, that there would be a lack of protein in this diet.

There are three types of nutrients the body requires for overall wellness. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These are necessary, as well, to maintain a healthy diet regime. If one is fasting as a part of a weight loss program these three nutrients must be present to lose the weight one intends to lose. Yes, carbohydrates and fats must be present in the diet for successful weight loss. All foods, with the exception of oils and fats, contain carbohydrates and proteins.

While carbohydrates, proteins and fats are needed for wellness, these can be found in naturally grown fruits and vegetables. Meeting the criteria for the Daniel fast.

There are two main types of carbohydrates. Simple sugars that are readily found in fruit and fruit juices. Complex Carbohydrates are found in yams, potatoes and breads. Breads, even of the whole grain kind, do not normally meet this fast’s particular criteria. This is because most breads eaten today are commercially made, and it is almost impossible to purchase commercially produced breads and cakes that do not use animal products or utilize processes that do not meet the Daniel criteria. Therefore breads and pastas do not meet the Daniel fast criteria.

To meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates in one’s diet one can meet them with the fruit, juice and potatoes that are obviously allowed in this fast. Carbohydrates, for informational purposes, contain 4 calories per gram. It is recommended that we eat 45-60 calories of carbohydrates to meet the RDA. Carbohydrates equate to the sugar and water needed for a body to remain well and meet one’s energy needs. As for the RDA of Protein they recommend that one consume .36 grams of protein for every pound one weighs.

As mentioned before these, including fat, can be found within the parameters of the Daniel fast criteria. It is suggested that one combine the components from each group to make flavorful meals and to meet the RDA in each group of nutrients.

From apples to watermelons all fruits contain carbohydrates. Good choices for variation and moderate to high carb content are:

Apricots Bananas Cantaloupe

Grapefruit/juice Grapes Kiwi

Mango Orange/juice Peach

Pineapple/juice Raisins Watermelon

Fruit juices from concentrate

Sultanes (a bright, sweet fruit with a vague orange/peach flavor all at once).

Vegetables with moderate to high carb content:

Beets Sweet Potatoes

Carrots Swede (turnip family)

Parsnips Sweet Corn

Pototoes Yams

Like carbohydrates many fruits and vegetables contain proteins:

Fruits:

Brazil nuts Peaches

Figs Coconuts

Dates Pineapples

Walnuts Mandarin Oranges

Hazelnuts Avocados

Pears Watermelons

Apples Oranges

Bananas Strawberries

Tomatoes

Vegetables moderate to high in protein are many:

Asparagus Aubergine (eggplant family) Beans/Legumes

Beet Root Broccoli Cabbage

Carrot Cauliflower Celery

Chicory Cucumber Fennel

Gourd Leeks Mushrooms

Okra Onion Onion Spring

Parsnips Peas Peppers

Potatoes Pumpkin Radishes

Spinach Swede (turnip family) Sweet Corn

Tomatoes Turnips Watercress

Yams

Fruits and vegetables with fat content, while they exist, they are much smaller lists. Much of your fat, found within the fruit group, will come from nuts.

Fruits:

Avocados Olives Passion fruit

Nuts:

Chestnuts Cashews Pistachios

Peanuts Almonds Walnuts

Hazelnuts Pecan Macadamias

Brazil nuts

Vegetables:

Brussels Sprouts Okra

Parsnips (*2.3 gms) Peas

Sweet Corn Tomatoes

Watercress

As can be seen from these lists there are many choices to be had to fulfill both taste and the RDA needs in all three essential nutrient categories.

Brown Rice and oats, barley, millet, whole wheat tortillas, popcorn and rice cakes are permitted. Many feel that brown rice is difficult to make and is not flavorful. Just follow the directions on the package, without the butter, and season according to the meal you are making. All seasonings are appropriate for the Daniel fast provided they are not chemically based or within the restricted group; sugars and animal based seasonings. Vinegar, salt, pepper, herb and seasonings are allowed.

Nuts and Seeds, this is where one will get the appropriate fat content to remain well. Also cold pressed and virgin type oils from olives or nuts is appropriate to cook and season your vegetable dishes with. These include these nuts and their oils if available; Walnuts, Cashews, Peanuts and others. And these seeds, too; Sesame, Sunflower, and Pumpkin.

Today people have access to foodstuffs and seasonings that were not available to Daniel in biblical times. We have imported fruits and vegetables that are plentiful.

Another suggestion, as well as having a wider variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from, one has many different ways to get one’s foods. While a raw fast speaks to food that is grown from a seeds, the food does not have to remain raw when consumed. One can acquire your vegetables and fruits canned, dried or frozen. However, read the labels, making sure there is no sugars, animal products or chemicals used for preservatives.

Those who desire dairy products, soy milk and soy products like Tofu are permitted, as they are derived from the soy bean.

As one can see the Daniel Fast is a safe fast to choose, with great nutritional benefit. Done correctly one can cleanse the body and spirit safely. The Daniel fast, as said before will heal your body and prevent illness and disease when utilized properly.

 

One final scripture tell us of it’s biblical and medicinal benefits.

Isaiah 58:6,8

Is not this the fast that I have chosen…[that] your healing shall spring forth speedily.”

 

So having been trapped in the house by the last two blizzards at the Jersey Shore!

Weathering the Storm

 

I began to feel very heavy in body and spirit. In my solitude I pressed into God as best a depressed person can do and found that I needed to begin once again to LISTEN to God. I was no longer drinking the life giving teas that I had researched over the summer. I was drinking seltzer water instead, and not feeling well. I was not drinking enough water. And I was eating garbage. Three weeks since my husband’s surgery, a month from my grandmother’s illness and I had fallen into the trap of eating badly. I was craving sweets and just not putting into practice the things I had put into place over the last several months and I was, am still, feeling it.

My slow but sure journey to a healthy body and hopefully a healthy body weight, from this tremendous obesity, had ceased! And in such a short period of time! So I wrote the article and adapted it a bit to fit what I think is best at this time…while the fast calls for NO dairy products I am eating yogurt and cottage cheese with my fruits. In a bit I will possibly remove the dairy, I will let you know.

For now I am off with my ice water and cup of green tea…don’t ask, I always have ice water along side my hot beverages???…to research my new article: Healthy Foods that Alleviate Depression. Maybe it will be done for next Fridays FOF!

Blessings my Friends. Happy Eating!