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“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.” Daniel 10:3 (NIV) 

The other day I finished a 21 day fast from sugar. Many people including staff from my church, LifeChurch.tv were doing a Daniel fast. Since I am already vegetarian that particular fast is relatively close to how I already eat besides the dairy, grains and sugar. So I decided to cut out the most challenging thing for me… sweets and that included sugar in drinks. I have always loved my desserts, especially ice cream (a major weakness for me!). This past month I had fresh fruit smoothies for breakfast or dessert if I was really craving something sweet and they were SO delicious and healthy too! The fast really helped me to see how much we truly do not need yet think that we do. I don’t need to eat sweets, especially every day but our minds can think otherwise and easily talk ourselves into having more than needed. And this is true in areas beyond just dessert, our minds can easily fool us into believing that we need more than we ever really do in so many areas… cars, types of houses, clothes, etc. My church starts every year in January with this fast (or a modified version) to start your year off fresh, cleansed and renewed physically and spiritually. It is such a great way to start each year off, the new things God teaches me or even just reminds me of are worth each day of the fast! If you haven’t ever done a fast consider starting with the Daniel fast, God truly does speak when we are depriving ourselves of things that are precious to us!

Photo Credit: Shimelle Laine

Worship Verses

January 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today I decided to do something a little different, instead of having Worship Song Friday I decided to do Worship Verses, Bible verses about worship! Our God is so amazing and worthy of all our praise! Sometimes our lives can get so busy that we may forget to worship Him each day, not just in church, these verses are a great way to get yourself in a state of worship of our wonderful God!

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4 (NIV)

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” Psalm 150:6 (NIV)

“I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” Psalm 146:2 (NIV)

“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:2 (NIV) 

Photo Credit: Renee Youngblood

Change the Cycle

January 4, 2012 — Leave a comment

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV) 

Today has been the day for us to get back into our usual routine after the holidays. We have either had family in town or was out-of-town ourselves. It has been a great time spending Christmas and the New Year with family, Eli even took his first steps while we were visiting Chase’s grandparents! Today while Eli took his nap I took down the Christmas decorations. Is it just me or does the house seem really empty when the tree gets put up for another year? It’s like there is a giant empty spot now in my living room that is usually there unless its December and the tree is up. As I look at that empty space I am trying to figure out what to fill it with but I know I will do what I always do… nothing and eventually it will look like normal until it is time for the tree to go up again. It’s a never-ending cycle that I am sure I am not alone in. While I am sitting here writing, something came to me about this cycle, it’s a lot like life. How so? Well if your like me there are some days where you feel like you don’t have enough minutes in the day. (I know I was that way Christmas Eve… trying to clean, wrap gifts, do laundry etc.) Then there are other days where you might find yourself with a few extra minutes. What do we do with those minutes? Turn on the tv, play on the computer, read, call someone or probably any number of other things and so we fill up that extra space of time until we are full and can move on with our day and then the cycle continues again. Today while I was thinking about all this I decided how great it would be to break that cycle! What if instead of filling up our every minute of every day we take those extra precious moments and praise God, read his word, listen to Him and even just rest… yes I said rest, sometimes resting is what we need too. It doesn’t have to take long to say a prayer or even listen to a favorite worship song. What can we teach our kids when we live our lives in a way that shows that we don’t constantly have to be entertained by something but yet using the time given to us wisely and in praise of our God!?!

Photo Credit: Leland Francisco

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7 (NLT) 

I get so excited every time I sing this song! No matter who we are or what we have done we have freedom in God! What an amazing and joyful truth that is! When I sing this song and really think about the truth it holds I have this big silly grin on my face the entire time I am singing. Praise God for the freedom we have in Him!


 

Freedom is Here by Esterlyn 

Ohhh, Ohhh

The future comes alive
You speak your word and I
I’m running into your hope

Because I’ve seen your light
You bring my world to life
I’m coming after your love

Cuz I’m not shaken
I’m not not letting go

And everything comes alive
In my life as we lift You higher
Let Your freedom arise
In our lives as we lift You up
Sing it out
Freedom is here

So take the limits off
No matter what the cost
I’m running after your call
And I will run this race
See you face to face
Let your power overflow

Cuz I’m not shaken
I’m not not letting go

And everything comes alive
In my life as we lift You higher
Let Your freedom arise
In our lives as we lift You up
Sing it out
Freedom is here
Your freedom is here

I will not fear
I will not hide Your love, your love
All of my life
I can not deny your life

And everything comes alive
In my life as we lift You higher
Let Your freedom arise
In our lives as we lift You up
Sing it out
Freedom is here
Your freedom is here
Freedom is here
Your freedom is here

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29 (NIV) 

 When I listening to this song it just puts me in a good mood. God is always with us. I love the part in the chorus where it says ‘consume me like a fire.’ When we let God consume us we will have “Something Beautiful” come over us! It is a beautiful thing when we completely give ourselves to God.

 

Something Beautiful by NeedToBreathe

In your ocean I’m ankle deep,
I feel the waves crashing on my feet;
It’s like I know where I need to be
But I can’t figure out,
I can’t figure out
Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your wave washes over me,
There’s only one way to figure out
Will you let me drown?
Will you let me drown?

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire
‘Cause I just want
Something beautiful to touch me
I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees
And waiting for
Something beautiful.
Oh-oh… something beautiful.

And the water is rising quick,
And for years I was scared of it.
We can’t be sure when it will subside
So I won’t leave your side,
No, I can’t leave your side.

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire
‘Cause I just want
Something beautiful to touch me
I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees
And waiting for
Something beautiful.
Oh-oh… something beautiful,
Oh-oh… something beautiful.

In a daydream
I couldn’t live like this
I wouldn’t stop until I found something beautiful.
But when I wake up
And all I want, I have
You know it’s still all I need – something beautiful.

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire
‘Cause I just want
Something beautiful to touch me
I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees
And waiting for
Something beautiful.
Oh-oh… something beautiful,
Oh-oh… something beautiful.