Monday, July 23, 2012
The first leg of this 21-day journey is over! This is day eight and the number eight represents new beginnings. Last week is over, and a new week begins. I learned a few lessons last week that will surely help me this week.
The first thing I learned is that this Fast ain’t cheap! Eating healthy over the past seven days has been a costly undertaking. No wonder this country is considered one of the most obese. People can’t afford to eat right! You’ll never find a dollar menu in a restaurant serving healthy meals. The words “natural” or “organic” come with a price.
Secondly, I learned to take a snack everywhere you go. Healthy meals and snacks can be extremely difficult to find in some areas. Most things have salt, sugar and preservatives. Therefore you have to carry something that you can eat everywhere you go.
Thirdly, you eat a lot more frequently when you eat healthy. I have perhaps eaten with more frequency in the past seven days, than I have the previous seven weeks. I guess because you crave what you have denied yourself, and your body requires more to satisfy it.
Now that it is day eight, I’m going to take last weeks lessons and do things differently.
Friday, July 20, 2012
It’s only day five and for many of us, the easy part is over. The first few days of a fast are pretty much a breeze, but after the first couple of days BAM! The cravings will start to kick in and what was not a temptation on Monday-Wednesday might just be today.
This week (Thursday & Friday), I’m attending a conference for 2 days in Baltimore. Everyone knows that Baltimore is my childhood home. MD blue crabs surround me, fried chicken is everywhere, snowballs on every corner, and I’m not far from those fresh snicker-doodles at Lexington Market. This is more than the average person could handle. Additionally, I had to listen to the sinister voice of my craving sub consciousness saying, “No one here knows you are on a fast! You can relax the standard this one time.” The struggle was on me yesterday!
What triggered my cravings? Smelling, seeing and sensing the presence of those things I have committed to sacrifice. I had to fight those psychological urges and remind myself that if I surrender, it is a demonstration that I love my flesh more than I love my cause. I told myself, "Leonard, you can't surrender to the cravings and remain surrendered to your cause."
So guess what happened? Even though the struggle was on, I remained surrendered to the cause and so can you!
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Wherever there is change, there you will also find challenges. Just as we’re changing our building, there are also challenges. With the blessing of construction, comes the burden of danger, but the benefits outweigh the temporary danger.
It’s only been three days, but change is happening already! As a part of this spiritual discipline, we’ve had to change the way we shop, eat, plan and prepare meals; and for those joining the prayer call, we’ve had to change our prayer habits. I’m absolutely blow away by the many people that have committed to taking advantage of this season.
While in a meeting with a few members last night, I never asked and didn’t know who had joined me in the 21 Day Fast. By the time the meeting was over, I left with tear stained eyes, knowing that all six had joined me.
Please know that change is not the only thing you can expect in this season. You can anticipate enormous challenges. Over the past three days, you can’t begin to imagine the challenges I’ve had to face. Not just the food challenges, the friend and fellowship challenges.
I had three invites to lunch in two days by people that have never invited me to lunch before. Not that I haven’t been to lunch with them, they were going to pay this time. LOL
If you’ve had challenges already, just remember, it’s only been three day. You ain’t seen nothing yet! If you’ve not experienced any challenges, brace yourself!
With change comes challenge! But always remember, you can't win if you don't stay in the fight!
Monday, July 16, 2012
This was my dinner Monday night:
Cabbage, kale, spinach, beets, sting beans, black-eyed peas, grapes, cranberries, zucchini, and organic three bean salad on top!
This was my dinner on Sunday night:
Filet, Shrimp and Succotash, Ruth Chris style!
My, my, my! Things can change fast!
This 21 Day Daniel Fast is not really about food, it is about self-denial.
The Lord Jesus said, "If a man will follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me." Our ultimate goal is to CHANGE by strengthening our communion with God as we seek to advance the Kingdom of God.Just as my diet changed, God is looking for us to change as well. It may not be overnight as my diet, but it can happen!
If you are participating in the Fast, let us know in the comment box below.
Ready, Set, CHANGE!
1. Daily Seek God- Read your Bible and pray both personally and corporately on our prayer calls.
2. Stick to It- Fasting is about self-denial and deepening our walk with Christ. When you find yourself becoming weary, allow those feelings to motivate you.
3. Get a Partner- Select someone to be your accountability partner during the fast. It always helps to have someone to talk you through this.
4. Make Preparations- This fast requires that you plan your meals ahead of time. The things you are required to eat aren’t readily available. Therefore, planning will help you to avoid temptations.
5. Drink Plenty of Water- Hydration is important during the summer, so drinking all the water you can stand. It will also help you if you feel a little hungry between meals.
6. Read ALL Labels- This is critical as you seek to avoid certain foods and additives. Just because something says “Natural,” it may still contain additive, sugar, etc.
7. Stay on Purpose- Remember, we are fasting for our Church membership to be more like Christ. This must not simply be a desire for others; it must be a personal desire of yours as well. If you are a better Christian, the Church will definitely be a better Church.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Someone asked a question about popcorn today. The young woman was excited to see it on the list of acceptable foods until I explained.
If you eat popcorn during the Fast, be sure that it is not the pre-popped kind in a bag; neither can it be the microwaveable type.
You must use the type that comes un-popped without additives. Do not add butter, seasonings (no table salt) or any blended oils to pop it. Use a hot air popper or one of the permissible oils.
After I explained about the popcorn, the woman said to be, “There goes my popcorn!”
Friday, July 13, 2012
NO Meat/ Animal Products: Beef, lamb, pork, poultry or fish.
NO Dairy Products: Milk, eggs, cheese, cream or butter.
NO Artificial or Processed Sweeteners: White sugar, raw sugar, equal, splenda, sweet & low, syrups or molasses.
NO Leavened bread: including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
NO Refined or Processed Food Products: Artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, foods that contain artificial preservatives, potato chips, corn chips, etc.
NO Solid Fats: Shortening, margarine, imitation butter, lard and foods high in fat.
NO Beverages: Coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages.
Just Say NO to all of the above!