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Monday, March 16 2015

Dear Friends...

Spring is almost here and Easter is quickly approaching. Many of us are thinking about change, renewal and new life. This time of year reminds me of how much God loves us, and the lengths He went to restore our direct communion with Him!

Many feel led to fast during this time of year. To give up something in honor of what God has done for us.  If you are considering this, here are some different ways to fast that are inspired from one of my favorite set of scriptures, Isaiah 58.

  1. Treat people fairly. Honor and respect those you work with or for.
  2. Help those who have been wronged unjustly. Pray for them. Intervene where you can. Donate to a ministry that helps the oppressed.
  3. Choose to forgive others who have offended you or wronged you.
  4. Share your food with those who are hungry. Give to a food bank. Cook for someone. Invite someone over for dinner.
  5. Offer hospitality for someone who needs a friend. Open your home. Share what you have with others. Clean out your closets and give things away.
  6. Use your time, energy and resources to help family members who are in need.
  7. Choose not to gossip or point the finger at others. Think before you speak.
  8. Keep the Sabbath. A day of rest. Take quiet time with the Lord. Honor the fact that God has given us all we need through the Cross. Exhibit your trust in Him as you rest from your efforts!


God promises that as we honor Him we will be blessed in many ways. Fasting moves the focus from on our problems and interests, and redirects us to serving others out of His love. He will heal, lead and protect us. He will be working in our own lives; restoring and renewing. He will hear our voice as we call out to Him and He will honor us and give us favor. We will be filled with His light, strength and delight.

Now that’s a great exchange program! Demonstrate His love today…  Fasting never looked so good…

Blessings~ Angel

 

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 08:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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