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Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Are you ready for the “change points” in your life?

Change PointAs we navigate our life journey we all encounter what I call “change points” along the way. These are those life-altering experiences that require or cause us to change how we will go forward.

Right now, I have several friends who are experiencing change points in their lives. Megha is a lovely woman who is married and has two small children. She is also the owner of a small business. That’s how I met her – through an association of which we both are members.

Earlier this week Megha and her assistant Jane drove from Florida to North Carolina to attend some meetings. Megha brought along her infant son for the four-day excursion because of his young age.  While Megha was in the meetings, Jane watched the baby.

On their way back to Florida, while traveling on a busy freeway, a teenage girl was driving and it seems she was texting or using her telephone at the same time. She lost control of her car and crashed into Megha’s vehicle, almost folding it in half!

Fast forward, Jane was banged up, but no broken bones. The baby was injured, but doctors say the recovery will be quick, mostly because babies heal faster than adults. Meanwhile, Mehga suffered serious injuries. Her pelvis and both her hips where shattered, along with lots of critical bangs and bruises. The doctors say she won’t be able to stand for at least two to three months.  Clearly, this is a change point in Megha’s life and the life of her family!

Kim is another friend. Her husband has been ill for a long time, but now it seems that he is on the final leg of his journey here on earth.  I just received a message from Kim reporting that today her husband is in the hospital, but will soon come back home and eventually to be transferred to hospice care. Kim and her husband are experiencing change points in their lives.

Frances is a woman I’ve known for many years. A few weeks ago, I received a message from her husband Brian telling me that he had taken Frances to the doctor for a checkup. About five years ago, she had been diagnosed with cancer and was successfully treated for it. But now, after getting many test results, the doctor told Brian and Frances that the cancer had returned in a very aggressive form and that she likely only had four to six weeks to live. Change points taking place!

So here is why I am sharing these stories with you today. Every life has change points. They come in varied forms. They can be a car accident. The loss of a job.  A serious illness. An unwanted divorce. A death in the family. A financial hardship. Every person’s life will have change points. They happen. They are a given. And we don’t always have control over the change points that will happen to us. And sometimes they are not by our choice!

But what we do have control over . . . and what is our choice . . . is how we live our lives today so when the change points do enter we are better prepared. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When our faith is strong and we trust God with our lives, we are prepared in the best way for the change points (tribulations) that are part of this world experience. We can go through the encounters with the peace of Christ in our hearts. And we can walk through the storm with assurance that He will see us through. We don’t walk alone. We don’t fear. We don’t get “undone” when we face the sure to come change points in our life.

The key is that we need to always be prepared if we want that peace that passes all understanding to be present in our lives. The peace is available to us, but it is received into our hearts as we love the Lord our God with all our hearts. It comes when we seek first the kingdom of God and His right way of living. It comes when we love Jesus and obey His teachings.

My friend Megha came very close to not surviving the car accident. But her doctors said that her faith played an essential role in her being able to hang on and make it during those critical hours. Megha was prepared. Her faith was strong . . . and even in her physical brokenness her faith is getting stronger every day as she experiences the love of God working in her life.

How about you? How is your faith today?

That’s a question we each should ask ourselves. Are we prepared for the change points that could happen to us when we least expect? Are we working those faith muscles consistently so they stay strong and are ready for when heavy lifting is required?

I hope you are strong in your relationship with God. If not, I encourage you to start today to get stronger in your faith and make sure you are prepared. Your Lord wants you ready! He wants you well-prepared. He wants you to experience the peace that is available to you!


If you want to explore a powerful resource to help you develop your faith and increase your trust in God, check out Discovery, Faith and Transformation.

 

Troubles Can Be Magnets

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings . . . Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings . . . Hebrews 10:22

We are silly souls, sometimes. Here we have the Creator of everything so willing to help us, strengthen us, bless us and give us everything we need for success . . . yet we don’t turn to Him! What’s that all about?

But here is one thing I have discovered in my own life – when I have a problem that is really causing challenges in my life – it can be a magnet to draw me closer to God!

God is never the one holding back love, care, wisdom, blessings or whatever we need. Instead, we aren’t aligned to hear or receive from Him.

As you work through Discovery, Faith and Transformation . . . it’s very like that “issues” will arise. You will take notice of characteristics about yourself that you know need shoring up. Or you will find the enemy nipping at your heels. Or the challenges of life will present themselves to you.

These are all times to draw nearer to God. Develop a habit that going to Him is your first response. Open your heart to Him. Tell Him what’s going on. Ask for His help. Get into His Word and learn about what He has to say about the matter. And thank Him, in faith, for already being at work in you and for you to bring what is out of order into order.

Get so good at coming to God first, that this practice becomes your natural reflex. That requires consistency and time . . . and doing the same thing over and over again.

So allow challenges to be magnets that bring you closer to God . . . develop the wise habit of making Him your first response . . . and realize the peace that passes all understanding that is available to you as His precious and highly valued child!

Joint Heir! Really?

You are an heir with Christ.

You are an heir with Christ.

Today in my Discovery Time (I call it that because I discover so much about myself, about God, about who I can be because of Jesus), the Lord pointed out to me that I often “settle for much less” than what Christ has already given me!

As I thought about that notion, I realized “feeling not good enough” was a belief that was deeply rooted in me since childhood. I won’t go into all the details of why that is, but I often felt like I was always striving to “keep up” with others who were better, stronger, smarter, more blessed and on and on. And here I am decades later . . . in many ways . . . still bound by those feelings.

So this morning the Lord challenged me to tackle that toxic way of thinking and deal with it! He’s calling me to replace the lies with His truth about who I am and who He is. So here is the truth about me . . . and about YOU!

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:16-17

Yes, the truth of God says we are “children of God” and  “joint heirs with Christ.” That got me thinking . . . how does God regard Jesus? How much does He love Him? What would God do for Jesus? Is He pleased with Him? Does He take care of Him?

Without a doubt, God gives only the very best for His Son. And as a joint heir, our Father will also give only the very best for you and for me.

This truth is something we may have heard over and over again . . . yet we let the words evaporate from our thinking like water from dishes in the drying rack. But if we are willing to ponder this truth and renew our minds to it . . . it will change the toxic thinking to life-giving thinking. And that’s what I am working on for me. I want the truth of God flowing through every cell of my body and in every thought in my mind. I want the renewal, the transformation, to take place so I can be and have all my loving Father wants for me. God says in His Word:

My child, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.   Proverbs 4:20-23

Your Father wants only the best for you. He loves you. He cares for you. And just like Jesus, you are His special child. You and I are joint heirs with all the rights that, because God was willing to give His Son to us . . . we can live in abundance, health, security and peace.

Hold onto the truth of who you are and what you have until it’s deeply rooted in your soul. That is the way to transformation by the renewal of your mind.

Be blessed!

Who are you listening to?

Ears to hear . . . Jesus said, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.” John 5:3

Jesus did only what He heard His Father tell Him what to do. He first was submitted to God. Then He took the time to hear from His Father. Jesus would get up early and go to be with the Father. He would separate Himself from the crowds and from His disciples so He could be alone and listen to God. He studied the Scriptures and was committed to the truth of God.

And then Jesus obeyed. He only did what His Father told Him to do. Nothing more. Nothing less. “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19

How about you and me? What and who are we listening to? Are we listening to what the people around us are saying? Are we listening to the lies of the enemy about our circumstances? Are we listening to our own words and ideas? Or, are we maturing into faithful children of the Most High God . . . and like Jesus, listening only to what the Father says and then doing only what He tells us to do.

What we “hear” enters into our consciousness. The words become thoughts that can then fuel actions . . . and those actions have consequences. Words are critical to the way we live our lives. That’s why we need to be careful about who and what we listen to and hear. The Bible says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Arguments, strongholds, knowledge, thoughts . . . all fueled by words that we hear. So what are you hearing? Who are you listening to?

Here is the truth: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 ~ Like Jesus, we want to listen only to what the Father says to us. And He speaks to us through His Word – the Holy Scriptures. When we declare God’s Word over our lives and in our circumstances, we hear God speaking to us. The truth enters our thinking and changes us, directs us, feeds us.

What does God say about your life today? What does the enemy have to say? And what are you going to say?

To those who have ears to hear (that’s you): be like Jesus . . . and do nothing except that which you hear from the Father. Declare His truth over your lives be speaking His Word so you can hear it . . . and then walk in victory, peace and joy knowing that your Father in heaven is committed to fulfilling His Word for it is truth.

Be blessed as you continue to grow in the ways of the Kingdom.

Entangled or Established?

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NLT).

What does that scripture mean? How is it possible to not “copy the behavior and customs” of the world when it surrounds us and everything we see and do is affected by the world in which we live?

A key to not being so attached to the world that we conform to it in every way is the next phrase: “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

How can we let God accomplish this? How can our minds be renewed? Paul gives a hint: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5, KJV).

When we receive Jesus in our hearts, He doesn’t want to just be a doorway to heaven at the end of our lives. He wants to renew our minds and recreate us in His image. As we allow him to do so, our minds will be renewed and transformed, and our lives will be completely changed. As such, we will avoid copying the behavior of the world and becoming entangled with the things of the world.

This is what the Lord desires of us: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1, KJV). He wants us to experience the freedom that comes through knowing Him and patterning our lives after the example He gave us. When we become more like Him, our lives will be purposed to further the kingdom of God.

This means something different for each person. When Jesus was on earth, not every individual who believed in Him became a full-time disciple. Joseph of Arimathea believed in Him, but the part he played (providing the tomb for Jesus’ body) was very different from the part Mary Magdalene played, whose calling to follow Him was very different from that of the 12 disciples.

You have a unique calling from God, a purpose that only you can fill. How can you learn to know and understand that purpose, to know “God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect?” You know it by allowing your mind to be transformed through the power of Jesus. As you do so, you will come to know His will in your life, and you will have the strength to follow it.

This is how you keep free from being entangled with the things of the world, even though you are in the world. This is how you become established in the Kingdom and help others to do the same. This is how you fulfill your God-given purpose.

Question . . . how are you doing? Do you find yourself caught up in the trappings of the world? Do you feel like you have to fight off the easy outs that the world-system offers? Believe me, you are not alone. We are called to be very intentional as we open our hearts to the comfort, understanding and direction our Lord generously provides. And then we can be intentional about living our lives according to God’s ways . . . and discover and live in the peace and rest only He can provide.

The Daniel Fast – will you see what the Lord wants to show you?

As I met with the Lord this morning, He showed me something that I want to share with you. It has to do with the condition of our hearts.

Psalm 44:21 tells us that God knows the secrets of our hearts. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Too often we come to the Lord and ask Him to use us for His purposes. We ask Him to make in us a clean heart. It’s like walking up to the Lord, but meanwhile behind us we are dragging lots of baggage. Some of the contents we know, but it’s very likely that most of the “stuff” is invisible to us.

So then the Lord says, “Yes, I want to use you! So let’s get you ready for service. How about getting rid of that stuff that’s dragging behind you and keeping you from running the race with top speed?”

This message often comes to us when we knowingly disobey Him or when our emotions are filled with fear, anxiety or unforgiveness. It might be when we collide with our own unhealthy attitudes or behaviors.

These are all times when we can humbly come to the Lord and allow Him so show us the secrets in our heart. He is our loving Father. He wants only good for us. And we can trust Him.

I hope this thought is helpful to you . . . our Father wants us well so we can be all He created us to be!

Be blessed as you continue to grow in the love and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In Him and for Him,

Corrected Not Condemned

During the Daniel Fast we spend time examining our hearts and work to align our ways with the way of the Lord.

The other morning during my daily quiet time, I found I was doing a good job of “beating myself up.” Have you been there? My guess is that you have. So often we are our biggest critics! So I was feeling pretty frustrated with myself and kind of low.

Then I heard the Lord say in my spirit, “I only correct – I don’t condemn.”

Oh, that was a huge message with loads of truth in it. I meditated on that message for a while and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. And I’ve come to realize that the differences between correction and condemnation really show up the way our Lord works with us and the way the enemy tries to steal, kill and destroy us!

Think about the meaning and purpose of correction. When pilots correct their course while in flight, it’s because they are not aligned with the direction necessary to reach the desired destination. So they make a few changes and get back on the proper flight path.

When parents or teachers correct children it’s to instruct them of the right way to behave so the child can have success.

Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Correction is all part of reaching success. It’s necessary and part of growth. Correction is life-giving and filled with hope and care.

First Peter 5:10 teaches us, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” Sometimes our “suffering” is the correcting and learning process – but all along we are on our way to good results!

Hebrews 12:9-10 reads, “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”

We want correction from our Lord and we want to keep our hearts open to His chastening. Correction is moving forward to better results. It’s full of love, life and care.

But condemnation is totally different. Condemnation is what the enemy does to make us feel worthless, low and defeated. And we want to guard our minds and heart from his death-giving ways! Condemnation partners with shame, sorrow, self-loathing. It can paralyze us and keep us stuck. Satan’s condemnation is what Christ abolished for us!

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19

So the next time you are feeling bad about yourself . . . or when you’re picking yourself up from a fall . . . checkout what’s going on in your thoughts. Are you feeling condemned or are you being corrected. Then choose life and grow rather than be defeated and stuck!

I hope this helps! Our God is so good!

 

God’s Chosen Fast

I am writing to ask you for money! And I admit, for this cause I will ask boldly and without any embarrassment or shame. Let me explain:

January 9th was the first day of my Daniel Fast. My purpose for fasting this year is for one primary reason . . . to help children who don’t have enough food to eat.

If you’ve read much of my writing or heard me speak, you know that I am a strong advocate for fasting. I know prayer and fasting changes people and for many their lives are forever blessed as they draw closer to God. As one who teaches about the Daniel Fast, I also know the amazing health benefits of this partial fast as we eat a plant-based diet of only foods created by our Creator. I believe with all my heart that God is pleased as we fast with a sincere and submitted heart.

God also teaches about another kind of fast. He declared it to His people in Isaiah 58:6-9 —

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”

Life in Jesus calls us to care for those who are hurting. And right now as you read these words children around the world are dying because they don’t have food to eat or clean water to drink! With all the resources in the hands of God’s people, this shouldn’t be. And that’s why I can without any reservation ask you to help feed these children by donating from your financial resources to buy them food.

I’ve traveled to the poorest countries in world. I’ve seen children dying because of starvation and I can tell you it is tragic! My heart has been broken for the poor — which I am sure is nothing compared to how much God’s heart must break every hour of every day.

I am partnering with Compassion International, one of the most highly respected Christian child-advocacy ministries in the world. And so today I am asking you to join me by giving a financial gift of whatever amount the Lord leads you to give. I have decided to give the amount I spend on myself for food during the Daniel Fast. You might be able to give more . . . or perhaps you can give only a small gift at this time.

I am just asking you to give something . . . to share your bread with the hungry . . . to enter into God’s chosen fast.

You can give your gift very simply by clicking on this link: http://www.firstgiving.com/susangregory-danielfast

If you want to learn even more about the effort, go to http://Daniel-Fast.com/fff.html

Every day my team and I answer the questions of hundred of men and women who are on the Daniel Fast. They want to follow the eating plan and so their questions are valid. They want to know what they can eat . . .

I am asking you to answer the cry of children who don’t have food . . . children who also ask, “What can we eat.” But their question is more dire and the answer is more critical and mere words won’t help them.

Please, I hope you will join me in God’ chosen fast.

Be blessed, 

 

´¨)
¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´
Susan

 

Join with millions for the 2009 Daniel Fast

Over the last several years millions of Christians have joined in the Daniel Fast. Perhaps one of the strongest promoters of the fast is Pastor Jentezen Franklin, an on fire preacher from Gainsville, Georgia. By the way, note that his name is spelled differently. Many people search for “Jentzen Franklin” and miss him. His first name has an extra “e.”

Jentezen Franklin first challenged members of his church to enter the Fasting Movement several years ago. Their results were so powerful, both corporately and for the individuals, that they were all convinced of the power of prayer and fasting!

What is the Daniel Fast? It’s a time that an individual or group sets aside to fast and pray for specific purposes. While there is no absolute length of time, the most popular is a 21-day Daniel Fast, in which one limits their diet to those described in the first chapter of Daniel. To learn more about Daniel and why he chose to eat specific foods, please see my other post titled “What is the Daniel Fast.”

This site is specifically designed to be a place where believers can learn about the Daniel Fast and communicate with each other.

I hope to draw at least 1000 Christians who will commit to the fast and log their name on this blog. If you want to commit to the 2009 Danial Fast, please go to this link and leave your information:

Sign me up for the 2009 New Years Fast

Let’s see how many we can enlist . . . and then support one another through prayer, information, and wisdom.

Seven-week Fast for Financial Breakthrough

Hi fasting friends, 

I am on the third day of a new seven-week fast for financial breakthrough. I am using the Daniel Fast but very modified in that I eat only hot cereal for breakfast, a salad for lunch and a simple dinner. I am drinking only water and don’t eat between meals. Why so radical? Because I want big things from our Big God!

The thing the Lord is showing me so very clearly is that receiving His goodness and blessings is all about faith . . . faith in His Word and faith to receive.

The Scriptures are full of God’s promises. He is a good God! As followers of Jesus Christ we should be the most powerful and most blessed people on the face of the earth! Jesus bore the curse for us and won every good thing that the Father wants us to have. Yet far too many of us are sick, busted and disgusted!

Why, because the enemy has hampered our faith. Through various deceitful ways, he has kept us from apprehending those things that are rightfully ours! Whether it is lack of knowledge, wrong teaching or just not going after the things of God, too many of us are weak, broken and not walking in the fullness of Christ.

When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they went from life to death. But when we accepted Christ as our Lord we were born again! We went from death to life! That means that everything Adam lost, Christ (the second Adam) got back for us. That’s why Jesus is called the “Redeemer.” In Hebrew that means “one who buys back what was lost.”

Being born again means that we moved from one reality into another. Our born again state is as children of the Most High God. I wish churches would have a ceremony fitting of what really happens when one enters into the family of God. The trumpets should sound, the new heir should be wrapped in a royal robe and their head topped with a bejeweled crown. He or she should receive deeds to all that is now theirs and they should receive a document that lists their rights and benefits now that they are a child of the Almighty God.

That’s more like what happens in heaven! The angels rejoice because they know the significance of being born again and gaining this new position in the kingdom of God.

If we really believe, then we should be walking in total victory! Granted, there will be skirmishes with the prince of darkness. Jesus warned us of that, but He teaches us not to worry! He’s taken care of it! “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

So I am back to the faith question. Do we have the faith to believe that what the Bible says is true? Or, do we have our work cut out for us?

For me, it’s the latter. I made a commitment many years ago to believe the Bible. But my faith needs to grow . . . Romans 10:17 teaches, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

So my marching orders during this seven weeks of prayer and fasting is to mine the truths in the Word of God. To dig very deep and plant those seeds in my heart and nurture them with prayer, worship and devotion.

I heard a man say the other day, “People don’t change unless the same becomes more painful than the effort it takes to change the way they are.”

 I’ve heard other say things like, “You have to get mad about what’s happening to you so you can put up the good fight.”

Jesus said it this way, “And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize-a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].” Matthew 11:12 Ampliphied Bible.

Well, I am there. No more half way . . . and no more lasting for a few days and then reverting back to old ways. I am tired of not realizing the great life the Bible says we should have. I am tired of being defeated and held down by the enemy’s tricks and my little faith.

Last night when I was thinking about all this I saw a picture in my mind of my hands reaching up toward heaven while heavy shackles wrapped around my ankles. I want whatever holds me back to be gone! I want the truth that will set me free and I want the glorious life Jesus died to give me! I’ve got that mother bear kind of resolve in me for the things of God and I am ready to do whatever is necessary to get to where the Almighty King wants me to be!

I am so glad that dozens of you are joining me in this seven-week prayer and fasting period for financial breakthrough. If you want to “get on board” please send me an email. But be ready to “go for it.” This is not for the faint of heart or for those who are not wiling to put in the effort. We are expecting big things from our Big God . . . and so we are wiling to do what it takes.

Bless you, dear friends and thanks for our encouraging words and support.

Susan Gregory

The Daniel Fast Blogger

Sign up for the Fast

As wild as this may be, we are going to try and keep a list of all Christian men and women who are joining in the January 2008 Fasting Movement. Leave your name and city in the comment field below and I will add you to the list. Let me know how you want to be listed and your city and state!

Example listings:

  • Jan and Dennis, Gainesville, GA
  • Jan and Dennis Smith, Gainesville, GA
  • J & D, Gainesville, GA
  • GeorgiaPeach, Gainesville, GA (User Name instead of Real Name)

 Look who’s Fasting!

Susan Gregory, Ellensburg, WA

Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)

2/3 cup pearl barley

11 cups vegetable broth (can substitute water)

4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs  

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and pearl barley, mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils and barley are tender, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Six Servings

 

Greek Vegetable Stew

Recipes from: A Taste of Tradition, the Friends of St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church, Coaldale, PA

2 tablespoons oil
2 onions, chopped
1 pound green string beans, broken in half
1 package frozen or fresh spinach
4 cups water
6 zucchini, chunked
4 yellow squash, chunked
2 cups celery leaves
4 tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
8 slices lemon
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons fresh basil
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
 

Lightly brown onions in a hot dry skillet in 2 Tablespoons oil. Add oregano & garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add 4 cups water and tomatoes. Cook 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cook covered for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with a lemon slice in each bowl. 

Eight servings.

How Long is the Daniel Fast?

There is no prescribed time in the Daniel Fast. Rather, the Daniel Fast is about limiting the types of food intake to vegetables and water. The word vegetable in the Scripture actually means fruits and vegetables as these were all allowed under the Jewish dietary laws.

Daniel asked the Chief of the eunuchs to allow his three friends and him to eat just vegetables and water for 10 days and then check in to see their condition. But that didn’t end the dietary restrictions to this 10-day period. It appears that instead, this was a lifestyle for Daniel and the others. If the only meat available to them was that which had been offered as sacrifices to idols, they did not eat it.

There was another time in Daniel 10 where he was seeking wisdom from the Lord and he consecrated himself in a fast of vegetables and water for 21 days. This is perhaps why so many link the Daniel Fast with a 21-day fasting period. “In those days, I Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I at no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.”  Daniel 10:2, 3

There are a couple things we see from this portion of Scripture. One is that it seems that Daniel had resumed eating meat. The meat that he rejected in Chapter 1 was that which had been offered to idols and false gods. For him to consume that meat would defile his body, which he had consecrated (set apart) to the Lord.

Secondly, we see that in this fast, Daniel ate no delicacies. With what is known of diets during that time, this probably referred to breads (especially yeast breads), sweets, and other rich foods.

So when you plan a Daniel Fast, you need to also decide how long you want your fast to be. Most Christians who will enter the 2008 Fast in January chose a 21-day fast. That’s because this is more of a corporate fast with Christians throughout North America  joining together in a common effort to fast and pray.

Not everyone is starting on the same day, however most start on the first few days of January. If you are joining in a corporate fast with your church or a group of believers, then your start date might be determined. Otherwise, this is a prayerful decision you can make.

The same it true with the length of your fast. Remember that this is a spiritual fast, with the Daniel Diet serving as the definition for the foods that you will eat. So planning your fast should be serious and with a purpose.  Spiritual fasting is for spiritual results. So consider your goals.

The common lengths of time for fasting are 1-, 3-, 7-, 10-, 21-, and 40-day fasts. Obviously, there is no set rule for any number of days. If you are new to fasting, you might want to start with 3 or 7 days. If you are more experienced, a 21 day fast is probably the one to match a fast for entering the New Year. The 40-day fasts are generally undertaken only a few times (if ever) in ones lifetime.

Keep in mind that there are many kinds of fasts — and there are numerous types of spiritual fasting. They vary in length and in the types and amounts of food intake. This site focuses on the Daniel Fast as it grows in popularity among the Christian community.

Daniel Fast Food List

“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Daniel 10:2, 3

One of the great things about the Daniel Fast is that you are not limited to any specific amount of food, but rather to the kinds of food you can eat. The Daniel Fast is limited to vegetables (includes fruits) and water.

Special Note: if you have health issues, please be sure to contact your health professional for advice before committing to any fast including the Daniel Fast. If you would like a list of the foods included and excluded in the Daniel Fast to show your doctor, just copy the contents of this page. Also, if you are interested in a collection of recipes that will take you through an entire 21-day Daniel fast, click here.

After answering hundreds of questions about the Daniel Fast, I am updating the food guidelines. My hope is that it will serve as a more complete list. The original list used by many people was issued in a book about fasting. I know the author tried to do the best he could, but that isn’t the same as getting hundreds of questions seeking clarification. So here is the new list that I hope helps.

Please make sure to READ THE LABEL when purchasing packaged, canned or bottled foods. They should be sugar-free and chemical-free. Keep this in mind as you review this list of acceptable foods.

Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast

All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines,  oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon

All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.

All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.

Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast

All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.

All refined and processed foods products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Remember, READ THE LABELS!

What is the Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is named after the prophet whose name also titles the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel. His name means “God Is My Judge,” which he upheld with his unshakable consecration to Yahweh and his loyalty to God’s chosen people.

He was deported from Jerusalem as a teenager in 605 B.C. to Babylon where he lived for more than sixty years. This deportation was prophesied by Isaiah, “And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

So Daniel was among those sons . . . initially serving as a trainee in Nebuchadnezzar’s court and later was an adviser to foreign kings. The expansion of the Babylonian Empire required many skilled and educated workmen. Much of this manpower was found through the slaves. Because of their wisdom, knowledge, and handsome appearance, four young Hebrews were selected for the training program. The outstanding character of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah locked in their positions in the king’s palace. It was Daniel that rose to the top and excelled all the wise men of the vast empire.

In Daniel 1:1-21, we find the model for the Daniel Fast. The four young men were to become servants of the king. Nebuchadnezzar instructed the master of the eunuchs to feed them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank. Most people would want to eat “like a king,” but Daniel had a higher calling. He did not want to defile himself with these foods that were not consistent with the Jewish dietary laws.

Daniel requested a plain diet from the chief of the eunuchs. The chief  was very concerned that granting Daniel the plain foods would leave him weak and emaciated. And then the king would behead the chief for not obeying his command.

Daniel negotiated with the chief, asking for a trial period, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”

At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three other companions looked better and fatter in flesh than all the other young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.

So Daniel and his friends were allowed to remain on their diet. God rewarded the young men with knowledge and skill . . . and the king found them to be ten times better in wisdom and understanding than all his magicians and astrologers.

So the Daniel fast is limiting ones diet to vegetables and water, and at the same time increasing time in the Word of God and prayer. This is not a fast to lose weight, although that certainly will happen. And it’s not a diet to improve your health, yet you will likely feel better than you have felt for some time. Instead, the Daniel Fast is a time to consecrate yourself unto the Lord in a desire to draw closer to Him.

Welcome To The Daniel Fast

Welcome to the Daniel Fast. We hope to provide thorough information about the Daniel Fast and offer support and encouragement for the thousands of men and women who will engage in the fast in 2008. The Fasting Movement is capturing the attention of more and more Christians as they enter into the New Year!

HandJournalHandJournalHandJournalPlease read the posts to learn about what the Daniel Fast is all about. If you are experienced in fasting, you probably are already aware of the Daniel Fast. Please share your experiences and comments with us if that’s the case. If you are new to fasting, please read about it here and then if you have questions, please ask! We truly to want to serve this community of believers who want to devote themselves to prayer and fasting using the Daniel Fast.

Vegetarian Chili

This is a very easy to prepare and hearty meal. I make this even when I’m not on the Daniel Fast! 2 medium-sized green peppers, chopped

1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped

1 zucchini, sliced

1 yellow squash, sliced

2 tablespoons salad oil

2 tablespoons chili powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground red peppers

2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

2 16 oz. cans tomatoes (juice and all)

2 16 oz. cans pinto beans (juice and all)

2 16 oz. cans black beans (juice and all)

1   4 oz. can mild green chilies

1   4 oz. can of tomato paste

[When I make this during non-fasting times, I also add 1 tablespoon of sugar with the other spices.]

Chop and sauté in oil the peppers and onions. Add the sliced squashes, chili powder, salt, ground red peppers, and corn. When all the vegetables are soft but still firm, add the tomatoes, all the beans, the green chilies, and the tomato paste. Stir until just blended.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Yield: 6 generous servings

 I featured this recipe in my book titled Out of the Rat Race published in 1994 by Servant Publications.