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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

Couldn't fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray? How about unpainted toenails? Free printable with out of the box fasting ideas.


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Unpainted Toes and Other Ways to Suffer in Prayer

Did you click on my post because of the title?  Give me a minute and I’ll explain.

Couldn't fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray? How about unpainted toenails? Free printable with out of the box fasting ideas.

Fasting is a Spiritual discipline that I am interested in but am NOT an expert on.  From what I understand in scripture, people withheld food from themselves in order to pray.  I guess there is something about suffering that focuses the mind, and lets Jesus know that you are serious.

But couldn’t fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray?  Does it have to be just food?  Several years ago a beloved uncle was in the throws of cancer.  He was riddled with it,  and there was nothing left to do but pray.  I found myself forgetting to remember him on certain days that I was consumed with my job and life. I DIDN’T WANT TO FORGET!   So I devised a plan.  I stopped painting my toenails.  Hear me out y’all.  In my part of Texas we wear sandals all the way up until winter.  When I look at my toes, it makes me happy to see shiny, bright colors staring back at me.  When they are not painted I cringe.  (I know some of you are laughing…me too)  These unpolished toes reminded me to pray.  Not only that, but it reminded me that while I was living a perfectly healthy life, someone I loved was in agony.

Couldn't fasting be any pleasure we voluntarily abstain from in order to pray? How about unpainted toenails? Free printable with out of the box fasting ideas.

 

And now, another person I love is in agony over an ongoing job situation.   I should be praying for him daily, but I became frustrated when my prayers seemed tiny and brief.  I wanted my prayers to be as big, and bold as my love.  So I devised another fast,  especially for this situation.  I will continue this fast until a conclusion is reached.  Since this fast is current, I will keep it private for now.

Jesus gave specific  instructions for fasting.

 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face.  Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.   Matthew 6:16-18 NLT

Did you notice that Jesus says WHEN YOU FAST.  Not IF you fast.

Other ideas for long term fasting are:  television, computer, phone activity (you could use it just to take calls),  coffee (taking it black when you don’t usually would be a great fast), sodas,  makeup, jeans, earrings, nail polish, even taking a different out of the way route home from work would be a great reminder to pray.  Anything that could purposely cause you inconvenience.   And by the way, if you recoiled when you read one of these ideas, and said to yourself you could never give up that particular item…I hate to tell you, but THAT’S the one you should go for first!  It’s all about suffering y’all.  Click here for Long Term Fasting Ideas printable PDF.

All of the above are long term fasts.  There are times when immediate abstaining from food fasts are more appropriate.  Big decisions, upcoming surgeries, safe travels, marriages are a few examples.  In scripture there were times when fasting was done with a group.  Once my sister and I fasted and prayed for a immediate need in her family.  And on a side note, EVERY time I have abstained from food to pray I have received deep, powerful insights from the Holy Spirit.  He is working with you, n sync with you while you suffer in prayer…bringing your groans to the Father.  (Romans 8)

Be creative with your fasting y’all.  Think outside of the box and become powerful prayer warriors.  Blessings!

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Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.


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Why Spiritual Pajamas are not a Good Idea for the Wedding Banquet

Spiritual Discipline Series- LOVE

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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Time is of the essence to me.  The enemy is a robber, a thief of time.   Because there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, and that “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” as the Steve Miller band sings so prophetically, I have chosen the word URGENCY to define my year.  Urgency to be dressed in spiritual depth,  suitable clothes for the wedding banquet.  It boils down to this equation:  days left on earth+spiritual depth desired=URGENCY.

Look y’all, church buildings are filled with people like me doing their best spiritual impressions…glancing occasionally beyond the surface…content with their spiritual pajamas…never time to go diving into spiritual disciplines…the word later climbing up on center stage and demanding an audience.

So now is later.

I have defined my own set of spiritual disciplines, and encourage you to create your own list.  This begins a blog series that I hope you will find useful for your own battle for time.  These include:  love, prayer and meditation, reading and memorizing scripture, private praise, fasting, and resting.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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My anchor scripture that will guide each discipline will be Luke 10:27.  Every urgency, both internally and externally, will be directed away from self and toward fulfilling this scripture.

….“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLV

Dealing with my selfish self causes my urgency to be sluggish, and my love for Him to become unfocused.  Spiritual depth for the Bride of Christ is what I am after, and it starts with love for my Father.  Loving him with all.

All.

All your heart.

All your soul.

All your strength.

All your mind.

If I am honest with myself and if you are too,  what that means is that there is no room for empty longing in my heart…no vacancy in my soul…no strength training with feathers…and  the eyes constantly protecting the mind from the fake.  Then and only then can I serve my neighbor the way the rest of the passage suggests  as myself…a self filled to the brim with Yahweh.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

More in the Spiritual Disciplines Series you might like:

 

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

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Pictures:

+  Closeup of my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress,

++  A beautiful church window found on a Hawaiian excursion.

+++  I love this gate I found in Key West, Florida

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copyright 2016 Alice LeBlanc, Sanctified Tourist

 

 

 

 

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.


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TO THE BILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY LOSERS

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

Jesus and Culture:  The Billion Dollar Lottery Frenzy

Dear Losers Winners,

I saw you at the corner store.  You stood in line right in front of me, while I waited to buy my ticket.  I could tell you were worn down by life, exhausted and full of pain.  Your two dollars gave you hope for a few hours.  For just a moment in time you had real plans.  But now, after the letdown, you are back to square one.  Plodding along.  Working hard.  Struggling with a car that keeps breaking down, doctor bills that keep coming to your mailbox, a house note that relentlessly siphons your wages.  And not only that, you are stuck in a dead-end job with no way up or out.  At the end of the day, when I saw you in line,  you were silently calculating your life and it was not adding up.  You prayed, as you opened your wallet, for God  to cut you some slack.

Hope.

Yes, hope…but it is not found in money and riches as the enemy would like you to think.  That same anticipation you felt when you gripped that ticket in your hand can be found in Jesus.  He alone can lift your head.  He alone can bring peace in the deep places.  He alone can energize and revive.  Hope is more powerful than the strongest medicine.   Hope can drag a widow out of bed in the morning,  and encourage the desperate to put one foot in front of the other.  It can cause the dying to laugh, and the rejected to love.  It can cause the loser to win.

Hope.

Seek Him and you will find it.  It is a promise.

A letter to my fellow billion dollar lottery losers. Did you pray for God to cut you some slack? There's a better way.

 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which he has called you, the RICHES of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  Ephesians 1:18-23 NIV

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He is perfectly capable of using a sluggish, overweight body as His temple. But wouldn't it be an honor to offer yourself to Him as a living sacrifice, body and soul?


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Move it or Lose it!

Since I retired in August, I have been walking in the comfort of my local mall.  Before 10:00, it’s just me and the other walkers, smiling and nodding to each other, comrades, bonded together in our need to move it or lose it.  Most of the other walkers are older than me, but we come in all shapes, sizes and abilities.  I snuck up behind  two sweet older people and took their pictures the other day and was hoping you would be as inspired as I was at their determination to stay healthy.  Look, if they can creep along using a walker y’all…well, you know…

He is perfectly capable of using a sluggish, overweight body as His temple. But wouldn't it be an honor to offer yourself to Him as a living sacrifice, body and soul?Motivation is EVERYTHING!  Feeling better, more alert for the job, more energy for raising kids, but the main one…keeping the temple of the Holy Spirit, your body, fit for service.  I really hope to change your mindset about your body…to help you cast your eyes on the One who made you, who lives inside of you.  He is God.  He doesn’t need you to be healthy in order to work through you.  He is perfectly capable of using a sluggish, overweight body as His temple.  But wouldn’t it be an honor to offer yourself to Him as a living sacrifice, body and soul?  That’s real motivation.

He is perfectly capable of using a sluggish, overweight body as His temple. But wouldn't it be an honor to offer yourself to Him as a living sacrifice, body and soul?

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+ original picture taken of a waterfall while touring in Hawaii

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What you do next is pivotal. And you will do something. It will be automatic. A person can’t just sit around twiddling thumbs. At times like these we are made for action.


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Turning the Other Cheek When Life Slaps You in the Face

What you do next is pivotal. And you will do something. It will be automatic. A person can’t just sit around twiddling thumbs. At times like these we are made for action.

You know how when you are trying to be a good Christian and not stress over something that is potentially serious, potentially life-changing? When you are walking along in your daily doldrums, and suddenly, you get some kind of jaw dropping news…the conclusion has not been delivered, the outcome is yet to be determined?You fill in the blank with specifics.Do you have something in mind?  You wonder how the apostle Paul could possibly say that you not be anxious about anything?

What you do next is pivotal. And you will do something. It will be automatic. A person can’t just sit around twiddling thumbs. At times like these we are made for action.

You have two possibilities:
Number 1.. Pick it up, bear it, strain under it, tuck it into your backpack with all the rest of the stresses you need to compartmentalize or…
Number 2…Hand it over, lift it up, pass it on…that steaming, fiery coal that held too long makes you squirm with discomfort.

But sometimes in the real world things are not so cut and dried. If y’all are like me, you get scared and panic…think of worst case scenarios (uh, that would be Number 1)…and before I know it I am in full tilt anxiety mode. Then, and only then, I move to Number 2 because I can’t stand the suffering anymore. Wouldn’t it be great to go straight to Jesus instead of putting myself through all that? Sigh! I am glad I have beautiful people in my life who can go before me with singing, showing me what living lite looks like.

What you do next is pivotal. And you will do something. It will be automatic. A person can’t just sit around twiddling thumbs. At times like these we are made for action.

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