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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!

i love 2

 

 

 

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Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.


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Eating the Lamb of God, In Heaven Part 3

Eating the Lamb of God Series

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

 

And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.  Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”  Matthew 26:27-29

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.  And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:14-16

I love these scriptures because they give us a glimpse of Heaven, the Father’s Kingdom.  One tidbit  Jesus gives us here about Heaven  is that we will eat and drink.  I don’t know if that thrills you like it does me y’all…but sign me up for heavenly food!  The afterlife is not described as ghostly beings floating around in clouds playing harps.  If that is your idea of heaven, then do I have some good news for you!  Heaven is described as a new earth, inhabited by people in new bodies…bodies that can eat.  (Read Scriptures about the new earth here, and new bodies here)

But the best part of this passage is that we will drink the cup of His sacrifice with the Lord in His Kingdom.  All those times here on earth that we have “remembered” the Lamb while we drank His figurative blood will come to a glorious conclusion on the Day of the Lord.  Did you notice that in the Matthew passage, Jesus did not put His lips to the cup, He did not drink.  He is saving that moment for when He is with all of us.  It is described in Revelation as the wedding feast.   He is the groom.  We, the church, are the bride.

 Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:

“Praise the Lord!
    For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
  Let us be glad and rejoice,
    and let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
    and his bride has prepared herself.
  She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”
    For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. Revelation 19:6-8

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.So use your imagination with me for a minute y’all….you have gathered together with all the believers after the separation of the sheep and the goats.  The King now has invited you into His kingdom, by saying, “Well done good and faithful servant.”  You are ushered into an immense hall, with tables ladened with a wedding feast, beautifully lit by the glory of God.    You find a seat among the joyful throng and every eye is on the groom.  He stands before you, before us all, and lifts His cup…ready to finally drink a toast to His bride.  And in all His majesty,  He looks You in the face, the Holy Spirit stirring in your body, and repeats what He said to His disciples so many years ago, “This is my blood, which confirmed the covenant between God and his people. It was poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.”  Did you feel the vibration  of His majestic voice when He spoke those words?    And now He invites you to drink.  Do you taste the wine slide down your throat as you join your groom in the beginning of life together in His Kingdom?   I hope your imagination is working overtime because anything you can possibly imagine is nothing compared to the real thing.  Excited shivers for everyone!  Let the wedding banquet begin.

i love 2

 

You might be interested in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Eating the Lamb of God series.  Click below.

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all and see how I approached a curious Muslim visitor about communion.It's not weird to think outside of the box...no really! Making communion part of your family experience can become a beautiful tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It's not weird to think outside of the box...no really! Making communion part of your family experience can become a beautiful tradition.


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Why Family Communion Could be a New Tradition

Eating the Lamb of God series, Part 2

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

 

Weakness, sickness, falling sleep…from mishandling the Lord’s supper?  Seriously?

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 (NIV)

“That is why” is cause and effect wording…in essence saying, “You do this, and this will happen.”  It WILL happen.

It's not weird to think outside of the box...no really! Making communion part of your family experience can become a beautiful tradition.

Okay y’all, this is getting too negative.  Let’s look at the opposite of this statement.  Eating the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner should also have a cause and effect that we should rejoice in… strength not weakness, health not sickness, life not death.  Qualities we should emphasis personally and in our families.

Strength:

It's not weird to think outside of the box...no really! Making communion part of your family experience can become a beautiful tradition.

Health:

It's not weird to think outside of the box...no really! Making communion part of your family experience can become a beautiful tradition.

Life:

It's not weird to think outside of the box...no really! Making communion part of your family experience can become a beautiful tradition.

And another thing, y’all…why couldn’t you celebrate the Lord’s Supper at your house, with your family on certain occasions?   The church is not just a denomination or a building as culture seems to think, people are the church…your family is the church.  Why couldn’t you create special moments with our Lord…times that your children would never forget?  Take Christmas for instance.  Why not celebrate His birth, then celebrate His death with a family communion time.   Birthdays, anniversaries, a new job, cancer diagnosis, cancer remission, retirement….any day, would be an awesome time to celebrate the Lord’s death until He returns.  My husband and I ate the Lord’s Supper together in our hotel room after our wedding.  It is a beautiful memory.  Wouldn’t it be a perfect family tradition…remembering the Lord together and promoting a strong spiritual life within your home?

i love 2

 

You might also be interested in Part 1 and Part 3 of the Eating the Lamb of God series.  Click below.

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

 

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any ads or products.

 

 

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all and see how I approached a curious Muslim visitor about communion.


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How I Explained Communion to a Muslim Visitor

Eating the Lamb of God series

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all and see how I approached a curious Muslim visitor about communion.

I had the opportunity to teach a Muslim visitor about communion recently,  after I had written this post,  and while it was fresh on my mind.  He had been visiting our congregation with a friend, and when the Lord’s Supper was passed I heard his friend frantically try to explain this Christian symbol to him.  So what would you say?  Would you use the standard explanation, “The bread is the body, the juice is the blood?”  But these words could not possibly make sense to someone who knows nothing of Moses and the Passover.  It seemed prudent to me to offer him an abbreviated history lesson so he could fully understand why we worship the Son of God.  But this is no ordinary history lesson y’all.  This one is rich with imagery from the Holy Spirit.  You will get an idea from my post of some of the things we talked about.

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper.   Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine.   Go symbolically deep with me y’all and see how I approached a curious Muslim visitor about communion.   

Each denomination has their own “communion culture” that can sometimes contribute to lulling those eating into repetitious ritual.  Most of us don’t even think about the beautiful back story that sets the stage for the meal with Jesus in the upper room.

I have to stop and tell you how exciting this part is to me. I’m getting goosebumps with the perfection of it all. GOD is so great and powerful that HE explains spiritual things to HIS earthly people by using figurative language. All those of you who loved that aspect of literature when you were in school, you came by it naturally. Similes, metaphors, personification…all of it, from HIM. Your FATHER started it all. So go symbolically deep with me y’all… The Lord’s supper was originally Passover.  The Passover meal was first initiated in Exodus 12 when the Israelites prepared to flee the Egyptians. They were to smear the blood of a spotless lamb over the doorpost of their homes, then cook the lamb and eat it as part of the meal along with bread with no yeast. The Angel of Death would pass over the homes with the blood, sparing the ones inside.

That night the blood of a spotless lamb saved them.

THAT NIGHT THE BLOOD OF A SPOTLESS LAMB SAVED THEM. (This is me shouting from the rooftops)

For further spiritual tingles:18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value.19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. 1 Peter 1:18-20 (NLT)

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

So let’s put it all together. The Lord’s Supper is patterned after the Passover meal where the Israelites ate the sacrificial lamb that saved them. Similarly we eat the figurative sacrificial Lamb that saves us, HIS body and blood. Metaphorically His blood was smeared on the doorpost to ransom us.  This is very meaningful symbolism and spiritually mind blowing. I am not suggesting that anything mystical happens to the bread and wine, but listen y’all, I am suggesting that while you eat this meal, your Spiritual experience could be off the charts.

Put your boots on y’all..we’re going deeper.  Symbolically we are placing the body and the blood in the Holy Temple of GOD (you) where it becomes part of the Temple (you), as you proclaim the Lord’s death until He returns. You are a vessel of JESUS symbolically and literally. Who out there still has a poor body image? Well stop it! You are the Temple of the HOLY SPIRIT. You are sanctified. . I love taking the LORD’s supper, don’t you? (read scripture here)

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.i love 2

 

 

You also might be interested in Part 2 and Part 3 of the Eating the Lamb of God series.  Click below.

Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.Jesus represents the Passover Lamb in this series on the Lord's Supper. Communion is more than just a nibble of bread and a sip of wine. Go symbolically deep with me y’all.

 

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any ads or products.