Baring my heart.

Mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

Tag: fast

Raised hands, not weapons, win the battles

This was my photo for Friday, September 11 (what a date), 2009, which was day 3 of my Project:

Exodus 17:8-16

What was so significant about that day that I would post a photo of my Bible and notebook for the Project? An encounter with God happened.

I’m 3 weeks into my fast and I’ve found that while the first 2 weeks were pretty easy, the third (this past week) wasn’t. And I’ve also learned, through accountability with other girls at GFRESH, that it’s when you’re doing your best that the Enemy will work harder to attack you and bring you down.

By the end of the week, I felt so unworthy to face God, that I was actually relieved that I wasn’t scheduled to be up for worship at GFRESH. I didn’t want to be up on the stage playing piano for a King that I wasn’t worthy to face. I felt dirty and useless — but a King’s court is spotlessly clean, and He only has courtiers that are there to serve and submit to Him.

During worship, God pressed the above passage — Exodus 17:8-16 — onto my heart:

     8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
     10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up — one on one side, one on the other — so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
     14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
     15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. 16 He said, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

So when we got the chance to sit down, I pulled out my notebook and borrowed a pen from Christine to jot down what God taught me from the story:

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Grab that baton and run for your life!

It’s Monday the 24th of August and Day 3 of my fast, and I’m feeling pretty darn good about my weekend. A normal Saturday would have consisted of me sitting in or on my bed checking Facebook, checking emails, reading webcomics and watching a load of Youtube videos. Then, when that was done, I’d sit in front of the TV watching a movie or browsing TV channels while I waited for my piano students to arrive for their lessons (neither of them came on Saturday, by the way, so I guess this weekend was an unexpected breather for me).

Over this weekend, though, I had so much time to myself and I had no idea what to do. I had homework to complete, notes to read, group assessment meetings to organise, a scarf to knit (that I wanted to finish before our now-ending winter ended), and books to finish, but, I still didn’t know what to do. I was being a lazy couch potato, but I now realise that this fast is not just a break from the things that used to unnecessarily consume all of my time. Instead, this fast is a chance for me to run faster than I have ever run before!

When I was in primary school and high school [at Bethel] I used to be really active in athletics. I was able to throw the shot or the discus the furthest. I jumped the longest in long jump, and the highest in high jump. I’d run the 100m in a reasonable time and come first. My ‘amazing’ results sent me to Zone every year, but when I threw, jumped or ran against the girls from the other schools, I couldn’t actually throw that far, I couldn’t actually jump that high, and I wasn’t actually that fast. Needless to say, I always came last (I was lucky if I came 2nd last).

For the purpose of this blog post, and because life is a race that we are running (not a heavy metal ball that we are throwing), let’s focus on the 100 metre event and ignore all the other events.

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45 Day Fast

Associating the number 45 with fasting sounds ridiculous, but who said extending a 40 day fast was wrong?

In the Bible, the number 40 is repeated a whole lot, but it is my understanding that in the Hebrew culture, 40 was not always to be considered a literal measurement of time. I remember someone explaining it to me [and a large congregation of people] in a way similar to the way I will explain now:

As I’m typing this post, it is Saturday the 16th of August, 2009. Forty days ago, it was Tuesday the 7th of July, 2009. I have no idea what happened on that day. If something significant happened on that day, maybe, but as far as I can recall, it was an ordinary day that I most likely spent sleeping in and pigging out on food. I more than likely also watched an episode of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation that night.

It was the middle of November last year 40 weeks ago. I guess I was finishing up my Diploma of Business Management course at TAFE (ugh, I’m glad TAFE is over). It’s now my second [long] semester at UWS, and it doesn’t feel like I went to TAFE just last year.

Forty months ago was April 2006. At that time, I was in Year 11, still new to Penrith Christian Community School. Before the end of the year, the school board removed “community” from the school’s name, and they also promoted the new uniform. Since April of 2006, the current Year 12 class (grade above me) graduated, my grade graduated, and my brother’s grade (the grade below) graduated. April 2006 feels like a really, really long time ago.

Campbells_Soup_CansThe Beatles, Muhammed Ali, Julie Andrews, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were just some of the people who made the 60s a memorable decade. Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can and the high-riding bell bottoms were at their peak 40 years ago, and people in my generation will definitely never really understand what is so artistic about a bunch o’ cans. Forty years ago, my parents were still kids. I think it’s pretty obvious that 40 years ago was a really, really long time ago.

The Hebrews didn’t use the number 40 as an accurate measurement of time, because 40 basically meant “a really long time ago.” You can’t really remember what happened 40 days, weeks, months or years ago. The span of time just feels as if it has been going on forever.

Why am I talking about the number 40? Why indeed.

The GFRESH leaders, connect leaders and worship team will be taking part in a 40 day fast in preparation for SOS 09, the Generation Fresh youth camp. Corporately, we will be fasting television, secular music and Facebook. In addition to that, we will each be fasting anything else that will or may hinder us or distract us from getting ready for SOS.

So, where do I come into all of this?

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