Fasting to feed the hungry feeds us too

Usually we think of fasting as avoiding food for the purpose of prayer. The emptiness of our stomachs reminds us to pray. Isaiah 58 speaks of a fasting God may honor most of all.

Isaiah 58:4-9, NLT

 

“…you are fasting to please yourselves.

Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.


What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me. (God). 

You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.

Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?

No, this is the kind of fasting I (God) wants:

Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.

graphic compliments of Christine Miller at alittleperspective.com

 

 

 

 

Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Breaking Free-Day by Day

A Year of Walking in Liberty    by Beth Moore

Read what Beth said about fasting in this daily devotional book:

 

“Usually we think of fasting as avoiding food for the purpose of prayer. The emptiness of our stomachs reminds us to pray. Isaiah 58 speaks of a fasting God may honor most of all.

What is God proposing that we fast from?

What do we have to give up or fast from to reach out to the oppressed?

Whatever our answer, we know if we pour out our lives to satisfy the needs of the oppressed, God will be faithful to satisfy our needs.” 

 

A BOOK, BREAKING FREE, AND A TEA CUP
I have enjoyed this daily devotional book.  The daily entries are short and easy to read; an inspirational way to start or end my day.

 

Also available is Beth Moores Bible study on Isaiah, Breaking Free-The Journey The Stories

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I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

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                              Dr. Aletha 

 

 

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(1 Corinthians 13:13)

 

 

 

 

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Fasting for the body and the soul

Observed by Catholic , Orthodox, and Protestant Christians, (although the dates may differ) Lent is a time of spiritual reflection, contemplation, renewal, and commitment.

The practice of fasting is one of the Christian Disciplines.

people holding lit candles in the dark

What is fasting?

Simply put, fasting means to refrain from  foods and/or drink either partially or completely, for a specified time periods.  Religions other than Christianity also practice some form of fasting.

Traditionally, one  observed Lent( the weeks that precede Easter) by avoiding certain types of food (particularly meat, eggs, and milk products).  In some traditions, partial fasts were observed where participants would eat only one meal on certain days. Another way to fast is to avoid all food for a specified time frame, usually one day.

Many who observe Lent today are not as strict.  Often they choose to abstain from a particular food or particular behavior such as television or social media during Lent.

The purpose of fasting during Lent  is to refrain from something to redirect the time and energy  on our relationship to God.

man praying on holy bible in the morning

Medical fasting

You may be more familiar with fasting for medical reasons.

We physicians frequently ask patients to fast for 8-12 hours prior to performing certain blood tests. The meaning of the result may be different depending on how long ago the patient had eaten. This is the case when we test for diabetes (sugar or glucose) and hyperlipidemia ( cholesterol and triglyceride).

Another common time for medical fasting is prior to surgery or procedures, especially those done under general anesthesia. Many people become nauseated at this time and may throw up or regurgitate stomach contents. If these get sucked down into the lungs it can cause respiratory distress and lead to pneumonia, both serious complications of surgery. Having the stomach empty of food and liquid can minimize this risk .

There is evidence now that intermittent fasting may aid in weight loss. Dr. Monique Tello discusses intermittent fasting for the Harvard Health Blog at this link.

Intermittent fasting: Surprising update

ashes in the shape of a cross

40 days of sorrow

The 40 days of Lent are also a time of grief.

This tradition begins with the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday. Ashes are put on believers’ foreheads during religious services as a sign of repentance.

The practice of putting ashes on one’s head is an ancient sign of mourning that was often done at funerals or similarly sorrowful occasions.  In this case, the ashes represent sorrow over our sins and the pain and death caused by sin.

two women sitting on a rug with open books

Whether you formally observe Lent or not, we may consider this as a time to slow down, quiet the noise in our lives, open our hearts, and listen for new inspiration for using our gifts to create new ways to serve others.

“For even the Son of Man  (Jesus ) came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45 NLT

New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

40 Days of Decrease

Last year I experienced Lent with this devotional book by Alicia Britt Chole and I recommend it to help you observe a spiritually meaningful “fast” during Lent.

(Please note this is an affiliate link, a link which will help support this blog with a commission when a purchase is made.)


Every day offers a meaningful consideration of Jesus’ journey and then invites readers into a daily fast of heart-clutter, the stuff that sticks to our souls and weighs us down. 

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I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

sharing faith, hope, and love with you

                              Dr. Aletha 

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Weekend Words- let us fast

Why fasting is about more than food #Isaiah#fasting#BethMoore#Breaking Free

Isaiah 58:6-10, NIV

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.”woman raising arms arms to the sky in a glow of light

 

 

 

 

 

“Usually we think of fasting as avoiding food for the purpose to prayer. The emptiness of our stomachs reminds us to pray. Isaiah 58 speaks of a fasting God may honor most of all.

What is God proposing that we fast from?

What do we have to give up or fast from to reach out to the oppressed?

Whatever our answer, we know if we pour out our lives to satisfy the needs of the oppressed, God will be faithful to satisfy our needs.” 

from

Breaking Free-Day by Day

A Year of Walking in Liberty    by Beth Moore

A BOOK, BREAKING FREE, AND A TEA CUP
This is a daily devotional book I am reading through this year. The daily entries are short and easy to read; an inspirational way to start or end my day.

And have a cup of tea with me.


 Thank you for considering these affiliate links that support this blog.

Weekend Words-

sharing words of faith, hope, and love

(1Corinthians 13:13)

Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent in the Christian faith

Christians may give up foods or habits during Lent as a form of fasting; some may find other ways to observe the season

Lent is the season of the Christian church year from Ash Wednesday to Easter.

To observe Lent some people commit to fasting from certain foods or drink, or giving up certain pleasurable activities or habits during the 40 days before Easter.

Some people choose to do something-a service to others, a meditative or spiritual activity, a repetitive action to remind them of the season.

In this article, Scott Hubbard explains how Protestants first rejected, but now embrace Lent and offers resources on observing Lent in a new way.

HOW TO PREPARE AHEAD FOR EASTER

Consider the days ahead as an opportunity — as one more path you might walk to focus your scattered attention, warm your heart’s affections, and meet the risen Jesus afresh.

Scott Hubbard
to the cross that the christian is challenged to follow his master. quote Hans Urs Von Balthasar
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Hans Urs von Balthasar, (1905-1988), Swiss Roman Catholic theologian

Resources to help you observe lent

Lent & Easter 2020 Resources at Cokesbury. Everything you need to prepare for Lent & Easter. Studies, altarware, paraments, and more. Valid through 3/31. Shop Now! Lent

40 days of decrease

Last year I used this devotional from Alicia Britt Chole ; you may enjoy it too. Here is an affiliate link to the paperback or Kindle versions.

a different kind of hunger; a different kind of fast

sharing the HEART of health

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

FAITH HOPE LOVE in block letters
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Sunday Words- Isaiah 58

Isaiah 58:6-10

 Isn’t the fast I choose
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly.
Your righteousness will go before you,
and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;
when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.
If you get rid of the yoke among you,
the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,
and if you offer yourself to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
and your night will be like noonday.
© 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.

church at Chimayo,  New Mexico
El Santuario de Chimayo, New Mexico

Words about fasting and helping

What is true fasting? Maybe not what you think#Isaiah#CHaRA#faithhopelove

 
 
“Fasting, abstinence from food or drink or both for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes.
 
The abstention may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent.
 
Fasting has been promoted and practiced from antiquity worldwide
by physicians,
by the founders and followers of many religions,
by culturally designated individuals (e.g., hunters or candidates for initiation rites), and by individuals or groups as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Isaiah 58 , HCSB
 
True Fasting
 
“Why have we fasted, but You have not seen?
We have denied ourselves, but You haven’t noticed! ”
 
“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
and oppress all your workers.
You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist.
You cannot fast as you do today,
hoping to make your voice heard on high.
 
Will the fast I choose be like this:
 
A day for a person to deny himself,
to bow his head like a reed,
and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
 
Will you call this a fast
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
 
Isn’t the fast I choose:
 
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
 
 
group of people sitting under a tree
relief outreach by CHaRA
 
 
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?
 
 
nurse with boy giving shoes
nurse distributing new shoes to children
 
 © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

sharing the HEART of health with CHaRA- Construction, Health, and Relief Acts

photos by Dr. Aletha during a volunteer trip to Africa to assist CHaRA with their humanitarian work

 

 

You may also like Fasting for the body and the soul

 

 

Exploring the HEART of faith, hope, and love

                              Dr. Aletha 

 
 
FAITH LOVE HOPE
These three remain, faith, hope and love, and greatest of these is love.  
1 Corinthians 13:13                          
 Lightstock graphic -affiliate link 
 

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Christian Lent

Ash Wednesday- an Old Testament tradition for Christians today

Daniel’s prayer for his nation as they faced the future desolation

“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.    

man with hands folded in prayer
photo from Lightstock .com, stock photos and graphics(affiliate)

 I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying,

“O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules.

Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy”

Daniel 9:3-5, 17 ESV

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publisher

"faith, hope, love"
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exploring and sharing the HEART of health.   

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

Dr. Aletha 

Lent & Easter 2020 Resources at Cokesbury. Everything you need to prepare for Lent & Easter. Studies, altarware, paraments, and more. Valid through 3/31. Shop Now!

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posts on this blog about lent

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