40 Days: Pacing in the Home Stretch

So. Two days ago I passed the 30 day mark on my juice fast. How is it going? Well, it has been challenging for sure, but I have stuck to it without giving up. I am in the final stretch, and in about a week, I will be able to have a decent meal. It’s pretty exciting, also extremely scary. Questions still pop in my head as to why I have stuck to this for so long. I have to reassure myself of the goals I set. (more…)

40 Days: Look At Yourself

So, going into this fast/detox my hope was from the start to have this sort of supernatural phone conversation with God; like this no meat and dairy think could somehow rekindle any distance between him and I. But what I have found is there are different parts to a fast, and it is part mental and part spiritual. (more…)

When the Dirt Washes Away

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

How can we gain a new and pure heart unless we create an environment where our heart wont be more inclined to jump in the mud? I was reading a chapter today in “Vintage Jesus” by Mark Driscoll. This book is very heavy stuff and really requires time and attention. But Mark reminded me as to why we go through some seasons/slumps and stay sometimes for quite awhile. A question we might ask is “What do I Worship?” What do we worship? Do I worship my tv, thinking it will solve my life problems? Will I read a magazine that will tell me how to look good, how to attract the ladies, know how to jump from date to date so i find the perfect one sooner? We have so many idols these days that God seems to not be the satisfier we need. We are told that we are imperfect. Ask an atheist or a member of another religion and they will agree that we are flawed. The world knows that you and I are flawed, so now they are going to do everything they can to sell you what they know will make you perfect. We go to drugs, sex, music, tv, video games, sports, our laptops, our hobbies, but why is it that we are not approaching God as much anymore? We are impatient, and the glorious iPhone (our newest God) shows us this by us having the world literally at our finger tips.  I was also reminded recently that when we chase after all these other things our hearts tend to feel worse afterwords. I read somewhere that I woman woke up one day after attending a frat party and was seemingly raped after being drugged. She said she needed to get a shower because she felt so dirty even though she was clean on the outside. He soul was so muddied that her hope was in a shower to make her whole again. Our hearts don’t just become dirty from sex, porn, and drugs, but by spending too much time on the Internet, tv, phone, video games, partying and whatnot.

On Sunday I literally was in awe of my best friend’s iPhone. I drooled like crazy. But technology instead of making life easier is making our time spent with God less and less. We don’t know what it is to “Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).” We literally don’t know. My heart has hurt a lot lately, and my church has been working hard to help people understand what it is to be still (prayer) and know that He is God (fasting and reading the Bible). But I’ll be honest,  I am so discouraged. My God is Mighty, but the American church is so weak. We need to be still. And when I say be still that means:

  • Reading a Book that will Challenge Your Thinking
    – “Jesus for President” Shane Clairborne
    – “Crazy Love” Francis Chan
    – “Vintage Jesus” Mark Driscoll
    – “Wild at Heart” and “Captivating” John Eldredge
    – “I am Not, But I Know I am” Louie Giglio
    – “Breaking the Discipleship Code” David Putman (HIGHLY RECCOMEND!)
  • Prayer
    – On the road, while at work, while walking, exercising, while cooking, reading, waking up
  • Read the Bible
    – Read a book you’ve never read, re-read the Gospel, study Psalms and Proverbs
  • Listen to Music that will lead you into a time of worship
    Some Awesome Songs that I personally like:
    “Lead Me to the Cross”, “Lift High”, “How He Loves”, “Faithful”, “God in this City”, “Hosanna”, and “Mighty to Save”. Listen to Steve Fee, Hillsong United, there are sooo many.
  • Journal
    Keep your thoughts and experiences in a journal. A pastor at my church doesn’t even have lines in his journal so he can draw! Cool!
  • Have a Support Partner
    There is NO way you can keep your life intact without having a prayer and accountability partner. Don’t be nervous about asking someone because they are just as much a sinner as you! 🙂

Guys, I am not a guru in this stuff, in fact I don’t do these every day and sometimes skip a month or two or three. But if you want happiness, fulfillment, eternity of awesomeness, and purpose it is making all else second priority and chasing after our Father and loving Him. He will wash all the dirt away. But it takes a kick start. And to get yourself out of your winter season you should definitely 1) Have an support partner and 2) Seriously consider fasting. Plan on fasting until God answers all your questions and expectations. This could be 1 day, 2 days, 4 days, 10 days or on. When you fast, He will show up when He has become your first priority (and that may take quite a few days!). So let Him in, He needs you, He has a generation waiting to be cleaned from all the stains.

– Trent