Fresh Skin – Good News for January 18

18 01 2010

Mark 2:18-22

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

The Daily Path: Reconversion





Fasting Backwards – Good News for February 27

27 02 2009

Mark 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

The Daily Path: I fasted almost non-stop for many years. While outwardly I never looked like Ghandi, on the  inside I was a wraith. I ingested everything that gave me pleasure. Fun, food, booze, drugs, sex, ego, greed, decadence. I was the original “Joy Boy” who couldn’t get enough.

You’re probably wondering what that life of endless indulgence has to do with my fasting. Let me tell you: The one thing I abstained from was God.

Oh, I knew He was there. I’d pay a brief visit now and again to “borrow the car” just like the son from Harry Chapin’s song “Cat’s in the Cradle.” Somehow God didn’t cut me off. He allowed me to attend the wedding reception and enjoy the party without going to the ceremony or meeting the bridegroom. Then, when He saw me stumbling down on the ground from too much life, God brought the bridegroom over to meet me. His Son reached down and picked me up. He hugged me and said “You’ve fasted enough. Now it’s time to eat at my table. Come on, I’ve been saving a special seat just for you.”

Room to Chat: Do the dishes. (“What’s the koo-koo suggesting now?” Stan Doubtsall) I don’t like to do the dishes. I can’t think of anyone who looks forward to the chore. What if you use that same time for something you do enjoy? Do you like to talk to God? Go grab your sponge and the pan with two-day old spaghetti sauce welded on. You can do a lot of talking while you scrub that mess. (Secret: It will seem like you got the dishes done in no time)





Inner Room – Good News for February 25

25 02 2009

Have you found your inner room?

Mark 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms,  do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

The Daily Path: One of the great joys in my life is the ability to get some extended quiet time. If you have family and career demands like me, these chances are rare. The opportunities to go to my “inner room” are usually brief. I often use my time in the room to reflect on God, talk to Him, give thanks, ask for healing, and just decompress. 

It’s also a place to contemplate giving of yourself (alms) and living in sobriety (fasting) during Lent… and anytime for that matter. Alms do not require cash. Charity is an act of love. Each of us has an endless reserve of love that can act as a perpetual “bail out” wherever needed. Sobriety isn’t just reserved for alcohol, drugs or addiction. Living a sober life can also mean keeping your ego in check. Giving up the need to be correct all the time. 

It’s not easy for me to keep prayer, alms and fasting in the front of my mind as I go through each day. However, I can say that I’ve never been more compelled to do so as I am now. I believe this powerful inspiration is the grace of God at work. I also feel inspired to go to my inner room, close the door, and joyfully blow my trumpet… LOUD! Why? Because I know I’ve been touched by God and that is worthy of celebration, even if only with myself.

Room to Chat: Check into you inner room today. The view is incredible.