|Ash Wednesday 2014|
Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting,repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.
|I was 19 in this pic and a member of the ACMG or|
the Ateneo College Ministry Group
My first experience of fasting was already as a college girl. In our household, we were encouraged to abstain from meat during Holy Week, but we did not fast. In college, since I was very active with religious organizations, I was introduced to the concept of fasting. What was weird though about it was it was extremely "fun" for me, so, I had to "tweak" it to suit me and to make it feel more of a sacrifice than something I "enjoyed."
|My room in high school - Notice the "DIET" sign.|
You see, I was battling borderline anorexia by that time, for many years. NOT eating was the order of the day. Every hunger pang, every dizzy spell, every lost pound, was equated to "SUCCESS" in my mind. I LOVED to NOT EAT. I was on a constant DIET. So, FASTING to me was "normal". How could NOT EATING be a sacrifice?! It was such a JOY!
|28 years old and with only one child at that time - March 2006|
|My son Andre had a moving up ceremony|
last March 22, 2014, same day as Wowo Fred
"moved up" to our Creator.
- Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Jesus fasted 40 days and reminded His followers to fast, "when you fast," not "if you fast".
- Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the "first love" for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
- Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, "I humble myself through fasting."
- Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
- The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
- Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
- Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life-and make you a channel of revival to others.
- Fasting and prayer are the only disciplines that fulfill the requirements of II Chronicles 7:14:
18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the devil went out of him, and the child was cured from that hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said: Why could not we cast him out? 20 Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain: Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove: and nothing shall be impossible to you. 21 But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.
|Super pregnant with our 4th during a baby shower|
given by my Filipina Homebakers Online sisters. :) - March 2013
I made a decision to lose the weight and to eat healthy, but had no motivation to do so because dieting to me now, seemed to be quite a chore. It was enjoyable to eat! Having been freed from the bondage of my decade-long eating disorder, what was once so easy to do (starve myself or eat little) has already become such a difficult task to undertake.
The spirit is willing but the (chubby) flesh is so weak!
I prayed to the good Lord and asked Him to help me in this area. And, I was led to thinking about FASTING. Since I wanted to be healthier and fitter, FASTING would give me the spiritual discipline to control my unhealthy eating habits, as well as serve a bigger and holy purpose -- to offer up petitions and prayers for myself and for everyone.
|Wowo Fred died happy, at peace, having had given up to the|
Lord his life before he passed away on March 22, 2014.
|I am praying for the marriages of all the Alejars, as well as for|
the marriages of people I don't even know, all around the globe.
|The "Three Strands":|
Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving
All external acts -- praying, fasting and almsgiving -- are nothing, I repeat, NOTHING in the eyes of God when not done out of love or with the right motivations. Without our hearts set aright, we might as well be just be babbling, dieting and "wasting" our money. All those acts will not make us righteous in God's Eyes. As always, it is the heart that determines whether we do things for God or for ourselves.
|Taken just yesterday, April 3, 2014|
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, I have indeed lost some unwanted pounds already, while also "gaining" the fruits of the Spirit because of fasting. ;) Woohoo!!! Win-win! :)