Thursday, March 22, 2012

Week Five

The Discipline of Submission

This week's blog is a little overdue.... good thing I'm not gettin paid for it, right? Oh... and good thing only 3 people read it :) Hahaha. I digress... At the moment I'm having a hard time focusing on last week's lesson because I'm in the middle of learning the meaning of simplicity in my complex world while getting ready for next week's solitude. For the week of solitude I have the awesome opportunity to spend a week in a cabin.... alone... in the middle of nowhere. I can't tell you how excited I am about this. Well, I could... but I'm leaving in the morning, so how bout I just tell you what all God did when I get back!And I also can't tell you where it is... because knowing some of my friends I'm sure I'd get a few scares :(

As I began reading about submission I don't think I realized how hard it would be to actually "do." One thing it did do was make me even more aware of my stubbornness and independent nature (which some may call a tad selfish). Being 32 and single definitely has it's perks (like freedom to do what I want, when I want, how I want...etc) but the downside to that "freedom" would be the struggle to lay down my own rights to care for others needs above my own. I'd have to say one of the most valuable things I'm learning through this is how to maintain the teachable spirit no matter what age, color, status, or sex. Doesn't matter whether you are married, single, have 15 kids or none... God desires for us to always be teachable, submitting to His authority above all else.

Now... it's very rare you'll ever catch me taking medication of any sort but last monday (first day of this discipline) I found myself at a painful crossroads. Do I stick to my guns, try to do it my way and potentially continue on with the most ungodly pain in my mouth?? Or do i just submit to those who probably know best in this situation and try and kill the infection their way. Welp, that was my first lesson... and as I submitted to the wisdom of the docs as I simultaneously prayed through it and used a few of my hippie remedies as well :) Point being, I had to lay down my own stubborn rights and completely trust in God as I put my life in other's hands. Thank goodness I did too... because by monday afternoon I had an emergency root canal and now feel 100% better!!!

Unfortunately, the discipline of submission has been more abused than any other disciplines. We must be very careful of some religious teachings on this so as not to be manipulated or controlled by deficient teaching that certainly do not edify the body of Christ as the word reveals. The goal of this discipline is freedom... and the second we take our eyes off the main focus we turn it into a law and become enslaved to it.

Just like I mentioned before in my story... it's an awful burden to always need to have your own way in life. Many negative emotions will arise as those who have a false need for this control demand that everything must go their way. As we submit "biblically" we are released from the bondage of this and now enabled to distinguish between authentic issues and stubborn self-will.
Richard Foster puts it best, "The biblical teaching on submission focuses primarily on the spirit with which we view other people." He also mentions that in submission we are finally free to really value other people and their lives, rejoicing in their successes and feeling genuine sorrow in their failures.

I have a friend who started a ministry and has several orphanages overseas. Recently he has had workers leave his place and begin to do some pretty awful things in the name of Jesus. These things are now beginning to concern their ministry as well as the orphans they take care of. It is a VERY ugly situation and the easiest thing to want to do would be to desire these people to be exposed and destroyed. I mean... we have grown up in a society that favors people to be punished for their actions. If someone says or does something bad, we want them to suffer for the pain they've caused. Rarely does our society believe in second chances... even more uncommon do we give people yet another chance or two.

It's hard to admit that I too have been in that place at one time. I remember looking at these little tiny girls in Cambodia who were already in and out of the sex slave ring and wanting to hurt the men who do this to them. But all that will do is give you anger problems and send you down a rabbit trail that leads to absolutely nowhere except to the powers of darkness. You see, even the victimizers or the perpetrators of whatever crime... are and have been victims themselves. As you become aware that you are a son or daughter of the king... their orphan spirit becomes more and more evident. Ultimately people do really bad things because they are truly unaware of God's amazing unconditional love for them therefore disconnected from the Creator of all that is good.

But just like my friend's orphanage and the bad decisions of the people that are intentionally (or unintentionally) hurting God's kids... the question becomes.... What does God want for them?? And I hope you honestly ask yourself that question tonight and have the courage to search for the answer, draw conclusions that align with the word, and perhaps even prepare to shift your thinking . Because if even the "thought" of hatred is murder in the Lord's eyes... then do we not deserve the same punishment?

All I know is that the more we submit to His authority... the more we see ourselves as He does and are able to receive that love. When we do, the capacity for grace deepens for others and we are able to see them how God sees them and desire restoration for their lost souls. Our God is a God of redemption. No matter the crime we all deserve death... and no matter how hard it can be to forgive.... He forgave us so who are we to hold on to the right to be angry?

Foster goes on to explain the difference between self-contempt and self-denial to clear up any confusion on the subject of submission through Jesus' eyes: "Self-contempt claims we have no worth, and even if we do have worth, we should reject it. Self-denial declares that we are of infinite worth and shows us how to realize it. Self-contempt denies the goodness of the creation; self-denial affirms that it is indeed good. Jesus made the ability to love ourselves the prerequisite for our reaching out to others (Matt 22:39). Self-love and self-denial are not in conflict. More than once Jesus made it quite clear that self-denial is the only sure way to love ourselves. (Matt 10:39)".

Lastly Foster goes through the seven acts of submission which I will briefly describe for you:
1- The first act of submission is to the Triune God- We yield our body, mind, and spirit for his purposes.
2- The second act is to the Scripture- We yield ourselves to first hear the Word, receive the Word, then obey the Word.
3- The third act is to our family- It's a commitment to listen, willingness to share and make allowances for one another.
4- The fourth act is to our neighbors and others we meet throughout our daily lives- If they are in need.... we help them.
5- The fifth act is to the believing community (the body of Christ)- Small or large every bit of service helps.
6- The sixth act is to the broken and despised- we must discover ways to identify genuinely with the downtrodden and the rejected.
7- The seventh act is to the world- We must be determined to live as a responsible member of an increasingly irresponsible world.

When we follow the acts of submission in honor of our Father... we gain spiritual authority which runs completely counter to the thinking of the systems of the whole world. Ultimately, we live in an "upside-down" kingdom and have the opportunity to live this out on earth. There's so much more we could discuss in this topic... feel free to write your own thoughts or questions and we'll walk through this together :)

The life of John

John was the little brother of James, cousin of Jesus and second cousin of John the Baptist.... now that's what I call a family legacy!

An excerpt from "Eat this book" by Eugene Peterson says of John: "He is a commanding figure. He was a pastor of marginal, politically and economically powerless Christians in a society in which their commitment to following Christ branded them as criminals of the state. His task was to keep their identity focused and their lives spirit-filled, their discipleship ardent, their hope fresh against formidable odds- the living, speaking, acting Jesus front and center in their lives. He didn't settle for mere survival; he wanted them to LIVE, really live- outlive EVERYONE around them. This is what prophets and pastors and writers do, and it is never easy. No easier now that it was for John".

One of the reasons I love this so much is because of this line "...He didn't settle for mere survival; he wanted them to LIVE, really live- outlive EVERYONE around them." I would invest everything I have into this anthem because I truly believe that God wants to use us to release as much glory on this earth as possible. How can we do this if we are sick or dead?

I know crap happens... this world has so much toxic evil in it that gets into our very bloodstream... but I truly believe His WILL and desire is for us to be healthy and whole in pursuit of being detoxed by Him in our mind, body, soul and spirit and then being nourished by all things good. But God graciously gives us the authority to make those decisions and those decisions lead us down certain paths. I sure can't explain why bad things happen... but I do know that every single thing on earth has potential to release God's glory if we praise Him in light of our circumstances- good or bad. I don't believe he brings upon the bad... rather has to allow it in some cases (for we know He cares more about the condition of our heart). We must seek for more than just merely surviving... He wants us to THRIVE. Even though the world is getting worse, we have the opportunity for MORE JOY, MORE FULFILLMENT, AND MORE LIFE- ABUNDANTLY... simply because we walk around in the kingdom of heaven on earth in submission to Him.

John died at the age 94 in his sleep... preaching until his very death. No one is too old or too young to be used by the Lord! Jesus did not call us to be "christians"... that was actually a term to mock the Christ followers... instead He calls us to be true disciples which requires much discipline and faithfulness. But oh what a beautiful joy it is to lay down one's life for the one who loves us so.

training for the half-marathon

Last week was hard to get running in because of me being in Nashville with lots of people to see and not a whole lot of room to do much else other than my yoga school. I was able to squeeze an amazing hike in one of those days with an incredible friend, as well as run a time or two. Let's hope my endurance comes back quickly and I'm able to catch up before too long :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Week Four

The Discipline of Study

Interestingly enough... I spent more time studying this discipline than I did actually applying it to my daily routine this week. With that irony stated, I feel as though I owed it that much... and perhaps learned more this way. It also seemed like every sermon I listened to, book I read, or training manual I looked over had to do with the importance of study and gave me very valuable tools on how to go about it properly.

You see, most of us never even scratch the surface of what 'intentionally studying something' has to offer. Rather, most of us I presume... are reaping the harvest of studying things 'unintentionally'. Whether we like it or not..."ingrained habits of thought that are formed in our brain WILL conform to the order of the thing being studied. What we study determines the kind of habits that are formed, which is why Paul urges us to focus on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious, " according to Foster. Therefore it is beneficial and crucial for us to a
ll know... before picking up just any book, watching just any flick, listening in on just any conversation, or getting 'involved' with jus
t anyone... the mind will always conform upon which it concentrates.

So then.. if concentrating means: to focus one's attention of mental efforts on a particular object or activity, I'd like to pose a simple question to start. What objects or activities are we most interested in, and second- what is taking up most of our time? Whether it be work, kids, television, sports... I encourage you to write some of these things out now. This may help us identify things that perhaps we didn't even realize our mind was susceptible to conforming to. It may also be useful in guiding us in the direc
tion of finding more truthful, honorable, purifying, and nourishing things to concentrate on or study.

As for me, I have always had the best of intentions in life. But all of my hopes, desires, dreams and goals amounted to nothing without the proper steps in that direction. At the moment I'm also reading "The principle of the path" by Andy Stanley. Talk about a wake up call... man. I'm beginning to see how many years I spent making 'un-intentional' mistakes which quickly led me down a path of destruction and discomfort making it a lot easier to walk in the flesh rather than in the spirit. I always prayed that I would be 'used by the Lord' and that 'He would lead me to the right jobs and relationships, etc'... yet I was making very poor decisions in life then wondering where God was in the outcomes.

Now I see that the "temporarily satisfying" decisions I was making for myself were all based on the very things I spent most of my time concentrating on. Sure, I was attending church on sundays and going to a home group... but in my spare time I was going to parties looking for someone to pay unhealthy attention to me, or watching filth on television, or having meaningless shallow conversations with people I'd probably never see again. Now that I've become a little older, my eyes are being opened to the "predictable predicaments" we can easily get ourselves into because of lack in understanding our responsibility in the daily decisions as well as the habits formed by our concentration of choice.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2 Thank God that His grace gives us the means by which our inner spirit is changed! If we desire to know the will of God then we must choose to be transformed by Him daily by what we eat, think, watch, read, hear, and spend time doing. Obviously, God is the one who will change us... but He so lovingly gives us the power of decision because of His awesome character and nature.

Now, rather than be overwhelmed with the great responsibility He's given, all we have to do is begin by being still and listening.... resting in His presence. Ask God to reveal things in this world that are nourishing for your soul and that will build you up in the spirit and give God the ability to transform you to His likeness. Also ask the Lord to reveal the toxic things in your life that are impairing your judgement thus making you weak... as the enemy would have it. The word of God is FULL of all the wholesome nourishment you could ever need... but it will have little or no power in our lives if we don't read it. It's also so beneficial to observe God in other things which we'll get to shortly....

According to Foster the discipline of Study involves four steps. 1- Repetition: Initially it is not even important that the person believe or understand what they are repeating because the inner mind is being trained and will eventually respond by modifying behavior to conform to the affirmation. (Works equally with truths being told or lies being heard). 2-Concentration: the human mind has an incredible ability to center the mind, this natural ability is enhanced when, with singleness of purpose, we center our attention upon a desired object or study. (Unfortunately, we live in a culture that does not value this but rather distraction and hurry). 3- Comprehension: this step focuses on the knowledge of truth which catapults us into a new level of growth and freedom leading to insight and discernment providing the basis for a TRUE perception of reality. 4- Reflection: defines the significance of what we are studying. When we ponder the meaning, we come to hear and see in a new way... this demands humility.

"If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Jesus, in John 8:31 &32 I don't know about you guys... but i wanna be FREE! Therefore, I wanna know the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And yes, we CAN handle the truth! We desperately need the truth.

Foster gives other helpful hints as we study books of the bible, schooling, or others. We must first understand: what is the author saying? Then we need to interpret: what does the author mean? Lastly we should evaluate: is the author right or wrong? It's so important to remember as we enter into reading or studying that we need to be a student- listening to what God wants to say to us, not just what we want to hear... because if we search shallow enough we will definitely find some temporarily statisfying feelings. But what we are REALLY dying for is something God REALLY desires to give us: LIFE-transforming truth.

Last but not least Foster asks that we also pay close attention to the reverent observation of God in nature. This Chapter was one of my fav's because I have such an innate love for God's creation and find so much energy and joy when I am able to sit and reflect on everything beautiful He has made for His kids. I encourage you to spend more time studying every living thing... from trees, to animals, to people, to the sunset, to the flowing river. God so desperately wants us to hear His voice and see His fingerprint in EVERYTHING He created... so let us watch, listen and learn.

"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Is 55:12

Earlier this week I rented the film Hugo that won all sorts of awards this year. One of my favorite moments was when the boy was talking about His father's purpose in life that was to fix broken things. As the little girl asked the boy what His purpose was... you could see that He was less worried about what his title was and more concerned about knowing who is father is and was. My revelation? Well, the more you know your Father... the more confident you become in your purpose because basically our purpose is to know Him more. And when we fall in love with Him and make decisions that glorify and honor Him... we conform to His likeness as our minds become renewed by His truth and can't help but overflow with His authentic love to the world.

The life of James, son of Alphaeus

Unfortunately, there is not much written about this James and what is written about him may even be confused with the other James' in the bible. This James was the brother of Matthew (the other Apostle) and son of one of the Mary's. It has been said that he was stoned in Jerusalem for preaching Christ and buried by the sanctuary.

What I find very interesting is what little facts I can find about this man. This makes his life even more mysterious to me. Since He was not one of the more noted disciples or "famous ones", I'm almost attracted even more to his story... which may never be known on this earth.

Our modern day culture seems to drive this ever increasing pressure to "be somebody" or more of an individualistic way of thinking. There is no doubt in my mind that there was a reason there were twelve of the disciples and that every imperfect one of them had a part to do that made a beautiful whole. Yes, we must individually seek a lifestyle of truth, wholeness, purity, and honor while collectively coming together for the cause of Christ agreeing with one another in unity and love.... or else, we'll wait unnecessary amounts of time for true revival.

This man may not be "known" but he has a story. He followed Christ, was part of a group of men that helped spread the gospel all over the world and was one of the few willing to die for it. We've got to have a greater desire to make HIM known than our efforts put forth in trying to make some sort of a name for ourselves in this world that will fade away. Thank you James for unintentionally changing lives thousands of years later by your silent example- no words necessary :)

Training for half-marathon

So far this week I've run about four days. I can already feel my endurance building... and I'm actually getting to the place where I like it!!! Crazy huh? I went 5 miles in one day only stopping for a few walking breaks in between... I was so ecstatic!

Unfortunately I found out today I have some sort of infection in my body and may have to get a root canal soon. It's been awhile since I've experienced pain like this so I'd really appreciate your prayers. I hope to move through this quickly to gain all of my strength back and continue running according to schedule, but I know God's got it! Excited about the lessons in this one as well, looking forward to the rest of my training season.

Please let me know if I can be praying for you in any way!! Love all of you so much, I hope you were encouraged somehow today.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week Three

The Discipline of Fasting

This week I experienced something a little more painful than the past few weeks. I truly felt God going to deeper more hidden places in my soul sheddin
g light in such a way that again allowed me to see more bits of my human nature that cause me to fall short of His glory. But honestly, without those... we'd never recognize our GREAT need for Him, His love, forgiveness, grace, salvation and powe
r (to sum it up- the cross). Now I realize that I don't want these dusty places in my heart revealed just so He can patch me up and I can be more clean and perfect.... but rather so I can be in a constant state of desperate need, discover humility in the awareness of my own humanity, and have the grand opportunity for God to then remove those hinderances so I can receive more of the ever flowing love rushing in mad pursuit from His heart to ours.

I had first decided that I would fast everything but veggie and fruit juice this week. So... I borrowed my friends juicer, bought the supplies and off we went. By the end of the first day I slowly eased my way into the daniel fast :) (whic
h is pretty much the same thing except you can eat nuts and grains as well) So... from monday to friday that's what I did. Although, as I was reading the fasting chapter in Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline" I quickly began to see the value in Christ's "recommendation" to do so. And that, instead of me thinking that I was fasting from certain things... I was actually FEASTING on the word of God. As we now know fasting is a discipline, and according to Foster discipline brings freedom. So being disciplined in an area that Jesus clearly supported through is own actions is something that anyone who follows His ways should seek to strive for. What may begin as a "difficult sacrifice" will only end
in complete and utter blessing if He remains the center and THE reason in which you participate.

There are countless things that we DO here on earth that Christ never did... or would probably never do if He were physically present right now. Going off biblical principles alone and considering the fact Jesus would be a pretty fantastic steward of His temple.. I doubt He would ever use a credit card, eat fast food, watch tv, live in
a gated community, waste hours on facebook, or be too religious. I'm not knocking anyone who does that necessarily... i'm just sayin I bet Jesus might have more eternal issues on his plate, that's all :) And perhaps we should too? I've been questioning myself on that subject for a little while now reevaluating everything I do... asking myself if it's beneficial for the kingdom or simply toxic.

On the flip side there are plenty of things Jesus did do that we don't give much thought about today. It's not because they are completely irrele
vant... but maybe we assume God doesn't expect us to carry out some of those things in the crazy busy world that we live in. Then again, is that lifestyle something we ourselves have created?? And/or is it possible to live and breath a still, peaceful, joyful life despite all the madness swirling around us? As a bit of encouragement for all of you, I'm finding that is becoming greater possibility every single day I discover more of God's treasures wrapped up in practicing these amazing spiritual disciplines that are so difficult to initially slow down for... but simplistic to perform, revolutionary to soak in, and life- altering.

In Matthew 6:16 Jesus says, "And WHEN you fast..." almost assuming that we will, following it with proper instruction on how. "Jesus did not command fasting. But it is obvious that he proceeded on the principle that the children of the kingdom of God would fast. For the person longing for a more intimate walk with God, these statements of Jesus are drawing words," said Foster. Wow! So instead of us, his children, saying "ah dad... really? fasting? do you realize how hard that is? ugh... not again." We GET to react with pure joy knowing it's actually an act of honor and praise to the King, our dad, who loves us
so incredibly much and desires for us to draw near. The absolute safest place we could ever be is in His presence. Sure, you don't always know what's gonna happen... but you CAN be fearless, full of peace, and live in utter excitement for sittin
g at His feet and learning more about His great and awesome mysterious power.

Now there are many "benefits" to fasting like physical body, success in prayer, spiritual insights, etc... but like Foster so wisely put it- "these must NEVER replace God as the center of our fasting... if our fasting is not unto God, we hav
e failed...this is the only way we will be saved from loving the blessing more than the Blesser."

There are a few different ways of fasting mentioned in the bible. One would be the "partial fast" which is basically a restriction of diet but not total removal of food. Daniel lived this one pretty consistently. There is also the "absolute fast" which is abstaining from both food and water. (Esther 4:16 and Acts 9:9). This of course would be something you would need to make CERTAIN God was telling you to do, and even then pay close attention to listening to your body and make sure a few others close to you know what
you are doing. (I'm seriously getting cotton-mouth as I type). And then of course there was the time Jesus fasted from food (and "noise") in the desert for 40 days. (Luke 4:2)

This book even suggests easing into a fasting type of discipline where you might cut out one or two meals a day a week to start, then maybe eventually fast for a whole day. Many people have made this a normal part of their lifestyle dedicating the day to really feast on the word of God expressing their hunger for more of Him! I actually h
ave a friend of mine younger than me who
has been doing this for over 10 years now. He would probably tell you that He's never regretted one missed meal... and honestly, he's one of the most authentic guys I've ever met. I hope to get to the place where I can do this very soon...

Like all of those stories above and many hundreds of thousands since then, when we set aside things of earthly importance in honor of Christ... when we make room.... He WILL move. In those moments when the pain hungers seem unbearable on this physical planet we are actually speaking volumes in the spiritual tearing down walls and breaking weapons of the enemy by silently representing our ultimate hunger
for more of Christ himself. How close can we get to the cross? Well... how close do you really wanna be? If there really is no greater love than His now or forever more... then i want to know, hear, see, feel, receive, and freely give as MUCH of it as possible while I'm still alive! Is there really anything more pressing than that?

"Fasting can bring breakthroughs in the spiritual realm that will never happen in any other
way. It is a means of God's grace and blessing that should not be neglected any longer...." declares Foster.

(This picture is taken from the place of transfiguration (if i remember correctly) looking out over the Sea of Galilee. I'm sure a lot of the "fasting" we've talked about took place around this body of water, and somewhere along the shore most of the Apostles were called. Every time I visit this place I'm moved in an incredible way... if it weren't for those men saying yes, and others who have truly followed Jesus- would we even know? What about the rest of the world?? Will we follow His call that began by this beautiful sea?)

The Life of James (son of Zebedee)

It seems as though this James, including his brother John and the other Apostle Peter, were 3 of Jesus' closest friends... or inner circle, if you will. He even dubbed the brothers the "sons of thunder" at one point in Mark 3. Soon after Jesus called Simon and Andrew to follow Him after finding them casting their nets into the water... He finds James and John with their dad mending their nets. Then in vs. 22 of Matthew 4 it says, "Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." Often now I wonder what in the world that conversation must have sounded like??? I'll let you use your own imagination on that one... but what would it take for you drop your only source of income, way of life and loved ones to follow Him that day? And what does it really look like to follow Him now?

Some interesting facts about James' life is that, along with Peter and John, he was included in a few more significant historical moments than the rest of the disciples. The three boys were there for the raising of Jairus's daughter (Mark 5:37), present at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:1), and the agony in the garden of Gethsemani (Matt 26:37). It's also possible James and his brother got the nickname "the sons of thunder" because of their evangelical zeal and temper as well (Luke 9:54).

Also along with their mother, the brothers had an earthly ambition to sit on either side of Christ on his thrown... not yet fully understanding the spiritual nature of the kingdom. Even in their ignorance Jesus says, "But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:43-45) I can only imagine they felt quickly put in their place.

About 15 years after these words, according to most biblical scholars, James was put to martyred by the grandson of Herod the Great in order to please the Jews and make a spectacle of the Christian church and an example of evangelicals like James. Interestingly enough, some say that the guy that actually led James to judgement was convicted by his testimony, accepted Christ and they were beheaded together.

Wow, who would've thought... another normal fisherman dude on the Sea of Galilee whose life was changed forever on that day a guy named Jesus passed by and asked them to follow. I'm sure James had no earthly idea the temporary suffering that awaited him... nor did he realize the LIFE of adventure, mystery, excitement, miracles, salvations, testimonies, and pure joy that he was to experience before stepping into another eternal realm filled with even more awesome goodness! The funny thing is we are all in our own little boat today with our own little lives and our cute little nets... Jesus is passing by calling out for you to follow and trade in your ordinary lives for extraordinary ones. Following Him is ANYTHING but boring and there is absolutely nothing to fear, all you gotta do is step out of the stinkin boat, follow the shepherd's voice, and step into his footprints.

Training for half-marathon

This was probably one of the most difficult weeks so far in training as well. I think I might have run about 2 or 3 days this week? And on one of those days I chose to run at the park and about half way through began fighting a battle with myself I had never expected. As was jogging my body felt as though it was saying, "you know... i don't really want to run today, so i'm gonna make this as hard as possible for you." Right then and there we had it out. Yes, ok!! I was that crazy lady you passed the other day practically screaming at her body commanding it to do as it was told!!! Haha. Then I began to see this pride, stubbornness, anger, and forcefulness come to the surface which felt and looked sooooooooo ugly. Blaaaaaa. I hated those things for being in me somewhere and just wanted them OUT! Needless to say most of my run that day was a frustrating walk, but I prayed and fought in the spiritual realm for freedom for the majority of 3 miles I'd say. It reminded me of this paragraph in the book, which was probably yet another reason I was experiencing some of this:

"Once the primary purpose of fasting is firmly fixed on our hearts, we are at liberty to understand that there are also secondary purposes in fasting. More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. This is a wonderful benefit to the true disciple who longs to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. We cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but in fasting these things surface. If pride controls us, it will be revealed almost immediately." Also David writes is Psalm 69:19, "I humbled my soul with fasting". Oh man, is that ever true.