“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their …Fasting
Fasting is not a big scary thing just for the ultra mature Christian.
Many will tell you how and what to do – even corporate fasts are all the rage now and can sometimes seem to pressure you into fasting.
One time my church did a corporate fast after I had done a 40 day fast and I felt pressured to join everyone – I even pressured my family to do it.
We were miserable!
I asked God “what’s wrong – why so hard to fast for 3 weeks – I just finished a 40 days fast and it was amazing?”
He clearly told me – “I didn’t ask you to fast”. I was like – “Yeah but everyone else is “… He told me – “That’s what’s wrong – everyone follows the crowds instead of following Me.”
So I only do corporate fasts if the Lord specifically speaks to me to join them now. And I don’t pressure my family to join me.
I explain it to my kiddos and others like this …”Fasting is to simply get alone with God. Take a time out.
Ask Him what is tugging at your heart more than the tug to spend time with Him.”
“What do you gravitate to for comfort besides the Great Comforter?”
If you think of fasting and the first “thing” you think of and quickly panic and say – “oh I couldn’t fast that” … that is generally and probably the thing you need to fast.
Some say fasting is like sharpening your ax, clearing and cleaning out your spiritual eyes and ears, emptying your glass to be filled up, or removing the calluses of our flesh built up on our hearts, (the last one is my own personal definition!)
I know for me when I fast I feel like I am tuning in and tuning out the static and can almost hear the audible voice of God.
Years ago we practiced Lent.
The idea is to Press in – Go Deeper – and Beyond with God during that Lent Season before Easter.
We would pig out on Fat Tuesday then cold turkey give up everything.
Ice cream, cheeseburgers, Pizza, fried foods, video games, TV, and sweets for Lent until one year God said – “how about be nicer to your husband and pack his lunch every day”…. 😳
“Uhm – You are funny God!”
But I finally did just that and it was one of the hardest but also the best seasons and turning points in my spiritual growth and my marriage when I gave up selfishness and served someone else intentionally for a season. This one actually stuck and I am still packing the hubs lunch today.
Fasting takes intention.
Every time that tug towards what you are fasting surfaces – you take the urge to God.
Pray, read the Word, Worship.
Or (Keep your nagging critical mouth shut and pack a lunch)
Soon you will find your empty cup filling up with lots of great things.
Fasting also doesn’t have to be 21 days or a month or 2 months or 7 days.
It can simply be for 1 day or 1 hour.
It’s what you and the Lord decide.
~ XXOO Michelle
I fasted for 40+ days a couple of years ago and blogged my journey. You can check it out here for a good laugh …or inspiration… or to maybe distract you while you are fasting…https://restoredministriesblog.wordpress.com/category/my-fasting-experience-downloads/
Shifting Point – My Moment Of Truth
Recently when moving a dog food bag of about 50 pounds I was struck by how heavy it was, and that for me I was carrying around about this much of extra weight each and every day on my body.
I know it is not healthy and have tried countless ways to jumpstart this process but I am usually quite discouraged by how slow the scale moves and allow the busyness of life to take over and then the days blend together and I seem to blink and another year has flown by.
The same 40/50 pounds still here.
I decided that I could no longer just go about it like it was a minor thing and needed to get intentional about doing something.
My twins just turned 18 and graduated – so the baby weight is no longer a valid excuse.
I reached my shifting point!
I researched about Intermittent Fasting and found a program I liked.
I did my before pics and took all my measurements and jumped on the scale …determined!
WOW – I started thinking back and counted the years since I held a consistent workout routine and ate really clean.
Shocking it had been over 3 years!
I have done fasts like the one I blogged about almost 2 years ago and lost 25 pounds and have done other challenges and have exercised a bit here and there but the paper staring back at me and the pictures were shocking that I could no longer ignore or deny or put it on the back burner for any longer.
I didn’t get discouraged. I took it all like a big girl and pulled up my big girl panties and said….
I may have a lot medically working against me, but I too can be the biggest hinderance to me…
But greater is He that is in me!
With You Lord- I can do this!
I went to bed with great anticipation and then I was suddenly awakened at 4:44 am.
Somehow I knew it had a deeper meaning so I wrote it down.
When I had time, I looked up the number 4.
4= Dalet / Hebrew
A tent door
Entrance to Promise Land
Number of the Kingdom
Enter into your physical deliverance
BOOM! I like that Lord! I am READY!
Weeks ago when the Lord first spoke Shifting Point to me I wrote down these tidbits…
Combat always comes before victory.
Believing is the condition for receiving.
God’s truth does not change with my moods.
So here’s to my Shifting Point!
I will keep you posted on how it goes.
For grins I checked out the definitions……
a particular instant of time a critical position in a course of affairs
a decisive state of circumstances
the important or essential thing
Synonyms: juncture, moment of truth
What is your moment of truth?
Where do you need a Shifting Point?
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
Crown Your Efforts With Success
In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.~ Proverbs 3:6
I have seen this verse many times. It was one of my verses from my dreams last night and I almost skimmed right over the word and lesson God was trying to convey to me.
God has been speaking to me for almost a year that I should be intentionally focusing and living Christ first- Christ center; In everything!
It is not always easy living this way because the world pulls and tugs at us to distract us.
Being in my second fast in May and removing many distractions and intentionally trying to keep Christ first and practice uncomfortable obedience,was hard.
Here are some things I learned….
God will ask you to change your thinking, clear out warped perceptions, bring you out of your comfort zone, have you say no to some good things to make room for greater things.
He will have you learn to wait, trust, cling to Him. He will ask us to be bolder and braver and not sugar coat or withhold back anything because of fear.
He will ask us to remove, decline, and obey him in some pretty hard things while he is helping us get rid of our fleshly behaviors. We won’t always understand what He reveals, but that is where Trust and Faith are built.
It is such a different way to live when we stop focusing on the world and our flesh and filter everything by – is it Christ honoring? Is Christ in the center of this? Is Christ first place? Am I being Obedient?
When we obey Christ in everything-what God views as a success- may not be what others see.
So through this verse God showed me:
What the world may view as success or even what I can view as success, is sometimes the exact opposite of what God views as success.
The image today is the one of the beauty queen blunder where Steve Harvey announced in error the wrong winner and on a very public stage the crown was removed from one and placed on the real winner.
Talk about Awkward!
I actually saw the interview with the host Steve Harvey and the actual winner. It was really sad how the public reacted so ugly to a simple human error. People were calling for boycotts, some got death threats, the real winner couldn’t enjoy her success because of the threats of angry people and had to go into hiding.
What could have been a life lesson for many- was missed in all the anger and resentments -so they don’t ever see the lesson.
So it is with us, We can miss many life lessons because of anger, judgement, offense,negative influences, resentments, criticisms and fear.
Those things have a way of clouding our views. We won’t be able to see or hear clearly when those things get in the way.
So always put God first!
Do what is right. Do what God says to do. Don’t let the world change you- let the Word change you.
If we keep God first and center, He will direct us and crown our efforts with success, even if the world doesn’t see the success in the situation.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
Pouring Out Our Story
I am as full of words as the speediest writer pouring out his story!
I poured out my fasting story – all 40 days of downloads. Today is #40!
I recently sent a version of my story and had it sent back to rework and edit for a feature spot on a dear friends blog. I know it needs to be done, it was just a rough cut. I just sort of poured out the story.
When I have to edit all the submissions to this blog, from all the stories pouring out, the editing is the not so fun part.
Even editing my own stuff is not fun.
I was invited to do a recorded television spot for our local TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) on how TBN has impacted my life. The first take seemed effortless. God spoke through me and they cheered and then the retake…..
I am a swayer when I talk so they wanted a second go round. That retake did not feel as smooth.
I know It is all up to God. They will send it on and will notify me if they decide to air it or use it.
I just poured out my story.
All these recent things on pouring out our stories and words….
God is always dealing with me on my words.
To speak up and use them or to shut up or choose fewer words.
I love how the verse says, my heart is overflowing with a beautiful thought.
That is usually how it starts. I have a beautiful thought and then I sometimes just get it out and am done, but most of the time we have to edit or do a retake. I love how God speaks to my heart through His word.
I am so so with poetry, but I am for sure full of words!
We all have a beautiful story- our testimony. We may just have a beautiful thought, but God will weave the rest of it out for His Glory.
Trust Him with it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. You always can edit or a retake if you need to.
Just begin by pouring out your story!
This is the beautiful final verse in my fasting experience downloads and it couldn’t be more fitting.
My heart is overflowing with a beautiful thought! I will write a lovely poem to the King, for I am as full of words as the speediest writer pouring out his story. You are the fairest of all;Your words are filled with grace;God himself is blessing you forever. ~ Psalm 45:1-2 TLB
Be blessed everyone!
Thank you for coming on this journey with me.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
It’s All Good
This morning as I was unpacking my verse, I was also multi-tasking.
I texted my twins to apologize for being naggy.
My husband is on vacation and has thrown our normal routines off.
I was griping and short and just being a real nag.
God quickly dealt with me and said to apologize so I sent the text. My daughter quickly replied:
It’s all good love you😘
She even sent me a kiss emoticon.
I returned to my verse unpacking and this is what it said:
“All right,” Hezekiah replied. “Whatever the Lord says is good. At least there will be peace during my lifetime!” ~Isaiah 39:8
Isn’t that the truth!
Whatever the Lord tells us to do, it is good. It may not feel good, or be the popular thing to do, it might require swallowing our pride and humbly obeying God, but in the end it is all good.
And just like Hezekiah, there will be peace during our lifetime!
So make that call and reach out and apologize to someone that you know the Lord has asked you to. It will bring peace and restoration.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
Steadily And Deeply
Steadily and Deeply. Those two words jumped out at me today.
My first 40 day fasting experience is almost over. It really has been steady and deep.
I did not think I could ever do this.
Which, in actuality, I really didn’t.
It was ALL God that did it!
I just obeyed Him and the Spirit and stopped giving in to my flesh.
When we begin to live in that Altar’d state, we will begin to live so much more steadily and deeply.
Today’s verse is:
This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in Him, and He in us: He’s given us life from His life, from His very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent His Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. ~ 1 John 4:13
Lord, thank You for steady and deep. Thank You for the guidance and leading to do this fast. I not only have reaped so many health benefits, but the spiritual growth has been phenomenal. Thank You that when I take trust off myself and place it rightfully on You where it should be, You can work on my behalf.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
Need A Light
Feel like you are barely flickering?
Or are you burning your candle at both ends too quickly?
Maybe your light has gone out and you need a light?
Mine seems to barely flicker right now!
I have hit a plateau and today is day 32 of my fasting experience. I am growing a little weary.
This morning I read this verse:
For you are the Fountain of life; our light is from Your light.
I was encouraged to know that my light is from His light so when I am barely flickering or have gone out, I simply have to go to God and let Him know I need a light!
Lord, help me finish strong. I have just a few weeks left and I know You are the fountain of life, so pour into me. Fill me up and keep my light shining bright. Reignite the passion and perseverance for me and this fast. Thank You for Your word. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that helps me in all areas. Thank You that my light comes from Your light.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
Calling All Angels
“I need a sign to let me know You’re here…..
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere”
Remember the old Train song-
Calling All Angels?
“When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake from the words that are said”
When I read today’s verse I instantly thought of that song. I admit I had to look up the lyrics since it had been awhile:
“I need a sign to let me know You’re here
‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me…”
“When children have to play inside so they don’t disappear
While private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don’t talk for years
And football teams are kissing Queens
and losing sight of having dreams
In a world that what we want is only what we want until it’s ours”
Wow- those are some great lyrics! No wonder that song was so popular.
I can see when people are consumed with the news media and hearing the world telling them all sorts of bad stuff that it would be hard to have hope.
The TV set just keeps it all from being clear
But what is clear?….
God and His Word!
Countless times we read stories in the Bible where people cried out to the Lord and He rescued them. God has armies of Angels all ready for their next assignments. Our simple cry to God, sets that assignment into motion.
In Numbers it shows that when they cried out to the Lord, he heard them and sent an Angel who brought them out of Egypt.
His promises are still true today. Cry out to God for what ever your need is. He has His angels always on call and ready to go.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
But when we cried to the Lord he heard us and sent an Angel who brought us out of Egypt, and now we are here at Kadesh, encamped on the borders of your land. ~Numbers 20:16 TLB
Finding The Courage
I am more than half way through my fasting experience. What would seem like a really scary and difficult task has not really been all that bad. Much easier than I thought.
I think a lot is due to having the right perspective and mindset going in. I wanted this to be about God revealing some transforming truths in His word for me. I wanted to crucify my flesh and live in the Spirit. I wanted to not mourn what I gave up and instead be excited with the wisdom and knowledge I would gain.
I never imagined how wonderful this could be.
Of all the things I gave up, I gained so much more. Some revelations have been life changing, some have been AHA (a holy answer) moments, and some have been encouragement for me to keep pressing on.
As I am no longer turning to food to fill or stuff an emotional void it is not intended to and instead using food for just nutrition, I am finding many things about myself that have seemed hidden, start to emerge.
Today’s Life Recovery notes on my verse talk about finding the courage.
I started to think about the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz that was in search of courage and traveled the yellow brick road to Oz, but only to realize he really had it all along. The lion had let fear crowd his courage out.
Courage, for me too, was like the Lion, I thought I didn’t have very much, but realized, I had it all along but fear had been crowding out my courage.
What God has been showing me is that when I tune into the Spirit over my flesh, then I will find not only the Courage, but a whole lot more things, I only thought I lacked.
The courage to speak up when I need to
The courage to deny my flesh
The courage in asking God for bolder and bigger prayers
The courage to let go of control
The courage to surrender my will and my emotions fully to God
The courage to rest in His perfect peace
The courage to try new things
The courage to love others more
The courage to take even the slightest resentment or hurt to Him first
The courage to forgive fully
The courage to accept instead of expect
The courage to listen more
The courage to speak less
The courage to realize my worth is in God and not in my own abilities
Lord, thank You for chiseling away at all the junk to reveal the facets of the diamond You are mining instead of just revealing and leaving the flaws. Your love, mercy, and grace make it all possible. Thank You for restoration and recovery and most of all salvation. Thank You for avenging me and others who are hurting and bound by secrets, sins, or struggles. Thank You for Your many promises in Your Word and the Power of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that You came to set the captives free and to give us a hope and a future.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
But as for Judah, it will always be full of people.Eternal One: Jerusalem, too, will endure for generations to come. I will avenge those who were hurt, enslaved, exiled, and killed;I will not let the guilty go free.For the Eternal One lives in Zion. ~ Joel 3:20-21 The VOICE
God has a good future planned for all who trust in Him. Restoration and recovery will be complete; salvation will be forever. With this hope for the future, we can find the courage we need to persevere through our problems today. Since the final goal of our recovery process is assured, we need not fear the dark days still ahead. ~Life Recovery Bible