If you don't already know about the nation-wide Awakening Fast, this is an excerpt from the email sent out yesterday to our women by our Women's Ministries Director, Cheryl McEachron (who is one of my dear friends and mentor):
Beginning Monday, January 7, churches around the nation are entering a 21-day fast called the Awakening Fast. Fasting is called for by God several times in the Bible when His people needed God's divine intervention or when someone was wanting to focus on crying out to God for a particular answer (Nehemiah, Esther). We need a REVIVING, an AWAKENING in our spirits so we recognize our desperate need for HIM! In the book of Daniel in the Old Testament we see Daniel a young Hebrew that has been taken captive with several of his friends by the Babylonian, King Nebuchadnezzar. This young man is offered, even ordered to eat the food from the King's table, which is against his Jewish dietary laws. He resolves himself to humbly request a very restricted diet - all fruits and vegetables, grains and only water to drink. Later Daniel fasts for 21 days by eating no meat, no sweets and no fermented drinks. We now call this way of eating for 10 days or 21 days, a Daniel Fast. For Daniel, he & his friends, they were tested and found to be better than any of the other young men, and at the end of the 21 days he has an angelic visitation and a powerful end time vision. What is it you desire from God?? What would you sacrifice to meet with God?? Fasting is more than changing or eliminating food for a period of time. It is a time to spend time with God and focus on what pleases Him.Types of Fasts:Full Fast: Fluids only, no food (water or juice)Daniel Fast: Eat no meat, no sweets or breads, Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.Partial Fast: From 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (or sun-up to sun-down) (select what type of fast; full, Daniel, or at least one food during that time), you could also choose to fast media or any other item God lays on your heartPrepare to Fast:If you are ceasing to use coffee and/or sugar, begin today to cut down on the amount you use each day so you will minimize the discomfort of the detoxification your body will go through if you stop all at once. Detox symptoms are headache and possible irritability. You may also feel more fatigue and need a little extra sleep or rest.Strengthen Your Heart:Many of you have a devotional you read everyday, but if you would like fresh devotions delivered to your inbox morning and evening go to http://enjoyreallife.com/ and check the box at the bottom of the screen. There are also encouraging messages by many wonderful leaders found on http://www.jentezenfranklin.org/fasting/ - on the upper righthand corner click on Quick Links and click on the 21-Day Video journal as of January 6.If you need a list of foods you can eat, recipes, and devotions all in one place try http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com/
My husband and I will be doing the Daniel Fast starting Monday, and my 9yo son wants to join us. Our other older children are choosing their own methods of fasting.
I look forward to this fast every year. Not only is it a wonderful way to start the year, setting my mind on things above, but I enjoy the eating plan. In the past, we've lost around 11 pounds during this 21 day fast. We enjoy eating whole, real, God-made foods at home anyways, so this isn't much of a stretch for us. But we do eliminate meat and dairy, and all those delicious sweets (that I'm now so tired of after the holidays). Our focus for this fast is on God-made foods that come from plants, mainly fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Here's the menu I've created to keep us on track during this fast. I've used the same one for the past three years.
The following is my grocery list for the fast. It may appear long, but many of these items, I already have on hand, so I don't have to buy everything here. But its my checklist to ensure I have all I need.
BreakfastFlatbread with PBSmoothiesOatmeal with apples or berries, honey, & nutsBanana covered in PB & rolled in granolaPotato & veggie burritoCream of wheat with raisins or mashed bananas & nutsWhole grain cereal, puffed brown rice cereal, shredded mini wheats, or granola with almond milk, fruitWhole grain waffles with pure maple syrupEzekiel bread topped with honey & cinnamon & broiled till toastedLunchGrilled veggie wrapsChili on baked potatoVeggie patty with oven fries or roasted red potatoesSoup & salad, Ezekiel bread toasted with olive oil & sea saltGreek salad & W.W. pitaBlack bean, corn, & tomato saladBean burrito & fruitSpinach saladDinner leftoversDinnerRed beans & riceMediterranean pasta with O.O. & garlic, saladW.W. linguine with broccoliGrilled veggie wraps or pitasVegetable soup with barleyVeggie stir fry with peanuts over whole grain riceBeans & cornbread with honey or flatbreadChunky minestroneVegetable saute over pasta or riceLentils with spinach & garlic, whole wheat crackersCouscous with asparagus & orangeChili (no meat)Roasted veggie pita with hummusTortilla soup with Taco Salad (no meat)Veggie Paninis on flat bread with grilled portabella mushroomsWinter squash with pure maple syrup & nuts or stuffed with whole grain riceVegetarian spaghetti with tomato sauce & mushrooms, saladBlack bean tacos with lettuce, tomato, onion, salsaSnacksApples & PBFruit & nutsRice cakes with PB & raisinsAir popped popcorn (olive oil & salt)Fruit kabobsWhole grain crackers & PBFlatbread chips with hummusSweet potato friesCelery & PBCorn tortilla chips & salsa or guacamole
Here's a printable version of this menu and list for your personal use.
SHOPPING LISTMinced garlicSea salt & pepperTaco & chili seasoningCinnamonOlivesVegetable brothCorn, canned or frozenDiced tomatoes, cannedBlack beans, canned (put in blender & salt for refried beans)Tomato sauce (no sugar)Corn tortilla chipsWhole grain crackers (I like Ak-Mak)Rice cakesNatural peanut butterWhole grain flatbread, tortillas, & pitasEzekiel breadFrozen berries & fruit for smoothiesVeggie burger pattiesHoneyPure maple syrupSeveral different kinds of raw nutsRolled oatsCream of wheatWhole grain cereal, puffed brown rice cereal, or CheeriosGranola (or make your own)RaisinsHummusDry Beans (pinto, kidney, navy, any kind)BarleyLentilsCouscousWhole grain pastas, varietyWhole grain rice (brown or wild)Olive oilPopcorn kernelsFresh ProduceTomatoesCarrotsCeleryOnionSquash, summer (yellow & green)Squash, winterBell peppersCabbageMushrooms, small & portabellaPotatoes, sweet, russet, & redLettuce & salad toppingsSpinachAvocadosAny other veggies you likeBerriesOrangesApplesBananasAny other fruit you like
If you plan to join us in this spiritual journey over the next several weeks, I hope you find these lists helpful. Planning is the first step, so I've done that for you. Now, you can focus on getting your heart set on God, seeking His will for this year, and asking for His intervention in our nation. If ever a year to depend on God, this is the year, with the way the nation and world are heading. Thank you, Jesus, that I have you to lean on and that you are in charge, not the government. We need God now more than ever!