Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spiritual Confidence

I’ll share a few more of peoples’ reflections on their participation in West Houston’s week of prayer and fasting, then offer some comments.

* My fasting diet consisted of vegetables, fruit, and water only…My second fasting was from television. I thought that this would be really, really easy for me. I used to watch maybe one TV show a week if I got around to it. Now I realize that I turn on the TV in the morning to listen to what I call "happy" talk shows. I use that to try to pep myself up for the day ahead. I used to find happiness within myself very easily, and now I don't. Being happy within myself requires work.

* This week has been great as a collective way to help hold me accountable for something … I am grateful to know I am a part of something much larger. This has also given my husband and me a great springboard to conversations about God that usually get lost in the hustle of day-to-day living.

* This fasting has been a blessing. I can't believe I just said that. I have never fasted before. Surprisingly, I am not hungry at night. I can't explain that…Many people think fasting is ridiculous. I would have never said that – I have just never tried it.

* I know for my husband and me, not watching TV and skipping one meal a day has left a lot of time for other, better things. We have spent more quality time with the kids at night, read and spent more time talking to each other! It has also been neat to encourage and help our Life Group and check on each other during the week.

* It has been incredibly encouraging to think about my WHCC family joining in this spiritual endeavor. I think that the spirit of fellowship and service in our church body are fantastic. I do not take this for granted….I hope that this becomes a WHCC tradition. Prayer, fasting, community, and encouragement are GREAT exercises for our church.

* Fasting from TV actually scared me at first because I thought that I would feel 'lonely' or something. I realize that I tend to use TV as a comforting mechanism more often than not. It's scary that TV has become that to me. I'm happy to report, though, that I have not missed TV much at all this week…This is my first fasting. Fasting is also something that I was never taught or encouraged to do when I attended other churches. I hope that this will not be my last fasting.

* Every morning I have stopped at the Church Garden to pray at about 5:15 a.m. And every morning I leave with closeness to God I don’t think I have ever felt as I started my day. It has governed my emotions through the day, which is a good thing, because every one of those people who irritates me or makes me mad has called this week…

As I read through dozens of testimonies and heard many people’s comments, several themes kept coming up:

1) Folks are more dependent on television for “filler” in their life than they would like to be. This is robbing them of meaningful time and conversation with their spouse and/or children. Less TV can be a powerful new subtraction from peoples’ family lives.

2) Most folks, even life-long church members, have not had much experience with fasting. This can be a powerful new addition to peoples’ spiritual lives.

3) Many people gained spiritual inspiration and confidence from fasting. They are wondering what else they can do with God if they try. That is powerful, period.

-- Matt Soper (3/2/08)


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