Fasting from the Book of Faces

In efforts to have more vision from the Lord, my mentor suggested we all do a 3 day fast. I immediately heard God say, “Yep, do it! You know what I’m talking about.”

Facebook….fast from Facebook.

Now, along with everyone else, I agree. It’s a huge waste of time, filled with a bunch of crap from other people’s lives that I don’t give $.02 (2 cents) about…(that reminds me, whatever happened to the “cents” sign? I remember writing a small “c”…or backwards was it (?), with a vertical line through it in school. Is change really that unimportant now?) Anyways, I don’t care that people are going to bed, and I REALLY don’t care that people are going to the gym. BUT when you’re living in the desert (a.k.a. China…there’s more to it but that’s another story) there’s things you find interesting that wouldn’t normally tug at you…pics of Hawaii, someone’s kid’s tooth fell out, people having the sniffles…I’m already starting not to care. If for nothing else than the pure fact that you have a pseudo-connection with people to keep you sane and make you falsely feel like others care about what YOU’RE doing. That’s me.

Because when I turn off Facebook it’s just me and God…hmmm, a novel idea. No distractions? Why don’t I want more of this? (God usually doesn’t give instant gratification that my generation has been raised to expect, and I, for one, hate that I’m a victim an addict to it just as much as the next person.)

So, at 7pm (Hawaii time, because that’s what my computer’s time is still on) yesterday I “x”ed out of Facebook, not to be turned on until 1pm Sunday (China time). [Oh yeah, and speaking of fasting; aren’t you, like, not supposed to tell anyone?…Well, this preacher’s-kid has never been one for rules and regulations. It just brings out the rebel in me, and I DO NOT need anymore of THAT lady.

So naturally, I immediately log into Twitter. “You specifically said Facebook, God. You didn’t say anything about Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.”

I went on to “tweet” something stupid that no one cares about and will never see…No, wait, that’s wrong too. I attached Twitter to my blog so people will see it now. WHY DO I DO THESE THINGS?! “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, Emily.”

I can remember a time when the only time I checked Facebook was in the computer lab at school because I didn’t even own my own laptop and Tweeting just sounded dirty. (It may have come out the same time as that song with the “skeet skeet skeet”.)

So, this morning, while doing my devos I committed to fasting from ALL social media. I figured, if nothing else, it’ll inspire me to write more and hey, look, here I am! I told God in my devos today “I don’t even know what I’m looking for.” To which he reminded me of Romans 8:26. Then I just simply said, like I do everyday “What would you have for me today, Lord?”

English AND Chinese…double whammy!

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9

That’s it! We fast for discernment, to know what’s best. And isn’t it true that we make better decisions when not distracted?! Thanks God!

I prayed this over my sisters in my Bible study group. For me, yes, I struggle with wanting to know details, but I’m always reminded to keep it simple. Seek HIS will, not my own. Bring glory to HIM, not myself. Build HIS kingdom, not my own. The rest is gravy!

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.


Getting High

I never know what will be my next inspiration!

No, I don’t smoke, nor will I ever, but I was listening to “Jump Up In the Air and Stay There” by Erykah Badu while running my 2 mile WOD (Workout Of the Day, for those that aren’t familiar with Crossfit lingo) and the thoughts were flowing. (Exercise seems to have this effect on me.) (Can you imagine if I did smoke?! I’d have a writing contract by now…No, Emily! God is bigger!) While I don’t condone smoking in the least (I know the jokes can be misleading), I do love this song and I thought, “What gets me high? What makes me feel like I’m on top of the world, like nothing can touch me?”

*Warning: For those that don’t believe in God, or are tired of the cliche Christian talk (I thought maybe I dodged that one with the title, but maybe not), have your vomiting bags available. I’m about to get Biblicious.

2 Things:

The first is exercise. If I didn’t believe in God, this would be my religion. There’s something so powerful about the feeling you get after utterly exhausting yourself, lifting 1kg more to hit a PR (personal record), beating the next minute by just a couple seconds in a race with the clock, being 30 and still being able to run a mile under 8 min like you remember promising yourself when you were 15 yr. old and in high school track and field. (Just me? Oh, sorry. I can actually remember the day.) (Little did I know how young 30 still is!)

It’s amazing all the gunk that’s brought to the surface from these extreme pushes of the human body. You plan on exercising, but end of figuring out why you’ve felt so rejected by your mom all these years. (No, Mom, nothing to do with you. It’s just a joke!) It’s a humbling feeling, really, which I like to use to usher in all kinds of analogies to my spiritual walk and relationship with Jesus. (You can find many of these in my very first posts that I originally sent out as emails.) Exercise is therapy on every level. If I had a dime for every time someone started crying during a training session, or talked about family and relational problems, I’d have…an extra $50. But my point is, it wasn’t my doing (not usually), it was the exercise! I push, but I like to think I’m sensitive enough to know when enough is enough, and most of the time it’s the emotional vomit as a result of actually accomplishing something you never thought possible, pushing yourself past your physical limits, which inevitably pushes you past your emotional limits, even if it’s the smallest of things, like, NOT quitting when you really wanted to. Now THAT gets me fired up!

For me, exercise is a form of worship and I was so stoked to find this quote off one of the Crossfit Journal entries about Becky Conzelman. It says of her,

“The former representative of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes says she feels close to God when she exercises.

“I am truly worshipping when I am competing.” Right on! Same for me!

The other thing is a simple concept, but rather hard to put into words. (These are the moments I wish I was a natural wordsmith, but alas, I have It’s the power of God’s movement in my life. If you’ve ever had an experience with God, you know exactly what I’m talking about. At that moment, all disbelief vanishes because you simply can’t deny what just happened. (You almost look around wondering if anyone else felt it too.) You can’t deny an experience. For some people they’ve had that experience and they’re still trying to play like it didn’t happen. They will forever be playing that game because you can’t deny something that happened to you. I’m not talking about something you saw, but a feeling, deep down in your gut. It either pulled (pulls) on you or even makes you hesitate at different thoughts and decisions because it’s now a battle between your conscience and the Holy Spirit. Our conscience isn’t always right, misguided many times by society’s twisting of truths and promises since, afterall, we are human. It’s some crazy stuff!

This gnawing one might feel is why I highly recommend for those of you who want to remain non-believers, NEVER seek, lest you find! And you will! And on top of that, beware, because if you have someone in your life who’s praying for you (quite possibly me), get ready to be pestered for the rest of your life. You will never be settled. You will never be content. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s misery because, unfortunately, this world has plenty we can cover and fill up emptiness with. Temporary as it may be, you’re bound (if determined) to find the next best thing to keep you momentarily distracted from the source of this never ending discontentment. Apple, alone, has enough products to keep you busy for life. In fact, you’ll never be able to keep up, or go broke before you do. I’m so guilty! Social media has me checking the internet every 5 min just so I can have this feeling of pseudo-closeness with friends and family. It’s a great way to keep in contact, but who are we kidding. Human interaction can never be genuinely replaced by words, pictures, ‘LOL’s, and capital letters.

Have I gone off track? Probably. If exercise is a form of worship for me, then I now not only feel the pull on my heart to spend one of one time with the Lord reading his Word, but also to condition and strengthen this blessing he’s given to me, not for my glory, but for His.These are the two things I get high on, and I gotta get it everyday.

What gets you high?