I’m so hungry!

I’d like you to meet our son, Stefan. He has some great thoughts about fasting and I’d like to share them with you. Let us know what you think!


When I am extremely busy, I can go an entire day without eating, and I won’t even realize it. I won’t have hunger pains. I won’t get cravings. I won’t even realize that I haven’t drank anything. And, I can do that a lot! I know, I know- that isn’t healthy. But, when I have so much happening during the day, I forget about caring for my body and don’t even miss eating. It isn’t until it is the end of the day, late at night, when I start to get a headache. It’s a pounding, obnoxious headache, and my stomach feels like it has a knife piercing directly through it. I’m slightly dense sometimes; so, I don’t always realize that it is extreme hunger pains (“extreme” as if I have gone days without eating). By the time I stop to think, “Oh, I haven’t eaten today”, it is late at night, and I’m on the verge of death. So, I just quickly shove chips or bread or popcorn down my throat (something that’ll relieve the hunger pains and give a filling sensation to my stomach). Of course, that works in the moment, but I always wake up starving!

I wasn’t going to admit this, but there have been times where I have sleep-eaten. Yes… It is true. My body is desperate for something; so, I wander out in the night and find something to consume. This could be dangerous because I’m an all-natural eater, and I’m not sure if my body knows that… So, I could have eaten cheese puffs without realizing. Anyways, I have gotten better about making time in the day to eat actual meals. What’s the purpose of eating all-natural if I’m starving my body?

Okay; my point in all of this is that I can’t help but draw a connection between my body and our spiritual lives. Allow me to explain:

We can get extremely busy in our day-to-day lives. We work, go to school, have families, friends, commitments, ministries, sports, foundations, outreaches, and, of course, we “need” our tv time, social media, video games, cell phones, and apps to unwind and relax. During all of this, we forget to eat (spiritually speaking), and we don’t even realize it. We won’t have hunger pains. We won’t get cravings. We won’t even realize that we haven’t spoken to God or spent time in His presence in weeks!

It isn’t until it is late at night (a bad point in our lives) that the intense headaches start- that’s the anxiety, worry, depression, sorrow, insecurity, loneliness, restlessness, etc. We get the sharp pains in our gut. And, we realize, in this nighttime, these bad seasons of life, that we haven’t eaten. This is when two things can happen:

We begin to find the quickest snack to shove down our throats in order to resolve the hunger pains and get a filing sensation (i.e. a worship night, an inspirational scripture, an uplifting word or prophesy from someone). AND/OR we begin to search in the night for something. Our spiritual bodies are desperate to be filled, so we sleep-eat. And, since it isn’t accustomed to us eating, our spirits may not know we are all-natural eaters (consumers of God’s Word)… So, we may have eaten of the world’s pantry and not even realized it (those pesky cheese puffs).

And, here were are- somewhat starved, malnourished, and filled with cheese puffs. It’s not exactly the best place to be in life. How do we get out of this place? Easy. Make time.

It always happens when I am fasting that I realize my hunger pains. Of course I never feel them when I’m not fasting, but then again, I am always busy with work or friends or entertainment. But, when I’m fasting and separate myself from my everyday life, I realize that it is 2 pm, and I haven’t eaten. I’m hungry! Clearing my schedule, letting go of certain things, making time brings the realization that I haven’t eaten and my body is hungry.

The same goes for our spiritual lives When we clear out the unnecessary and even the necessary things from our lives, when we make time and separate ourselves from the normal, day-to-day routine, we get those hunger pains. We get the cravings for more of God and for more of His presence. We’re reminded that we need to eat and that our spiritual bodies have a hunger for the Bread of Life.

So, just as I have made time to eat actual meals during the day, I have started being intentional in spending time in the Word, drinking from the Well, and eating the food that is most important. And, the more I do that, the more I realize how hungry I actually am for God. Good thing it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet (cheese puffs not included).

…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3 

Stefan

yeah – he’s got a thing for chocolate too 😉

Have You Tried Reading the Directions?

I’d like you to meet my forever friend, Jennifer. I don’t remember when I didn’t know this girl. We’ve been through just about everything together. And the stories we could tell…..like the time she got a round brush stuck in her bangs during Sunday School and I took her to the kitchen and filled the brush and her hair with peanut butter to help get it out. Or the time I cut her hair. Or the time she set her back yard on fire when we were camping. Or when it appeared her hair was on fire at my wedding. (lots of hair and fire stories here) Or the time we got stuck in a tree in a field with an angry bull. Or the time she saved my life in the girl’s bathroom in high school. Or when we sneaked off campus for lunch and she left me hiding in the floorboard of her car for Coach Cleveland find. (I learned what aiding and abetting was that day) Or going to college together (with our other forever friend, Melissa).

This picture pretty much sums up our relationship.

Kim & Jennifer

I’m sure you’re going to love her thoughts!

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Is there anything more nerve-wracking than driving in Atlanta?  Well, yes actually.  Driving through Atlanta with a load of 17-year-olds in tow.

A couple of years ago, I was driving my daughter and several friends up to north Georgia to go whitewater rafting.  As we were zooming down the 285 “speedway”, I had a blow-out.  I managed to get my old grey Suburban full of teenagers to the shoulder (such as it was).  The next couple of minutes were alarm bells and sweat for me.  I was a nervous wreck inside.  The kids all piled out as to not sit in a hot car on the side of the Interstate.  The “shoulder” was a very narrow left-side concrete strip, which left me in a sheer panic of the thought of one of my passengers getting hit by any of the literally thousands of vehicles whizzing by in the six lanes next to us. When an 18-wheeeler would blow by, our bodies were literally swayed by the hot wind that rushed behind them.  I was sure that distracted drivers were manning the wheel on most of these cars, and well, let’s be honest: we ourselves were a distraction– a bunch of kids on the side of the road with a crazy-looking, sweating, woman and a broken-down truck.

In my group were some young men, one of whom was an Eagle Scout, and they set out to look under the back of the Suburban to start getting the spare out. They weren’t having any luck though.  My spare was not dropping down like it was supposed to.  They worked and sweated and then started over again…but no luck.  The rest of the kids in the group grew restless and so did I.

A couple of policemen pulled up. They were extremely nice and friendly but they could not figure out the tire either. We politely discussed what my next move might be (a tow-truck) while the two boys continued to fiddle around under the truck.  We had been at this for about 30 minutes now, and I knew it was probably time to throw in the towel and move to Plan B.

At this point, my daughter emerged from the side of the Suburban and it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen her since we had first pulled over.

She said simply, “Can I try it?”

I said, “Well, sure…but the guys have been working on it and they haven’t figured it out yet.”  That was code for, “Don’t bother.”

Then she said, “Well, I’ve been reading the Owner’s Manual.  Maybe that will help.”

That was one of those parent-moments. You know…when you just stand there like a dork and marvel at this kid of yours and their superior reasoning skills, and wonder when that transformation happened without you noticing.

You can guess what happened next.  It wasn’t too long before we were, in the words of Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again.”

That was a scary situation, but like most crucial moments in life, we laughed about it later.  As time passed, I found some symbolism in the chaos.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 (NIV) says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

How many times are we faced with a scary situation in life?  Something that we haven’t faced before… Something that seems to be without a solution…something that is entrenched in treacherous circumstances.  We stand there, and stare at it, and try to figure out how to fix it.  But it won’t fix.  We try again.  Still, nothing.  We fiddle with it, tinker with it, try looking at it upside-down…nothing.

At some point, hopefully, we turn to our “Instruction Manual”, God’s Word, and look for instructions on how to address our problem. But how much easier would our life be if we would read the instructions right from the start?  How much stress and worry could be avoided?  Maybe some negative situations wouldn’t even occur at all.

All we need to do is read the directions that our Maker gave us. God doesn’t want us to stand on the side of road worrying about what is going to come barreling toward us and knock the breath out of us. He wants us to read the directions. Then, we can get off the shoulder and continue our journey toward something better.

Jen's Blog pic

This is the crew who survived the flat tire fiasco. The daughter who saved the day (and the cost of a tow) is Kayla, the long-haired beauty sitting on the bench, second from the right.

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Jennifer lives in Madison, Mississippi with Pat, her wonderfully patient husband of 24 years and her two amazingly brilliant daughters, Tavyn and Kayla. She is the 7th grade principal at Madison Middle School and a die-hard LSU fan. But most importantly – she loves Jesus. 

Jen's family

I live in a flood zone.

Recently my hometown of Monroe, Louisiana experienced devastating floods. It was heartbreaking to watch it unfold on the news and hear week after week that more rain inundated the area preventing standing water from draining. As flood waters began to rise, thousands were displaced as their homes took in anywhere from 20 to 60 inches of water. Hundreds of homes were underwater for nearly six weeks.

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As water levels began to recede, the clean-up started. Teams and crews tirelessly worked to empty salvageable homes, dumping carpet, cabinets, furniture and sheet rock at the curb. And as they cleaned out their homes, many found shocking surprises. Some found an alligator in their yard. Others discovered snakes hiding in showers, behind furniture, in the nooks and crannies of their garage and in cabinets – both high and low – tucked in pots and bowls.

So much wildlife had been displaced by flooding. Flood waters carried snakes and alligators into populated areas where they are not normally seen – like in houses – causing residents to rely on experts to help them remove the unwanted guest.

Insert “shudder” here. The only thing I hate more than broccoli is snakes.

As I thought about how horrible it is to stumble upon a snake – (I’ve been caught unaware by a snake on several occasions) – I realized what Truth this situation contains.

I realized I’m living in a flood zone. I have invited Abba to fill my life. As a result, He has begun to rain on me filling me with Himself. As His Presence fills my life to capacity, flooding every area with His glory, it begins to displace things in my life. And as a result, I begin to see things that I would not normally see. Things start to show up in attitudes, emotions and mind-sets where they had not previously been. Things I was once unaware of are now in plain site. His presence flooding my life is shifting things.

And what surfaces the most? Lies. Lies I believe about God. Lies about His character. Lies about His love. Lies about how God operates and interacts with humanity. Lies I believe about myself. Lies I believe about Christianity. Lies about church. His presence filling my life causes those lies to surface and become obvious.

The enemy also takes advantage of this flooding and tries to slip lies in about my experiences and encounters with Abba. Suggesting all types of lies about Abba’s voice, presence and movement in my life.

Now, lies are just like snakes and I hate them just as much. They slither in unnoticed and hide in unexpected places. And sometimes they look harmless. Like the insidious little coral snake that is indigenous to Louisiana. It’s small and very colorful. It doesn’t look  like your typical snake. Its bite at first seems anticlimactic. There is little pain or swelling – you may not even know you’ve been bitten. And symptoms of the bite can be delayed up to 12 hours. However, even though the bite seems uneventful, the neurotoxin is deadly. The venom causes disruption between the brain and muscles causing slurred speech, double vision, paralysis and eventually ending in respiratory or cardiac failure.

That’s exactly how lies operate. Very seldom do you realize you’ve been bitten by a lie. And you never realize you believe a lie. The effects of believing the lie are delayed. But given time, the deadly poison of the lie begins to spread and affects our speech, causing us to speak negatively and contrary to Truth. We can’t see clearly any longer because now we perceive reality through the lens of a lie. It paralyzes us, preventing us from taking action and rooting out the enemy. And eventually, a lie will lead to the death of Truth in that area of our life.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries recommends residents who encounter snakes in their homes call an expert to remove them. This is suggested because removal can be dangerous. If you don’t know what you’re doing, things could go from bad to worse real fast. But an expert knows exactly how to approach the snake and safely remove it from the home.

The same is true for us. When we discover a lie, we really have no idea how to remove it. And seldom can we detect Truth by our self. If we try to remove a lie and establish truth our self, we fall into greater deception. We need the help of the Expert to root the lie out. John 16:13 (NLT) says When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. Holy Spirit is the expert in removing lies. He removes the lie by revealing Truth. Truth is the anti-venom to the lie. Truth is the cure. Jesus said that when we know the Truth, it will set us free. (John 8:32) The word “know” in this passage means to have intimate knowledge of. Information that you’ve accepted, internalized and absorbed. When He reveals it – you must embrace it.

And as we allow Truth to course through our being, it removes the fogginess of the lies, bringing clarity to our thinking. Knowing Truth fills our mouth with Truth so that we speak positively. We begin to see correctly because now we view life through the lens of Truth. Truth empowers us to use our authority in Christ to aggressively trounce our enemy. Truth brings life, renewal and healing to every part of our existence.

And then He teaches us how to live according to Truth so that the lie no longer carries any influence in our life. He teaches us how to incorporate Truth into our life so that it becomes the basis of everything we are. He teaches us how to get comfortable with Truth, so that we recognize any other lie that tries to slither in.

If you’ve given Abba permission to fill you with Himself, you’re living in a flood zone too. And as He floods your life with Him, lies are going to surface. It’s inevitable. Expect it. Don’t be shocked by it. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed that you believed a lie. It happens to ALL of us. When you encounter it, call on Holy Spirit, reject the lie and ask Him to implant Truth. And He will.

BTW: Coral snakes are reclusive and generally bite humans only when handled or stepped on. They must literally chew on their victim to inject their venom fully and often they give “dry” bites. This means not every bite delivers venom, so most bites to humans don’t result in death. To know if you’ve encountered a coral snake, remember this rhyme: “Red on yellow will kill a fellow. Red on black is a friend of Jack”. My rule of thumb: avoid them ALL. 000087279dcb44fb2fcd1be2848bf662