Sunday began our new Connect Group Semester & honestly I can’t remember when I’ve been challenged this extensively. I was feeling guilty/convicted for not doing the Daniel fast for the 12th year. Despite receiving phenomenal, clear-cut, precise directions from God every year, I can’t help but wonder if it had become ritualistic?? This is the fast I also use during the year when I need to make important decisions. I firmly believe the Elevate Church Girlfriends book study of “7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” will stretch me beyond my limits & empower me to become who I need to transition into. Initially I just wanted to read the book & not commit to the group. I’m very selfish about my Sunday evenings & wasn’t willing to give them up. I decided at the last-minute on Saturday to do this. I can already tell relinquishing my next several Sundays will yield an unbelievable reward. The book doesn’t promote the age-old belief that the church needs to operate substandard or in poverty. It promotes developing a relationship with God that is second to none. He alone, not our things, will have priority in our lives.
What an amazing group we had & it was only the first night!! Listening to everyone blessed me tremendously!! The study explores 7 areas & each requires a fast. Next week we begin the fast involving food. We have to choose 7 single foods & eat only those particular foods for 7 days. We all think we eat the same food over & over until it comes to actually doing so! What would you choose?? Salt, pepper & olive oil are free! So far I’m thinking chicken, eggs, spinach, grapefruit, rice, & honey. I’m stuck on #7. I entertained using bacon for seasoning. I LOVE bacon & have found some awesome nitrate & preservative free, uncured bacon, but I don’t eat it on a regular basis. To add this for flavor would almost defeat the purpose of a fast! I could switch grapefruit for a banana & peanut butter! I’ve seen some cool recipes for pancakes using bananas & eggs. Or I could make that Paleo multigrain bread I’ve recently gotten the recipe for & skip the rice. Like bacon, I don’t eat bread or rice on a regular basis either! I can do this!! I’ve done the lemonade fast 3 times!! Decisions!! Decisions! If these are the type of negotiations I’ll be making with myself over food, can you imagine the clothes fast? The best part is, within the past several years, I’ve began practicing similar ideas & believe this study will solidify Biblical principles equipping me to more effectively mentor others.
I anticipate the results achieved by a determined group of women intentionally dedicating their minds, bodies, & possessions will be a force to be reckoned with!!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.-Margaret Mead
This experiment, for me as a leader, is to reach the next level of responsibilities. One of my fav scriptures comes to mind, “To whom much is given, much is required.” As I step into a new role, I believe God is stirring me to sharpen my skills. I encourage you to read this book & if you conduct small groups, consider using it as a guide. You will definitely not be disappointed.