On Thanksgiving

Today millions of Americans will gather with family, eat turkey and watch the Dallas Cowboys . . . and they will completely miss the point of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has its roots, not in Irving, Texas, and not even in the Pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts, but in the English Reformation.

English Reformers sought to reduce the numerous traditional Catholic church holidays that had accumulated over the centuries, while Puritans called for their elimination completely, to be replaced by days of fasting and thanksgiving. Days of fasting would be called in response to evidence of God’s judgment, a drought for example, and special days of thanksgiving in response to God’s providential blessing, such as a particularly good harvest. Continue reading “On Thanksgiving”

Jesus Answering A Question On Fasting

The disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus with a question.

They were certainly curious and perhaps a bit peeved.

They had been fasting while Jesus’ disciples were eating and drinking and enjoying life with Jesus.

If you’ve ever fasted you know it’s a sacrifice. If you’ve ever had to fast while others around you are eating, it’s even more difficult.

I experienced this first-hand on Monday. I was fasting, along with my church, during our week of fasting, but I had to chair a luncheon for about 60 attorneys at a nice hotel with very good food. I just tried to keep my eyes off the food and on our speakers instead. Continue reading “Jesus Answering A Question On Fasting”

Fasting Against Pride

C.S. Lewis called pride the worst sin because “[p]ride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

The truly humble man is a rare sight indeed.

Pride is also one of the most difficult sins to overcome. Lewis said, there is “no fault of which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves the more we dislike it in others.”

One of the benefits of fasting is it builds humility into one’s life.

It’s probably safe to say King David was tempted at one time or another with pride. After all he grabbed a lion by its mane and killed it, he felled the giant Goliath with a single stone and was one of the greatest military leaders that ever lived. Continue reading “Fasting Against Pride”

How Fasting Can Help You At Work

There are a number of good reasons to fast.

I’ve addressed some of them here.

But there is one you may never of heard of, and it’s found in the Book of Esther.

Esther was the Jewish queen of Ahasuerus, king of Persia, arguably the most powerful man in the world at the time. Many believe Ahasuerus was in fact Xerxes the Great.

If you saw the movie 300, Xerxes the Great was the metro-sexual dude, who was like seven feet tall, and who, bearing much bling, rode in on a platform to the Battle of Thermopylae. Continue reading “How Fasting Can Help You At Work”

Fast Times At GSB

(c) iStockphoto.com/jgroup

Today my church begins six days of fasting.

So I decided to blog about fasting this week.

This will be like Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, except it will be about fasting, not sharks, will be here instead of the Discovery Channel, and be a blog post instead of video.

I know for most Christians fasting is not the sexiest of topics, but I think that’s because many Christians have a wrong idea of the purpose for and effect of fasting.

The truth is I hate fasting. I fast though because of what Jesus does in my life when I fast. Here are three of them. Fasting . . . Continue reading “Fast Times At GSB”