Posts Tagged ‘Food’

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For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 

Romans 8:5

The Daniel Fast is a biblically-based partial fast – meaning that some foods are eaten and others are restricted. The fast is typically 21 consecutive days after the New Year and is similar to a vegan eating plan with more restrictions and only water as a beverage. This is based out of Daniel 10 in which Daniel the Prophet ate no meat, bread or wine for 21 days. The purpose is to have a quiet time with the Lord during this period so your faith and intimacy with him will grow. I was first introduced to the Daniel Fast when I briefly attended New City Church. My current church Hillsong Phoenix is doing a corporate fast as a church to start off 2018. I haven’t decided to what extent I’m going to fast but I feel this will be a good thing for me to do with my church.

On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.

Nehemiah 9:1-3 (NIV)

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1 million meals / 24 hours/ 5,000 volunteers

April 12-13, 2013

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For my assignment this week, I needed to spend some time in the Muslim community. The whole purpose of this assignment is to shed our prejudices and learn to love Muslims. I wasn’t ready yet to full on walk into a mosque, so I decided to hang around some middle eastern restaurants. My first stop was Haji-Baba in Tempe. I drive by it a lot and I had heard the food is really good. The part that I made a mistake is that I went at lunch time. It was so crowded that I couldn’t even get a word in with anyone. I spoke with the cashier and asked him how long the restaurant had been around. He said about 26 years and said he had been here about 5 years. He was young and there was a long line, so I ditched the conversation and let him work.

The next day I went to Cafe Istanbul. I had been here with a friend in the past and they are not as busy. I saw a couple of Muslims smoking a hookah on the patio and thought about joining them. But I wasn’t really down for smoking a hookah at that time. I ordered some food and chatted with the waitress. She was from Lebanon and mentioned she had been with the restaurant for about 20 years. I asked her if there was a community of Muslims nearby and she said a lot of them live close to the area. I then decided to disengage with the conversation after that just to observe my boundaries of chatting with a Muslim female. The food was good and I left.

I went to an Indian restaurant next to my place called the Bay Leaf cafe. India has a heavy Muslim population and I’d figured I give it a shot. The gentleman I talked to came to America because his wife got a job here. He has been here eight years and is from a city close to Chennai – the city I flew into when I went to India. We had a good talk, but once again he seemed a little busy with customers and I decided to let him be.

I was driving in Tempe and decided to pull over and pray about this assignment. I prayed that God would provide an opportunity that I would have a deeper conversation with a Muslim and that he would break down my fears of doing so. After I prayed, I looked up and saw the top of a mosque behind a building. Next to it was the Phoenicia cafe – a little middle eastern place with a marketplace. It was late and I decided to get some chai.

The gentleman that helped me was starting to clean and close shop. I told him I was expanding my interests and trying to learn about different cultures. He thought that was good and continued to listen to my questions. I think he got the clue that I was serious about wanting to know more about Muslims and he dropped his broom and sat with me. He said he loved being in America. He is from Morocco and he hated how the people in Spain and England treat Muslims. He said in America, we are nice to them and at least smile. I told him that I don’t like learning from media and television about his culture and that I wanted to learn from having relationships and conversations with them. He told me even though I’m a Christian and he is Islam, I am his brother. He mentioned that he would tell me all that I wanted to know about Islam and that he wouldn’t push it on me. He said it is the will of Allah that one becomes Muslim and that it is a choice. He shared his family life and how different his culture is from ours. He also mentioned all the tables are round there and that everyone shares the same cup and bread. Respect is always given to the father and then the mother who cooks the food. He then told me his faith comes from Allah and that he believes if you have good people around you, you will have a good life. He told me a story about how he needed $582 to pay all his bills last month. He prayed to Allah and he was offered some extra shifts to work that next weekend. He made exactly $582 that weekend and was able to pay all of his bills. We says he doesn’t worry anymore because Allah always provides if you believe. We had a wonderful time together drinking chai and talking about our different worldviews. Is name is Hakim and we are going to meet again next week.

This was a wonderful week and I am thankful God is breaking down my own fears and prejudices about Muslims. I had a lot of them after 9/11. There of course are some extreme groups out there (just like we have them here), but they really are a loving community of people. If you want to read about some of the food I ate, check my food blog entry at Food, Art and Culture.

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Table Manners

In India, they don’t use a fork to eat. They use their hand – their right hand. The left hand is considered unclean (you would use that hand when using the restroom). Bummer for left-handed people.

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Its Monday… and I go back to work tonight after 3 weeks off. It was good for me. I am looking forward to getting back on track. Looking forward to the Mine this week. I have a full day of homework ahead of me. I am researching unreached people groups for my class. Yet I’m trying to enjoy my day. Probably hang at the pool all day.

So I notice there are two things that I blindly spend money on. Books and good food. Anything else I need to stop and think about it (well unless its school related for the kids). I have tons of books. I love to read. I love to learn. I have a stack of ’must read’ books on my desk. They are in order of which one I will read next. I see a book.. I buy it. Not into the library thing. I know I will read them again sometime. Plus I use them for reference for ministry.

Food. I love good food. I don’t eat fast food and not really into chain restaurants. But I love ethnic food and cool looking hole-in-the-walls that serve good food. I will pay money for those places. I also look to cook. I love reading recipe books and watching food network. I have no problem eating alone at a restaurant.

I worked out this morning. I was going to go home and make breakfast. As I was driving home and saw this cool looking French bistro that was open for breakfast. I couldn’t resist. I pulled in and sat down for a cappuchino and eggs benedict. I usually never order a cappuchino anywhere because Starbucks doesn’t know how to make a good cappuchino. Too foamy. I paid $15 for that breakfast. I really didn’t need to. But I loved the atmosphere. Yet I felt guilty. Then I bought 3 more books on the way home. That cost me $25. So my work-out turned into a $40 day. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. I have the money. I am pretty disciplined with my money. Yet I am weak in those two areas.

When I left this morning, a guy was riding his bike through the crosswalk and fell. A car waiting to make a right turn angerly honked at him to hurry up and move. This pissed me off. I saw her pull into a post office and I wanted to say something. But I didn’t out of love.

I was sitting at a light and noticed the car next to me was a European car and the guy’s steering wheel was on the other side. So we were right next to each other at the light. We said hi to each other.

I was flipping through one of the books I bought ’Soul Cravings’. The chapter I ended of opening was about people who live in isolation. Erwin McManus mentions that it is bad for us to live in isolation. That it wasn’t what God intended. I am pretty connected with people. Yet I feel I live in isolation as well. I like being alone. I know there are people that want to get to know me better. I get emails stating so. Yet I purposely don’t give full effort in this. I do what I can. My lifegroup has social events every week. Yet I show up to maybe one a month.. on purpose. Its a big deal when I do show up. I’m not sure why I am this way. Its not because I don’t like people. I love building relationship. Yet I keep one foot in and one foot out of everything I do. Only a handful of people have I given all of me to. I don’t know what it is I’m afraid of.

I almost have my team to Mexico intact. I saw the list and only recognize one name. So this will be interesting. I’m excited! Two of us on the mission board are leading this trip and we have never been down there. Phillip is going to do lead worship and Derek is thinking of going. I can’t wait to see how God molds this short trip for his glory. Yet I have people on my heart that I wish could go. These are people who I would love to serve on the mission field with. So no pressure if you are reading this. Shauna, Keira, Candace, Laci, Leah, Melissa and Dave. Would love to missions work with you guys someday! (Well.. Candace, Melissa and Laci I went to Belize with… but I love your hearts and want to serve with you guys again!)

My first 4 hours of Monday morning… Travis

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