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Posts Tagged ‘Water’

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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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I’ve been a huge supporter of Blood:Water Mission for some time now. I love their passion for clean water in communities in need and their projects to build water wells. On occasions I will partake in their water challenge fundraiser around lent season. When I traveled to India, I had the opportunity to dedicate a water well. To see the joy in people’s faces who have never had clean drinking water is something I’ll never forget. It cost $1200 to build a water well in India and I am raising 10% of that from giving up some my personal pleasures of life during lent. Watch some of these videos for the Save a Life campaign for Rwanda and be inspired by the work Blood:Water is doing. You can give to my campaign here. Thanks! God Bless!

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Today is World Water Day. It’s a day set aside to raise awareness for the more than 700 million people who lack access to clean water. When I was in Kenya, I joined many at an orphanage in making the trek back and forth with big jugs to bring water to the home. In India, we dedicated water wells to a couple of villages and I saw great joy in the faces of these people who had gone so long without clean water. Here in the states, we take water for granted. We forget how important water is to people. 300 million in Africa alone lack access to clean water. Charity:Water and  Blood:Water Mission are two organizations near and dear to me that are making a difference in the world today with their water projects. Take some time to get yourself educated on what is going on in the world today and how you can help.

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“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14

A bunch of us from SOMA and MYA went down to the Phoenix Rescue Mission to serve for the Project 414 Water Drive. PRM is an amazing place that started in 1952 and has been assisting the homeless here in Arizona ever since. Their mission is to rescue lives, to save lives, to change lives, and to serve lives. In the summer it gets really hot and they put together these water drives to make sure some of the homeless out in the streets don’t die of thirst. We were split into teams and sent out throughout the valley to deliver water and care packages.

We were sent to a neighborhood in Phoenix that had an outreach being put on by Church on the Street. Church on the Street trains up disciples and reaches out to the homeless and the disadvantage by these street outreaches. I was blown away by these guys and their dedication to these neighborhoods. We cooked up hot dogs, had some worship music and a Pastor gave the gospel presentation to many of these people in poverty. It was a great day to serve and see the Spirit move through the people of Phoenix. What a blessing it is to see the body of Christ come together like this and serve together faithfully.

  

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
I have not been rebellious,
I have not turned away.
I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.
He who vindicates me is near.
Who then will bring charges against me?
Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
Let him confront me!
It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
the moths will eat them up.

Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.
But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.

Isaiah 50

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Isaiah 49:1. What is worth? God reminds us of our worth in this passage and how He created us to be who we are. We like to determine our worth by money, status and material things. But Jesus sees worth in all of us. I mentioned that last week’s ACT:S is a story about a woman names Sylvie. She lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is raising kids on her own and they make their income from digging in dirt for quality rocks that they can sell. Her story makes her look worthless to many of us, yet her story has enriched me. We need to see our worth in Christ and embrace it. I used to struggle with self-worth and how people viewed me. But today I love how God uses me and I see my worth in Him. I no longer need to worry about what people say about me or look to their approval.

Luke 12:22-24. God provides and He gives us all we need to get through life. We need to not worry about tomorrow just like the birds don’t worry about food each day. God sees us as more worthy than the birds. I know I used to worry about how to pay bills each day and found myself in credit card debt in the past trying to make things happen on my own. I need to trust God that He will provide and know He will take care of me. 1/3 of the world lives in poverty and I am truly blessed compared to most people. I want to be a good steward of my finances and leverage it for the Kingdom.

So how do we define poverty? Most of us limit it to just personal wealth. I like to also include lack of resources like education and medical care as well. I’m reading Psalms and the passage in Ps. 40:16-17 says we are all worthy and that God helps and delivers us from tough situations. He blesses us and He cares for those in poverty situations. God opened my eyes to poverty on a trip to Belize in 2006. I want to look at people in poverty-stricken situations and see the same worth Christ sees in them. God’s love for me has given me love for others. I may not have a lot of finances to give to others, but God has given me many other talents to help those in need. I am praying that He continues to work in my heart to be a blessing to others.

You can continue to monitor my drink fast here. This week is World Water Day (March 22). Here is a video on how you can organize your own water:walk.

On March 11, a massive 9.0 underwater earthquake hit near Japan which caused a tsunami. Thousands of people were killed by flooding and collapsed buildings. There are times I find myself questioning God when these crisis happen. But at the same time I do I see how it opens the doors for the gospel to presented. Japan is 67% unreached and Christianity makes up only 1% of the population. I downloaded a prayer guide that I will be using to pray during lent. I’m praying for the many families. I’m praying for relief and for the hearts of the people to receive the gospel.

 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.  Psalms 40:1-3 (NIV)

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I’ve always liked this idea of lent and giving something up for 40 days. I find it freeing and I like the spiritual discipline. I have given up all beverages but water this week for Blood:Water mission. I am also giving a luxury each week during lent (this week was Facebook). For Ash Wednesday, I spent the day in repentance and praying for my shortcomings. I have also been praying for wisdom from God in the areas I need direction.

I am thanking God for the blessings in my life. I have a tendency to look at the difficult things that are going in my life and forget the many wonderful blessings I have. I have so much more than many other people in the world and I take that for granted. One of the things I am grateful for is an education. It’s one of the biggest things I see people wishing for when I travel overseas. I got my bachelor’s degree years ago and I continue to take classes because I like to learn new things. But there are so many that would be happy to finish an elementary education. I try to give back in this area by teaching 5th/6th graders at church. I love pouring into them and it is very fullfilling to me.

As I been journaling this week, I have been writing down areas that I feel God is challenging me and areas I want to be better at. I know that I’ve always had a heart for young adults and singles. I just think that this is such a great age to make a difference in the world. I lived from the passage in 1 Corinthians 7 about having the undistracted time you can devote to Christ as a single adult.  I want to be a better advocate for the poor. I want to be better at raising awareness of the needs of the world and what we can do here in America. Last, I want to be better in my prayer life and worship with God each day. I want my life to reflect Christ and how He wants to use me.

Despite some slight headaches, giving up coffee has been good for me. I want to be uncomfortable so I can rely on God more.  The first story in the World Vision ACT:S was a story of a widow and her kids from the Republic of Congo that spend their time digging through dirt to find good quality rocks to sell for money. It is her only source of income. It’s a dangerous place for kids to be at and they are at risk of mudslides. It doesn’t pay much and barely covers their home, food and school costs (about $30 US). What is the worth in this woman’s life? I’m sure she doesn’t see her life as a life of worth. Many of us here in America probably see this woman’s life as worthless. But Jesus sees our worth in Him. I want to be able to see worth in people the way Jesus does. I will admit I’m just as judgemental as the next guy when I see those that are struggling. I want to change that attitude of mine and be better. I want to love on people because I know Jesus can use anyone for His purposes.

I am praying for the people of Japan during this difficult time for them due to the devastating tsunami that hit there.

 The money I save from only drinking water during lent will go to help build clean water projects in different communities in Africa. Here is a video about what they are doing in these communities.

Here is something I learned from BWM during my fast..

From Blood:Water Mission Blog: 40 days without bottled water isn’t enough.

Yesterday was Bottled Water Free Day, and throughout the 40 Days of Water Campaignwe are encouraging you to cut out all beverages but tap water – this especially means bottled water. But why bottled water? Well, it’s not just about the cost of the individual bottle, even though if you do the math, the average retail bottle at $1.79 is over 2,000x the cost of tap water. There are also major environmental costs and health concerns all for something that is proven to be no safer or cleaner (in fact, often no different) than your public tap water.

Americans alone purchased over 33 billion liters of the 200 billion liters of bottled water sold  last year. Why do we continue to spend so much for what we already have? Today, we want to shed more light on this issue so that we might all better understand the implications of our choices. We’ve chosen a few videos to inform and promote a bottled water free lifestyle beyond the just the 40 Days, because when $1 provides safe water for a person in Africa for an entire year, we simply can’t afford not to make this change. After watching the videos, read below for ways that you can make a difference by cutting out bottled water.

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Lent 2011. The 40 days of Lent correspond to the time Jesus spent being tempted in the desert before beginning his public ministry. During Lent, Christians examine their hearts and are particularly diligent about putting away sinful behaviors. People often give something up for Lent – examples are a particular item of food or a bad habit. This period is a reminder that following Christ means dying to myself every day. I have always wanted my observance of lent to be a little more outspoken in being an advocate for a particular cause near and dear to my heart. So for the past two years I have observed lent by taking on a challenge from Blood:Water Missions. They have asked us to fast from all beverages with the exception of water for 40 days. They then ask that we donate the money we save from that cup of coffee that we buy each day and donate it to their clean water projects in Africa. This year I am also taking on another challenge from World Vision ACT:S (a ministry that challenges us to create a modern-day book of Acts with our lives) and will be giving up six luxuries each week during lent in addition to drinking only water as a beverage for the 40 days. Each day I will be posting on my Facebook/Twitter a particular cause/ministry/missionary dear to me and a scripture verse that speaks to me during the 40 days. I plan on reading out of Psalms and Proverbs during this time and the gospels leading up to Easter. I will also be blogging each week and let you know how God is working in me during this time. I am excited this year as Christin will be joining me in this fast. I am looking forward to doing this alongside her as well as having the extra accountability.

Will you pray for us during this time? Will you also consider observing lent and give up something that is meaningful and use this time to draw closer to God? If you would like to contribute to my campaign for Blood:Water Mission you may do so here and put my name in the box as the person you are donating on behalf of. Lent starts this Wednesday March 9 (Ash Wednesday) and ends on April 23 (day before Easter Sunday). Thank you for your support and prayers. God Bless!

I will be wearing these silly bands of Africa and a drop of water during the 40 days I fast to remind me of how I am impacting a life in Africa with my beverage fast.

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