I hope everyone had a meaningful and joy-filled holiday season, and got some rest too…
As we always do here at Outlook, we begin each year with a season of fasting and reflection. Starting this Sunday, January 7th, we want to invite you to join us for what could be and has been for many, the best time of the year. We take 3 weeks, 21 days, and make certain determinations on what we will cut out and what we want to put in to our lives to help us detox and get focused. Here’s what we recommend as you prepare your mind and heart for this season:
* SAY NO. Detox: because we just got over a season of indulgence (too much pie, sweets & other things), we encourage you to consider cutting out sweets, liquor, coffee, soda pop, and other things that your body craves. Some choose to go without bread and wheat products (which turn to sugar in your belly). Also, we encourage you to turn off the things that are time killers, like: social media, Facebook, entertainment, TV, and any bad habits you wish to eradicate from your life. The idea here is to say no to these things which tend to contaminate, deteriorate, pollute, or distract the body and the mind, when done without restraint, and to get healthy. Learning to say no to the flesh (fasting) is a christian discipline which most believers know little about and, as a result, miss out the benefits that come from this ancient and Biblical practice. Whatever you find yourself a slave to, say NO to it. You will find you are weaker than you ever thought and possibly, in the end, you will find that you are stronger then you ever imagined.
* SAY YES. In lieu of, or in addition to, the things we say no to, its good to replace them with positive, enhancing practices. So, we recommend:
– Getting a journal, reading your Bible every morning, reading a good book on something helpful or spiritual in the evenings.
– Drinking water, eating healthy, exercising (take a walk) and being disciplined…
– Instead of TV or the computer, spend time as a family, play games with your kids, do a puzzle, find a project, write some letters, reflect on your blessings, your friends, and let them know what you appreciate about them. Get creative, paint, draw, write a song or a poem…let your imagination and the Spirit of God help you dream. Try not spending a dime on luxuries, and save some money.
The idea behind all of this is to begin the year prioritizing and pursuing God. To seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. To take back control of your life and manage it in a way that honors God, considers others, and finds healthy rhythms that will enhance your time, your health, and your relationships.
It is a worthy pursuit and a worth while endeavor. You can do it.
Cya Sunday, Dan.