True Fasting
Isaiah 58:5-9
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Here we are students at day 3. Yesterday we talked about being happy and we are called to be happy. But what is happy? True happiness is not external. It comes from within. It’s like the Grinch told us that you can’t buy it. Oh and don’t forget the Beatles. Our whole unit of study is about our hearts and today we are going to  incorporate fasting.
Why do we fast? We touched on it a little bit with the back row and their cigarette situation. Today as I read these Bible verses from Isaiah were so poignant. We try to give up pleasures. We want to do good by giving them up but we need to realize that fasting should become a habit. A healthy habit that helps us find our way to true happiness. It is written in black and white what true fasting is in the Isaiah verses. We are to be people who want social justice for everyone. We should feed the poor and clothe the needy. We should provide shelter for those who are in need. We are all family in Christ. So fasting is so much more that just abstaining from pleasures. It’s a call to serve. It’s a call to make a habit of serving all year long not just for 40 days. It is a way of life. And when you do all these things: feed the poor, clothe the naked, and give shelter to the hopeless, you better watch out! Your happy meter is going to peg out and explode!
Today as I studied I thought about my high school days. I thought about wanting to fit in and to have the right clothes. I thought about those kids that seem like they never wore the same thing twice. I thought about those kids that got brand new cars at the age of 16. I always thought wow how lucky are they! Those kids got everything they wanted. But you know I don’t think a lot of them were happy. As I have grown into an adult I’ve realized so much. Raising my children I knew they should not have everything that they wanted. Why? I knew from experience that kids that get what they want are not necessarily happy. You see lots of those kids that I went to school with had all the flashy things but being from a modest family of lower income I had something so much more valuable. This was a mother that would listen to me and was interested in me. We had so many talks about life. She was brutally honest about sex and drugs. She asked about my friends and knew them. She cared about my morality. My father loved me unconditionally. He conquered alcoholism and became such a devoted father. Sometimes as a teenager I wondered why can’t I have what all these other kids have? But as I’ve grown up I realized my parents did a great job giving me what I needed. God also provided me with positive adults that shaped me as I grew. I’m so grateful for them. Remember students we want to clear out our hearts and find true happiness. We have to take inventory of our hearts, and we have to be honest.
Back row here’s your homework. You need to fast by giving. So I want you to do a little search in your communities to see where you can give. It may be a bag of clothes that are not worn out or working at the soup kitchen in your town. It could be simply picking up someone’s check at a diner. We need to get out of our heads and we need to focus on others. Back row I can already hear all of your excuses. I hear some of you even say those poor people need to get out get a job! Why should I give to people who are so lazy? You’re asking me to give these good clothes away for free? Ms. Alley how is this ever going to help them or make me happy?
Isaiah 58:9
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
My summary of this is if you bless others God will bless you.
So what are you waiting for? Get on your homework. And I will see you again tomorrow!
Sal the Fasting Gal
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quote of the day:
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
Kent M. Keith

Author: showtunessal

Me! I am a retired teacher. I taught 20 years. I retired because of my weakened condition but my mind is afire. I read, write, reflect, and write every day. My POV is usually as a teacher but not always. I have a bucket list and on it is to be a published author. I have many books to write. I want a cure for ALS. I want to spread LOVE. I want my maker to use me until I'm completely exhausted. Life is for living. "Enjoy every sandwich" Warren Zevon

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