Daniel (Mwaza) Fast
During Lent I'm on a Daniel Fast. No, not Daniel in the Bible. My friend, Daniel Mwaza, in Uganda told me how to lose weight . . . He said, "Stop eating so much."
So I'm eating half of the normal American calorie intake (which about matches intake of half the world), with about 4 oz of protein a day.
I lived seven years in Uganda, and this fast helps me remember those days when I saw children in villages eat their one meal for the day, a handful of beans and some cassava (yucca root).
Fasting can heighten your awareness of God, lead to deeper prayer and discernment. It can also lead to poor brain function. I could barely make it through a seekers Bible study last night after our Neighborhood Kitchens meal, but God gave me the power to finish when we discussed from Mark 3 the way the evil spirits bowed down in the presence of Jesus. We saw that nothing can prevail against God, nothing.
The last few weeks have been a bittersweet whirlwind with my move to lead minister of Garnett Church of Christ and the exit of my friend and co-worker, our former lead minister Wade Hodges.
I'm very happy to preach and help lead this church under the guidance of our shepherds, the teamwork of a great staff, and in partnership with an incredible congregation that is seeing before us the greatest opportunity in decades--probably since the bus ministry--to reach out to our neighbors through Neighborhood Kitchens, Angel Food, Food Pantry, where we see hundreds of guests and fellow servants seeking the Lord, community, life.
We're also looking for a full-time children's minister and rebuilding a great ministry to children as well as continuing an incredible student ministry that Lance Newsom and Deanie Johnson and a band of volunteers run so very well.
Last night, a Garnett teacher taught class, filled with both children from families currently at Garnett and children of adult guests who are checking out what this community is all about. She was headed home and said she was hungry. We had fed more than 200 guests and our beloved Chef Roy was not there to stretch food like he normally does (he was home recovering from surgery). So we ran out of food, and this teacher had been last in line. She was heading home with her boys, hungry but smiling, another kind of fast for the sake of the kingdom and the mission of this congregation.