How to Fast

After the fasting message last Sunday I received the following list in an email for alternative fasts. It was too good not to share. (And yes I have permission.)

Your topic of Fasting caught my attention – thanks…..
Our family has fasted from TV from time to time and that has been good.

Since I don’t use hand lotion, oils, or cream, I started thinking about other alternatives to food fasts and just started writing like crazy – most of these are things for [me] to consider (some of these you already mentioned):

· Don’t eat out for an entire week (pack a lunch instead or try skipping a lunch this week)

· Fast from My Space, Facebook, video games, solitaire, and forgo all Internet entertainment, blogs, gaming, shopping, and idle type surfing for a full week

· Fast from VANITY for a week (do not wear earrings, necklaces, anything showy or immodest, wear no fancy clothing that brings attention to yourself)

· Fast from a half an hour of sleep for 7 days – get up 30 min early to read, pray, sit quietly, think, etc

· Try to completely fast from TV for a full week or maybe 30 days (replace w/reading, a family hour, family game, find something to get creative juices flowing, etc)

· Fast from Rush Limbaugh or your favorite talk jock for a week – instead enjoy the quietness of listening to the soft, silent fellowship of the Spirit

· Fast from Internet News feeds for a week – try to think about and speak about non-newsy things that will encourage others

· Don’t dream about your next personal purchase for a full week – when you catch yourself being consumed by this stuff – stop and pray for a relative or put a $$ in a charity jar

· Fast from a single food item (ice-cream, chocolate, candy, fast-food, etc) for a set period of time

· Drink only regular coffee, no espresso or Starbucks for a week (put saved $$ in a jar)

· Fast from ‘initiating’ conversation about sports, politics, recipes, entertainment, technology, fashion (or whatever is your favorite topic for a full week)

· Fast from laziness after supper – determine to do something (and do it) – go for a walk, call a long absented friend, write a letter of encouragement, go for a short visit to the neighbor, take a relaxing drive in the car, write a poem, do something kind for your spouse

· Give up your after dinner smoke or cancel your after dinner cocktail for one week, choose a personal pleasure you are accustomed to and withhold it for a week – perhaps deny yourself that habitual after dinner snack between dinner and bed

· No radio/CD in the car for a week (use time to contemplate/pray/think)

· Try a disciplined fast from gossip (or other personal bad habit) for a full week – I determine NOT to GOSSIP this week (instead I change the subject or I will silently pray whenever the urge hits me), but I will not gossip

· No red meat for a week – I think you mentioned this

· No soda pop for a week – I think you mentioned this

· Simply (as a discipline) try fasting from the morning newspaper for a week – then let your conversation around the coffee club table or at work reflect something of a personal nature or insight rather than the weather or what is in the paper – wherever you are, attempt to raise the level of thoughtful conversation for one week

· Fast from _____________ well just fill in the blank – we all know what easily besets us and what captures our hearts and thoughts away from the Father

It’s an excellent list of ideas. Sound off below with a few of your own.