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Location: Huaraz, Ancash, Peru

Having mastered the University of Montana's IYFD program, I journeyed to Peru with the US Peace Corps. Currently, I'm discovering Peru while living in the gorgeous Andes mountains in beautiful Ancash. Come visit!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Another day, another post. Maybe there is more to this commitment thing than meets the eye...

It is currently the liturgical season of Lent, which in my opinion is by far the most celebrated. I'm not Catholic nor am I Anglican or any other religion that actually thinks about what to give up for Lent, but for some reason, this year, I decided to do it, and to do it big time. At first I thought I'd give up something like coffee or sugary foods, and yet, I kept feeling like God was calling me to something greater, to a greater responsibility.

My family jumped around to a lot of different churches growing up. My dad said he could never find a church that matched his doctrine exactly, but he could find good churches with good people who care about community and the world. So we went to a Presbyterian church, a Baptist church, an Episcopal church, and a Church of God before I graduated high school. I remember my first Lent. My family was attending St. Thomas Episcopal Church and my Sunday School teacher told us this was a time to sacrifice something for the Lord, because Jesus fasted in the desert for 40-days...there I was, 8-years old and doing it too. I'm not sure how seriously I took it. I remember giving up heavy metal music (which I never listened to), beef (my family ate venison), and chips (we rarely ever had junk food around the house). And in all likelihood, I probably ate chips, and beef, and listend to heavy metal music (if I could find any that I enjoyed). Shortly after, my family moved to Oregon and we started attending Reedsport Church of God. And the season of Lent never even crossed my mind during those busy high school years.

It was in college when I resumed the Lenten celebration. A couple of my friends were Catholic and were working through what they'd give up for Lent. In order to be a good friend, I gave up soda/pop, which actually was somewhat of a sacrifice. I barely remember that time, but I still don't think I understood why I was going through all the motions. I mostly thought I was encouraging some friends in their religious devotions. But as my knowledge of God grows so does my strange desire to try new and crazy things. In a life spent partnering with Christ one is called out of the normal and in to the radical. I've met people along the road who have challenged me and encouraged me to step out on a limb. Two such people have done the Daniel Fast for Lent. When I first heard what it was, I thought it was crazy, and I thought I would never, ever try it. Funny, how God gets involved and suddenly you can't help but do crazy things.

The Daniel Fast is one of eating only natural foods, grown from the ground. There is no meat, cheese, junk food, fast food, caffeine, one can't even eat anything made with white flour or refined sugars. It is such an extensive fast, I can't believe I said I would do it. But the day of Lent rolled around, and here I sat expectant before God to see what he wanted me to do with this crazy thing. And He said, give it up, let go and I will meet you in the midst. So not only did I give up sugar, but I gave up coffee as well and many other products that have tempted me for the past 14 days. And He sustains me, even when I'm not spending time in Quiet Time or Prayer (but I do feel better when I do those things). I've been amazed and challenged during this time, and I'm really excited to see where the next 26 days will lead.

And God is able to shower all kinds of blessings on you. In all things and at all times you will have everything you need. You will do more and more good works. 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIRV)


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