Sunday, July 31, 2011

40 Days Without Food

“I had a college degree, and soon a seminary degree to accompany it, yet I didn’t know where to go or what to do.” Russ Masterson had read and heard about purpose, but didn’t have a clue what his own purpose was. And there was emptiness where there should have been value. As he puts it, “I kept hoping a step would arrive when it was time to lift my foot.”

Disillusioned with his life, as well as with God, he heard this advice: fast from food for 40 days. Faithless and frazzled, Russ accepted the challenge, hoping for direction, reflecting on the past, and wrestling with issues like purpose, faith, and love.

In this book, readers will find a fresh literary voice — an insightful thinker who meets people in their humanity while helping them to see they can be rescued from it. The journey of these forty days without food will help you explore what really matters in life.

“Though quite entertaining, and casual in style, 40 Days without Food caused me to confront the motives behind my daily actions. The book is a short, yet profound, look at what it means to truly live–something today’s fast-paced society woefully lacks.”
- Jim Reimann, editor of bestselling books My Utmost for His Highest and Streams in the Desert

Book Review

Every year we hold a discipleship weekend for our middle school students in the month of January.   For 40 days leading up to that weekend, we challenge everyone who will be a part to fast.   Our challenge is to fast something that they feel that they cannot live without in their life.   For teenagers that tends to be things like Facebook, texting, chocolate, or soft drinks.     If you have ever participated in fasting, you quickly realize just giving up one thing in your life does to your prayer life.     Every time you think about doing that one thing you gave up, it reminds you to pray.

When Russ Masterson decided to fast he went on an intense fast.     He decided to go 40 days with only grape juice and V8.      Fasting is Biblical.    Jesus did it.    Following His example you can never go wrong.    However, that is where Russ Masterson went wrong.    He didn't follow Jesus' example.    

First of all, Russ decided to fast as an "act" to draw closer to God.     Russ was frustrated with his circumstances.     He was feeling out of sorts.     He thought that doing this "act" of fasting would get him in God's graces.

Does Russ discover that his heart is in the wrong place?    Yes.   However, fasting when done correctly will not only draw you closer to God, but allow you to see other's with God's eyes.    Russ' relationships with not only his wife, but casual relationships with even the local cashier, were negatively impacted by his fasting.

Jesus said he is the bread of life.    Fasting is a great benefit which will ultimately bring us closer to him, but shouldn't be done as a bribe or as an act of desparation.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.   No other compensation was received.   The fact that I received a complimentary copy does not guarantee a favorable review.

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