Derailed

This morning’s thoughts from my Facebook page:

When life happens it is easy to think it is unjust and even random. When we go through life and things we plan for and hope for only get so far, then fall apart, it is easy to blame ourselves, our shortcomings, and our drive.
We question whether we are able to do anything right.
We mostly hurt.

Sometimes our health fails. Our job situation doesn’t work. Our relationship that we think is amazing falls apart suddenly… We ask ourselves why; we look inward at what we could have done different.

There are times when we even blame God. We ask why he had to take someone from us. Why he had to take our health. Why he took our job.

For me, God never took my relationships. Some I threw away, others were not good for me, I shouldn’t have stayed. God didn’t take the relationships from me, He saved me from them.
Removed from all negative situations, I started renewing my mind, changing my outlook on life, and on love (which was inherently flawed); I began to develop a meaningful relationship with another human being who is now my husband.

But recently I’ve encountered another series of unfortunate events, my heart has always wanted a particular life, but with outside opinions always weighing on me… I just want to make those I love proud and made decisions based on making other people happy. I also wanted to prove to those who didn’t believe in me that I was worthy (big mistake).

I started back in school, started working in an arena that I like and love, and then my health crashed, bad.
I forged my way through, trying like I’ve always done in my life to fight an uphill battle. It  finally came to the point where I realized had to step away from a job I love and away from my schooling to rebuild my health.

I’ve been seeing numerous doctors and physicians for help with my various issues. All which were seemingly unrelated… Until recently, answers are beginning to come to light, and for the first time I feel hopeful that what is going on has a name! I believe there is a plan to feel better in my future! My biggest help from a doctor so far has been with a psychologist, he has helped me affirm my faith, affirm my intelligence, and help recognize the wonderful ways of being a wonderfully wacky.

With that said, I still internalized why I was not feeling well, why I had to take a break from my education, and why I had to leave a job I enjoyed….

That is, until today. I realized all the times God has allowed me to run my own way, there always comes a time where He eventually says, “OK, that’s enough for now. You had your fun. Time to get back on track.” And my life seemingly derails. I see the strengths and talents God has placed in this person. I see what he has given me, and what he hasn’t. I’ve spent so long trying to be what I thought I should be, how other’s told me I should be, instead of who I am, truly.

After seeing a doctor two weeks ago who followed the clues down the rabbit hole, we seem to be getting answers. I would have never seen him if I didn’t start presenting with Lipedema symptoms, while being seen he suspected much more was going on. When we got home I asked my husband, “What if God gave me this so I would get help for what is really going on since childhood?” He smiled at me. I found hope for the first time in a year.

As for the job and schooling, I believe God is dealing with me. I truly knew as a child what my path will be like but I’ve ignored my intuition because it wasn’t traditional or what my family did. After all this time and truly spending many, many years introspective and contemplating this life I’ve lived, I am not a traditional person. I never will be.

God allows us to make decisions for ourselves. We are free to do what we think is right, but when we pray for God to take control, to help us live out our purpose, and to be authentic…. We are then subjected to God taking our invitation to work in our life and he will do just that. Even if that means completely derailing us from our current track and forcing us to where we need to be.

God is a good Father. He allows us to make mistakes, he allows us to walk our own paths, he even lets us live our whole lives the way we see fit… But when we pray for and believe in God’s purpose, and ask him to live out his purpose in you, there may be some uncomfortable changes. Mostly huge route changes.

When our lives derail, it could be a number of things, but as a Christ Follower be assured that ALL things work for the GOOD of those who love HIM. (Romans 8:28)

You are loved and He is sovereign over the whole universe. There is nothing that is too big for him. So, when life gives you rubble, give the pieces to God. He is the designer of every thing that is… If he can keep every atom in all the universe vibrating to the tempo of it’s purpose, what can he do for you?

Job 42:2
“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

Let him derail your course so you can be on His.

– Britney

black-and-white-me

When the Lights Go Out

lightbulb

When the lights go out, it doesn’t go all at once.

Like when a house goes dark, it goes room by room.

It is slow, but with each light switch it is obvious I am not lit as brightly as I once was.

Sometimes when these waves come, it isn’t all consuming. It is just a room that goes dark for a while, maybe a couple…. But then they come back on.

It has been a long time since my entire mind/soul has gone dark.

Not dark like it is possessed or that I am somehow evil. Just dark like it is shutting off.

The pain inside is so real, but for your body to cope with this long-term bought of depression, the lights have to go off… the brain shuts down. Essential functions only.

What are essential functions?

Forcing myself out of bed to care for my children, I love them and they are worth getting out of bed for.

The few commitments I am able to keep. My brain fog is so thick and my cognitive skills aren’t the best, but they keep me somewhat human and moving. God forbid I grow moss.

I don’t always remember to brush my teeth. Or my hair. And sometimes I forget when the last time it was since I washed my hair.

I am never hungry, but I eat. Mostly because in my “normal” times I am a health and exercise freak, I know I should eat to maintain health and metabolism.

Living since childhood with this disease,  I can say with my whole heart the veil will lift eventually. Take it from me when I say it doesn’t last forever, if you hold on. Eventually, your coping skills get better, you will find hope, love, and light. The next time the lights turn off, you know when it comes back the world will be so much brighter and better.

I know it is hard to imagine life better, but if you tell yourself “one more day”, eventually the next day will be the day the lights start turning back on. Just like the lights go out one by one, that is how they come back on. One day you will wake up and you will actually want to leave the house. Before you know it you will have the desire to meet up a friend for some coffee. Slowly your life is coming back, and you can start functioning and dreaming again. Goals come back, and so will your drive. If you hold on one more day, hope will come back to you.

Hope is something we all need to live. When hope dies, we die. Dying may not sound that bad to some of us, but when we die by our own hands, it leaves a hole in those who love us. It forever gapes and bleeds. They will forever think of ways that they wish they could have saved us… not knowing that nothing could… but ourselves.

I wish that I could say that it was hope in God that saved me, but it wasn’t. I tried once to kill myself and I think I lived through it because God willed it. So I lived recklessly. I ended up pregnant and very quickly I realized that my life was no longer my own, and I had to do things differently for this child. He will be 8 this fall. He is my life saver.

I have now found hope in God because of the hope he had in me. He entrusted something so precious and special to me, a special needs child. I have hope because I see the light in this world through the lights in my sons’ eyes. I see the realness of God through the eyes of my three boys. I feel his love with the warmth of their hugs… and the promise of a future is real because I have to be around to see how they turn out.

You may not have children but I guarantee that if you look long and hard at those around you, you will find reasons to hope for your future. If for no other reason to see the dreams of those who love you come to fruition, their dream of a happy you.

Lastly, if you are a christian I am not going to tell you that you are lacking, I am not going to lecture you. I am a full fledged christian who does all the “do’s” and I still go through my severe depression sometimes for quite a while. Some of us have mental illness as some people have other “bodily” diseases. Prayer may take illnesses away for some of us, but some of us for some reason have to fight with diseases for a long time. I heard a great quote recently from Nick Vujicic: “When you don’t receive your miracle, you can be a miracle to someone else.” In childhood when my issues began to manifest, we didn’t know the extent of how my mind would change or get worse… but even more, I don’t think we realized how much better it was going to make me as a human being. For a long time I’ve kept my illness quiet, and I know God didn’t allow this to come into my life for vain reasons. I went through all of what I did to reach out to someone else who is on the brink, someone who wants to give up, and tell them there is hope.

For some of us it is about just making it “one more day.”

And for as long as you need to, just tell yourself “one more day..”

Psalm 3:5

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

 

Enough

enough
e·nough
iˈnəuf/
determiner & pronoun
  1. 1.
    as much or as many as required.
    “too much work and not enough people to do it”
    synonyms: sufficient, plenty, a sufficient amount, an adequate amount, as much as necessary; More
adverb
  1. 1.
    to the required degree or extent (used after an adjective, adverb, or verb); adequately.
    “before he was old enough to shave”
  2. 2.
    to a moderate degree; fairly.
    “he can get there easily enough”
exclamation
  1. 1.
    used to express an impatient desire for the cessation of undesirable behavior or speech.
    “Enough! After six years of your arguing, I’ve had it!”

Enough is a weird word to me. Just the sound of it doesn’t seem too definite or strong. E-NUFF. I think it is a funny word. There aren’t  lot of consonant or strong sounds, but the meaning is profound in itself.

Enough can be used to determine an amount. Enough food, enough clothes, enough money.

Enough can be used to determine worth. It can be used to determine a point in time when we have reached a limit.

With my walk with mental illness, it has had a huge central role in my mind.

Enough help. Enough support. Enough love. Enough self love. Enough understanding. 

Am I enough?

I’ve had enough!

Will it ever be enough?

Will meds or psychotherapy be enough?

Good enough.

So many meanings for a word that has mostly vowels and silent letters…

The silent meanings that echo in our minds and on our conscience when it utters Enough

My brain has been in a fog the last few weeks. My verbal skills are rocky, my thought process has been scattered…

My life is good enough. Even in the hard times.

Mental illness won’t win. I know enough to get through the sad times.

Even when it is bleak and dark, my children are enough hope for my future.

Through it all, God is enough.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” ThereforeI will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.

Brokenness

I am broken.
There have many times in my life where I have been broken and hurting. Then I go through seasons of amazingly happy moments and contentment.

But then, there are the seasons like this.
Nothing is really wrong with my life… Actually, I live a pretty good life. Before I settled down and life kind of came together for me, I had plenty of reason to not feel happy. In fact, living years in a low state seemed pretty expected given my circumstances. No one really thought something was up because I was a single mother working as hard as I could with no ground being made for betterment.

Fast forward two years to where I am now… I see that there is a pattern of brokenness in me. There is a pattern of pain that doesn’t seem to go away completely.
Since my life is all sunflowers and sunshine, I know there is no relevant reason to why I feel the way I am. I am this way because something is broken inside.

I have Jesus… So don’t lecture me that I don’t. I do.

Don’t lecture me that I need to have more faith, because of what I went through in my life, I’ve already moved mountains.

Don’t tell me that you will pray for me… Do it. Don’t tell me, I don’t need to know… Just do it.

What I need I am doing. I am fasting. I am praying. I am reading. I am seeking professional help.

And for once in my life I am being honest about my mental health.
I was a little girl in a psychologist office. One of my first memories is a horrific one, and the second most earliest memories is the doctors and psychologist.

I can honestly say big parts of my life are missing from memory. I don’t remember much of my childhood. I don’t remember much of my teenage years, and a lot of what I remember is not that great.

Our family went through a lot. I went through a lot.
Britney has been broken for a long time.

God gives me rest from my illness. There are times I feel so good and happy.

My healthiest time of my life has been with my husband. He doesn’t add undue stress, and when he does, he tries his best to alleviate it. We are like any other couple, except he knows he has a sick wife.

This sickness isn’t like others. Not the kind you can see. At least not unless you are really looking. This sickness causes a lot of fear and frustration. This sickness is very real, and it started in young childhood. God has helped me tremendously, because most people who have been through this, die. They feel hopeless. They are detached from reality. They don’t make it. A lot of them don’t get very far.

Then there are some of us who somehow make it.
Don’t tell me it isn’t real. It is real.

To keep going, I trust God.
And in my brokenness, He has built something better.

He has built compassion. Sympathy. Love. Patience. Empathy. Selflessness. Generosity. Curiosity. Strength. Endurance.

Years of church culture made my family, and myself, feel like whatever was going on with me will only get better with prayer and time given to God. However, when someone has cancer, no one questions going in for treatment. Same with a broken bone, but why is getting help for a sick brain frowned upon? Every part of the human body is subject to illness, and trauma during formative years can change a person’s wiring entirely. Neurons are crossed, things don’t work normally, but they work.

Don’t let anyone ever diminish your experiences. Don’t let anyone tell you that your brokenness is wrong. Jeremiah wept. David did, too. David writes much of his brokenness and pain, and I find comfort and strength reading his Psalms.

Psalm 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

 

Vote FOR someone !

Join Me Tonight at 10:30 pm EST (moved back because I am travelling)! I will be live streaming a political discussion as to why we always seem to vote for whomever we vote for to vote against the other person.

I’ve become tired of this silly political game and decided to vote 3rd party. I would love to hear who you are VOTING FOR and WHY!

https://livestream.com/accounts/20734205/events/5994181?customizeShare=true

*Where I am staying Does not have great internet connection so I cannot stream live from my computer, however I was able to through my Facebook on my phone.

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbritnicfaithinmotion%2Fvideos%2F552426621626779%2F&show_text=0&width=400

This video was following a video earlier in the day when I was criticized for voting my ideals and “morals” instead of someone else’s.

 

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Reblog – A Vulgar Alexander Hamilton (Trump)

A Vulgar Alexander Hamilton

One of the many unsettling features of Donald Trump’s strange political ascendance is found in his deep-seated antipathy to the time-honored doctrine of free trade. Trump devoted a substantial portion of his Republican Convention speech calling for the adoption of protectionist tariffs and other trade restrictions against “any country that cheats.”

Trump’s renewed calls for protectionism are not new to American politics.He proceeded to blame NAFTA for a litany of largely-imagined economic woes in the industrial sector; reiterated his support for an import-substitution regime to internalize manufacturing and tech production in the United States; likened the trade deficit to the federal budget deficit; and railed incoherently against that favorite modern-era scapegoat of all of America’s purported trade ills, China.

In the following days, Trump only doubled down on his calls for alleged economic autonomy, suggesting that as president he would consider taking the United States out of the World Trade Organization.

These renewed calls for protectionism are not new to American politics, though they do buck the trend toward a managed but certain trade liberalization, advanced by both major parties over the past eighty years. In his own idiosyncratic and sometimes vulgarized way, Trump represents the resurgence of an economic philosophy as old as the republic itself: that of Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton’s “Fortress America” Economic Policy

A skilled, if often mistaken, political commentator in his own right, Hamilton was the father of the direct antecedents to Donald Trump’s favored economic system. Over the course of almost 30 years in political life, Hamilton developed a system of sometimes nuanced but assertive economic nationalism. He believed that trade restrictions were crucial to the development of the fledgling nation’s “infant” industrial base, as well as a guardian against practices of European nations that he deemed unfair or harmful to American interests.

Hamilton believed trade restrictions were crucial for the fledgling nation’s industrial base.To attain this result, Hamilton advocated a complex and carefully tuned system of “bounties” (essentially, subsidies to boost American companies against their competitors abroad) and protective tariffs to insulate American industries from foreign competition. Hamilton and his political heirs coupled this prescription with an aggressive program of harbor, canal, and road infrastructure spending, often called “internal improvements.” 

These public works projects would in turn provide the means to transport American-made products to American consumers, thereby bypassing the alleged “dependency” on Europe for manufactured imports. As an added bonus, their construction would supply American workers with jobs and industry in its own right.

Hamilton’s Plan to Make America “Grand and Glorious” Again

The parallels to Trump’s agenda are no accident. To quote the great classical liberal economist William Graham Sumner, Hamilton’s mind was “completely befogged in the mists of mercantilism.” This affliction lasted from his earliest forays into politics as a young soldier in the revolutionary army until his most famous economic treatise, the deeply protectionist “Report on Manufactures,” that he wrote as Secretary of the Treasury in 1791. To Hamilton, economic “autonomy” — maintained through an extensive system of state regulations and economic management — was a primary feature of the American experiment.

“Food and clothing we have within ourselves,” he wrote in 1774. The rest could be cultivated with a policy of forced economic independence. Hamilton continued:

Our climate produces cotton, wool, flax, and hemp; which, with proper cultivation, would furnish us with summer apparel in abundance… We have sheep, which, with due care in improving and increasing them, would soon yield a sufficiency of wool… 

It would be no unbecoming employment for our daughters to provide silks of their own country. The silk-worm answers as well here as in any part of the world. Those hands which may be deprived of business by the cessation of commerce, may be occupied in various kinds of manufactures and other internal improvements.

If, by the necessity of the thing, manufactures should once be established, and take root among us, they will pave the way still more to the future grandeur and glory of America; and, by lessening its need of external commerce, will render it still securer against the encroachments of tyranny.

Trump-ilton Trade: Winners vs. Losers, Cheaters vs. Suckers

This aggressively autarkic pronouncement gave way to greater nuance as Hamilton’s politics matured, but protectionism always remained a constant feature of his message. In 1782, he pressed its strategic propriety in a blistering assault on the national government’s lack of regulatory powers under the Articles of Confederation.

“To preserve the balance of trade in favor of a nation ought to be a leading aim of its policy,” Hamilton declared. “The avarice of individuals may frequently find its account in pursuing channels of traffic prejudicial to that balance, to which the government may be able to oppose effectual impediments.”

For Hamilton, free trade stood “contrary to the uniform practice and sense of the most enlightened nations.”Trade regulation, to Hamilton, was the essence of economic policy. Free trade, he complained, stood “contrary to the uniform practice and sense of the most enlightened nations.” Rather, commerce must be subject to “the encouragements or restraints of government.” The “power of regulating trade ought to have been a principal object of the Confederation,” he continued, laying out the case for a national authority to regulate commerce that would come to pass under the new Constitution of 1787.

Hamilton’s 1791 Report turned these sentiments into prescriptive policies. Deeming foreign demand for American agricultural products “too uncertain a reliance” for the fledgling nation, he called for the use of economic regulations, tariffs, and bounties to create “a substitute for it, in an extensive domestic market.”

The reason for these policies, according to Hamilton, was an allegedly unfair playing field abroad. “If the system of perfect liberty to industry and commerce were the prevailing system of nations,” he argued, free trade would have merit. “But the system which has been mentioned, is far from characterising the general policy of Nations. The prevalent one has been regulated by an opposite spirit.”

Echoing Hamilton, Trump advanced a boorish but conceptually identical argument in the March 10 Republican debate: “Take China as an example. I have many friends, great manufacturers, they want to go into China. They can’t. China won’t let them. We talk about free trade. It’s not tree free trade; it’s stupid trade. China dumps everything that they have over here. No tax, no anything.”

Who Could Be against “Improvements”?

To complement his managerial approach to international trade and domestic industry development, Hamilton also used the 1791 report to propose a national infrastructure plan. “Improvements” favoring the transportation of goods, he argued, were an object of any government. In this area, “The United States stand much in need.” He continued:

The symptoms of attention to the improvement of inland navigation which have lately appeared in some quarters, must fill with pleasure every breast, warmed with a true zeal for the prosperity of the country. These examples, it is to be hoped, will stimulate the exertions of the Government and citizens of every State.

There can certainly be no object more worthy of the cares of the local administrations; and it were to be wished that there was no doubt of the power of the National Government to lend its direct aid on a comprehensive plan. This is one of those improvements which could be prosecuted with more efficacy by the whole, than by any part or parts of the Union.

If these features sound familiar, consider the following line from Trump’s acceptance speech: “This new wealth will improve the quality of life for all Americans — we will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow. This, in turn, will create millions more jobs.”

It is more or less the same argument, updated by about 200 years of technological advance and distilled into the bombastic platitudes of an idiot.

Pro-Immigration in Theory

If Trump’s trade protectionism is essentially less coherent Hamiltonianism, what about its close cousin in immigration? Trump has infamously appealed to the nativist tendencies of American populism, ranging from his proposal to build a massive wall on the American border with Mexico to a range of notorious “security” deportations and immigration restrictions, in the name of fighting crime and terrorism.

Hamilton diverged from Trump in his pairing of immigration and protectionism.Alexander Hamilton was, famously, an immigrant himself. He also diverged from Trump in his pairing of immigration and protectionism. The 1791 Report contained an extensive defense of “promoting of emigration from foreign Countries” and linking this policy to his broader program for the state promotion of manufactured goods.

Though he struck liberal policy tones on immigration for his day, Hamilton’s immigration views were not without nuance, and an uglier side emerged toward the end of his life. Hamilton proved quite capable of espousing openly xenophobic and nativist beliefs, often to the surprise of his contemporaries who knew of his own foreign birth on the Caribbean island of Nevis.

One striking episode came to print in 1796, involving a dispute between Hamilton and William Findley, a congressman from western Pennsylvania who had harshly criticized Hamilton’s role as Secretary of the Treasury in instigating the Whiskey Rebellion.

Addressing the Irish-born Findley and Swiss-born politician Albert Gallatin, Hamilton “censured the people [of Pennsylvania] for electing us.” According to Findley’s recollection:

[Hamilton] expressed much surprise and indignation at their reposing so much confidence in foreigners, that Gallatin and I were both foreigners and therefore not to be trusted.

When it was answered, that I had been in the country from my youth, &c. and that Mr. Gallatin had come into it very young and had been a citizen a competent length of time, to be legally qualified for trust, that we were both sensible men, and had a sufficient stake in the country, to secure our interest, he persisted in saying, that we were bad hearted men and dishonest politicians.

Perhaps “foreigners are bad hearted men” was 18th century shorthand for “the Mexicans are sending us drugs dealers, criminals, and rapists.”

Trump’s Dream: The Alien and Sedition Acts

Hamilton also served as something of a behind-the-scenes cheerleader of perhaps the most severe anti-immigration policy to emerge during the founding era, the legislative package known as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. This set of four bills is best known today for its penalization of “sedition” — the criminalization of certain forms of political speech that the Federalist Party used to persecute opposing newspaper editors.

The legislative package’s other three less-discussed provisions actually pertained to immigration:

  • The Naturalization Act of 1798 increased the required residency period for an immigrant to obtain naturalized citizenship from 5 to 14 years.
  • The Alien Enemies Act authorized the imprisonment or forcible deportation of non-citizen males coming from any country with which the United States was in a state of declared war (note that this provision extended to persons who would have also lost their citizenship eligibility under the Naturalization Act).
  • The Alien Friends Act granted the president wide authority in times of peace to order the detention or deportation of foreign nationals that were deemed “hostile” to the United States, and to prescribe severe restrictions on the durations that targeted persons could remain in the country.

These draconian measures came into being as a product of early anti-immigrant sentiments tied to the undeclared Quasi-War with France, which Hamilton played a key role in fomenting. The Quasi-War itself was an outgrowth of the French Revolution, entangling the United States in a state of degrading diplomatic and eventually naval relations with a succession of governing regimes in France.

The Quasi-War with France was a prime opportunity for the Federalists to whip the American public into a state of alarm.As Hamilton’s political adversaries, the Democratic-Republicans, had expressed early sympathies for the French Revolution, the episode also functioned as a prime opportunity for the Federalists to whip the American public into a state of alarm about the presence of alleged subversives and other “treasonous” elements who supposedly threatened to import a Jacobin “Reign of Terror” into the fledgling United States.

In reality, the Federalists’ driving motivator was likely a combination of (1) a ploy to strengthen the case for war with France, and with it the establishment of a “defensive” army under Hamilton’s command, and (2) an old-fashioned ballot suppression scheme to disenfranchise immigrants, who tended to vote for the opposition Democratic-Republicans.

Hamilton followed the bills’ progress through Congress closely. While his role in their drafting is confounded by the destruction of Hamilton’s personal papers — and a disputed assignment of blame to him by Hamilton’s bitter enemy, President John Adams — there can be little doubt that he approved of the anti-immigration measures.

As Congress debated the bills, he wrote Secretary of State Timothy Pickering for information about their progress. Hamilton informed Pickering of his opinion that “the mass [of Aliens] ought to be obliged to leave the Country,” though he wished for Congress to carve out exceptions for persons “whose situations would expose them too much if sent away & whose demeanour among us has been unexceptionable,” and he asked that their enforcement “not be cruel or violent.”

Nonetheless, his position was clear. Hamilton supported deporting foreigners on suspicion of threat to the United States, which in his own time entailed the publicly inflamed specter of Jacobin revolutionaries in France. It is not difficult to see the parallel “national security” rationale for the Alien Acts of 1798 and Donald Trump’s own vulgar plan for banning Muslims from entering the country.

The Long Shadow of Hamilton

All of the alien and immigration acts were quickly repealed after the Federalists fell from power in 1800, though they served as an unsettling precedent for subsequent anti-immigration measures across American history.

Since then, economists have also debunked the reasoning behind Hamilton’s neo-mercantilist economic system, but its popular appeal has persistently lingered over American politics. Hamiltonian ideas directly sustained a trade-penalizing protectionist regime into the early 20th century.

Unfortunately the rise of Donald Trump has reinvigorated one of America’s oldest and most dubious political traditions, and this time it’s coming with all the reckless ambition of its founder, but none of his intellectual sophistication or erudition.

Phillip Magness


Phillip Magness

Phil Magness is a policy historian and academic program director at the Institute for Humane Studies.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Prayers Need Fuel

why-should-i-fast-400x400

 

I don’t think fasting is really a popular subject in churches. It is mentioned a bit here and there, maybe some churches will go on corporate fasts, but how much do we really teach on fasting?

Why should we fast, really? Why would God want us to fast on top of prayer? Aren’t our prayers and belief in him enough? Is there really a purpose except for feeling really hungry?

Our prayers are important, they are our vehicle. So are our Bibles, they are our road. So what is fasting?

Fasting is our fuel. It is what powers our relationship with Christ, it is what gives our prayers power. Fasting awakens us spiritually and breaks us to the point of submission unto God.

I am not sure how anyone else is during a fast, but I usually don’t get too terribly hungry most of the time. My appetite isn’t always the greatest, but it breaks me EMOTIONALLY every time. I get so weepy and emotional, I feel like God works on my heart most when I am fasting.

Isaiah 58:6-

“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[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

Isaiah 58 explains what I experience with fasting every time. God opens your heart and eyes to the world and the needs you can only fill. God brings us to a deep repentance and communion with him when we submit through a fast.

In Mark 9 we see a situation when a boy’s father came to Jesus’ disciples for help with his possessed son. They believed they could help the man and his boy but the disciples found they couldn’t help, so the man came to Jesus. Jesus immediately called out the unclean spirit and the boy was healed.

Afterwards:

And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”

29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”[b]

Jesus tells us that the power to remove strongholds, demonic suppression, and possession is through prayer and fasting. Prayers aren’t enough on their own, like a vehicle with no fuel.

Fasts were used throughout the bible to petition God for favor, to get through temptation, spiritual warfare, and for divine healing. If ever you feel like you are spinning your wheels and lost, a fast may be the thing that breaks your strongholds. If you have big decisions to make and want God’s favor and insight, a fast will connect you to His voice. If you just want a deeper more meaningful walk with Jesus, fasting will bring you there.

A fast doesn’t always have to be food, it can be anything you give up to spend more time with Jesus. It can be something that is a deep and meaningful sacrifice to you. It can be a tech fast, meat fast, sugar fast, social media fast… etc. etc. etc.

No matter what you feel led to give up, just know that it will lead to a spiritual increase when used along with your Bibles and prayers.