soulfood – The Spiritual Diet

Posted on 30 Apr 2017, Pastor: Ryan Farrell

soulfood – The Spiritual Diet

James 4:8

One of Bay Park’s goals for 2017 is Deeper Together.  The goal is rooted in our mission of “preparing fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.”  There’s no way to be a growing follower of Christ, of going deeper spiritually, without partaking of the God given spiritual disciplines.  Soul Food is a 5 week series exploring how we can go deeper together into God’s grace by the walking the timeless paths he has placed before us.  Your soul and mine is in need of spiritual feeding so welcome aboard this exciting journey of faith, hope and love!

Recommended Books:

Celebration of Discipline – The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster
Habits of Grace – Enjoying Jesus through Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis

to be part of the conversation
text – soulfood to 613-483-1222

Tips on Fasting, Solitude & Silence

Soul Food Text #3//Fasting is Feasting

We all have various appetites – the need for food, friendship, fulfillment and more. One of the most neglected appetites is the soul’s longing for God – to touch and be touched by the Divine, our Maker, Creator, Saviour and Friend.

Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart – Psalm 37:4

O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst. John 6:35

At first glance it seems counter intuitive, but fasting is a means of feasting – a means of delighting in god, ‘Fasting is peculiarly suited to glorify God. It is fundamentally an offering of emptiness to God in hope. It is a sacrifice of need and hunger. It says, by its very nature, “Father, I am empty, but you are full. I am hungry, but you are the Bread of Heaven. I am thirsty, but you are the Fountain of Life. I am weak, but you are strong. I am poor, but you are rich. I am foolish, but you are wise. I am broken, but you are whole. I am dying, but your steadfast love is better than life.” When God sees this confession of need and this expression of trust, he acts, because the glory of his all-sufficient grace is at stake. The final answer is that God rewards fasting because fasting expresses the cry of the heart that nothing on the earth can satisfy our souls besides God. God must reward this cry because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.’*

Reread the verses again…slowly…meditatively. What about also fasting around these verses? Plan the time and the fast (food, Netflix, Sudoku etc).  As you fast, think and pray through the verses and ask God to satisfy your soul with his presence and provisions.  Be sure to share how the fast went . . . even if it didn’t go well.

*John Piper, A Hunger for God, 1997, pp. 180-181


Soul Food #4//Fasting Teaches Gratitude

A Story from Ryan. Time to be honest…

I’ve always had a fast metabolism and a slender build, which isn’t exactly the ideal body for a guy. I heard about fasting for the first time when I was 18, and understood there was good biblical precedent for it. But I simply refused to entertain fasting. You see, because I wanted to be bigger and stronger I had this deep-seated fear that if I fasted I would get even skinnier. So I told myself God wanted me to be healthy, and eating lots was my way of achieving this.

When I began fasting a year ago I learned that I actually had a destructive attitude towards food. Food had become a comfort for me, a way of coping with stress. It also became a means to achieve a larger build (which, let’s be honest, wasn’t going to happen that easily – lol!) Fasting actually helped me to become more grateful for the food God has provided. Saying “Grace” became less routine and more meaningful. Food became an amazing, beautiful gift from God. I became more keenly aware of those who had less access to this gift. Gratitude took over.
It’s still not perfect. Often when I fast I become grumpy. That’s why I do it on days I’m locked up in my office writing. God continues to teach me that food can become an idol in my life. But now I welcome this humbling lesson.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” -James 1:17
Please text me your stories and experiences of success and failure as you seek to “draw near.” We would love to begin sharing them (anonymously) with everyone on the text list.