On Monday, I did my first ever 24 hour fast. It was an interesting experience, mostly because I was quite worried that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I started the day quietly in prayer asking God for strength of mind to do the fast. Then I prayed for open eyes, open ears and an open heart.

I have to say that throughout the day I felt incredibly calm and strong. My energy levels fluctuated a lot from low to high and then back again, food was often on my mind, but not uncontrollably, just there, a hint of temptation. Although I was at work, I did take time out during the day to pray and at lunch time I spent the time listening to a podcast. At the end of the day when I got into bed, I felt a huge sense of achievement. I wasn’t hungry, but was very tired. I lay back and went straight to sleep.

When I woke the next day, I felt incredibly rested and calm…a feeling which remained for the next two days.

Something I though was impossible was easily possible! “With God, all things are possible” Matt 19:26

I look forward to my next fast.

What We Can Do

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

There is nothing you can’t do if Christ is your helper. He gives us adequate strength for every task He gives us to do.

A couple of things we need to be reminded of today. The Lord will never give us a task to do that is outside of His will. He will never direct us in a way that is contrary to His nature. He will not give us a task that will glorify ourselves and not Him. He will not direct us to do things that will oppose His Word in any way. He will not help us to do things we devise to do. He will not help us to fulfill our selfish plans.

The Lord expects us to discern wisely what it is we are to do. If we act contrary to Him, don’t expect His help or strength. Anything we do that honors and glorifies Him will be blessed by Him. He enables us to serve Him well. He helps us to accomplish whatever we set out to do to serve Him and not ourselves.

Satan wants us to believe that we are not up to the task, that we simply are unable to do what our hearts are set on doing for Christ. It is a lie straight from hell. Jesus is more than able to help us to do what we desire to do for Him and He gives us the strength to do it, without fail.

Set your mind firmly on this wonderful truth. You can do what the Lord gives you to do. Do not be afraid to step out in faith. He will not let you fail. Do not let naysayers persuade you. Do not let the size of the task concern you. Do not hinder the work Christ wants to do through you by holding back. Step out boldly and follow the leading of the Lord. You can do anything through Christ who gives you the strength to do it.

If you don’t know what it is the Lord wants you to do and He doesn’t reveal it to you clearly through prayer or His Word, then boldly step out and do what you desire to do. If He is your Lord, He will not let you stray from His will. He will bless whatever it is you do for Him as long as He is your Lord. He honors those who honor Him, no matter what it is they do in life.

– Jim Hughes

Covid-19; Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts. Our children will thank us for it.

I’m a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis,TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria… there is little I haven’t been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared.

I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil. I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

ocean wave

What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others. I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they ” probably don’t have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because you just never know…” and those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia and strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess.

I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed and family reunions will not materialize. And well, even that big party called the Olympic Games… that could be kyboshed too. Can you even imagine?

I’m scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession.

But mostly, I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, openmindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and “fight for yourself above all else” attitude could prove disastrous.

I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let’s meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts. Our children will thank us for it.

Abdul Sharkawy

#washurhands #geturflushot #respect #patiencenotpanic