Beginning With The End In Mind

The Ross Family wishes you a happy new year!

Well, 2011 is recorded history now and we begin a new year.  2011 for us was a great year with a lot of changes.  I am excited as to what the year will hold.

Each year we begin with a fast that is at least 2 weeks long, sometimes a month.  After all of the wonderful craziness of the holidays, it is a great time to hit the pause button and see what God has to say about the year to come.  Tony and I also make a list of what we would like to accomplish in the coming year and goals both personal and for the family, and now for our business.

People often get funny notions courseing through their brains when you say the word “fast”.  Most think of odd hippie-type folks going without food for days.  Absolutely nothing spiritual takes place if I go 8 hours without food much less days.  However, the point of a fast is to deny your flesh something in order to give your spirit-man time to grow strong.  Think about how much we put in our mouths in a day that has nothing to do with health.  So, there is plenty to fast from that won’t make your blood sugar or your blood preassure do funny things.

Also, there are things to fast from that have nothing to do with food.  Facebook, t.v., Secular movies, and internet (not work related) are some examples that come to mind.  I can’t tell you how much benefit you will get from a fast.  Just be prepared, the flesh will not like it and it will act up.  If it feels like your whole family just went crazy, hang on it will pass!

That is where we are at The Farm On Holly’s Hill right now.  We are beginning this year with the end in mind.  Right now, we are still waiting to hear what our goals should be.  If 2012 has as many good times in store, it should be a great one.

Passover Celebration

We celebrated Easter tonight with a Seder Meal. This is the traditional celebration done by the jewish community. We celebrate, not in anticipation of the coming Messiah, but in celebration that Jesus has come and set us free from sin! We all enjoy it so much.

I was so grateful when I was first taught about the seder meal. For a long time I wanted a celebration that would make Easter as special as Christmas. Without the crucifixtion and the resurection, Christmas would not be worth celebrating. I know we have Easter egg hunts, Easter Baskets, and Easter dresses, but that just was not enough for me. Frankly, I felt like the real reason for Easter was missed with all the other “stuff”. So, when I learned about the seder meal and how each step symbolizes our bondage and how Christ came and set us free, I was overjoyed.

During the course of the meal, the glass is filled 4 times. The first seder meal we celebrated as a family at home, Jonathan was not even 2. I can remember him sitting at the table, holding his wine glass by the stem saying “mo, mama, mo” while he waved the glass at me. His cup was filled about 8 times. Now he is going to turn 10 in June. I will say, that all the kids enjoy this celebration just as much as they ever enjoyed hunting eggs. We still do that- sort of. Now everyone thinks they are too old for the hunting part. They just want the candy! At least they can’t outgrow the seder meal.

On Sunday, we will get together with our extended family and eat and enjoy each other’s company. Praise God, Jesus came and bought our freedom from sin and our eternal life with Him. So, celebrate- it honors God when you do!

It Seems A Train Is Coming

This week begins a two week fast for your family. The term “fast” brings with it a lot of images of starving yourself for a lot of people. It once did for me. However, now I understand it to simply mean that you are depriving your flesh of something it likes. Not just food. Tony and I have found that one of the best ways to keep our family on track is to fasst together as a family. It has been awhile since we had a family fast. Due to that, we have seen a lot of fruit we are not really liking. Such as ungratefulness, unthankfulness, pride, and the list goes on. Of course it is not just the kids. None of us have “arrived.” So, we like to just cut right to the heart of the matter. When we fast and deny the flesh what it likes- like NCIS, XBOX, caffine, sweets, etc.- it curcifies the flesh. In just a matter of days, all the ugly fruit can be removed ande replaced with good fruit. Without the fast, it would take many moons to get rid of the bad fruit otherwise. All though I do not relish the idea of what the fast will require, I do look forward to the results. It won’t be pretty. The mess made crucifing the flesh can be something. Mouths will engage, pride will rear its ugly head but in the end the Spirit will win. God is very good to give us such tools to stay close to Him. I wish more people understood what it is to fast and would do it.