Day 5 of the 21-day fast: Wait, do I hear music? Am I allowed to listen?

I woke up this morning and scurried my way to my car to do the morning phone conference prayer. I could have done it anywhere in the house actually. I have a big house with two other rooms and I could have gone downstairs to pray in peace and quiet. But the car is kind of my safe haven. Sitting out there in the car in the cold just works for me.

After the prayer, I returned to my room and started getting some reading done. The first thing was to catch up on the devotionals that I had started earlier this year. Take a look at this amazing story I read from my devotional.

Great stuff. After that, it was diving deep into OSL reading material. I had to start memorizing two verses, along with the daily prayer out loud. Additionally, I had to start listening to this one sermon and take notes. The sermon is over an hour so it was hard to really try to focus where it was just listening without any visuals. But it was a very unique message and I don’t know if I agree with it. It talked about how sometimes when we share the good news of the gospel, we need to share the bad things first. Tell people the bad things of sin, going to hell and all that. When they are shaken, then we introduce them the good news of salvation.

I don’t know about that. Sure, the idea is good in that you can’t appreciate the good without knowing the bad. But the way it was explained seemed like it was a scare tactic, that people had to believe out of fear. I don’t know if that works. Throughout the entire message, I couldn’t figure out if there were any aspects of God’s love being mentioned. If it was, it surely was not clear. I didn’t think too much of this sermon.

Afterward, I did some housekeeping and got a chance to wrap up a gift I bought for a friend’s wedding I am attending next month. I didn’t even remember sending the RSVP so I had to text my friend to double check. What a world where we can easily send a message and get a response almost instantaneously.

I had plans to go meet up with two high school friends for lunch. As we decided to carpool in my friend’s car, he turned on his radio and played music. Hey, wait a minute, I am supposed to fast from media, which included secular music. But was I going to bring up that I can’t listen to music? Well, I didn’t bring it up and I did listen to it. It was great. But I think the point of the fast was to not depend on media. I didn’t depend on it. It just came on. Even at the restaurant, they played music. I wasn’t going to tell the restaurant owner to turn off their music.

During Lent, one was giving up meat except fish. The other was giving up red meat. So we journeyed to this restaurant in Oakland called Belly and they showed me what they liked to eat often. But since they were limited, they had to try new things. I didn’t have any limitations to what I can eat for my lunch, so I had a belly burger and an egg & steak taco.

Pretty nice huh? The toughest part was that we were talking about our jobs and one of the things brought up was food and we were talking about pastries. Now that was hard. I just finished my meal and was craving dessert. But I wanted to maintain my snacking (especially sweets) so I simply had to resist the urge. It was not easy.

Afterward it was on our way back.

Today was a simple day and I will start packing up my things and get ready for my journey out to Sunnyvale for work. Then I will stay over at my friend’s place (where I used to live) and have the whole day for the game tomorrow. In the meantime, I need to find time during the day (in the morning really early) and do my prayer, my devotional, my OSL stuff. Then hopefully after all that is done, head out and maybe have breakfast with another friend before the game. Getting out and seeing people is nice. But I still haven’t asked anyone about coming to church or even about OSL. This makes it really tough but I am sure I can find out a way and manage.

Now I wait for my dad to come home and we’ll have dinner together. I don’t know what his plans for dinner are so I’ll just wait until he gets home. He could have told me to cook something but I don’t know what his plans are.

I don’t know if I heard God today. I was so distracted and I don’t know if I was really focused. I do know that I am hitting the tough stretch of this period now where I am starting to get into a good habit but still need to really keep my focus. I have to dedicate myself fully.

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