Archives For Fasting

Gone Fishing!

Chilly —  February 18, 2015 — Leave a comment
[REVISED]

FishChipsLent has arrived. When I was a little kid, I called it the “fish season” – for unlike most kids, I love fish and prefer it to other meat. So, this time of the year always made me happy because every fast food chain had fish sandwiches and most restaurants had fish dinners. They even served fish sticks in school lunch…Yum! I wasn’t being disrespectful – just being a kid… As I got older, I began to understand the significance of lent and Ash Wednesday through the lives of many of my Catholic friends and other Christians.

Lent is viewed in churches that observe the season as a time of spiritual preparation for Easter. Fasting, doing penance, and abstaining from worldly amusements are seen to parallel the passion and suffering of Jesus prior to and during the Crucifixion. I commend those that whole-heartedly observe this time of reflection, repentance, sacrifice and communion. Fasting is powerful and pleases God. Holiness is the Lord’s hearts desire for His children. I too believe in fasting, repenting, and avoiding the temptations of worldly activity. My challenge is that self-denial and sacrifice would be a lifestyle rather than just a special effort once a year.  Allow times like Lent to provide an opportunity to search our hearts and provoke us to greater service.

Continue Reading…

One Thing Prayer

Chilly —  January 8, 2015 — 6 Comments
Due to subzero temperatures, crazy windchill and predicted snowfall; Courage Church has cancelled our midweek Equip prayer meeting & Bible study. However, we can STILL pray and encourage each other online and through social media!  So, take 40 minutes this evening, grab your journal, some post-it notes, a pen and a Bible — then use the following guide to focus your prayers. Then post one or two things that God spoke… Cool?  Go for it!

One Thing Prayer // 40 Minute guide

PRAYER POST-ITSlowly and prayerfully speak each passage of Scripture, out loud, several times. Then pray to apply the truth to your life. Listen for specific ways the Holy Spirit may instruct you to respond. Write it down & obey. (Spend 5 minutes per passage)

One thing I ask of the lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the lord all the days of my life, delighting in the lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. Psalm 27:4

Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? … You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:13,15

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. Philippians 1:3-5

Trust in the lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

H
umble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 
8Come close to God, and God will come close to you. James 4:7-8

I
 take joy in doing your will, my God, 
for your instructions are written on my heart.” Psalm 40:8


N
ever be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.  
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:11-12

Give thanks to the lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.  Psalm 107:1-2

In the comments, please share ANY prayer request or answers to prayer! We would love to pray with you and rejoice with you!  You are NOT alone and you are LOVED! Big time!

Fast Thoughts

Chilly —  January 2, 2015 — 1 Comment

We are in the midst of our 40 Days of prayer and fasting. I always have high expectations for extended times in His presence and this time I think I’m MORE excited then I can ever remember! I’ve really been sensing that we’re standing on the precipice of a unique breakthrough. It’s thrilling! I’m also sensing that this season of prayer will be infused with extreme joy and contagious energy – not hype – as we sacrificially press harder than EVER before!  You don’t need to be “here”, geographically, to join us – perhaps God’s been stirring you to a new level of adventure in your journey of faith. If so, JOIN US!

Here’s some details to give you insight…

In Scripture we see several purposes for fasting.

  • It’s part of the discipline of self-control; it’s a way of sharing that we depend on God alone and that we draw all of our strength and resources from Him;
  • It’s a way of focusing totally on Him when seeking His guidance and help, and of showing that you really are serious in your quest;
  • It’s also, at times, an expression of sorrow and deep repentance, something that a person or community will do in order to acknowledge failure before God and seek his mercy. Great moments of reconciliation come through these seasons of grace.

imagesWe tend to think of fasting as going without food. But we can fast from anything. If we love music and decide to miss a concert in order to spend time with God, that is fasting. It is helpful to think of the parallel of human friendship. When friends need to be together, they will cancel all other activities in order to make that possible. There’s nothing magical about fasting. It’s just one way of telling God that your priority at that moment is to be alone with Him, shutting out whatever is necessary in order to go deeper with Him.

I think we often focus (and talk about) too much what we are “giving up” rather than WHO we are pursuing. If you’re just giving up food but changing nothing else, that’s called a diet not fasting. But, when we become so consumed with Christ that our need/desire for food or other things becomes less important; wow! Breakthrough is close at hand!

Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Bring the leaders and all the people into the Temple of the LORD your God, and cry out to Him there. Joel 1:14

Expecting MORE, chilly

I was asked today “what are you giving up for Lent?” I understand what they meant, but must clearly say, I do not give up things for “Lent” – I give up things for God. I want to Know Him and Make Him Known. And, I’m striving to do a few unique things over the next 40 days leading up to Easter, that will allow me to focus on the Lord’s purpose for me and those He’s called me to lead.

Please understand, I’m not calling my decisions a “fast” – this term is interpreted differently by people of faith (some believe it must be only food, others believe it can be TV, social media, etc…) – ultimately, fasting is a personal commitment between you & God. I fast regularly. I need it. It makes me more focused, faithful and fervent. And, I will fast, as directed, throughout this season.

But, in today’s blog, I’m talking about ‘giving up a few things’ during this season that don’t automatically fall into the category of fasting (simply said, I won’t/can’t necessarily pray in their place as you would with fasting). Here’s what I’m changing

  • Chop Sticks – for 40 days I’m going to do my best to NOT use silverware but instead use chop sticks. There are a few reason for this: 1) I want to focus on the large majority of the world who use chop sticks: Asia. I’m praying for missionaries, underground churches and bold believers in this HUGE part of the world. I’m praying for Geoff and Andrea Bassett preparing to go to China.
    2) I also want to THINK about everything I put into my mouth. Chop Sticks will slow down ‘meals’ and cause me to look, consider and decide what I put into God’s Temple and why. Plus it’s hard to eat pizza, open a candy bar or lift a hamburger with two little sticks! 😉
  • Little Blue Birds – I’m limiting my participation in social media to Twitter and Instagram. There’s lots of other forms demanding my time & attention but, for at least 40 days, I won’t be on Facebook, LinkIn, Pinterest, etc. Now, there will be updates from me that show up on these sources via Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr (this blog) but I won’t be on those sites. Please don’t message me there. The reason I’m doing this is to, again, be more deliberate & focused with my time. More REAL LIFE conversations and more READING God’s Word and other books.
  • Running Shoes – yeah, yeah, yeah… I’ve got to get back to running, elliptical and working out on a regular basis. So, for the next 40 days I’m wearing running shoes every day – you can then ask me ‘how’s it going?’ and I’ll be accountable to myself and anyone who looks puzzled at my choice of footwear. Oh boy… 

So, yeah, there’s a look right into my heart. I’m SO imperfect in SO many ways. That’s not a cry for sympathy but a mandate for change. Christ has reminded me that I can & should be better. Improvements in these three little areas (above) will cause dramatic improvements in my personal life and, hopefully, in the ministries that I love & lead.

By the way, there’s some AMAZING THINGS that our church will do in these 40 days. That’s for another blog…

39 days to go, Chilly