Thursday, December 1, 2011


I don’t know about you, but I count it an honor to be a person who can be trusted. One who people know they are safe with, they can count on, who won’t back out on them when times get hard, one who is covenant minded instead of contract focused. I also want to be known as a person of faith, one who encourages others to walk faithfully by the way I live my life.

In praying this morning, I asked God to help me be that person. Help me walk in faith. Help others see Him in how I react to adversity. And then, what I probably already knew somewhere hidden in my heart was facing me head on. In order to be that person, I must accept that the only way to do that is to go through trials faithfully. Praying to be a person who models faith was intrinsically telling the Lord that I accepted the trials I would have to face in order to model that faith He gives us.

Sometimes in prayer, God reveals the necessity to sit back and ponder if I truly believe what I am praying. Do I truly accept those trials? Do I truly want to model faith, or is there something else I could pick? Let’s see…patience? Well. We all know how that works. Same principle. In order to model and live the characteristic we desire, we must face trials and temptations to exhibit something other than the desired result.

What if we shift our focus? What if we realize what is going on, and we come to the understanding that we have been ENTRUSTED with the trials of life. God has hand-picked us to shine His light in a certain situation, He has counted us TRUSTWORTHY to walk through this trial and complete the test in full faith. Faith not in the promise of a positive outcome, or our protection, or our promotion, but simply faith in the One who is the object of that faith and the supplier of all faith. Faith in Christ alone. We have not been blindsided with the loss of a job, we have been entrusted to walk that road in faith. We have not been cursed with the trials of life; we have been entrusted to live a life that brings Him honor and glory through them.

Entrusted…by God. That puts a whole new light on it. It is absolutely the person I want to be. I want to be entrusted in trials and tests, because I also know I will be enabled to walk through those situations with God getting the glory for however they turn out. You see, if we walk through the trial in faith, we win. The situation may or may not turn out as we had hoped, but if no matter the outcome we remain in faith, the victory and the glory are already gained, and they both point others to Christ. Not to mention the black eye it gives Satan. I am not advocating asking for trials, or being a martyr in life. I am crying out to Him for that renewed focus on those struggles when they find me in their path.

Philippians 1:29 states, “For you have been granted [the privilege] for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in [adhere to, rely on, and trust in] Him, but also to suffer in His behalf.” We don’t hear it that way very often do we? But it is true. It is a privilege to be entrusted by God for the glory of Christ, even and especially in the trials, suffering and persecution.

I thought on all this for a while during my prayer, and came to a conclusion. I would not dodge one trial and risk the privilege of my life bringing glory to Him. How about you?

2Timothy 1:8-12 Paul writes to Timothy, and to us, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Popcorn and Coke

Today we held the funeral for my grandfather, Floyd "Buster" McFadden.  It was a time of gathering with friends and family, sharing memories, forgiving regrets, and looking toward tomorrow with a changed horizon.  All in all a good day. 

A couple of months ago, my grandmother passed as well.  Her service was also a celebration of life.  What a day. We only had the visitation and the service.  Our family opted not to have the graveside service, instead, we focused on celebrating her life, and spending time loving on each other. 

Later that evening, we popped some popcorn, iced down some cokes, and all climbed in the suv to head out to the cemetery.  What an incredible new tradition.  No longer focusing on the death but the life.  No longer was the trip to the cemetery a dreaded long black train of vehicles, but rather a fun family outing sharing stories of Miss Norma's life.  She would have loved it. 

Tomorrow, we continue the tradition as we will once again pop popcorn, ice down some cokes, and go visit the site where Poppa Busters body will rest until it meets his spirit in the sky!  Thank you Lord for a family tradition that brings the focus back on You, Your life, the joy You have given us, and the lives You have allowed us to share. 

For me, this will be a tradition to continue.  I want my focus to always be on the life and not the death.  Let us focus on You alone and not be distracted by the worlds view of things that are temporary and carnal.  Even in death, may the joy of the Lord and the promises He has given us ring true in our lives. 

The next time you face the certainty of death, look up, focus on the life, and enjoy some popcorn and coke along the way.

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"  1 Cor. 15:55

Monday, August 1, 2011

NEVER Forsaken!!

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

This week has not gone as planned. Yes, has not gone according to MY plans… I know…It’s just not about me!

I have a grandmother dying in the hospital. She is 99. In 14 days she will turn 100. The doctors however have only given her 5-6 days to live. The family is making arrangements for those days to be filled with love, care, comfort and peace, but I know that as a faithful servant of Christ, she is ready to see face to face The One she has loved and served all these years. After all, we are talking about a woman who taught adult ladies Sunday School until she was 92 and quit then because she said “they had to be tired of listening to her by now”. I doubt it. I’m not. My one regret is that I have only known her a few years, and do not know her more, but what I do know is her Lord has never forsaken her.

I was to go on a mission trip to Paraguay in September, and due to some health issues, that is not going to be able to happen at this time. I must take some time to get my health under control before flying to a third world country to have a heart attack! I even tried to manipulate it by going to a doctor (before my appointment with the heart specialist later this month) who I knew was big on missions to see if he would tell me I could postpone this whole heart doctor thing for a while and go. After he told me no…I knew it matched the still small voice in my head I was trying to ignore, but praise His Holy Name, even when I don’t listen the first time, He has never forsaken me.

Both of these got me to thinking. In this summer of my plans giving way to God’s timing, and this week of it just not being about me…neither is the issue of never being just not about me. 

It is not because of me that I have never been forsaken, or because of Miss Norma either. She is a great lady, and has loved and served the Lord a LONG time, but it is still not by anything she has done that the Lord has never forsaken her. Why? All over the Old Testament the Lord DID forsake his people, because they forsook Him in disobedience, idols, pride, and sin. I’m quite sure she and I both have waded into those ourselves, yet the last time we see God forsaking anyone is in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark as Jesus hung on the cross. Matthew 27:46 says, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Christ took on our sin, and suffered the worst death He could experience, separation from God, being forsaken, so that you and I will never have to.

What an incredible blessing. How precious to know that a Savior came and was forsaken so that by trusting in Him for our eternal salvation, we might never know what it was.

That is why Miss Norma, you, and I can all know that even when things do not go the way we had them planned, when they are just plain hard to understand and harder still to endure, those of us who have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives can live with the promise that we are NEVER FORSAKEN.

Do you have that assurance?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

One Way - July 19th

The balcony of my room looks out over the lake …a big lake…the joke of the week is that it is a GREAT lake…Lake Michigan. Our motel faces the road, and just passed that is a bike trail, and then a short grassy drop to the lakeshore. As I look out over the lake ahead of me, I see water stretched out as far as the eye can see on the horizon…beautiful blue glistening water. So vast you could get lost in it.

That was my thought as I looked out over it. No roads, no set paths, no guides to show you the way, just vast and blue as far as the eye can see. Someone could get lost out there. Then my eyes focus one small sign , ok, a road sign, on the side of the road heading down to the lake which read, “one way” with the lake as its backdrop.

As I sat there thinking about that signs simple direction in contrast to the waters just behind it, I thought how funny the contrast and how simple it is to miss the signs. God is so much like that. Despite the vast world we are a part of today, all the options, the choices, the careers, religions, educations and possibilities, His directions are still simple. There is only one way.

Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life, and no one comes to the Father but by Him. How simple it is.

And then, just to make sure I did not miss the point, He sent a cloud cover to darken the opposite side of the lake as to the way the sign was pointing. I just could not help but take a picture. Reminds me of the verses in Deut. 30:19 “behold I set before you this day life and death, blessings and cursings,” and just like the clouds rolling in to make his point, in His Word you can almost hear the “and in case you didn’t get it” second part of His CHOOSE LIFE. In case you missed it before let me draw you a picture….choose life…. Pick me. Follow me. Watch for My signs and seek after My ways. Don’t get overwhelmed or lost in this world of choices….choose me. I will be your way. I will be your truth. I will give you life. There is only one way….His name is Jesus. Talk about an incredible compass!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Freedoms

As I sit outside watching the fireworks, my senses are almost overwhelming me. The sizzle and colors of sparklers and the beautiful children faces in laughter as the glow lights up their joyful expressions. The sounds of different conversations as people talk and laugh in sweet fellowship. The bright flashes against the dark and starry sky as the bang of fireworks demands your attention. The smell of the grass around us, and the sulphur smoke blowing past. Feeling a light breeze sweep gently past giving a brief reprise to the heat of the summer night.

As I sit here, almost alone in the crowd of people and fireworks, it is a strange paradox.  So much going on around me, and yet Lord my mind is calm and stilled on You. I am thankful Lord for friends and family, for country, for this opportunity, but Lord may I please never take for granted the sacrifices that made it all possible. My heart is full rejoicing in the love you've shown, in the grace you've shown. Lord, for my freedom to serve You I give you thanks. Galatians 5:1 says that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free so we should not be entangled again by the yoke of slavery. May that be our hearts cry both individually and as a nation. May our gratitude carry over to our actions. May we guard our God gifted freedom with all diligence and live our lives out of allegiance and honor to The One who lived and died and rose again to grant our freedom.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Joshua in Manitowoc

As I was journaling and praying about our upcoming trip this morning, God gave me an incredible picture. He is so amazingly faithful.

My prayer, was this: Father, prepare me for the trip ahead. Prepare my heart and my mind to only speak those things that You would have for me to speak. Let it be all about You Lord. Let our trip honor You and bring glory to You. I pray that You draw people to Your loving side. I pray for 15 salvations, and twice that added to the body of Your church. Go before us Lord. Prepare the lives to be ripe. Prepare the hearts to be tender. Prepare the minds for understanding the things of You. Prepare Your children to meet their Father face to face and give them willingness to act on the drawing of Your Holy Spirit. May they run into Your open arms. May they come to know You as both Savior and Lord. Bless me, my girls and our team with a fresh fire, a fresh anointing; fill us to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit. Change us forever to never want to live our lives a single day without telling others of Your all-sufficient Grace, and the miracle of salvation in our own lives. Amen.

Then, a little later as I was looking for something different, He gave me Joshua 3:7-13. I had studied this earlier in the week, and he revealed something to me, but first, the application.

*God goes before His people and prepares the way, even when there seems to be no way.

*We are fixing to act as the priests here, in that we will be called to stand in the gap (the river) by the measure of faith He has given us, for the people we come in contact with in Manitowoc. (Symbolically speaking, not saying I am a priest, but priesthood of believers.)

*God will drive out excuses, religions, habits and wrong beliefs just as He promised to drive out all the “-ites” from before His people crossing the Jordan river in faith, from before the people He is calling us to go to.

*God will hold back the flood of words and conflicting thoughts in order for us to proclaim His truth by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimonies, to His called children.

*He will deliver His people in Manitowoc to the salvation (Gilgal) that He alone is able to offer and complete.

If you jump ahead to Joshua 4:3-9, it talks of setting up stones. This is where I have been pondering the last couple of weeks that He just made so clear. Some of the men were to take stones out of the river as they crossed to set up at Gilgal as an altar, spiritual marker, to the Lord. Joshua, however set up 12 stones in the river before the priests left that place and the presence of the Lord was still staying the rivers. Why 2 different sets? What was the significance? For this application, there will be spiritual markers set up for both us and those we are going to serve. Those in Manitowoc who will meet Him when they get to the place of coming full circle with God (meaning of name Gilgal), and some spiritual markers will be set up in our remembrance before we leave that place by God Himself, to serve as spiritual markers in our lives and for the rest of our lives. Two sets of spiritual markers. One God giving His spirit and revelation to all. All lives changed forever.

Thank you Lord for Your promises to us.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What are we willing to fight for?

May I just say there is a right way and a wrong way to fight as a Christian, and just as importantly, there are right things and wrong things to fight over. Just this morning I read a headline about people actually BRAWLING to get into a courtroom to be a part of the hype of a murder trial. Really? Thankfully, no one in the crowd claimed to be acting out of a Holy duty or a Christian obligation!

There is one thing that I can say without hesitation we must fight for…our faith. We are so carnally predisposed to fighting against others, when what we truly need to be on guard and fight against is our very nature to act and react in ways that are not consistent with a living FAITH in Christ. In Romans 14:23 we read, “…and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” That lays the importance of fighting for our faith right at our feet. When we are asked what is sin the simple answer is anything not done in faith, not what our neighbor is doing, not what I am going to battle to correct, not what the other person said about me, not what I think of someone else’s spiritual maturity or lack thereof. What sin is … anytime you or I do or say anything that is not coming from faith.

2 Corinthians Chapter 10 reads, “3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” Doctrinal fights? No need. I in faith seek what the Word and the Holy Spirit reveal to me and act accordingly. Power struggles? No need. I through faith go where He leads me to and leave the results to Him. Evangelism? Sew the Seed in faith, and leave the responsibility for watering and harvesting to Him. Do not argue with the waterer as to your individual roles. If you are called to harvesting, harvest in faith, and do not worry about the responsibilities of the sewer and the waterer. Do what God calls you to do in faith, and leave the rest to Him.

I must keep my faith strong in order to be useful to my Lord and Savior, and that is one fight I am willing to battle with all due diligence, and it truly takes it. Negative thought? By faith I take it captive and speak the truth of the Word over it. Improper scene in move? By faith I turn it off claiming it is not needful for me to watch the rest. Improper language being spoken in your presence? Kindness to the person to please respect your desire not to listen, but mostly, prayer by faith that the Lord take that hearing of that filth out of my mind so that it does not remain in my mind and pop back out. Tough day ahead? Pray the armor of God on in the morning and continue to pray it over yourself throughout the day. Ephesians 6:13 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

My prayer for myself today, as well as others, is that I will fight the fight of faith within myself, and against the strongholds that Satan attempts to set up against me, and with every word or deed claim it done in faith that the Lord has directed it, the Lord with multiply it, and the Lord will give His results to it. As for others? I will fight the fight of faith with and for them on my knees. I will speak into their lives as the Lord directs, I will be a willing vessel to be used of Him, and I will leave revelation and change up to Him. My job is simply to point my life toward Him in faith, and let Him use that as He wishes. I will not waste my God given time, talent, and strength on battles that are not mine to fight. I will however, fight for my faith in the everyday moments of life to live each one in Him, and draw on His strength in order to be able to stay in the faith He provides. You see, He does not expect us to have anything that He does not give to us first! If He requires it, He supplies it.

Go and fight for your faith in the power He supplies.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Prayer to The Director of our Lives and Our Worship

Isaiah 48:17
This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.

Lord Jesus,

Please orchestrate this day according to Your Will.

Show me how my instrument needs tuning first. Take all my pitchiness; take where my attitude is sharp, or where my perspective is flat. Make me an instrument in tune with You, the One who is the truest tone.

Let all of us that gather to worship in our churches this morning do the same so that all we hear today is our instruments playing in harmony to Your music. Let us only play the notes You have written for us. Direct us. Show us when to turn the page. Keep us playing in accordance with Your timing. Let the ending bring a standing ovation to Your Glory alone.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

When the Tomb of Our Hope Is Still Occupied

Luke 23:54

And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

Friday, had been the day of preparation…

I cannot even imagine what the believers of Christ were going through. Friday had been an unimaginable chain of events. The last 12 hours of our Saviors life must have seemed like a nightmare flashing before their eyes. Trials, tortures, hopes dashed, hatred, the road to Golgotha, and the scene at the cross. Their Savior, and ours, beaten and bruised despite His innocence. It must have seemed as in an instant the heartache of a lifetime had taken place.

As you and I know, there are some days, those awful days none of us care to relive, that the stress and happenings of that day just rush together; our adrenaline pumping is the only thing that truly energizes us as everything comes together so quickly that our mind does not have time to truly process all of it. We simply sleepwalk through the day blank, empty, horrified at what we are dealing with, but unable to get our minds around it.

As I watched the Passion of the Christ last night, I certainly would not describe that Friday’s events as the day of preparation, but as I read the word today, I get it. Friday’s events truly were the preparation for what the Lord was to do. Friday, Jesus prepared His heart to carry the burdens we put on Him, Friday, the soldiers prepared to carry out their sentence, Friday, the Jewish leaders prepared to rid themselves of their thorn, Friday, God prepared Himself to turn His face on His own Son, and Friday, the followers of Christ prepared themselves for the faith it would take, because “the Sabbath drew on”.

Today, Saturday, would have been their Sabbath. The day they dispensed with work to honor their God. This day, the work was done on Friday, but the Sabbath would be more critical than ever. The day after the trial, the day after the stress, the day after the horror, the Sabbath, is when the followers of Christ would fight for their faith. Their minds would begin to kick in. Their hearts would be broken. Their hopes and beliefs about what the Lord was going to do would be challenged by a tomb that held the body of their Lord, and faith that He would be their salvation.

Today is the same. In the middle of the fight, we are strong. But are we just as strong the day in the middle? The Sabbath day when there is no battle to fight, no distractions, and no busy-work, there is only our faith and a Lord we cannot see. We do not understand what He is up to. We do not know why things are the way they are. We are at the Sabbath day as the book of Luke tells us, they ”rested the Sabbath day”.

Is our faith strong enough for the sabbath? The day between our battle and the answer we have prayed for. Will our faith carry us through in the quiet days when Satan wants so desperately for our hearts to doubt our Savior? Will our faith be strong enough when the tomb of our hope is still occupied? Will we be able to rest in the sabbath knowing our Lord is still in control no matter what our eyes see, our ears hear, or our fears scream?

My prayer is that our faith will allow us to rest in the sabbath of our lives; that your faith will carry you through the quiet times when God has yet to answer; that my faith will quiet my fears, and carry me through until the Lord once again, in a show of His glory and might in my life, rises from the tomb and brings new life to that which I thought was dead. And on Sunday, after faith through the sabbath, when I go back to that tomb of a problem or doubt or heartbreak, that when I arrive back there, I will also hear the words spoken to those who came back to the tomb,

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

Go and rest in your sabbath knowing that our Savior lives. Worship Him as the risen Savior of your life, even on the days you do not understand.  Praise Him for the resurrection of His life, and through that, the promise of your life's resurrection as well.  Have faith in what He has promised, in who He is, and in His Words of life.  Live your life in the power of the risen Savior, and stop looking for His presence in the tomb...He is not there, He is risen as He said.   

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Surrender of Worship

Psa 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Lord, as we approach this conference, let us first approach your throne. Let our worship of You, and who You are, create in our hearts a humble spirit that will translate into our life as we arise from kneeling before you. Let our focus as we petition your throne be that of wonderment and praise. May we simply sing to you of our love and adoration. You Lord are our creator. You are Master of all. You control all and have power over all things. Our decisions are our acts of worship to a Holy God. May all we do bring glory to Your Holy Name, and may You be pleased in us, Your created. Today, our act of surrender is our worship of You on the throne of our lives. We simply and completely acknowledge You as our Savior and Lord, and as the One who controls our lives. May we spend some time today in worship, bowing down in heart and body, falling prostrate before Your throne. In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Seek First

Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness…”

This verse just seems to fit. Probably because it is written to be the base of all we do. As we draw closer to time for the upcoming “Total Surrender” conference, this just had to be the verse we started our devotionals with.

First, may this be the prayer of everyone involved in putting the conference together. The Psalms 51 team, Susan Duke, Gerry and Eva Dee, and even down to the staff at the Riley Center where the event will be held. May we truly seek the Lord’s Kingdom first. May our desire be to please Him and Him alone. May our view of success of this event be the degree to which He was glorified and truly sought by all in attendance, not the numbers of those who show up. May we individually seek to please Him in all decisions we make. May we commit ourselves to follow hard after His righteousness in all areas of our personal lives, and may we show up to the conference having asked Him fervently to greet us face to face with His love and His Kingdom view.

Secondly, this may be the simplest prayer of total surrender that there is. For if we truly do seek Him, and His Kingdom, first, is that not what Total Surrender really is? I surrender my desires, and focus on Your Kingdom. I surrender my fears, and focus on Your Kingdom Lord. I surrender my ideals of success in this conference, and focus on Your Kingdom. I surrender my promotion, or praise, or power, and seek first Your Kingdom, as well as Your righteousness. I seek You first Lord, before I make a plan, say a word, speak in a breakout, listen to a speaker, or raise my hands in worship. I seek You and Your Kingdom first, and Your righteousness.

Thirdly, our prayer is that each of you will do the same. We pray that if God is tugging at your heartstrings to attend, that you will surrender to seek His Kingdom first that weekend. We pray that if you have signed up to attend, that you are in prayer for that weekend so that you arrive seeking His Kingdom first, and not what He can say to your friend or your neighbor, but truly desirous of meeting the Lord in a head on collision with His Love and His Word, but most of all, His Son.

NO matter your plans for the weekend of the conference, I pray that you will make it your prayer as well, to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.” He is waiting for you. Read on in the Word of the Lord, when you seek, you will find, and finding Him is worth everything.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 5 - Walking in the Spirit

Galatians 5:16-17 (New King James Version)   I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Walking in the spirit.  Seems like such a distant and idealist theory, to which there is no concrete "proof" or evidence that it is ever truly happening. Or is there?  I would say that there IS proof. 

Day 5, and no one has died, shriveled up, starved, or even convulsed.  That is walking in the spirit.  Having the eyes to see someones pain instead of their rudeness.  That is walking in the spirit.  Making the decision of obedience over self-satisfaction.  That is walking in the spirit.  Desiring to serve others rather than have others always serve you.  That is walking in the spirit.  Having a word for someone that touches their hearts.  That is walking in the spirit. 

You see, if we are filled with the spirit of the Lord, every action we take should be an extension of that Spirit, and therefore we are walking in the spirit.  Walking in peace, harmony, and agreement with the Holy Spirit housed inside of us is an incredible priviledge.  It is that very spirit that also gives us the strength and ability to carry out the works of the Spirit.  You see, in our own strength we are merely flesh and will live according to that flesh, but in the Spirit of the Lord we are able to live by the calling of the same Spirit that empowers us to carry out the call. 

What an awesome God we serve.  Let every act of my life today be in accordance with walking in the Spirit, may He empower me to answer the call, and may each choice of obedience over flesh be my act of worship to the Lord of Lords.    Praise be the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, the One, the Deliverer, The Strength, and the Power.  Amen.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day One

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Beautiful, snowy day.  Flakes have fallen and covered our dry dark land, just as the blanket of Yours mercy and grace falls on us in righteousness and holiness before You.  Today, my prayer is again that Your Holy Spirit descend and cover my dry dark sin with Your mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love.  Just as the few places outside not covered in snowstick out to our vision as eye-sores, let any sin in my life be an eye-sore to my spirit.  Let Your Holy Spiri reveal any sin in my life so that I may seek forgiveness for those areas that I may not have even been aware of.  Lord Jesus, forgive me.  Let me be quick to repent today.  Let my heart be pure white before You, and let there be no area of my life withheld from You.  I love You and praise Your Holy Name.  You alone have the power to blanket me in Your love and wash my sins white as snow.  Amen.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

OK 2011, watch out, here we come!  We are fixing to light a fire in our faith that cannot be dimmed.  The 21 Day corporate fast begins tomorrow.  First, may I say, congratulations on taking this leap of faith in the first step.  There is not a time in my life where I feel more exhilerated that a time of fasting.  Of course, anytime you purpose to resist the needs of the any way...for the renewal of the spirit, there is going to be a war.  But hang in there...God will richly reward  you.  Spend the next 21 days soaking up as much time in His Word and in His presence as you can. 

Here are some musts...

1.  You must write down your length of fast.  If you just say you are going to fast until you don't feel like doing it any more, you will only make it about 5 hours.  You must decide with the Lord how long a fast He is calling you to, and write it down.  There is an end to the time of fasting, and you need to know exactly when that is. 

2.  You must write down exactly what you are fasting from.  If you leave it up to speculation, it will turn into eating all you see.  Clearly write down exactly what the guidelines of the fast the Lord has called you to are.  There are several examples in the Word of fasts, liquid fasts, and partial fasts.  Do not name your fast based on what you can do in your own strength.  Pick your fast as to what you feel the Lord is calling you to.  If you are going to do a fast based on your own strength, you may as well not start one.  My daughter came to me with a delima on picking what she was going to fast...she said it was between cold drinks and vegetables.  Even funnier since I have not been able to get her to eat a vegetable since she came off baby food!  

3.  You must write down what your are fasting for.  What is your purpose?  What are the things in your life you are truly seeking an answer from the Lord on?  What are some things you are wanting the Lord to show you?  Just like in keeping a prayer journal when you write down your purpose you can't get sidetracked or confused.  You will not be as likely to doubt what you are doing or why if you have clearly specified and written down goals. 

Some things need clarifying at this point.  First, this is not a name it, suffer a little, and claim it proposal.  I can not explain the supernatural power in fasting exactly, but the Holy Word of the Lord, spoken by Jesus Himself tells us that it is true.  Mark 9:29 "And he said unto them, 'This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.'".  If the Son of God Himself found it necessary to fast throughout His ministry, and God saw fit to have the Holy Spirit lead Him to the wilderness for a time of fasting prior to the beginning of His earthly ministry, then how much moreso would it be important for us.

Second, in all 3 examples above, you will read that you are to make all decisions in fasting by leadership of the Holy Spirit.  This is not some mystical thing.  In Matthew Chapter 6 it speaks of "when you give", "when you pray", and "when you fast".  Fasting is to be as much a part of the life of a believer as is giving and praying.  In Ecclesiastes 4:12 it states, "And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."  Giving, praying and fasting are one of those threefold cords.  Everything a believer does should be in accordance with and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  

But here is one thing life, and fasting,has tought trust Him moment by moment. Not for the end result or the 21 days down the road...but for this very moment and this very hour. If you try to look at the whole thing, it is completely overwhelming.  Look at this moment, this choice, this hour.  Will I trust Him in this moment.  Will I stay focused in this temptation.  Will I choose to worship Him this hour when the enemy is raging, and my stomach is growling. 

I applaud you for your leap of faith in this corporate fast.  I pray that you will leave your feedback and encourage each other through this time.  Share with others on the fast what the Lord is doing in your walk together.  Most of all, seek Him.  Trust Him.  Praise Him.  Rely on Him.  Amen.