Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do you ever worry about anything? I mean really worry? Ever have anxiety that wakes you up in the middle of the night-grinding your teeth? How do you deal with worry and anxiety?
Worry is a notorious joy thief. It is impossible to worry and be happy at the same time. This week and this weekend at NCC I am discussing how to win over worry and experience joy.
Worry cannot be eliminated, it must be replaced.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Give Hope

The offer of salvation from Jesus' Father to those He desires to become His children. For God so loved us that He gave us His one and only Son. All we need to do is believe in Him and we will avoid eternal death and receive eternal life. Incredible. Simple.

Hopeful. Who will you offer this hope to this week? I am praying that God will use you to reach out to someone this week. Give hope this Easter and invite someone to church.

Current series: "3:16 The Numbers of Hope"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Conflict Resolution

Philippians 4:1-3 (NIV) 1 Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! 2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

We have been talking about resolving conflict which can be challenging. Which conflict resolution tip from our weekend talk would be most difficult for you? Which would be the easiest? What would motivate you to take any of these steps, no matter how easy or difficult?
1. Resolve conflict quickly – Don't let the sun go down while you are angry, Ephesians 4:26-27
2. Talk to the person, not about the person – Matthew 5:23-24, 18:15-17
3. Get help if you need it – Matthew 18:15-17
4. Recognize where you are wrong first – Philippians 2:3-4
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood – Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31
6. Be quick to ask for and to give forgiveness – Matthew 6:12, 18:21-22, Colossians 3:13
7. View conflict as an opportunity – Philippians 1:15-18, 4:2-3
8. Focus on solutions, not blame – Genesis 50:15-21

Remember – the goal is to win a person, not to win an argument.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fast ends, results begin

Inherent in a fast is a feast. When we fast from food, we feast on prayer and God's bountiful love. When we fast from divisive patterns of relating with others, we feast on the amazing awareness that each face we see is the face of Christ. When we fast from building social, economic, and political walls, we feast on our universal oneness with the One.
- Marilyn Brown Oden
"Wilderness Wanderings"

I hope all enjoyed and profited from our fast, it was challenging, and rewarding for me in a couple of ways. Watch to see how God responds. Many participated and over 100 gathered last night for our final prayer gathering! It was fantastic to see so many involved in prayer for our church. We also had a great feast to end our fast!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Day three...

Ok so today is day three. I actually feel pretty good today. I had a rough afternoon yesterday, but a pretty good evening. I think the gatherings in the evening for prayer really help. I'm seeking to come to a greater place of surrender and be filled once again with God's Spirit. I am desiring a personal revival of sorts. I guess it all boils down to me being sick of me and wanting to be more like Jesus. Jesus fasted and prayed a lot. I don't claim to know exactly what to expect from this fast, but one thing I know-I want my spirit to rule over my flesh and this fast is certainly putting my sinful nature to death. As for closeness to God, I hope to experience more of that today. I'm going to press in harder todayand into the night.

Don't miss tonight as we gather @ 6:00 for the end of our fast. We are seeking God tonight for financial blessing on the people of our church. If you have financial need come tonight for prayer. Bring food for yourself and another as we will share a meal together.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

time for a change of heart

Fasting is a knife that cuts away superficiality, getting to the bone. Effective, because it is able to break up daily patterns upon which you have become so dependent. When those patterns of pleasure are removed, you are left with your own internal resources. If those resources are bankrupt, then during fasting, you will come face to face with a vacuum that only God can fill. Turning to Him in this weakness and humility often then releases much needed spiritual resources.

Fasting also applies pressure to the flesh, and, you may be appalled at how much the flesh will squirm. But it is high time that the flesh is removed from the role of God, dethroned and placed under the foot of your will. It is the creativity of a freed will which lifts us above animal instincts and releases us from the cages of empty routine.

Fasting accomplishes two purposes. First, it will reveal how much the flesh has taken control of your emotions. And secondly, it will serve in breaking the flesh’s hold upon the will.

Fasting forces us to face the chaos of addictions, compulsive behaviors, depression and internal pain. It’s like pressing the pause button of life, and quietly observing how crazy and detached we have become to who we are.

During fasting, patterns of living are broken. Fasting can be an oasis of spiritual refreshment in a life that has become a desert of uselessness-a spiritual desert that has been left in the wake of selfish materialism.

True, spiritual fasting smashes religion and draws a distinguishable line in the sand. It is a magnifying glass that allows us to examine our unconscious patterns of living. The driving force of where our life is going. That is why Satan has invested so much energy towards controlling the subconscious patterns of mankind. He will be appalled if you attempt a fast because fasting exposes how much he has been able to infiltrate the destiny of your life.

We can pull the wool over our own eyes but not God's—He sees the heart.God does not respond to the things which we do, He responds to a change of heart, and it is here where we come to the true purpose of spiritual fasting.

Fasting is a tool to help us change our hearts before God.

Fasting is not something which we are offering up to God, but, instead, it assists in offering ourselves up to God (Rom. 12:1-2). Properly motivated fasting purifies and changes a heart that then can be given to God as an offering. Our heart passions are the dish that delights the heart of God.

Today’s passage taken and modified from

Monday, March 03, 2008

When you fast...

Today begins three days of prayer and fasting for our church. Each day I will write helpful fasting guidelines, teachings and experiences.

Each time you are hungry or long for the thing that you have given up, turn your heart to God and relate to Him instead. Remind yourself that your real hunger is to know God and depend on Him to sustain and satisfy you.

Be real with God. Tell Him whatever is going on inside you that you can identify. Be honest about how you are experiencing God right then. Do you see Him as a vending machine, a frowning father, a distant, cold force? Or, as a gloriously strong and intimate friend?

Remove hindrances. Ask God to reveal anything that would hinder your fully connecting with Him. Put into words whatever makes you uncomfortable or embarrassed when you are real with God (write this in a journal). Confess any sins of attitude, behavior or omission that

Approach God as the “first thing” in your life;. Seek Him as your most treasured and needed relationship; the person you want to know more than anyone else. Acknowledge that you have placed other people and things above Him and that you long to desire God more than anything else on earth.

Worship God for who He is and not just His earthly blessings. Worship is surrendering all that we are to Him so that He can express His life through us. It is desiring that God’s will be done on earth (in you) as it is in heaven.

Seek God’s vision and purpose for your life. Ask God to put His desires in your heart for all that He has planned for your life. Let go of selfish expectations and agendas.

Spend time meditating on God’s Word. Ask God to build your faith on His Word instead of on your circumstances and/or feelings. Try personalizing and praying scripture. The Psalms can be very helpful in expressing your deep feelings, needs and trust in God. (see Psalm 16, 23,
25, 27,34, 37, 51, 62, 103, 145)

Pray for yourself and others. While fasting, it is easier to hear God and pray according to His will instead of our own understanding. Be available to intercede for others as God brings people to mind. This is also a great time to take authority over the schemes of the evil one and
reclaim any areas that you have, knowingly or unknowingly, given-over to him.