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prayerfastingAs the Lord is moving us forward in providing a new facility, our heart has always been that He would above all transform our hearts to make us more like Him in the process. We are thankful for how He has been drawing us deeper into understanding His heart and purpose for our church.

Throughout scripture God has made it evident that it is through fasting and prayer that we can best seek His face and desires for us.

The intent of a fast is to deny ourselves of something we do on a regular basis in order to more fully concentrate on and hear from the Lord. The most common fast is from food (drinking water only) but it can be modified to just liquids and not solid food. (those with dietary needs may not be able to do a food fast so we suggest fasting from television, social media, radio etc.) In all cases the fast is serving the same purpose as the time we would normally spend doing those things is spent in prayer. (for more about fasting

On Thursday October 20th we are asking the Fellowship body to fast from dinner Wednesday night until dinner Thursday night. Breakfast and Lunch would be skipped on Thursday and the fast could be broken with communion at our worship service on Thursday evening.

We invite you to come anytime Thursday, during the noon hour, to the Fellowship worship center where we will have a guided time of prayer at your own pace. Then Thursday evening we invite you to join us for prayer and worship at 6 p.m., where the fast can be broken with communion.

so we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.

-Ezra 8:23

Have you ever walked out of a movie due to it's content? It happened to me on one occasion many years ago and sadly while I forget the title of the movie my mind was stamped with images that were not honoring. Since that time I have changed my method of deciding whether the show is worthy of seeing. Sadly the same principles have had to be applied to the television. Michael Landon, star of Little House on the Praire, once said, "Let's face it, television is an invention where you're entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your house."  No doubt the entertainment industry has a powerful influence on culture and we are fooling ourselves if we don't think it affects even the most spiritual among us. David tells us, "I will set before my eyes no vile thing." Psalm 101:3 So how do we accomplish this?  There is a new show coming out on HGTV called, "Living in Alaska" which chronicles the lives of couples getting away from it all. Maybe that is the answer or at least it intrigues me on many levels but is unrealistic. So if we are to remain in the culture then we must put on our critical thinking caps. How does this measure up to what we know is true? What values are being imparted? Shows such as Superman, the Hobbitt are a few with some very strong biblical themes of triumph of good over evil. I am thankful that producers with a biblical world view are putting out some high quality entertainment as wel. 'God is not Dead" is a recent success. Yet we must be careful because a biblical theme does not necessarily mean it is accurate or redeeming. A few recent examples are "Noah" which looks to be graphically incredible yet wholly inaccurate and mystical. It doesn't take much critical thinking when the producer himself says that it was to be the "least biblical" film ever made. Son of God has been widlely popular and pretty accurate yet when quoting John 3:16 the part of what we are being saved from, will not perish, was left out. That really diminishes the need for the cross. Saving us from sin and it's consequences was the whole point. Also in quoting John 14:6 three different times the last part of the verse about Jesus being the only way to the father was left out.

We have a tremendous amount of freedom in Christ and with that freedom comes responsibility to think critically and make sure we are renewing our minds daily and filtering through what we allow in. Times are changing and so must we.



 James doesn't hold back on his views of church conflict and the root cause. He identifies it as pride and in our sermon on Sunday many of you commented on the 6 marks of Spiritual Pride written hundreds of years ago by Jonathon Edwards. I have found them very convicting but freeing to meditate on. So for our spiritual cleansing and intention to be peacemakers in the church, here are the following marks of pride that Edwards found to inhibit revival.

6 marks of spiritual pride.

  1. Pride makes you aware of others faults more than your own, but humility makes you far more aware of your own faults than others.
  2. Pride leads to an air of contempt, but humility says whenever we speak of others faults we do so with grief and mercy.
  3. Pride leads us to separate from people who have criticized us but humility says we stick with people even through difficulty in relationships.
  4. A proud person is dogmatic and sure about every point of belief. They can’t distinguish between major and minor pints of belief because everything they believe is major.
  5. Proud person either loves to confront because they are winning or they refuse to confront because they don’t’ like criticism and controversy. A humble person confronts when necessary but does so with grace.
  6. Proud person is often unhappy and feels sorry for themselves. Proud people are full of self pity because they are sure how life ought to go and they think they deserve a good life. Humble people say I deserve to be cast off but by God’s grace am I living.


Patience and judgment are rarely seen together but James puts them together in his letter to the church. " you to be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The judge is standing at the door." James 5:8,9

My first thought in reading these words is, What's the big deal with patience? I know patience is a fruit of the Spirit but it seems to be the one most culturally acceptable. I find my most vulnerable times of impatience is linked to driving, long lines and when I'm under a time constraint. We all have struggled with patience and even laughed about our impatient moments. So why judgment? Isn't that a bit extreme with all the other bigger things going on in our world to judge. One thing we know for sure is God's judgment is not random and is pure, purposeful and for good reason. God knows that impatience comes from a very dangerous root and leads to a grumbling, doubting spirit both with God and others.

We will unpack this further on Sunday but between now and then there will be many opportunities where our patience will be tested. Hope to see you Sunday.

Grace,  Doug

This past weekend I was able to attend and speak at the memorial service for my 100+ year old grandmother who truly was the spiritual matriarch of our family. The service was held just down the street from the small community church where as a young boy I first heard the words to the song, " This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."  Little did I know when I learned that song how much of a challenge my own sinful nature as well as the influence of the world would war against this truth in my life. I am reminded of Paul's words to Timothy, " I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first live in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded , now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God." 2 Timothy 1:5-6a

Timothy was ministering in a culture radically opposed to the gospel and if he was to succeed in this mission he would need to fan the flame. In the greek the verb actually means to keep on fanning the flame. In other words fanning the flame isn't a one time event but something we will need to do on a daily basis moment by moment. Paul mentions it will take courage, Spirit filled living and self discipline. Sometimes our flame can be diminished by being ashamed of Christ. We have all experienced this at one time or another and we are in good company, just ask Peter! He then goes on in chapter 2 to give 3 metaphors that represent challenges to keeping the flame burning. The Soldier teaches us how easy it is to let the distractions of the world take over and the athlete shows us how easy it is to want to play by our own rules thinking that in some way the gospel limits our freedom when in all reality it sets us free. The hardworking farmer shows us that laziness can greatly diminish the flame in our lives. I don't know about you but all of these have been challenges in one way or another. The only way I can say the flame burns bright now is because of the people God has put in my life to encourage, challenge and rebuke when necessary but it all started with my grandmother Sylvia Ohs who passed it on to my mother Dolores and now has been passed on to my three girls. How you doin? Is this little light of yours burning bright?

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