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New Year’s Fast

by on January 6, 2012

I am so excited that you have chosen to join with me in a time of prayer and fasting at the beginning of 2012.  This year Christ Fellowship will observe a corporate fast from January 9 through January 30.  Our fast will begin at sunrise on the 9th and end at sunrise on the 30th.

This “New Year’s Fast” is seen as an opportunity for each of us as individuals and as a corporate to renew our desires on the things of God from the start of the year.   I know I have anticipated a lot going into this time of fasting on a very personal level.  It is so amazing how easy it is to allow “stuff” to accumulate in our lives that begin to dictate our thought-life, our attitudes and, eventually our spiritual alertness.  The Apostle Paul challenged the Church to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”.  I know the question might be simplistic but if you and I were not prone in our daily life to accumulate “weight” why would the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to tell us lay the weight aside?  It’s simple, because each of us in our daily walk accumulates weight. So, I’m walking into this fast with a determination to lose some unnecessary, unhealthy, spiritual weight.

I believe with all my heart that you, like me, are entering this season of fasting in search of some personal blessing.  And you must understand that it is okay for you and I to seek to desire and to expect blessing from the Lord.  Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Jabez uttered that now famous simple prayer that begins with the cry of his heart, “Oh that You would bless me indeed!”  I do not believe there is a one of us who with a pure heart and true humility would say that we are not interested in the blessings of God; that we have enough of God.  I submit to you that this is a season in which God is calling us to press in closer and expect more.  Expect more from His presence expect more of His power and expect more of His person to be manifest in and through our lives.  That in a nutshell, is where I’m focused from an individual standpoint in this season of fasting.

As a corporate body God has directed our focus to “cultivate a culture of community.  That’s where I am focusing my fasting for the church body.  It’s been shown that with all the social media available on the internet we, as a culture, are becoming increasingly detached from one another.  I hear those alarming reports and am reminded of Christ’s prayer “”I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”  He prayed that you and I be one.  I do not see an arena in which diverse people can come together in a collective body the way Jesus prayed it would be like we can through the church.  But we must cultivate that oneness.  We must allow the Holy Spirit to make us so pliable toward one another and supernaturally focused on unity.  For it is in that place – in corporate unity that God decrees life-giving blessings.

There are some areas of focus that I would like to ask you to join me in.  The first would be in the area of financial breakthrough for Christ Fellowship.  Please understand, financial breakthrough comes in many forms and I would love to see God open financial resource to the church, and I believe that to be the case this year – for I see 2012 as being a year of Jubilee – a year of release from bondages of all sorts, including that of financial bondage over many of our families.  But there is a great need for a financial breakthrough in the area of our mortgage.  Many of you know that late in November.  I and another member of the Council met with the gentleman who holds the mortgage for Christ fellowship.  I believe that meeting was divinely orchestrated and that at that moment God began a process of release for us.  And I’m firmly confident that God is the one who is orchestrating this process of renegotiation of our mortgage.  I am asking you, in this 21 day fast, to seek the face of the Lord to grant us favor – supernatural favor with our current mortgage holder.  Favor to such a level that in a short period of time.  We will be in a position to seek a conventional mortgage for the church property.  But I have to be honest with you; I do not see that happening in the natural until we have loosed it in the spirit realm.

The second area of focus where I believe the Holy Spirit is calling us is in the area of evangelism and of salvation.  There is very little more in the life of the church that excites me more than seeing an individual’s life transform from being dead in sin, blind to the love and grace of Christ to seeing that same individual received full pardon for sin and acceptance of the unconditional forgiveness that the death of Christ on Calvary’s cross affords us.  And can I be a little more transparent with you.  This particular focus in my fast is not to ask God to bring the unsaved into the church as much as it is me asking God to renew my passion for the unsaved to the point that that I will abandon my comfort zone, enter into theirs and boldly unashamedly tell them of the unconditional love of Christ and of his redemptive work for their pardon.  You see my friends; I firmly believe that unless you and I address the measure of our passion, the Holy Spirit could call hundreds a week, compel them to an altar of prayer and transform their hearts before our very eyes.  But because of our lukewarm passion, we would have no desire or impulse to encourage them, to disciple them and to see them come into full maturity and full authority in Christ.  Coupled with this focus of evangelism and salvation is seeing the hearts of individuals pliable and open to that special infilling of the Holy Spirit that you and I call the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  That they receive that infusion of the presence and power that Christ promised when He said, “And you shall be endued with power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you“.  As you and I continue to allow the Holy Spirit to infuse us with his power and as we continue to believe and pray that others receive that same baptism, we will see life in the Spirit expand in our midst to a level that you and I have never seen.

It sounds like a colossal task doesn’t it?  If left to our own strength, it is colossal, even impossible, but that’s where the magnitude of the grace of God comes in for the Apostle James tells us that it’s there in that place of amazing grace “that God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble“.

It’s is my prayer that as you and I walk through these 21 days of fasting that we will begin to see the presence and power of God in our personal lives, in our worship services and in our spheres of influence.

Pushing away and pressing in,

Pastor Terry

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From → 21-Day Fast

10 Comments
  1. ampysuarez permalink

    Pastor Terry, today the Suarez household begins our fast. We have shopped for all our fruits and veggies and commit with you and the church body to this fast towards spiritual growth both as a church and personally. We need a breakthrough in our personal lives and direction (personally) from the Lord as to how to serve Him at Christ Fellowship.

    Can you ask Tracy to share any recipes that she may have? I hear she makes wonderful peanut butter and jam that might liven up my whole wheat pita….yum.

    • Mindy Bowman permalink

      Ampy, you may want to talk to Todd, too! He makes some really tasty dinner dishes! Looking forward to the stir fry we’re having tonight with brown rice! Double YUM!

    • Tracy Taylor permalink

      I would be happy to share my receipes. I have had to be super creative for my family and there really is a lot you can do.

      One Jar 26oz smuckers all natural peanut butter (read ingredients and make sure its the one that is only peanuts and salt)
      1/4 cup Agava nector (or to taste)
      1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

      Blend in food processor till creamy

      Then we use Polaner all fruit. Comes in many flavors even bluberry

    • Mindy Bowman permalink

      Oh…and I do have a recipe of my own and it’s QUICK! Baked potato and Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing. Totally awesome! Plus, if you keep a bottle of the dressing with you, it’s a snap to run into any Wendy’s and get a good, filling meal!

      • Tracy Taylor permalink

        Oh Yeah! Potato and Newmans!! Good stuff. Thanks Mindy!

  2. This is a list of acceptable and unacceptable foods for the Daniel Fast. I hope this list is helpful. Also, for more informaton you can do a Google search “Daniel Fast” where you will receive more knowledgeable and helpful information.

    Be blessed church family as we begin this life-changing journey together! Pastor Shari

    Please make sure to READ THE LABEL when purchasing packaged, canned or bottled foods. They should be sugar-free and chemical-free. Keep this in mind as you review this list of acceptable foods.

    Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast

    All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon

    All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.

    All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

    All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

    All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

    All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.

    Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

    Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

    Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast

    All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

    All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

    All sweetenersincluding but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

    All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.

    All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

    All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

    All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

    Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

    Remember, READ THE LABELS!

  3. Mindy Bowman permalink

    Hello everyone! I’m excited about starting the fast this morning. I guzzled my last cup of coffee for the next 21 days at 7:15 AM this morning…well before the 7:23 AM sunrise. 🙂 I’m praying that this blog will give encouragement and support! Feel free to leave comments with suggestions, encouragement or questions! Happy fasting!

  4. Cheryl permalink

    Thanks for the list Pator Shari it helped for shopping…

    This morning when I woke up the Holy Spirit was talking to me and I heard ….it is time for a controlled burn….you know when they start a fire specifically and burn away all of the under brush and dry dead stuff that gets in the way….this controlled burn will certainly be specific and yet different in each one of us….my prayer is that each one of us will allow the Holy Spirit set the fire in our hearts and bodies….I do not know if you have ever felt the fire of God on your body….He burns us from the inside out and it is like nothing you have ever felt …

  5. Do we have any plans during the fast to meet corporately and prayer during the fast?? Maybe with praise and worship team involved???

    Thanks
    Pat

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