Share Your Story

We just came out of an incredible time of revival as a church.  I heard so many great stories of how God used our 21 Day Fast, read through the New Testament and Scripture Journals.  Some have said that they are getting more out of the Bible than they ever have in all of their lives.  Others have said that the fast totally took them by surprise on how God used it.

Here’s what I would like for you to do, write and give a testimony of what God has done for you recently.   When I grew up in church, occasionally we would have testimony services in which people would stand up and share what God had done for them.  Well, this is your chance to give a testimony of what the Lord has done for you.

I’d like for you to comment back what God has done for you since the first of the year.  Just share how God used the Fast, the Scripture reading, journaling or a service or Life Group meeting to touch and impact your life.

Can I get a witness?  Just take a minute and write it down in the comments and let others rejoice with you in the goodness of God.  It will encourage me and everyone else who reads it.

 

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What Would Happen?

There are a few things that jump out at me when I am reading the book of Acts.  One is the frequency of prayer that is mentioned and another is commitment everyone had to the fellowship of believers.

Just like I’ve preached the past three weeks, prayer is communication with God and you just can’t replace that with anything else.  If you weren’t able to be with us for that series, it was called Sync-Up and is available on the podcast (www.crossroadsavon.com).

To think of replacing prayer, would be like substituting sports events for communication in your home.  Sure, going to activities can be fun, but after a while your soul craves connection and will look for it in other places.

It excites me to read of the total commitment that each of the people in the early church seemed to exemplify.  Scripture tells us they were “devoted”, were “all together”, met “every day” in the temple, and fellowshipped in their homes.  As a result of this kind of devotion, people were saved daily and added to their number.

What if we showed that kind of passion for the Lord’s Church by praying consistently and committing wholeheartedly to its purpose?  Maybe we wouldn’t have to worry about passing laws to keep people from doing wrong, perhaps people would be changed.  Let’s try it!

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Dr. King & Nehemiah

Posted in Change, Dreams, Hope, Impact, Leadership, Purpose, Vision by PCraig on January 22, 2013

Just yesterday our nation remembered the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  His leadership helped pull the nation together in a non-violent way to confront racism.  He truly had an incredible impact upon our country in a time of unsettledness.  The power of his words stirred the hearts of many and brought hope of change.

In much the same way, Nehemiah of the Old Testament was used of God to bring hope and vision to those who had lost it.  His inspiring words and personal courage led people to do more than they had done before.

This weekend, we launch a new four-week series called NEHEMIAH: Making A Difference.  What we will learn is that Nehemiah wasn’t anything special, extraordinary or overly gifted.  But, he was simply willing to be used and gave everything he had to make a difference.  This series will inspire, challenge and encourage you to be more than are right now.  Discover the passion, drive, and power to make a difference in this world.

Also, to have greater impact, join a small group experience during this series.  You can sign up for Life Groups from our website: www.crossroadsavon.com

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Reflections of the Fast

Well, it’s the end of the line.  Hard to believe in some ways, but my participation in the 21 Day Fast that we promoted for this New Year is over today.  Here are my thoughts at this point:

  • It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be (giving up meat & sweets).
  • It did cause me to feel closer to God.  I had some intimate times with God that I wouldn’t have missed for anything.
  • Mixed with our Night of Prayer, journaling the New Testament, and other events has made for some unique experiences with God.
  • The impact on the church family was bigger than I expected.
  • I want to be open to other times of fasting throughout the year, just as an individual.
  • I am looking forward to feasting this week to celebrate the end of the fast.

I’m really pumped about what stories I’ve heard already, but I want to hear every story.  If you have had a unique experience through our 21 Day Fast, will you please comment on this blog?  I would love to hear from you.  Don’t just hold it to yourself, give God glory and share a testimony of what God has done for you!

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Jesus Led

Posted in Fasting, Hearing God, Lordship, Prayer, Pursuing Jesus, Submission by PCraig on January 20, 2013

Guest post by John Money:

Today is day 20 of our 21 day church-wide Fast.  I trust that this has been a time of connection to Christ and spiritual growth for you. I have heard many testimonies of how our fellow fasters are experiencing a deeper connection with Christ.  Many have expressed a sense of Jesus being near, speaking more clearly, and more visibly leading their lives.

This is what our hearts truly long for!  Connection with Jesus and following His leading for our lives.

As we come to the close of our Fast, I am focusing on re-affirming to Jesus that I want Him to lead me.  I want him to reign in me.  I pray that you too will join with me in saying, “Jesus, lead me.”

A great verse to meditate on as we close our season of fasting is found in the book of Revelation.  In this verse Jesus says……

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Jesus is standing at the door of your life….the door of your heart….the door of your mind and is saying, ”Here I am, please let me in”

I am praying that each of us will hear him knocking, open the door, and let Him in!  Let’s fight against self-sufficiency and say to Jesus, “Please lead me Lord!”

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Away From Me Satan

Guest post by John Money:

Today I feel compelled to offer a spiritual warning….a “heads-up” to all who have joined our church-wide 21 day Fast.

Scripture tells to “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet 5:8)

Our enemy, the devil, hates us and he hates that we are seeking to draw closer to Jesus through fasting and prayer.  He wants to ruin your fast.  Ruin your faith.  Ruin your relationship with the Lord.

How do I know?  The Bible tells me so!

Satan hates us; just like he hated Jesus.  Look at what he tried to do to Jesus during his 40 day fast.  Satan came to tempt him at the end of the fast and when Jesus was hungry, tired, and weak.  Satan will try to do the same thing to us.  We are at day 18 of a 21 day fast.  It is time for us to be spiritually alert and ready to refute Satan’s lies/attacks with faith and the truth found in God’s Word.

Matthew 4:1-3 -Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Let’s be ready like Jesus was.  We too have been led by the Spirit to Fast.  The devil will try to tempt us to give up, to take short cuts, to doubt, to despair.  Let’s do what Jesus did and answer with the Word of God.  Let’s put on the armor of God and say to Satan, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:10)

“Away from me, Satan!”  “Away from my family!”  “Away from my friends!”  I have been fasting for 18 days and I am connected to Jesus….get away from me!”

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Getting Ready for Miracles

I am so excited about what I believe God is going to do this weekend!  As you know, many of us have declared a 21 Day Fast to start off the New Year.  Also, many of us started on January 1st, so we are now on day 17.  That means by this weekend we will be nearing the end of the fast and already people are being impacted.

Here’s what I want to ask you to do with me:  let’s believe for a day of miracles this Sunday as we gather in worship.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt. 5:6).  Even Jesus Himself was called to a long fast and THEN the day of miracles began to happen through His life.

How do you prepare for this weekend?

  • Keep up the prayer and fasting specifically for this day of miracles.
  • Ask God to perform signs & wonders in our midst for His glory.
  • Come expecting to receive your miracle.
  • Invite others to come expecting as well.
  • If you haven’t already been fasting with us, then consider doing so between now and Sunday.
  • When special prayer is called for in the service, be ready to step out and receive prayer for your miracle.  (*Don’t be late!  This time of prayer will occur DURING our time of worship to God – toward the start of service)

What kind of miracles should we expect?  I’m believing for God’s healing power to touch those who are sick in body.  Also, for those bound by sin, addiction, hurts of the past, and oppression of the enemy to be set free by His delivering power.  And further, I’m believing for God to open wombs for the childless, lost loved ones to be reached, give direction to those seeking, and other kinds of miracles as well.

Our God is all we need!  He is the Lord God our Provider who cares for His people and is able to do far exceedingly above all we could ask or think.

Just like Jesus’ example, prayer and fasting gets you ready for the day of miracles.  I’m ready for it now, how about you?

 

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Winds of Change

Posted in Change, Expectations, Faith, Fasting, Holy Spirit, Prayer, Victorious Living by PCraig on January 16, 2013

Guest post by John Money:

Many of us are praying fervently for “Change” during our time of fasting.  Perhaps it is pleading with the Lord to change your health, relationships, finances, or overall direction of your life.  Or you may be pleading with the Lord for change in your loved one’s lives.  Perhaps a wayward daughter, son, husband, wife, brother, or sister needs salvation or restoration in Christ.

My encouragement today is for you to hang in there!  Keep up your fervent fasting and praying…….through faith in Jesus, you are on the verge of a breakthrough….the winds of change are about to blow!  Remember to believe, trust, and not doubt.

After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and told them that they were to be his witnesses in this world.  But, first he wanted them to wait for the power and presence of His Holy Spirit to come upon them and to be in them.  Jesus said to his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

After this discussion, the disciples gathered for several days of fervent prayer.  As they were praying……

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:2)

This is what I envision happening for you.  The winds of change from the Lord are going to blow from heaven.  During your time of fasting and prayer, He is going to bring renewal within you by his Holy Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit moves, change happens.  The winds of change are blowing today….get ready!

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Let’s Get Vertical

Posted in Fasting, Hearing God, Pursuing Jesus by PCraig on January 15, 2013

I’m learning that I can actually live without meat and sweets these days.  Since beginning a 21 Day Fast on January 1, I have been amazed at what I can do without.  Not that I don’t still want meat really bad.  The other day, while shopping in Kroger for bananas, I thought I was going to go over to the deli and grab a fried chicken leg because they smelled so good!  Instead, I hurried up, got through the check out line and ran away from the aroma of temptation.

Fasting can help you distinguish between what you want and what you really need.  When you choose not to worry about the cares of life and seek Him first, you are demonstrating the kind of faith that is pleasing to God.  The reason is that you are putting your trust in Him to provide all you need.

I’m definitely thinking about the fast more each day, which gives God a direct line of communication into my life each day.  As that happens, it turns my thoughts more vertical instead of horizontal. That gets me ready to hear from Him more.  It gets my soul emptied of the clutter from our culture.  It further readies me to fulfill the destiny that He has for my life.

Are you finding yourself thinking more vertical these days?   I certainly am on this day 15 of a 21 day fast!

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Fasting, Praying & Your Calling

Posted in Hearing God, Ministry, Prayer, Purpose, Used of God, Vision by PCraig on January 14, 2013

Guest post by John Money:

The Lord loves when His people seek Him in prayer and fasting.  He loves that we are seeking Him as a church body and as individuals during this 21 day time of fasting and prayer.

I wholeheartedly believe that many in our church body will be receiving a fresh calling from the Lord during our time of fasting together.  Jesus wants us to make disciples and he wants to send us on missions for Him.

Prayer and fasting can get you to the place of receiving a fresh calling/mission from the Lord.  Barnabas and Saul received their call to church planting and world missions while they were fasting and praying at their home church in Antioch.  At the time, neither of them were lead pastors.  The Lord had big plans for them and He spoke during their fast.

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:2-3)

I am excited about what the Lord is doing to grow His kingdom and expect that He will bring clarity of calling to many within our church who are seeking His purpose for their lives.

He may be calling you to a new level of service.  I pray that you hear Him speaking by his Holy Spirit as he says, “Set apart for me……for the work to which I have called them.”

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