21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

21daysofprayerandfastingJoin us as we stand with churches across the world in 21 days of prayer and fasting! Click on the link to see what Foursquare is doing!

Foursquare Prayer and Fasting

21 Days of Prayer and Fasting 2016

As we continue to move forward with all that God has for us here at Faith Center we want to begin this year by setting aside time to “sit at God’s feet” as a family and a body of believers. To corporately and individually seek God for His miraculous power to be evidenced more in our lives and in the life of this church.

Would you join with us beginning January 11th and take 21 days to seek God together, to set time aside to see what He has for this Body and for you individually?

What Is Fasting?

“Simply stated biblical fasting is refraining from eating food for a spiritual purpose.” When we eliminate eating from our daily schedules it frees time to be with the Lord, unclutters our hearts and makes us amazingly sensitive to the things of God.

Is It In The Bible?

Yes! Fasting is mentioned 21 times in Scripture. The Bible records many circumstances when God’s people fasted and prayed.

  • Moses fasted when he received God’s law (Deut. 9:9)
  • Joshua fasted when Israel’s armies were defeated at Ai (Joshua 7:6)
  • Jesus fasted at the beginning of His earthly ministry (Matt. 4:2)

Why Fast?

  • To Petition God (Ezra 8:23)
  • To Break Spiritual Bondage (Isaiah 58:6)
  • Repentance (Daniel 9:2-3)
  • For Wisdom (Daniel 9:21-22)

How Do You Fast?

There are three kinds of fasts that are mentioned in Scripture:

1.) The Absolute Fast – This fast is an extreme fast and should only be done for very short periods of time. The absolute fast means you take in nothing – no food or water. This is not your ordinary fast and should not be attempted without first consulting your physician.

2.) The Normal Fast – No food of any kind is eaten for a certain number of days. You do drink water and plenty of it. Depending on the length of your fast you may also choose to take in clear broth or juices.

3.) The Partial Fast or “Daniel Fast” – A partial fast usually involves giving up particular foods and drinks for a time. One of the most commonly used examples of a partial fast is seen in Daniel 1:11-14 and Daniel 10:3. In chapter 1 Daniel only eats vegetables and drinks water. Later on in chapter 10 He refrains from eating “choice” foods and drinks no wine.

There is no set way for determining how long you fast or what type of fast you do. Make this a matter of prayer and ask the Lord what you should do.

Important Things To Remember When Fasting:

  • Fasting is not a spiritual badge of honor. It’s not about how long you fast but about setting time aside to seriously seek God.
  • Our fasting is to be done privately:

Matt 6:16-18

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Even though we will be taking time to fast and pray over the next 21 days as a congregation it is between you and God how you fast and when you fast.

  • Don’t get caught up in legalism. If you fast one meal, one day or one week it is an awesome sacrifice seen by God! If you eat a cracker or drink some juice it doesn’t mean that your prayers suddenly become ineffective.
  • Start slowly. If you have never fasted start with one meal or one day. You can also fast from sun up to sundown. Don’t start with more than you can handle.
  • Know your physical condition. If fasting is not an option because of physical health then set extra time aside for prayer and study in God’s Word.
  • Make the fast mean something to you! When fasting, it is imperative that we spend the extra time each day praying and being in the Word. If we simply abstain from eating we are not fasting…we’re dieting!
  • Keep a journal during the next 21 days of the things God shows you. It’s a great way to keep fresh His promises to us.
  • We will be concluding this time of prayer and fasting on Sunday, January 26th with a special night of worship and prayer here at Faith Center!

Why Fast Right Now?

Beginning this year with a time of fasting is to set our hearts individually and corporately as a church on The Lord. To set time aside to hear from Him about who we are, where were at and where we need to be.

 

We will be ending our time of fasting on Sunday, January 31st with prayer and worship at 5:00 pm!

 

Multiplied

multiplied: leadership is on the 1st Sunday of the month

multiplied: discipleship is on the 2nd and 3rd Sunday of the month.

multiplied: kids is on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sunday of the month


Here’s what a typical multiplied: discipleship Sunday evening will look like:

 

  • Walk through the doors and pick up a nametag…no guessing!
  • Grab a snack from our amazing Holy Cannoli team
  • Find a place at one of our 15 round tables
  • Listen to a short, applicable teaching
  • Take time to share about the teaching, ask questions and interact with one another
  • Talk about how your will apply this this week
  • Pray together
  • Go out and do what you learned

We ask that you make the commitment to grow spiritually by attending multiplied: discipleship every 2nd and 3rd Sunday evening of the month at 5:00 pm. Everyone, age 11 and up, is welcome to multiplied: discipleship!

multiplied: leadership will be the first Sunday of the month at 5:00 pm beginning October 4th. If you would like to dive deeper, please make the commitment to multiplied: leadership!

multiplied: kids will be rocking it the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the month at 5:00 pm. Their curriculum will be geared for growth, mirroring what the adults are learning at multiplied: discipleship. The hope is that you will be able to have great conversation at home as a family about what everyone is learning Sunday night!

 

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

Our call to be disciples and make disciples is the call to follow Jesus and walk with others teaching them what it means to be a follower of Jesus. This is what Multiplied is all about! This is a venue on Sunday evenings where we can gather together, do life together, learn, apply and grow; where we can press in to growing as disciples of Jesus!

Multiplied as a ministry here at Faith Center is birthed out of Gods strong call to us as a family of believers to be very intentional in our equipping and our growth. I encourage, exhort and challenge each of you to get involved this fall in Multiplied. There are many areas to participate in and grow in for all ages.

 

Winter Camp

John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

 

What an incredible promise, not only that Christ came to be a light of the world but that by following him, we no longer walk in darkness and also personally gain that light. The Light of Life. At Winter Camp 2016 we are blessed to be hosting an incredible speaker, mentor, and friend, Ryan Brown as he leads us through this beautiful picture found in John 8; Grace Stooped down, Hope pointed forward, and Christ lit the way…

 

In 1999 Ryan took the role as a youth pastor in Canby Oregon where he developed many thriving ministry models to reach and raise young passionate Christ followers. During his time there he also served as a District and National NextGen Representative for Foursquare.

 

In 2015 he and his wife Shelly followed the Lords leading and left a thriving ministry to take on the role as Youth Outreach Director at the Union Gospel Mission in Spokane Washington working at the same homeless shelter where he found Christ.  His current role has him working with hundreds of teens and children in need while discipling and training scores of young leaders to do the same. He also continues to serve within Foursquare in an advisory role in the development of NextGen leaders, processes and discipleship models.

 

Winter Camp takes place January 16-18th at Camp Elkanah. The cost for Camp is $75, which covers transportation, food, lodging, and a camp T-shirt. Registration deadline is January 4th. Please join our Faith Center team of leaders as we begin praying and preparing for this upcoming Winter Camp.

Click Here to Register!

The Sound of His Voice

snowyfieldMy childhood bedroom was located in the upstairs, southeast corner of our home here in the valley. There was no heat up there from our basement furnace and the winters we’re mighty chilly! I could easily see my breath most mornings when I woke up. I loved it! Tucked under about twenty pounds of blankets topped off with a quilt made of old Levis I was toasty and rather immobile. Being on the southeast corner of the house my window received the full blast of the winter wind back in the days when we had real winters here! Yes, I am that old. I could actually tell what was happening outside by the tone of the wind. What I loved most were the mornings when I would wake early to the sound of strong wind assailing our home coupled with the light, sandy sound of snow against the outside trim. I knew that sound…it meant no school! Before I jumped up and headed downstairs to double check conditions I already knew it was a snow day. The certainty of that truth lay in the sound of the wind. As I look back now I realize the peace, joy and comfort I found in that wind.

 

It’s the same today, no, not in the sound of wind, but in recognizing the sound of our Savior’s voice. Knowing what it is when He is speaking, guiding and leading. Hearing his voice in the midst of the chaos of a moment or the uncertainty of the future brings certainty, peace and hope. In this season of celebration of our Savior listen for Him, be expectant of him afresh. This is not a season to celebrate the memory of the Savior but to live again in the wonder of a living, personal Savior that still speaks today!

Southside of Heaven

southsidelogoI love the Christmas season. We got the tree all decorated, stockings hung on the fireplace and the Polar Express train set firing on all cylinders. The gifts are wrapped and excitement is in the air. This season represents hope and joy for so many of us.

We understand that our Savior was born to bring peace, hope and love to this broken world. He was born to bring freedom to the captives and to set us free from the bondage of sin.

I spend most of my time with people who are hopeless; life has punched them in the face knocking them down. Sometimes by choices made and sometimes by things beyond their control, does it matter? Hopelessness is hopelessness, it doesn’t matter how someone gets there, it matters how they get out.

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

 

1 Corinthians 13:7

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

 

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

 

Psalm 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds

 

I want God to use me to love the broken hearted and the ones who have no hope this Christmas season. The challenge is to love unconditionally. Not to judge them based on circumstances or my own opinion but to truly love and share the hope of Christ. I pray God will use each one of us to reach out beyond ourselves and show the love of Christ to a lost and broken world…

 

Christmas Faire

ChristmasFaireFor over 15 years the family at Faith Center has participated in blessing families in our community during the Christmas season with food and gifts. It is a time of generosity and special care as we look to the true reason we celebrate this season. The Christmas Faire on December 12th is the venue that we host to not only give out food baskets and gifts, but also to have the opportunity to love and care for families. It is designed to be a fun, interactive time of fellowship for every family that comes through these doors. With food, coffee, cookie decorating, and crafts for the kids the goal is provide a non “institutionalized,” shame free experience. It is a Christmas party we are hosting for some very precious guests whom God loves very much!

 

How can you be involved? There are three main ways:

 

  1. Beginning November 15th there will be a Christmas tree in the foyer with tags on it. Grab a tag and purchase a gift or two for the child on that tag. Bring the unwrapped gifts back with the tag attached by December 6th.
  2. Purchase extra food like spaghetti sauce and pasta, peanut butter, jam/jelly, macaroni and cheese, tuna, & soup.
  3. Sign up to serve at the Christmas Faire:

Job 

Be an ‘Elf’

The Muscle

Food/Dessert Team

Food Attendants

Clean up Crew

Popcorn Station

Security/Parking

Wrap Gifts

Cookie Decorating

Christmas Crafts

Face Painting

Load Food Bags

Thank You!

thankyouThank you to everyone who took part in making this year’s Harvest Party a fruitful outreach to our community. Whether you donated candy or cakes, you gave of your time to serve at a game, or you helped to set up, Helped with parking/security, or clean up, you are appreciated! It is only through a team effort that we are able to offer this fantastic outreach to the children in our community! Thank You!

Thankful

thankful-definition“Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”           

John 12:1-3 NIV

 

This story is such a beautifully painted portrait of a heart overflowing with thanksgiving for the Savior. Mary comes bringing with her an extravagant gift of expensive perfume with which to anoint Jesus. Nard was costly oil derived from a plant that grows in the foothills of the Himalayas. This was no little gift that was lavished on Jesus. This would equate to approximately $10,000 in today’s money! As well, for a Jewish woman to uncover her hair in public would have been seen as an unseemly and intimate thing to do. This act by Mary was the outflow of a heart deeply thankful and touched by the Savior. Precious, unfiltered and from the heart. Some things to remember: Thankfulness flows out of our personal relationship with the Savior and not the condition of our circumstance.

 

  • Thankfulness is a choice and one that is costly at times. A thankful heart is not concerned with what others think as much as honoring the Lord.
  • A heart filled with thanksgiving will affect everyone around you! It is a wonderful aroma in a world that is increasingly cynical.

 

Would you do something this Thanksgiving season? Find a moment, just you and the Lord and receive communion; a small piece of bread and some juice. Before you take each element take some time to remember what Jesus has done. Recount for yourself and to the Lord His faithfulness, what he has specifically done and thank him for it…don’t hold back, its ok to be lavish here! Take your time…don’t rush, just a time of thanksgiving to the one who is our source. Experience afresh the power of a thankful heart!

Our Attitude Is One Of Gratitude

gratitudeA dear man of God, Pastor Wayne Cordeiro said, “Your attitude is the most important thing about you. It is more important than your education, more important than your past, more important than your looks, more important than your money, more important than anything!”

Our continuous attitude is the simple most important factor in all we say or do. And of all the attitudes, nothing is more critical than having an attitude of gratitude. The Word of God says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It’s not what you’ve lost, it’s what you have left that counts!

Do you know that ingratitude is the most basic of sins? It opens the door to all other sins. This is made clear in Romans 1:21-22 which says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”

THEY DID NOT GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD. And then what follows is a downward spiral leading to degradation and destruction. But it began with an ungrateful heart! It’s not what we’ve lost, it’s what we have left that counts!

I’m glad we have one day a year, “Thanksgiving Day” to be reminded as to just how blessed and loved by God we truly are! The Word of God reveals how an attitude of gratitude is the key to releasing the supernatural power of God in our lives. Do you need a miracle in your life, your family, your business, your marriage, or in the lives of your children? The key is allowing and inviting the Holy Spirit to form in us “an attitude of gratitude!”

In the church I grew up in down in Southern California, I was always amazed at Charlie Craig and his sister Pearl. Both of them were in their 80’s. Pearl had never married so she could spend her entire life taking care of her brother Charlie. Charlie was totally blind and deaf…and joyful! He would hold his hands lightly over hers, as she would in sign language tell him the words of the hymns of worship we’d be singing or The Word of God my daddy was preaching. They were two of the happiest people I’ve ever known. They always had a smile and a hug especially for little kids.

They had found the secret to a happy life. CHRIST was their SUSTAINER and PROVIDER and they were THANKFUL! “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It’s not what you’ve lost, it’s what you have left that counts!

This Thanksgiving 2015, we are filled with an attitude of gratitude to Jesus for all He has done and continues to do for us…and for all of you!

The Joy of Christmas

Coming in to this Christmas season I was hesitant in setting too high of expectations for what the holidays would bring. I knew that there would be the traditional ham and turkey, I even knew we would journey out to the woods to cut the perfect Christmas tree, what I wasn’t sure about was what the Christmas season would FEEL like.

I remember as a child the Joy and expectation of the holidays. There was a feeling similar to that of pregnancy. There is hope, excitement, longing, and even joy for what is to come. Not just Christmas morning, but everything leading up to, and through the month of December. There is the smell and warmth of a fire in the fireplace, making Christmas cookies, Christmas music, snow, lights, productions, etc… All of it was magical.

Now I am an adult and there are days where the fire is a chore, the cookies create a mess, the music is mundane, the snow is annoying, the lights are dangerous and the productions are…well trying. This is why I was hesitant in the events of this month, all the work, additional time and energy put into one day. I knew this wasn’t what my attitude should be, wasn’t sure why, but I had an idea of how to change it.

I began asking God why Christmas had become a chore. His answer; because I had lost focus on the reason why. The lights, decorations, cookies, they aren’t for me, my wife or my kids. They are for Jesus. The pregnant feeling was that of the expectation of our coming Savior. Now we know how the story ends, with his crucifixion, but that only makes Christmas morning even more meaningful. Our Savior came to restore relationship between us and God, which is better than any gift we can ever give on Christmas morning.

I realized maybe I should accept the gift that the Lord gave to me. The gift of God being active and alive, working in my life. So I began to ask God for those very things that I had lost. Joy, hope, love, peace, childlike faith. And just as we read time and time again in Scripture, God proved himself faithful, he has freely given those very things that I thought were lost forever to me in abundance. If you are like me, I encourage you to ask, not Santa, but God, and he will freely give all of himself to you! May you have a Christ filled holiday season, and may you be filled with an abundance of Joy, Peace, Hope, and Love.